Archive for 2017

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

December 29, 2017
These Peanut Butter Banana Muffins are the perfect low sugar breakfast or snack for your family! Make some for now, and freeze some for later!

Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

I hope all of you had an absolutely wonderful Christmas spending it with the ones you love! We had a great holiday, the best one yet, although I say that every year. 😉

While the boys have been off this week, and I include Paul in there because he's off for the semester, we've kept it pretty low-key around here. Yesterday we had some of their friends over from school to play and today we're going to a local trampoline park with my nephew. The rest of the week was spent playing with their new toys and enjoying some board games together during Reuben's nap time.

Yep, that's what low-key looks like in this family - HA!

banana peanut butter muffins

20+ Christmas Morning Breakfast Ideas

December 22, 2017
These 20+ Christmas Morning Breakfast Ideas will make the big day so special! These tried and true breakfast recipes are perfect for Christmas morning after unwrapping all those presents!

20+ Christmas Morning Breakfast Ideas

Yesterday in the car, Silas was trying to describe his excitement that Christmas morning is so soon. "On Christmas morning, I'm going to be as happy as a.... as happy as a...."

Then I chimed in, "As happy as a kid on Christmas morning?"


There's not much more happiness a kid can experience, then barreling down the stairs to see all those presents hiding underneath the Christmas tree. It's just so magical! As an adult, and a mom of 3 adorable little boys, there's so much happiness I've experienced. There's a special place in my heart, though, when I get to see their faces light up on Christmas morning. I'm positive I will greatly miss these days when they are older and some of the magic has gone!

As special and as happy as it is, Christmas morning is also CRAZY with kids! Here's a list of my favorite tried and true breakfasts that are easy to pull together and will make the day feel even more special!

Christmas Morning Pancakes

Christmas Morning Pancakes

Slow Cooker Biscuits and Gravy

Slow Cooker Biscuits and Gravy

Eggnog Coffee Cake

Eggnog Coffee Cake

English Muffin French Toast Sticks

English Muffin French Toast Sticks

Best Ever Mini Cheesecakes - VIDEO post

December 20, 2017
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy here.

THE BEST recipe ever for Mini Cheesecakes! My kids beg me to make these again and again!

Mini Cheesecake Recipe

Note from Kelly 12/20/17 - I'm reposting this amazing recipe and updating with a instructional video! These little cheesecakes are SO GOOD I hope you enjoy them, friends! :)

If you're reading this in your email, click "Read more" below to watch the video in your browser.

Maraschino Cherry Cookies

December 18, 2017
These Maraschino Cherry Cookies are so pretty and so yummy! Chopped maraschino cherries with shortbread cookie dough and miniature chocolate chips - these little cookies are addictive!

maraschino cherry cookies

So here we are, Christmas 2017 is in exactly one week - I can hardly believe it! I'm also quite proud of myself for not indulging in sweet treats nearly as much as I usually do this year. I've made some healthy and sugar free treats to grab for when I'm tempted. But I have three little boys who need cookies at Christmas - I mean, I just have to make a few batches for them - and for Santa, too. I've actually been making these Maraschino Cherry Cookies for a few years now and I can't believe it's been this long without sharing the recipe for these cookies with you!

The original recipe here on Taste of Home (one of my favorite recipe websites that I use for inspiration) was good, but it wasn't great. I really didn't like the huge chocolate kiss in the center of the cookie, mainly because the cherry shortbread cookie dough was SO GOOD on it's own. I wanted to downplay the chocolate a little and take the cherry part up a notch, and these amazing little cookies were born! 

maraschino cherry shortbread cookies

Slow Cooker Maple Ham and Sweet Potatoes - plus a $100 Gift Card GIVEAWAY!

December 14, 2017
This post is sponsored by Hatfield and SheKnows Media.

This recipe for Slow Cooker Maple Ham and Sweet Potatoes is incredibly easy and quick to prepare! Plus, the delicious ham and side-dish sweet potatoes all cook in the same Crockpot!

Slow Cooker Ham and Sweet Potatoes

I'm really not sure why, but I know we all stress out over preparing the main dish at a big gathering. Will it be done in time? Will it be hot when everyone's ready to eat? Will I even have the time to prepare the recipe in the middle of all the other tasks I have to do? I can report all these concerns because I've been there! It's definitely a lot of pressure cooking the main meal for a big family or friends get-together. 

slow cooker ham

Slow Cooker Raspberry Balsamic Meatballs

December 7, 2017
These Slow Cooker Raspberry Balsamic Meatballs are the perfect glazed meatballs for a party! Raspberry preserves, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and seasonings make the perfect bite-sized appetizer recipe!

Slow Cooker Raspberry Balsamic Meatballs

This recipe is sort of a twist on the classic grape jelly meatballs that everyone loves to make around the holidays for Christmas parties and New Year's parties. I've had those before and I definitely prefer this recipe below. The original is very sweet, but this one has a much deeper flavor which I think it due to the balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. It only leaves me with one question.

Who in the world thought this up in the first place?!

My recipe video is below. If you're reading this in your email, be sure to click "Read More" to view the video in your browser. Enjoy!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bon Bons

December 5, 2017
These Chocolate Peanut Butter Bon Bons are such a festive sweet treat! Peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and coconut coated in semi sweet chocolate. These are addictive!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bon Bons

In my family, you can't go wrong with anything chocolate and peanut butter related. Really, the only problem when I make treats like these are that I never make enough - even when I double or triple the batch! Not only are my boys (Paul included) obsessed with the chocolate-peanut butter flavor combination, the rest of my immediate family is as well.

Full disclosure here, I sincerely apologize, these photos are actually from last year!! I've made these things three years in a row and I'm only now getting around to blogging them. It was really funny, I had these on my shopping list and bought the ingredients for them. Then randomly, Silas had asked to watch the video from last year's Christmas morning. While I was searching for that video in my Google drive, these photos popped up. I literally do not even remember taking photos of them, but here they are!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bon Bons recipe

Paella Stuffed Peppers

December 4, 2017

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Vigo Foods for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

These Paella Stuffed Peppers are perfect for an easy weeknight meal! Shrimp and clams with yellow rice stuffed into red and green peppers - you really can't go wrong with this recipe!

Paella Stuffed Peppers

I always get so excited when I have a new variation of stuffed peppers to share with all of you. Stuffed green peppers are the perfect dinner for chilly nights this time of the year. Who am I kidding? Stuffed peppers are awesome ANY time of the year! 😄
Pretty soon in many parts of the country, including here in Pennsylvania, it will be just too cold to go outside and have fun with the family. We're forced to stay indoors and "hunker down" together. I know by the end of winter we all have cabin fever, but I really do cherish this time every year because we get to spend a lot of time together just enjoying each other. 

On super cold nights in the fall and winter, I love to plan comforting casseroles for dinner. We all sit around the dinner table chatting about our day while enjoying a delicious meal. And then afterwards we usually snuggle up on the couch under a few blankets and watch a movie or play a game. Sometimes I like to surprise the boys with some hot chocolate afterwards. It sounds wonderful, doesn't it?

seafood paella stuffed peppers recipe

I just get so passionate about sharing yummy dinner recipes like these Paella Stuffed Peppers because I want you around the dinner table with your family this season! I was inspired by Vigo's classic seafood paella recipe and decided to try it served in stuffed peppers for a fun twist. I can't even begin to describe what an amazing decision that was! 

Stuffed peppers are a classic win in my family, and stuffing them with our favorite weeknight paella just put this over the top. We are crazy for seafood and being able to enjoy yummy shrimp and clams in this dinner, during a busy weeknight on top of all the crazy schedules, made my family ecstatic! 

Yield: 8 servings

Paella Stuffed Peppers

These Paella Stuffed Peppers are perfect for an easy weeknight meal! Shrimp and clams with yellow rice stuffed into red and green peppers - you really can't go wrong with this recipe!
prep time: 35 MINScook time: 30 MINStotal time: 65 mins


  • 1 lb frozen shrimp, thawed
  • 10 oz can baby clams
  • 1/4 cup Vigo Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 16 oz package Vigo Yellow Rice
  • 8 medium bell peppers


  1. Place thawed shrimp in a large pot. Drain liquid from baby clams into a measuring cup. Add enough water until there is 4 1/2 cups of liquid total. Pour over shrimp.
  2. Bring to a boil. Add clams, olive oil, and yellow rice. Stir while boiling for one minute.
  3. Reduce heat to simmer, cover pot, and cook undisturbed for 20 - 25 minutes.
  4. Slice tops off of bell peppers, scoop out the seeds and the cores of the peppers, and place standing up in a baking dish. Evenly fill peppers with paella mixture. 
  5. Cover casserole with foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, allow peppers to rest 5 minutes, and serve.
Created using The Recipes Generator

seafood paella stuffed peppers

I love how this dinner is individually portioned as well! If you're making it for company, just double the recipe if you're expecting more than 8 people for dinner. The bright colors of this dish are wonderful this time of the year, too!

paella stuffed peppers with vigo yellow rice

I've been using Vigo Yellow Rice in my kitchen for a few years now and my kids and husband always get excited when they see what I have planned! The blend of seasonings in this rice is just delicious. It's a Spanish classic complete with saffron - one of the world's most expensive spices. Just to give you an idea, it takes 75,000 flowers to make just one lb of saffron! I just love how Vigo Yellow Rice can be made into a simple meal by just adding chicken, pork, or seafood - just like in these stuffed peppers. You simply can't be under 25 minutes from stove to table as well!

Vigo was founded in 1947 by Antonino Alessi, and his sons are the co-presidents of the company - Tony Alessi Jr. and Alfred Alessi. They are trademarked in 24 countries and offer 800 items under both the Vigo and subsidiary Alessi brand. Vigo products are available at your local supermarket or you can Shop Vigo’s online store. Vigo is giving away an absolutely beautiful gift box stuffed full of their wonderful products to one lucky Mostly Homemade Mom follower! The giveaway is open to all US residents 18 and older. The giveaway will run until December 20, 2017 - good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

seafood paella

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Creamy Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole

December 1, 2017
This Creamy Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole is comforting and delicious! Broccoli and cauliflower tossed with cream cheese and topped with bread crumbs!

Creamy Broccoli Cauliflower Casserole

Well foodie friends, I can't believe it's already December 1st! Our family has so many fun activities and gatherings planned in the next few weeks, I'm so excited! The Christmas season is just such a special time of the year and it makes me want to plan all sorts of outings to spend time with the amazing family of mine.

In just the next two weeks we have friends joining us for dinner, a cousins Christmas party, a craft night with my mom and sister, Christmas caroling with our cub scouts, a visit to our local Hans Herr House for some old fashioned Christmas activities... and that's only what I can remember without looking at our calendar! Again, just the next two weeks - HA!

This is the kind of busy stuff I LOVE, though. I'm happy to report that mostly all of my Christmas shopping is already done, and I feel relaxed to spend this much time with my family. I absolutely love this time of the year!

broccoli-cauliflower casserole

Slow Cooker Eggnog Hot Chocolate

November 30, 2017
This Slow Cooker Eggnog Hot Chocolate is super easy and great for Christmas parties! Eggnog, milk, chocolate syrup, vanilla, and nutmeg kept warm and ready for guests!

Slow Cooker Eggnog Hot Chocolate

I think eggnog is one of those seasonal flavors that you either love it or you hate it. In this family, we LOVE it! In fact, when I see eggnog flavored things in stores I have to physically restrain myself from buying it and trying it out! 

The recipe video is below, if you're reading this in my email newsletter, click "Read More" to view this in your browser.

Peppermint Patty Cookies

November 28, 2017
These Peppermint Patty Cookies are a MUST MAKE this Christmas season! Whole York Peppermint Patties pressed into chocolate cookie dough and dusted with powdered sugar!

Peppermint Patty Cookies

I am a HUGE chocolate mint fan. Actually, I remember as a kid having a hard time deciding between mint chocolate chip ice cream or chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream - and the mint chocolate chip won out most of the time! The cool refreshing mint combined with the smooth and sweet chocolate is just a match made in heaven if you ask me!

I read an article a while back that said if you're on a diet, it's better to choose something sweet with mint flavoring. Apparently, the mint flavor lingers in your mouth and causes you to not go for another "sweet treat" until the flavor has gone. It also said that people tend to not overindulge in mint-flavored treats and go for just one or two bites as opposed to other treats that are easily overeaten.

chocolate peppermint patty cookies

Umm... yeah. I don't know about you, but I could eat my body weight in mint chocolate sweets, that's for sure! 😂

These cookies are perfect - the chocolate cookie dough bakes thin to allow for the thicker peppermint patty candy to sit on top, but not overtake the whole treat. These would make a great gift as well!

Yield: 24 cookies

Peppermint Patty Cookies

These Peppermint Patty Cookies are a MUST MAKE this Christmas season! Whole York Peppermint Patties pressed into chocolate cookie dough and dusted with powdered sugar!
prep time: 20 MINScook time: 8 MINStotal time: 28 mins


  • 15 oz box devil's food cake mix
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 24 York Peppermint Patty candies


  1. In a large bowl, beat together cake mix, butter, water, and eggs until smooth.
  2. Roll tablespoonful cookie dough into balls and then into powdered sugar. Place onto lined cookie sheets and bake at 375 for 6 - 8 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and press a peppermint patty into the center of each cookie. Allow cookies to cool completely (place in the refrigerator to speed up cooling time).
Created using The Recipes Generator

york peppermint patty cookies

I kept these on a plate in our fridge and they were gone by the next day - that's how good these cookies are!! I'm planning on making a double batch of these and packaging them up in those cute cookie boxes they have at the dollar store for last-minute gifts. Yum!

peppermint pattie cookies

Easy Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

November 21, 2017
This EASY Thanksgiving Dinner Menu is a step by step guide on your feast cooking day - you DON'T want to miss these Thanksgiving recipes!

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

I'm assuming that since you've clicked through on this post that you're hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year. I'm so happy for you! Yes, yes I know it can be quite stressful with a mile-long to-do list. I can assure you that your efforts will be well worth it! Of course, I'm here to help make your cooking day go smoothly.

In this post you'll find a menu of the BEST Thanksgiving recipes here on Mostly Homemade Mom. Click on the titles of each and you'll be able to see the full recipe. A bit further down, you'll see a printable recipe card with instructions on the best order in which to prepare each dish. Let's get started with the menu!

Many people forget about making appetizers, don't make that mistake! When family & friends are busy snacking on delish apps, you're free to take your time preparing the feast. No one's begging to know when dinner will be done!
Creamy Shrimp Dip 
with assorted crackers

Spinach Dip Stuffed Mushrooms 

Main Dish
Super Moist Roast Turkey 
I used a large turkey breast in this recipe, but you can use the same simple seasoning mix and basting instructions with a full turkey as well. Just calculate 15 minutes roasting time per pound of turkey.
Store-bought rolls
Softened butter

Side Dishes
Homemade Creamed Corn in the Crockpot

Cheddar Spinach Mashed Potatoes

Layered Sweet Potato Casserole

Pre-made spring mix salad with various dressings

Sweet Potato (or Pumpkin) Streusel Pie

Cranberry Ambrosia Salad

Doesn't that sound absolutely delicious?! Even if you have a few picky eaters, I'm sure they'll find something on this menu that they'll enjoy.

I tried to incorporate recipes that are prepared ahead of time, along with recipes that are prepared the day of Thanksgiving. I also have a side dish (Creamed Corn) that is made in the slow cooker, which frees up the oven for the rest of the dishes. You'll find the links to each full recipe listed in the "Ingredients" section of the recipe card below. Feel free to print the recipe card, using the green button on the top right of the recipe card, to check off tasks as you go.

Yield: 8 - 10 servings

Easy Thanksgiving Dinner Menu

This EASY Thanksgiving Dinner Menu is a step by step guide on your feast cooking day - you DON'T want to miss these Thanksgiving recipes!


The day/night before Thanksgiving:
  1. Prepare Sweet Potato (or Pumpkin) Streusel Pie. While it is baking, prepare Cranberry Ambrosia Salad and refrigerate.
  2. Remove pie from oven to cool completely. Prepare Spinach Dip Stuffed Mushrooms and bake.
  3. While mushrooms are baking, prepare Creamy Shrimp Dip and refrigerate.
  4. Remove mushrooms from oven and cool completely. Cover tightly with foil and place in the refrigerator. The pie is fine to leave on the counter overnight, but you may refrigerate that as well if you'd like.
  5. BEFORE GOING TO BED: calculate how long your turkey will need to cook. It takes approx. 15 minutes per pound.  Give yourself an extra hour and subtract that from the time your family is arriving. WRITE THAT TIME DOWN! :)
Thanksgiving day prep:
  1. Prepare Super Moist Turkey Breast and get it into the oven at the time you calculated the night before. 
  2. Get the Homemade Creamed Corn ingredients in the Crockpot and set it to the "Keep Warm" function after it's done cooking.
  3. Take out appetizers (Creamy Shrimp Dip & Crackers / Spinach Dip Stuffed Mushrooms) to serve as family arrives. Mushrooms can be served hot or cold, you may warm them in the microwave if desired.
  4. Boil the sweet potatoes for the Layered Sweet Potato Casserole. While those potatoes are drained and cooling, boil the potatoes for the Cheddar Spinach Mashed Potatoes.
  5. Finish preparing Layered Sweet Potato Casserole up until baking it, cover it with foil, and have it wait on the counter until the turkey is done.
  6. Finish preparing Cheddar Spinach Mashed Potatoes. Place this is an oven-safe dish and cover with foil.
  7. When turkey tests done with a meat thermometer, remove from oven and tent with foil. Increase oven temp for Layered Sweet Potato Casserole and bake. Place Cheddar Spinach Mashed Potatoes in the oven during the last 15 minutes of the sweet potatoes baking time.
  8. Slice turkey and place on serving platter. Bring all side dishes, premade side salad, salad dressings, rolls, and softened butter to the table. Your feast has begun!
Created using The Recipes Generator

I know, I know - that looks like a BOAT LOAD of instructions, but I wanted to be detailed for you so that the prep goes as smoothly as possible! Really though, most of the stress is knowing when to make each dish and making sure the dinner is hot all at the same time. If you use my instructions above, it should go wonderfully!

From my family to yours, I hope you have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving! 

thanksgiving dinner menu ideas

Crockpot Roasted Sugared Pecans - VIDEO

November 16, 2017

Halved pecans tossed with butter, powdered sugar, and spices and slow cooked until glazed. These make wonderful Christmas gifts!

*Note from Kelly 11/16/17 - This post has been SUPER popular over the past two years! I've updated it with a recipe how-to video! If you're reading this in your email inbox, click "Read more" below to view the video in your browser. Enjoy! 😊

I have a minor problem buying holiday baking supplies.

Like two plastic tub container's worth of holiday baking and gift-giving supplies. I guess it's more like a major problem.

They're all just so darned adorable I can't resist! I walked into Big Lots the other day and this hits me right near the front door:

It seriously makes me want to try different treat recipes just to fit them into those little treat boxes and bags for little gifts! Honestly though, those square boxes are the perfect size for a batch of cookies or fudge. I usually make up a few for teachers and friends, plus I get to bake as much as I want! And the cellophane bags are great for little treats and presents for kids. It just makes gift-giving that much more festive and special this time of year!

If you're planning on making some gifts from this kitchen this year as well, it's really important to start thinking about your list now while all the ingredients and packaging is readily available. Start with a list of people, then figure out what favorite treats you'd like to make, and decide how many batches of each are necessary. If you want to try a new recipe this year, like these Crockpot Roasted Sugared Pecans, now is the time to do it!

These pecans are wonderfully glazed and spiced with cinnamon and allspice, and are really simple to make - in fact, this is a great gift for kids to make for their teachers. Your house will smell wonderful as well!

Yield: 6 servings

Crockpot Roasted Sugared Pecans

Halved pecans tossed with butter, powdered sugar, and spices and slow cooked until glazed. These make wonderful Christmas gifts!
prep time: 5 MINScook time: 3 hourtotal time: 3 hours and 5 mins


  • 1 lb pecan halves
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice


  1. Place pecan halves in the bottom of a slow cooker. Drizzle melted butter over pecans and stir to coat well.
  2. Add powdered sugar, cinnamon, and allspice. Stir well until all ingredients are incorporated.
  3. Leave the lid off and cook on high for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Spread pecans onto a lined cookie sheet to dry completely, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container or gift packaging.
Created using The Recipes Generator

I'll tell you though, it will be hard to not eat the whole batch of these before giving them away!

Here are some more of my favorite gifts-from-the-kitchen recipes:

Chocolate Almond Marbled Sugar Cookies

Christmas Oreo Fudge

Eggnog Cookies