Pizza Night: Better Ingredients. Better Pizza

During our renovation we ate a lot of pizza. It was easy, didn’t make a mess, and we didn’t even need to use a plate! Since we frequently were without water at the house ,pizza was a perfect meal for the family.

Even after we finished the first phase of the renovation we still continued our weekly pizza night tradition.

If you have teenage boys, you know they can EAT. Especially since they spend most of their free time doing things like this…


or this…


It isn’t surprising that they can eat an entire pizza by themselves!

It makes me happy to know we can find quality ingredients when we order our pizza from Papa John’s.


Papa John’s has quality ingredients which is important to me considering the amount of pizza my teenage boys consume every month!


They also have a huge menu with lots of options for toppings. While my little kids prefer plain cheese or pepperoni, my bigger kids like more variety and veggies on their pizza.


My boys, of course, prefer meat, and lots of it!

If you haven’t looked at Papa John’s menu lately you’ll want to check it out and see all the choices available for delivery or pick up. They have Garden Fresh, Hawaiian BBQ Chicken, Greek, Spinach Alfredo, and many more. If you don’t find one you love, create your own and make it exactly how you like it.

It’s easy to encourage your kids to try some new fresh cut veggies like green peppers, mushrooms, or tomatoes on their pizza the next time you order. In fact pizza is one of my favorite ways to get kids to try new veggies!

The next time you indulge in a pizza night, consider ordering from Papa John’s. Their dough is fresh, never frozen, and their signature sauce made from California tomatoes is our favorite.

Papa John’s has NO trans fats, no MSG, no BHA or BHT, no fillers in its meat toppings and no partially hydrogenated oils. To learn more, visit

Order now!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Papa John’s. Papa John’s provided the pizza featured in this conversation to me free-of-charge. The opinions and text are all mine.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

Paleo Chocolate Cherry Smoothie at The Happy HousewifeBy contributing writer Tessa

Smoothies are a busy mom’s best friend. They are also a life saver when it comes to getting loads of nutrients into our picky kiddos.

My 3rd child has pushed me further than I ever thought I could be pushed when it comes to the finickiness of most children’s palates. It has been enough to almost drive me loco in tired moments. And I know I am not the only one!

 Raise your hand if you have a picky kid in your midst!

Smoothies are a great way to feed our bodies in a pinch. They are quick, easy, and full of possibilities. When our local Costco started carrying organic frozen cherries, this Chocolate Cherry Smoothie was born, and it is now a regular in our rotation. It is naturally paleo and includes all the essentials in my book:

  • Healthy fat: Avocado is great for skin, hair, and loaded with potassium. This is important for satiety as well.
  • Vegetable: While fruits are great, loading a smoothie up with pints and pints of fruit is not necessary and can overload systems with fructose. So I like to make sure there is always some veggies in every smoothie, especially since picky kiddos get some valuable nutrients this way. (I know my kids are not going to eat several cups of plain greens!)
  • Protein: Key to keeping you full and providing a balanced meal. We use gelatin as it is flavorless and so nourishing to our guts. But greek yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts, and protein powders are all options here.
  • Low/No Sweetener: There’s no sense in taking a perfectly healthy meal and mussing it up with tablespoons of sugar! Sweetness is sometimes achieved by the fruit alone, but perfect fruit is not always within our grasp, as much as we want it to be! When the smoothie needs a sweetness boost, we like to use stevia. Nu Naturals Clear Stevia is our favorite brand with no fillers and no bitter aftertaste. Raw honey is another good option.
  • No Banana: Ok, just kidding….but in my family, I am the only one who really doesn’t like bananas in my smoothies. I’m weird, I admit it!

Enjoy this delectable smoothie. No one has to know it isn’t a chocolate milkshake!

Chocolate Cherry Smoothie

Chocolate Cherry Cream Smoothie - Paleo
Serves: 1
  • 1½ cups any milk (I use water along with a few tablespoons of full-fat coconut milk)
  • ¾ cup sweet cherries, frozen (berries would be good too)
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 4-6 ounces yogurt (I used coconut milk yogurt)
  • ¼ Haas avocado
  • 2 tablespoons gelatin (see note)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Dagoba, Hershey's was top rated in Cooks Illustrated)
  • 1 date, pitted
  • Dash of sea salt, optional
  • Stevia to taste (or raw honey as preferred)
  • A handful of ice cubes for an extra frosty beverage, optional
  1. Place all ingredients in the order listed in a high-powered blender and process until smooth and creamy.
For protein, we use either Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides or Great Lakes Gelatin Collagen Hydrolysate, these do not thicken the shake. You could also use a favorite protein powder, 3 tablespoons raw cashews or almonds, or cottage cheese.

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Homemade Pickles

There are two types of people in this world, those who love pickles and those who don’t.  I fall into the first group. My dad loves pickles and as a kid I remember eating pickles with everything. (Including our famous peanut butter and pickle sandwich, try it some time!)

Homemade pickles are actually really easy to make and so delicious. It only takes about 10 minutes to prep them for the fridge!

I absolutely love homemade (or house made at a restaurant) pickles. There is nothing better than a cripsy dill pickle on a sandwich or burger. So delicious!

A few years ago I made these cold crock pickles and they were so easy I couldn’t believe it. Not only where they easy, they were delicious!

Remember you need pickling cucumbers to make these pickles. Pickling cucumbers are shorter with thinner skins and usually have bumps on them. Salad cucumbers are longer and have tougher skins.

Homemade Cold Crock Pickles
Prep time: 
Total time: 
These homemade cold crock pickles are easy to make and delicious!
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • ½ cup fresh dill
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • ½ cup non-iodized salt
  • 3 quarts water
  1. Heat the water, salt, and vinegar and vinegar until it comes to a boil.
  2. Boil for 5 minutes
  3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 7 minutes.
  4. Layer garlic, dill, and cucumbers in a large crock (I use a giant mason jar).
  5. Pour liquid over the cucumbers.
  6. Let cool another 10 minutes.
  7. Loosely cover the top of the crock.
  8. Store in refrigerator for one week.


This is how simple it is, layer your cucumbers, garlic, and dill. This is a fun cooking project for the kids too!

I’ve tried a few other pickle recipes and they called for too many ingredients or made it much harder than it needed to be. This cold crock recipe is really the simplest one I’ve tried and the best.

You’ll never go back to store bought dills after you try this!

See all of The Happy Housewife’s recipes here!

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Raspberry Pineapple Smoothie

Jump in to summer with this refreshingly light and natural Raspberry Pineapple Smoothie. Found at The Happy HousewifeBy contributing writer Beth

Jump into summer with this refreshingly light and naturally sweet raspberry pineapple smoothie. I don’t know about you, but when the weather warms up, I just want to jump in a pool and enjoy the bright, beautiful weather.  Floating on the water with a cool drink in my hand is just about heaven on earth, in my opinion.

This smoothie reminds me of all the good things about summer.  The fruits are bright and delicious, not to mention full of vitamins to help me enjoy my days.  The yogurt adds lots of protein to power my afternoons.  I just can’t get enough of the cool freshness of smoothies!

Raspberry Pineapple Smoothie
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 2
  • 1 cup pineapple junks with juice, fresh or canned
  • 1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup apple juice or water (or dairy substitute)
  • ½ cup ice
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  1. Place all ingredients in your blender. If the liquids do not reach the top of the solids, then you can add more apple juice or water.
  2. Puree.
  3. Garnish with fresh fruit.

Jump in to summer with this refreshingly light and natural Raspberry Pineapple Smoothie. Found at The Happy Housewife

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This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.