Monday, September 15, 2014

Trail Mix Cookies

Loaded with raisins, chocolate candies, chocolate chips, and rolled oats - your trail mix favorites in cookie form!

I have to be completely honest with you, trail mix was definitely not my favorite snack as a kid. The real reason? There was not enough chocolate and raisins, and too much of the other stuff! I was the annoying one that would open the bag, pick the things out that I liked, and then put the bag back - haha! Real proud big sister moment right there. :)

I was the one in the family that didn't like nuts. Yuck. Still don't really, but I guess I'll suffer through the crunchy nuts if the rest it is worth it to eat! Raisins though were ALWAYS my thing! Those little red boxes at recess didn't stand a chance against me. The only problem was, they were usually never enough! 

I remember in high school sprinkling a ton of raisins in my maple oatmeal packet most mornings before school. And of course you've probably guess by now that it's one of the boys' favorite snacks, too! I love that they're naturally sweet, without being loaded with tons of sugar. Nutritionally, California Raisins have zero fat, no cholestoral, no added sugar, plus they're packed with 9% of your daily potassium and fiber and 6% of your daily iron. I love how inexpensive they are for a snack, according to the USDA raisins are the most affordable dried fruit. Plus, you have to love a snack with one ingredient listed on the box! Seriously, it's a rare find these days unfortunately. All that in something the kids actually WANT to eat! I usually keep a box or two in my bag for a quick snack on the go.

I have to say, the raisins are the highlight in these yummy Trail Mix Cookies! They really make a perfect lunch box treat or after school snack - just don't be surprised when they don't last very long in your cookie jar!

Trail Mix Cookies
makes 2 1/2 - 3 dozen cookies

1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup raisins
1 cup M&M's
1 cup chocolate chips

In a large bowl, mix together the flours, oats, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add in sugars, eggs, and vanilla and beat until well combined. Gradually add in dry mixture while beating on low until all ingredients are mixed well. With a wooden spoon, stir in raisins, M&M's, and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls on lined cookie sheets and bake at 350 for 9-12 minutes or until they are just starting to brown on the edges. Cool completely on wire racks and store in an airtight container. *Recipe adapted from Hodgson Mill.

If you are a fellow raisin fanatic like I am, be sure to visit for more information about California Raisins and be sure to follow them on Facebook as well - you can even sign up to receive a California Raisins prize pack (quantities limited, while supplies last). 

Here are some more of my favorite after school snacks:

Lunchbox Smores Bars

Sugar Free Honey Clove Applesauce

Mini Dill Pickle Sandwiches

Don't miss another Mostly Homemade Mom recipe! Click here to have recipes delivered by email. Or, you can follow along via FacebookPinterestTwitterInstagram, or Google+ - I'd love to connect with you!
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Autumn Apple and Sausage Skillet

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Butterball Every Day for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Apples and turkey sausage saute in sweet apple cider and fresh sage for this beautiful and delicious autumn skillet dinner for two!

I'm pretty much obsessed with all things apple and if you're frequent at all to this blog, you're WELL aware of that fact. I have a good amount of apple recipes already on here, and quite a bit to share with you yet this fall season so stick around! Always though, I've been using apples in sweet desserts or breakfasts. Their crunch and sometimes sugary sweet flavor just lends themself to that type of dish, and I clearly welcome that fact!

Dinner with apples, though? This was my first attempt and both making and having it myself! Apples have a deifnite sweet flavor, yes, but there are certain meats that pair beautifully with that as well - and this Butterball Turkey Dinner Sausage is definitely one of them! I really loved how lean this sausage is compared to others, no "oil slick" factor in the skillet when I was cooking which make me feels so much better serving this to my family. Especially on a busy weeknight when I definitely want to give them something wholesome and filling without having to give up taste - and this easy skillet meal and all that and more!

This skillet dinner serves two (generously) and I thought that would be a nice dinner for me and Paul, and then I'd just fix the kids something simple like PB&J's, which they usually only get at lunch. Silas smelled this cooking from upstairs and came down to watch me finish the whole thing - I'm not sure he'd ever had dinner sausage before and he really loved the smell with the apples! So of course I shared mine with him and he polished off all of the sausage and most of the apples, it didn't surprise me in the least that he picked off the sage and left the onions though. Just like his father, haha!

Autumn Apple & Sausage Skillet

1 tablespoon butter
14 oz package Butterball turkey sausage, sliced in 1/2 inch slices
2 medium apples, cored, peeled, and sliced
1/2 medium onion, sliced in rings
3/4 cup apple cider
3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped fine and divided
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and saute until just beginning to brown on the edges. Add in apple slices and onion rings. Continue to saute for 5-8 minutes or until apples are tender and onions are wilting. Stir in apple cider, 2 tablespoons sage, and lemon juice. Continue cooking over medium heat another 8-10 minutes or until sauce has reduced, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and transfer sausage, apples, and onion to two plates using a slotted spoon. Ladle extra sauce from pan over plates and top with reserved fresh chopped sage.

This skillet dinner is such a fabulous way to get your house smelling like autumn! Be sure to click here for money saving Butterball coupons and here for more Butterball recipes. Do you have a favorite recipe with dinner sausage? Leave it in the comments, I'd love to hear!

Don't miss another Mostly Homemade Mom recipe! Click here to have recipes delivered by email. Or, you can follow along via FacebookPinterestTwitterInstagram, or Google+ - I'd love to connect with you!
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Friday, September 12, 2014

Candy Apple Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

Spiced cake mix cupcakes with apples in the batter and topped with cinnamon buttercream frosting, Candy Apple M&Ms, and a drizzle of caramel! #FlavorOfFall #CollectiveBias

I get SO excited when I start seeing festive fall flavored candy in Walmart! Just last week I noticed they were putting away all their back to school seasonal items and I knew what that meant - autumn and Halloween goodies! Of course when I returned a few days later I was absolutely right. My food blogger brain goes a little haywire just walking through that seasonal candy aisle! I just about squealed when I saw these brand new Candy Apple M&M's...

Ok, seriously... YUM! They quite literally jumped into my cart. I'm a total sucker for all the crazy fall flavors and I just HAVE to try them and see how they taste and what yummy things I can make with them to share with you all. 

You can't see it because of my creative photography skills (ha), but the bag is already cut open! Sat it next to me in the car on the ride home. And yes, I keep scissors in my car - doesn't everyone?! These babies are amazing!! So amazing in fact that I hid them in my bag so the boys wouldn't see them when I carried the groceries in the house. Because every time I come home from the store they not only ask me if I bought them treats, but they try to see through the grocery bags for anything resembling treats. Yes I know, they're my children, mom. :)

They have a perfect blend of chocolate and candy apple flavors that I really think they nailed perfectly! These M&M's are larger than the usual ones, so keep that in mind. I actually had originally mixed some in with the batter of the cupcakes, but they sunk to the bottom. The kids actually thought it was hilarious, but it's up to you if you'd like to do the same!

Now on to these amazing Candy Apple Cupcakes. I decided to make them just a tad better for the boys by replacing the oil in the recipe with this:

Yep you guessed it - Mott's applesauce! Not only does it make the cupcakes extremely moist, it adds a bit more apple flavor which I loved. And when I can, I try to get the Mott's brand because I love that they have BoxTops on their products. Our schools need all the financial help they can get, amen?! 

Whatever you do, do NOT skip the amazing Cinnamon Buttercream to frost these with. I may or may not have ate a small batch of it with a spoon playing my Facebook games. While the kids were asleep, of course. ;)

Candy Apple Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes

15 oz yellow cake mix
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Mott's Apple Juice
1/2 cup Mott's Applesauce
3 eggs
1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped fine (or shredded)
1/2 cup Candy Apple M&M's
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping

For the Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting:

1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, stir together cake mix, cinnamon, and allspice. Add in water, applesauce, and eggs and beat with an electric mixer until well combined. Gently stir in chopped apple. Divide evenly among 24 lined muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely. For the frosting, beat butter until fluffy. Add in powdered sugar one cup at a time while beating. Beat in milk, vanilla, and cinnamon and blend until fluffy. Frost cupcakes as desired. Garnish each with a Candy Apple M&M and drizzle with caramel. 

And because you all KNOW how much I love saving money, be sure to click over and grab some coupons available for a limited time:

Here are some more of my favorite fall desserts:

Don't miss another Mostly Homemade Mom recipe! Click here to have recipes delivered by email. Or, you can follow along via FacebookPinterestTwitterInstagram, or Google+ - I'd love to connect with you!
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