Archive for December 2015

Menu Plan Monday 8/11

December 29, 2015


Happy Monday! We had a crazy, fun weekend here at the Miller homestead. Plus we reached a new milestone - no more training wheels for Silas! He was such a champ and was good to go after only about 10 minutes of us coaching him through. He's growing up crazy fast these days. :)

Anyway, here's my attempt at a menu plan this week. We are going away to the mountains for a few days, so I'm hoping to go out to eat one night also. 


Waffle BLT with Fresh Herb Spread







Easy DIY Pizza Kit (they LOVED this haha!)







Out for dinner on vacation!






Creamy Ham & Noodle Casserole







Roasted Nacho Potatoes







Cheesy Stuffed Pepper Casserole







Crockpot Chicken Parmesan







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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies

December 21, 2015
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dunkin’ Donuts® . The opinions and text are all mine.

These chewy cookies have both chocolate and peanut butter chips and vanilla pudding mix in the batter!







Ok friends, we're a few days before Christmas here and a lot of us are beginning to kick it in to high gear, am I right?! Here's my list to take care of before Christmas morning:

  • Get the cards in the mailbox.
  • Get to the dollar store to buy gift bags. There's never enough gift bags.
  • Go grocery shopping. Because apparently they still need to eat even though I have a billion things to do!
  • Finish wrapping.
  • Get teacher gifts together.
  • Make sure nice clothes are ready for Christmas Eve church service.
  • Decide what I'm making for breakfast Christmas morning. Make list and go buy ingredients.
  • Finish baking as many cookies as possible between now and Thursday!

I'm sure I'm forgetting a few things, but those are the main concerns on my mind right now! 





I feel like no matter how hard any of us plan, there will always things left to the last minute Christmas scramble. This super easy teacher gift will hopefully help put your mind at east figuring out what to give those teachers, or neighbors, this year! Cookies and coffee are a classic combination and, as a former teacher, a gift I would have loved to receive! 





Stack some of these Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies, along with a few Dunkin' Donuts® K-Cup® Pods, in a cute gift bag and you're all set. I like to add a gift card as well to just go a bit extra in letting our kids' teachers know how appreciated they are, especially this time of year. 


Chocolate Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies

Ingredients
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3.4 oz instant vanilla pudding mix (dry)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 package chocolate & peanut butter chips
Cooking Directions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars.
  2. Add in dry pudding mix, eggs, and vanilla extract, mixing until well combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together flour and baking soda. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture. Stir in chips.
  4. Bake rounded tablespoonfuls at 350 degrees for 10 - 12 minutes or until edges are just beginning to turn golden brown. Cool completely on wire racks.





The pudding mix in the batter keeps these cookies chewy and gives it a really wonderful flavor - one of our favorites to make this time of year for sure!





Walmart carries a variety of roasts, flavors, and seasonal items - and right now there's a $1.00 off via Ibotta on Dunkin' Donuts® Coffee exclusively at Walmart - love it! I picked up Original Blend and French Vanilla K-Cup® Pods for these adorable gifts, but they also have yummy seasonal Pumpkin Spice and White Chocolate Peppermint available. 





What cookie recipe would you pair with Dunkin' Donuts® Coffee for a great gift idea? Let me know in the comment section below!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Dunkin’ Donuts® . The opinions and text are all mine.


Breaded Ranch Pork Chops - VIDEO

December 17, 2015
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Progresso™ The opinions and text are all mine.

Play the new video below to see how to make my Breaded Ranch Pork Chops recipe in action - it's so easy!


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Juicy, baked pork chops coated in ranch dressing, Italian bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese. A quick & easy comfort-food dinner!





I feel like everytime I make pork chops everyone tells me how I need to make them more. And I have to say, I totally agree with them! I'm just so used to grabbing ground beef or chicken during my usual grocery trip that I just forget about pork a lot of the time. 

If you ask the boys, though, it's all chicken to them. I'm so serious! Both of them commented, after having taken a bite, how good the chicken was. And then they laughed when we told them it wasn't chicken. I guess they're learn eventually!





I think the reason I stray away from pork is because I always remember my mom cooking them in a skillet on the stove growing up. And I HATE frying anything. I can't stand the splatter and the fact that I have to babysit the stove top. I mean really, I don't have time for that!

I can tell you for certain though, baked pork chops turn out just as flavorful and WAY juicier - if you haven't cooked pork chops that way, you simply have to! Of course pork chops dipped in ranch dressing, Italian bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese pretty much guarantees a winner dinner!





Breaded Ranch Pork Chops

Ingredients
Cooking Directions
  1. Remove pork chops from packaging, pat dry, and set aside.
  2. Place ranch dressing in a shallow bowl. Combine bread crumbs and Parmesan in a second shallow bowl.
  3. Dip each chop in ranch dressing, then in bread crumb mixture, and then into the bottom of a greased baking dish (I used two to give them room around each chop to cook evenly).
  4. Bake at 425 for 25-35 minutes or until internal temperature reads 145 degrees. Allow to sit 5 minutes before serving.
The tangy ranch dressing combined with the breading is just fantastic in this dinner!





Progresso Bread Crumbs are a serious staple in my kitchen pantry, for sure. Between meatballs, chicken Parmesan, and these amazing Breaded Ranch Pork Chops, I'm always finding reasons to incorporate this versatile ingredient! Plus, it saves me valuable time in the kitchen - which we ALL know is a huge priority in my house! I was able to locate Progresso Bread Crumbs in the baking and flour aisle at my local Walmart. 





What is your favorite recipe using bread crumbs? Share it with us in the comments below!






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


Bean Dip Bites

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

Refried beans, salsa, and taco seasoning stuffed in baked wonton wrappers and topped with cheese - these are the perfect appetizer!






Recently, appetizers have been one of my favorite types of food to try out and create! From Thanksgiving through Christmas and into New Year's, we just have so many parties and get-togethers planned. Our usual appetizer spread is cheese and crackers, bacon dip and pretzels, garlic dip and pretzels... and that's about it. Pretty sad, I think!






Our family really likes dips, as you can tell, and we devour bean dip as soon as it's put in front of us. Bean dip, though, is one of those recipes that I feel like we never make the same way twice! Over the years, I've made it and my sister has made it - and they were both really good - I just couldn't tell you how it came together exactly! 






I think it's just that we're usually so preoccupied with the main dinner, that appetizers get pushed to the side. At least the appetizers that take a bit more preparation than just mixing the dip and sitting it out. I'm realizing though, as I try some new ones out to possibly share with all of you, with even just a bit more effort "Yes You CAN" make amazingly delicious apps that will be the hit of the party!

These Bean Dip Bites are exactly that - everyone's favorite party bean dip in miniature bite form! Feel free to offer various toppings for your guests: sour cream, green onion, and hot sauce are some great ideas.




Bean Dip Bites

Ingredients
  • 24 won ton wrappers
  • 1 cup Rosarita refried beans
  • 1/3 cup chunky salsa
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • optional toppings: green onion, hot sauce, sour cream, etc.
Cooking Directions
  1. Spray a miniature muffin pan generously with PAM. Gently press wonton wrappers into muffin cups, folding edges as needed to fit into cups.
  2. Bake at 350 for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together refried beans, salsa, and taco seasoning. Fill pre-baked won tons evenly with bean mixture. Bake an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle cheese over cups and bake an additional 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve with toppings.





I think the fun edges of the won ton wrappers make these appetizers look like they're ready to party - so much fun!






I was able to pick up Rosarita and PAM during my last trip to Walmart. Along with green onions from the fresh produce department and won ton wrappers - you can find them in the produce department as well. 





Not only are these products great for appetizer ideas, but they're also perfect for incorporating into your holiday main dishes as well!





What do you plan on making next with Rosarita refried beans? Leave your ideas in the comments section below!


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. #YesYouCAN #CollectiveBias

Smoked Sweet Kielbasa Bites - VIDEO

December 15, 2015
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of AMP Agency. The opinions and text are all mine.


Play the new video below to see how to make my Smoked Sweet Kielbasa Bites recipe in action - it's so easy!




Sliced smoked kielbasa sausage glazed with ginger ale, brown sugar, and barbecue sauce. The perfect appetizer for Christmas, New Year's, or just at home with the family!






I love Christmas. I love the decorating, baking, picking out presents, wrapping, and dressing up. I love how cozy and full our house looks with all the decorations. I love how just a simple drive to the store at night becomes a magical trip with all the Christmas lights that the kids spot along the way. I think most of all, I love how even regular activities seem so much more special at Christmas time!

A simple movie night at home can be a special, even for the kiddos, with just a few easy tweaks. I really like surprising them with a bunch of fun snacks, drinks, and renting a movie they've been begging to see. Here are some ideas to make it even more special:

  • have a spread of appetizers and snacks for dinner that night
  • tie shiny ribbon on glasses
  • serve Cananda Dry® Ginger Ale or A&W® Root Beer to make the kids feel like they're having "grown up" drinks
  • bring blankets and pillows into the TV room for maximum comfiness
  • turn off all the lights except the Christmas lights for a true "movie theater" atmosphere
  • PJ's and slippers mandatory attire!
  • phones and tablets away for the night (that means you too, Mom & Dad!)





Just a few simple touches can make a boring weeknight into something special and memorable for the whole family. I really enjoy being able to give the kids some fun memories of Christmas!

These Smoked Sweet Kielbasa Bites are a perfect appetizer idea for a quiet movie night at home, or any holiday party you may be hosting this year! Four ingredients and some bake time are all you need to prepare these addictive sausage bites - and I do mean ADDICTIVE! These little guys will be gone the minute you put them down!


Smoked Sweet Kielbasa Bites

Ingredients
  • 14 oz kielbasa sausage, sliced
  • 3/4 cup Canada Dry® Ginger Ale
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
Cooking Directions
  1. Place sliced sausage in the bottom of a square baking dish.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Pour over sausage in dish.
  3. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Allow to cool slightly before serving.





My family gobbled these yummy bites right up!




I was able to pick up 2 liters of Canada Dry® at Walmart for only $1.00 and when you purchase (10) 2 liters, or (5) 0.5 liter 6-packs during the month of December, you'll receive a $5.00 VUDU credit towards your next family movie night! 





Also included are A&W®, 7UP®, Sunkist®, SUN DROP®, RC Cola®, and Squirt®. It's a great way to stock up on soda for the holidays and buy in bulk. Plus, it's really quick and easy to redeem as well, just click here with your receipt ready






What are some ways you make a holiday movie night at home more special? Let me know in the comments!



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


Cheeseburger & Fries Casserole

December 13, 2015
This dinner is pure comfort food! Ground beef, cheddar cheese soup, topped with crinkle-cut french fries and cheese - this one will have the kids coming back for more!






Frozen, crinkle-cut french fries and definitely a food that makes me think of my childhood. And for good reason - we LOVED those as kids! My mom would always give us a handful on our plates as a side dish to whatever we were having that night and of course after we were done eating, we would find our way back to the stove to snack on the extras left on the foil-lined cookie sheet. 

Then when I became a teacher, I swear they served frozen french fries at least once each week. It got to the point where I was really REALLY sick of them and, unfortunately for my kiddos, I still rarely make them here at home - opting usually for homemade potato wedges instead. Sorry boys!





Silas and Wesley basically cheered and did a happy dance in the kitchen when I told them we were having "fries" for dinner. Of course, it was in this casserole! This one is pure comfort food and I would definitely suggest a side salad or roasted or steamed veggies as a side dish. I served this with some garlic roasted green beans and it was fabulous. The family will love you for this one!





Cheeseburger & Fries Casserole

Ingredients
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dried, minced onion
  • 2 (10.75 oz) cans cheddar cheese soup
  • 20 oz frozen, crinkle-cut french fries
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • burger toppings: ketchup, mustard, Sriracha, etc.
Cooking Directions
  1. Brown and drain ground beef in deep skillet. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and dried, minced onion.
  2. Transfer beef to a 9 x 13 baking dish. Spread cheddar cheese soup, as evenly as possible, over beef.
  3. Top with frozen fries. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake an additional 5 - 10 minutes until cheese is melted and fries are golden brown. Serve drizzled with desired burger toppings.





This is such a fun dinner to try and very filling for the whole family!


Here are some more of my favorite casseroles:











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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