Too Easy Hotdish

 

Appleturnovermurderjoannflukehannahswenson

Thoughts Prior to Cooking:

This recipe comes from the Hannah Swenson Mystery Apple Turnover Murder.

Hannah makes this dish for her boyfriend and sheriff deputy, Mike. Now before reading this book I had never heard of a hotdish, other than a hot dish, as in a dish that is hot. Apparently they are big in the Midwest and Northwest, but me being from California we don’t eat “hotdishes”, we eat casseroles. But I was willing to give it a try as to how they described it in the book made it sound extremely tasty.

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Ingredients:

  • Non-stick Cooking Spray or Butter
  • 1 and 1/2 lbs of Lean Ground Meat (such as hamburger, pork, chicken, turkey, sausage, etc. Make sure it is lean as the fat does not drain out of this dish)
  • 2 -12oz Cans of Cream of anything
  • 1 lb Package of Tater Tots
  • 1 Cup of Shredded Cheese (Be sure to use only one cup as too much can become an insulator and keep the bottom layers from cooking.)
  • Worcestershire Sauce (Optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° fahrenheit.
  2. Use the cooking spray or butter to coat a 9 by 13-inch pan.
  3. Put the ground meat in the bottom of the pan, spreading it as evenly as you can. Press it down with your hands or the back of a spatula.
  4. Spoon the two cans of cream-of-something on top of the meat. Make sure to spread it out as evenly as possible.
  5. Put the tater tots on top of the soup in a single layer. Spread them out as evenly as possible.
  6. Sprinkle on the shredded cheese.
  7. Do not cover your hotdish with anything. Slip the pan into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the tater tots are browned and crispy.

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Thoughts After Cooking:

In a way this particular hotdish is like the poor man’s Shepherd’s pie. Instead of mashed potatoes, tater tots, and instead of gravy, cream of something. I am not a fan of Shepherd pie at all, I can hardly eat it, but I did enjoy this Hotdish.

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The only thing that I thought was wrong with this dish was that it was rather plain in seasoning. I recommend using the Cream of Chicken and Herb, as the herbs really helped along with adding a bit of Worcestershire sauce.

It was very easy to prepare and I recommend it for those of you who’s hours are crunched (working moms and college students) and need a fast dish to make and make quickly.

Lordoftherings LifeisGood

I didn’t include a picture as it doesn’t photograph well, but do not let it’s looks deter you. It does taste great.

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For more Hannah Swenson recipes, go to Christmas Cheese Rounds

For more cassaroles, go to Ratatouille

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Ashes to Ashes

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Ashes to Ashes (A Kovac and Liska Mystery #1) by Tami Hoag

This wasn’t the first I read in the series, that being The Bitter Season, but as I have to review them in order I’m starting with Ashes to Ashes.

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Plot Synopsis:

Minneapolis has a firebug, that is a an arsonist, nicknamed The Cremator. He has been killing prostitutes, destroying all witnesses so the police had nothing: but now things have changed. He’s been witnessed by prostitute and teenage runaway, Angie DiMarco.

Looks like we just caught a break.

Looks like we just caught a break.

But Angie isn’t talking.

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Ar first they hope to rattle her by threatening jail, but when that does no good Kate Conlan, ex-FBI, gets called in to handle their victim/witness.

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To up the  ante even further, the Cremator has chosen to abduct the daughter of billionaire Peter Bondurant.

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Now not only are the police being pushed to solve this crime, but Bondurant has used his connections to bring in FBI whiz and looker, Special Agent John Quinn. Who wouldn’t you know it, has a past with Kate that she’d rather keep silent.

urkelgif interesting hmm

As Sam Kovac and his partner Nikki Liska are on the case, aided by Quinn and Kate. But as they start investigating they find a lot of strange and suspicious things.

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Peter Bondurant isn’t acting like the normal bereaved father, hardly being involved but instead sending his lawyer to ask/answer questions? What’s the story on that?

HMMM

Why would the cremator break habit? Why stray from his routine?

I wonder...

I wonder…

Something about the missing girl’s best friend seems off as well. They didn’t seem to be the type to run in the same circles, why are they together?

weird

The house they send Angie to to protect her also has an odd couple running it. And it happens that they are connected to the three previous dead girls. Could they possibly be involved?

IndianaJonesHmmMaybe

Through the frenzy, hysteria, dead ends, a can of worms, and politics; Kate discovers that this Cremator is set out for one big finish, with Kate as his star player.

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Thoughts After Reading:

I thought it was a fantastic mystery; gripping, incredible, and just mind blowing.

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I thought I had it all figured out…was completely wrong.

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However, while this book was good, I liked The Bitter Season better. I liked that the characters that were already established, and as much as I like Kate; I enjoy the Kovac/Liska partnership better. They just complete each other so well.

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And while I did enjoy this book, let me warn you it is not for the faint of heart. It can be graphic at times in descriptions and language.

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But otherwise it was very enjoyable.

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For more mystery reviews, go to A Taste of Fame

Breakfast Omelet

Key lime pie murder

Thoughts prior to cooking:

This recipe is from Key Lime Pie Murder (Hannah Swensen Mystery #9)When I first read this recipe it sounded really tasty, except for one thing: the cream of mushroom topping. Now not being from the Midwest, I can’t stand my meals being too hearty. So I made a few adjustments…

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Ingredients:

  • Non-stick cooking spray or butter
  • 1.5 lbs of skinless sausage links
  • 8 Slices of bread (Any kind)
  • 2 Cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 Cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 Cup of finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of salt
  • 1.5 Cups of milk
  • 1/2 Cup of half-and-half, or cream
  • 1 Tablespoon of mustard
  • Sliced mushrooms

Directions:

  1. Spray the inside of a 9 x 13 pan with non-stick cooking spray or rub with butter.
  2. Cut the crusts from the bread and throw away. Take the rest of the bread and cut it into one inch cubes. Toss them into the 9×13 pan.
  3. Cut the sausage links into fourths and sauté them until they are lightly browned.
  4. Drain the fat from your sausage. Put the sausage on top of the bread cubes.
  5. Sprinkle the grated cheese on the sausage, then the chopped onion, and finally the green bell peppers.
  6. Whisk the eggs with the salt, milk, half-and-half, and mustard. Pour the mixture over the top of the casserole. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. Next Morning: This takes about an hour to a hour and a half to cook.
  8. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  9. Take the casserole out of the fridge and remove the plastic wrap.
  10. Lay the sliced mushrooms over the top and place it in the oven.
  11. When egg is cooked, remove from the oven and enjoy!

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Thoughts after cooking:

It didn’t photograph well, but trust me this thing is absolutely delicious.

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It had everything you could want in a breakfast food.

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It smelled and tasted good that we practically devoured the whole thing. I know I will make it again.

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For more Hannah Swensen recipes, go to Chocolate Covered Cherry Delights

For more breakfast recipes, go to Brioche French Toast

For more recipes, go to Lemon Bars