Ragú Tra-Dish Pizza Night

I am a brand representative for Ragú and have been compensated for this post.

For as long as I can remember Saturday night is homemade pizza night in our house. A tradition that started all the way back in my elementary school days and still stands to this day.

It is always a family affair where everyone pitches in to help. Everyone has a job from shredding the cheese to stretching out the dough to retrieving the Ragú sauce from the pantry.

Get Recipes:

With 11 tomatoes in every jar, Ragú® Old World Style®Traditional Sauce is their richest, thickest recipe ever! Ragú has the Authentic Italian taste American family’s love and a variety of great tasting, quick and easy to make family favorite recipes. Visit Facebook.com/RaguSauce for additional quick, easy and delicious recipe ideas to keep family mealtimes a priority.

Enter the Sweepstakes:

Visit http://www.ragusweeps.com/ to enter the Ragú Sweepstakes for a chance to win great Authentic Italian themed prizes and a grand prize trip to Italy for a family of four.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) 18 years and older. Ends 5/6/14. To enter and for Official Rules, including odds, alternate method of entry, and prize descriptions, visit www.RaguSweeps.com. Void where prohibited.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ragú® Official New Tra-Dish. The opinions and text are all mine.

For More Delicious Recipes Check out my Index!

Mom’s Ranch Potato Salad

Mom's Ranch Potato Salad

My Mom’s old-fashioned potato salad gets a new twist by simply adding ranch salad dressing into the mix. The potatoes are the stars alongside hard-boiled eggs, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, vinegar, dill weed, green olives, red onions and my Mom’s secret ingredient: Worcestershire sauce.

This disappears faster than you can imagine at picnics and potlucks and has people asking for the recipe. … 

Read More »

Root Beer Float Cake #FlavorStory

This is a sponsored post for McCormick.
Root Beer Float Cake

A quick and easy single layer cake that tastes like a root beer float! As long as you serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream otherwise it’s just root beer soda. It’s also good with a lightly sweetened whipped cream frosting.

Root beer floats to me mean summer nights when it’s too hot to do anything but sit around with a cold drink by your side. Root beer floats are extra special because I don’t drink soda on a regular basis. It’s a big treat for me to pour root beer over a double scoop of vanilla ice cream and watch it fizz up all over the place. A dessert and drink in one. A cool, sweet and creamy thirst quencher.

Root Beer Cake

This cake tastes and smells exactly like root beer thanks to McCormick’s root beer concentrate. Root beer extract was one of McCormick’s first products in the late 1800’s!

In 1889, Willoughby M. McCormick went door to door selling one of McCormick & Company’s first products, Root Beer Extract. The product quickly rose in popularity and led to a trending sensation of root beer floats and root beer home brewing in the early 1900s.

This year McCormick is celebrating their 125th anniversary with a program called the Flavor of Together. McCormick’s Flavor of Together program is a yearlong initiative to share 1.25 million stories about how flavor both unites and defines people across the globe.

The Flavor of Together is about people sharing their stories on a global scale through memories, recipes or family traditions. For each story shared McCormick is going to donate $1 (up to 1.25 million) to the United Way to help feed those in need. You’re invited to share your story on the Flavor of Together site or right here in the comment section of my blog!

Share your own unique flavor story by commenting on this post using the hashtag #flavorstory and be entered for a chance to win a McCormick Anniversary Pack. The pack includes exclusive McCormick Anniversary Edition product (both black pepper and vanilla extract – not available in stores!), a McCormick recipe book, and a branded canvas tote – all valued at $50.

RootBeer Cake

Root Beer Float Cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 32 minutes

Yield: 1 (9-inch) cake

Root Beer Float Cake

A quick and easy single layer cake that tastes like a root beer float! As long as you serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream otherwise it's just root beer soda. It's also good with a lightly sweetened whipped cream frosting.


1 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 + 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
For serving:
Vanilla Ice cream or
Whipped Cream Frosting:
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Butter the sides of a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl.
  3. In a large bowl using an electric mixer beat butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Beat in vanilla extract and root beer concentrate.
  4. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add flour mixture in 4 additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour.
  5. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and bake 32 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 15 minutes then remove the ring and cool completely.
  6. Slice into wedges and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream frosting.
  7. To make the frosting add the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until thick and billowy.
  8. Frost like a regular cake or scoop it up with an ice cream scoop and dollop it all over the cake. If using whipped cream refrigerate the cake.


Adapted from my Yellow Cupcakes

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved


Southwestern Mashed Potatoes

Southwestern Mash

Just five ingredients come together to make these zesty and delicious southwestern mashed potatoes! I started with Simply Potatoes Traditional Mashed Potatoes and mixed in cheddar cheese, corn, avocado and jalapeno peppers. You can create your own five ingredient fix using Simply Potatoes and enter them in the five ingredient recipe contest for a chance to win a grand prize of $3,000.

Simply potatoes are fresh, refrigerated potatoes that have never been frozen. They’re easy to prepare and made with only real ingredients like whole milk, butter and salt.

These are the creamiest mashed potatoes on Earth! The cheese melts right into them along with the mashed avocado making them rich and even more buttery than they are to begin with.

The avocado turns them a pretty shade of green and the corn gives them little pops of texture. The jalapenos aren’t overpowering but more on the subtle side. Everything comes together to make a flavorful side dish to spice up you meals. A new favorite in my house.

I hope I inspired you to enter your own five ingredient fix in the recipe contest! Simply potatoes makes it so easy and convenient for you, there’s no excuse not to. I can’t wait to see your creations!

Southwestern Mashed Potatoes

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Southwestern Mashed Potatoes

Just five ingredients come together to make these zesty and delicious southwestern mashed potatoes! Simply Potatoes traditional mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese, corn, avocado and jalapeno peppers.


1 pound 8 ounce package of Simply Potatoes Traditional Mashed Potatoes
3/4 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 cup cooked corn
1 avocado, mashed
1/4 cup jarred or canned jalapenos, diced, with a little of the juice they're packed in


  1. Cook the Simply Potatoes Traditional Mashed Potatoes according to package directions.
  2. Scoop it into a large, microwave safe mixing bowl and stir in the cheddar and corn. Microwave 30 seconds. Stir well.
  3. Mix in the mashed avocado and jalapenos including a tablespoon or two of the juice. Serve immediately.


Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved


For rules on how to enter the Sweepstakes click here.

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

Spicy Cinnamon Vanilla Glazed Walnuts

Spicy Cinnamon Vanilla Glazed Walnuts

These sweet and spicy walnuts make the best snack or appetizer for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day! The second best thing about them is they need only five minutes of hands on time for which you will be rewarded greatly. Thanks to McCormick.

The nuts are tossed in egg whites and McCormick® pure vanilla extract first then coated in sugar, salt, McCormick® ground cinnamon and ground red pepper. You spread them out on a baking sheet and roast them slowly for an hour where that sugary, spicy coating caramelizes and turns these into addictive little bundles of joy.

They’re are also great for adding flavor to your salads or vegetables!

Spicy Cinnamon Glazed Walnuts

Here are some more of my favorite ‘party’ recipes from McCormick!

Cinnamon Vanilla Glazed Walnuts

Spicy Cinnamon Vanilla Glazed Walnuts

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Yield: 10 (3-tablespoon) servings

Spicy Cinnamon Vanilla Glazed Walnuts

These sweet and spicy walnuts make the best snack or appetizer for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day! The second best thing about them is they need only five minutes of hands on time for which you will be rewarded greatly.


1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 + 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon McCormick® ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg white
1 tablespoon McCormick® vanilla extract
2 cups walnut halves


  1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Mix sugar, cinnamon, red pepper and salt in small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Beat egg white and vanilla in a separate medium bowl until foamy. Add walnuts and toss to coat.
  3. Add spice mixture; toss to coat nuts evenly. Spread nuts in single layer on greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake 1 hour, halfway through stir the walnuts and spread back out in an even layer.
  5. Cool slightly and break apart. Cool completely and store in airtight container up to 2 weeks.


Adapted from McCormick

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved


This is a sponsored post for McCormick. All opinions are my own.

Happy New Year!

Easy Iced Mint Chocolate Fudge

Iced Mint Chocolate Fudge

Sweet and creamy chocolate fudge topped with mint-infused white chocolate icing. I promise this recipe from McCormick is the easiest, quickest fudge you will ever make!

There are two steps to making the fudge. The first is to make the bottom layer – confectioners’ sugar is mixed with melted chocolate and spread in a pan where its left to set up for an hour in the refrigerator before being topped with melted white chocolate. The white chocolate has McCormick mint or peppermint extract added to it along with a little bit of McCormick green food color to turn it a perfect shade of holiday mint green.

This makes a great homemade gift! Fudge is one of the season’s favorite treats and combining it with one of the season’s most distinctive flavor, mint, makes it twice as easy to give and receive.

You can cut it into squares and set them in paper candy cups or cut into triangles and layer them in small cardboard boxes or treat bags. I’m doing some of both! I’ve already gifted them and I’m also using them to fill up the empty spaces on my cookie platters.

Here are some more recipe ideas from McCormick to make your holiday delicious! Homemade gifts from the heart filled with the flavors and colors of the season.

Mint Chocolate Fudge

Easy Iced Mint Chocolate Fudge

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 16 bars or triangles

Easy Iced Mint Chocolate Fudge

Sweet and creamy chocolate fudge topped with mint-infused white chocolate icing. I promise this is the easiest, quickest fudge you will ever make!


1 pound (about 4 cups) confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter
1/4 cup milk
1 + 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Mint or Peppermint Extract
1/8 teaspoon McCormick® Green Food Color
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips for sprinkling over top, optional


    Make the fudge:
  1. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper or foil and let it overhang on two sides. Spray lightly with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl whisk the sugar and cocoa powder together. Set aside.
  3. Add the butter and the milk to a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 45 seconds and stir to melt the butter. If the butter doesn't completely melt microwave in 15 second increments and stir well in between until completely melted. Stir in the vanilla.
  4. Pour over the sugar and mix until well combined. Spoon into the parchment lined pan and evenly spread it out. Cover with plastic and refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.
  5. Make the icing:
  6. In a medium microwavable bowl melt the white chocolate chips and milk together. Use the chocolate setting in 20 second increments and stir in between until completely melted and smooth. Stir in the mint extract and green food color.
  7. Spread over the chocolate layer and sprinkle with the chocolate chips, if desired.
  8. Refrigerate about 15 - 20 minutes or until firm. Use the parchment/foil to lift out of pan onto cutting board. Cut into small bars or triangles (Cut 16 (2-inch) squares then cut each square diagonally in half).


Adapted from McCormick

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved


A Little Help for the Holidays from Kraft

Homemade chocolate chip peanut butter cups are the perfect holiday treats! They round out a cookie tray nicely and can be used for any and all your entertaining purposes.

You can hand them out as party swag, give them as a hostess gift, tuck them into stockings on Christmas eve or leave them on Santa’s cookie dish for an unexpected treat.

You know what makes these extra special? Two things, really. The first is that they have mini chocolate chips in them making them kind of taste like cookie dough. The second is that I used my favorite peanut butter, Planters®, to make them.

Right now you can save up to 20 dollars on participating Kraft products, including Planters® peanut butter, using these coupons offered by Kraft, at Target.

You can use all that savings to make delicious recipes for quick weeknight meals and to help make your holiday entertaining easy. Kraft has you covered!

Here’s a little recipe inspiration:

Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Pimento-Cheese Pinwheels

Favorite Holiday Turkey Melt

Chicken Italiano

Did you know peanut butter cups are really easy to make? You can make up a batch in under an hour and they are a fun project to involve kids in. Don’t forget the Planters® peanut butter!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cups

  • 1 cup Planters® peanut butter
  • 2/3 -1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt, optional
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 16 ounces chopped milk chocolate, divided
  • 2 teaspoons shortening, melted

In a medium mixing bowl combine peanut butter, 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and salt with a fork until well mixed. Taste and add additional sugar/salt if desired.

Add the chocolate chips and work them in with a spoon – the mixture will be thick.

Line a mini muffin tin or baking sheet with small aluminum candy cups or baking cups.

Add half the chocolate to a microwave safe bowl and then remove about 1 tablespoon of it and set aside. Use the chocolate setting on your microwave to melt the chocolate until smooth and creamy, checking it in 30 second increments and stirring.

Once it is completely melted stir in the little bit of chocolate you set aside – keep stirring until it melts completely. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the melted shortening.

Drop a teaspoonful of chocolate into the bottom of each liner and use the back of a spoon to draw the chocolate up the sides. A 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon works well for this. Refrigerate for ten minutes or until set up.

Add a spoonful of filling to each cup and flatten out the top. Depending on how much confectioners’ sugar you used the filling might be thick enough to shape with your hands.

Melt the remaining chocolate using the same method. Drop a teaspoonful over top of each one and smooth out. Refrigerate until the tops set 15 minutes.

Store in a cool, dry place up to 10 days.

*Makes about 32 candy cups.

From shopping for gifts to planning family dinners, it’s hard to keep up with all your holiday to-do’s. This year, Kraft is helping out with great weeknight meals and entertaining ideas to make the season a little bit easier. Plus, Kraft is offering up to $20 in coupons, redeemable exclusively at Target, to make food shopping easier and to help you have a happy holiday season.

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

Sweet & Savory Food Gifts with Craftsy

I never pass up a chance to learn new things related to cooking! That’s why I love Craftsy, a website that offers on-line, step-by-step instructional classes taught by world renowned instructors you can watch at your leisure from the comfort of your own home.

The classes aren’t just limited to food & cooking, they also offer cake decorating, jewelry making, photography, sewing, painting, knitting, paper crafts and lots more. There’s something for everyone, no matter what your interests are!

Once you take an on-line Craftsy class it’s yours forever to watch anytime and as often as you like, unlike other classes that you have to actually show up for at a set time and once it’s over there’s no going back. With Craftsy you can wear your comfiest yoga pants with sparkly, furry slippers and bedhead. . . you don’t even have to get out of bed! I love that.

I also love how convenient it is to watch the step-by-step instructional videos. I followed along during my class “Sweet & Savory Food Gifts” and made chocolate bark with my instructor, pausing the video when I needed time to catch up and even bookmarking key spots in the video I needed to easily return to.

Each class is more than just a video, you have access to supporting materials including recipes and tips & tricks. You can ask questions, upload pictures of your finished product, receive personalized feedback from your instructor and have discussions with your classmates.

The “Sweet & Savory Food Gifts” class is actually like 6 classes in one because, in separate videos you will learn how to make two different types of chocolate bark, french onion soup, cranberry chutney, three types of spice rubs, Limoncello and holiday pecans. The instructor doesn’t leave you hanging, she follows through to the end showing you how to package the gifts with different options included. There are also holiday tags available to print out for free.

I learned there’s more to chocolate bark than melting chocolate and sprinkling it with nuts and dried fruit. There’s a technique, a method behind it. Now I know all the little tips and tricks for making the best chocolate bark ever. I had so much fun taking this class! I want to melt every single piece of chocolate in my house and just go crazy inventing all kind of unique variations.

This version has brazil nuts, dried cranberries, shredded coconut and rice krispie treats. It’s absolutely delicious and so addictive. . . I can’t stop eating it.

Take your holiday traditions to a whole new level with Craftsy’s holiday gifting and cooking courses. Craftsy is also offering my readers up to 25% off a full-length Craftsy course! Whether you’re a pie perfectionist or gift-giving guru, Craftsy has something for you. Learn more about Craftsy and how to turn your ideas into reality!

Click here to get your special discount on this course!

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