Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal


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Life with a newborn (now technically an infant!) was hectic before I went back to work. Now, it’s even more of a whirlwind and I started looking for shortcuts for many meals, especially breakfast. Since my usual dairy laden cereal and breakfast bar are now out due to baby A’s milk protein issues. Enter my favorite kitchen appliance (aside from the food processor): the crockpot.

With some steel cut oats, the applesauce I made and froze this fall and a few other ingredients I had an easy breakfast that I didn’t have to think about! Even better, it was automatically dairy free!

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Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Spray the crockpot with non-stick spray. Add the apple sauce.
  2. Add the oatmeal.
  3. Add the apples.
  4. Add the water and cinnamon and sugar.
  5. Stir to combine. Just make sure the oats are all in contact with the liquid.
  6. Cover and cook on low for at least 7 hours.
  7. I accidentally cooked mine for 9 and it turned out fine. This is what it looked like when I woke up.
  8. Spoon into bowls and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Optional: If you are using plain applesauce, plan to add some cinnamon. You can also sweeten with honey or white sugar if you prefer. You can also add nutmeg.

My opinion:
Delicious, easy and filling. I can’t wait to try more overnight breakfast options especially as baby A grows! It also reheats well if you have leftovers.

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Mom’s banana bread

My mom didn’t make banana bread very often because she doesn’t really like bananas, but my dad, sister and I did, so when she made it, it was a great day. I was pretty surprised at how easy this is to make. It’s perfect for a cold late winter day.

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Mom's banana bread
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with butter or Crisco. No need to flour the greased pan. Mix the wet ingredients into a bowl, adding the milk last.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients. If your brown sugar is a little lumpy, that's ok! It will add pockets of caramel notes.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients together.
  4. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 55 to 60 minutes until the top is brown and a toothpick comes out clean and the sides start to pull away from the greased pan.

My opinion: This makes your whole house smell amazing. It’s delicious and one of my most favorite breakfast foods. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, peanut butter (if you add peanut butter reduce the oil by one tablespoon). The options are endless!

Day After Christmas Breakfast potatoes

This dish originally started as a Thanksgiving side dish, but after the trial run, we decided it was much more suited for breakfast. While Christmas morning usually gets all the hype, these potatoes are perfect for the next morning or for brunch. Super easy, filling and delicious. We found the original recipe here.

Ingredients
4 1/2 pounds russet potatoes rinsed and cut into 2-inch chunks (feel free to peel if you like, we liked the skins)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil (the original recipe called for duck fat, which we didn’t have)
Freshly ground black pepper
12 sprigs thyme (fresh is best!)

Directions
Adjust oven racks to lower and upper position and preheat oven to 500°F. Place potatoes in a large saucepot and cover with cold water by 1-inch. Add 2 tablespoons salt and vinegar. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook until exteriors are tender, about 5 minutes. Potatoes should show a slight resistance when poked with a paring knife or a cake tester. Drain potatoes and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Oven Roasted Breakfast Potatoes

Add olive oil to bowl with potatoes.

Add oil.

Season with pepper and more salt to taste then toss with a large metal spoon until exteriors are slightly bashed up and coated in a thin layer of potato/fat paste. Divide potatoes evenly between two heavy rimmed baking sheets. Spread thyme sprigs over potatoes.

Add fresh thyme.

Transfer baking sheets to the oven and roast until the bottoms of the potatoes are crisp and golden brown, about 20 minutes total, swapping top the trays top for bottom and rotating them once half way through roasting. Using a thin metal spatula, flip the potatoes and roast until the second side is golden brown, another 15 to 20 minutes.

Oven roasted potatoes, final.

My Opinion
Like I said above, filing, delicious and worth that extra little bit of effort for a great post holiday breakfast.

Flourless banana muffins


I’m a rather big fan of banana muffins. Mostly because they’re just as tasty as banana bread, but cook faster and are easier to transport. Plus, you can add all kinds of things, like blueberries, to them and they’re still wonderful. My usual recipe calls for flour, but some how we were out. So I found this recipe from Chase and Em’s blog. With a few modifications, I had some super fast, delicious, friend-worthy muffins.

Ingredients:
2 and 1/2 cups quick cooking oats (regular plain old Quaker is what we used)
1 cup vanilla yogurt (we used HyVee brand. Feel free to use plain. The original recipe called for Greek.)
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 ripe bananas

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or line with silicone or foil liners. Grind the oatmeal into oatmeal flour (we used our coffee grinder for this, a half cup at a time) and put in a mixing bowl. Mix in the rest of the ingredients, mashing the banana. Pour into the coated or lined muffin tins (ours took about a half cup each) making sure to leave room for the muffins to rise. Bake for 15-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Our oven took a little more than 20 minutes. Just set a timer for 15 minutes, check, if necessary add another 5 ,check, and then keep a close eye after that. Makes about 18 muffins.

My opinion:
Just as easy as the old standby box mix, these muffins were wonderful. We ended up freezing about half and they are just as good warmed up in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

Thanksgiving Leftovers: Cranberry

Cranberry Chutney

As usual every one’s talking about what to do with left over turkey today, but what about the other left overs? Some are easy, use rolls to make turkey sandwiches, pies disappear quickly, but what about the cranberry chutney?

Cranberry chutney is actually a pretty good jam substitute. We use it like jam and enjoyed it on pancakes this morning. It would als be good on waffles and plain toast.

If you don’t have any on hand, it’s really simple to make and extra bonus, cranberries are probably on sale today at your favorite grocer. This year we went with the recipe originally from Southern Living in J’s favorite cookbook, Cooking Up a Storm.

Ingredients:
2 cups sugar (plain, white)
3/4 cup orange juice
2 bags fresh cranberries (they’re usually 12 ounces each)
grated zest of one orange

Directions:
Combine the sugar and the orange juice in a large saucepan and stir to combine. Add the cranberries and the orange zest (we just zested right over the saucepan). Turn the heat to medium and bring to a boil (lots of little bubbles) stirring often. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken and the cranberry skin begins to crack (this may happen before you reach a boil, that’s ok).

cranberry relish

 

If you like your chutney chunky ,but not too chunky, get out a potato masher and go to town. If you prefer a smoother texture, feel free to toss in your food processor or blender. Serve warm or chilled.

cranberry chutney

My opinion:
Way, way better than any store-bought canned chutney. It’s amazing on turkey and chicken. In fact, another left over dish we’ll be having this week is cranberry chutney covered baked chicken. The chutney has a sweet tart flavor and is great on any bread product where you would use jam. This dish will not be regulated to just Thanksgiving.