Hot Eats and Cool Reads: February 2014

Feb 26, 2014

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Lemon Filling Recipe

I'm on a huge muffin kick lately! I love them for breakfast, especially during the week when we are scrambling to get out the door and don't have alot of time to eat. These ones are especially good. I LOVE lemon pie filling. You can make it homemade, or used the canned stuff like I did. If you like lemon, then you'll for sure love these. 

What's your favorite kind of muffin?




 

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Lemon Filling (click here to print recipe)
12 muffins

What you need:
2/3 cup sugar
grated zest from 1 large lemon 
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
juice from 1 large lemon
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1- 1 1/2 cups lemon pie filling

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line the muffin tin with 12 paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and lemon zest. Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and combine well.

In a separate bowl, mix together the sour cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and melted butter until well combined. Pour wet mixture into the bowl with the dry mixture and add poppy seeds. Stir well until just combined. Divide mixture evenly between the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes until toothpick inserted comes out clean.. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. 

When the muffins are cooled, use a tomato corer or other small utensil and scoop out 3/4 of the way down the center of each muffin. (You will want a hole about as round as a penny.) Fill a plastic bag or piping bag with the lemon pie filling. Snip off the corner and pipe the pie filling in the center of each muffin. 



Recipe slightly adapted from: Brown Eyed Baker

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On the blog... one year ago: Southwest Chicken Coleslaw



Two years ago: Minnesota Wild Rice Hotdish


This recipe is shared at these blogs: Freedom Fridays at Love Bakes Good Cakes, Weekend Potluck at The Better BakerStrut Your Stuff at Six Sisters Stuff,

Feb 24, 2014

Ground Beef Porcupine Meatballs Recipe

Hey! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

We were super busy with a Girl Scout cookie booth and Thinking Day, shoveling after our blizzard and relaxing most of the day on Sunday! I love staying home on Sundays. It's my day to do laundry, clean and hang out with Ella. We love that time together! That's also when I do most of my cooking for the blog posts each week. Gotta love a full belly for Sunday dinner!

Today's recipe is one of those comfort food type of recipes! Porcupine Meatballs! I found the original recipe in a local church cookbook, made a few tweeks and this is what we got! They are so, so good! The sauce has a slight sweetness from the brown sugar, that goes so well with the tomato sauce. We served it with a side of mashed potatoes for a perfect and filling meal!




 

Ground Beef Porcupine Meatballs (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup instant rice
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Sauce:
1- 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup beef broth
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine beef, rice, water, onion, garlic, salt and pepper until mixed. Shape into 1 1/2 inch meatballs. Heat the olive oil in a large non stick skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook until evenly browned. Transfer to a glass baking dish.

While browning the meatballs, combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Pour over the browned meatballs and bake for 45 minutes until meatballs and rice are cooked through. Serve with rice or mashed potatoes

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On the blog... one year ago: Bacon and Asparagus Breakfast Pizza




Two years ago: Honey Balsamic Roasted Carrots


This recipe is shared at these blogs: Time to Sparkle at Inside BruCrew Life,  Freedom Fridays at Love Bakes Good CakesWeekend Potluck at The Better BakerStrut Your Stuff at Six Sisters Stuff,

Feb 21, 2014

Nutella and Granola Yogurt Parfaits Recipe

I'm not gonna lie... breakfast at our house is usually cereal. That's easy, right?






Now you can skip the cereal and make these delicious yogurt parfaits! Ready within minutes!

Banana, Nutella and Granola Yogurt Parfaits

What you need:
Granola
Nutella Spread
1 Banana, sliced
Vanilla Yogurt

Directions:
Layer all ingredients in a bowl or serving dish. Top with bananas and granola. 

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Feb 20, 2014

Book Review: The Tulip Eaters by Antoinette van Heugten


Summary:
In a riveting exploration of the power the past wields over the present, critically acclaimed author Antoinette van Heugten writes the story of a woman whose child's life hangs in the balance, forcing her to confront the roots of her family's troubled history in the dark days of World War II… 

It's the stuff of nightmares: Nora de Jong returns home from work one ordinary day to find her mother has been murdered. Her infant daughter is missing. And the only clue is the body of an unknown man on the living-room floor, clutching a Luger in his cold, dead hand. 

Frantic to find Rose, Nora puts aside her grief and frustration to start her own search. But the contents of a locked metal box she finds in her parents' attic leave her with as many questions as answers—and suggest the killer was not a stranger. Saving her daughter means delving deeper into her family's darkest history, leading Nora half a world away to Amsterdam, where her own unsettled past and memories of painful heartbreak rush back to haunt her. 

As Nora feverishly pieces together the truth from an old family diary, she's drawn back to a city under Nazi occupation, where her mother's alliances may have long ago sealed her own–and Rose's—fate.

My thoughts:
When I first saw the title of this book, I thought it was quite unusual. I wondered what "The Tulip Eaters" had anything to do with present day murder and kidnapping, or WWII? You will find that answer in the preface. 

This book started off fast and hooked me from the very beginning. I love how the story line went from things that happened from past to present and how they all tied together in the end. You never expect things from the past that have been long forgotten by most, to come back and haunt you so many years later. Especially when you had nothing to do with them. This is the case with Nora. When her daughter was kidnapped, she went with her intuition as a mother to do anything and everything to try and find her daughter. 

I loved the historical aspects of this book. The present day parts weren't as interesting to me, but the author did a pretty good job connecting them both together. The ending was pretty predictable, but still worth the read.

I rate this book 3.5 stars.

I received this book from the publisher for review. All opinions and thoughts are my own. 

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Feb 19, 2014

Oreo Cookie Pops with Sprinkled Kettle Corn Recipe! Perfect for Birthday Parties!

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We just celebrated my daughter, Ella's 7th birthday this past weekend!

She had 10 friends come over and celebrate with her and they had a blast! I decided to make this awesome snack for the girls. My daughter loved helping me make everything and setting them all out for her friends! 

It's fast to make and inexpensive for a fun and colorful snack. We used a variety of different sprinkles, chosen by the birthday girl, and you can use whatever colors needed to match your birthday theme!


Perfect for kids birthday parties! Customize with different colored sprinkles! Oreo Cookie Pops with Sprinkled Kettle Corn Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads



Feb 17, 2014

Sloppy Tots Recipe

This post contains affiliate links. For more info, click here!

It's Monday again. These weeks just continue to fly by. I decided to stay home and take a "snow day" today. My daughter went to Mall of America for the day with her bff, and I wanted to take advantage of some free time at home and catch up on blogging, and do laundry. It's so peaceful! Besides, it snowed alot overnight and this morning, and I didn't wanna commute in that mess!

Today's recipe is gonna be a new favorite!! Sloppy Tots... sounds good right? They are! This is the perfect weeknight meal and is finished in less than 30 minutes. My sister and I both loved it and would make it again on a regular basis. Ella loved it too. She is in her picky phase right now, so she had the tator tots and sloppy joe meat separate on a plate, and the lettuce and tomatoes in a small salad with vinaigrette. She's so funny!




 
Sloppy Tots

by Sheena
Ingredients (4 servings)
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1- 32 ounce bag tator tots
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • lettuce, shredded
  • tomatoes, diced
Instructions
Bake or fry tator tots according to package directions.
In a skillet, cook ground beef, onions and garlic until ground beef is no longer pink.. Season with salt and pepper, as needed. Add ketchup, mustard and brown sugar and stir to combine. Simmer for 5-10 minutes on low. Remove from heat.
Place tator tots on a plate. Scoop sloppy joe mixture over tator tots. Top with cheese, lettuce and tomatoes!
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On the blog... one year ago: Roasted Tomatoes and White Beans



Two years ago: Cucumber, Strawberry and Tomato Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette



This recipe is featured at: The Country Cook

This recipe is shared at these blogs: Time to Sparkle at Inside BruCrew LifeIn and Out of the Kitchen at Feeding Big, Tuesday Talent Show at Chef in Training, Freedom Friday at Love Bakes Good CakesThe Weekend Re-Treat at The Best Blog RecipesWeekend Potluck at The Better BakerMarvelous Monday at This Gal CooksMix it Up Monday at Flour Me With Love, Strut Your Stuff at Six Sisters Stuff

Feb 13, 2014

Veggie Wraps with Avocado Cream Sauce Recipe

Healthy, meatless and packed full of flavor! 




Happy Thursday! I'm so looking forward to the weekend! I can't believe my daughter is turning 7 next week! It will be a blast celebrating her birthday this weekend! We have some fun snacks on the menu for the party. Keep an eye out for them in a future post! Totally girly and yummy too!

Feb 10, 2014

Blueberry Caramel Milkshakes Recipe

Who loves milkshakes?? I do!! This one is especially good!!

The grocery store had these amazing, sweet, and juicy berries a few weeks ago. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make something out of them, rather than eating them all plain, like we usually do! That's when this amazing milkshake was created. Surprisingly, the caramel and blueberry taste perfect together and it was such a nice bedtime snack for my daughter and I! Give it a try, you'll love it. I promise! 


 
Blueberry Caramel Milkshakes (click here to print recipe)

2 small milkshakes

What you need:
3/4 cup milk
3-4 large scoops of New York Vanilla ice cream
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
2-3 tablespoons caramel syrup plus more for topping

Directions:
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. I like my milkshakes runnier, so I used 3 large scoops of ice cream. Add 4 if you like thicker milkshakes. Pour in a glass and top with blueberries and drizzle with caramel sauce.

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On the blog... one year ago: Banana Bundt Cake



Two years ago: Blueberry Crumble


This recipe is shared at these blogs: Share your Stuff at Table for SevenTotally Tasty Tuesdays at Mandy's Recipe BoxIn and Out of the Kitchen at Feeding BigYou're Gonna Love it at Kathe with an ETime to Sparkle at Inside BruCrew LifeTuesday Talent Show at Chef in TrainingEat Create Party at Living Better TogetherThe Weekend Re-Treat at The Best Blog RecipesFreedom Fridays at Love Bakes Good CakesWeekend Potluck at The Better Baker

Feb 8, 2014

Shrimp and Crab Seafood Enchiladas with Jalapeno Cream Sauce Recipe

These unique and delicious shrimp and crab enchiladas with a creamy sauce are perfect for dinner any night of the week! Pepper jack cheese, jalapeno and garlic add so much flavor to this Mexican comfort food meal!


Shrimp and Crab Seafood Enchiladas with Jalapeno Cream Sauce



These unique and delicious shrimp and crab enchiladas with a creamy sauce are perfect for dinner any night of the week! Pepper jack cheese, jalapeno and garlic add so much flavor to this Mexican comfort food meal!


This post contains affiliate links. Hot Eats and Cool Reads may receive a small commission for purchases made through these links at no cost to you! Thanks for the support!


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Feb 5, 2014

Lemony Dill Vinaigrette Recipe

Happy hump day!! Friday is right around the corner... woo-hoo! I'm so excited to hang out with my sister, Shannon and her family this weekend. I foresee lots of cooking, wine, movies and shopping. Sounds like a great time to me!

Today's recipe is for a quick and delicious vinaigrette! I love creating and making new dressing recipes depending on what's in the fridge that day. This is one of those creations. Toss it with some lettuce or add it to cooked pasta and veggies for a quick pasta salad! I LOVE fresh dill and the flavor it brings to whatever you combine it with. Enjoy!!


 

Lemony Dill Vinaigrette (click here to print recipe)
4 servings

What you need:
3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, as desired

Directions:
In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until combined. Refrigerate until serving or serve immediately. 

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On the blog... one year ago: Butternut Squash Casserole

Two years ago: Turkey Porcupine Meatballs
This recipe is shared at these blogs: Weekend Potluck at The Better Baker, Share your Stuff at Table for Seven, Totally Tasty Tuesdays at Mandy's Recipe Box, In and Out of the Kitchen at Feeding Big, You're Gonna Love it at Kathe with an E, Time to Sparkle at Inside BruCrew Life, Tuesday Talent Show at Chef in Training

Feb 3, 2014

Chicken Drumsticks with Prosciutto and Peas Recipe

Hey!! I hope your week is off to a good start! We had an amazingly fun weekend. My daughter had a Girl Scout overnight at the Headwaters Science Center in Bemidji, MN. That place is so cool! They have tons of hands on learning and the girls loved it! I will be writing about our experience in an upcoming blog post!

Yesterday we had my baby nephew's baptism and went shopping for party supplies for my daughter's 7th birthday! We are inviting 11 girls this year, so it should be very interesting! We have an awesome store here in St Cloud called Gopher Bargain Center and they have a great selection of birthday stuff... goodie bag stuff, decorations, plates, napkins and more. We got everything except the food for $30! I will have to post some pics after her birthday!

Today's recipe is total comfort food! I love baked chicken legs, and this is such a flavorful way to prepare them. The prosciutto and chicken flavors are perfect together and the peas taste fantastic baked in the sauce. Pile it on top of some mashed potatoes for a wonderful, filling meal. 

Enjoy and have a fantastic week!
 
Chicken Drumsticks with Prosciutto and Peas (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 chicken drumsticks
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 ounces prosciutto, diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
8 ounces frozen peas
salt and pepper, as desired

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Season chicken drumsticks with salt and pepper and add to the dutch oven. Cook the chicken until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove from the dutch oven and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium low and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onions and garlic, saute for about 4 minutes. Then add the prosciutto, increase heat to medium, and cook for another 5 minutes until it starts to brown. Pour in the wine, increase the heat to high and cook for another few minutes until alcohol has evaporated. Stir in the chicken stock and parsley, and return the chicken to the dutch oven. Bake, covered for 30 minutes. Remove the cover, mix in the peas and bake for another 30 minutes uncovered, until chicken is browned and cooked through. Add more liquid if needed. Serve over mashed potatoes

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On the blog... one year ago: The Ultimate McMuffin
Two years ago: Strawberry and Pineapple Bellinis
This recipe is shared at these blogs: Weekend Potluck at The Better Baker

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