Welcome Simple & Delicious magazine readers! Click here for the Ranch Pesto Rigatoni recipe featured in the current April/May 2014 issue. So happy to have you here!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Mrs. Smith's Deep Dish Pie Review and a Giveaway!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Mrs. Smith's for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.



I'm a serious pie fanatic, I'm telling you! My mom has always made homemade pies for the holidays, but I've been known to buy mine from the supermarket to save time. You know, when you have company coming over and you're out of everything in the house pretty much? 

So you can imagine how thrilled I was to review Mrs. Smith's Signature Deep Dish pies, and that they were! I was really surprised at how much filling was in each pie. There are four flavors available with corresponding icing to drizzle over your slices:
  • Signature Deep Dish Dutch Apple Pie with caramel sauce
  • Signature Deep Dish Cherry Pie with butter fudge sauce
  • Signature Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie with cream cheese icing
  • Signature Deep Dish Peach Pie with cream cheese icing


It was such hard work taste testing all those pies (hehe), I decided to have my parents over for a "pie party." And it was a pretty impressive set up!




There's no need to thaw, these pies go straight from freezer to oven. Can't get much easier than that! All four pies were delicious, but the two favorites were the Dutch Apple and the Cherry Pie, both with the cream cheese icing drizzled over. I was really surprised at how much they tasted like homemade pies, I wasn't expecting to like them as much as I did!




We all had a fun time customizing our own flavors. Of course Silas and Wesley had a blast! Is your mouth watering yet? Mrs. Smith's has agreed to do an AWESOME giveaway to one lucky Semi Homemade Mom reader! 



MrsSmith.jpg
Mrs. Smith's Giveaway Prize Pack:
$50 Williams Sonoma Gift Card
~AND~
FREE coupon for one Mrs. Smith's Signature Deep Dish Pie (up to $8.99)



How to Enter:
(leave a separate blog post comment for each entry)
1. Leave a comment telling me what flavor deep dish pie are you dying to try!
2. Leave a separate comment telling me what you would buy with your Williams Sonoma Gift Card!
3. Follow Mrs. Smith's on Facebook, leave a separate comment
4. Follow Mrs. Smith's on Pinterest, leave a separate comment
5. Follow Semi Homemade Mom on Twitter, leave a separate comment



Good luck! And thank you, Mrs. Smiths, for such a fun review and giveaway!

Visit Sponsor's Site

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches



Anyone so excited to get started with Christmas baking that you just forget about making dinner? I mean I make it, I have a plan and all, but during the Christmas season trying new dinner recipes loses it's luster for me. I'm all about the baked goods right now, people!

This one was good. Really, really good. I've made a couple pulled pork numbers at home and I was actually grossed out with the amount of fat in the sauce. Most recipes say to dump in the bbq sauce right in with the roast and let it go. But if you think about, all the fat is never drained away and goes right into the sauce. :/

This one COOKS in ROOT BEER. Did you read that? And no, you would have no idea it's cooked in root beer, but it does give it a sweeter flavor which I really liked. The best part is all that fat is drained away and you're left with amazing flavor. An easy dinner to prepare so you can hurry along and get to baking!



Root Beer Pulled Pork Sandwiches
from Forkful of Comfort

3lb boneless pork roast
20oz root beer
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried, minced onion
20oz bbq sauce
big crusty rolls


Place pork roast in slow cooker and pour root beer over the roast. Add seasonings. Cook on low for 7 hours. Remove roast and drain slow cooker insert. Return roast to slow cooker, shred with forks (I used my tongs), and add bbq sauce. Mix to combine and cook on low one additional hour until heated through. Serve on rolls along with an ice cold glass of root beer. :)




Serves 8. If you don't have a crowd of 8, make it anyway and freeze the leftovers. Two tasty meals in one!


Here's more Crockpot sandwich ideas for you:

Crockpot Chicken Teriyaki Sandwiches

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Crockpot Shredded Chicken Sandwiches


Linking up to these fabulous parties. Check them out!

Show & Share Wednesday #14

I'm excited to see your link-ups today, especially the Christmasy ones! We're putting up our tree today and I want to get in the Christmas spirit. Any tips for decorating a tree with a 16 month old running (and I fully mean running) around? I bought some nicer plastic ornaments this year, no glass for us. I have the sinking feeling we'll be re-decorating this tree many times this month. :)

Here are the top clicked links from last week's Show & Share party:

Handmade Christmas Gift, Snowman Soup - Bowdabra Blog






Fontina Cheese Appetizer - The Patriotic Pam






Divine Pumpkin Crumble Cake - The Enchanting Rose






Congrats you three!

Congrats you three!


Show & Share link party rules:

  • Link up your newest recipe, diy project, kid activity, anything you are proud of and want to share.
  • While I love Etsy shops and giveaways, they are not in the spirit of this party.
  • I reserve the right to remove any link that is not family friendly.
  • Grab a button below to display on your post or provide a text link back either in the post or on your link party page.
  • Some link-ups will be featured on Semi Homemade Mom's Facebook and Twitter, so make sure you follow both. Check back next week to see who got the most clicks!

Semi Homemade Mom
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Monday, November 26, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 11/26 - Cyber Monday



So we've survived Thanksgiving sales, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and now we're on to Cyber Monday! I usually find some really good deals for the kids' toys on Cyber Monday, mainly because a lot of stores offer free shipping along with their special sales. Amazon Cyber Monday Deals are usually exciting, we get free shipping because we're members of Amazon Prime. Finding some good deals online today? Let us know in the comments!

Here's my menu plan for the week:


Crockpot Honey Mustard Chicken







Pizza Spirals







Slow Cooker Mexican Black Beans & Rice







Stuffed Green Pepper Casserole







Dinner Out - Happy Birthday Dad!







Breakfast - Ham Cheese & Hashbrown Frittata



Dinner - Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore







Breakfast - leftover frittata



Dinner - Can Can Taco Soup (carry over)








~ham & cheese sandwiches

~hot dogs & sauerkraut

~chicken nuggets

~leftovers



Have a great week! I'm linking up at Menu Plan Monday, Stone Gable, and Scraps of Life.

DIY Personalized Reindeer Plate with Mod Podge



I'm switching gears a little bit today to share with you an easy and cheap craft project that would make a great Christmas gift. I was THRILLED to be selected by Mod Podge to create something with their amazing products. Check out what arrived at my doorstep...



Jealous, right?? It was truly like Christmas had come early for me!! I had no clue there were so many varieties of Mod Podge! Antique, glitter, photo transfer medium, three kinds of dimensional magic... I seriously had a million ideas in my head. 

I wanted to make a Christmas decoration personalized for our family so I decided to do something with a clear glass plate I found at Walmart for around $3. Here is a list of what you'll need:

clear glass plate
plain white cardstock
various Christmas themed papers
classic Mod Podge
glitter Mod Podge
Plaid acrylic red paint
Plaid acrylic brown paint
black sharpie

Directions:
Print out your family's names on plain white cardstock. I used brown acrylic paint to make our fingerprints. This worked much better by blotting a few times before making the actual fingerprint. I LOVE how Wesley's fingerprint is tiny and smudged. :) 

Use a black sharpie for the antlers and eyes, and a dot of red for the nose. 

Cut out a square of background cardstock and various other layers of patterned paper.

If desired, ink the edges of the papers. I've found with papercrafting that inking the edges really make the layers stand out. Just drag the edges of the paper across an inkpad, it's really that simple and it makes a dramatic effect. I didn't go out an buy the Christmas themed papers because I have a ton of scrapbooking supplies as it is, so this part was free for me! I just played around with the layers until I was satisfied with the layout and glued everything down. 



To adhere the reindeer collage to the plate, apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the center of the plate and then placed the paper over it face down. 



MAKE SURE to press out all the bubbles before it starts to dry. Some air pockets got trapped in the front, but I actually think it adds to the character. 

Apply a layer of glitter Mod Podge to the outside square edges and allow it to dry.

Apply two coats of Plaid's red acrylic paint and allow to dry.



I'm really loving that we'll have this keepsake to display every Christmas. It will be really fun to compare the kids' fingerprints as they get bigger! You could easily make this into a Santa cookie plate as well, there's just so many possibilities with these fabulous Mod Podge products.

Make sure to follow Mod Podge on these social media site for lots more awesome ideas:




I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with Mod Podge and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are my own.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Happy Small Business Saturday!

Hello everyone! I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings spending time with your family and eating lots of yummy food. I sure did! Did you get any good deals yesterday? 


I went out for a few choice things at Target and CVS and then I shopped at my favorite local small business, Cocalico Creek Country Store. I'm obsessed with their home decor items that are really reasonably priced for my limited budget. Unfortunately I wasn't one of the first 25 people in line to get a free gift card (my mom was though!) but they had a really good deal on glass candle holders, perfect for a Christmas gift.

I want to encourage you, if you haven't already, to think about buying gifts from small businesses first this year. We've had two awesome advertisers this month on Semi Homemade Mom that I would LOVE for you to check out:


Shelf Reliance, hosting consultant Shelli Rasmussen



All of us on the East Coast were thrown through a loop with the recent hurricane, I know we were. Put your mind at ease with Shelf Reliance! Shelf Reliance offers both innovative food rotation systems and shelf stable food that tastes great and without many of the additives and preservatives found in most other canned foods. 



As a casual couponer who stockpiles our favorite items, I'm loving this Pantry Rotator - $18.99 right now during their Black Friday sale (that's 58% off regular price!)



Browsing the site, I was shocked at the wide variety of shelf stable food they offer. How cool would it be to have Thrive's Ice Cream Sandwiches on your stockpile shelf?? Also on sale this weekend for $21.39!

Check out these awesome Black Friday prices at Shelf Reliance, good for a limited time through November 26th. Thanks, Shelli!



Lola's Spices, No Wimpy Flavors


No Wimpy Flavors hosted an awesome giveaway last week and I can't get enough of these fabulous spice blends! My favorite was the Cajun Blend that I shared with Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pasta, a total man pleaser. Amy also offers a Southwest Blend and a Caribbean Blend, all three are packed with flavor you will never get from store bought spices! These make awesome gifts for the spicy food lovers in your life (I know several).



We have THREE awesome winners from our giveaway last week. And the drumroll please...

Lauren F.

Andrea D.

AND

Shelly I.

Congrats! You three have won a set of three spice blends from No Wimpy Flavors! Please respond to my email within 48 hours to claim your prize! Thanks, Amy for hosting such an awesome giveaway.

I hope you will check out my awesome small business picks. Are there any small businesses you are in love with? Share it with us in the comments. Happy Christmas shopping, everyone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Christmas Cranberry Dip



I am LOVING this dip! I love cranberries, but not usually the whole-berry kind. For me, it's either the canned jelly type (don't hate) or snacking on Craisins. Ocean Spray has a coupon for $1 off any one bag of fresh cranberries on their Facebook page, so paired with a buy one get one free sale at Weis, I scored them for about one buck per bag. Not too bad!

I threw this together not expecting to like it. And when I took a bite after it cooled from the oven for a few minutes, I didn't. Too tart. But, I followed through and refrigerated it overnight. And OMG! The flavors blended so well with just a hint of tartness. The cream cheese goes so well, this is the perfect appetizer to bring to that Christmas party this year. :)


Christmas Cranberry Dip

12oz bag fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup pineapple preserves
8oz cream cheese, room temperature
buttery crackers


In a 2 quart baking dish, stir together cranberries and sugar. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove cover and stir to be sure cranberries have popped and released their juices. Add pineapple preserve and stir until well combined. Allow to cool to room temperature and place in an airtight container in the refrigerator overnight. Spread cream cheese over bottom of a pie plate or 8x8 baking dish. Spoon cranberry mixture over cream cheese and spread out evenly. 



Serve with crackers or pretzels, I prefer crackers. Doesn't that bright red color just scream Christmas? I'm SO ready. :)


This post is part of the Iron Chef Mom Challenge, WOO HOO! 



Micki over at Confessions Of An ADD Housewife is hosting our challenge this week featuring, CRANBERRIES! Head on over to enter your favorite cranberry recipe(s) and be sure to stop back and vote for your favorite this weekend (voting closes Sunday night)!


Linking up to these fabulous parties. Check them out!

Show & Share Wednesday #13



Good morning everyone on this Thanksgiving Eve! I'm excited for the next few days to enjoy spending time with our family, including my father in law who will be staying with us for a few days. Silas is super excited that "Pops" is coming! And then of course Black Friday, I have my game plan ready to go - how about you?

Here were last week's posts in case you missed them (still have a giveaway going on!!):


Here are the top clicked links from last week's party:

Beef Stroganoff - Simple Living and Eating





Baked Cinnamon Swirl French Toast - Table for 7





My Mother's Stuffing - Life in My Empty Nest





Congrats you three!


Show & Share link party rules:

  • Link up your newest recipe, diy project, kid activity, anything you are proud of and want to share.
  • While I love Etsy shops and giveaways, they are not in the spirit of this party.
  • I reserve the right to remove any link that is not family friendly.
  • Grab a button below to display on your post or provide a text link back either in the post or on your link party page.
  • Some link-ups will be featured on Semi Homemade Mom's Facebook and Twitter, so make sure you follow both. Check back next week to see who got the most clicks!

Semi Homemade Mom
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