Mozzarella Caprese “Pops”

Our family recently went out to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant and my younger brother and mom wanted to order mozzarella caprese for an appetizer. They both loved it so I decided to make these for dinner one night. They take maybe 10 minutes prep time at most. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • 24 tooth picks
  • a small spoon or something to scoop out the insides of the tomatoes and the mozzarella balls
  • fresh basil finely chopped or basil seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and scoop out the insides of the tomatoes with the small spoon or utensil. Once the tomatoes are fully scooped out either use your fingers or the small spoon and make small “balls” of mozzarella to put inside the tomatoes. Spear the tomatoes and mozzarella with the toothpicks and then dip them in the olive oil. Sprinkle some basil on top of tomatoes and serve!


Saucy Meatballs

Meatballs with a lot of sauce are the absolute best!

For the meatballs you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 lbs of ground beef
  • 3/4 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons of finely chopped onions
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons of ground pepper (I just sprinkle a TON on top)
  • 5 or 6 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour

In a large bowl combine the quick oats and milk with the beef. Add in the salt, onions, and pepper and mix thoroughly. Using a your hands or a spoon roll the meat into table spoon sized balls and place on a plate or tray. Once all of the meat has been rolled out place the meatballs in the fridge for 40 minutes or until they’re firm.

Once the meatballs have firmed up in the fridge, preheat the oven to 350° measure out the 1/2 cup of flour in a separate bowl. One by one roll the meatballs around in the flour until each one is completely covered.

Once the meatballs are covered in the flour dump the cooking oil in a pan and brown the meatballs. As they finish browning on each side place them in a casserole dish and prepare to make your sauce.


Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 – 8 tablespoons of finely chopped onions
  • a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce


Mix all of the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and pour over the meatballs. I usually double the sauce recipe because after the meatballs have baked we use the extra sauce in the pan to pour over our meatball as they are served.




Autumn Harvest Breakfast Casserole

As I mentioned in previous posts, Lisa comes up with most of her recipes at some pretty random times. This specific one she came up with around 5 this morning (while the rest of us were sleeping!) and I personally think it’s a keeper!
This breakfast casserole packs a lot of flavor between the pumpkin, apples, and brown sugar and it isn’t super sweet. This recipe is also really cool because you can eat it when it comes out of the oven or serve it at room temperature for a quick breakfast one the go!

This recipe is split up between 3 parts; 2 layers of the casserole and the crisp topping. So here’s a list of the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Quick cook oats
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 Small apple
  • Flour
  • Brown sugar
  • 1 Stick of margarine
  • Pecans
  • 6 Pieces of bread (we used Pumpkin swirl bread, but you can use any type of bread you choose)
  • 6 Eggs
  • 2 cups Canned pumpkin
  • Vanilla extract

To begin, preheat your oven at 400º and grease a 9×9 pan.

Here’s what you’ll need for the topping: 

1 cup Quick cook oats
1 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup chopped apple
2 teaspoon flour
1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
2 tablespoons chilled margarine cut into small cubes
2 handfuls of chopped pecan

Combine all of the dry ingredients and once they are mixed well add the apple pieces and margarine cubes, mix loosely with your fingers and set aside.

Now here’s what you’ll need for the first layer:

6 pieces of bread
5 eggs

In a bowl beat the eggs until light and frothy. Then add the bread cubes and blend until all of the bread is well saturated and the egg mixture is well absorbed. Put the bread mixture in your casserole dish.

Here’s what you’ll need for the second layer:

2 cups canned pumpkin
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup brown sugar (loosely packed)

2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 egg beaten

Stir all of these ingredients together and layer on top of the bread mixture. Spread out to cover the bread mixture evenly.

Add the crisp topping and you’re ready to bake!Autumn Harvest cooked

Bake at 400º for 15 minutes and then turn the oven down to 350º and bake for another 20 minutes.

And you’re ready to serve! We put whipped cream or syrup on ours to add sweetness.Pumpkin Crisp, Apple Crisp

Lisa’s Chipotle Style Meatloaf

Lisa is known in our family to come up with recipes by throwing together ingredients that we all love or that she thinks sound delicious together. This meatloaf recipe, and the sauce (my favorite) are two examples of this. I’d say that she has a 98% success rate (we won’t discuss the birthday cake fiasco!) because usually whatever she makes becomes a favorite of everyone in our family (except that birthday cake). This meatloaf and the sauce (my favorite) are both fan favorites.

Start off by preheating your oven to 350° and grease a 9×8 brownie pan or a loaf pan.


Here’s what you’ll need:

2 pounds of 80/20 hamburger meat
1 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
1/4 cup powdered brown gravy mix
2 tablespoons of salt free table seasoning
1/4 cup pineapple peach chipotle salsa
1/8-1/4 cup of water

Now the Sweet Sauce recipe

Here’s what you’ll need:

1/2 cup of ketchup
1/4-1/3 cup of brown sugar (packed)

Stir until the brown sugar is dissolved and there are no lumps.

Put the hamburger meat in a large bowl and add the dry ingredients, mix well (we use our hands). Then add the salsa and the water and mix well.

Chipotle Meatloaf mix

Once everything is mixed form the meat mixture into a loaf with your hands and bake for one hour.


When there’s 10 minutes left take the meatloaf out of the oven and add half of the sauce recipe to it, place back in the oven.

Serve and enjoy! The other half of the sauce can be added when the meatloaf is done or served to use as a dip for the meatloaf.

 Meatloaf recipe

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies

Like so many other people, this time of year makes our family crave all things pumpkin. So Lisa is always coming up with different recipes that somehow incorporate pumpkin.One of her creations this year is her pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies and let me just say, they’re amazing!

To start, preheat your oven to 375° and spray two cooking sheets.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 cup pumpkin (we cheated and used canned pumpkin)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice (this will give the cookies a slight pumpkin taste but if you prefer them to have a stronger pumpkin flavor we recommend adding 3 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp milk
1/2 cup of oil
1 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup pecans or walnuts

Add the baking soda to the milk and stir until it is completely dissolved. Set aside.

Combine the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Add pumpkin, sugar, oil, and egg to mixing bowl and mix on a low speed.

While mixing on low add in the baking soda mixture and add in the flour mixture a little at a time. Mix well.

Once everything is mixed and there are no clumps stir in the chocolate chips and vanilla (this is when you would also add the nuts). Pumpkin pie spice cookies

Spoon out tablespoon sized portions of the cookie dough onto a cookie sheet two inches apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until bottom edges are brown.


pumpkin pie spice cookies

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies Header

Our family LOVES cookies and we love to bake them so it’s natural that we have at least 10 different recipes for every type of cookie!

Out of all of the chocolate chip cookie recipes we have (seriously, there’s a ton!) this one here is a fan favorite. The cookies are fluffy and cake-like, not to mention thick!

Start off by preheating your oven to 350° and grease two cookie sheets.

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 1/4 cups of flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 3/4 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
6 ounces of milk chocolate chips
6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup of pecans or walnuts

In a small bowl whisk together the flour and the baking soda and set aside.
In a mixing bowl combine the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar and beat on a medium speed until fluffy, then reduce the speed to low.
While on low add the salt, vanilla, and the eggs. Beat until mixed well.
Once everything is mixed well add the flour/baking soda mixture a little bit at a time to prevent clumping and mix until all the ingredients are combined.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the chocolate chips (and the pecans or walnuts if you add these) and you’re ready to bake! chocolate chip cookies

Drop the tablespoon sized balls of dough 2 inches apart on your cookie sheets. Once the oven is preheated bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies look golden brown.

 Chocolate chip cookies