Monday, November 30, 2015

2015 Holiday Gift Guide: for her

Holiday Gift Guide for Her

Happy Cyber Monday! Let's celebrate this day of internet shopping with my first ever
Holiday Gift Guide!  Today I am sharing some of my favorite things and just maybe
that someone special in your life would like them too.  Let's get started!

Tieks Ballet Flats.  Best flats ever! If you follow me on Instagram (meandmypinkmixer)
then you've probably already noticed how much I love these shoes. I have never owned
a comfortable pair of flats until these fuchsia colored shoes entered my life.  I absolutely
love them and hope to add more colors to my collection soon! Hint hint Santa.

John Boo's Signature Maple Cutting Board.  A must have for the serious cook.  John
Boos boards are top notch in quality and craftsmanship!

Sweater Weather Sweatshirt.  This cute and comfy sweatshirt from Loved by Hannah
and Eli is perfect for those chilly days when only a sweatshirt will do.  I LOVE mine!

Hamilton Beach Party Crock.  Cook and serve party food and dips in this adorable crock.

KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer.  Need I say more?  You all know how much I LOVE
my pink stand mixer and I think everyone should have one!

Pampered Chef Large Cookie Scoop.  My second favorite baking tool.  I use this scoop
all of the time.  It's great for cupcakes, muffins, cookies and more.

Hamilton Beach Single Serve Blender.  Blends single serve smoothies and shakes in no
time.  I use mine almost every day.  The convenient travel lid is perfect for smoothies on
the go.

Jo Totes Camera Bags.  Stylish, functional and oh so pretty.  Jo Totes camera bags protect
your camera and accessories and look good doing it.

Starbucks Mug.  I have a coffee mug addiction and love the new holiday collection.
Who wouldn't want a cute coffee mug!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Muddy Buddies {Puppy Chow} Cupcakes

Muddy Buddies or Puppy Chow, as some people call it, is a holiday sweet treat
tradition in our house.  We make it every year around the holidays.

Chex Cereal Muddy Buddies

This year I thought I would take our Buddy Muddies to another level by combining them 
with chocolate cupcakes and peanut butter buttercream frosting.  Muddy Buddies cupcakes!
I can't believe I haven't thought of this before!

First I made a batch of muddy buddies using the recipe on the back of a Rice Chex cereal
box.  You can find it here.  Next I made chocolate cupcakes using my brand new 
OXO Illuminating Digital Hand Mixer.  I never really gave much thought to my hand 
mixer until I used this one.  The OXO mixer has an illuminating headlight which allows 
you to easily monitor the batter consistency and it remains lit while the mixer is on.  
What a cool feature!

OXO Hand Mixer

The OXO Illuminating hand mixer includes a set of balloon shaped beaters to mix everything 
from egg whites to cookie batter.  It also comes with a set of dough hooks for thicker batter.  

OXO Hand Mixer

The cord swivels and snaps into either side of the mixer to stay out of your way if you're a
lefty or a righty - they thought of everything! The mixing action is so smooth compared to
my old model. It mixed my cupcake batter just right.

Chex Muddy Buddies Cupcakes

I loved how these cupcakes turned out.  Very festive for the holidays!

Muddy Buddies Cupcakes

You can't go wrong with a combination of chocolate and peanut butter and the crunchiness 
of the muddy buddies adds just the right touch. Muddy Buddies cupcakes for the win!

Muddy Buddies Cupcakes

1 box Devil's Food chocolate cake mix
4 large eggs
1 C buttermilk
1/3 C canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
Sift cake mix into a large mixing bowl.  Add eggs, buttermilk and oil
to the bowl.  Using a hand mixer mix until ingredients until combined.
Using a large cookie scoop, fill liners 2/3 full.  Bake for 18 - 20 minutes
or until done.  Cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing to
a cooling rack.

Peanut Butter Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 C creamy peanut butter
4 C confectioners sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 T heavy cream

In the bowl of a stand mixer add butter and peanut butter.  Beat on 
medium speed for about one minute.  With the mixer on low speed, gradually 
add confectioners sugar one cup at a time.  Add vanilla and heavy cream.
Increase speed to medium high and whip until light and fluffy, about 4-5

Frost cooled cupcakes.  Top with chocolate coated candies and muddy
buddies.  Sprinkle with confectioners sugar if desired.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Disclosure:  I was provided an OXO hand mixer for review.  As always, all
opinions are my own.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Cranberry Orange Protein Smoothie

Well it's that time of year again.
The time when all the leaves are falling off of the ten million trees in our
yard.  Okay I may be exaggerating about the number of trees, but we will
be blowing, raking and bagging leaves until April I tell ya.

Leaves are my least favorite thing about Fall.  Give me all the pumpkins,
Starbuck's lattes, apple orchards, boots and sweaters.  But leaf raking - 
no thank you.

Cranberry Orange Protein Smoothie

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Mini Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecakes

It's hard to believe that we are in the second week of November already!
I've been going through my recipes trying to figure out what I'm going to make
for Thanksgiving this year.  Mixed Potato Gratin is one of my favorite side dishes
along with my mom's stuffing of course! We're going to my brother's house with about
20 other relatives so there will be lots of food to go around!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Washi Tape Crafts {Book Review}

I was recently asked if I would like to review a book titled Washi Tape Crafts:
Take a look at this photo from my craft room - what do you think my answer

I may have a slight washi tape obsession :)

Washi Tape

Monday, November 9, 2015

#JustBeYou {Stonyfield and prAna}

This post was created in partnership with Stonyfield Organic and prAna.
As always, all opinions are 100% my own.

Life is busy.
Careers, laundry, yard work, cleaning and being a wife and mom can be exhausting!
Not to mention meal planning and cooking.  For some reason my family expects me
to feed them every day.  Geez!

I love my family and my job, but I need some me time to keep me sane.
As soon as I get home from work I change into some comfy clothes, have a quick
snack and hit the neighborhood for a walk.  When I come back home I'm ready to
make dinner and take on whatever the evening brings.

My husband and I love Stonyfield Oh My Yog organic yogurt and we keep our fridge
stocked with them anytime we need a healthy, quick snack.  I love every flavor!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Homemade Steel Cut Granola

My blogging friend Kathie from Homespun Seasonal Living sent me a copy of her
book Gift It From Scratch recently and it has really motivated me to start giving
more homemade treats to friends.  I love surprising people with special gifts to 
let them know I care or have been thinking about them, but sometimes life gets in
the way and I don't do it near as often as I should.

Kathie's book offers great ideas on how to put together gift baskets filled with
homemade quick breads, cookies, cakes and more.  Kathie's recipes use natural 
ingredients, which I love, and she gives you suggestions on how to package the
treats to make them even more special.

Homemade Steel Cut Granola