Archive for March 2014

Menu Plan Monday 3/31 - Hello April!

March 30, 2014

This weekend was rainy, cold, and just... blah. Along with that, I'm dealing with 2 1/2 year old tantrums so that makes it even more fun, don't you think? :/ 

In blog news, I'm super excited to announce that I've made it to the final four in Reese's Baking Bracket Challenge with my Peanut Butter Mousse Half-Time Brownies!! The winner gets a pretty great cash prize, and bragging rights from Reese's - which is pretty big in my book. 

I would LOVE it if you could vote for me - you can go back and vote daily and each time you'll be entered to win a $100 Walmart gift card. Plus, the recipe is on the site and you NEED to try it - these brownies are just over the top! Click HERE to vote!

Here's my menu plan for this week:

Tuna Melt Quesadillas

Skinny Stuffed Breakfast Burritos

Ranch Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Deconstructed Burrito Pizza

Can Can Taco Soup

Corn Chip Taco Salad


Have a blessed week! 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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Ranch Veggie Pizza - with Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing!

March 27, 2014
This easy and yummy weeknight pizza is loaded with broccoli, sweet peppers, and mushrooms over an amazing Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing spread, and of course smothered with cheese!

I have been making different versions of this pizza over the years, and I finally feel like I have tweaked it to be one of my favorite pizzas ever. With the amount of ranch-flavored recipes on Mostly Homemade Mom, I don't think it's news to any one of you that I am OBSESSED with ranch dressing, of course Hidden Valley is my favorite.

I'm actually really proud of this one, though. I hit the perfect combination of sweet, crunchy, and colorful veggies. The ranch dressing and cream cheese spread is out of this world, good! And plus, I made my own pizza crust this time. With yeast. I know - aren't you SO proud! I am! I let it rise twice and everything. If you're going for simple and fast, refrigerated pizza crust is the way to go though.

Just take a look at those gorgeous colors - yum! I picked up a bag of baby sweet peppers and both of my kids devoured them. We had extra Hidden Valley Ranch pizza spread, so they munched on veggies and dip while the pizza was cooking. Aw, who am I kidding - so did I!

Veggie Ranch Pizza

1 pizza crust, prebaked as directed on package
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
1/4 cup sour cream
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup fresh bell pepper, sliced thin
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced thin

Prebake pizza crust as directed on package (or recipe, if homemade) and remove from oven to cool slightly. While cooling, beat together cream cheese, ranch dressing, and sour cream with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread a generous amount over pizza crust (there will be some leftover, perfect for snacking). Sprinkle 1 cup shredded mozzarella, then evenly spread vegetables, and top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Place pizza back in the oven for 5-8 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted and crust is brown. Serve immediately.

This pizza is so SO good! It's such a great way to get your kids to eat their veggies, too - yum!

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

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From dressings and dips to sandwich spreads and side dish solutions, the special blend of herbs and spices makes Hidden Valley the perfect addition to any recipe. For more delectable ranch recipes, visit
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hidden Valley Ranch. The opinions and text are all mine.

Sweet Vinaigrette Asparagus & Tomatoes - with Pompeian Varietals!

March 26, 2014
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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pompeian.

Fresh and tender asparagus tossed in a sweet vinaigrette of olive oil, white wine vinegar, honey, and cherry tomatoes!

I remember the first time I fell in love in olive oil. Paul and I were just dating and we went out to eat at an Italian restaurant in Philly. While you were waiting for your food, they served crusty bread with shallow bowls of simple olive oil and herbs. It was absolutely heavenly! 

It wasn't until a few years later that I actually got up the nerve to cook with the stuff - why, oh, why did I wait so long? It pretty much makes it into every dish in some way now. I feel like hyperventilating if I'm down to only two bottles in the pantry!

Talk about a beautiful bottle of olive oil, hello there! Pompeian has come out with a new Varietals Collection of olive oils and they sent me this full-bodied bottle made with Koroneiki olives. Apparently this variety is best for soups and salads - and it went perfectly in this vinaigrette! I was hit with the amazing aroma as soon as I opened the bottle. The medium bodied Picholine is great for meats and sauces and the mild bodied Arbequina is great with fish and vegetables. 

The really cool thing is that you can input the lot number on the back of your bottle on Pompeian's Tree To Bottle site, and it will actually tell you where you bottle originated starting all the way at the mill, complete to your kitchen table - so neat!

This Sweet Vinaigrette Asparagus & Tomatoes is an amazing side dish and a great way to use up those veggies you'll have growing in your garden soon! I would say this would be perfect paired with some rotisserie chicken or some steak on the grill... yum!

Sweet Vinaigrette Asparagus & Tomatoes

1 lb asparagus, woody ends snapped off
3 tablespoons olive oil (Pompeian Varietals olive oil, recommended)
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

Fill a stock pot half way with water and bring to a rolling boil. Add asparagus and continue to boil 3 - 5 minutes, or until they are tender when pierced with a fork. Gently drain asparagus and return to pot, covering with lid to keep warm. In a deep skillet, heat olive oil over low heat. CAREFULLY add white wine vinegar (it can splatter if the olive oil is too hot), honey, salt, and tomatoes. Continue cooking over low - medium heat for 3 - 5 minutes or until heated through. Spoon tomatoes onto a serving platter and lay asparagus over tomatoes. Drizzle vinaigrette from skillet over the vegetables. Serve warm.

These were so incredible! I can't hardly wait to make this along with whatever Paul is grilling up that night for dinner. Yay for spring!

I honestly use olive oil to saute vegetables all the time. It brings out the natural flavor of the vegetable, and yet adds so much more flavor - that's certainly true with the new oils from Pompeian! What's your favorite way to cook olive oil? If you have a recipe to share, leave the link in the comments! :)

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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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Pompeian.

Show & Share Wednesday #74

WOW the features were amazing at the last party! Let's get right to it and check them out:

Snickers Oatmeal - Stacey Makes Cents

Thin Mint Cookie Bars - Diary of a Semi-Health Nut

Chicken, Broccoli, & Rice Casserole - The Seasoned Mom

Smothered Three Cheese Parmesan Chicken - I Thee Cook

Show & Share link party rules:

  • Link up your newest recipe, diy project, kid activity, anything you are proud of and want to share. Please, no more than THREE links per blog.
  • 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 Mostly Homemade Mom's Facebook and Twitter, so make sure you follow both. Check back next week to see who gets featured!

Grab button for Semi Homemade Mom

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Buffalo Ranch Potato Skins

March 24, 2014
This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Dean's Dip for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Twice baked potato skins filled with parmesan and cheddar, and topped with bacon and Buffalo Ranch dip - amazing!

We have been blessed with one child who really likes spicy food and another who basically cries if it's too spicy. The funniest part is that Wesley, my two year old, is the one who doesn't mind spicy food! Silas definitely takes after me, I'm mild all the way. Of course Paul puts Sriracha on basically everything, so you can assume who Wesley takes after!

I have to say though, when I was pregnant with Silas, I couldn't get enough hot wings! It probably contributed to the ridiculous weight gain with him. Go figure, he was not even 7 lbs when he was born! For some reason, the spiciness just didn't bother me when I was pregnant - I really loved the flavor, and I still do. I just don't like burning my taste buds, that's all. :D

I REALLY love the new Buffalo Ranch Dean's Dip flavor that just came out - it's still spicy but just not burn-your-tastebuds spicy. It's creamy, and I can't even begin to describe how awesome it is with these potato skins! I used to make these when we were first married and I haven't made them in so long. These would be absolutely perfect for a party!

Buffalo Ranch Potato Skins

3 baking potatoes
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup real bacon pieces
3 green onions, sliced
Dean's Buffalo Ranch Dip

Wash the potatoes and prick each a few times with a fork. Bake at 425 for 45-50 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Remove from oven. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice each in half lengthwise and slice each half again lengthwise. You will have 12 potato skins. Gently scoop out most of the potato, leaving a thin layer still on the skins. (Save the cooked potato for another use) Brush the outsides and insides of the potatoes skins with the melted butter. Sprinkle salt over the insides along with grated parmesan cheese. Return to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes. Top each skin with shredded cheese and bacon bits. Bake them again about 2-3 minutes or until cheese is completely melted. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Top each with a dollop of Dean's Dip Buffalo Ranch Dip or place dip in a dish for dipping. Serve garnished with green onion slices.

I wish you could reach through the screen and taste this, seriously! Be sure to be on the lookout for Dean's Buffalo Ranch Dip in the dairy dip section of your local supermarket. Follow Dean’s Dip on Facebook and Dean’s Dip Instagram for more recipe ideas, too!

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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Menu Plan Monday 3/24

March 24th is a special day in our little family. Today is our 7th wedding anniversary... and it's also the day, two years ago, when I became an aunt! Happy Anniversary, Paul - I love you! Happy birthday Elliott William - I can't even believe what a big boy you are now! Happy, happy day. :)

This weekend was a bit nutso, as we went to Elliott's big Winnie-the-Pooh birthday bash and I think the boys are still recovering from all the sugar, haha! I also have quite a few new recipes I'm excited to try this weekend. Here's my meal plan for the week:

Tomato Pesto Pizza

Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheese

Spaghetti With Homemade Sauce (I use the sauce in my Baked Eggplant Parmesan)

Skillet Tuna Cakes

Veggie Loaded Pasta Primavera

Chicken Fajita Nachos

Crockpot Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

Have a wonderful week! 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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