Archive for August 2017

Pumpkin Biscotti

August 31, 2017
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of De'Longhi. The opinions and text are all mine.

This Pumpkin Biscotti is perfect with your morning coffee! Super easy to mix up and bake - be ready to make a batch to give away!

pumpkin biscotti

Well folks, it's here. The first pumpkin recipe of the season - waahoo!! Those of you who have been a follower of Mostly Homemade Mom for even a little while know how excited this makes me! In fact just yesterday when I was out shopping, I picked up a pair of fall mums that are just beginning to bloom. It's by far my favorite time of the year!

pumpkin biscotti recipe

Chicken Cacciatore Stew

August 28, 2017
Barilla sponsored this post, but the opinions are my own.

This Chicken Cacciatore Stew is perfect for busy weeknights! Sauteed chicken with tomatoes, zucchini, sauce, and rotini make this a fun dinner for kids, too!

Chicken Cacciatore Stew

Busy weeknights during the school year can be ROUGH in this house! I've tried and failed to figure out exactly what triggers all of us into being really snippy at each other during this time of day. I honestly think it's a huge combination of a number of factors. The kids are tired from a full day at school, I'm tired from a full day of working at home and taking care of toddler Reuben, Paul is tired from a full day of work at the church, and to top it off - we're all getting hungry. It's really a recipe for disaster, if I'm being honest!

Luckily, the boys don't get much in the way of homework - so at least that one less challenge that we have to deal with on a nightly basis. I'm pretty much always on the lookout for simple, easy dinners that incorporate some great grains, proteins, and veggies in a really tasty way. My kids really loved this Chicken Cacciatore Stew, specifically for the rotini pasta. They love the swirls - it's their favorite!

chicken cacciatore soup

This easy dinner was perfect all on its own, but you can certainly top it off with a little grated parmesan cheese and some fresh basil to complement the flavors of the sauce. I really love how filling this meal was, and we were able to pack four plastic containers of leftovers for us to grab quick on the way out the door in the morning for lunch. Sure beats a lunchmeat sandwich during the work week!

Yield: 8 servings

Chicken Cacciatore Stew

This Chicken Cacciatore Stew is perfect for busy weeknights! Sauteed chicken with tomatoes, zucchini, sauce, and rotini make this a fun dinner for kids, too!
prep time: 15 MINScook time: 35 MINStotal time: 50 mins


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 32 oz chicken broth, divided
  • 24 oz Barilla Tomato Basil Sauce
  • 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups Barilla Rotini Pasta, uncooked


  1. Heat olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat. Add chicken pieces and saute until almost cooked through.
  2. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add in 3 cups chicken broth, sauce, tomatoes, zucchini, and mushrooms. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.
  3. Stir in remaining 1 cup broth and uncooked rotini. Cook for 7 - 9 minutes or until pasta is done. Allow stew to cool slightly before serving.
Created using The Recipes Generator

chicken cacciatore soup recipe

This stew is really a great way to get your family eating some vegetables in a new and delicious way - the zucchini really soaks up the wonderful flavor of the sauce. You really need to put this Chicken Cacciatore Stew on your menu plan soon, I'm sure your family will go crazy for it just like my family did!

chicken cacciatore stew with barilla

I love being able to pick up our favorite Barilla Tomato Basil Sauce and Rotini during my regular grocery trip through Walmart during the week. Their Tomato Basil Sauce has simple ingredients, no preservatives, and is gluten free. Barilla Rotini Pasta has a lower glycemic index, which keeps you fuller longer, and is made with non-GMO ingredients. Barilla has again partnered with the No Kid Hungry organization this year! For every box of Barilla Blue Pasta purchased at Walmart from 8/10/17 - 10/31/17, Barilla will donate $1, up to $50,000. That's enough to provide a meal for 500,000 kids in need. Such an awesome organization and company that I am proud to promote here on Mostly Homemade Mom! Click here to learn more about No Kid Hungry.

chicken cacciatore-recipe

Apple Pie Monkey Bread

August 23, 2017
This Apple Pie Monkey Bread is so gooey and sweet! Refrigerated biscuits tossed with sugar, cinnamon, and chopped apples make this a perfect fall brunch or dessert recipe!

Apple Pie Monkey Bread

In our area, apple season is in full swing! I think I received at least two different emails from area orchards outlining their apple picking dates and times - I can't wait to take the boys apple picking this year! Our favorite apple orchard actually has all sorts of fall activities for kids. Of course the apple picking is the main event, but they also have a corn maze, story time, a petting zoo, a playground, and there's always something new they do every year as well. I think we're planning on a trip next weekend - I can't wait!

Everyone in my family knows that apples are MY FAVORITE. When we go out to a restaurant, if there's an apple dessert, I'm ordering it - no questions asked. Dare I say it - I think I love apple more than pumpkin! Even if it is just slightly more. ;)

Apple Pie Monkey Bread recipe

Even better than apple flavored desserts for me are APPLE PIE flavored desserts! Classic "monkey bread" is a cake made up of chopped canned biscuits that are tossed in a cinnamon sugar mixture. The result is a kind of "pull apart" biscuit cake. This Apple Pie Monkey Bread is tossed with cinnamon, sugar, loads of chopped apples, and topped with melted butter. After you invert this onto a serving plate, you're left with an ooey gooey, butter, caramel-y glaze that is absolutely outstanding! You can't go wrong with this easy cake!

Yield: 8 servings

Apple Pie Monkey Bread

This Apple Pie Monkey Bread is so gooey and sweet! Refrigerated biscuits tossed with sugar, cinnamon, and chopped apples make this a perfect fall brunch or dessert recipe!
prep time: 15 MINScook time: 25 MINStotal time: 40 mins


  • 3 (8 oz) tubes refrigerated biscuits
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup butter


  1. Remove biscuits from tubes and cut each biscuit into quarters. Place sugar and apple pie spice in a large, plastic zip top bag.
  2. Working in batches, place a few quartered biscuits into the bag and shake to coat. Remove biscuits from bag and place into a large mixing bowl. Repeat until all biscuits have been coated in the sugar mixture.
  3. Add in diced apples to the mixing bowl and stir gently to incorporate apples evenly into the mix. Transfer mixture to a well greased bundt pan. Pour melted butter over top.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 - 30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then loosen sides of cake and invert onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Created using The Recipes Generator

apple monkey bread

This is such a great treat to make after an apple picking outing with your family! Be sure to put this sweet treat on your list - I'm sure your family will go nuts for it! What other recipes do you like to make with a load of apples? Leave your ideas in the comment section below - I'd love to hear from you! Happy apple season, friends!

Apple Pie Monkey Bread

Slow Cooker Beef Ribs

August 18, 2017
Kraft Heinz sponsored this post, but the opinions are my own.

These Slow Cooker Beef Ribs are absolutely mouthwatering! Beef short ribs in a homemade BBQ sauce and cooked in the Crockpot - the meat will be falling off the bone!

Slow Cooker Beef Ribs

We had such a crazy and fun summer this year with our three active little boys! Lots of play dates, water park fun, digging in the dirt, and spontaneous trips to get ice cream and milkshakes. I tried to keep the kids to a loose schedule during the day as much as possible, but we all know how that goes in the summertime. Each day is a new adventure and these boys are ready!

I'm, however, ready for Labor Day to be here finally! This past week we enjoyed some unseasonably cooler weather in the mid-70's. While taking a drive around our area with the windows down, it really made me ready for Labor Day because around here that signals the beginning of the fall season. Roadside stands become filled with fall colored mums, pumpkins, and many varieties of apples. And of course, Labor Day signals the beginning of football!

slow cooker beef short ribs

We like to get together on the weekends for the boys to watch the big game. Really, it's my husband, brother, brother-in-law, and my dad watching the game. But we three little boys at home, and my adorable nephew, I'm positive in a few short years they will all be enjoying watching football, too. Needless to say, our family uses any good excuse to get together and enjoy some great food. That's where these incredible Slow Cooker Beef Ribs come in handy!

Just place them in a slow cooker, make the amazing BBQ sauce with ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and coffee, and let it cook to perfection! You will never use another recipe again after tasting these ribs, I'm sure of it!

Yield: 4 servings

Slow Cooker Beef Ribs

These Slow Cooker Beef Ribs are absolutely mouthwatering! Beef short ribs in a homemade BBQ sauce and cooked in the Crockpot - the meat will be falling off the bone!
prep time: 5 MINScook time: 5 hourtotal time: 5 hours and 5 mins


  • 4 lb beef short ribs
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup HEINZ Tomato Ketchup
  • 1/4 cup HEINZ Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. MAXWELL HOUSE Instant Coffee
  • 1 tsp. potato starch


  1. Place ribs, onions and garlic in slow cooker sprayed with cooking spray. Mix remaining ingredients until blended; pour over ingredients in slow cooker. Cover with lid.
  2. Cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours (or on HIGH 5 hours).
  3. Remove ribs and onions from slow cooker; cover to keep warm. Skim and discard excess fat from sauce.
  4. Return ribs and onions to sauce in slow cooker; stir until evenly coated.
Created using The Recipes Generator

beef short ribs slow cooker

When I was testing this recipe, I was actually out doing yard work for a few hours. When I finally came into the house, these ribs smelled SO GOOD! The perfect dinner for your Labor Day celebration or tailgating with friends!

beef short ribs recipe slow cooker

I really love being able to grab all these amazing ingredients at Walmart for these delicious ribs. HEINZ Tomato Ketchup and Apple Cider Vinegar give the BBQ sauce it's signature flavor. Then MAXWELL HOUSE Instant Coffee gives the sauce a really rich taste as well- I'm telling you, it's the best BBQ sauce combination I've tried to date! Walmart has an amazing hub on their site with TONS more recipe ideas for you Labor Day festivities. Be sure to check it out and put some new recipes to try on your menu plan this week!

slow-cooker beef short ribs

Cherry Crumb Pie

August 14, 2017
This Cherry Crumb Pie is so easy! Cherry pie filling with almond extract topped with a homemade crumb topping and baked until bubbling - perfect for fall!

Cherry Crumb Pie

Well, we have exactly one week and one day before the boys' first day back to school. Another summer with no beach trip. No feet in the sand. No walks on the boardwalk at night.

I'm really sad about this, can you tell??

I have literally no room to complain, since our family vacation this year was to DISNEY WORLD. It was absolutely wonderful and I honestly can't wait until we can go again. But I definitely do miss the beach!

The last beach trip we took to Ocean City, NJ three summers ago. I was pregnant with Reuben and it was really hard walking so much! The following summer we had a crawling baby and we had just moved, so vacation plans were out. And of course this summer, having spent a lot of money at Disney, I really couldn't justify another expensive of even one night at the beach. The room rates at the Jersey shore are outrageous! Plus, with our size family, and the fact that Wesley snores (HA), we definitely need a suite for our needs.

cherry pie with crumb topping

So that makes this the longest I've ever gone without visiting the beach. I'm so lucky that we live within 3 hours drive to the Jersey Shore beaches, plus not that much further from MD, DE, even VA beaches. I'm thinking I know where our next year's vacation is going to be. :)

If it's any consolation for the summer being over with no opportunity to dip my toes in the ocean, it's all the fabulous FOOD that fall brings! Especially in our family, pies are a huge tradition. My mom has been making this Cherry Crumb Pie recipe for as long as I can remember! You can't go wrong with this one, that's for sure!

Yield: 8 servings

Cherry Crumb Pie

This Cherry Crumb Pie is so easy! Cherry pie filling with almond extract topped with a homemade crumb topping and baked until bubbling - perfect for fall!
prep time: 10 MINScook time: 45 MINStotal time: 55 mins


  • 1 refrigerated pie crust, thawed according to package directions
  • 2 21oz cans cherry pie filling
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold


  1. Place pie crust into a deep dish pie plate. Crimp edges as desired and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together pie filling and almond extract. Spread into pie crust.
  3. In another medium bowl, stir together flour and brown sugar. Blend in cold butter using a pastry blender or two knives. You could also place topping ingredients into a small food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs form.
  4. Sprinkle crumb topping evenly over cherry pie filling. Place pie plate on a cookie sheet (to catch any drippings). Bake at 425 for 45 minutes. Place a sheet of foil over the pie during the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent over browning.
  5. Allow to cool and serve!
Created using The Recipes Generator

crumb topping for cherry pie

This is actually my dad's favorite pie for Thanksgiving so I actually had him over to enjoy a slice of this fabulous pie. He loved it as always! If you try this one, let me know what you think of the flavor in the comment section below!

cherry pie crumb topping


Fresh Strawberry Syrup

August 9, 2017
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own. This shop has been compensated by Acorn Influence, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.

This Fresh Strawberry Syrup is delicious and sweet on pancakes, waffles, snow cones, and ice cream! Fresh grown strawberries, sugar, maple syrup, and butter are all the ingredients you need for yummy strawberry syrup!

how to make strawberry syrup

I can't believe I'm actually saying this, but summer is beginning to wind down in our house. Wesley's birthday was this past week, summer camp has come and gone, and we are closing in on the first day of school soon. My weekly grocery list has gone from loads of grilling recipes and summer salads to easy slow cooker meals and our favorite frozen ingredients to stock up with. 

It's safe to say the lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer are being quickly traded for busy days with crazy schedules. And yes, I love it.

I thrive on routine. I accomplish MUCH more when I have a predictable, albeit full, schedule in which to plan my work time. My boys might be groaning at the thought of school starting soon, but they are very much looking forward to play dates with their friends and fall soccer starting. Stocking up with our favorite freezer breakfasts make my mornings go WAY smoother. 

strawberry syrup

I whipped up this incredibly easy batch of Fresh Strawberry Syrup for drizzling over one our favorite quick breakfasts: Jimmy Dean Pancakes & Sausage On a Stick! If you have home grown strawberries, I'm totally jealous of your garden, but you really need to put this sweet syrup on your list to try this season. I'm keeping this syrup in the fridge because it won't last long in our house, but this would be a great recipe for freezing or even canning if you have an abundance of fresh strawberries to use!

Yield: 1 cup syrup

Fresh Strawberry Syrup

This Fresh Strawberry Syrup is delicious and sweet on pancakes, waffles, snow cones, and ice cream! Fresh grown strawberries, sugar, maple syrup, and butter are all the ingredients you need for yummy strawberry syrup!
prep time: 5 MINScook time: 5 MINStotal time: 10 mins


  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup or pancake syrup
  • 1 teaspoon butter


  1. Wash strawberries and cut the tops off. Place berries in a blender and process until smooth.
  2. In a large saucepan, mix pureed strawberries, sugar, syrup, and butter. Heat over medium high heat until boiling. Continue to boil while stirring, another 1-2 minutes.
  3. Remove pan for heat and allow syrup to cool slightly. Optional: pour syrup through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds.
  4. Pour slightly warm syrup into a serving container for drizzling. Refrigerate leftovers.
Created using The Recipes Generator
This simple strawberry syrup can be used on ice cream, in frozen drinks, over fresh biscuits - the dessert possibilities are really endless for this amazing recipe! I would say hands down though, we prefer this syrup on frozen waffles or pancakes and these Jimmy Dean Pancakes on a Stick are absolutely perfect with a big drizzle of strawberry syrup or even as a dip for these pancakes in a small dish. 

strawberry syrup recipe

These clever breakfast sticks are Jimmy Dean's signature taste and quality from America's favorite sausage brand, dipped in pancake batter. These guys are so fun for kids! On a busy school morning in which the whole family is going in different directions, you really can't beat a satisfying breakfast along with delicious strawberry syrup in 3 minutes or less.

fresh strawberry syrup

During my last run through Target, I was really happy to cross these amazing frozen food finds off of my grocery list this week along with the rest of my shopping. Tyson Chicken Nuggets are an absolute staple in this house, especially this time of the year. For a quick afternoon snack, I like to serve Tyson Chicken Nuggets with cheese sticks and sliced pepperoni and a small dish of warmed pizza sauce for dipping. My kids go nuts for this! Plus, Tyson is moving to No Antibiotics Ever over the coming months so be sure to look for the No Antibiotics Ever label on product shelves at Target. With 100% all natural white meat chicken and whole grain breading, it's my pick for my family for sure!

strawberry pancake syrup

If you try this amazing strawberry syrup recipe using your own garden's strawberries, let me know what you think! My family absolutely went nuts for this recipe and I'm sure yours will, too!