Thursday, October 30, 2014

Green-Eyed Monster Smoothies

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Here's a fun way to get some fruits and veggies into the kiddos before they get all
jacked up on Halloween candy tomorrow tonight.
Green-Eyed Monster Smoothies!

Williams-Sonoma is celebrating Smoothie Week all week long and the theme is
Weird, Wild and Crazy Smoothies.  I love making smoothies!
A good blender is key to making great smoothies.
My Green-Eyed Monster Smoothies are super easy to make and are a healthy breakfast
or pre-trick or treating snack for the kids.

The green eyes are made with grapes and candy googly eyes.
I used a tiny dab of peanut butter to glue the eyes to the grapes.
The kids are going to think these smoothies are so cool, they will forget how healthy
they are!
Happy Halloween!!

Green-Eyed Monster Smoothies

1 ripe banana, sliced (preferably frozen)
1/2 cup pineapple (fresh or frozen)
1 tsp. ground flax seed
handful of baby spinach
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup crushed ice

Combine ingredients into a blender.
Blend until smooth.

Garnish with grapes and candy googly eyes.

Makes 1 large smoothie or 2 small ones.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Raspberry Baked Oatmeal Cups for National Oatmeal Day #BerryNOats

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Happy National Oatmeal Day!
Truth be known, everyday is oatmeal day in our house.
We LOVE oatmeal!
My favorite is oatmeal topped with fresh berries, almond butter and a little
almond milk.
Driscoll's organic berries to be precise.
They are  on our grocery list EVERY week!
Berries are low in calories, high in fiber and taste fantastic!

I do not discriminate against oatmeal.
I will eat instant oatmeal, steel cut oats, baked oatmeal, slow cooker oatmeal - whatever!
It's my fave!
Today's recipe is for a super easy baked oatmeal, which I made in individual ramekins.
By making individual portions, I can just grab one on busy weekdays and pop it into the
microwave for 30 seconds and breakfast is served!

Baked oatmeal cups are also great for those times when you are craving a dessert, but
want do eat healthy too!  I topped this one with a little whipped cream and it was
the perfect snack to curb my sweet tooth!
Oatmeal is NOT just for breakfast!

If you're an oatmeal fan like me, you may want to check out some of my other favorites
like Clean Eating Microwave OatmealBlueberry Baked OatmealSteel Cut Oat Freezer
Pucks, or DIY Yourself Travel Oatmeal for a healthy breakfast while traveling.

Happy Oatmeal Day my sweet friends!

Raspberry Baked Oatmeal Cups

2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup almond butter
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3 T pure maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 T unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup fresh Driscoll's raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray 4 individual ramekin cups with cooking spray.
In a medium mixing bowl, mash bananas with a fork.  Add almond butter,
maple syrup, vanilla and almond milk; stirring to combine. Pour in the rolled
oats and mix well.  Gently fold in raspberries.  Using a large cookie scoop,
drop oats into the ramekins; filling about 3/4 full.
Bake 15-18 minutes.
Use a pot holder to serve because the cups will be hot.
Add your favorite toppings.

Serves 4.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Slow Cooker Applesauce {Unsweetened}

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What do you do when your mom gives you a huge bag of apples?
Make slow cooker applesauce!

I use unsweetened applesauce instead of oil in a lot of my baking recipes, so I
thought I would make my own and freeze it for baking this winter.

Homemade applesauce is super easy and my unsweetened applesauce recipe only
has 3 ingredients!
The hardest part is peeling all of the apples!
The best part is how amazing you house smells while the apples are cooking!

I used a combination of gala and green delicious, but any apples will do.
I also used a potato masher a few times while the apples were cooking to mash them
up a bit.  If you prefer your applesauce to be really smooth, you may want to use an
immersion blender or food processor, but that's totally up to you :)

What are you waiting for - go pick some apples!

Slow Cooker Applesauce 

3 lbs. apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I used Gala and Green Delicious)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
juice of 1 lemon

Place peeled, cored and sliced apples into a slow cooker.
Sprinkle with cinnamon.
Squeeze the juice of one lemon over the apple slices.
Toss apples well to combine.
Cook on high for 3 hours.
I used a potato masher in the slow cooker to mash the apples up a bit.
I like my applesauce a little on the chunky side :)
If you prefer a smoother applesauce, you may want to use am immersion blender
or place the cooked apples into a food processor.
That's it!

Healthy applesauce with no added sugars or preservatives!
Keep in the fridge for up to a week or freeze for up to six months.


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Monday, October 20, 2014

Hello Monday

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It's been FOREVER since I have done a Hello Monday post!
Let's get caught up a bit :)

Hello Fall mums.
Flowers in mason jars are my fave.

Hello red velvet ice cream.
You were a nice weekend treat!

Hello to meal planning.
I try to be a meal planner, but I don't always succeed.
Pretty clipboards, pens and notebooks make it easier :)

Hello pretty white pumpkins.

Hello to making Skinny Pumpkin Muffins.
Recipe coming soon!

Hello to my little globe collection.
I only have 3, but am having fun looking for more!

Hello to eating oatmeal.
I {puffy heart} oatmeal :)

Hello to taking pictures of my girl.
She keeps getting older, but I don't - ha!

Hello sweet readers!
Thank you for coming to my little space on the internet.
I'm glad you're here!
Happy Monday!!

Linking up with the lovely Lisa Leonard and Hello Monday.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

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I've got a thing for cookie cups.

I mean look how cute they are!
How can anyone resist a cookie cup??

I made this recipe the last time I had my girlfriends over and they were a big hit.
Just the perfect bite-size of sweetness.

They look so pretty on a pedestal or platter too, which makes them perfect for a
baby or bridal shower or any type of party really.
You can't go wrong with a cookie cup :)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C butter, unsalted
3/4 C brown sugar
1/4 C granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 C mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a mini muffin pan with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars.
Add egg and vanilla.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing just until combined.
Fold in mini chocolate chips.
Using a small cookie scoop, drop dough into prepared mini muffin cups.
Bake for 7 - 9 minutes or until light golden brown. Using a Pampered Chef mini
tart shaper, I make small indentation in the dough for the frosting.
Cool in the muffin pan for about 10 minutes, before removing to a wire rack to continue

Vanilla Buttercream:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 cups Dixie Crystals powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 T whipping cream or milk

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla for 5 minutes.  Add whipping cream or milk and beat for another 5-8 minutes until light and fluffy.

Pipe buttercream into cooled cookie cups.
Top with a fresh raspberry and mint leaf.

You may also want to try some of my other cookie cups:

Snickerdoodle Cookie Tarts

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups

Fruit Pizza Cookie Cups

The possibilities are endless!

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pantry Organization #Poptober

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When we remodeled our kitchen last year I decided that when the time came to put the kitchen back together I would only unpack items that we used on a regular basis or things that I really loved.
What was left would be sold at our neighborhood yard sale or donated.

My counter tops were clear and my cabinets were neat and organized.
I loved the look of our new, clutter-free kitchen!

Well it's been one year now and the kitchen has stayed pretty neat and tidy.

The pantry is another matter!!

I want to go into fall and the holiday baking season, with an organized, well-stocked
pantry.  OXO and The Container Store gave me just the tools that I needed!
OXO Good Grips Pop Containers.

OXO Good Grips Pop Containers have flat lids that are easy for stacking and the square
and rectangular shapes make Pop containers space efficient.  The pop open lids make the
containers so easy to use, you can even open them with one hand!

I started my pantry overhaul by removing everything.  As I did this, I came to the realization that I am a canned diced tomato and pasta hoarder.  I have spaghetti, penne, quinoa penne, small shells, large shells, ditalini, rigatoni, wagon wheels, macaroni, bow ties, rotini and lasagna (no-bake and regular).
What the heck?
Well I guess if we are ever snowed in for weeks, we can survive on pasta :)
Anyway, back to my pantry organization.

I love these OXO Cereal Dispensers.  They're available in several sizes and they
keep cereal and snacks fresh, while making it easy to pour too.

I used a label maker to identify the contents of the Pop Containers and when that ran
out, I used washi tape.  I have a lot of baking supplies and ran out of Pop Containers.
I see a trip to The Container Store in my near future!!

I've already started a Pinterest wish list for more OXO goodies.
Check it out.

Follow Lynda @Me and My Pink Mixer's board The Container Store OXO Storage & Organization Wish List #Poptober on Pinterest.

The Container Store has everything you need for organizing your pantry and kitchen.
Pop Containers are available at The Container Store locations nationwide.

Well here's the after photo.
Much better don't you think.

All of my baking supplies, except my sprinkles (and that's a whole other post),
are conveniently located on one shelf.  My fifty packages of pasta are with the canned goods and spices.  Now I know exactly what is in my pantry.  It feels great to open the doors and be able to quickly grab what I need without searching all over the place.
The clear OXO Pop Containers make it easy to find what I am looking for.

Bring on the holiday baking!  I'm ready now!

How would you like to win a Prize Pack worth $500, including OXO Storage and
Organization tools (up to $250), as well as a $250 elfa gift card.
The giveway will run from Monday, October 13 - Friday, October 31st).
Click HERE to enter.

Good luck and happy organizing!!!

Disclosure - I was sent OXO Pop Containers from OXO and The Container Store to organize my pantry.
I was not compensated for this post and as always, all opinions are my own.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas and a Giveaway

Now that the weather is cooler here in Virginia, there's nothing like coming home from
work to the smell of a nice, warm dinner ready and waiting in my Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker.

Like most families, our fall schedules are crazy busy.  My husband and I both work
outside of the home.  He also helps coach football at our local high school, so when
he finally gets home in the evening he's pretty hungry!
My slow cooker is a life saver!

The Hamilton Beach Set & Forget Programmable Slow Cooker has three choices for
easy, automatic cooking, program, probe and manual mode.

Program mode is so convenient for those busy days when I'm not quite sure when I will
be home.  Just program the time and when it's up, the slow cooker automatically changes
the setting to warm.  How great is that!

This recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas couldn't be easier.
Just place everything in the slow cooker that morning and when you get home
that evening dinner is ready!

When the chicken is done you can leave the breasts whole if you like, but I prefer
to shred the chicken with two forks and spoon the spicy goodness into warm tortilla shells!

Most of the time I serve the fajitas with rice and black beans, but they are totally fine
on their own.  Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas are also yummy served over tortilla chips!

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

1 lb. boneless chicken breasts
1 pkg. fajitas seasoning mix
1 small onion, sliced
1 red pepper, cut into strips
1 green pepper, cut into strips
1/2 C salsa
flour tortillas
optional toppings: cilantro, sour cream, shredded cheese, tomatoes

Spray slow cooker with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine salsa and fajitas seasoning packet; set aside.
Place the chicken, onion and peppers in a Hamilton Beach Set & Forget 6 qt.
Programmable Slow Cooker.  Pour the salsa and seasoning mixture over the chicken and
peppers. Cover with a lid and cook 6-7 hours on low or about 4 hours on high until
chicken is cooked through.  Using two forks, shred chicken into bite-size pieces.
Spoon mixture into tortillas and add toppings.

Now for the GIVEAWAY!
It's time you had a new Hamilton Beach Set & Forget 6 qt. Programmable Slow Cooker
don't you think?

To enter to win, simply leave a comment on this post and answer the question:

“What is your favorite slow cooker recipe?”
You can receive up to THREE additional entries to win by doing the following:

1. Become a fan of Me and My Pink Mixer on Facebook. Come back and let me know you became a fan in an additional comment on this post.
2. Follow @meandmypinkmixer on Instagram. Come back and let me know you follow in an additional comment on this post.

4. Follow @mypinkmixerblog and @HamiltonBeach on Twitter. Come back and let me know you follow in an additional comment on this post.
Deadline to enter: Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 11:59pm EST.
Open to U.S. Residents only.
Winner: The winner will be notified via email; if the winner does not respond within 48 hours, another winner will be selected.

Disclosure - I was sent a Hamilton Beach Set & Forget  6 qt. Programmable Slow Cooker to review. 
I was not compensated for this post and as always, all opinions are my own.

Giveaway has ended.
Congrats to Wendy Rozema for winning the Slow Cooker!

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