Monday, December 31, 2012

Hello Monday

Hello to working with Frosty the Snowman :)
Hello to drinking pretty holiday sangria.
Hello to a super cute way to gift a bottle of wine with a pair of socks. 
Thanks for the idea Amanda :)
Hello to brunch and dirty santa gift exchange with the girls.

Hello to me receiving a new apron and cupcake dish towels :)
Hello to a candle and hand towel catching fire in our bathroom on Christmas day.
Not cool.
Thank goodness for my brothers good sense of smell and my cousin and other brothers quick response or it could have been alot worse!
Hello to cousins spending Christmas together.
Hello to the last day of 2012.
Wishing you all a safe, healthy and happy new year!!

Linking to Hello Monday with Lisa Leonard.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Favorite Recipes of 2012

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WOW - 2012 sure did go by quickly!
My pink mixer and I were busy whipping up all kinds of sweet treats.
Hope you found some that you enjoyed as much as I did.

Here's a look back at my favorite recipes of 2012 month by month.

January - Homemade Dog Treats

September - Margarita Cupcakes

Thank you all so much for stopping by my blog this year.
Your sweet e-mails and comments make my day :)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Holiday Sangria

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My friend Lynn made this beautiful sangria for our girls Christmas brunch yesterday and I just had to share the recipe. It is such a festive drink and perfect for a holiday party.  Hope you like it too!

 Holiday Sangria

1 cup fresh cranberries
2 apples, cubed
1 sprig of rosemary plus more for garnish
1 bottle white wine (she used Pinot Grigio)
1/2 cup white grape juice
1/4 cup sugar plus more for garnish
1 can club soda

Combine all ingredients into a large pitcher, mixing well.
Place pitcher in the fridge to chill.

To make rosemary garnish - place about a half cup of sugar in a shallow bowl.
Lightly wet the rosemary and then shake off any excess water.  Roll the rosemary sprigs in sugar until coated. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

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Only 4 more days until Christmas!  Are you ready?
I'm not!
I still have wrapping, cleaning and lots of baking to do.
Good thing the weekend is almost here!

If you're looking for something new for your dessert table, Hot Chocolate cupcakes are a perfect wintery treat. Chocolate cake topped with hot chocolate frosting and garnished with tiny marshmallow bits and fudge drizzle - yum!

Hot Chocolate Cupcakes
1/2 cup plus 1 T Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup plus 1 T hot water
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks plus 1 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 T vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cupcake pan with paper liners. 
In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powderand salt; set aside.
In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder and hot water and whisk until smooth.
Combine the butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth and butter is completely melted.  Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-low speed until the mixture is cool, about 4-5 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Blend in the vanilla and then cocoa mixture until smooth.  With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing each addition just until incorporated.

Using a large cookie scoop fill prepared liners with batter, using one scoop per cupcake.  Bake about 18-20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.  Let cool in pan about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Hot Chocolate Frosting:
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 package hot cocoa mix
1-2 T heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla for 2-3 minutes on med-high speed.  Lower the speed and add the hot cocoa mix and milk. Beat for another 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Frost cooled cupcakes.  (I use a Wilton 1M tip to frost my cupcakes)
Garnish with Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits and fudge drizzle.
Chocolate cupcake recipe from Annie's Eats.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mini Nutella Cookie Cups

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This past weekend my two sister-in-laws and I got together for some cookie baking at my house.
Believe it or not I totally forgot about my camera and didn't take any photos until the very end.
Guess I was just enjoying the family time and cookie tasting :)

We baked M & M Cookies, Peanut Butter Cup Cookies, Snickerdoodle bars, peanut butter cookies and  Nutella Cookie Cups.  My pink mixer really got a workout!

The nutella cookie cups were Madison's idea and I'll have to say they were pretty tasty.

Mini Nutella Cookie Cups

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 jar of Nutella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray mini muffin pans with cooking spray.
In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
Using a small cookie scoop, measure about 1 T cookie dough and roll into a ball.
Place balls into your greased mini muffin tin.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and place muffin tin on a wire cooling rack.  Using a Pampered Chef mini tart shaper or the back of a teaspoon, make a small well in each cup.
Place a teaspoon full of Nutella into each cup.  Let them sit a few minutes and then smooth out with a spoon.

Cool for about 15 minutes before removing them from the muffin tin.  I find that they remove easily if you use a butter knife around the edges and then twist the cookie cup while removing it.  The Nutella will set in about an hour, which makes them easy to transport.
Makes about 48 mini cups.

Note - I used the Pampered Chef Mini Muffin pans.

Recipe from Daisy Chubb

Monday, December 17, 2012

Day of Remembrance

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Duff Decorating Supplies Giveaway!

Decorating cakes or cookies for the holidays?
How would you like to win some Duff decorating supplies to help you spiff up those baked goods?

Duff Goldman has his own line of cake decorating supplies and I got to try them out during my weekend at Mixed.  They make decorating so easy!

I have decided to spread some holiday cheer and share some of them with you :)

You could be the winner of one pack of cake tattoos, one pack of food color pens and three packs of icing (green, red and pink). 

Here's how to enter:
1)  Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite flavor of cake.  (Make sure you leave your email address so I can contact you if you are the winner.)

Extra Entries (you must leave a separate comment for each extra entry)
1) Follow Me and My Pink Mixer on Facebook.
2) Follow Me and My Pink Mixer on Twitter.
3) Follow Me and My Pink Mixer by email or Google connect (on sidebar).
4) Tweet about the giveaway and let me know that you did.
5) Share this link on Facebook and let me know that you did.

Contest ends this Thursday night at midnight so hurry and enter!

Contest is now closed.
Congratulations to Ashley (Comment #38) for winning!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Hello Monday

It's been awhile since I have done a Hello Monday post, so I thought it was time to show you what I have been up to lately.

Hello to my first food bloggers conference where I had a blast!
You can read more about it here.

Hello to birthday pranks.
Shhhh....the birthday girl is still sleeping :)

Hello to our daughter celebrating her 19th birthday.
Hello to the birthday girl requesting a yellow sheet cake with canned chocolate frosting for her cake.
What the heck?!?!?!?!

Hello to my favorite new ornament from Pen and Paint.
Love it!!!

Hello to yummy dinners from Panera!

The nice people at Panera sent me a gift card so I could give their soup a try.  I love Panera!
It was the perfect ending to an evening of Christmas shopping with my mom.
Garden vegetable with pesto is my fave! I also had the Smokehouse Turkey Panini sandwich which is delish!
Panera is the perfect choice any time of day and is one of my favorite restaurants.
Thank you Panera :)

Hello to you dear readers!
Wishing you a fabulous week!

Linking up to Hello Monday with Lisa Leonard.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Homemade Brownies with Hershey Bar Frosting

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Want to know how to make homemade brownies taste even better?!
Top them with Hershey candy bar frosting.
Oh my!

Homemade Brownies with Hershey Bar Frosting

4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate ( I used Baker's Semi-Sweet squares)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Full size (1.55 oz each) Hershey chocolate bars

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a small saucepan melt the butter and chocolate over low heat; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl add the sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla; mixing by hand with a large wooden spoon.
Slowly add chocolate mixture, stirring until all ingredients are combined.
Using a large cookie scoop, drop brownie mixture into paper-lined muffin tins.
Bake for 25-30 minutes. 
Remove from oven and immediately place 2 squares of a Hershey chocolate bar onto each brownie.
After a few minutes, the chocolate will be melted enough to spread over the brownie.
Makes 18 brownie cupcakes.

Linking To:
Tidy Mom
Serenity Now
Thirty Handmade Days
Flamingo Toes
I {Heart} Naptime

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Baked Oatmeal In A Jar

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I know I have mentioned this to you all before, but I am an oatmeal lovin' freak.
I have it for breakfast in some form almost every single day.
Instant, steel cut, baked - I love it all.

These little cuties are a great way to enjoy baked oatmeal on the go.
Store them in the fridge and then pop one into your bag to enjoy when you get to work, school or whatever.
So good and good for you too :)

Baked Oatmeal In A Jar

1 cup rolled oats
2 T chia seeds
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup almond milk
2 T pure maple syrup
1 banana (or other fruit like apple or peach), chopped
1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Remove lids from 6 jelly jars (4.2 oz).
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and baking powder.
Add the almond milk, vanilla and maple syrup and stir until combined.  Fold in the fruit and chopped nuts.
Keep stiring the mixture so some of the milk will absorb.  Divide the mixture between the six mason jars, about 1/3 cup in each.
Bake at 350 for 22-25 minutes on a small baking sheet, or until slightly firm and golden on top.
Allow to cool completely for about an hour before placing them in the fridge.

Eat them cold or microwave for 30-40 seconds.

Note - I purchased the jelly jars from Wal-mart - they come in a case of 12.

Recipe from Oh She Glows

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Mixed Food Bloggers Conference

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend Mixed, my very first food bloggers conference and it was fabulous!  Susan from Doughmesstic and Paula from bell'alimento were our lovely hosts.

The conference was held at the Mountain Lake Hotel in Pembroke, Virginia.
The hotel was the location for the movie classic "Dirty Dancing", starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey.
I have been a big fan of the movie ever since I first saw it in 1987, so I was so excited to be there!

Mixed had so many generous corporate sponsors.  KitchenAid, Dreamfields Pasta, OXO and Dixie Crystals were just a few of the amazing companies that that were represented.
I received a swag bag with all of these goodies when I first arrived and that was just the beginning!

The first night we attended a mixer with lots of cookie tasting.
My new friend Janet from The Army Mom made these adorable penguins.

Melanie from A Delicious Bite made Chocolate Expresso Snaps that were delish!
I love me some chocolate :)

Karyn from Pint Sized Baker made these beauties.  I love the detail!

On Saturday we had a full day of sessions on photography, food styling, cookie and cake decorating just to name a few.

Marian from Sweetopia taught us now to decorate sugar cookies with royal icing and buttercream.
She is an AMAZING cookie decorator and is the sweetest person ever.  I loved meeting her!

Next up was cake decorating with guess who?!?
Duff Goldman!!

Duff provided us with a huge assortment of cake decorating supplies to play with.

Katie of Katie's Cucina was my cake decorating partner.
We made an awesome team :)
Here's our finished cake.  Isn't it pretty!
Duff was really helpful and so nice too.

I really hit it off with Melanie from Melanie In The Middle and A Beautiful Bite.
Melanie has two blogs, four kids and is so fun to hang out with!

I learned so much and met several amazing new friends at Mixed.
It was a great experience and one that I will never forget!
Thank you Paula and Susan for hosting such a great event.