Archive for June 2015

Shortcut Chicken Caesar Wraps

June 30, 2015
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EffortlessMeals #CollectiveBias

Store bought rotisserie chicken with romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing, and parmesan cheese with a garlic cream cheese spread. These wraps are so simple and SO good!






I have been a chicken Caesar wrap addict ever since I was a freshman in college. We had a little cafe and coffee bar that served premade wraps in a mini fridge at the counter. Most days I would forgo the cafeteria and use the extra funds I had on my card for the month on a wrap, soda, and salt & vinegar chips instead.

If I had any idea the amount of money I was wasting by NOT using my cafeteria meals that I was financing through student loans at the time...

I could smack myself upside the head!

I'm STILL paying for those skipped meals. UGH.

Wraps a huge go-to lunch for us around here. It's just so simple to arrange some tasty ingredients, roll it up, slice and serve. Everyone can pick their favorites and customize their wrap to what they like. 





Having tortillas and cooked chicken in the fridge is a handy shortcut for making tasty wraps. I try to always save leftovers, or pick up a Marketside rotisserie chicken at Walmart to have on hand. Being able to recreate one my college favorite lunches, for WAY cheaper, is a lifesaver for me at meal time!








Shortcut Chicken Caesar Wraps

Ingredients
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup creamy Caesar dressing, divided
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • cooked Marketside rotisserie chicken
  • 4 flour tortillas
Cooking Directions
  1. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup dressing, 1/4 cup parmesan, and minced garlic until creamy.
  2. In a separate large bowl, toss romaine with remaining 1/2 cup dressing and 1/2 cup parmesan.
  3. Spread 1-2 tablespoons cream cheese mixture on tortillas. Add some cooked chicken, lettuce, and an extra sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
  4. Roll up, slice and serve.




These would make a great lunch box wrap once back to school time rolls around! Not that I'm counting or anything... ;)





I love how easy it is to pick up a fully cooked rotisserie chicken while I'm doing my weekly grocery shopping at Walmart - no need to heat that kitchen up when it's already super hot outside! They have them hot and ready to eat right by the registers! There's also Marketside pizza available in the front along with bottles of Coca-Cola products. No dinner planning needed!


Here are some of my favorite sandwiches and wraps:














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Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

June 29, 2015
Devil's food chocolate cake mix with miniature chocolate chips and milk chocolate buttercream frosting - these are the best chocolate cupcakes ever!





I'm a horrible, horrible daughter.

My dad reads my blog every day. And I made chocolate cupcakes. And didn't give him any.

I'm sorry dad! :(

In my defense, your two grandsons BEGGED me for a cupcake - and then Paul had to take them to work for a bake sale to benefit Alex's Lemonade Stand. So, it was for a good reason.







I know he's going to bug me about when I'm making him a batch.

Good thing these Triple Chocolate Cupcakes were insanely easy, and so incredibly good - I will have no problem making a 2nd batch of these babies anytime! I'm a huge fan of doctoring up cake mixes to taste homemade and I'm telling you, NO ONE will be able to tell these started with a devil's food mix. The secret is in the miniature chocolate chips. Don't be tempted to use regular sized chocolate chips - they'll just sink to the bottom of the cupcakes and melt. The miniature ones stay put and you get a nice pocket of chocolate in every bite.




Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients
  • 15-16 oz box devil's food cake mix
  • (plus oil, water, and eggs called for on box)
  • 2 cups miniature chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5-6 tablespoons milk
  • chocolate sprinkles
Cooking Directions
  1. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. In a mixing bowl, beat cake mix and ingredients called for on box for two minutes.
  2. Gently stir in chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, about 3 tablespoons in each.
  3. Bake at 350 for length of time directed on box. Cool completely.
  4. In another mixing bowl, stir together cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Add in butter, vanilla extract, and 5 tablespoons milk.
  5. Beat well. Add an additional tablespoon of milk for better consistency if needed.
  6. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes. Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.





Oh man, I should have made a 2nd batch right away - I want one now!!


Here are some more of my favorite cupcake recipes:


Snicker's Stuffed Peanut Butter Cupcakes




Candy Apple Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting




Lemon Pudding Cupcakes




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Menu Plan Monday 6/29

June 28, 2015


This coming Saturday is the 4th of July and I haven't even talked to my mom about what she wants to do, ha! Unfortunately, this is the first year in a long time that Paul will be working, so he won't be able to come with us to see fireworks. I'm sure the boys will be disappointed - me too! :(

I'm trying to keep the menu plan simple this week, due to having lots of little things planned and not nearly enough time to get them all done! Here's our plan for the week:



Shortcut Hot Roast Beef Sandwiches








Homemade Cheesy Beef-a-roni








Easy Lasagna Soup








Crockpot Cola Chicken








Grilled Hotdogs







4th of July Cookout
Red, White, & Blue Cheesecake Torte








Leftovers






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Buffalo Chicken Salad Sliders

June 25, 2015
Typical chicken salad gets kicked up a notch with buffalo hot wing sauce, diced celery, and seasonings. These are awesome for lunches and make amazing party appetizers, too!





I believe I've mentioned before my weird thing with hot wings and pregnancy. I don't know what it is. In my normal state, I can't stand the taste of hot sauce - no clue why. But the minute I'm pregnant, even through morning sickness and heartburn, I can't get enough of the flavor! 

It's mainly the heat - I honestly can't stand spicy food at all. It actually makes me mad when I bite into something that smells so wonderful, only to be hit with pain in my mouth - I don't get it! My anger is usually directed at Paul, who is usually trying to do a nice thing and make dinner for us, but decides to up the spice factor. Do not mess with a mama who's hungry, that's for sure!!

But when I'm pregnant, my tolerance I guess is way higher than normal for spicy food and I'm actually able to taste the hot sauce. It's SO AMAZINGLY good! It's like, what in the heck am I thinking the rest of the time - hot wings are awesome.





This Buffalo Chicken Salad is really, REALLY good. If you're looking to change up your normal mayo and onion chicken salad routine, this one is definitely the recipe. You can certainly up the amount of hot sauce if you like it spicier, I thought this was the perfect combination - my kids even liked it. Win-win!



Buffalo Chicken Salad Sliders

Ingredients
  • 3 large (10-12oz) cans chicken breast, drained
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried, minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 large celery stalks, diced fine
  • 12 Hawaiian dinner rolls
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large bowl, combine chicken, mayo, sour cream, hot sauce, onion, garlic powder, and celery. Mix well.
  2. Cover and refrigerate two hours or overnight. Serve on split Hawaiian rolls.
  3. Store leftovers in the fridge.





This makes A LOT and we kept leftovers for lunch, I'm planning on making this quite a bit for lunches over the summer!


Here are some more of my favorite sandwich ideas:


Honey Dijon Chicken Salad




Tuna BLT Melt




Mini Dill Pickle Sandwiches




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Chilled Fruit Salad

June 23, 2015
A delicious blend of bananas, pineapple, grapes, strawberries, mandarin oranges, and peaches will have everyone coming back for more!






Oh how I can't wait until this third little squish is here.

Almost 6 months along and he already has quite a personality. He lets me know how much he loves anything cold and sweet. He's also started moving like crazy anytime his brothers have decided that outside voices are perfectly okay to use inside. He definitely does not like me laying on my left side or sitting with my one leg folded up. And he makes me laugh because pretty much every time I stand up to do something, I have to hit the bathroom first. Real funny, booger!

This is the first time I'll be home with the baby, so I've decided to try cloth diapering. And OMG they are so adorable! We're going with a newborn diaper service for the first three months so we'll be using prefolds and fitted diapers with covers. But I've read that it's good to have a few different kinds of diapers to try just to see which works best for your particular family, so here and there I've bought some pocket diapers and an all-in-one diaper to try.

Don't worry if all those terms are Greek to you, there were to me about two weeks ago - ha!

Our main reason to cloth diaper is the cost savings compared to disposables, and I'm excited not to have smelly diaper trash sitting outside in the bin waiting for trash day. I know it means more work on my part, but I'm willing to put in the effort. I have to say though, some of those diapers are $30 each - adorable yes, but nutso to me! 

This baby still has a few months to cook, but it is nice to see tiny things making their way into our house. One thing this baby DEFINITELY enjoyed was this Chilled Fruit Salad!





 In season fruit mixed with sweet peach pie filling and topped with a bit of whipped cream, he was doing somersaults in there I swear! This is a great treat for the family and I really loved how it made a large batch that we enjoyed for dessert for several nights during the week. A perfect treat!



Chilled Fruit Salad

Ingredients
  • 4 bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups red or green grapes
  • 16 oz strawberries, hulled and cut into chunks
  • 15 oz can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 20 oz can pineapple chunks, drained
  • 21 oz can peach pie filling
  • whipped cream
Cooking Directions
  1. Combine all fruits along with pie filling gently in a large bowl.
  2. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
  3. Top individual portions with whipped cream. Store leftovers in the fridge.





Oh man, this was gone way too fast in this house!!


Here are some more of my favorite fruit recipes:














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Juicy Ranch Cheddar Burgers - with Perfect Peach Iced Tea!

June 17, 2015
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MeAndMyTea #CollectiveBias

These fresh ground beef burgers are mixed with ranch seasoning, shredded cheddar, and then topped with BBQ sauce - absolutely perfect with a cold glass of iced tea!





I really can't get enough of ice cold drinks right now. Paul and I have had arguments lately over the temperature of our air conditioner. This past week marked 5 months along with this newest little boy and my internal body temperature has decided to spike this week as well! I can't tell you how many times I've asked him to check if the air conditioner was even ON! 

It's honestly the other way around most of the time. I'm freezing with socks on and a blanket in the air conditioning and he's the one sweating to death. It's crazy what pregnancy does to you!





Really though, cold drinks, and I mean ICY cold drinks, are my lifeline right now. I usually start out the morning with my coffee (I NEED my caffeine fix in the morning, and my doctor agrees - ha), and then alternate the rest of the day between ice water and iced tea. I've become obsessed with Bigelow's Perfect Peach fresh brewed tea, poured over ice. They recommend you brew it hot, and then cool it down with ice or in the fridge, but I usually am too impatient for that. I just stick a tea bag into a glass of room temperature water, let it steep about twice as long, and then load it up with ice. Seriously, it's SO good on a hot day!





I cooked up these Juicy Cheddar Ranch Burgers to have with a fresh batch of iced tea - what a perfect summer dinner! The ranch flavor really pops in these burgers! Feel free to serve them with your favorite burger toppings like ketchup and mustard, instead of the BBQ sauce if you prefer. Our family could bathe in BBQ sauce, so you know that's what we had on our burgers!


Juicy Ranch Cheddar Burgers

Ingredients
  • 3 lbs ground beef
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix (dry)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 hamburger rolls
  • BBQ sauce/other burger toppings
Cooking Directions
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine ground beef, ranch mix, cheese, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well with hands.
  2. Form into six burger patties and grill until desired doneness.
  3. Serve with BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato, and any other preferred burger toppings.


I can't even begin to tell you how good these burgers were! Yum!





I've posted about my love for Bigelow tea before, and this is no exception! I love that they are a 100% American owned company and their products are easy to find at any local Walmart. At their Charleston Tea Plantation, they actually offer tours - on my bucket list for sure! 





They even support our troops by sending tea to them through their Tea for Troops program - such a honorable thing for a company to be a part of! Be sure to follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest for more updates!


Here are some more of my favorite grilling recipes:


Feta and Grilled Veggie Turkey Burgers




Grilled Lemon, Garlic, & Oregano Chicken




Grilled Citrus Herb Salmon







What are you favorite foods to have along with a glass of iced tea? Share it with me in the comments below - I'd love to hear from you!


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