Mealtime Mama: Kelly Ripa’s pumpkin cheesecake recipe

Kelly Ripa, fellow mama of 3, is my FAVORITE person to watch on TV — so smart, funny and down-to-earth at the same time. (She is pictured here on the kelly ripa instagram walk of fameright with her family shortly after receiving a much-deserved star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame earlier this year.)

Years ago on her talkshow, she shared a recipe for her Pumpkin Cheesecake and I downloaded it from the show’s website. I’ve been using it ever since as part of our Thanksgiving feast, and it’s one of the things we look forward to the most. If you’re looking for something new (and easy) to add to this year’s lineup of Thanksgiving desserts, I can highly recommend this one.

Happy baking!


  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 egg
  • pumpkin cheesecake3501/4 cp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pumpkin Layer:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 15-oz can of pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 can evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Dash of salt


  • Preheat the oven to 325 F
  • In a bowl, mix 8 oz cream cheese with 1/4 cp sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and 1 egg
  • Once well combined, blend using a blender and set aside
  • In a separate mixing bowl, combine all “Pumpkin Layer” ingredients until well blended and set aside
  • In a frozen pie crust, add the cream cheese mix, followed by the “Pumpkin Layer” mix
  • Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes

Mealtime Mama: Make-ahead salads to take to work or eat on the run

 Salad shot, beverly's weekly salads

Our friend, Beverly, and her new husband, Robert, usually end their weekend putting together make-ahead salads in Mason jars to take to work the next week.

They stay fresh all week and what a time-saver!

They make their own dressing by mixing: 1 Tbsp Olive Oil + 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar + Salt/Pepper to taste.

“I love to add baby red, orange, yellow peppers. They’re sold all together in one bag at the grocery store,” she said, adding that tomatoes seem have a short shelf life, possibly due to refrigeration, so she doesn’t always use those.

Beverly said you can make everything go faster if you buy vegetables pre-sliced and she warned that you must purchase WIDE MOUTH mason jars for easy stuffing.

Assembly of the make-ahead salads from the bottom up:

  • Oil and Vinegar Dressing
  • Red Onion
  • Baby Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Mushrooms
  • Lettuce
  • Baby Peppers

In the jars pictured above, they’ve added: Oil and vinegar, salt & pepper to taste, red onion, carrots, cucumber, mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce and peppers.

Beverly was inspired by this post on PopSugar, so pop over and read that for more inspiration/instructions. The post says to wait on adding the dressing until you’re ready to eat the salad, but Beverly has found it tastes great when she uses the oil and vinegar version.


Mealtime Mama: Slow cooker shredded beef

shredded beef, My Brother's Salsa

We love that this recipe from Helen over at My Brother’s Salsa only has four ingredients. Doable!

Helen says the shredded beef can served on tortillas, buns, nachos or baked potatoes. That all sounds good to us!

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef

Mealtime Mama, My Brother's Salsa2-3 lb. Chuck Roast

3/4 cup My Brothers Original Salsa

1 cup beef stock

1small onion, peeled & quartered

salt to taste

Directions: Place roast in slow cooker. Add salsa, stock, onion, salt. Cook on low for approx. 6-8 hours.Shred beef with two forks.

Thanks to My Brother’s Salsa for sponsoring Mealtime Mama. We love the salsa line ( and really appreciate the creative ways Helen uses them in her recipes. To see more salsa-inspired recipes, click here to visit the My Brother’s Salsa website!

Mealtime Mama: Garden Vegetable Soup


Now that the weather’s getting colder, a big bowl of homemade vegetable soup sounds GOOD.

Our Mealtime Mama sponsor My Brother’s Salsa cooked up this recipe:

Garden Vegetable Soup

4 tbsp Olive Oil

1 cup celery, diced

Mealtime Mama, My Brother's Salsa½ cup yellow onion, diced

1 tsp minced garlic

3 small zucchini, sliced into bite-sized pieces

15 oz. can okra, drained

15 oz.  can yellow corn, drained

28 oz. can petite diced tomatoes

Four 15 oz cans vegetable or chicken broth

3 tbsp lime juice

1 cup My Brother’s Salsa Original—Medium

Salt and freshly ground Pepper to taste


Heat olive oil over medium heat; add onions, garlic; cook until softened; add carrots, potatoes, zucchini, & mushrooms and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally; add broth and increase heat to high;bring to a simmer. Then add corn, okra,  tomatoes, Original Salsa, and salt/pepper; reduce heat to low and cook until veges are tender yet slightly crisp, about 20 minutes (don’t let them get mushy); remove from heat. Serve with crusty bread or corn bread.

Gluten-free note: to ensure this recipe is gluten-free, carefully read the ingredient label on any packaged store-bought items used.

For more fabulous recipes, pop over to Helen’s online table HERE. The website is full of fun stories and inspiration for dinner tonight!

Mealtime Mama: Easy Greek salad recipe

Mealtime Mama, My Brother's Salsa

I (Shannon) love, love this salad, but I can’t remember who gave me the recipe.

In our recent move, the note card fluttered to the floor out of one of my cookbooks. If this is your recipe, friends or family, please speak up and let me know!

Greek Salad

1 bag or head/bundle of leaf lettuce

1/2 cucumber

1 can whole black olives (drained)

1 can diced tomatoes in basil, olive oil, garlic (drained)

Feta cheese (4 oz)

Greek dressing (to taste)

Directions: Mix together the ingredients and chill until ready to serve.

Thanks to My Brother’s Salsa for sponsoring the Mealtime Mama category. This is not Helen’s recipe, but if you’re looking for ideas you should stop by her My Brother’s Salsa website. CLICK HERE to visit the site.