Archive for December 2014


🎉 ENTER OUR GIVEAWAY 🎉We have a $100 Visa Gift Card up for grabs right now!! Click over to this post to be entered to win - good luck and Merry Christmas!! ~Kelly

Skinny Salted Caramel Coffee

December 30, 2014
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Albertsons. The opinions and text are all mine.

Not only is this coffee shop favorite cheaper to make at home, it is so much better for you! Just coffee, cream, caramel extract, whipped cream, and a pinch of salt - yum!




That mug up there. My favorite mug! My sister actually just gave it to me as part of my Christmas present and I'm totally in love with it. 

Oversized. Chalkboard like finish. And the saying. Oh my word, is that saying ever true in the Miller household!

I'm a former teacher and if there's something I had a plethora of, it's mugs. I think as soon as my students were enlightened by my love affair with coffee, most of the teacher gifts I received included a mug of some kind! Not that I'm complaining so much, it's just that there's only a certain amount of space I have in my cabinets for mugs - you know?!

I love a good oversized mug though. Fill it to the brim first thing in the morning, set it down next to your computer, and it should last you a good long while. My sister shares my obsession both with coffee, and chalkboards, so it doesn't surprise me she hit the nail on the head with this one!

And OH MAN this Skinny Salted Caramel Coffee is crazy good. My secret? Caramel extract. Yep. You can find it in most supermarkets right near the vanilla and almond extracts. This recipe below is more of a guideline because I know everyone likes "just the right amount" of creamer or sweetener in their coffee. No more high priced, miniature cup with crazy ingredients and tons of calories. This one's a keeper!



Skinny Salted Caramel Coffee

Ingredients
  • 8 oz brewed coffee
  • 3 tablespoons fat free half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon caramel extract
  • 3 teaspoons Truvia
  • whipped cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Combine coffee, half and half, caramel extract, and Truvia in your favorite mug. Taste test and adjust as needed.
  2. Top with whipped cream and salt. You could substitute with your favorite non calorie sweetener if desired.




This will no doubt become one of your favorite drinks this winter! So what's your favorite mug? Enter it into the McCafe Mug Pix for a chance to win a year's supply of McCafe coffee - sweet!! A new winner is picked each day during the promotion so don't wait! 





It's easy to enter - go to Acme Markets website, click "Submit" to choose your mug pic from your desktop, camera phone, Facebook, or Instagram photos, and give it a caption. I can't wait to see what's your favorite mug! 

Here are some more of my favorite drinks:


Chocolate Fudge Sundae Iced Coffee




Mint Cookies N Cream Frappe




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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Albertsons. The opinions and text are all mine.


BLT Deviled Eggs

December 29, 2014
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MustHaveMayo & #CollectiveBias

Take your typical deviled egg recipe to the next level with diced tomatoes, spring mix, mayo, and BACON! The perfect appetizer for your holiday or game day party!
#MustHaveMayo #CollectiveBias





How do you usually spend New Year's? For us, the holiday is completely NOT a tradition - I feel like every year we just fly by the seat of our pants, haha!

Even when I was in high school and college, we really kept it low key. Meaning sparkling cider, tons of board games, and plenty of FOOD! I mentioned last week that our usual Christmas Eve dinner is meatballs and potato salad - well my mom usually has two slow cookers full of meatballs, so we still have enough on New Year's Eve for sandwiches. 





I really think appetizers and dips are IT for New Year's! And since we now have two littles (3 and 5) we're home by 9 at the latest. Maybe some would be depressed that we're not partying until the morning, but I honestly wouldn't have it any other way! 





These BLT Deviled Eggs are the perfect appetizer for your holiday party or even your game day gathering! When I handed one for Paul to taste test, he commented that even though he is obsessed with bacon, it's hard to alter the tried and true deviled egg recipe. His verdict after taking a bite? I TOTALLY did it! This will for sure be my go-to deviled egg recipe - it's THAT good!


BLT Deviled Eggs

Yield: 24 deviled eggs
Ingredients
  • 12 eggs, hard boiled
  • 1 cup KRAFT Real Mayo Mayonnaise
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, seeded and diced small
  • 1/4 cup spring mix, chopped small
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Cooking Directions
  1. Peel eggs, slice in half, and remove cooked yolks to a mixing bowl. Smash yolks with a fork.
  2. Add in mayo and ground mustard and stir until smooth. Stir in diced tomatoes and chopped spring mix.
  3. Transfer filling to a large ziploc bag. Seal and snip off the end. Pipe filling into each cooked egg white half.
  4. Sprinkle crumbled bacon over top of eggs. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.




I found the KRAFT Real Mayo Mayonnaise for this recipe conveniently in the condiment aisle at Walmart. 




I got my inspiration for this recipe from Kraft's Hot Artichoke Dip - look at how yummy! Another perfect holiday appetizer, wouldn't you agree?




For more recipe inspiration, be sure to check out the Cooking Up Good website. Loads of recipes, coupons, loyalty programs, and chances to win sweet sweepstakes. You know I'm ALWAYS looking for new dinner ideas, so I'm heading over there now!

What's your favorite way to use KRAFT Real Mayo Mayonnaise?


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{Crockpot} Hot Artichoke Dip

December 22, 2014
This easy, creamy artichoke dip is the perfect appetizer for your holiday gathering! Throw it in the Crockpot to keep warm and your guests will gobble this up in no time!






Well everyone, we're 3 days away from the big day! I hope you're ready! :)


Actually, I honestly do hope for your sake you are DONE shopping. I went out yesterday afternoon to pick up a few groceries and wrapping paper. OH MAN was it crowded! 

Thankfully all of my gifts are bought, I just need to pick up some stocking stuffers for the boys. Maybe a few workbooks and some candy at a great local candy shop here in town.





My focus now is on to the FOOD! One of my favorite parts of Christmas, obviously. I always look forward to having a really yummy breakfast, with plenty of coffee and eggnog, on Christmas morning. The kids get up so early now that we wind up eating breakfast well after opening presents! I'm anticipating this year having to open all of the toys and install all batteries before getting any kind of a break from presents. I'm really so excited to see their faces! In any case, we'll probably wind up having breakfast around 10 or 11am. 


Then we usually start getting ready to go over my parent's house. We typically forgo lunch because of such a late breakfast, and instead break out the SNACKS!

Dips, chips, cheese, crackers... yum! And yes a cookie or two here and there - it's Christmas after all. Just some yummy nibbles to tide us over until dinner time. This Hot Artichoke Dip is perfect! I'm planning on baking it in the oven ahead of time, and then transferring it to my small dipper Crockpot to keep it nice and warm for snacking. I used Italian seasoned pita chips, but some nice baked tortilla chips would be great for this dip as well.




Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
  • 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained chopped
  • 1 cup KRAFT Real Mayo Mayonnaise
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients.
  2. Spread into a pie plate and bake for 20-25 minutes or until brown on top.
  3. Serve immediately or transfer to a small crockpot and heat on low for parties.







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Cinnamon Stick Cookies and my Keurig 2.0!

December 20, 2014
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Keurig400 #CollectiveBias

These light and crunchy cookies have a light cinnamon flavor and a sweet glaze - absolutely perfect for dipping in coffee! A great Christmas cookie to give as a gift as well!
#Keurig400 #CollectiveBias






Ahem.

So Christmas came early for Mommy this year. I'd like you to meet my new friend. Mr. Keurig 2.0.





*swoon*

I'm in love, people! I mean, I think you all know how coffee obsessed this mama is. The children pretty much know they can't talk to me until I've had my first coffee of the morning. :)

Our Keurig has always been a bit sentimental to us in this house. It was actually the first Christmas present Paul bought for me as a married couple. We did not have a lot of extra money that year and I was SHOCKED that he was able to pull that surprise off. And of course, I've been Keurig obsessed ever since.

7 years and two adorable kiddos later, and countless family visits and gatherings, have caused me to fall in love with my Keurig even more! Paul loves strong coffee, I tend to like breakfast blends, the boys love the hot chocolate and apple cider. With various family and friends over visiting, it's really awesome to be able to offer so many different coffees, teas, and drinks to guests. I like to keep a good variety of K-cup packs just in case we have a surprise knock at the door.





I absolutely love that my new Keurig 2.0 has the ability to brew a 4 cup carafe of coffee as well! Recently my father in law stayed with us over Thanksgiving break and I can't tell you how nice it was to have everyone's preferred coffee flowing. With 400 beverage varieties from 60 brands, I'm sure we could all find our favorite. It actually features Keurig 2.0 Brewing Technology which reads each lid to brew a perfect cup every time. And for sure the carafe would have come in handy that weekend - I'm looking forward to offering it next time!

These Cinnamon Stick Cookies are the PERFECT coffee cookie. They're shaped similar to biscotti, but way easier and quicker to make. Plus, one batch makes about 60 cookies - you can't beat that! 




Cinnamon Stick Cookies

Yield: 60 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • milk
Cooking Directions
  1. In a stand mixer, combine butter, sugar, brown sugar, and eggs until creamy.
  2. Mix flour, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium bowl until well combined. Gradually add dry ingredients to sugar mixture.
  3. Line a loaf pan with plastic wrap and press cookie dough into pan. Try to be as even as possible. Refrigerate 1 hour until firm.
  4. Remove cookie dough from loaf pan using plastic wrap to lift. Slice cookie dough in 1/2 inch slices. Then cut each slice into 1/2 inch strips (about 4 per slice). Lay strips on GREASED cookie sheets about 1/2 inch apart.
  5. Bake until lightly browned at 325 for 11-13 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
  6. While cookies are cooling, mix powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons milk. Keep thinning out with milk until icing easily slides off a spoon. Drizzle icing over cookies.

*Click here for more detailed pictures of this step*





As many of you know, my husband became a Pastor of a small church here in our area. We'll be gifting a Keurig to our church office. It will be great for everyone to enjoy their favorite hot drink while doing the amazing work of the Lord. I love that Keurig 2.0 along with a wide variety of K-cup packs are available at your local Walmart. 





Not only would a new Keurig be a show stopping gift for someone you love, but what about your favorite non-profit? I'm sure the volunteers at your church or favorite charity would absolutely LOVE a new Keurig in their office. If you could give a new Keurig to anyone, who would it be?


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 shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Keurig400 #CollectiveBias

Meatball Mozzarella Mini Pizzas

December 19, 2014
Refrigerated rolls make the perfect crust for these miniature pizzas! Marinara sauce, chopped meatballs, lots of mozzarella, and topped with fresh spinach and a garlic butter drizzle!





We are pretty much pizza addicts in this house. We have some sort of pizza, or variation of a pizza, at least once a week in this house. Crunchy crust, tangy tomato sauce, and lots and lots of cheese. Everyone gets fed. Everyone is filled. And most importantly, everyone is happy. 

I have to say though, just the plain sauce cheese and crust can get a little boring after a while. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE a good, classic cheese pizza. Really, who doesn't?

When we're eating out, I'm often inspired by the new creative pizzas I've been seeing at our favorite restaurants. Paul and I usually go for something a little different, unusual, or even a bit gourmet - while the boys opt for maybe one extra topping on their favorite classic pizza. 





When we're home, it's easy to switch up a regular pizza. I try to look for things hanging out in the fridge that need to get used up: taco meat, grilled chicken, different cheeses, and chopped veggies usually top the list for me. Anything to make dinner that night just a bit different. 

One of my favorite things to keep in the fridge for a quick pizza night are canned refrigerated jumbo biscuits. Separate them, flatten them out, and you have the perfect pizza crust. If you're feeling extra adventurous, you can spread out different sauces, toppings, and cheeses and have everyone customize their own! At 3 and 5, I think you know how my boys would deal with that much freedom... haha. 



Meatball Mozzarella Mini Pizzas

Recipe by Kelly Miller
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 13 minutes
Total time: 28 minutes

Ingredients
  • 16 oz can refrigerated jumbo rolls (8 rolls)
  • 2 cups marinara pizza sauce
  • 12 frozen meatballs
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach, sliced in strips
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
Cooking Directions
  1. Separate rolls and press each roll out into a 5 inch circle. Place each flattened roll on greased and lined cookie sheets. Spread marinara evenly on each pizza.
  2. Cook meatballs as directed on package and slice each into quarters. Divide chopped meatballs evenly among pizzas. Top with mozzarella.
  3. Bake at 350 for 13 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned.
  4. In a small bowl, combine melted butter, garlic powder, and oregano. Top each pizza with some spinach strips and a drizzle of garlic butter. Serve immediately.



Oh MAN these pizzas were SO incredible! The drizzle at the end gives it just an extra punch of flavor. There's nothing like an easy dinner that the whole family raves about to make you feel like a supermom! :)


Here are some more of my favorite easy dinners:


Homemade Taco Helper




Biscuit Topped Italian Casserole








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Chocolate Almond Marbled Sugar Cookies

December 17, 2014
These buttery sugar cookies have a swirl of melted chocolate through the dough and topped with sparkly sugar for a magical touch - this is a wonderful Christmas cookie!





So this year I participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. It was SO much fun! Freshly made boxed cookies arriving at my house while Christmas music is playing and I'm decorating the house? Merry Christmas to me, I say!


The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2014


This year I made these amazingly easy Chocolate Almond Marbled Sugar Cookies. I'm actually not an overall huge fan of sugar cookies, mainly because if you bake them .17 seconds too long, they have that weird burnt taste to them, even though they're just slightly browned on the edges. You know what I mean, that weird aftertaste. Definitely not what you want in a cookie, or a dessert of any kind for that matter!

I love that the melted chocolate swirled throughout the dough and the extra almond extract give these cookies a little extra special touch. As for baking it for the correct time, you'll have to experiment with your own kitchen. As a rule of thumb, I usually set my timer for 2 minutes UNDER what the recipe says, and always ALWAYS use parchment paper for sugar cookies. 

Not the dollar store parchment paper. The grease soaks through and they turn almost black at the edges, causing you to change out the paper after every batch. Ask me how I know. :/



Chocolate Almond Marbled Sugar Cookies

Recipe by Kelly Miller
These buttery sugar cookies have a swirl of melted chocolate through the dough and topped with sparkly sugar for a magical touch - this is a wonderful Christmas cookie!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Yield: 3 dozen

Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 oz square semi sweet baking chocolate, melted
  • 3/4 cup sanding (or regular) sugar
Cooking Directions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add in extracts and egg.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cream of tartar.
  3. Gradually add dry mixture into wet mixture while mixer is on low. Continue mixing until dough is fully incorporated.
  4. Melt chocolate according to package directions. Drizzle over dough in bowl. Drag a knife through the dough to create a marble effect - do not stir.
  5. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough onto parchment lined cookie sheets. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
  6. Bake at 400 degrees for 6 - 8 minutes, just before edges turn brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely.




Oh, these are just SO amazing dipped in coffee! I feel like I type the phrase "dipped in coffee" really REALLY often on here. Hmmm... :)

If you're a food blogger, be sure and sign up for the cookie swap next year - it's SO much fun!

Here are some more of my favorite cookie recipes:


Smores Cookies




Eggnog Cookies




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Christmas Oreo Fudge

December 16, 2014
White chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, Christmas Oreos, and salt. Only 4 ingredients for this decadent fudge, perfect for a quick holiday gift!





I think the food marketers know me the second I walk into the grocery store during the Christmas season. Christmas themed Oreos, candy, ice cream... I feel like I want need to try them all!! I'm a HUGE sucker for the seasonal treats. Lucky for my waistline I have two kiddos who could level a bag of M&M's in about 5 minutes, so I rarely wind up getting them through the checkout.

Christmas Oreos? Ok, no, seriously - they were coming home with me! Oreos are one of my favorite store bough cookie and I know there are lots of copycat recipes on some of my favorite food blogs, but sometimes I just want the crinkle of that plastic try. Is that odd? I sure hope not, haha!





I really love making yummy treats that are perfectly giftable, just like this easy fudge. I made a batch and then just stacked pieces in a regular mason jar that I picked up at the dollar store. Tie it with a few pieces of curly ribbon, and you have a present anyone would love to receive!


Christmas Oreo Fudge

Ingredients
  • 18 oz white chocolate chips (1 1/2 packages)
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups Christmas Oreo cookies, crushed
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Line an 8 x 8 square baking dish with foil or wax paper, leaving long pieces to hang over the edge of the dish, and spray with nonstick spray; set aside.
  2. Combine white chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and salt in a saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring until completely melted and smooth.
  3. Gently stir in cookies, just enough to spread cookie pieces throughout fudge - if you over stir the red filling will marble the white fudge.
  4. Spread fudge into prepared baking dish, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.
  5. Gently lift entire square of fudge out of the dish using the long pieces of wax paper. Cut into small squares and package for gift giving or store in a plastic container with a lid.





I really love that you could use any holiday themed Oreo as well. So fun and easy, you gotta love that!


Here are some more of my favorite giftable treats:


Easy Cheesecake Truffles




Reese's Spreads Snack Mix




Chocolate Pudding Fudge




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