Hot Eats and Cool Reads: November 2014

Nov 29, 2014

Strawberry Basil Smash Cocktail Recipe

Hello Blog Friends.  Sheena's sister Shannon here with a fabulous cocktail recipe!  A couple months ago, my husband and I went on an overnight getaway to Minneapolis and decided to stop at McCormick & Schmick's for happy hour. 



I decided to try one of their seasonal drinks, a Strawberry Basil Smash, and it was so amazing.... but kinda spendy at $10 for this little drink.  I was quite confident I could mimic it, and my version turned our pretty similar... and way more cost effective!

Nov 22, 2014

Mushroom Garlic Quinoa Recipe

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

I am SO excited for Thanksgiving this year! My Mom's stuffing is my favorite part about the whole meal, but love the turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie too! Today's recipe is a new one to add to your Thanksgiving menu! It's hearty, earthy and super flavorful!

This Mushroom Garlic Quinoa is a new favorite at our house, My daughter picks out the mushrooms, but she empties her plate every time. This side has tons of nutrients, and is so filling. In fact, you could also use it as a meatless main dish, or even add in some chopped chicken breast for a complete meal!

Quinoa is a newer favorite of mine. I love the flavor, texture and how versatile it is! I stocked up with a few bags when I found it at Aldi a couple weeks ago. It was very reasonably priced, and it's a great food to have in your pantry for winter recipes. Keep an eye out for more recipes sometime soon!


The perfect addition to Thanksgiving dinner, or a great side for any day of the week. Add chopped chicken for a complete meal! Mushroom Garlic Quinoa from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!



Mushroom Garlic Quinoa (click here to print recipe)


What you need:
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper, as needed

Directions:
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.

Add the mushrooms and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, until mushrooms start to get tender. Then add the carrots and quinoa, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until heated through. Season with parsley, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and serve!

On the blog... one year ago: Wet Burritos



Two years ago: Mixed Berry Pancake Syrup


Three years ago: Caramelized Baked Chicken


This recipe is shared at: Inside BruCrew Life

Nov 19, 2014

Turkey and Cranberry Thanksgiving Quesadillas Recipe

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

Remember that Raspberry Cranberry Sauce I posted last week?? Well, this quesadilla uses that, and leftover Thanksgiving turkey for one fabulous quesadilla!!

I love quesadillas, especially with a quesadilla maker. They cook quickly and before you know it, dinner is ready! You can do traditional Mexican quesadillas or something different like these ones. I love them all!!

I'm a huge fan of sweet and savory together, and this recipe is exactly that. These are cheesy, meaty and flavorful. I love the red onions and basil, they add that extra punch of flavor. So if you're needing another recipe to use up Thanksgiving leftovers, add this to your menu!


If you need another recipe to use up Thanksgiving leftovers, add this to your menu! Turkey and Cranberry Thanksgiving Quesadillas from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!




Turkey and Cranberry Thanksgiving Quesadillas


by Sheena
Ingredients
  • corn tortillas
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • red onion, diced
  • leftover turkey breast, chopped
  • leftover cranberry sauce
  • fresh basil, chopped
  • butter (optional)
Instructions
Butter one side of a tortilla. Place tortilla buttered side down in a frying pan or quesadilla maker. Layer with cheese, onion, turkey, cranberry sauce and basil, topping again with cheese.
Butter one side of another tortilla, and place on top, buttered side up.
Place in a quesadilla maker or fry each side of the quesadilla on medium high heat until browned and heated through. Cut into quarters and serve!
Powered by Recipage
Great way to use uo that leftover Thanksgiving turkey and cranberry sauce! Quick and easy! Turkey and Cranberry Thanksgiving Quesadillas from Hot Eats and Cool Reads

Kitchen items you might need:



Other posts you might like: 

Nov 17, 2014

Caramelized Onion and Garlic Chip Dip Recipe


Who's a fan of potato chips and dip??

I definitely am, and if you are too, today's recipe is for you! 

This Caramelized Onion and Garlic Dip is just short of amazing!! 

I had a jewelry party at my house yesterday, and served this and a couple other dips to the ladies that stopped by. 

But this dip by far, was my favorite. 

You know those french onion chip dips at the store? This is similar to that, but made at home and even more delicious! 

You can whip some up at any time without a trip to the grocery store!




Serve this amazing dip at your next party! It is a crowd pleaser! Caramelized Onion and Garlic Chip Dip from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!




Nov 15, 2014

Crispy Oven Baked Catfish Nuggets Recipe

Today's recipe is a great appetizer or your protein for dinner! These Crispy Oven Baked Catfish Nuggets are SO good! I actually love catfish if it's cooked properly, but if it's not your thing, go ahead and substitute any other white fish that you prefer!

I will be serving them on game day soon, and they are a perfect finger food for the kiddos too. The panko breading is so crispy, and even though the marinade includes hot sauce, they don't turn out very spicy at all. I also love that they are baked and not fried, making them healthier, which is great! Enjoy!


These Crispy Oven Baked Catfish Nuggets are a great appetizer or a protein for dinner! Substitute any white fish your prefer if you dont like catfish! From Hot Eats and Cool Reads!



Crispy Oven Baked Catfish Nuggets (click here to print)


What you need:
1 pound catfish nuggets
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup hot sauce
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon creole seasoning

mayo
hot sauce
black pepper

Directions:
Combine catfish nuggets, buttermilk, hot sauce, mustard and black pepper in a ziploc bag. Mix to combine. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain and discard marinade. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a shallow dish, combine bread crumbs and seasonings. Coat each catfish nugget with bread crumb mixture and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25 minutes until fish is cooked through and coating starts to brown. 

Mix together mayo, hot sauce and black pepper to taste. Serve with baked catfish nuggets!


These Crispy Oven Baked Catfish Nuggets are a great appetizer or a protein for dinner! Substitute any white fish your prefer if you dont like catfish! From Hot Eats and Cool Reads!

This recipe is shared at: Inside BruCrew LifeKathe with an EMemories by the Mile, A Dish of Daily Life, Love Bakes Good Cakes, The Best Blog RecipesThe Better Baker

Book Review: The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

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




Book Summary:

In The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager.  Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she's in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary.  Lisa is alive.  Alive and living under a new identity.  But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now?  As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family.  Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality, in this engrossing mystery from international bestselling author Diane Chamberlain.

My thoughts:
As soon as I saw this book on the new release list at my local library, I just knew I had to request it! After a month of waiting, I finally got my hands on it! I'm a HUGE Diane Chamberlain fan, so I couldn't wait to dig in.

My daughter and I sat down on the couch to do our nightly 20 minutes of reading, and after the 20 minutes was up, I couldn't stop. I was already addicted. This story is mysterious, exciting and also pulls at the heartstrings a little. I can't even imagine how Riley feels after these crazy chain of events in her life. This book was so good, I finished it in less than 24 hours. You know those nights of staying up until 1am because the book is that good? Yep, this is one of those.

Although I predicted exactly what was going to happen about halfway through, it was so worth it. Diane Chamberlain has a way with words and storytelling and she never disappoints! Highly recommended!

I rated this book 5 stars!

Nov 13, 2014

Raspberry Cranberry Sauce Recipe with a Tasty Progressive Thanksgiving Dinner with my Bloggy Friends!

I'm so glad you stopped by! First off I am sharing an amazing Raspberry Cranberry Sauce and then a Traditional Thanksgiving Progressive Dinner Blog Hop Style.


This Raspberry Cranberry Sauce is a great addition to your Thanksgiving menu! If you think you don't like cranberry sauce, definitely give this a try!






12 Fabulous Bloggers are sponsoring this giveaway and the Thanksgiving Dinner. Be sure to visit them all for some great recipes for your holiday table.

Nov 10, 2014

Banana Almond Quick Bread Recipe

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

Banana bread always reminds me of my childhood. Whenever we had ripe bananas around, my Mom always made a couple loaves. I never liked it with any kind of nuts when I was a kid, but now I love making different ways, with different ingredients added in. 





I love the almonds and almond extract that's added in this loaf. I  like adding almond into any baked goods. It adds such a wonderful flavor. This bread is best with some butter slathered on top for breakfast or snack! Enjoy!


Banana Almond Quick Bread (click here to print)

What you need:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 large bananas
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together the sugar, butter and eggs until combined. Then mix in the buttermilk, almond extract and bananas until combined. After that, mix in the soda, powder and flour until combined. Last, mix in the almonds.

Pour into a greased bread pan and bake for 1 hour, until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool then remove from pan.

This recipe was shared at: Kathe with an E, Inside BruCrew Life, Memories by the Mile, Feeding BigA Dish of Daily LifeLove Bakes Good CakesThe Best Blog RecipesThe Better Baker

Nov 8, 2014

Baked Ziti Recipe with Homemade Sauce and a review for Pomi Tomatoes

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

Thanks to Pomi Tomatoes for the product used in this post! No further compensation was given. All opinions, text, and photos are mine.


Classic Italian Dinner with served with some salad and bread! Baked Ziti with Homemade Sauce from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!



Baked ziti has always been a favorite of mine! I used to get it at Sbarro growing up when we'd go out to eat, and now I make my own at home all the time! The recipe couldn't be any easier to make, even with homemade sauce and leftovers are delicious!


Remember last year when I posted the ah-mazing Beefy Macaroni Soup using Pomi Tomatoes? This recipe uses those fantastic tomatoes too! That recipe is the most popular one on the blog, and this recipe is just as phenomenal!


The reason why I love Pomi Tomatoes so much, they are made in Italy, 100% natural, and packaged in BPA free, stay fresh containers!

The homemade sauce is so wonderful and full of flavor. It tops the ziti and cheese mixture perfectly. The sauce would be wonderful in any Italian dish, I'm going to experiment more with some other recipes very soon! Pasta dishes like this are my ultimate comfort foods, especially when served with a salad and some bread.

The reason why I love Pomi Tomatoes so much, they are made in Italy, 100% natural, and packaged in BPA free, stay fresh containers! You can tell how great the quality is when you open the package! I recently saw them at my local Walmart, so you should be able to find them at a store nearby too! 

Baked Ziti (click here to print recipe)

What you need:

Sauce:
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1- 26.46 ounce Pomi Finely Chopped Tomatoes
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
salt and pepper, as needed

1 pound ziti pasta, cooked according to package directions
1- 15 ounce Ricotta cheese
8 ounces shredded mozzarella, divided
fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

Directions:
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes, stirring often. Then add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, and sugar. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Simmer for 30 minutes, reducing heat to medium low. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine cooked ziti, ricotta cheese and 4 ounces of the mozzarella until evenly mixed. Pour into a 9x13 baking dish and spread evenly. Pour the sauce over the pasta and spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella on top and bake for 20-25 minutes, until cheese starts to brown.

Serve topped with fresh parsley or parmesan cheese.


Classic Italian Dinner with served with some salad and bread! Baked Ziti with Homemade Sauce from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!

This recipe is shared at: Kathe with an EInside BruCrew LifeMemories by the MileFeeding Big, A Dish of Daily Life, Love Bakes Good Cakes, The Best Blog RecipesThe Better Baker

Nov 5, 2014

Baked Pesto Tuna Gnocchi Casserole Recipe

Have I ever said how much I love Aldi?

Being a single mom on a budget, I have to shop for the lowest prices on groceries. Aldi is hands down the cheapest grocery store in my area, by far. I start with my shopping list, stop there and then whatever isn't available at Aldi, I shop for elsewhere. The majority of this recipe was made with ingredients I bought from there and we love how it turned out!


30 minute budget friendly meal! Full of flavor! Baked Pesto Tuna Gnocchi Casserole from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!



I love using spinach in casseroles and I've found it goes great with tuna. This recipe with the added pesto, has tons of flavor and is ready within 30 minutes. It's also very frugal, perfect for when the budget's tight or if you're looking to save some money on meals! Enjoy!


Baked Pesto Tuna Gnocchi Casserole (click here to print recipe)

What you need:
1- 17.6 ounce package gnocchi
4 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1- 5 ounce can tuna, drained and flaked
1 cup refrigerated pesto sauce
3/4 cup half and half
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper, as needed

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the gnocchi according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a greased baking dish. Add the spinach, onion and tuna to the baking dish. Whisk together the pesto, half and half and 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese. Stir all ingredients in the baking dish until combined. Add salt and pepper, if needed. Then mix together the remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese with the panko and sprinkle evenly on top.

Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Serve immediately.


30 minute budget friendly meal! Full of flavor! Baked Pesto Tuna Gnocchi Casserole from Hot Eats and Cool Reads!

This recipe is shared at: A Dish of Daily Life, Love Bakes Good Cakes, The Best Blog Recipes, The Better BakerKathe with an EInside BruCrew LifeMemories by the MileFeeding Big

Cookbook Review: Cooking with Frank’s® RedHot® Cayenne Pepper Sauce! Plus a Recipe for Hot Ranch Fried Chicken!

When it comes to soul food, I'm all about topping it with some hot sauce! I haven't cooked much with hot sauce in recipes, but after checking out this awesome cookbook, I now have tons of inspiration!!



Cooking with Frank’s® RedHot® Cayenne Pepper Sauce by Rachel Rappaport is a beautiful hardcover cookbook. The recipes are all fun and creative, and there are 65 to choose from, even some sweet recipes! Well worth buying if you're a hot sauce lover! It would also make a great gift with the holiday season coming up! There are 144 total pages in this book with gorgeous color photos!

I'm so excited to share one of the recipes from the cookbook with you today, thanks to Ulysses Press, the publisher! 



This Hot Ranch Fried Chicken sounds absolutely amazing, and it's going on my must try list soon! Fried chicken is such a classic recipe and I love that it's kicked up a notch with the ranch and hot sauce additions! It sure looks drool worthy!

Hot Ranch Fried Chicken
Be prepared to eat the best fried chicken of your life. The chicken is bursting with Frank’s® RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce flavor, and the delicate, crisp crust has the wonderful flavor of ranch.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

6-7 pounds chicken drumsticks
1 cup milk
1 cup Frank’s® RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
6 tablespoons Ranch Dressing Dry Mix
2 cups flour

salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
canola oil for frying

Place the chicken pieces in a zip-top bag. Add the milk and Frank’s® RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce to the bag, seal it, and shake gently to coat the chicken pieces. Refrigerate overnight.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the Ranch Dressing Dry Mix, flour, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

Drain the chicken in a colander. Discard the marinade. Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour mixture, coating the pieces on all sides, and arrange the coated pieces on a platter.

After coating the chicken in the flour mixture, heat 1 inch oil in a 14-inch skillet to 350°F. 

Fry the chicken, in batches, until fully cooked and golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. 

Turn with tongs occasionally during cooking if the chicken pieces are not fully submerged in oil so that they brown on all sides. 

Drain the chicken pieces on paper towel–lined plates or on a baking rack placed over a baking sheet to catch drips. Serve immediately.

Ranch Dressing Dry Mix 
Ranch dressing is a classic accompaniment to hot wings. Luckily, it is easy to make your own dry mix and keep it on hand for when you need it.

1 cup dry (powdered) buttermilk 
2 tablespoons dried parsley
 
1 tablespoon freeze-dried chives 
3 teaspoons dillweed 
2 teaspoons dry mustard 
1 teaspoon ground paprika 
1 teaspoon dehydrated minced onion 
1⁄2 teaspoon granulated garlic
 
1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
 
1⁄2 teaspoon fine sea salt 
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, stir all the ingredients together. When the ingredients are thoroughly combined, store in an airtight container. Will keep up to 1 year at room temperature.

To make the dip: 
In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend 3 tablespoons of dry mix with 2 cups of sour cream. Let stand 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to blend. Refrigerate any leftover dip in an airtight container. Will keep up to 4 days.

To make the dressing:
In a medium bowl, whisk together 11⁄2 tablespoons of the dry mix with 1⁄2 cup milk and 1⁄3 cup mayonnaise. Refrigerate any leftover dressing in an airtight container. Will keep up to 2 days.

This cookbook is now available! You can find more info and purchase by using the amazon link below!

Nov 3, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Chip, Almond and Pecan Cookies Recipe

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

Who was out shopping the after Halloween sales this weekend?? Me!! I scored so many great foodie deals, including the pumpkin chips I used in this delicious cookie recipe! I also came home with some fun fall sprinkles, Halloween oreos for my daughter and some Halloween flavored Jones Soda! The costumes were picked over already, so we didn't buy for next year, but overall it was a good shopping trip!


Gotta love everything pumpkin spice, including these delicious cookies! Pumpkin Spice Chip, Almond and Pecan Cookies from Hot Eats and Cool Reads



I'm a sucker for some great chocolate chip cookies, and these pumpkin chip cookies don't fall too far behind! I used almonds and pecans in this recipe, to clean out the cupboards, but you can use any nuts you have on hand. These cookies are soft and delicious and come out perfect everytime!


I'm not sure why I don't make cookies more often. They don't take too long to make, and they are so easy to pack up for snacks, or to gift to friends and family. I'm thinking you just might see more cookie recipes coming from me soon!

Pumpkin Spice Chip, Almond and Pecan Cookies (click here to print)
3 dozen

What you need:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped pecans and almonds
1 cup pumpkin spice chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, cream together the sugars and butter with an electric mixer. Add the vanilla and eggs, mix until just combined. Mix in the flour and baking soda until combined. Then using a spoon, mix in the nuts and pumpkin chips until combined.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Using a cookie dough scooper, drop the dough onto the cookie sheets, about two inches apart. Bake for 11-12 minutes until edges are crispy. Remove from cookie sheet to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container. 

On the blog... one year ago: Turkey Burgers with Lemon Dill Yogurt Sauce



Two years ago: Brown and Wild Rice with Mushrooms



Three years ago: Potato Flake Breaded Tilapia



This recipe is shared at: Feeding Big, Memories by the Mile, Kathe with an EInside BruCrew LifeA Dish of Daily LifeLove Bakes Good CakesThe Best Blog RecipesThe Better Baker


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