Category: Recipes (page 1 of 2)

Family Night – Simple, Easy Pizza Dough

If you hadn’t already noticed, we posted a new video on our YouTube page featuring one of our favorite family activities. You can watch that below:

So, every Friday afternoon I start preparing for our evening by making homemade pizza dough. It took a long time to find a dough we liked, but this one is so easy and delicious to make! I’ll share the recipe at the bottom of this post. Sometimes I split a dough ball into four so that each kid can make their own personal pan pizzas, or like this night, we made one large pizza and the kids all topped their sections. J and I like to make all different types of pizzas, but the kids are pretty simple and prefer just cheese and pepperoni!

When J gets home we make our pizzas, and then we pull out some board games or pick out a movie to watch together. It’s a great way to unwind at the end of the week and spend some quality time with the kids. We chose to split up with the kids and play some age appropriate games with them.

J took the older two (Boogie & Bubby) and played Monopoly Junior (I couldn’t find the exact version to link, but that one is pretty close to our older version). I took the younger two (Bird & Bear) and we played Hoot Owl Hoot! and The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game. Both are super cute – Hoot Owl Hoot! Is a cooperative game where you and your friends have to get all the owls to the next before the sun rises. You have to know your colors to play this game. The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel game is great for fine motor skills as you have to pick up the colored acorns with the Squirrel “tongs” and place them in the spots on your tree trunk. Color identification, counting to 2 are important for this game!

When we all finished up we played a pretty hysterical game of Twister, I think it made J very aware that he is not a limber young man anymore! Ha!

If you don’t already, set some time aside each week for family fun. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but making time to spend together is so important. Our lives get so busy and life is too short to not make time together!

Don’t forget to try out the pizza dough recipe below, and you can click the links to the games in the paragraphs above – they are listed at great prices on Amazon right now!

Simple, Easy Pizza Dough
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 slices
This is a super simple and delicious pizza dough.
  • ½ Tbsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 cup water, lukewarm (I heat in the microwave for 1 minute and let cool)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  1. In a large bowl combine your lukewarm water, yeast and sugar. Mix until dissolved and allow to bloom for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Add 1 cup of bread flour and mix until combined.
  3. Add salt. Mix.
  4. Add remaining cup of bread flour and mix until combined.
  5. Dump cup of all purpose flour onto counter (I do this directly on my counter, but you can use a kneading board, a cutting board, or mat). and knead the dough into that until your dough is soft and elastic. You don't want it sticky!
  6. Wash and dry your bowl, pour olive oil into bottom.
  7. Coat your dough in the olive oil, cover with a damp towel and allow to sit in a warm place for a minimum of 45 minutes (I let it rise for a full 2 hours).
  8. Once dough has risen, preheat your oven to 500F.
  9. Now you can prepare your dough however you wish!
  10. Cook for 10-15 minutes.
  11. Enjoy!




Family Movie Night with Hotel Transylvania 2

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

Family Movie Nightwith Hotel Transylvania 2

Our family really enjoys having movie nights, we have started making Friday nights our official family movie night. We make fun finger foods or pizza, gather around the living room and watch a great new family movie. This past weekend we watched Hotel Transylvania 2! This is such a cute movie, all of us (young and “old”) had a good laugh watching the antics of Dracula and his friends.

Before our movie night began we ran to Walmart to purchase our movie, we also picked up a 6-pack of Coca-Cola, Orville Redenbacher 6 pack Movie Theater Popcorn, these adorable containers of M&M’S® Chocolate Candies (we made a skillet cookie with these, you’ll find the recipe at the end of this post) and of course, our movie! Walmart has a great display for Hotel Transylvania 2, you can buy it in a few different formats.



Our snacks and drinks were in various other places throughout the store, the M&M’S® Chocolate Candies were the last item we picked up – conveniently located at the cash register!

PicMonkey Collage

I mixed and baked our M&M’S® Chocolate Candies Skillet Cookie and prepared the popcorn and we were ready to watch our new movie! It doesn’t take much to have a fun family movie night. You just need a few simple snacks, some yummy beverages and a great movie – and the best part? Quality time with your significant other and children!




Don’t forget to purchase your M&M’S® Chocolate Candies so you can make this super yummy skillet cookie for your movie night!

M&M'S® Chocolate Candies Skillet Cookie
  • 1¼ cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (+1-2 Tbsp for greasing skillet)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 (3.5oz) containers of M&M'S® Chocolate Candies, divided
  • ½ cup peanut butter chips
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and grease a 9-inch cast iron skillet with 1-2 Tbsp butter. Set aside.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine your flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl (I use my stand mixer so I use the bowl attachment for that) combine brown sugar, white sugar, butter and peanut butter. Blend 2-3 minutes. Add vanilla and egg to wet mixture until combined.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients (low speed) until just combined - don't over mix!
  5. Stir in 1 full container (3.5oz) of M&M'S® Chocolate Candies, then ½ of the second container. Set the remaining ½ of the second container aside. Stir in peanut butter chips.
  6. Scrape cookie dough into your greased skillet and top with remaining M&M'S® Chocolate Candies. Bake for 25-30 minutes until it achieves a golden brown color. The edges should be nice and crisp and the center soft and cooked through.
  7. Allow to cool for 15 minutes and serve warm. Enjoy!

Have your own family movie night, we highly recommend Hotel Transylvania 2. You can find some more great ideas for your movie night HERE, and purchase all four participating products you’ve seen in the above photos at Walmart between 12/22/15 and 2/2/16. Submit a photo of your receipt displaying all four products to to receive a $10 Vudo movie code* by email! *While supplies last. Limit 1 per person.

What’s your favorite meal or snack to make on movie nights with your family? Share them by commenting below! I’d love to hear from you!


Grazia® Silicone 24 Cup MINI Muffin Pan Review

It’s no secret that I love to bake…. it’s kind of funny actually considering how awful of a cook and baker I USED to be! Ask J, I was pretty awful! Now though, if I had the time and money to bake every day I probably would! And most times I let Boogie help, unfortunately, for this review she wasn’t allowed to help. She got into a little bit of trouble this morning, let’s just leave it at that!


I love silicone pans for baking. They bake everything evenly and your cakes, muffins, cupcakes, breads (etc.) just slide out of the pan! It’s amazing!


Today I found a recipe from Mom’s Test Kitchen, if you haven’t browsed her blog before I highly recommend it! This particular recipe was for a mini muffin pan. These muffins are phenomenal.


These are Chocolate Chip Banana Peanut Butter Mini Muffins, great for breakfast and for little hands! And this pan made them SO easy to remove, all I had to do was spray the pan with a little olive oil and  I was good to go! You can also use mini muffin tin liners if you have them on hand!


So easy! You can find these pans on Amazon for just under $17. These pans meet FDA approved, made of 100% silicone with NO fillers. They are also heat resistant up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit!


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Cook’n 11 Review and Giveaway!

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.


I am a Pinterest FANATIC. Seriously… ask my family, ask my friends! I’m constantly pinning new recipes, home decor ideas, crafts, homeschool projects, etc. I just love it! I love it so much that I JUMPED at the opportunity to review this software called Cook’n 11. This program is AWESOME! It’s like a pinterest for your recipes, but better!

Cook’n is the Only Recipe Software that lets you:
• Easily Enter your Personal Recipes
• Get Ideas for What to Make for Dinner
• See a Visual Menu Planner
• Auto-Generate Shopping Lists
• Capture Recipes From Favorite Websites
• Calculate Nutrition of Your Recipes
• Capture & Sync Pinterest Recipes
• Scan Printed Recipes
• Discover New Recipes w/Live Feed
• Print Themed Recipes – Demo
• Use Snip-It to Capture Blog Recipes
• Import recipes from Word – Demo
• Share Recipes with Social Media
• and much more!

There are some really neat demos and tutorials on how to use Cook’n directly on their website HERE. You can even download the App for FREE onto your iOS or Android phones or tablets!

This is what the program looks like as it’s loading (click on the pictures to see larger images):


Once it loads, the first screen that pops up is the home page, here you will see the Live Recipe Feeds on the main screen, and then you have a menu bar to the left with links to any cookbooks you’ve added or recipes you’ve included in your box of recipes.


Above the Live Recipe feeds you can do a search, as an example I chose to search “Chocolate Chip Cookies”…


What I LOVE about this is that it searches the internet to find recipes AND your recipes! You can add the recipes you find from the internet directly to your Cook’n program if you find one you like.


As I mentioned before, to the left of the screen you can see my cookbooks. I have not added any of my own recipes yet… I’ve been too busy searching and playing with all the different settings as I explore the program! HA!


I have two cookbooks, the top one you can’t see but it’s called The Ultimate Cook’n Cookbook and the second one is called Gooseberry Patch: 5 Ingredients or Less. Under each cookbook you can see the different categories. I chose Breakfast, from The Ultimate Cook’n Cookbook, as an example.


From there you can see all of the recipes from that category in the cookbook. From there, I clicked on Fluffiest Pancakes.


All the ingredients are listed clearly and precisely, the directions are easy to read and understand. How cool is that?!

At the top of the screen there are lots of buttons with various pictures. I’m still exploring all the wonderful options this program has to offer, but I can share a few that I love! First option is the button that has a recipe card with a plus sign. I’m sure you can guess what that does! You can add your very own recipes! Just fill in the information and voila! You can also add recipes from the web, but I haven’t gotten that far in my exploration of all the fun quirks Cook’n has to offer.


Another really neat option is the menu planning option. This button has a dinner plate, a spoon and a book on it. You can add as many or as few recipes as you wish, plan your menu for each day, create a grocery list, etc. Very convenient!


My favorite option though, is the grocery list. This button is a checklist with a purple pencil on it.


The above picture shows what it looks like prior to adding your recipes. Below I’ve shown you one way to create a list. Another way is to click the +add item button at the top of the page, and you can add whatever items you want. Another is way is by following the steps I’ve illustrated below. You first click on the Category (as I showed you above), I chose Breakfast here again. I then chose the Apple Raisin Strata (which opens in a new tab), then I clicked on the Grocery List button. Once I finished that it automatically added all the ingredients I needed into the list, separated by categories!


I was blown away by Cook’n 11, it goes above and beyond what I thought this program would be capable of. I’m sure I’ve got a lot more things to discover as I learn to use it. Now YOU have a chance to try it as well! I’m giving away a free copy of the Cook’n 11 Software AND a digital copy of a cookbook of YOUR choice the Cook’n Library online! It’s super easy to enter, just follow the instructions on the Giveaway Tools Widget below! Good luck!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Perfect for Fall Pumpkin Pie

Finally! I have time to post the final installment of my pumpkin tutorials/recipes! Nap time is AWESOME… and the fact that my sweet hubby took the day off and is holding Bubby the Monster for his nap! Ha! Anyways… this pie is AWESOME. You can use canned pumpkin for it, but I promise you won’t regret making your own puree and doing this from scratch. SO good. Now… onto this pumpkin pie recipe!

You can find the first two posts HERE and HERE.

Perfect for Fall Pumpkin Pie

Before you start gathering your supplies, preheat your oven to 400F (or if you have a wall oven like me, 375F).


First, you will want to gather all your ingredients for your pie crust! I don’t have a pastry cutter, but if you have one grab it too! We have all-purpose flour, Crisco, pumpkin pie spice, salt and water. In a large bowl combine 2 2/3 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 heaping teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. (Next time I may even do 2 teaspoons with an additional teaspoon of cinnamon for an extra little fall OOMPH!)


Add 1 cup shortening (Crisco) and cut into the flour (if you don’t have a pastry cutter you can use two table knives).


Once you have cut your shortening into your dry mixture, add 1 tablespoon of water (a total of 1/2 cup cold water) at a time until your mixture will hold a ball shape. It should look a little like this:


Clean your work surface (we use a vinegar and water mixture here) and lightly flour your space. Rub a little flour into your hands and take your dough and form it into a ball. Roll your ball out into an even shape (at this point it doesn’t matter what shape) and use a knife to cut in half – this dough makes TWO pies! You can roll one out flat and freeze in a ziploc bag or use the dough to make two pies now. For each piece of dough, roll into a circular shape to about a 1/8″ thickness. Roll the dough onto your rolling pin or use your hands to move the dough to your pie pan.


Push into your pan gently and then take a knife to trim the edges.


Now you can push those to the side and start on your pumpkin pie filling!


For the pie filling you will need to gather your pureed pumpkin (or canned…. mine is already scooped into the mixing bowl), a can of evaporated milk (12 fluid ounces), 2 eggs (beaten – I didn’t do that before taking this picture), brown sugar, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, salt, ground allspice, ground cloves and cornstarch.

Once you have everything gathered start combining your ingredients into your mixing bowl (KitchenAid Mixers are AAAAAmazing…). Beat on medium speed until all of your ingredients are mixed and incorporated.


Pour half of your mixture into each pie crust. (Which of course, I forgot to take a picture of! Sorry!)

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a knife can be inserted into your filling and comes out clean.

While my pies were baking, I used my leftover pie dough to make some pastry decor! I used a football shaped cookie cutter for leaves and a pumpkin shape for well.. a pumpkin. I then used a fondue fork to draw the lines for the pumpkin and for the leaves, you could also use a regular fork or a toothpick to do that. I slid these in the oven as soon as I finished and just kept an eye on them. Took maybe 5-7 minutes to get them crisp.


And the finished product…. one puffy pie and one pretty pie 😉


Perfect for Fall Pumpkin Pie by @mustardsdmommy

We all thoroughly enjoyed our pie! We shared the pretty pie (the one with the leaves) with our neighbors (aka Memaw and Dad-Dad), we finished off the puffed up pie in about 3 days, barely that!


But as always… before anyone else tried it, my sweet hubby had to be the guinea pig (as usual). Luckily he didn’t mind being the guinea pig for this one!


Now… go get some pumpkins and try this out!

Perfect for Fall Pumpkin Pie
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
The perfect pie for your fall get togethers! Use homemade pumpkin puree or canned, the choice is up to you! Note: This recipe makes TWO pies.
  • Pie Crust –
  • 2⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 heaping teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ teaspoon cloves, and ¼ teaspoon allspice)
  • ½ cup cold water
  • Pie Filling –
  • 2 ½ cups freshly cooked and mashed pumpkin puree (or you can use the canned)
  • 1 (12 oz) can evaporated whole milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • ½ teaspoon cornstarch
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F and start preparing pie crust.
  2. To prepare pie crust, combine flour, salt, and pumpkin pie spices. Cut shortening into flour (you can use two table knives to do so if you don’t have a pastry cutter!). Mix in 1 Tablespoon of water into the mixture at a time, continue to do so until the dough is moist and will hold together.
  3. Flour your work surface, your rolling pin, and your hands. Shape dough into a ball. Roll dough out evenly and cut in half (or you can pull the ball apart, but it seems to split more evenly if you roll it out a bit first). Set one piece aside and start rolling the other out into a circular shape. Once rolled you can pick it up and place in your pie dish (best way is to roll it onto your rolling pin and then move it to the pie dish, this prevents cracks and tears in your dough). Cut around your pie pan to remove excess dough (you can toss or save it for later – I used cookie cutters to cut out leaves and pumpkins to bake as décor for our pies!) Repeat for second pie.
  4. In a large mixing bowl start combining filling ingredients. Beat on medium speed until all ingredients are incorporated. Pour half of the mixture into each prepared pie crust.
  5. Bake 30-40 minutes or until a knife can be inserted into the filling and comes out clean.
  6. Decorate with pastry décor if so desired!
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