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Birthday Cake Oatmeal

March 21, 2014


As much as I love variety and change in some aspects of my life, like my work and my workouts, I really crave routine in some aspects of life. Take, for example, breakfast. I eat oatmeal or oat bran for breakfast every single morning. To me, it’s the perfect morning meal. But at the same time, I get bored with the same old oatmeal every morning. It’s good to mix things up every now and again.

I mentioned a month ago that I bought a box of Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip cake mix. I realize it’s totally not very “foodie” to admit this, but I’ve been finding a lot of ways to put that box of cake mix to use in everyday life. Probably not the healthiest or most important skill, but considering that the box has lasted over a month, I don’t think I’m doing too much damage in the health department.

One of my new favorite treats is to stir a little bit of dry cake mix into my morning bow of oatmeal. Something about doing so feels completely indulgent, without being overly sweet or putting me into a sugar coma. If you’re looking for a way to make your morning a little more fun, I would highly suggest giving this a try!


Birthday Cake Oatmeal
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
I make this oatmeal when I'm craving something a little more like dessert without totally indulging in a breakfast pastry or something similar. I keep a box of Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip cake mix around in case the craving strikes.
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup milk (I like 2% but you can use whatever milk you prefer)
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 packets stevia or 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip cake mix
  • Peanut butter, if desired
  1. In small saucepan over medium heat, combine the oats and water. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until much of the liquid is absorbed.
  2. Add milk, vanilla, stevia and salt to oats and stir until well combined; stir in the cake mix and cook 1 to 2 minutes more or until oats are your desired thickness. Top with peanut butter, if desired.


Creamy Chia Oatmeal

February 1, 2012
Good morning, and happy Wednesday! I’m offering up my sincerest apologies for this photo, but certainly not apologizing for the recipe. It’s killer good and a huge hit with my husband, who begged me to put the recipe up for you guys. Hey, if Joey is raving about oatmeal, it’s most certainly got something going on, right?
Over the past few weeks, my love for oatmeal has heated back up. My favorite thing about oats has always been the fact that if you cook them slowly, you can get your oats to absorb a ridiculous amount of water, hence making for a giant, filling bowl at breakfast without added calories. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized you can also bulk up your oats and add great texture and nutrition by stirring in a tablespoon of chia seeds. 
If you’re unfamiliar with chia seeds, they are a small but mighty food that provides fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium and antioxidants. They have a slightly nutty flavor and get bigger when added to liquid, making portions extra generous. If you’re looking for more information, check out what Dr. Oz has to say about chia HERE.
Of course, this oatmeal is about more than just health. It’s perfect, creamy, fluffy and all around delicious. All of which is made better by adding a generous scoop of peanut butter atop for good measure. 
Creamy Chia Oatmeal 
Makes 1 serving 
*1 2/3 cup water
*Pinch of salt
*3/4 cup rolled oats (not instant)
*1 tablespoon chia seeds
*2 to 3 tablespoons milk 
*1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
*2 packets Stevia or 2 tablespoons brown sugar 
*1 tablespoon natural peanut butter 
*In a saucepan over medium heat, combine water, salt, oats and chia seeds. Cook, stirring occasionally, for six to eight minutes or until oats and chia seeds are puffed up and the oats just begin to bubble/boil. For ultra creamy oatmeal, cook at an even lower heat for more time. 
*When oats begin to bubble, add in the milk, cinnamon and sweetener or sugar. Continue to cook for two to three minutes, until the oats have absorbed the milk and the mixture is creamy. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Top with the peanut butter. Serve immediately. 
Happy Cooking!

Baked Oatmeal

November 21, 2011

Since I’m guessing by now most of you have your Thanksgiving meal planned and your recipes selected, I thought it might be helpful to shift gears a bit. Chances are that during the next month you will probably have guests staying at your house overnight, or perhaps you are planning on hosting a brunch in the days leading up to Thanksgiving or Christmas.

For me, this type of situation has always proved to be a little tricky. The most common large-group breakfast and brunch dishes seem to be sugar-laden pastries, coffee cakes and greasy egg bakes. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just prefer to start off the morning with something a little healthier.

I have no idea why it took me so long to get on the baked oatmeal bandwagon, but I’m so glad finally took the plunge. When Heidi’s recipe for baked oatmeal started making its way around the internet, I was intrigued. But it wasn’t until last night that I gathered up my ingredients and fired up the oven.

Although the original recipe calls for fresh berries, I used thawed, frozen berries since I wasn’t about to pay an arm and a leg for fresh this time of year. I also baked the oatmeal in a 9×13-inch pan instead of an 8×8 and upped the number of bananas used, since the baked bananas are the best part of this recipe. Heidi’s original recipe also calls for three tablespoons of butter, an ingredient I left out without any issue.

This dish left our house with the most heavenly aroma while it was baking and had us drooling when we pulled it out of the oven. I couldn’t help but sneak a small bowl for dessert last night, and helped myself to more for breakfast this morning. While it still tasted good the next day, I would highly recommend baking it the morning you plan to serve it, since that’s when the flavor and texture is pure perfection.

Baked Oatmeal
Recipe slightly adapted from 101 Cookbooks 

*2 cups rolled oats
*1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted and chopped
*1/3 cup natural cane sugar
*1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
*1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
*2 cups milk (I used 2%)
*1 large egg
*2 teaspoons vanilla extract
*3 ripe bananas cut into 1/2-inch pieces
*1 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries (blackberries, blueberries and raspberries), thawed

*Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan with butter or nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
*In a large bowl, combine the oats, 1/2 of the pecans, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
*In a second bowl, combine the milk, egg and vanilla. Stir until well combined. Set aside.
*Line the bottom of the prepared baking pan with the bananas in a single layer covering the entire bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup of the thawed berries. Sprinkle the oats mixture evenly over the bananas and berries in the pan. Evenly pour the milk and egg mixture atop the oat layer. Give the baking pan a couple shakes to evenly distribute the milk mixture through the oats. Top with the remaining berries and pecans. Sprinkle with a little additional cane sugar, if desired.
*Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the edges are slightly bubbly and oatmeal looks set. The mixture will still be slightly moist but should feel ‘set up’ when you touch with your finger. Cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack before serving. Makes 6 servings or 12 servings as part of a larger brunch spread.

Approximate calories for 6 servings: 332 calories, 11 g fat (2 g sat. fat) , 314 mg sodium, 50 g carbohydrates, 9.6 g protein.  

Happy Baking!

Oatmeal Raisin Peanut Cookies

October 20, 2010
As much as I enjoy a good recipe, I’m just as much a sucker for all things pretty. I’m not overly girly, but give me a piece of lace, a ruffle, floral pattern or cookies tied up in a ribbon and I swoon. 
Fact: When I was a little girl, my mom hardly ever let me out of the house without a giant bow perched atop my head. To this day, I plan to do the very same thing with my own girls. 
So even though I had planned to post this recipe Thursday, or even Friday, the ribbon has me feeling a little impatient and itching to share. That, and the fact that I brought these cookies to work and got some pretty great reviews. They’re based off the simple little recipe from the back of the Quaker Oats container – Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. 
But instead of the raisins, I substituted the golden variety. And added peanuts in the mix, too, for added crunch and a salty bite that highlights the sweetness of the cookie and raisins. These cookies are exactly how I like them: thin, crispy on the edges and chewy on the inside. And I think you’ll like them, too. 

Oatmeal Raisin Peanut Cookies 
Adapted from Quaker Oats’ Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
(Printable Recipes)
*1 stick plus 6 Tablespoons butter, softened
*1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
*2 large eggs
*1 teaspoon vanilla
*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*3 cups oats 
*1/2 cup golden raisins
*1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts 
*Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins and peanuts; mix well.
*Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
*Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.
Happy Baking!

Peanut Butter Brown Sugar Oatmeal

July 28, 2010

Oatmeal. I know, it’s really not the most exciting thing to blog, let alone photograph. But seeing as that  this blog is birthed in my kitchen and is inspired by my favorite recipes, it only made sense. When J. and I started dating, I secretly hoped there would be something I made for him that he loved, asked for me to make time and time again, something that I made better than anyone else. Little did I know it would be something as simple as oatmeal with a twist.

If you’re looking for a delicious, decadent breakfast then go for the original recipe I’ve listed below. A little butter, brown sugar, milk or cream, and plenty of peanut butter. On the other hand, if you’re the type that eats oatmeal for breakfast because of its health properties and nutritional content, there’s a ‘healthy changes’ section underneath the original recipe, showing the swaps and changes I make for everyday consumption.

Personally, I prefer to start my morning off with a healthy breakfast on the lighter side, meaning the healthy changes are almost always implemented into my version of Peanut Butter Brown Sugar Oatmeal. J. on the other hand? I think I’ll stick to making him the original version for now.

Peanut Butter Brown Sugar Oatmeal
(Printable Recipe)

Original Recipe:
*3/4 cup water
*1/8 tsp. salt
*1/2 cup old fashioned oats
*1/8 tsp. butter
*1 Tbsp. milk, cream, or half and half
*1 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
*1 Tbsp. brown sugar
*1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Healthy Changes: 
*Omit the butter and milk
*Substitute 2 tsp. Stevia or Splenda for the brown sugar


*In a saucepan, bring 3/4 cup water to boiling. Add the salt and oats. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes.
*Remove from heat and stir in the butter, milk, peanut butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Return to heat for 30 seconds more.
*Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle with additional brown sugar, if desired.

Happy Cooking!


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