Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Keurig Isn't Just For Coffee Lovers!

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Remember when I posted this happy photo on Instagram?
Well my mornings just got a whole lot better my friends!

I was recently given the opportunity to review the Keurig K-Cup Single Brewing system
and now I am wondering how I have lived without this sweet little machine all my life!

I am not a big coffee drinker, but I do LOVE my morning breakfast tea, my mid-day chai tea
latte and my evening cup of green tea.
Keurig K-cups are available in all of my favorite teas and hot chocolates.

The Keurig program feature lets me brew my breakfast tea in seconds, helping me to
be a happier morning person and starting my day out right :)
The 3-cup size selection fills my mugs perfectly, even my travel mug for hot tea goodness on the go.

I love that there are over 200 K-cup varieties from leading gourmet brands.
I plan on stocking up on several varieties of coffee, tea and hot chocolates to have
them available whenever guests arrive.
The Keurig K-cup will help me be the hostess with the mostess :)
Cupcakes and coffee anyone?

If you prefer using your own ground coffee, you can purchase a reusable k-cup coffee
filter.  I didn't get one yet, but I will be purchasing one soon.

Overall I am very pleased with the performance of the Keurig brewing system.
I am excited to try more delicious flavors and to try brewing my chai tea latte over ice too.
Iced chai is one of my favorites at Starbucks - now I will be able to make my own at home!

Be sure to follow Keurig on Facebook for information on new flavors, contests and more!

Disclosure - I was sent a Keurig K-Cup Brewing system to review. 
I was not compensated for this post and as always, all opinions are my own.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

No-Churn Cookie Dough Ice Cream #IceCreamForOXO

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It's summer y'all.
Time for some chilly treats!

After receiving a box of handy OXO ice cream tools from the super nice people at OXO
I knew exactly what kind of treat I was going to make.
Cookie dough ice cream!

I made the cookie dough cubes a few days before the ice cream just to save some time.
The recipe for the cookie dough makes way more than you will need for the ice cream,
but extra cookie dough is a good thing right :)

I keep the extra cubes in the freezer and grab one or two when I get the craving for something sweet.
The cookie dough is egg-free, so no need to worry about getting sick from raw eggs!
I also use the cubes as the filling for my cookie dough cupcakes.

Here's how I made the cookie dough:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, at room temp.
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1 cup mini chocolate chips

In a small bowl, combine flour and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars.
Add vanilla and milk.
Spoon in the flour and salt; mixing just until combined.
Fold in mini chocolate chips.

Spoon dough onto a cookie sheet.  The dough is easier to work with once chilled, so place it in the fridge
for 15-20 minutes.  Pat dough out to cover cookie sheet and place in the freezer.
Cut frozen dough into cubes and store in an air-tight freezer container.

Try not to eat 20 cubes in one sitting :)

Now onto the ice cream!
Just 3 ingredients - that's it!
Heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla extract.
And the best part is you don't even need an ice cream maker!
The easy, peasy recipe is at the bottom of the post.

I love this angled OXO measuring cup!
It lets you read the measurements as you're looking into the cup - genius!

Measure the vanilla using the OXO mini measuring beaker set.

No churn ice cream keeps great in the OXO Lock top container that can go from the freezer
to the microwave and dishwasher and the OXO stainless steel ice cream scoop is the best!

No-churn ice cream is so simple to make.
What are you waiting for?
It's summertime!
Make some ice cream!

No-Churn Cookie Dough Ice Cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip cream until stiff peaks form (about 3 minutes).
In a large mixing bowl, stir sweetened condensed milk and vanilla just until combined.
Fold whipped cream into the milk and vanilla mixture.
Pour into a freezer safe container and store in the freezer until ice cream firms.

Note - I add the cookie dough cubes when the ice cream is slightly frozen (after an hour or two) so that they
don't sink to the bottom.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hello Monday on Wednesday

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I had my Hello Monday post all ready to go for you on Sunday night, but for some reason I forgot about it and posted how I freeze zucchini instead.
So I will say Hello Monday on Wednesday.
It is my blog so I guess I can say hello whatever day I want - ha ha.

Anyway, here is a glimpse of what I have been saying hello to lately.

Hello first zinnia bouquet of the summer.
Zinnias are one of my favorite summer flowers and my mom plants hundreds of them.

Hello to visiting my parents farm and watching my Dad rake hay.
He loves the farm!

Hello to making cookie dough cubes for homemade ice cream.
Recipe coming soon!

Hello to my fascination with Little Free Libraries.
I want to start one in my neighborhood!

Hello to pool time - my fave!
What's in your pool bag?

Hello to adding fresh blueberries to corn muffins.
So good! Try it!
You can use this recipe or simply add them to your favorite cornbread mix.

Hello to trying ReNola.
Grain-free granola from LaraBar.
It's delish! You should try it too.

Hope you are having a great week so far!
Long weekend ahead!
Happy 4th of July!!

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Monday, June 30, 2014

How I Freeze Zucchini

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It's zucchini season!
The time of year when these little (or not so little) green veggies show up in office break rooms or at your front door because friends, family and neighbors don't know what else to do with them all :)

Zucchini is one of my favorite veggies, so I welcome each and every one of them!

Of course even I can't use all of the zucchini my parents give me, but I can freeze it for later and
that's just what I do!
This way I have plenty of zucchini to add to all of the soups I make during the fall and winter.

Want to see how I do it?
It's super easy!

Many people suggest blanching zucchini before freezing, but I never do and have had no problems with it being mushy when I use it later. The Farmer's Almanac website says that zucchini does not need to be blanched before freezing and that's good enough for me, but if you feel more comfortable blanching it first here is good tutorial.

This is how I freeze zucchini:

Wash zucchini and let it air-dry on a clean dish towel.
Slice and quarter zucchini.
Place cubed zucchini in a single layer onto a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for about 45 minutes
to flash freeze. This prevents the zucchini from sticking together and it cooks better later.
If you have a lot of zucchini or a small freezer like I do, you will need to do this in batches.

While the zucchini is freezing, gather your freezer containers.
You can also use freezer bags, but I prefer pint sized containers, they stack nicely in my freezer
and I can see what I have.
I prefer the brand in this photo.  You can find them in the canning section of Walmart.

Next find a Sharpie and some cute washi tape.

Place frozen zucchini cubes into freezer containers.
Label and date.
Store in the freezer until ready to use.

Looking for zucchini recipes?
Give one of these a try.

Veggie and Barley Stew

Zucchini Cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bars

Happy summer my sweet readers!

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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Under the Barn

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Over the weekend I finally had the opportunity to stop by my cousin's vintage shop, Under the Barn.
Under the Barn is located in Hinton, VA and it is actually under a real barn!

Tami has filled her shop with all types of antiques, crafts and vintage goodies.
She takes custom orders, so if you are looking for something specific let her know.
Be sure to follow her Facebook page to find out the dates and times she is open.
I think Saturday, July 12th is the next opening.

Let's take a look around.
There's a lot to see!

I love all of these old windows!
I may need one over my mantle soon.

Tami can make custom signs just for you.
You locals will recognize these popular spots!

Tami refurnished this beauty herself.
The blue interior is stunning.

The vintage kitchen area was my favorite!

How about this antique laundry soap dispenser!
It almost went home with me :)

Love this chippy paint enamel bowl too.
So many pretty things to see!

I hope you enjoyed taking a peek at Under the Barn.
Tami has lots more for you to see, so stop by soon!
When you stop by her Facebook page or shop be sure to tell her Me and My Pink Mixer sent ya!

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Friday, June 27, 2014

River Tubing/Swim Party Snack Mix

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Summer is my fave!
Pool time
flip flops
county fairs
homemade ice cream
beach trips
i could go on and on!

My hubby and I went tubing a couple weekends ago with some friends and we had so much fun!
I made tubing snack mix because that's just what I do :)
And my friends love me for it  - ha!

This would also be a cute snack for a pool party too.
The kids would eat it up!

I made individual servings to take with us on the river.
They would be cute party favors for a pool party too.
Here's what I included in my snack mix:
teddy grahams
lifesaver gummies
swedish fish
mini pretzels
m & m's
goldfish crackers would be good too!

Happy Weekend friends!

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