Archive for April 2015

Crockpot Pizza Burgers

April 29, 2015
Ground beef slow cooks in pizza sauce and pepperoni for these awesome burgers that are ready when your busy family is for dinner!

Is there anything better than the first warm spring day where you can open up all the windows in the house and let the air breeze through?

I think not!

The weather around here seems to be a bit crazy with a few really chilly days and then the warmth comes back for a bit. I think I was in denial on the chilly days because I still insisted on not wearing a coat and throwing on my sandals when I had to go out. My toes were chilly, but I was happy to get them out and the open. I pretty much live in sandals in the summer time!

Thankfully we are in for a warm 10+ days around here. I have 12 tomato plants that I started in my windowsill that are just begging me to get them in the ground! We still have a few more weeks yet to wait until the last overnight freeze. Hopefully I can keep these buggers growing until then, say some prayers for me!

These Crockpot Pizza Burgers are good for both a busy weeknight and as a special weekend dinner. No need to heat up the oven, just throw these in the slow cooker and a few hours later dinner is smelling great through the house. If you freeze cooked ground beef, then you have one less step to take care of with this recipe!

Crockpot Pizza Burgers

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 (15 oz) jars pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup sliced pepperoni, cut in half
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8 slices mozzarella cheese
  • 8 rolls
Cooking Directions
  1. Brown and drain ground beef and place in the bottom of a slow cooker. Stir in pizza sauce and pepperoni. Heat on low for 3 hours. Sprinkle cheese and cook an additional 30 minutes or until cheese is melted. Spoon onto rolls and top with a slice of mozzarella cheese.

My boys are obsessed with pepperoni and cheese, so I served these with extra slices of both. They were quite happy!

Here are some more of my favorite burger recipes:

Crockpot Cheeseburgers

Quesadilla Burgers

Mozzarella Mushroom Burgers

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Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

April 21, 2015
Easy boxed cake mix with oatmeal, raspberry jam, and an icing drizzle. A great lunch box or after school snack!

We have a bunch a small road trips coming up this spring and summer. So naturally I'm on the hunt for great snacks I can make for us to take along in the car with us. 

This weekend we're traveling to celebrate the wedding of two of our closest friends - the boys are going to be ring bearers. Pray for me! In June we're heading "down the shore" for a week vacation with our whole family. And then in July we'll be staying at a local campground to celebrate Wesley's birthday. That's not including all the T-ball games and then soccer practices that start up mid-summer.

Needless to say, we'll be in the car a lot in the coming months!

We do enjoy eating out when we're away, and I want to leave time and opportunities for us to do that as well, but when we're in the car for a long drive... well, you know how it is. The kids are bored and the only thing that seems to appease them is food and their tablets!

I'm planning on stocking up a small cooler with random snacks I find at our local grocery outlet, juice pouches, cans of soda (for me and Paul), and a few homemade treats. These Raspberry Oatmeal Bars are perfect! Starting with a cake mix, they really can't be any easier to make and you can certainly change the flavor of the jam from raspberry to strawberry or even orange marmalade - whatever is your family's favorite!

Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

  • 15 oz box yellow cake mix
  • 2 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 12 oz jar raspberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 - 4 tablespoons milk
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry cake mix and oats. Stir in melted butter and mix until crumbly.
  2. Press half of mixture into the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together raspberry jam and water. Spread evenly over bottom layer of oatmeal mixture.
  3. Crumble remaining oatmeal mixture of the top, pressing down firmly over the top. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.
  4. When cool, stir together in a small bowl powdered sugar and milk, one tablespoon at a time, until you get a drizzle consistency. Drizzle icing evenly over bars. Allow icing to cool before slicing into bars.
  5. Serve immediately or wrap with plastic wrap in individual bars.

These bars are SO good and they're really easy and quick to whip up for an impromptu car trip!

Here are some more of my favorite road trip snacks:

Coconut Oil Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Trail Mix Cookies

Lunchbox Smores Bars

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Weeknight Chicken Fried Rice

April 14, 2015
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of AllWhites Egg Whites for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

This quick skillet meal is filled with chunks of chicken, brown rice, peas, red pepper, and packed with flavor. This healthy, high protein meal will be a winner with your family!

I have to be honest with you. Lately, we've been ordering out. Like A LOT of ordering out. Luckily my morning sickness (read: ALL DAY sickness) has been getting a bit better, but it's still been hard to actually smell food cooking - which is really difficult when you have a food blog to run!

I'm finding though that a few staples I can definitely handle: sandwiches, soups, baked potatoes, and rice all fit the bill. One night I literally just made myself some rice with soy sauce. Not the healthiest meal, but it worked for me!

With this Weeknight Chicken Fried Rice recipe in your back pocket, there is NO NEED to order takeout when you're in a pinch for dinner! Plus, this dinner is nutritious and high in protein - something I wouldn't mind at all serving my family. I used AllWhites Egg Whites in this dish to give it that classic fried rice egg texture. It's 100% liquid egg whites with no yolk, naturally fat-free and cholesterol free, and is a great healthy alternative to any recipe that calls for eggs. You can find it in the refrigerated dairy section of the supermarket, at my Walmart they were on the shelf right above the fresh eggs in cartons. I really like that it's a convenient source of protein that I can just keep in the fridge whenever needed - and 0 PointsPlus value on the Weight Watchers program! 

Weeknight Chicken Fried Rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup extra long grain brown rice (or use leftover cooked rice)
  • 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon Thai style chili sauce or Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 cup AllWhites Egg Whites
Cooking Directions
  1. Bring water and rice to a boil in 2-quart saucepan. Reduce heat to low. Cover saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Cook rice over low heat for 35 minutes or until rice is tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in small bowl stir together soy sauce, and chili sauce; set aside.
  3. Heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Cook chicken, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink.
  4. Add red bell pepper and green onion. Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  5. Add cooked rice and thawed peas. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in soy sauce mixture.
  6. With wooden spoon, push rice mixture to sides of skillet, making large hole in center of skillet for preparing egg. Pour AllWhites egg whites into center of skillet. As egg starts to set use wooden spoon or spatula to slowly stir egg until eggs are set. Stir rice mixture into egg. Serve immediately.

This is such an awesome dinner for a busy weeknight! Use leftover chicken and rice to cut even more corners if you're super low on time. I love dinners like this!

Be sure to visit AllWhites Egg Whites Favorites for more recipe ideas and of course follow AllWhites Egg Whites on Pinterest and AllWhites Egg Whites on Facebook as well! What kinds of recipes could you use AllWhites Egg Whites in as a more nutritious substitution? Leave your ideas in the comments below! Don't forget to enter this awesome giveaway for a whole month's worth of AllWhites Egg Whites coupons! Don't wait, giveaway closes next Saturday, April 18th and is open to all US residents 18 and over.

Here are some more of my favorite weeknight meals:

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Menu Plan Monday 4/13

April 13, 2015

Well hello there Menu Plan Monday strangers!!

No, I have definitely not forgotten about you. I'm finally in the 2nd trimester this week and I've definitely started to feel much better - thankfully! While I would love to incorporate much more fresh vegetables and salads into our, I still can't do veggies that aren't cooked to death. And, as much as I hate to admit it, coffee still tastes very weird to me. It stinks!

Anyway, spring appears to be in full swing here in Central Pennsylvania and I have two VERY HAPPY boys around here. T-ball practice has started for Silas and they are both enjoying running around and playing outside for hours at a time again. I have to admit, I like having a few minutes of peace and quiet in the house to {attempt} to get caught up on housework. 

This week I'm really trying to cook as much as possible at home. Actually I think that's my goal every week, haha!

Pesto Hoagie Melts

Stuffed Corn & Black Bean Quesadillas

Crockpot Cheeseburgers

Broccoli Cheddar Chowder

Ranch Pesto Rigatoni Bake

Slow Cooker Chunky Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce

Buffalo Ranch Potato Skins

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Cherry Buckle Cake

April 9, 2015
Just flour, sugar, milk, and canned cherries for this incredibly simple and classic cake!

I hope you and your families had a wonderfully fun and blessed Easter this past weekend! The boys enjoyed not one, not two, but THREE different Easter Egg hunts! One in our neighborhood, one after church service on Sunday, and one at Grandmom's house after dinner.

It's so funny, Wesley (3) had been talking about HOW EXCITED he was to do these egg hunts all week. He and Silas would both wake up each morning and ask me how many more days until the egg hunts. My mom actually took them to the first hunt, the one our neighborhood had for all the kids, because I needed to pick up Silas' T-ball uniform.

I was shocked to come home and discover they literally had a grand total of ONE egg between the two of them from the hunt!

It turns out, Wesley decided not to hunt for eggs at all - he wasn't too sure of the big rush of kids and decided to just watch. And the few that Silas managed to grab he "shared" with one of his classmates he saw there. Who took them home with the rest of her eggs.


They had fun, though - and they certainly made up for the amount of eggs with the other two hunts that's for sure! Even as they get older I still can't predict how they're going to react to certain situations. It sure keeps things interesting around here, ha!

They sure did get excited over this cake though! Of course they go crazy for anything cherry or cherry flavored, so I knew this one would be a hit. I really REALLY like how easy and quick this cake is to get in the oven - it is so perfect for last minute guests or pot lucks at church. Just a word of warning: it will look like a TON of liquid on top of the batter before you put it in the oven, that's the way it works don't worry! As the batter bakes it "buckles" around the cherries and the liquid and creates a very moist layer underneath. Yum!

Cherry Buckle Cake

  • 6 tablespoons butter, sliced
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 14.5 oz can red tart cherries, drained and juice reserved
Cooking Directions
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place sliced butter in the bottom of a square baking dish. Place dish into oven for 5-7 minutes until butter is melted.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder and milk. Top melted butter with batter spreading out as needed.
  3. Sprinkle cherries evenly over batter. Sprinkle 2/3 cup sugar over cherries.
  4. Pour reserved cherry juice over cake.
  5. Return to oven and bake for 50-60 minutes or until golden brown. Allow cake to cool 15 minutes before serving.

This cake is SO good with a scoop of vanilla ice cream while it's still warm. A perfect spring/summer dessert!

Here are some more of my favorite cherry desserts:

Cherry Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Cherry Chocolate Cake

Easy Cherry Pie Sugar Cookie Bars

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