Archive for November 2015

Eggnog Frosted Sugar Cookie Cups

November 24, 2015
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills®. The opinions and text are all mine.

Classic sugar cookies baked in miniature muffin tins and topped with an eggnog cream cheese frosting and extra nutmeg - a wonderful sweet Christmas treat!

This morning we were all excited because it was Wesley's Thanksgiving program at his preschool! After seeing it, I sort of feel bad that last year I didn't research enough to find him a preschool for 3-year-olds. Silas had attended both 3-year-old and 4-year-old preschool in our old town, but that was partially because I was still working out of the home at the time.

Just seeing him in his Thanksgiving program made me get all choked up - I'm just so happy that he has this wonderful preschool so close! He played an American Indian who showed the pilgrims how to hunt... rabbits to be precise! He was so serious it was hilarious! And then when it was time to recite a few Thanksgiving poems and sing some songs with his teacher and the whole group, I think I saw his lips move once or twice.

He's so funny at this age around other people - especially an audience. The funny, mischevious side of Wesley leaves and the shy, kind of stoic one emerges!

After spending some time with our family, he helped me make these amazing Eggnog Frosted Sugar Cookie Cups as a treat. They were incredibly easy to make - especially because the recipe calls for Betty Crocker® Sugar Cookie Mix - you KNOW how much I love shortcuts like that!

Eggnog Frosted Sugar Cookie Cups

  • 17.5 oz pkg Betty Crocker® Sugar Cookie Mix pouch
  • 1 cup room temperature butter, divided
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons eggnog
  • nutmeg
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together cookie mix, 1/2 cup softened butter, egg, and water until a soft ball forms.
  2. Roll into one-tablespoonful balls and place in greased miniature muffin cups. Bake at 375 for 7 - 9 minutes or until edges are slightly browned.
  3. Remove from oven. While cookies are still warm, using a soda bottle cap or the bottom of a K-cup, lightly press an indentation on the tops of all the cookies. Allow to cool completely.
  4. For the frosting, beat remaining 1/2 cup butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
  5. Add in vanilla and powdered sugar. Add in eggnog.
  6. Pipe frosting onto sugar cookie cups and sprinkle with nutmeg. Refrigerate leftovers.

These make amazing appetizers for any holiday party you may be hosting this year!

I really love that Betty Crocker® Sugar Cookie and Peanut Butter Cookie mixes are so affordable and make baking so easy and simple, leaving me time to enjoy our favorite Thanksgiving and Christmas traditions with my family! 

I'd hate to be stuck spending hours in the kitchen when I can be making new memories with my kids this Christmas season. Plus, it's so each to just pick up a pouch or two in the baking aisle at Walmart so that you can Spread Cheer with Simple Surprises! Click here for a special coupon!

What recipes are you planning on using to spread cheer this holiday season? Leave your answer in the comments below!

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

Cranberry Apple Dump Cake

November 21, 2015
The classic "dump cake" recipe gets a festive holiday twist with fresh cranberries, chopped apples, pecans, and cake mix. The perfect Thanksgiving or Christmas dessert!

Back when we were dating, Paul and I went to church in Philadelphia. It was actually the first church we attended together and we loved the people there! It was tiny, literally in the middle of a block or row homes in the Port Richmond section of Northeast Philly. If you're familiar with the city, we would literally park our cars under I-95 on Sunday mornings! 

It was, and still is, a wonderful little church. Despite its size, there were TONS of activities to enjoy throughout the year, especially at Christmas time. And of course, the food was always amazing! Those ladies down there know how to cook!

One of the favorite desserts that would always be out on the potluck table was classic dump cake. It was Paul's FAVORITE, and that's saying something - he pretty much hates dessert unless it's ice cream or peanut butter flavored. So of course I had to get the recipe!

I think by now everyone knows and loves that classic recipe. This Cranberry Apple version? OH MY. It is easy, as usual, but perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It's so festive and I love the color, too!

yield: 12 servingsprint recipe

Cranberry Apple Dump Cake

A dessert recipe made with yellow cake mix, fresh apples, and cranberries.
prep time: 10 MINScook time: 35 MINStotal time: 45 mins


  • 12 oz fresh cranberries
  • 2 apples peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 15 oz box yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • whipped cream


  1. Spread cranberries, apples, and pecans in the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle sugar and cake mix on top.
  2. Drizzle melted butter over cake mix, being sure that as much cake mix as possible is moistened.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.
Created using The Recipes Generator

This cake is great warm or cooled, but you absolutely can't forget the whipped cream! Vanilla ice cream would be even better!

Here are some more of my favorite cranberry recipes:

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Holiday Party Meatballs

November 18, 2015
These meatballs are the perfect appetizer or main dish on hoagie rolls for all your guests this holiday season!

I'm not sure what it is about the holidays that gets me motivated to get in the kitchen and make a mess! Any other time of the year, I always hesitate to make certain dinners and desserts if I know I'll have to tear apart the whole kitchen to get it together. I think the flavor of the food trumps any kind of mess you could possibly make!

One of the traditional recipes we make this time of year is meatballs. My mom and grandmom have made homemade tomato sauce and from-scratch, not frozen meatballs every year for as long as I can remember. In fact, even though we all go to different churches on Christmas Eve and we live 20 - 30 minutes apart, we all manage to find time and eat a plate of meatballs or meatball sandwiches that night! We even usually leave a meatball sandwich along with Santa's cookies and milk for him as a snack. Santa always left crumbs on the plate, so I think he liked what we left! :)

I would say that when you're mixing these meatballs that you could use a large wooden spoon or spatula, but mixing these by hand is just the best way to incorporate all the ingredients throughout the meat. And you know what that means... MESS! I was talking with my mom about this and how gross and gunky the faucet always gets when she makes meatballs because of it caked all over her hands. 

I'm beyond the moon excited for our new Delta Touch20 Technology faucet specifically for making meatballs! When our hands are all messy, all you have to do is touch it with the back of your hand and the water turns on - no more gunky faucet. My new favorite kitchen gadget!

Make your own tomato sauce recipe, or use store bought jars (you'd need about 2 jars to cover this batch of meatballs) - whichever you prefer. These meatballs are honestly perfect for your next holiday get-together!

Holiday Party Meatballs

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • splash milk
  • prepared tomato sauce
Cooking Directions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Using your hands, combine ingredients.
  2. Add a splash of milk or two if needed to further moisten meat.
  3. Roll into 2 inch balls and place on cookie sheets. B
  4. ake at 350 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until browned. Transfer meatballs to prepared tomato sauce using a slotted spoon.

I love that it's already the time of year to start baking and making batches of these delish meatballs - yum!

I'm sure we'll all be making lots of messes in this kitchen this season, what messes will you be making? What holiday traditions will you be celebrating? Let me know in the comments, using the hashtag #HappiMess! As a leading faucet manufacturer for 60 years, Delta provides quality products and innovations for kitchens and bathrooms and they encourage everyone to get in the kitchen and make a mess - all a part of #DeltaLiving. To learn more about Delta's HappiMess Campaign, click 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!

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

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dip

November 17, 2015
Pumpkin puree, creamy peanut butter, brown sugar, and spices blend together for the perfect dip! Great with gingersnaps and apples!

I live with peanut butter obsessed individuals. I'm not even joking.

The other week I ran out of creamy peanut butter and the boys pretty much bugged me for DAYS to get it whenever I got to the store. Of course I kept forgetting because I'm a mom. I mean it's a miracle I remember my wallet half the time.

But in all honesty, they were distraught that they couldn't have their daily PB&J. Yes, daily. They usually have one when Silas gets home from school as a snack before they go out to play. And then about 2 hours later they eat dinner.

I'm going broke buying groceries, can you tell?!

Just last night I grabbed a can of spaghetti-o's with meatballs to make them for dinner, since what I made pretty much everyone hated. It happens. So I pulled out two bowls, divided the pasta among the two bowls, heated them, and gave them to the boys.

About 5 minutes later they were BOTH asking for more. Gah!!

This dip though was such a fun treat to give them for an afterschool snack. They normally love apple slices and peanut butter for a snack and this dip was just a surprise treat!

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Dip

  • 15 oz creamy peanut butter
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • gingersnaps and apple slices
Cooking Directions
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, blend together peanut butter, pumpkin, brown sugar, spices, and vanilla with a hand mixer until smooth. Serve with gingersnaps and apple slices. Store in refrigerator.

This dip was very good room temperature. If you chill in the fridge, allow 15 minutes for it to warm up to room temperature before serving. This makes a great appetizer for Thanksgiving or Christmas!

Here are some more of my favorite dips:

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Crockpot Triple Hot Chocolate

November 16, 2015
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SendHallmark #CollectiveBias

White chocolate, baking cocoa, semi sweet, and unsweetened chocolate slow cook in milk and sugar for this decadent, rich hot chocolate - perfect for any Christmas or holiday party!

Two years ago I had this brilliant idea. I was going to get a miniature Christmas tree, cute mini ornaments, lights, and a bright colored tree skirt, and set it up in the boys' room. At the time, Silas was in his bed, Wesley was still in his crib, and they had a large area in their room between the two to play. So that's just what I did.

Bought all of the adorable mini decorations and tree, including a small string of lights, and set it all up on a spare side table in their room. I left off the little ornaments to have them decorate it the way they wanted to. 

When I showed the boys, 4 and 2 at the time, they were BEYOND excited and got right to work decorating the tree. They were even more excited later that night when I told them that we could leave the lights on at night, kind of like a large night light. 

The next morning, it was trashed. I'm not even joking. About a quarter of the ornaments were still on the tree, the rest were strewn all throughout the room, even the star was missing - I don't think I ever found that one. Thank goodness I didn't buy special ornaments or anything! I'm not sure exactly what I was thinking, clearly they were too young for this kind of activity. I was just eager to start doing fun Christmas traditions with them!

Here we are two years later, and they are the PERFECT age for their own Christmas tree! At 6 and 4, they absolutely love their tree - though this time I set it up in a dark corner of a hallway, just in case Wesley gets any strange ideas!

I took them to Walmart to get the tree and trimmings, and we also stopped by the Hallmark Ornaments display and I let them each pick out a special ornament. My plan is to write their name, age, and year on the bottom of the ornament. Each year we'll be able to look back on who/what was their favorite character at that time in their childhood - I'm so excited for this!

I had this Crockpot Triple Hot Chocolate warming while we were out shopping for their tree. It was the absolute perfect drink to sip while decorating the Christmas tree - not super sweet or overly rich, but WAY better than the little instant packets you mix with water. You won't go back to those after you try this hot chocolate, I'm sure!

Crockpot Triple Hot Chocolate

  • 3 cups milk, divided
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 oz square bittersweet baking chocolate
  • 1 oz square white chocolate
  • whipped cream, mini chocolate chips
Cooking Directions
  1. Stir 1/2 cup milk, sugar, and baking cocoa together in the bottom of a slow cooker. Whisk until smooth.
  2. Whisk in remaining 2 1/2 cups milk and vanilla. Cover and cook on low for two hours.
  3. Add heavy cream, cover, and cook an additional 15 minutes.
  4. Remove cover and stir in bittersweet baking chocolate square and white chocolate square, stirring until both are melted.
  5. Divide among 4 mugs, top with whipped cream and miniature chocolate chips.

Oh man, this will get your entire family in the holiday spirit I'm sure!

Of course it's no surprise that when I asked Silas which ornament he wanted, he chose a Star Wars ornament. Personally, I think the R2D2 with reindeer antlers is hilarious and I'm glad he picked that one! Wesley has lately been obsessed with the Charlie Brown movies, and I love that he chose Snoopy this year. 

There are a lot more fun characters to choose from, including 16 Walmart exclusives, on the Hallmark Ornament display - there's even resin figurines, Holiday Barbie, new deco figurines, and more. And of course check out the Hallmark Greeting Cards at Walmart as well. These are perfect for gift-giving, too!

Here are some more of my favorite Christmas treats:

Chocolate Pudding Fudge

Chocolate Eggnog

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

White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

November 13, 2015

These chewy oatmeal cookies are filled with sweet white chocolate chips and tangy dried cranberries. The red and white, candy cane colors make these wonderful for Christmas gifts!

It is almost mid-way through November and Santa is about 95% done shopping for these three little boys. I am on the BALL this year! In all honesty, I knew I'd have little time to be running around to stores with the baby being born in October. I made a rough "wish list" of gifts I thought would be good for the boys and just starting checking them off the list when I found a fairly good deal online. I'm happy to say that, because I wasn't rushed to find gifts for them, they have a good mix of toys with their favorite characters, toys that are good for more than one use (building/creative play), clothing, books, and snow play items. 

I knew I needed to get the bulk of the shopping done early this year because last year I had little time left over to do my absolute favorite Christmas activity: BAKE!

I remember the year Paul and I were still newlyweds and I was pregnant with Silas. We had a tiny apartment kitchen and I had that oven running from the minute I got home from work in the afternoon, until bedtime. It was GLORIOUS! I had batches of chocolate chunk cookies, peanut butter cup cookies, iced pumpkin cookies... I even made a few batches of fudge that year.

I must have known that it would be a good 6 years before I'd be able to do that again. And guess what? My time has come! I'm going to be a baking fool this Christmas season and I'd love for you to come along for the ride!

I'm kicking it all off with these amazing White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies. I think what I love most about these cookies, besides the flavor of course, is the color - red & white candy cane colors! So festive for the season, I think!

White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
Cooking Directions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar. Add in eggs and vanilla, beating until well mixed.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to sugar mixture, beating well.
  3. Using a large spoon, gently stir in cranberries and white chocolate chips.
  4. Drop by rounded, heaping tablespoonfuls on parchment lined, or greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-13 minutes or until the edges are just starting to brown. Cool on wire racks.

I love cookies with oatmeal in them because I feel like it's ok to eat them with your coffee for breakfast. :)

I used Bob's Red Mill Organic Unbleached All Purpose White Flour for these amazing cooking. It's become a staple in my kitchen and is incredibly versatile for all of my baking plans. It's actually the same flour used by professional bakers and is able to create anything from well-textured breads to light and airy baked goods. It's just an amazing flour! Click here to grab a coupon for Bob's Red Mill!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.