Tag Archives: breakfast

Bananas, Blueberries, And Oats – A Delicious Breakfast Combo

11 Aug

I can’t help but shout my love for oats from the rooftops – whether its breakfast made in the Crock Pot or in the oven, or in cookie form with craisins and white chocolate chips or pumpkin, or in an always delicious apple crisp – I can’t get enough of this pantry staple. I eat it daily for breakfast, and am always trying to find new recipes to try starring oats too! So when I came across this Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal, I was instantly intrigued – as I love bananas and blueberries but had never thought of putting them together with my beloved oats, until now…

Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal

Prep time 15 mins
Cook time 45 mins
Total time 1 hour

Ingredients

• 1½ cups (3 med) mashed bananas
• 2 large eggs
• ¼ cup white sugar
• ¾ tsp vanilla extract
• ½ tsp salt
• ¾ tsp baking powder
• 2 cups milk
• 2½ cups old fashioned oats
• 8 ounces frozen blueberries

Instructions

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mash the bananas in a measuring cup, starting with two or three and adding more until you have 1.5 cups of banana mash.
2. Combine the banana mash in the large bowl with the eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and baking powder. Whisk to combine. Add the milk and whisk again until smooth.
3. Stir in the dry old-fashioned oats. Lastly, stir in the frozen blueberries (keeping them frozen and stirring them in last helps prevent the entire mix from turning purple). Spray an 8×8 inch baking dish with non-stick spray and then pour in the oat mixture.
4. Bake in the preheated 375 degree oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the center is no longer wet to the touch.

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This was really a cinch to put together, and all the ingredients were items I had on hand (except the blueberries)

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I have to admit – I was rather skeptical of the unbaked version – it seemed really soupy and I had little faith that it would solidify in the oven. Luckily, I was wrong – and it set up really well in the oven

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I really enjoyed this – the texture of the baked oats mixed perfectly with the banana and blueberry flavors – and if I could change just one thing I think it would be to add some cinnamon and nutmeg to the recipe next time – but it was delicious as is too! What an easy thing to whip up on Sunday and then divide up to bring to work each day – easy, good for you, and delicious!

“Savory” French Toast Bake Scores Big On Flavor – Thanks To The Pioneer Woman!

5 Feb

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I received this cookbook as a gift from my Mother In Law for Christmas – and I must say, it was definitely one of the best gifts I received! I love The Pioneer Woman – I love her show on Food Network, I subscribe to her blog updates, and now I have this beautiful book I can love (and love to use!) too!

 

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…and I am not kidding when I say the book is beautiful – it is colorful and hefty with thick glossy pages, full of fun stories, anecdotes, and great pictures not only of food but of Ree’s family and life

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Oh, and I LOVE that each recipe has step by step instructions with a picture to accompany each step – isn’t that great? For my first attempt at creating a recipe from the book I chose the Bagel and Cream Cheese Baked French Toast – as I love French toast casserole, and this one just happens to be a savory version that contains the best kind of bagel – the Everything Bagel!

The Recipe:
Ingredients:
6 Everything Bagels
Butter for greasing pan
One 8oz. Package Cream Cheese
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
8 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbls chopped chives, plus more for serving
1 tsp. Dry mustard
1/2 tsp. Cayenne
1/2 tsp. Salt

Directions:
Grease 9×13 casserole dish with butter
Tear bagels into peices and place in casserole dish
In seperate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, cream, cayenne, chives, mustard, and salt
Meanwhile, cut block of cream cheese into small squares and place them all over top of bagels in various places (note: whole top will not be covered)
Pour egg mixture all over bagels
Sprinkle cheddar cheese all over
Cover with foil and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight
Bake 450 degrees for 45 minutes, uncover and finish baking 15 to 20 minutes more. Cut and serve with extra chives…

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Here it is the night before, all ready to be slid into the oven the next morning for a delicious breakfast! It was really easy to put together, in fact I did it in under 10 minutes!

I may have made a few adjustments to the recipe based on the fact that I didn’t *exactly* have all the right ingredients…I used skim milk instead of whole milk and heavy cream, and I had no dry mustard so I added some regular yellow mustard instead, and I also didn’t have any chives, so I used onion powder. And it actually still turned out pretty good! It might have been more rich and had more depth with the fattier milks and the chives, but I think I did alright considering!

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Oh, hello melted cheese-y bagel-y cream cheese-y goodness

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This smelled awesome while baking, and has that awesome crispy top soft center thing going on (with a consistency similar to bread pudding)

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It tasted REALLY good – it was savory and chees-y, and I will definitely be making it again, and I also can’t wait to try more of Ree’s recipes from this book!

Battle Of The Oatmeals – Crock Pot Vs Oven

16 Nov

It’s no secret to my friends and family that I LOVE OATS – especially oatmeal, but put them in bread, cookies, meatballs, a shoe – doesn’t matter where they are, I will eat them. And like it.

So naturally, I am always on the lookout for more oat recipes – and I found two different ones I could not WAIT to try. Cranberry Apple baked oatmeal seemed right up my alley – using ingredients I already had at home, and it would be perfect to share with company. Pumpkin Pie Slow Cooker Overnight Oatmeal appealed right away to my “crockpot obsessed pumpkin loving” side, plus the chance to work with a new ingredient (steel cut oats) is always fun

So up first, the baked version:

Cranberry Apple Baked Oatmeal (Recipe Courtesy Of Budget Bytes)
Serves: 6

Ingredients
1½ cups unsweetened apple sauce
2 large eggs
¼ cup brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
¾ tsp baking powder
1 cup milk (dairy or soy)
6 oz. (about 1¼ cups) fresh cranberries
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the apple sauce, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder until smooth. Add the milk and whisk until smooth again.
2. Rinse the cranberries in a colander. Slice or roughly chop the cranberries in half (they don’t have to be perfect). Stir the cranberries and oats into the applesauce mixture.
3. Pour the oatmeal mixture into an 8×8 or 9×9 casserole dish (coated with non-stick spray). Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the surface is a light golden brown and it is no longer sticky in the center. Serve hot or refrigerate until ready to eat.

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I whipped up a double batch of this – and I am glad I did! The leftovers were great! The only thing I changed about the recipe is that I didn’t cut the cranberries in half – I tried, but they are slippery and kept rolling around – so that was really just a personal preference (and a time saver!), and I don’t think it really affected the finished product.

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It was nice and thick, almost a bread pudding consistency, it tasted great – just a hint of apple, tartness of the cranberries, and slight sweetness of the warm middle. I added a bit of brown sugar to the top of mine and it was the perfect addition!

Ok. One down, one to go. My Crock Pot Is Ready, so let’s do this…

Pumpkin Pie Slow Cooker Overnight Oatmeal (Recipe courtesy of Sweet Anna’s)
Yield: 6+ large servings

Ingredients
6 cups water
1 cup half & half or milk
1 1/2 cups steel cut oats
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2-1 cup firmly packed brown sugar (my family likes things sweet, so we use one cup)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions
Stir all the ingredients together in the slow cooker, cook on LOW overnight, about 8 hours.
When it is done, it will still look liquidy. Give it a good stir and it will all come together.
Serve immediately. Save any leftovers in the fridge or freezer… this stuff reheats beautifully!

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So like I said, I had never worked with steel cut oats before, they are definitely different than any oat I had ever seen! They are much more “grain-y” looking, and need to be cooked much longer than traditional oats

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One SUPER IMPORTANT CHANGE I will be making to this recipe for next time – I will be heavily spraying the inside of the crock pot with non-stick cooking spray before adding the ingredients to it. It stuck to the sides without the spray, which wasn’t a huge issue, but it can be avoided next time for sure!

Also, when I woke up (to the gorgeous smell of pumpkin wafting through the house!), I turned the crock pot to “warm” and left the lid off for about an hour – it let the oatmeal cool off a little and thicken up a LOT – made all the difference in the world!

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The taste of this is great – it definitely has the essence of pumpkin pie, but a much healthier version (I used skim milk in mine, and you can control the amount of sugar you add too!), and I love the texture of the steel cut oats. This was a winner – even my husband (who is not a big pumpkin fan) had two helpings!

If you don’t have time or want to mess around with the oven or crock pot to make your oatmeal, you can always stick with a delicious breakfast of plain old oatmeal. The great thing about it is that it’s like a blank canvas – you can add TONS of different toppings/mix-ins to it and create some delicious custom flavors. Here are some ideas for Oatmeal Mix-ins: Raisins (or any fried fruit!), cinnamon, maple syrup, brown sugar, applesauce, pumpkin puree, apples (or peaches, or bananas, or any other fresh fruit!), milk, butter, fruit jelly/jam…really the list is endless!

These two recipes are great because they allow me to take a cherished pantry item (oats!) and use it in new, different ways. These flavors are perfect for fall, so you can whip these up before you go out to rake leaves, or on Thanksgiving morning! Plus, the leftovers from both are delicious, and I love leftovers, so I will definitely be making both of these again

So In the battle of “oven oatmeal” vs “crock pot oatmeal” I would say it’s a draw – they are both great for different reasons, and will both warm you and fill you up on a chilly fall day!

Cinnamon Rolls From Scratch – So Easy Even I Can Do It!

26 Oct

I have been in the “baking zone” this weekend – yesterday I whipped up some Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies and a decadent Flourless Chocolate Torte (post to come on that beauty!) – what can I say? I love to bake, and to try new recipes – but there are some things I definitely consider to be out of my “baking comfort zone”. Namely, anything that requires a candy thermometer (not sure why, it just makes me nervous ha), and my second bug-a-boo is definitely anything that has yeast in it and requires rising. Bread is more my husband’s specialty – but I recently gotten it into my head that cinnamon rolls from scratch would be amazing – not only to eat, but a feat for me – defying my baking demons by making something that requires yeast and kneading and everything!

I decided on this highly rated Cinnamon Roll Recipe from AllRecipes.com for two reasons – one – I had almost all of the ingredients at home already, and two – it only requires one “rising” and no overnight fuss or muss. So here goes nothing…

INGREDIENTS:

For the Dough:
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
6 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened

For the frosting
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese,
softened
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk

DIRECTIONS:

1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Mix in the butter; stir until melted. Add water and let cool until lukewarm.
2. In a large bowl, combine the milk mixture, yeast, white sugar, salt, eggs and 2 cups flour; stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
3. Divide dough into two pieces. Roll each piece into a 12×9 inch rectangle. In a bowl, stir together the cinnamon and brown sugar. Spread each piece with half of the butter, half of the brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough, using a little water to seal the seam.
4. Cut each roll into 12 slices using a very sharp knife or dental floss. Place rolls onto two 9×13 inch greased baking pans. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
5. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
6. To make frosting; combine confectioner’s sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Add milk gradually until frosting reaches a spreading consistency. Spread over warm (but not hot) cinnamon rolls.

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The various stages of dough – warming the milk, mixing, and adding the flour in batches

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My first attempt at kneading – what a great way to get out aggression!

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The rolls are all “rolled” and ready to rise, then bake!

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OVEN TIME!

The smell that fills the kitchen while these are making is completely unlike anything else in the world – the yeasty, cinnamon-y scent is the best!

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The baked rolls– ready for frosting!

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The delicious finished product

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When I finally got to sink my teeth into one of these, I was thrilled (and starving, as I hadn’t eaten any breakfast – I wanted to save myself for these beauties!) – and encouraged, as they were definitely worth the time and effort I put into them

The outside was nice and crispy, and the inside was doughy and sweet, with a perfect amount of spice from the cinnamon. The frosting added the perfect sweet glaze, and I honestly can’t believe I went this long without these in my life – that’s how delicious they were. They would be perfect for a holiday breakfast or to bring to brunch, or to just enjoy with a cup of coffee on a crisp fall morning!

For The Love Of OATS

27 Sep

I eat plain oatmeal for breakfast pretty much every day – and people always ask me “don’t you get tired of it?” and I really don’t – it is nice and warm, and filling, and can be changed to suit your mood with different toppings and mix ins (craisins, maple syrup, apples, applesauce, pumpkin puree, cinnamon – to name just a few of my faves!). Oats are great – they are good for you, and they can be used in lots of different ways

I like to use this breakfast food when I bake, and there are TONS of amazing recipes out there, so to help you narrow down what you can use delicious, heart healthy oats for, here are my faves:

My Top 3 Oat Recipes

Oats ChocCookies 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies – These are my husband’s favorite, and what’s funny about that is that he HATES oatmeal raisin cookies, and will only eat an oatmeal cookie if he is sure there are chocolate chips in them! I like them because you can pretend you are being healthy by eating a chocolate chip cookie with oats in it

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose or unbleached flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz)
1 cup chopped nuts, if desired

Directions
1 Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, stir brown sugar and butter until blended. Stir in vanilla and egg until light and fluffy. Stir in oats, flour, baking soda and salt; stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
2 2 Onto ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart.
3 3 Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

OatsCrisp

Apple Crisp – This is a fall favorite, I like to eat it warm, with or without ice cream, and sometimes with a drizzle of caramel on it too if I’m feeling naughty!

INGREDIENTS:

10 cups all-purpose apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup quick-cooking oats

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degree C).
2. Place the sliced apples in a 9×13 inch pan. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples. Pour water evenly over all.
3. Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes

Oats CraisinCookie

Oatmeal White Chocolate Craisin Cookies – I made a ton of these two years ago for Christmas – and they were a hit! Packed full of fruit, chocolate, and oats to give them a great texture – these are a winner for sure

Ingredients:
2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 5-ounce package Ocean Spray® Craisins® Original Dried Cranberries
2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips
Directions:
Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter or margarine and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, mixing well. Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl. Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition. Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks.

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.

Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

 

If you aren’t sure about oatmeal, or oats in general, then I suggest you try one of the above recipes to ease yourself into it, and hopefully you will discover just how delicious and versatile oats really are!