Archive for April 2014

Sausage & Tomato Rigatoni

April 30, 2014
A simple weeknight dinner of italian sausage in a garlic basil tomato sauce and served over rigatoni. 20 minutes from stove to table! For more quick weeknight meals, visit Food Network's Weeknight Kitchen!



Why is it that every time I go into the kitchen to start cooking, that's the time both boys think it's great to race each other around the house with their wagon and cars? Using the kitchen as part of their racetrack, of course. It never fails. I'll have them very quietly playing or watching My Little Pony (yes they watch it and they LOVE it) and the second I go into the kitchen, it's like a switch goes off - TIME TO PLAY! It reminds me of when you have an infant and you just get them to lay down and as you're sneaking out the room, they start screaming. It's like they're saying, "SIKE, Mom, I'm just playing with you. I'm not really tired after all!"

Oh it's real fun.

Especially when you're very carefully carrying drippy red tomatoes that fell into the sink, to the trashcan and someone runs into you with their Hotwheels and you drop said tomatoes all over the new light-beige carpet.

Yep, that happened. UGH.

Needless to say, mommy was not a happy camper after that one! These smiles, though. I have to admit, they do make it worth while. :)



The new GE Hands-Free Auto Fill Refrigerator, Double Oven Range with Tri Ring Burner, and Dishwasher with 102 jet wash system would FOR SURE make mommy a happy camper! Click here to see these amazing new appliances in action.


Sausage & Tomato Rigatoni

1 box rigatoni
1 lb mild italian sausage, ground
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, diced
15 oz can stewed tomatoes
8 oz can tomato sauce
shredded mozzarella
fresh basil

Cook rigatoni according to package directions. Meanwhile, brown sausage in a deep skillet. Once browned, add garlic and onions and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and one small can full of water. Heat to boiling and then reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Serve tomato sauce over rigatoni and topped with a handful of mozzarella and sprinkle of fresh chopped basil.



It's amazing to me how often I'm tempted to just order out for dinner when I can make something SO absolutely delicious at home in literally less time than delivery would take! I really loved this dish and so did my kids, the rigatoni is so fun for little ones to pick up on their own. Food Network actually has a whole page for quick weeknight meals, 30 minutes or less, for you to check out! What's your favorite quick weeknight dinner idea?


Weeknight dinners should be quick and easy for any busy family.  GE Appliances can help streamline the kitchen process with their hands-free auto-fill refrigerator, their double oven range, to their 102 jet wash system dishwasher.  To see these appliances in action check out GE: Kitchen Reimagined.  For more tips on weeknight dinners head over to FoodNetwork Weeknight Kitchen page for recipes, tips, and much more!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of GE Appliances. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Show & Share Wednesday #78



Oh my word, the rain! It's cold and rainy and I hate it. The only positive to the rain is that for a short time my allergies have let up. But my boys are starting to go stir crazy! I hope you're having a drier day than I am. Here are the features from our last party:

Brownie for One - The Paper Heart Studio







Chunky Chocolate Chip Cookies - Amy's Cooking Adventures







Breakfast Parfait - The Pin Junkie







Garlic Parmesan Roasted Red Potatoes - Melding Magic







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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Menu Plan Monday 4/28

April 28, 2014


I feel like it's finally spring around here! My allergies are screaming it's spring, that's for sure. It was so nice out on Saturday though, I just couldn't keep the boys inside! I hope you had a great weekend enjoying the weather. In case you missed it, here were my posted recipes from last week:


Creamy Shrimp Dip







Jersey Shore Fudge







Coming up this week, I have a fabulous burger idea for you and also a savory monkey bread recipe! Here is my meal plan for the week:



Mozzarella Mushroom Burgers








Crockpot Black Beans & Rice








Crockpot Chicken Chili








Ranch Veggie Pizza








Tomato Mushroom Oven Omelette








Chili Cheese Nachos








Cheesy Bacon Tortellini Skillet







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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Creamy Shrimp Dip

April 25, 2014
This simple dip combines cream cheese, celery, onion, and shrimp for a perfect and addictive party appetizer!




I think there are always, in families, certain recipes that simple HAVE to be made for parties. I'm sure it comes as a huge surprise to you that my family has several. Ha! 

We're big salad eaters. And no, I do not mean the green variety. I'm talking about the creamy ones, usually with mayo or cream cheese. Potato salad, spaghetti salad, macaroni salad - they pretty much all make appearances at parties around here. This amazingly simple shrimp dip is, of course, one of them. My Grandmom is usually the one who makes it and it's really funny - she doesn't eat seafood at all! You can serve this as a dip, or you can form it into a cheeseball and serve it that way - just don't forget the spreader!



A whole bunch of my foodie blog friends have come together today to post our favorite baby shower recipes in honor of our friend Cathy of Lemon Tree Dwelling - who's expecting a baby girl very soon! One of the reasons I love blogging so much is all the support and friendship I've received from fellow bloggers and I'm so honored that Cathy is one of those friends. Cathy, I'll be praying for a quick and painless delivery (HA) and, of course, a beautiful baby girl in the end. I can't wait to see pictures!


Creamy Shrimp Dip

8 oz cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 stalk celery, diced fine
1 small onion, diced fine (or 1 tablespoon dried, minced onion)
4 oz can tiny shrimp, drained well
buttery crackers or wheat thins for spreading


Place cream cheese, celery, onion, and shrimp in a medium bowl. Mash shrimp into cream cheese with a fork, stirring as you go to incorporate the other ingredients. Once fully incorporated, cover and refrigerate 3 hours, or overnight. Remove from refrigerator and allow dip to come to room temperature before serving.



Seriously, this is one of my all-time favorite dips! And I have to say, the light pink color is really perfect for a (baby girl) baby shower. :D


Here are some more of my favorite "baby shower" worthy recipes:


Bubbly Cramberry Punch




Hot Cheddar Mushroom Spread




BLT Roll Ups



Be sure to hop on over to these amazing blogs below to discover what they created for the virtual baby shower. So fun!




Lemon Raspberry Cookie Sandwiches by Life Love and Sugar 
Blueberry Buttermilk Coffee Cake by Your Homebased Mom 
Lemon Yogurt Cake by Yummy Healthy Easy 
Orange-Raspberry Mini Toaster Strudels by Chelsea's Messy Apron 
Orange Dream Monkey Bread by Wine and Glue 
Strawberry Shortcake Kebabs by Or So She Says 
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake by Beyond Frosting 
Strawberries and Cream Cheese Ball Bites by Five Heart Home 
Pig Pickin' Cake by Sugar Dish Me 
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Skillet Cookie by Lemons for Lulu 
Creamy Shrimp Dip by Mostly Homemade Mom 
Salted Butterscotch Coffee Cake by Julie's Eats and Treats 
Strawberry Cake by The NY Melrose Family 
Frozen Chocolate S'mores Ice Cream Pie by Pink When 
Carrot Cream Cheese Swirl Loaf by Spoonful of Flavor 
Fiesta Rice Skillet by The Grant Life 
Raspberry Ripple Lemon Bundt Cake by Love Bakes Good Cakes 
Ooey Gooey Orange Creamsicle Bars by The Gunny Sack 
Mixed Berries with Honey Maple Mascarpone by Joyful Healthy Eats 
Rosewater Almond Macaroons by Little Miss Celebration 
Chocolate Chip Cookie Cupcakes by Crazy for Crust 
Momosas Mocktail Recipe by The Weary Chef


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Jersey Shore Fudge - #NJStrong

April 22, 2014
This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of New Jersey’s Division of Travel & Tourism for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.


A classic stove top fudge recipe loaded with chopped walnuts. One of my favorite treats to enjoy while at the Jersey Shore!



Growing up in Philadelphia, every single one of my friends went down the New Jersey Shore for vacation in the summer. Honestly, it wasn't a matter of "if" you were going down the shore, but when and to what beach! Our favorite Jersey beach as a kid was always Wildwood. The boardwalk was enormous and a lot of the hotels had a real fun retro feel. I was really into dance school as a kid, and we would actually perform our routines on the Wildwood boardwalk. I used to half complain that we had to "work" while we were on vacation, but I was seriously having the time of my life!

Now as an adult, and a complete foodie, our favorite beach is Ocean City. It's quiet and perfect for families with young children, and the seafood - oh my word, the seafood! New Jersey is known for their amazing produce, but seriously the seafood restaurants down the shore are just amazing. We have our favorites in Ocean City and Cape May, but with 130 miles of beaches in New Jersey I'm sure there are many more to discover. I just learned that there are over 46 wineries along six wine trails throughout New Jersey, so that is definitely on my to do list this summer!

It really is not summer vacation down the shore without salt water taffy and, of course, FUDGE! I remember always hitting our favorite fudge shop on the boardwalk as our last activity before heading home. Usually someone in our family back home wanted us to pick up some fudge for them! Usually, the workers stand outside the shops and you can sample the different flavors before you buy. This fudge recipe is the closest I can get to replicating that amazing fudge taste from down the Jersey Shore!




Jersey Shore Fudge

Ingredients
  • 12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 12 oz milk chocolate chips
  • 14 oz marshmallow creme
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups chopped walnuts
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine both chocolate chips. Empty marshmallow cream over top of the chips, and set aside.
  2. In a large pot (I use my pasta pot), stir together sugar, milk, butter, and salt. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.
  3. Continue boiling 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and pour mixture over chocolate and marshmallow creme in mixing bowl.
  4. Beat with a hand mixer until chocolate is completely melted and marshmallow creme is well mixed.
  5. Gently fold in walnuts. Spread fudge into a 9 x 13 baking dish lined with wax paper. I like thick fudge, so I use a 9 x 9 dish and a loaf pan.
  6. Allow fudge to cool completely on the counter, then slice into squares.
  7. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.






I would LOVE for you to discover New Jersey this year and fall in love with the shore as my family has - the Jersey Shore is Going Strong! It's time to start making your summer plans now and I'd love to know, which Jershey Shore beach is your family's favorite?

Be sure to sign up for e-news at njgoingstrong.com to learn more about this year's calendar of events. Follow The Shore on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr for more updates!

Visit NJ - Sweep on White photo 67361bcd-cfeb-4de5-823f-b5191dea8806_zps26a5f19c.jpg

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Menu Plan Monday 4/21

April 21, 2014


I hope you all had a wonderful Easter celebration with your families yesterday! We started the day with a little egg hunt in our living room (yearly tradition) and then of course off to Sunday School and church. The music at our service was just beautiful, I look forward to it every year. We spent the rest of the day at my parent's house and after dinner, the boys had a big egg hunt on their front lawn. They had a blast and it was so fun watching them!

I was told by my doctor last fall that we live in the worst area of the country for allergy sufferers. They kicked in full swing for me yesterday, ugh! Of course I denied the problem and spent a lot of time outside anyway with the kids. And I woke up this morning unable to breathe. Real fun! :/

I also completely cheated on my diet with Easter dinner, so this week is back on plan! I've been semi - following Trim Healthy Mama (affiliate link) and it was really working for me, 6 lbs lost in two weeks with a few trips to the gym as well. I've been able to cut out most sugar and I have to admit, I've really been feeling great! Most of the meals I have listed will be modified for me (no rolls or different condiments), but I do like that I can pretty much make the same meals. Anyway, here's the plan for the week:


Mozzarella Mushroom Burgers








Crockpot Chicken Spaghetti







Roasted Vegetable Chili







Pesto Pita Bread Pizzas







Avocado Egg Salad







Empty the Fridge Breakfast Bake






Leftovers



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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