Hot Eats and Cool Reads: September 2014

Sep 29, 2014

Slow Cooker Cheddar, Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup Recipe with Green Giant Steamers!

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

You know me... I'm all about easy and mostly homemade meals, especially during the week when there's not alot of spare time to be had with after school activities and sports! That's where Green Giant Steamers comes in! They are quick and easy sides to add with your main dish, or in this case, an easy addition to a slow cooker (amazon affiliate) soup that's ready in time for dinner!





I used the Broccoli with Cheese Sauce for this recipe, but there's also Roasted Red Potatoes, Green Beans and Rosemary Butter, or Honey Roasted Sweet Corn! They all sound like a delicious way to get some veggies in your belly and can be found in the frozen veggies section at your local grocery store!




Let me tell you... this soup couldn't be any easier to throw together. And the end result? Completely fantastic! We had some company over for dinner when I served this soup, and the whole group loved it! I made some garlic bread as a side. I just love dipping bread into my soup! Yum!

So, if you need a recipe to make those busy weeknights easier, you'll definitely want to give this one a try! Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Cheddar, Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup (click here to print)

What you need:
2- 12 ounce Green Giant Broccoli and Cheese Sauce Steamers
1- 12 ounce Frozen Broccoli and Cauliflower Mix
4 cups veggie or chicken stock
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup half and half
1 cup shredded cheddar
salt and pepper as needed
croutons for topping

Directions:
Place steamers, broccoli and cauliflower mix, stock and onions into a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-7 hours. 

Using an immersion blender, blend soup until almost smooth. Stir in the half and half, shredded cheddar, salt and pepper. Cook for another 10 minutes. Serve topped with croutons.  



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Sep 26, 2014

Buttermilk Banana and Blueberry Quick Bread Recipe

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Happy Friday!! I'm SO glad it's finally the weekend!! I'm excited to get in the kitchen, spend time with my family and relax!

This Buttermilk Banana and Blueberry Quick bread would be a great addition to your weekend breakfast!! 

It's ready in less than a hour and it's soooo good warm with some butter smeared on each slice. 

My daughter also loves bringing it for snack at school, or eating it after school when she gets home. 

I love most any quick bread recipe, but this ones especially good with the buttermilk added in. The blueberries also add a great punch of flavor. 

We really liked this one! Enjoy!






Buttermilk Banana and Blueberry Quick Bread (click here to print recipe)

1- 9x5 loaf

What you need:
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup blueberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the loaf pan.

In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until combined. Beat in the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla until combined. Then beat in the mashed bananas. Slowly add flour mixture, beat until combined, then fold in the blueberries. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack, then remove from loaf pan. 


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Sep 24, 2014

Cheesy Mushroom, Spinach and Ham Tortilla Cups Recipe

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Hey!! Hope everyone's having a wonderful week so far!!

I have a super quick, easy and delicious dinner recipe for you tonight! As you know, I'm a mushroom lover and it's been a while since I've blogged a recipe with them. These tortilla cups are stuffed full of earthy goodness, with a little kick of spiciness from the pepper jack cheese! It's ready in less than 30 minutes, which is great for busy school nights. If the kiddos don't like spicy, you can sub a different type of cheese for them. We also love this with cheddar.





Cheesy Mushroom, Spinach and Ham Cups (click here to print recipe)


What you need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 medium onion, diced
10 ounce box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed until liquid is removed
1/2 cup chopped ham
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese, divided
6- 8 inch flour tortillas, warmed
salt and pepper, as desired

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and onions, saute for 4-5 minutes. Add spinach and ham, saute for another 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Stir in 1 cup of the pepper jack cheese. Remove from heat. 

Fold warmed tortillas to fit in the cups of a muffin tin. Scoop mushroom and spinach mixture evenly into each of the 6 tortilla cups, Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake for 7 minutes or until browned and crispy on the edges. Serve immediately. 



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Sep 22, 2014

Dark Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream Recipe

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Hi Everyone! Sheena's sister Shannon here from In Blurred Focus with a dark chocolate chunk ice cream recipe!  This recipe is so super creamy, totally rich and amazingly indulgent!  As an added bonus, I used Godiva dark chocolate as the chunks.... too die for, for sure! 

Sep 17, 2014

Cinnamon Pecan Skillet Granola Yogurt Parfait Recipe with Yoplait Kids

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





Have you seen the fun Hello Kitty, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, and Minion yogurt from Yoplait Kids yet? We recently saw them in the dairy aisle of our local grocer and my daughter scooped them right up! Yoplait has always been our favorite yogurt brand, and we especially love that there's no high fructose corn syrup and has natural flavors and colors!


My daughter also loves granola along with her yogurt, so we make yogurt granola parfaits all the time! Yogurt parfaits are especially good with homemade granola, and I have the perfect quick skillet granola for you today! It goes perfect with Yoplait Kids yogurt, or as a snack all on it's own!




Cinnamon Pecan Skillet Granola (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup pecan chips
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Directions:
In a large non-stick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add brown sugar, vanilla, honey and cinnamon. Stir until combined.

Add the oats, pecans and coconut. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until browned, stirring often to prevent burning. Spread on a parchment lined cookie sheet to cool. 

Once cooled, store in a ziploc bag until using.

To make parfaits:
Layer Yoplait Kids Yogurt, and granola. Serve immediately. 

If you're needing more recipes using Yoplait products, be sure to stop here!



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150 Best Breakfast Sandwich Maker Recipes Cookbook by Jennifer Williams

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I'm a lover of all things breakfast sandwich, so I was super excited to check out 150 Best Breakfast Sandwich Maker Recipes

First off, I never even knew there was such a thing as a Breakfast Sandwich Maker, how fun is that? 

Next, you don't even need to own one for this cookbook, since the sandwiches can also be made with a skillet! 

With that being said, the recipes in this cookbook sound SO good!






These recipes take about 5 minutes to make, which I love! 

I've been looking for more options besides cereal, which we usually turn to on weekdays. 

Some of my favorites from the cookbook are: Peachy Canadian Bacon and Havarti Sandwich, Corned Beef and Swiss on Pumpernickel, and the Black Bean and Pepper Jack Sandwich. 

The recipes have simple ingredients, but the flavors are still phenomenal. 


150 Best Breakfast Sandwich Maker Recipes by Jennifer Williams
Format:  Paperback
Number of Pages:  208
Published Date:  Sep 2014


Sep 15, 2014

Cheesy Steak, Tomato and Rice Skillet Dinner Recipe

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I don't know about you, but I'm a huge fan of skillet dinners! They are easy, tasty and so convenient to make! Today's recipe is for a Cheesy Steak, Tomato and Rice dinner. 





My local grocery chain Coborn's, always has meat in their reduced meat freezer every morning! Most everything is marked half price, with still a day left before expiration. Last time I stumbled upon tons of different cuts of beef, so I stocked up. Normally we don't buy steak because of the price, but it's definitely affordable this way. If you don't have access to deals like this, ground beef would be just as tasty!


This meal turned out fantastic! Even Ella, who is super picky these days, loved it! Beef, tomatoes and cheese always work out well together, and with using minute rice, it's ready in less than 30 minutes, start to finish! Definitely our kind of meal!

Some other skillet dinners you may want to try: Ground Beef and Mexican Rice Skillet or Chicken Parmesan Rice Skillet

Cheesy Steak, Tomato and Rice Skillet Dinner (click here to print recipe)
4 servings

What you need:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound beef sirloin steak, cut into strips and seasoned with salt and pepper, if desired
4 cloves garlic, minced
1- 10 ounce can beef broth
1 1/2 cups minute white rice, uncooked
1/2 cup velveeta, cubed
2 cups roma tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

Directions:
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add steak, and brown until cooked through. Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add the garlic and broth, bring to a boil. Then add rice, velveeta, and cooked steak. Cover, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and basil, cover then cook an additional 3-5 minutes, until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through.

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Sep 13, 2014

Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts Recipe

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These easy and delicious donuts are perfect for fall! Top them with cinnamon and sugar for a sweet breakfast, snack or dessert!



Baked Pumpkin Spice Donuts Recipe from Hot Eats and Cool Reads! These easy and delicious donuts or doughnuts are perfect for fall! Top them with cinnamon and sugar for a sweet breakfast, snack or dessert!



As soon as cooler temps and fall rolls in, it's always time for pumpkin recipes! 


Sep 10, 2014

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pita Flatbread Pizza Recipe

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For those of you who've been following me for awhile, know I love easy and quick meals! I've got one of my new favorites for you tonight!

Have you ever used pitas to make pizzas before? They work great for those times when you don't feel like making your own dough, and they're small, so everyone can make them with what ingredients they like! I prefer pitas over pre-made pizza crusts from the store! I recently got a Sam's Club membership and at my local store they have a package of 12 for less than $3! What a steal! They also freeze well, so you can take out a couple at a time, as needed! If you're looking for another recipe using pitas, you may also want to try these delicious Cheesy BBQ Pita Melts!

I love the chicken, broccoli and alfredo combo, so what better than to have it on a pizza! The broccoli florets are cut small enough so they cook through during the baking process, then broil for a little while at the end to make the cheese nice and brown! It's so amazing, I promise you that! Enjoy!





Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pita Pizza (click here to print recipe)

1 pizza

What you need:
1- 7 inch pita flatbread
2 tablespoons alfredo sauce
1/3 cup cooked chicken, chopped (I used leftover rotisserie)
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1/3 cup small broccoli florets
2 tablespoons shredded parmesan
chopped fresh basil, and fresh cracked pepper for topping (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place pita on a cookie sheet (flat side up) and spread the alfredo sauce evenly over top. Add the chicken, sprinkle with mozzarella, add the broccoli, then sprinkle with parmesan. Bake for 12 minutes, then broil to brown the top. Watch closely, so it doesn't burn while broiling. Remove from oven and sprinkle basil and fresh cracked pepper on top. Cut into quarters and serve!



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Sep 8, 2014

The Pioneer Woman's Best Chocolate Cake. Ever. Recipe

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Hey Blog Friends!  Sheena's sister Shannon here again with a recipe that is absolutely too die for!  Or as my 18-year-old son says "This is dangerous, Mom!"  I don't get in the mood to bake very often, but this morning I had the itch and I found this delicious recipe on The Pioneer Woman's blog... I mean, who doesn't love Ree Drummond's blog and recipes!  We love it served with vanilla ice cream, but it's amazing all by itself too!  And here is my shameless plug for you to visit my blog.... In Blurred Focus.



The Pioneer Woman's Best Chocolate Cake. Ever. (click here to print recipe)

What you need:


FOR THE CAKE:
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
  • 2 sticks Butter
  • 1 cup Boiling Water
  • 1/2 cup Buttermilk
  • 2 whole Beaten Eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

 FOR FROSTING:

  • 1/2 cup Finely Chopped Pecans (Optional)
  • 1-3/4 stick Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
  • 6 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 pound (minus 1/2 Cup) Powdered Sugar

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.  In a saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa. Stir together. Add boiling water, allow mixture to boil for 30 seconds, then turn off heat. Pour over flour mixture, and stir lightly to cool.  In a measuring cup, pour the buttermilk and add beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla. Stir buttermilk mixture into butter/chocolate mixture. Pour into ungreased sheet cake/jelly roll pan and bake at 350-degrees for 20 minutes.
While cake is baking, make the icing. Chop pecans finely. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add cocoa, stir to combine, then turn off heat. Add the milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar. Stir together. Add the pecans, stir together, and pour over warm cake. 


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On the blog... one year ago: Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cookies



Two years ago: Mixed Berry Spritzer 



Three years ago: Easy Chicken and Cheese Enchiladas


This recipe is shared at these blogs: Inside BruCrew Life, Feeding Big, Kathe with an ELove Bakes Good CakesThe Better Baker

MADAME PICASSO by Anne Girard plus Giveaway!

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It's Monday again! This week I have a great giveaway for you! Two lucky winners will receive a copy of Madame Picasso by Anne Girard! Here's some info about this wonderful book:



In the bestselling tradition of The Paris Wife, Z, and The Aviator’s Wife, Madame Picasso illuminates the untold story of the powerful woman behind one of the most famous men in history. A veteran writer and historian, Anne Girard takes readers from the salon of Gertrude Stein to the glamorous Moulin Rouge and inside the studio and heart of history’s most influential artist. Part love story, part history, Madame Picasso is perfect for book clubs and reading groups.


Novelist Anne Girard brings to life the mesmerizing and untold story of Eva Gouel, the unforgettable woman who stole the heart of the greatest artist of our time. 

When Eva Gouel moves to Paris from the countryside, she is full of ambition and dreams of stardom. Though young and inexperienced, she manages to find work as a costumer at the famous Moulin Rouge, and it is here that she first catches the attention of Pablo Picasso, a rising star in the art world.

A brilliant but eccentric artist, Picasso sets his sights on Eva, and Eva can't help but be drawn into his web. But what starts as a torrid affair soon evolves into what will become the first great love of Picasso's life. 

With sparkling insight and passion, Madame Picasso introduces us to a dazzling heroine, taking us from the salon of Gertrude Stein to the glamorous Moulin Rouge and inside the studio and heart of one of the most enigmatic and iconic artists of the twentieth century.

If this sounds like a book that you'd like to read, please enter the giveaway below! I know I love a chance at winning a book! It would also be great gifted to a friend or family member! Enjoy and good luck!


For more info about the author please visit her website!

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