Archive for December 2016

Italian Pork Chop Casserole

December 14, 2016
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Lipton. The opinions and text are all mine.

This Italian Pork Chop Casserole is the perfect one-dish dinner for your family! Pork chops, onion, mushrooms, and potato covered in tomato sauce and baked in the oven - wonderful with a refreshing pitcher of iced tea!

Italian Pork Chop Casserole

I know for myself, when the weather gets cooler, I can sometimes get "in a rut" with dinner ideas. I tend to gravitate toward the same few dinners that require little brain-power on my part to put together, and ones that I know the whole family will eat. Immediately what comes to mind is spaghetti, soup, and tacos. I will admit, at times we do get tired of the same things over and over!

Italian Pork Chop Casserole Recipe

This is exactly when I try reimagining some of our favorite flavors in new combinations - just to mix it up a bit. Nothing too crazy or wild, but a tad different to refresh those taste buds. Of course Italian flavors are one of my go-to dinners during the week. Pork chops, however, are not one of my usual dinners. My family absolutely loves pork, though - and I'm always looking for new ways to prepare it for them.

This Italian Pork Chop Casserole is one of the best recipe "mashups" I've come up with! That classic Italian tomato sauce flavor with garlic, onion, and mushrooms combined with savory pork chops and quartered potatoes - main dish and side dish in one!

Italian Baked Pork Chops

I served this amazing casserole with a refreshing pitcher of Lipton Cold Brew Iced Tea, put this recipe on your menu plan ASAP!

yield: 6 pork chopsprint recipe

Italian Pork Chop Casserole

Baked pork chops with onion, mushroom, tomato sauce, potatoes, and mozzarella cheese.
prep time: 10 MINScook time: 1 hourtotal time: 1 hours and 10 mins


  • 6 bone-in pork chops
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 4-6 potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Arrange pork chops in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with onion, mushrooms, and quartered potatoes.
  2. Pour tomato sauce evenly over casserole. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 375 for 45 minutes.
  3. Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese, and return to oven for an additional 15 minutes, or until internal temperature of pork chops reaches 145 degrees F.
  4. Allow casserole to rest 5 minutes before serving. Refrigerate leftovers.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Pork Chop Casserole

I wish you could reach through the screen and take a bite of these amazing pork chops and potatoes - the smell is incredible! Guaranteed to get your family running to the dinner table in no time.

Italian Pork Chop Casserole Dinner Idea

I really love how pairing iced tea with a lovely winter casserole like this one, makes such a great flavor profile! Rich tomato and savory pork flavors with a refreshing sip of Lipton Cold Brew Iced Tea - absolutely heavenly. For 2 quarts of iced tea, pour 8 cups of cool water over 2 tea bags, brew for 5 minutes dunking frequently, and sweeten to taste. Can't get any easier than that, I say! Click here to discover even more great meal ideas that are perfect for winter time and pair perfectly with iced tea. What recipe caught your eye? I'd love to hear how it turned out!

Italian Pork Chops

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


Christmas Monster Cookies

December 13, 2016
This recipe for Christmas Monster Cookies uses peanut butter cookie mix, sugar cookie mix, oats, and festive M&M's for a one-bowl batch of cookies baked up in no time!

Christmas Monster Cookies

I shared with you a version of these cookies back in August - Lunch Box Monster Cookies. And I remember thinking as I watched them disappear from the container within DAYS that these would make an awesome, super easy Christmas cookie with a few tweaks.

Sugar cookies and Christmas go together like peanut butter and chocolate, am I right?! I think everyone is searching for an awesome sugar cookie recipe this time of the year - check out my Cream Cheese Cutout Cookies post from last week for my favorite sugar cookie recipe. Though, I really wanted to come up with another, super festive cookie that is really simple for the kiddos to help with - or even bake it completely themselves. My middle little boy Wesley seems to be VERY interested in cooking these days and I *try* my best to have him help me with dinner a night or two each week. He's only 5 years old now so I don't trust him with the hot oven, but I can totally imagine in a few years just giving him the ingredients for these yummy monster cookies and having him make some great cookie gifts for his teachers. How fun!

Christmas Monster Cookie Recipe

I don't know what it is, but when Christmas time rolls around I suddenly want to buy all the red & green candies at the drugstore! I'm so tempted to snag festive bags of M&M's and Kisses - this is a great way to incorporate your favorite treats into a fun cookie!

yield: 5 dozen cookies (depending on cookie size)print recipe

Christmas Monster Cookies

A simple Christmas cookie recipe using peanut butter cookie mix, sugar cookie mix, oats, and M&M candies.
prep time: 10 MINScook time: 11 MINStotal time: 21 mins


  • 17 oz pkg sugar cookie mix pouch, dry
  • 17 oz pkg peanut butter cookie mix pouch, dry
  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups Christmas colored M&Ms


  1. In a large bowl, stir together cookie mixes and oats.
  2. Add in softened butter and eggs. Stir well with a large spoon until a thick dough forms.
  3. Fold in M&M's. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto lined cookie sheets. Flatten cookies slightly with the back of a drinking glass, if desired.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 11 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks and store in an airtight container.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Christmas Monster Cookies Recipe

How colorful and festive are these beauties? Keep them out on a cookie tray on your counter for crispy, crunchy cookies, or keep them in a sealed container to keep their chewy texture. These would be great in a cellophane bag with a few extra candies and a fun ribbon - makes a great teacher gift!

Christmas Recipe for Monster Cookies


Skinny Peppermint Mocha & Ninja Coffee Bar® System GIVEAWAY!

December 11, 2016
This post was created in partnership with Ninja Coffee Bar® System. I received complimentary products and compensation to facilitate my review, but all opinions within are my own.

This delicious Skinny Peppermint Mocha is the perfect drink to warm you up this Christmas season without the guilt! Both sugar free and low carb, it's the perfect winter peppermint coffee!

Skinny Peppermint Mocha

**Scroll down to enter the Ninja Coffee Bar® System giveaway at the end of the post!!**

Oh man do I love me some sweet treats during the Christmas season! Cookies, cakes, cupcakes, wassail, and my beloved coffee with special seasonal Christmas flavors. I love it all! My favorite flavors during the holidays are pumpkin, eggnog, and of course peppermint. I'm not a huge fan of just plain candy canes, oddly enough, but give a cookie or a hot drink a peppermint twist and I'm all in!

Skinny Peppermint Coffee

I'll tell you though, I'm really NOT a fan of how indulgent a lot of the treats are that I enjoy this time of the year. Even I will readily admit that after a while - my sweet tooth wears out. That and the fact that usually by December 26th my favorite jeans are too tight yet again! A lot of that is due to how many drive-through coffees I enjoy on my way out to holiday activities. Not to mention how expensive it can be to buy special coffee drinks like that! 

You can imagine my overwhelming delight upon opening my new Ninja Coffee Bar® System and realizing that I could make all those amazing hot drinks at home - yay!! It even has a built-in frother and a snap-in coffee scoop to "channel your inner barista" - this thing has been getting a workout in my kitchen, I can tell you! 

Skinny Peppermint Mocha for Ninja Coffee Bar

This recipe for Skinny Peppermint Mocha is my version of the popular drive-through drink so many of us love this time of the year. My version, though, is low-carb and sugar-free. Use your favorite sweetener to suit your own taste on this one!

yield: 1 coffee drinkprint recipe

Skinny Peppermint Mocha

A delicious coffee recipe with half and half cream, peppermint extract, rich brewed coffee, and a festive froth on top.


  • 3/4 cup half and half, divided
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 2 teaspoons stevia sweetener, or your favorite sweetener to taste
  • 9.5 oz brewed coffee
  • crushed sugar free peppermint candy canes, optional


  1. In the bottom of a mug, stir together 1/2 cup half and half, peppermint extract, and sweetener.
  2. Place 2-3 small scoops ground coffee in the mesh coffee filter of the Ninja Coffee Bar® System. Place mug on the cup platform, select "cup" on the dial, and press "classic brew." Or just pour brewed coffee over the peppermint half and half in the mug.
  3. Place remaining 1/4 cup half and half in a separate mug. Using the built-in frother, froth cream for 30-45 seconds. Scoop frothed cream over brewed coffee and sprinkle optional crushed candy canes over top before serving.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Skinny Peppermint Mocha Recipe

Totally feel free to adjust the amount of peppermint extract and sweetener to your personal liking in this recipe - I'm confident you'll be making this one again and again throughout the cold winter season!

Skinny Peppermint Mocha with Ninja Coffee Bar

I cannot even begin to tell you how EXCITED I am to give you my thoughts on this Ninja Coffee Bar® System! We actually used it for our daily coffees for the first few days, as well as some of the really tasty recipes that came with the box, before I created this yummy Skinny Peppermint Mocha. I can honestly say - I was ready to sell my former tried-and-true coffee pot with the first taste of this coffee! The Ninja Coffee Bar® System includes the described built-in hot and cold frother, six brew sizes (from small cup to full pot carafe), and five brew types. I can hardly wait to try my favorite iced coffees in this machine using the travel cup with straw - that's included as well! 

I've also been given a Ninja Coffee Bar® System to giveaway to one of you amazing Mostly Homemade Mom readers - what a Merry Christmas that would be, am I right?! Please read the following rules and click the box below to enter:
  • Giveaway runs now through Saturday, December 17, 2016.
  • Contest entrants are only eligible to win once per sweepstake, per household as a part of a campaign sponsored by Influence Central and must reside in the United States, 18 years and up.
  • Ninja Coffee Bar® System giveaway is the same product as the review product.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Peppermint Coffee Recipe

This post was created in partnership with Ninja Coffee Bar® System. I received complimentary products and compensation to facilitate my review, but all opinions within are my own.

Cream Cheese Cutout Cookies

December 8, 2016
This post may contain affiliate links, which are products that I recommend and if you purchase (no additional cost to you), I will earn a small percentage. Please read our disclosure policy here.

These Delicious Cream Cheese Cutout Cookies are not only beautiful for Christmas cookie trays, but a fun activity to do with the kids this Christmas season!

Cream Cheese Cookies

Ok, I'm going to level with you Moms & Dads - making Christmas cut out cookies with the kids is not for the faint of heart. You have to mental prepare yourself that it's just going to be messy and you'll be in the kitchen for a little while after wiping everything down, including the children. Any recipe where you have to chill, roll out dough, cut them out with cookie cutters, bake, cool, and then decorate is going to be way more involved than the typical "drop and bake" types of cookies. Don't say I didn't warn you ahead of time!

Cream Cheese Cutout Cookies

With that disclaimer out of the way - this is something you NEED to plan to do with the kiddos. Even those of you Grandparents who are reading right now - I'm telling you, it's a blast. When you just let go of the expectation that things need to stay clean, even for one afternoon in the kitchen, you allow yourself to just HAVE FUN with those adorable kids. 

I can honestly say I loved every minute making these cookies with Silas and Wesley last week, and I really look forward to making them when Reuben is old enough, too. I will say, there are definitely tips I can give you to make it go MUCH more smoothly:
  • Plan to make the dough the night before and refrigerate - not only makes the dough easier to roll, but it cuts down the amount of dishes needing to be washed at once
  • Use store-bought decorations (I like to buy these at after Christmas sales and store them)
  • Splurge on a good rolling pin, large cookie sheets, and baking mats (explained below)
  • Have clean tins or plastic containers ready for storing (if they last that long!)

Having the right equipment to make awesome cookies, takes a lot of the work and stress out of the activity - I promise you! I have a nice wooden rolling pin, similar to this brand. I've had silicone/plastic rolling pins before, but you really want the flour to stick to the rolling pin and there's nothing like the wooden ones for this task! 

Christmas cutout cookies

I will say though, my absolute favorite kitchen item for baking cookies are these Amazon Basics Silicone Baking Mats! Yes, they operate exactly like the name brand baking mats, only cheaper - plus they fit my oversized Nordic Ware cookie sheets perfectly. I can cram a LOT of cookies on these sheets - and they bake perfectly and evenly. One of my favorite things about them is that if any of those decorator sugar crystals fall onto the baking mat and melt during baking, they literally brush right off. Not that I really bother, because I usually just stick them in the dishwasher! Seriously, put these on your Christmas list this year - you're welcome!! :)

A photo posted by Kellene Miller (@mostlyhomemademom) on

If you're using colored sanding sugar or sprinkles, you'll want to decorate them before baking. Obviously if you're using icing, bake the cookies first and allow them to cool before decorating. If you're buying pre-made cookie icing, make sure it says somewhere on the package that it dries hard, like this set here by Wilton. That way they'll be stackable for storing and gift-giving.

yield: 2 - 3 dozen cookiesprint recipe

Cream Cheese Cutout Cookies

Cutout sugar cookies made with cream cheese in the dough, baked, and decorated according to various holidays and occasions.
prep time: 2 hour and 15 MINScook time: 7 MINStotal time: 2 hours and 22 mins


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for rolling
  • various cookie cutters, cookie icings, and decorations


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese. Add in sugar, salt egg and vanilla. Beat until creamy.
  2. Gradually add in flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Transfer dough to a zip-top bag or a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate 2 hours, or overnight.
  3. Remove dough from refrigerator, open bag or unseal container lid, and allow to warm on counter until easily pliable - about an hour, but this depends on how warm your kitchen is at the time.
  4. Divide the dough in half. Roll out half the dough on a well floured surface, using a well floured rolling pin, until about 1/8 inch thick - on the thicker side is better than too thin!
  5. Cut out cookies using various cookie cutters. Place on ungreased cookie sheets (non stick baking mats work great) and decorate with sugar or sprinkles if desired. Bake at 375 degrees for 7 - 9 minutes, or until just slightly brown on the edges.
  6. Tranfer to cooking racks and decorate with icing when completely cool.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Cream Cheese Cookie Recipe

I cannot stress to you enough how much fun my boys had making these cookies with me - they still talk about how much they enjoyed the time they spent with me and with each other. The cream cheese in these cookies give them such great shape that holds so well while baking! I've made cutout cookie recipes in the past that completely melted on the sheet while they baked - not cool! I stated this in the instructions above, but thicker cookies are definitely better than cookies that are too thin so don't worry about the rolling part so much. Just have fun and enjoy these delicious Christmas cookies!

Here are my product recommendations below through my affiliate link:

Sugar Cookies With Cream Cheese


Christmas Tree Rice Krispies Treats

December 6, 2016
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies®. As always, all opinions are my own.

These easy Christmas Tree Rice Krispies® Treats are adorable! It's easy to get the kids involved with simple treat triangles, icing, and decorations!

Christmas Tree Rice Krispie Treats

Every holiday season I do this to myself. I plan all sorts of fun activities that I'm super excited to experience with the kids, and we MAYBE get to actually doing around 20% of what I had planned. Please tell me I'm not alone in this struggle!

Let's see... this year, here's what I'd like to accomplish:
  • Christmas book advent activity - where we'd read a different Christmas story each night before Christmas
  • Visit Santa in downtown Philadelphia
  • Visit the holiday light show at our local amusement park
  • Smores and hot chocolate night around our backyard fire pit
  • Polar Express pajama party
  • Christmas Carols outing with our church
  • Participating in a live nativity
  • Some kind of Christmas handprint/footprint craft
  • Baking Christmas treats together

I know, I know, I'm crazy! I'd also be lying if I didn't tell you I'm sure I'm forgetting something on that list up there. I just get so caught up in the spirit of the season, I can't help it! Having young kids during Christmas makes it even more special, too. Their excitement just spills over into all of us. I love every minute of it and look forward to this time every year.

Christmas Rice Crispy Treats

One thing I can officially cross of that list is making Christmas treats together. No baking needed, though! These super easy Christmas Tree Rice Krispies Treats were such a great way to let them be creative in the kitchen - and they tasted amazing, too!

Just slice classic Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® Treats into long rectangles, and then into triangles:

Easy Christmas Tree Rice Krispie Treats

Then, press broken candy canes or short peppermint sticks into the backs of the triangles for "trunks." Use melted chocolate to secure them if they start slipping out.

Easy Christmas Rice Crispy Treats

Drizzle the trees with melted green icing and then decorate with sprinkles. Done!

Easy Christmas Rice Krispies

There's really no wrong way to decorate these trees - let your kids get carried away with their imagination on these treats!

yield: 16 treatsprint recipe

Christmas Tree Rice Krispies Treats

Classic Kellogg's® Rice Krispies® Treats cut into triangles and decorated with peppermint sticks, green icing, and decorations to make Christmas Trees.
prep time: 20 MINScook time: 10 MINStotal time: 30 mins


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 10 oz package marshmallows
  • 6 cups Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies®
  • broken candy canes or miniature peppermint sticks
  • 15 oz green frosting
  • Christmas sprinkles or other desired decorations
  • Optional: melted chocolate


  1. Melt butter over low heat in a large pot. Add in marshmallows and continue cooking until completely melted while stirring.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® until well coated.
  3. Press evenly into a well greased 9x13 baking dish. Allow treats to cool completely at room temperature.
  4. Cut treats into 2-inch-wide rectangles. Slice the rectangles into triangles.
  5. Gently press a peppermint stick or broken candy cane into the back of the treat as a "trunk." Drizzle with melted chocolate to secure better, if needed.
  6. Microwave frosting for 15 seconds. Drizzle over triangles and sprinkle with decorations. Serve immediately or package individually and refrigerate until ready to give to friends and family.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Christmas Rice Krispies

So happy to have my super talented helpers, Silas and Wesley, along with me as I was creating these treats. The first round I drizzled to show them, and then the second round they opted to spread as much icing on their treats as possible. Whatever works, right?! :)

Christmas Tree Rice Krispie Treats Recipe

Honestly just looking over at all the creative treats fellow bloggers have made, there are really endless possibilities with the classic Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® Treats. Next time, I plan on giving my kids the classic treats with various decorations and just seeing with they can come up with! Of course they're fun to eat, but they're also fun to spend time together and create. What a fun afternoon with my two best friends!

Christmas Treats for Kids

During the holiday season, for every photo of Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® Treats shared using #Treats4Toys, Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies® will donate a gift to Toys for Tots. What a great incentive to get in the kitchen with your family and make these amazing treats!
Do you plan on making special Christmas treats with your kids this year? Let me know in the comment section below! Be sure to follow #RiceKrispies on Pinterest for more adorable holiday ideas this season.


Jalapeno Popper Monkey Bread

December 1, 2016
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias

This Jalapeno Popper Monkey Bread is the perfect holiday party food recipe! Spicy jalapenos, cheddar cheese, and cream cheese along with biscuits - great to set out on an appetizer table!

Jalapeno Popper Monkey Bread

I'm always looking for great appetizer and snack recipes to make during the holidays and through the winter part of the year. Not only do we have several family gatherings and birthdays to celebrate during this time of the year, but of course it's Christmas time and we just like to all be together and spend time with one another. Many Sundays we venture over to my parents' house after church for the kids to play with my nephew, and just have a great time together. We pretty much have a holiday party on a weekly basis during December! It's just so fun to put together some great snacks that everyone enjoys and can grab a bite or two as we're having fun.

This will be one that you'll have a hard time keeping available though, I'm warning you!

Before I get to sharing this amazing recipe, be sure to enter the Viva La Morena® Sweepstakes for a chance to win some amazing prizes to help you Celebrate the Season!


Jalapeno Popper Monkey Bread Recipe

For holiday parties that we're invited to, though, I tend to usually bring some kind of sweet treat or baked good. As a Pastor's family, I have to tell you - we get TONS of delicious homemade treats every year. It is absolutely wonderful, and for the past two Christmas seasons the only things I baked myself were cut out sugar cookies - and that's only because they kids begged me to do it with them!

Recipe for Jalapeno Cheese Bread

Believe me, I am a baked good ADDICT, but there definitely comes a limit to even what I can enjoy. After a while, I love turning to savory and spicy flavors to mix it up a bit during the Christmas season, with all it's sweet flavors. I'm telling you, this Jalapeno Popper Monkey Bread hits all of those flavors - and then some! The heat from the jalapenos combined with the rolls and the gooey cream cheese totally remind me of traditional jalapeno poppers!

yield: 20 servingsprint recipe

Jalapeno Popper Monkey Bread

A savory monkey bread recipe using refrigerated biscuits, sliced jalapenos, cheddar cheese, and cream cheese.
prep time: 10 MINScook time: 30 MINStotal time: 40 mins


  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup La Morena® Sliced Jalapenos, drained and diced small
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 (16 oz) cans refrigerated jumbo biscuits, sliced into quarters
  • 8 oz cream cheese, cubed


  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir together butter, jalapenos, and cheddar. Add in quartered biscuit pieces and toss to coat well.
  2. Place half of dough into a greased Bundt pan. Sprinkle evenly with cubed cream cheese. Place remaining dough on top of cream cheese.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 35 minutes. Turn out onto a serving platter and allow bread to cool slightly before serving warm. Refrigerate leftovers.
Created using The Recipes Generator

This monkey bread is so addictive - be ready with a second batch of ingredients to throw together another bread when the first one disappears!

Jalapeno Popper Biscuit Monkey Bread

In this recipe, I used La Morena® Sliced Jalapenos (28 oz can) that I picked up during my last trip through Walmart. They were super easy to find in the "International Foods" aisle near the salsa. These jalapenos gave this appetizer just the right amount of heat that it needed. They were absolutely delicious! 

Jalapeno Popper Bread

I can trust La Morena® peppers for their high quality ingredients that I depend on to create yummy recipes for my friends and family this holiday season - and well into the New Year! Can you think of a tried-and-true recipe that could be refreshed to include La Morena® peppers? Leave your idea in the comment section below!

Jalapeno Popper Biscuit Monkey Bread Recipe