Friday, February 8, 2013

Quick and healthy small-batch oatmeal

Here’s one of my favorite breakfasts this week. I liked it so much that I threw together a batch as fridge oatmeal (see below) to enjoy throughout the rest of the week without having to prepare and cook it each morning.

1 cup of water
½ cup old-fashioned oats
1-2 T. pure maple syrup
¼ cup or so of fruit: I used peeled/chopped Braeburn apple, homemade canned unsweetened pears and raisins. Add more or less if desired
½ T. flax seeds

Heat water and maple syrup in saucepan. Add oats, raisins, apples and flax seeds and cook as directed on oats package. Add pears before removing from heat as directed on package.
Serve hot. I like to top mine with yogurt, or mix in some milk. I love mine with a nice whole-grain toast :)

Serves 1-2

Refrigerator Oatmeal is something that is new to me, but has been around for a long time with different names. I’ve tried it with a few different varieties and loved them all. Basically, however you like your oatmeal you can do it ahead of time and enjoy on the go. This is especially great if everybody in your home likes their oatmeal different ways. Kids will enjoy assembling their own cups, and everybody gets what they want without messing with store-bought flavored packets.  Enjoy cold or heat it in the microwave and you’ve got a speedy wholesome breakfast!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Back with lots of unhealthy eats - yum!

Whew, I'm back!  Morning sickness really derailed my love for food for a while - and my motivation in general.. my husband had to do the dishes for like 9 weeks because I didn't have the energy to stand there and wash them.  He's a good man :)

 Here are a few delicious things we've had since I've gotten back to normal.*  Actually, these are just from yesterday and today.

Black Forest Brownies.. or Cheesecake.. or something?

* this was created in a moment of temporary pregnancy insanity.  This was created from a pregnancy craving, and my husband's chocoholic mind.

I thought the can of black cherry pie filling we had would be amazing mixed with chocolate cake mix or brownies.  My original idea was to put the pie filling on top of the baked brownies, but I saw that there was a recipe for Black Forest brownies on the can and it said to put the cherries in the batter.  I spooned the cherry filling onto the batter in the pan and then swirled it in.

Add to that the desire for creamy cheesecake *drools*.  We had a box of Jello No-Bake so we mixed up the filling and spread it on top of the baked and cooling brownies.  Then my husband melted chocolate frosting and drizzled it on top.  These were mouth-watering good.  I want another one just thinking about it.. but I sent the leftovers with my husband for his poker buddies so I'll stop eating them.  (They were good warm, but even better after being in the fridge.)  All of the textures were perfect together, and I couldn't get enough of the sweet cherries hidden in the brownies.

Boneless wings and Buffalo Chips with cheese

My husband's longed-for birthday meal: Homemade "Buffalo Wild Wings" boneless chicken and "buffalo chips" with cheese.  I use this recipe for boneless chicken, though we don't use the hot sauce recipe.  Hubby prefers BWW's Caribbean Jerk, so he buys a bottle or two from the restaurant.  Instructions are the same, just skip the sauce-preparing steps and coat with sauce of your choice.  (FYI, this does work with powdered buttermilk.  I never buy actual buttermilk because it goes to waste.  For this recipe, I mix the buttermilk powder and water until smooth and use rather than following the directions on the canister.)

I have no idea how the "buffalo chips" are made in the restaurant but I fry thick-sliced potatoes in oil until tender, cover with cheddar cheese and bake until cheese is melted.  My husband loves them!

This is a cinnamon roll waffle. Genius.

Finally, a pinterest find!   I wanted to surprise my husband for breakfast this morning - his birthday - and decided on waffles.. something I usually hate to make for some odd reason.  We had a tube of cinnamon rolls in the fridge so I decided to go with those rather than mixing up a waffle batter.  To make, drop a cinnamon roll or two (the photo is of one) in each waffle spot, on a hot waffle maker.  Cook until desired crispness.  Serve with cream cheese icing or syrup.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

DIY Cheap Autumn Decoration

You know how I said I'm not a food writer or a photographer?  Yeah, I'm also not a crafter.  I did get bored last night and decided to do something with the construction paper I've had for years.. put up for "someday", I guess.  Here are some autumn-y things I made. (I won't show you the hand-shape turkeys I attempted.  They weren't pretty.)

Halloween craft: Spooky Floating Ghosts

I actually made these guys several years ago, and only used them once.  I went upstairs- where we store all of our junk - last night to get something and found these.. and a possible one-time rodent problem -- yuck!  I brought them down, tore them apart and started over with clean supplies.  I thought it'd be a good opportunity to trick you all into thinking I'm crafty (mwahahaha!) ;)

What you need:

Styrofoam balls - or any lightweight ball. I think mine were about 4" across, but any size will work depending on your desired ghost size. I had these left over from my wedding over 4 years ago.
Plastic grocery bags
A marker
Floral wire or sturdy thread

How to make them:

Start off by cutting off the handles of your plastic bag.  Cover the styrofoam ball with the plastic bag.

Cut out any large logos.  Smaller things can be hidden when you gather the bag.

Cut a strip of plastic (or thread, or wire.. whatever.  The bag handles work well though) and use it to gather the plastic under the ball, tucking in anything you want hidden, and tie.

Draw a spooky face.  I know, mine isn't very spooky.

Tulle, since I forgot to take a picture of it with everything else..

Cut some strips of tulle in the desired length.  Mine were a little longer than the plastic.  Cover your ghost's head with tulle, letting it drape over to form the body.  Secure with a thin strip of tulle.

Cut some strips of floral wire or thread.  Again, this depends on how far you want yours to hang. (I so wish I had a tree to hang mine on!)

Form a hook on each end and put through the tulle (Sorry this picture is upside down)

Secure by twisting or pulling over to close.


Mine blowing in the wind.

Like this idea?  

And here's a cheap remake of a Halloween decoration I didn't think was creepy enough.  This was a bound guy that's motion activated.  He howls and makes all kind of noise trying to get loose.  I wrapped him with store-bought spiderweb.. stuff.. and attached a couple spider.  Now I just need a giant spider web to attach him too..
(ugh, how can I get blogger NOT to flip my pictures when I upload them?)

Guilt-free chocolate chip oatmeal cookies

Yesterday, my 2 year old (which will be lovingly referred to as DD - dear daughter - on this blog) randomly decided she wanted cookies. Of course she does.. because we're out of cookies. I usually am not up for making cookies because I tend to not have the patience for baking. I over- or under-cook a lot of things. I knew we had everything we needed to make cookies, though, and figured I could find a "healthy" recipe.

I looked through my Jessica Seinfeld cookbook but didn't have the chickpeas I'd need, so I went to Pinterest. I found these: World's Healthiest Chocolate Chip Cookies.  (Also I'm pretty sure Chocolate Covered Katie is going to become a new favorite food blog!  Healthy desserts?  I'm sold!)

Because I don't want to inadvertently claim credit for this - or any - recipe by reposting on my blog, click the link above for the original recipe. Here is how I made the cookies:

I used 1/4c. whole wheat flour and 1/3c. unbleached all-purpose flour
I didn't measure how much chocolate chips I used, I just poured my bag of mini chocolate chips until it looked like enough
I used brown sugar, white sugar and melted Best Life Buttery Spread
I also added about a tablespoon of flax seed and a handful (1/3c?) of old-fashioned oats.

I made 9 cookies.

I didn't chill the dough but the cookies still came out soft and delicious.  Even my picky husband loves these!

Nutrional Info*
Guilt-free Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Calories: 98
Total Fat: 3g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Sodium: 81mg
Potassium: 17mgCarbs: 17g
Fiber: >1g
Sugars: 9g
Protein: 2g

Friday, October 12, 2012

Slow Cooked Chicken Pot Pie

Last night I tried a recipe for something I've never made before:  Chicken pot pie.  I and my husband really like chicken pot pie but most recipes I've looked at called for cream of chicken soup, and just the idea of "cream of" soup turns me off - bad experience once, so I try not to use them.  I also don't like making pie crust because I usually have no luck rolling out dough - I just don't have the patience for it.

I found this recipe for slow-cooker chicken pot pie that uses chicken broth, flour and milk for the sauce, and figured I'd give it a try.  I had originally planned to have my husband make the pie crust, but he wouldn't be home until later, so I thought I'd just throw Pillsbury biscuits on top.  I nixed that idea and just made a pie crust myself.  I knew my two year-old would want to help, so I figured why not give it a shot.  (Woo-hoo.. I didn't even mess it up!)

As usual, I did make some changes to the recipe.  Obviously, I used a homemade pie crust (The recipe in the Better Home and Gardens cookbook is my go-to) instead of pre-made.  I added green beans - all veggies were fresh from the garden - and a little more chicken broth and milk to make up for the extra solids.    I had cooked a few chicken breast in the crock pot and shredded them up earlier in the week.  Some of it went for chicken salad and the rest went in the freezer.   For this recipe, I just threw in as much frozen chicken as I wanted.  I also sprinkled with pepper (I love pepper) and a little Seasoned Salt.

After reading the comments on the original recipe, I mixed in a little cornstarch (about 1/2t. for my halved recipe).  I also did not put the pie crust on the mixture in the crock after reading comments.  Once the mixture was cooked, I transferred it to a casserole dish, covered it with the crust, cut some slits for venting and baked it at about 400 degrees until the crust was flaky and slightly browned (because I usually burn my pie crust!)

Here's a tip:  Do not cut into this right away.  Let it sit for a few minutes to thicken up.

This was very good!  I wasn't sure how it'd turn out since I'd never used fresh green beans or peas in a slow-cooked recipe.  Everything turned out perfectly!
Nutrional Info*
Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie
Calories: 315
Total Fat: 10g
Saturated Fat: 4g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 40mg
Sodium: 493mg
Carbs: 37g
Fiber: 4g
Sugars: 7g
Protein: 17g

*Nutritional info is approximate, is calculated using MyFitnessPal, and accounts for all revisions/substitutions made.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hassleback potatoes: take two

Okay, so I tried that Hassleback Potatoes recipe again last night.  I forgot to add butter this time *sigh* but it was delicious anyway!  I just pulled it apart and ate it with my fingers.  This is definitely a Pinned recipe that's being moved onto my "favorite recipes" board.