Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

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Back in the day my mom would make my brothers and I strawberry Jell-O poke cake.
Delicious yellow cake with tunnels of red gelatin throughout and topped with a vanilla pudding frosting. 
We loved that cake!

This dessert is the same concept, using pudding instead of gelatin.

My mom invited us all over for dinner on Sunday and I volunteered to bring dessert since my pink mixer has been feeling neglected lately.

I thought it was time to bring back the poke cake for old times sake :)

Banana Pudding Poke Cake

1 box yellow cake mix (I use Duncan Hines)
Ingredients to make the cake (eggs, canola oil and water)
2 (3.4 oz.) packages of instant banana pudding
4 cups milk (I used 1%)
1 (8 oz.) container of frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 cups crushed vanilla wafer cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch bake dish.
Prepare cake according to directions on the box.
After baking, remove cake pan to a wire rack to cool for a couple of minutes.
Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke holes into the cake.  Make sure the holes are large and that you are poking the spoon down to the botton of the cake.

In a medium size bowl, whisk pudding with milk.  Stir until combined, but do not let it get too thick.
Pour the pudding over the cake, making sure to pour some right into the holes.  I used a measuring cup with spout for this.  Spread the pudding evenly over the cake.

Put the cake into the fridge so that the pudding can set (at least 2-3 hours).
Spread whipped topping over the pudding and place the cake back into the fridge.

To crush the vanilla wafer cookies place them into a Ziploc baggie and roll over them with a rolling pin.
Leave some of the pieces larger than others to have a little bit of crunch.

I spread the cookies over the cake right before serving so that they aren't mushy.
Store any leftover cake in the fridge.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas

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Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas are one of our favorite weeknight dinners.
This dish is SO EASY to prepare and tastes delicious!

I throw all of the ingredients into a big bowl and toss to combine.
Spread the chicken and veggies out on a cookie sheet and in 30 - 35 minutes dinner is ready.
Got to love that!

Serve with a side of fiesta rice and whole wheat tortillas for a healthy meal any day of the week.

Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas

4 boneless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1 green pepper, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
2 T olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
flour tortillas

shredded cheese
sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
Grease a 9x13 bake dish or cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Place chicken in the bake dish.
In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, chili powder, cumin, oregano and garlic powder. Pour the mixture evenly over the chicken and stir to coat. Add the peppers and onions to the dish and stir to combine.

Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are fork tender.
Serve with tortillas and your favorite toppings.
Serves 4.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt #justaddgood

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You're probably thinking that I have abandoned my poor pink mixer lately.
Well I have been trying to eat healthy, but don't worry some sweet treats will be coming soon!
I have some birthdays to celebrate in the coming weeks, so I'm sure cupcakes will be making an appearance before you know it :)

Meanwhile, back to my healthy eating plan. 
Even though I am trying to stay on the healthy track, I do crave something sweet every day.
This little snack is perfect for my plan. 
Greek yogurt pimped out to taste like cookie dough.
Healthy and sweet.
Win win!

I have a fridge full of 32 ounce containers of greek yogurt that the super nice people from Chobani sent me, so I'll be set for awhile. 

Cookie Dough Greek Yogurt

1 small container of greek yogurt or 3/4 cup from a large container
1 T peanut butter
1 T maple syrup or honey
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
1 T mini chocolate chips

Combine greek yogurt with the peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract and sea salt.
Mix until smooth.
Top with mini chocolate chips.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Chicken and Broccoli Pie

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I love it when I find new recipes to add to our dinner rotation.
The hubby gave this one the thumbs up and it's pretty healthy too.

This meal is so easy to put together, especially if you already have the cooked chicken on hand.
I planned ahead and baked 3 boneless chicken breasts the evening before while I had the oven hot from that dinner.  I just simply put the chicken breasts on a cookie sheet covered with cooking spray.  Topped them with some sea salt, fresh ground pepper and a drizzle of olive oil on each.  I baked them in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.  After they cooled I cut them into small pieces and put them in the fridge.

I used Nature's Promise Frozen Organic Broccoli florets and they were the perfect size, so no extra chopping was needed. 

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.

Chicken and Broccoli Pie

2 cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed and drained
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup cooked chicken, diced
2 eggs
1/3 cup medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup Bisquick (I used Heart Healthy)
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray.
Sprinkle broccoli, cheese, chicken and onion in the pie plate.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk, Bisquick, salt and pepper until combined.
Pour into pie plate.  Bake 35-40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

I found the recipe on the blog Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

Don't forget to follow Me and My Pink Mixer on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Low-Fat Granola Bars

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Making your own granola bars is easy peasy.
You should try it.

This recipe makes low-fat, chewy bars in no time at all.
Customize the bars to your liking by using whatever nuts or dried fruit you prefer.
I used low-sugar craisins and pecans.

Make sure you line your bake dish with parchment paper to remove the bars easily from the pan.
I use clothes pins to hold the parchment in place until I'm ready to put it in the oven.
This prevents the paper from sliding all over the place.
(Remove the clothes pins before baking)

I use the back of a metal measuring cup to press the oats down before baking.
Ta-da!  Homemade granola bars!

Low-Fat Granola Bars

1 3/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
1 1/2 large ripe bananas
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup low-sugar craisins
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 T ground flax seed
1/4 tsp. sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 9 x 9 inch bake dish with parchment paper making sure to leave some overlapping the sides.
Spread the oats and nuts out on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes or until lighly toasted; stirring occasionally.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.
In a medium bowl, mash the banana with the back of a fork.  Stir in the applesauce until combined.
Pour the oats and nuts into a large mixing bowl.  Add the craisins, ground flax seed, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Stir the banana mixture into the oat mixture until well combined.  Pour into the parchment lined bake dish, pressing mixture down evenly.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes.
Lift the bars out of the dish using the edges of the parchment paper.  Let cool for another 15 minutes before cutting into bars.
Store in an airtight container or in Ziploc snack bags for a healthy snack on the go.

Note - these granola bars are chewy, not crunchy.....in case you were wondering :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My Cookbook Wish List

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I have a confession.
I am a cookbook hoarder.
Seriously....ask my husband.

They are stacked on my nightstand, in my office and kitchen.
I carry one or two around with me in the car.
I read them like novels.
I can't get enough.
I love them :)
If there was a cookbook collector support group I would NOT go.
I only have a few obsessions in life (cookbooks, Diet Coke and lipstick) and they make me happy.
So there.

For your enjoyment....
I present my latest cookbook wish list.
Hint hint :)

The Picky Palate Cookbook by Jenny Flake
I love Jenny and all of her tasty recipes.

Because cookie dough rocks!

The Recipe Girl Cookbook by Lori Lange
Gotta love anyone with the name recipe girl :)

Mini Pies by Abigail Johnson Dodge
Who wouldn't want a mini pie????

Sweet Designs by Amy Atlas.
Gorgeous party ideas. 

Our Best Bites by Sara Wells and Kate Jones
Just yummy recipes.

So there you have it.  My cookbook wish list.
Now isn't your day complete :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

My Foodie Goals for 2013

Since beginning this blog I have become much more adventurous in the kitchen.
Five years ago I would have never considered grinding wheat berries for baking or making kale chips to snack on.
I had never heard of chia seeds, quinoa or agave nector.
And the idea of a green smoothie would have made me barf.

I have learned SO much from the blogging community.
You have helped me grow as a person and become a much better Suzy Homemaker than I could have ever imagined :)

I always enjoy trying new recipes and developing some of my own.
I have hundreds of recipes that I want to try, but I thought if I write down a few of my foodie goals it will help me stay focused.
So here are five of my foodie goals for 2013 and if you have suggestions on how I can accomplish these goals or recipes for me to try I would LOVE to hear about them.  Just leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

My 2013 Foodie Goals:

Learn how to make Macarons. 
I have never even tasted a macaron EVER, but they are so pretty and very popular right now.
I just feel like I need to make some.


I have owned a madeline pan for about 5 years and never used it.
This is the year I will dig it out of the cabinet and make these buttery treats.


Learn how to decorate pretty sugar cookies.
Sugar cookies have always intimidated me. 
I'm not sure why.
2013 is the year I will conquer my sugar cookie fear.
These are from Bake at 350 and I LOVE them!

Find a simple homemade tomato/marinara sauce that I love.
I prefer to make my own tomato sauce but have not found the perfect recipe for me yet.
Please share yours if you have a recipe that you love.

Find a go-to recipe for whole wheat pizza dough that is quick and easy.
Pizza is one of my faves, but I want to try to keep it as healthy as I can.
I need a good dough recipe.
Fast :)


Do you have any foodie goals for the year?
I would love to hear yours too!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pesto Baked Salmon with Couscous and Veggies

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One of my goals last year was to become better at meal planning. 
I also tried to eliminate as many processed foods from our diet as I could.
I think I was pretty successful. 

It may seem like I make a lot of sweets around here, but most of the time they are for special occasions or special orders for friends, co-workers and relatives.  Don't get me wrong - I love a cupcake or two, but moderation is key.

I starting using this free printable meal planner and it really helped to keep me focused.
I also have a "What's For Dinner" Pinterest board.

Meal planning has made my evenings much less stressful.  I absolutely hate it when I have to stop off at the grocery store on my way home from work.  I rarely do that any more.

Pesto Baked Salmon is a new to our dinner rotation, but we will definitely be having it at least once or twice a month.  It's healthy, quick and delicious. 

I purchased the frozen Salmon fillets from Costco and I use whole wheat cousous that I buy from a bulk food store in our local farmers market.  I store pasta's, rice and grains in clear glass containers so I can see when I need to add them to my shopping list. I try to purchase organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible.  It's a personal choice that I feel good about.  I put enough poison in my body with all the Diet Coke I drink :)

I'd love to hear how you plan meals for your family and feel free to share some recipes too.
I'm always looking for new ideas!

Pesto Baked Salmon with Veggies

2 Salmon fillets
1 small zucchini, sliced
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
2 T Pesto
olive oil
1 cup whole wheat couscous
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a bake dish or spray with cooking spray.
Place salmon in bake dish and spoon 1 tablespoon of pesto on each fillet; spreading it around to cover.
Place zucchini and tomatoes on top of and around the salmon.  Salt and pepper if desired.
Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until salmon is cooked through.

While the salmon is baking make the couscous.
In a medium saucepan bring one cup of chicken or veggie stock to a boil.
Remove from heat and add couscous; stir.
Cover the pan with a lid and let it sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork before serving.

To serve place salmon and veggies on a bed of couscous.
Serves 2-3 depending upon the size of your salmon fillets.

Recipe adapted from Fannetastic Food

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Steel Cut Oat Freezer Pucks

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The holidays are over so it's get back on track time for me!
Healthy eating, exercise and remembering to take my vitamins are my goals for now....at least until the end of January :)

I know you all are probably tired of all of my oatmeal posts, but I LOVE it and this is my little blog, so here ya go.....another oat recipe.  Well it's not really a recipe, just a way I prepare Steel Cut oats so that I can have a healthy breakfast each morning in about 3 minutes. 

Maybe this post will inspire you and we can start our own Oatmeal Lovers Club :)

You can purchase Steel Cut Oats from most grocery stores.  Bob's Red Mill is a good brand.  Most of the time I buy it from a bulk food store in our local Farmer's Market.  I find it is a lot less expensive there.

Steel Cut Oat Freezer Pucks
1 cup Steel Cut Oats
3 cups water
dash of salt

Bring water and salt to a boil. Add oats and then simmer on low for about 25 minutes or until water is absorbed.  Let the oats cool slightly.
Spoon oats into a muffin pan...mine makes extra large muffins which will yield 5 oat pucks.
Place muffin pan into your freezer.  You may want to place it on a cookie sheet to keep it level.
I leave mine in the freezer overnight to make sure they are frozen solid.

Once they are frozen place about an inch of hot water into your sink.
Let the bottom of the muffin pan soak in the water for a couple of minutes.
Use a knife around the edge to pop them out of the pan.

Place frozen pucks in a Ziploc freezer bag to store them and pull one out when you are ready for breakfast.

Place frozen oat puck into a microwaveable bowl.
Heat for 2 minutes on high.  Stir and heat in 30 second increments until heated through.
Top with a touch of brown sugar, walnuts, dried cranberries and almond milk or whatever you prefer.

I found this idea on New Nostalgia.