Archive for October 2015

Peanut Butter Apple Crisp

October 29, 2015
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SpreadTheMagic #CollectiveBias

Thin sliced apples topped with slightly crunchy peanut butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter and baked in the oven - the perfect dessert topping to vanilla ice cream!





Tonight is Trick or Treat night here in our town and to say these boys are excited is the understatement of the year! I know, I know it's weird that Trick or Treating around here is not held on actual Halloween night. Believe me, I think it's weird, too! 





Apparently in our counties it's typically held the Thursday night before Halloween. Maybe to try and ward off crazy teens who would normally participate in mischief night? Who knows?! It's funny though, we live in the middle of farm country right now, but growing up in Philadelphia we ALWAYS Trick or Treated on Halloween, no matter what day of the week it was. And honestly, the worst thing I remember from mischief night were eggs thrown at car windows and on the sidewalks the next morning. There are actually grocery stores in our area now that are refusing to sell eggs to young adults now through the weekend. Ha!





I always like to have a special drink or dessert on hand to serve when our family comes over to see the kids in their costumes on Halloween. This Peanut Butter Apple Crisp is the perfect dessert! The sweet apples and spices combined with the slightly crunchy texture of Peter Pan Simply Ground Peanut Butter... oh, my, YUM! Make up a pan or two of it, have ice cream ready in the fridge, and guests can serve themselves when they're ready. Which will be in moments from them stepping in your house and smelling the peanut buttery goodness, I'm sure of it!




Peanut Butter Apple Crisp

Ingredients
  • 6 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup Peter Pan Simply Ground Peanut Butter
  • vanilla ice cream
Cooking Directions
  1. Spray the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish well. Spread apples in dish evenly.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. Blend in butter and peanut butter with a pastry blender or two knives until it's a streusel-like consistency. Sprinkle evenly over apples.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 - 45 minutes or until apples are tender.
  5. Allow to cool 15 minutes. Serve topped with vanilla ice cream.





Oh MAN I wish you could smell this right now - it's SO good!





I'm seriously in love with this new Peter Pan Simply Ground Peanut Butter - perfectly creamy with a bit of crunch. Absolutely perfect for baking or just dipping directly in the jar! And of course I love that there are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives - plus, no need to stir before eating! Of course it's perfect with classic PB&J as it won't tear the bread when spreading. Easy to find in the peanut butter aisle at Walmart, too!





What peanut butter flavor fits your personality? Take the fun quiz here and you'll also get a coupon and access to more peanut butter recipes! Click here for a direct link to the coupon as well.





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

Zesty Macaroni & Cheese

October 26, 2015
This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group®, Barilla®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #AnytimePasta http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

This super easy, stove-top mac & cheese has stewed tomatoes, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, taco seasoning, and sour cream. A quick weeknight dinner that's a instant family favorite!




We have a regular rotation of go-to, mindless dinners in this house: tacos, spaghetti and meat sauce, and macaroni and cheese. In case you were wondering, "mindless" dinners are meals that require no recipe or brain power to pull together in a pinch. 

If you've been a reader here for a while, you know how religiously I meal plan and encourage you all to do the same! But I will readily admit, there are those nights where you simply can't get the energy together to even pull up the recipe for the dinner you had planned. You need something that can come together quick with little thought and the whole family is happy and fed. 






This recipe is just a twist on my favorite simple macaroni and cheese. When I went food shopping this week at Giant Food Stores, I picked up my usual ingredients and then added some others to make it more of a different flavor. My kiddos just go insane any night I tell them we're having mac & cheese, and after having them taste test this new version, I'm thinking they're going to expect this one from now on! It combines some of our favorite zesty taco flavors with classic cheesy macaroni - it's really a perfect weeknight dinner!




Zesty Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients
  • 12 oz Barilla Pronto Elbows
  • 15 oz stewed tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 3/4 cup Monterey Jack shredded cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
Cooking Directions
  1. Cook Barilla Pronto Elbows according to package directions.
  2. When most of liquid has been absorbed, stir in remaining ingredients.
  3. Cook 5 minutes over medium heat or until heated through.





I'm not sure you can have a more simple mac & cheese, and this one is absolutely delicious!





I really love how quick Barilla Pronto pasta comes together at dinner time - plus no pre-boiling or draining means less dishes! In my area, Barilla Pronto is available at Giant Food Stores, Stop & Shop, and Martin's Food Markets. Barilla Pronto Pasta is also available through Peapod! Be sure to follow Barilla on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram for more yummy ideas. 


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Corn Off the Cob Soup

October 20, 2015
A simple and delicious soup that features fresh corn from the cob! This soup is a quick weeknight dinner year-round!




We have a serious addiction to soup in this family. I'm not even remotely kidding. Our two older boys are 6 and 4 and you should be here when I tell them we're having soup for dinner. It's like I said pizza with french fries and milkshakes or something! Ok, maybe not THAT enthusiastic, but definitely excited.

It doesn't even matter to them what kind of soup I'm planning on, I think they just automatically know it's going to be good and they're going to like whatever kind of soup it is. It's funny, one of the first days we had Reuben home with us I was really too tired to fix dinner. Paul was out of the house that night so it was just me and the three boys. I was clearly exhausted from the hospital stay and taking shifts with Paul at night with the baby that I decided canned chunky soup would be good enough for us that night for dinner. 





Some days you just need to open a can, pour it in a bowl, and microwave it - am I right?!

Well according to the boys, I was dead wrong.

The both of them turned their noses up at the canned soup - they were SO disappointed that it wasn't my usual homemade soup! Totally made me feel proud in one sense, but even more utterly exhausted in another sense because that meant I had to think up a different dinner for them that night!

This Corn Off the Cob Soup is absolutely perfect if you are a lucky duck and have tons of corn in your freezer to use up from this summer. Or if you're like me, you'll use fresh frozen corn and call it a day! The perfect soup for a chilly night!



Corn Off the Cob Soup

Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced small
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • salt & pepper
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat olive oil in a stock pot. Add onion and cook until tender.
  2. Add garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add in corn, potatoes, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  4. Add in milk and parsley and cook an additional 5 minutes until heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
*Recipe adapted from Gooseberry Patch Farmer's Market Favorites cookbook. (affiliate link)*





I made some jumbo refrigerated biscuits with this soup and it was the perfect bread to dip with - the boys loved doing that with their bowl of soup! This recipe is great with a cold glass of milk too, yum!







Here are some more of my favorite soup recipes:


Easy Weeknight Clam Chowder




Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup




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Crockpot Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

October 14, 2015
Frozen tater tots layered with bacon, cheddar, and chicken and slow cooked in your Crockpot! The perfect meal for a busy night - and everyone loves it!






Is there anything more comforting than a yummy, cheesy slow cooker dinner in the fall? I think not! Especially when it's a dinner like this one, just dump and go. My kind of recipe!

With a newborn at home and two very active little boys right now, I'm going to admit - we've been eating a lot of frozen food lately! Honestly, I'm perfectly ok with it. There are times in our lives that we literally just don't have the energy to think. This is one of those times for us, ha!





I remember when we had Silas and how much of a daze I was in those first few weeks with him home. Having a baby definitely changes everything, and it's no different with a 2nd or 3rd! I have to say though, Paul and I have quite a routine down after three babies and, while we are both really tired during the later afternoon and evening, we both manage to get a reasonable amount of sleep each night while taking care of Reuben. We trade shifts at night to make sure each of us gets at least a 4 hour straight block of sleep. Here's hoping that Reuben learns to sleep 6+ hours at 6 weeks old like his older brothers did!





Dinners like this Crockpot Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole are easy enough for new parents to throw together on little sleep - and the entire family goes crazy for it! 






Crockpot Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Casserole

Ingredients
  • 32 oz frozen tater tots
  • 2.8 oz jar real bacon pieces
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • Optional: sour cream or BBQ sauce
Cooking Directions
  1. Place half of tater tots in the bottom of a greased slow cooker. Sprinkle 1/3 bacon bits and 1/3 cheese over.
  2. Place chicken breasts on top. Sprinkle minced onion, garlic, another 1/3 bacon bits, and another 1/3 cheese over chicken.
  3. Top with remaining frozen tater tots, bacon bits, and cheese. Pour milk evenly over top.
  4. Cover and cook on high 3-4 hours or until chicken is done and cheese is melted. Serve warm with optional toppings.





This dinner is perfect with steamed veggies and a glass of milk. Yum!


Here are some more of my favorite Crockpot recipes:


Slow Cooker Breakfast Casserole




Crockpot Veggie Lasagna




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Halloween Poke Cake

October 9, 2015
Fudge marble cake mix, filled with orange jello and topped with chocolate frosting and spooky sprinkles - the perfect dessert cake to celebrate Halloween!






Oh this cake is just so fun! Don't the pictures just make you want to throw a Halloween party for the kids? The boys had an absolute blast helping me decorate this cake. If you notice, there's a plastic spider on the slices. Wanna take a guess as to who's decoration idea that was? Ha! In all honesty though, I love when the boys get involved.





I think the instant they saw the cake and the sprinkles, Silas mentioned the bag of fake spiders I had in a cabinet from last Halloween, and they both immediately set to work finding them. FYI - throughout the year I've been finding these random fake spiders all over the house. On my end table, under my couch cushion, in my bedroom... they are too funny. Of course I proceed to act like it scares the daylights out of me.






Which may or may not be an act. Ha!

This cake is not only fun to make for a Halloween party or just for the family at home, it is absolutely delicious! The homemade chocolate frosting goes perfectly with the orange jello throughout the cake. Be sure to keep it refrigerated!





Halloween Poke Cake

Ingredients
  • 1 box fudge marble cake mix (plus ingredients for cake on box)
  • 6 oz package orange jello mix
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/4 cup milk (plus more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Halloween sprinkles
Cooking Directions
  1. Prepare fudge marble cake mix in a 9 x 13 pan according to package directions. Cool completely.
  2. Using a straw or a wooden skewer, poke holes all over top of cake. In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to boiling. Stir in jello mix until dissolved. Stir in 1 cup cold water.
  3. Pour over cake in pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add powdered sugar, baking cocoa, milk, and vanilla. Beat well. Add additional milk by tablespoonfuls as needed for desired consistency.
  5. Spread over cooled cake. Decorate with sprinkles. *recipe adapted from Gooseberry Patch The Harvest Table (affiliate link).






Be sure to give the kids the job of decorating - you can't go wrong with holiday themed sprinkles!


Here are some more of my favorite fall treats:


Jack O' Lantern Yogurt Granola Parfaits




Spiderweb Cupcakes




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#Ad - Chicken Pesto Pasta

October 6, 2015
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EverydayEffortless #CollectiveBias

Chicken, pasta, pesto, Parmesan cheese, and ready in 10 minutes! The perfect quick dinner recipe for a busy night!






Oh how I LOVE dinners like this.

In my stage of life, I attempt to get to everything on my to-do list every day. Most days I get to about 30% of what I had planned, which isn't so bad I think. But right around dinner time - my brain is fried. Please tell me I'm not alone!





You know, that time of night. Everyone's hungry. Everyone's cranky because they're hungry. Especially me - I feel like at that time of night I need a sign around my neck telling people to just leave me alone for an hour! Some nights I just do not have the energy to get out a recipe and start chopping up tons of ingredients.

I need something quick, easy, and requires very little brain power.





This Chicken Pesto Pasta is just the thing for "those nights." Pulling this dinner together in less than 10 minutes gives me time to get my mind in order, start Silas on his homework, figure out what Wesley needs for preschool the next day, make sure the baby is fed and content... you get the idea. Family friendly ingredients, too - this would be a perfect dinner for those busy nights filled with after school activities as well!




Chicken Pesto Pasta

Ingredients
  • 12 oz Barilla Pronto Spaghetti
  • 2 cups Tyson Grilled & Ready Chicken Strips
  • 16 oz frozen steamable broccoli flowrets
  • 1/2 cup prepared pesto
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Cooking Directions
  1. Prepare spaghetti according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare chicken in the microwave according to package directions; set aside.
  3. Place frozen broccoli in microwave and cook according to package directions.
  4. When pasta is almost done, add pesto and chicken broth, stirring well. Add in chicken, cooked broccoli, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Serve hot with additional Parmesan cheese on top.





Oh man is this dinner yummy - and I love how the whole family leaves the table full. Amazing the crankiness disappears and The Hulk turns back into mommy again. It's a miracle! :)





I really love using shortcuts in the kitchen to save time at dinner. Tyson Grilled and Ready Chicken Breast Strips and Barilla Pronto Pasta from Walmart are the perfect solution! I love how the Tyson Grilled and Ready chicken is not breaded and provides much needed protein in my family's lunches and dinners. I like having a bag in the freezer at all times for us to make quick salads and wraps for lunch as well - it's really convenient. And I of course love that Barilla Pronto pasta is a one pot, no boil, no drain pasta that is ready in under 10 minutes. Less dishes is always a good thing! Check out more inspiration for #EverydayEffortless here!







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 and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EverydayEffortless #CollectiveBias

Autumn Maple Pecan Sticky Buns

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

These no-yeast sticky buns start with a can of crescent rolls, filled with pecans and cinnamon sugar, and then baked in a buttery maple syrup - the perfect fall breakfast treat!






If haven't heard, with THREE beautiful boys in this family, we are really big on holidays. And Halloween is one of them! Now that our newest member has arrived, we are all so excited to get these kids dressed up in their costumes and go trick-or-treating. I'm hoping the weather this year isn't too cold, because we have three superheroes who are ready to walk the neighborhood!





I usually like to keep a tradition of making a special breakfast on Halloween - something with a lot of fall flavor. This year Halloween is on a Saturday, but our town is celebrating trick-or-treat night on Thursday of that week, so I think we might do our special breakfast on Thursday instead. It's so fun to make a whole day celebration with little kids involved, am I right?





These Autumn Maple Pecan Sticky Buns are really perfect for a special Halloween, or even Thanksgiving breakfast! Who knew you could have delicious sticky buns at home in less than 30 minutes? Typical sticky buns take hours with their rise time - these are done super quick thanks to Pillsbury® Crescents





Autumn Maple Pecan Sticky Buns

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 8 oz can Pillsbury® Crescents
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup pecan chips
Cooking Directions
  1. In a small bowl, stir together butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and maple syrup. Pour into the bottom of a 9 x 9 inch baking dish, being sure the entire bottom is coated.
  2. Unroll crescents onto a greased cookie sheet and press perforations to seal, creating a dough rectangle.
  3. In another small bowl, stir together cinnamon and remaning brown sugar and sprinkle evenly over dough. Sprinkle pecan chips on top, gently pressing them into the dough.
  4. Roll dough over filling tightly, starting with the long side of the rectangle.
  5. Slice into 16 slices and place cut-side down in baking dish.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 13 - 16 minutes or until rolls are golden brown on top. Serve warm.





These sticky buns are absolutely perfect with some fruit and a coffee or juice for breakfast on a holiday morning! I really love that I can grab all the ingredients for these sticky buns on my weekly grocery trip to Walmart - so convenient for a busy work-at-home mom like me. What special holiday foodie tradition do you keep in your family? Leave your answer in the comments below!


Here are some more of my favorite fall breakfast recipes:


Pumpkin Cheesecake Coffee Cake




Spooky Cinnamon Sugar Biscuits




Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls




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