Hot Eats and Cool Reads: June 2014

Jun 30, 2014

Fiber One Blueberry Streusel Bars with Toasted Marshmallows and Cherries #streuselhack

“Disclosure: The information and prize pack have been provided by General Mills through Platefull Co-Op.”



We all could use a lower calorie dessert or snack option. Using Fiber One Streusel Bars, that's a total possibility, either eating it just out of the package, or creating a streusel hack recipe. It's such simple twist making a semi homemade dessert and takes a fraction of the time compared to a regular recipe. 





I love fresh fruit, and I thought fresh cherries would taste great with the blueberry streusel bar. I also wanted some some sort of frosting or sauce, but decided to use marshmallows and toast them with a kitchen torch, or broiler. I opted to use the broiler, and the streusel bar got nice and crunch around the edges, which was so delicious! These flavors tasted great together and the kids will love it!



Fiber One Streusel, our first bars with a tasty combination of real fruit and 12 grams of whole grains*, are a sensible treat that taste more like an indulgence! These soft-baked bars with a delicious brown sugar streusel topping have 20% of your daily value of fiber (5 grams) and are 150 calories.
*12g whole grain per serving. At least 48g recommended daily*
Blueberry Streusel Bars with Toasted Marshmallows and Cherries (click here to print)

What you need:
Fiber One Blueberry Streusel Bar
6 mini marshmallows
1 bing cherry, pit removed and sliced

Directions:
Place marshmallows on top of streusel bar. Use kitchen torch or broiler to toast marshmallows until browned. Top with sliced cherries. 

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This recipe is shared at these blogs:

Jun 28, 2014

Book Review: Curious Critters Volume 2 by David Fitzsimmons

My daughter and I love to read together. We read fiction chapter books as well as non fiction books. I was super excited to read Curious Critters Volume 2 with her. We both really enjoyed it!


This book is beautiful! The photos are big and bright and the informative stories about each critter are written so cleverly. Books like these make kids want to read them, want to learn from them.

My daughters favorite critter in the book is the Monarch Butterfly! I'm not surprised since we have them here in MN! You can also read about the Predaceous Diving Beetle, Cave Salamander, Great Horned Owl and many more! 

This book is worth checking out for any animal or insect lover. Kids will love it!

I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars

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Jun 25, 2014

Ham, Egg, Cheese and Veggie Pasta Salad Recipe

Perfect for any picnic, BBQ, potluck or event! This salad feeds a crowd and it's everyone's favorite! Great for using leftover Christmas or Easter Ham and hard boiled eggs!



Ham, Egg, Cheese and Veggie Pasta Salad



Perfect for any picnic, BBQ, potluck or event! This salad feeds a crowd and it's everyone's favorite! Great for using leftover Christmas or Easter Ham and hard boiled eggs!  Ham, Egg, Cheese and Veggie Pasta Salad Recipe



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Family recipes. Aren't they just the best?

Today's recipe happens to come from my sister, Shannon. She is the genius behind quite a few recipes here at the blog including Chicken Pot Pie, Almond Banket Bars, Peas and Potato Soup and French Dressing Potato Salad!



Jun 23, 2014

Savory Mini Meatloaves Recipe with Healthy Solutions Spice Blends and a Giveaway!

Hello everyone! I hope you had a fantastic weekend!!

Today's recipe is for some scrumptious Savory Mini Meatloaves! I recently received some samples of some spice blends from Healthy Solutions and couldn't wait to try them out! These spice blends are all natural and contain no MSG. Most have no added salt or sugar and contain no fillers or preservatives. Each spice blend has a suggested recipe on the back making them super easy to incorporate into your menu!




 

I used the Savory Meatloaf spice blend for these Mini Meatloaves. The flavor was fantastic, they were moist and I loved not having to add any salt. I love my meatloaf saucy, so I prepared a sauce to top them with. This is such a great meal when you don't have alot of time to cook. 

Below the recipe, you can enter for a chance to win 4 spice blends of your choice from Healthy Solutions! The flavors they offer are: Herb Crusted Tilapia, Shrimp Scampi, Cajun Seafood, Lemon Pepper, Sesame Ginger Tuna, Grilled Swordfish, Salmon with Dill, Bold Beef Rub, Authentic Chili/Tacos, Hearty Beef Stew, Italian Meatballs, Perfect Steak, Ultimate Burger, Pork and Poultry and Savory Meatloaf! You can stop by their website for more info on all these spice blends!

I chose these four! Can't wait to try out the rest of them!



Savory Mini Meatloaves
12 mini meatloaves

What you need:
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 packet Healthy Solutions Savory Meatloaf Spice Blend
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons ketchup

Sauce:
3/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons mustard
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all meatloaf ingredients until well mixed. Divide meatloaf mixture into 12 muffin cups that have been lightly greased. Combine sauce ingredients and spoon onto the top of each meatloaf. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cooked through. 



I received these spice blends to review. This doesn't affect my opinion of the product in any way.

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This recipe was featured at: The Better Baker

This recipe is shared at these blogs: The Best Blog RecipesLove Bakes Good CakesThe Better Baker

Jun 17, 2014

French Dressing Potato Salad Recipe

Hi everyone! It's Sheena's sister Shannon here with an amazing potato salad recipe!  Back when I lived in Michigan, one of our neighbor families had a Labor Day party every year.  The husband's mother made the most amazing potato salad I've ever tasted and brought it with to the party every year!!  Now that I'm back in Minnesota, I was going through serious withdrawals when this summer rolled around which starts potato salad season in my house!  This is my take on this wonderful salad!  I hope you love it as much as we do!!  The recipe makes quite a big batch, because if I'm going through all the work of making potato salad... we better have lots of leftovers!  One more thing.... I do have a new-ish photography blog, In Blurred Focus, featuring mostly on rural Minnesota... I'd love it if you checked it out (you can subscribe by email as well)!!  (By the way, Sheena's food photography skills are amazing.... mine, not so much. I guess we all have our gifts, right?)




 

French Dressing Potato Salad (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
5 lbs-red skinned potatoes, peeled, cubed and boiled
16 eggs, boiled, peeled and diced
3 bunches of green onions, chopped
French-style dressing, approximately 1/3-1/2 bottle (I used Western 16 ounce bottle)
1 1/2 cups mayo
1 cup Miracle Whip
4 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of yellow mustard
3 tablespoons of milk

Directions:
Once you've boiled the potatoes, put them in a bowl and pour the French dressing over the potatoes and toss to coat.  Put this mixture into the refrigerator for 3-4 hours, or overnight works too.  After your potatoes are cool and marinated with the French dressing, add the eggs and green onions.  Mix together the mayo, Miracle Whip, sugar, mustard and milk, pour over the potatoes, mix gently and refrigerate. 

Be prepared to smile... or as my daughter says "Mom, I'm dying a little bit on the inside!"

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On the blog... one year ago: Ground Beef and Brown Rice Mexican Skillet



Two years ago: Easy Garlic Cheese Bread


Jun 15, 2014

Strawberry, Banana and Peach Smoothie Recipe and a Review for Tribest Mason Jar Personal Blender

Smoothies aren't something I make very often. It's always a hassle getting the big blender out and washing everything afterwards for just one little smoothie!



This Tribest Mason Jar Personal Blender solves all of those problems! It's super easy to use and the 200 watt motor blends everything in a jiffy! You can even use it to grind coffee beans, nuts, grains and herbs! It comes with a variety of jars and containers to blend in and you can also use mason jars that you have at home. It's also BPA free! Clean up is quick and easy. This is my new favorite small kitchen appliance! You can find more info or purchase the blender here!

I tried out the blender with a Strawberry, Banana and Peach Smoothie. It turned out delicious!! The fruit had enough sweetness, where I didn't have to add any sugar or honey. It was a lovely breakfast and you can try it for yourself! Enjoy!




 

Strawberry, Banana and Peach Smoothie (click here to print recipe)
1 smoothie

What you need:
1 small peach, pitted
3 strawberries
1 small banana
1 6 ounce strawberry yogurt
3 tablespoons milk

Directions:
Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately. 

I received this blender for review from the manufacturer.

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This recipe is shared at these blogs: Flour Me with Love, Jam Hands, Inside BruCrew Life, Memories by the MileLove Bakes Good CakesThe Chef Next DoorThe Best Blog RecipesThe Better Baker,

Jun 9, 2014

Lemony Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

This Lemony Strawberry Shortcake is something special! 

The addition of lemon curd to the homemade whipped cream gives it such a summery flavor and we all know strawberries and lemon go hand in hand. 

This dessert was so simple to make using store bought ingredients, but if you have the extra time, go ahead and make it from scratch. 

Either way, it's a perfect dessert for that special someone, picnics or a snack for the kiddos!






Lemony Strawberry Shortcake
4 servings

What you need:
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar
6 tablespoons lemon curd

4 shortcake biscuits, quartered
strawberries, quartered
lemon zest, optional

Directions:
In a chilled bowl, beat the whipping cream with an electric mixer until thickened. Add the powdered sugar and lemon curd and beat until combined. 

Layer shortcake biscuits, strawberries and whipped cream in four mini trifle bowls. Sprinkle lemon zest over the top. Serve immediately. 

I was provided coupons from Driscoll's Berries and The Daily Meal for this post.

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On the blog... one year ago: Balsamic Pea and Bacon Salad


Two years ago: Roasted Potato, Spinach and Parmesan Salad

Jun 7, 2014

Garlic Honey Parisian Carrots Recipe

Happy Saturday everyone!! What's your plans for the weekend??

We will be heading to the Twin Cities for a grad party today and we will also be stopping by to check out Minnehaha Falls beforehand. I've never seen the falls before and it's been super rainy lately, so they should be beautiful right now!!

Today's recipe is for Garlic Honey Parisian Carrots! These tiny roundish carrots are so fun and tasty! I found them in the freezer section at Trader Joe's, but you can also use regular carrots in case you don't have access to these! The garlic and honey are so delicious together and it comes together quick, so it's a great addition to any meal. 




 

Garlic Honey Parisian Carrots (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
1 pound bag frozen Parisian carrots or regular carrots
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper

Directions:
Pour carrots into a skillet and add 1/3 cup water. Cover and steam for 6-8 minutes. Drain water.

Return skillet to the stove and add butter, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat for 4 minutes until garlic is tender. Stir in honey until combined and serve!



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Jun 2, 2014

Strawberry Infused Vodka Recipe! Great Homemade Gift Idea!

Are you a fan of flavored vodkas? Then today's post is for you! This Strawberry Infused Vodka couldn't be any easier to make and is so perfect for this time of the year when there's an abundance of strawberries! This would also be so cute bottled up in some smaller glass bottles and given as gifts to your friends and family! 

The flavor is quite incredible. It tastes like fresh, summer strawberries. Not that artificial strawberry flavor like store bought strawberry vodka. It's no secret that I love vodka! Some of my favorite drinks are Strawberry and Blackberry Sparkling Vodka Cocktail and Orange Strawberry Cocktail! They would both taste great with this infused vodka!

Don't forget to stop by and enter the giveaway for the gas grill here! :)




 

Strawberry Infused Vodka (click here to print recipe)

What you need: 
1- 750 ml bottle vodka
1 pound strawberries, rinsed, stems removed and sliced

Directions:
Combine vodka and sliced strawberries in a glass container with cover. Refrigerate for one week, stirring every day or two. Strain and store in original vodka bottle in the refrigerator until using. 

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On the blog... one year ago: Peanut Sauced Shrimp and Veggie Pitas



Two years ago: Balsamic Chicken and Gravy w/ Baby Bellas


This recipe is shared at these blogs: Inside BruCrew Life, Memories by the Mile, Table for Seven, The Better BakerLove Bakes Good CakesThe Best Blog RecipesThe Chef Next Door

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