Hot Eats and Cool Reads: August 2014

Aug 30, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe and a Glimpse at Immaculate Baking Scratch Baking Mixes

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





Tis' the season for apple recipes! Fall is one of my favorite foodie times of the year. Slow cooker recipes are everywhere, as well as soups and pumpkin recipes! Love it all!

Today's recipe is a delicious Apple Cinnamon Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. The majority of the time I make my cakes from scratch, but after I heard about the new scratch baking mixes from Immaculate Baking, I knew I'd have to give them a try! Immaculate Baking launched their new dry baking mixes using only wholesome, simple, delicious ingredients, and offering baking options ranging from all natural, organic and gluten free! Totally the same quality as their refrigerated cookies! I also love that they don't contain any artificial preservatives or high fructose corn syrup. These products will fit right it when I need a cake mix for a new recipe. They work and taste just as great as scratch mixes!



I didn't make the cake according to package directions for this recipe, but it turned out wonderful! The pieces of apple make the cake so moist and the hint of cinnamon adds a wonderful flavor! I topped it off with some homemade cinnamon cream cheese frosting, and the finished product was just divine! The whole family will love this fall dessert!

Apple Cinnamon Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting 

What you need:
4 cups peeled and sliced apples
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter

1- 21 ounce Immaculate Baking Yellow Cake Mix
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup water
1 teaspoon cinnamon

frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temp
1/2 cup butter, at room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x13 glass baking dish.

Layer apples in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon and pour melted butter over the top.

Whisk together the cake mix, melted butter, water and cinnamon until combined. Pour over top of the apples and spread evenly. Bake for 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

Once cake has cooled, Beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, powdered sugar and cinnamon with an electric mixer until smooth. Evenly spread the frosting on the cake. Serve and refrigerate any leftovers.



For more info on Immaculate Baking products, please visit their website!
Immaculate Baking products can be found in the baking mix aisle of Target stores.

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Aug 27, 2014

Salmon, Spinach and Mushroom Alfredo Recipe

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Is it Friday yet? I'm so looking forward to the 3 day weekend! I just picked a bunch of tomatoes, so we're cooking Capellini al Fresco for my friend and her daughter on Saturday. Ella has a birthday party on Sunday, and relax on Monday! Sounds like a nice and low key weekend for us! What's your weekend plans??

Today's recipe is a wonderful pasta! I'm always looking for a way to jazz up alfredo sauce and this recipe does just that! The salmon, spinach and mushrooms taste great together and when mixed with some alfredo and pasta, it's the perfect dinner meal. It also looks really great when served in a vintage Pyrex! Don't you just love the barcode pattern? It's one of my favorites! I'm trying to use them more when I photograph for the blog. Hope you love seeing them!

 Serve with a side salad and some garlic bread. 





Salmon, Spinach and Mushroom Alfredo


What you need:
12 ounces penne pasta, cooked according to package directions.
1/2 pound salmon fillets
1 tablespoon butter
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, diced
4 ounces fresh baby spinach
1- 14.5 ounce jar alfredo sauce
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
salt and pepper, as needed
parmesan cheese, for topping

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper and place in a glass baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, flake with a fork.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add mushrooms, garlic, onion, salt, pepper and dill weed. Saute for 5-7 minutes until mushrooms and onions are tender. Add spinach and cook for 2-3 more minutes until spinach is wilted. Add the alfredo sauce and milk. Reduce heat to low, add salmon and simmer for 5-10 minutes until heated through. Serve over penne pasta and topped with parmesan cheese. 



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Aug 25, 2014

Barley and Zucchini Mason Jar Salad Recipe and a Review for Mason Jar Salads by Julia Mirabella

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Need a new lunch idea? This jar salad is not only delicious, but healthy too! Packed full of veggies including bell pepper, zucchini and tomatoes!

Need a new lunch idea? This jar salad is not only delicious, but healthy too! Packed full of veggies including bell pepper, zucchini and tomatoes! Barley and Zucchini Mason Jar Salad Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads





I just love mason jar salads! 

The presentation is beautiful, and they make wonderful weekday work lunches. All the prep can be done a day or two ahead of time, making it super simple! 

Aug 23, 2014

Slow Cooker Smoked Turkey and Red Beans with Rice Recipe

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Happy Saturday! I've been super busy in the kitchen today! My neighbor stopped by with 4 squash from his garden and he also let my daughter and I pick all of his green beans! We ended up with a big bowl full, so I decided to try pickling some green beans. If the recipe turns out, I will be posting it very soon! I also made a yummy apple cake that you will be seeing next week!

We all love slow cooker recipes, so today I'm sharing my recipe for Slow Cooker Smoked Turkey Red Beans and Rice! They have tons of flavor and are really good leftover for lunch the next day at work. I love the smokey flavor from the turkey and the beans taste amazing. I'm such a fan of the slow cooker in the summertime. No heating up the house using the stove! I hope you enjoy this recipe!




 

Slow Cooker Smoked Turkey Red Beans and Rice (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
1 pound dried red kidney beans
1- 1 pound smoked turkey wing
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 cup bell pepper (yellow or red) or mini sweet peppers
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons creole seasoning
salt and pepper, if needed
6 cups water
cooked white rice

Directions:
Rinse and sort through the dried beans.

Put all ingredients in the slow cooker and pour the water over the top. I used about 6 cups water total. You may need to adjust accordingly. 

Cook on low for 6-8 hours until the beans are tender. Within the last hour, take out the turkey wing, and shred the meat from the bone and stir back in with the beans. 

Serve over cooked white rice.

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Restaurant Review: Rock Creek Coffeehouse in Sauk Rapids, MN

It's always exciting when a new restaurant opens in Sauk Rapids! There aren't a whole lot of options, so it's definitely much needed. Rock Creek Coffeehouse has been open for a few months now and I was so happy to try it!



We didn't get any coffee this visit, but we did try their great paninis! 

I tried out "The Montana" which has ham, turkey, lettuce, tomato, cheese and chipotle mayo with a side of chicken wild rice soup. The Panini was flavorful and crispy, just how it should be! The soup was lacking in wild rice the day we visited, but had good flavor!



My friend had "The Rock Creek Reuben" with chips. She also thought her panini was delicious. She loved the chocolate covered potato chip that came with on the side! Such a fun and tasty touch!



I would definitely come back and have the paninis again, and would also like to try some of the other menu items! You can find their menu on the Rock Creek Coffehouse website here!

Rock Creek Coffeehouse
214 2nd Ave N
Sauk Rapids, MN
320-281-5713

Aug 20, 2014

Mom's Homemade Sloppy Joes Recipe

These sloppy joes are a great weeknight meal and ready in less than 20 minutes! The BBQ type sauce is unique, so tasty and the kids love them!

Mom's Sloppy Joes



These sloppy joes are a great weeknight meal and ready in less than 20 minutes! The BBQ type sauce is unique, so tasty and the kids love them! Serve with chips, salad, fries or fruit for a complete meal! Also double or triple the batch for potlucks, game day or parties!


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Aug 18, 2014

Baskin Robbins Inspired Daiquiri Ice Recipe

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Oh my heavens.... do I have a yummy recipe to share with you!!!  

Sheena's sister Shannon here again with a recipe for my absolute favorite frozen treat ever!!

So first, a fun story... I get an email from Sheena a few months ago and the subject line said something like this.... "Didn't you...." and the rest of the email said "love Baskin Robbins Daiquiri Ice?" and then she linked me to a blog that had this copy cat recipe! 

I am surprised I didn't faint at that very moment... because you see, most Baskin Robbins ice cream stores have closed and/or there aren't any near me so I only dream of this tasty goodness.  Pinch me!!  

I finally bought an amazing ice cream maker... you know, one of those cool ones that you don't have to use ice and salt or snow.  And last week, my daughter and I made this.  

I have to admit, I was skeptical.  Because how can this amazing flavor be mimicked?  

Well, I am here to tell you... it happened and I am so very happy.  My life is complete. :)



 

A couple observations.... I did find that this recipe made a rather large portion and my 2 quart ice cream maker didn't hold the whole recipe so we made two batches. 

Or you could half it.  I probably would only add 2 drops of green food color for the whole batch because I feel like it's a little too bright compared to the real deal. 

And my third thought, depending on the tartness of the limes, you may have to add more citric acid (this is what gives it the tangy taste).  

Or if you like sour stuff, add a little extra and you'll be happy!

Baskin Robbins Inspired Daiquiri Ice 

What you need:
  • 6 cups of water
  • 3 cups sugar
  • Juice from 3 limes, fresh squeezed
  • 3 teaspoons rum extract
  • 2-5 teaspoons citric acid powder
  • 2-3 drops green food coloring
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, heat the sugar and water just until the sugar melts.
  2. Remove from heat and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of citric acid.  Stir until dissolved.
  3. Let this mixture cool for 5-10 minutes and add the rum extract, lime juice and food coloring.
  4. Taste the mixture.  If it requires more tartness, add more citric acid until you are happy with the flavor.
  5. Refrigerate the mixture until completely chilled.
  6. Poor mixture into ice cream maker and run the machine for 45-60 minutes.  If the mixture still isn't firm enough, put into desired container and freeze until completely frozen.
  7. Enjoy!

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Aug 14, 2014

Oven Baked Apple Puffed Pancake Recipe and a Review for My Tiny Alaskan Oven Cookbook

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This sweet, oven baked breakfast is delicious served with sausage or bacon. Great for brunch or even dinner! 

This sweet, oven baked breakfast is delicious served with sausage or bacon. Great for brunch or even dinner! Oven Baked Apple Puffed Pancake Recipe and a Review for My Tiny Alaskan Oven Cookbook

 

Apple season is upon us! 

My Dad's apple tree is full of apples, and he gave me a huge grocery bag full yesterday! Score! 

Aug 11, 2014

Beefy Bacon Calico Beans Recipe

These Calico Beans is the ultimate comfort food main dish or side dish! Perfect for summer BBQ's or Sunday dinner in the winter time!


Beefy Bacon Calico Beans



These Calico Beans are made with ground beef, bacon, bell pepper and three kinds of beans. It is the ultimate comfort food dinner main dish or side dish! Perfect for summer BBQ's or Sunday dinner in the winter time!


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Aug 9, 2014

Spinach and Tomato Penne Pasta Salad with Dijon Red Wine Vinaigrette Recipe

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It's been over a week since I've posted a new recipe! We went on a summer vacation to a cabin in Perham, MN with my brother, sister in law and their family. We went fishing, swimming, had a fish fry and made some other great food. I had limited internet on my phone, so blogging and social media got brushed to the side for a week. Now I'm back and ready to post some yummy goodness!

Tomato season is in full swing and I have the perfect tomato recipe for you! I picked a huge bowl from our 4 plants today, and more will be ready tomorrow! So exciting! Garden tomatoes are my favorite summer food!

Today's recipe is a light and tasty pasta salad! I love the taste the tangerine juice gives to the dressing and the feta adds a perfect touch of flavor. This is a great side to any summertime meal. Enjoy!




 

Spinach and Tomato Penne Pasta Salad (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
2 cups dry penne pasta
4 1/2 ounces baby spinach
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup feta cheese

Vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
juice from one tangerine
salt and pepper

Directions:
Cook penne pasta according to package directions. Rinse with cold water and drain.

In a large bowl, combine pasta, spinach, tomatoes and feta. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients. Pour vinaigrette into the pasta mixture and stir to combine. Refrigerate or serve immediately. 

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This recipe is shared at these blogs: Love Bakes Good CakesThe Best Blog Recipes

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