Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kathie's Make-Ahead Creamy Baked Oatmeal

My mom made this for breakfast this morning, and boy is it tasty. She got this recipe from her friend Kathie, a true domestic diva. Thanks, Kathie! We loved it!

Kathie's Make-Ahead Creamy Baked Oatmeal
3 c. milk
2 eggs, beaten
3 Tbs. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 c. old fashioned oats
1/2 c. slivered almonds (toasted if desired) (my mom used walnuts)
1/2 c. dried cranberries or cherries

Combine all ingredients except the oats, cinnamon, cranberries and almonds. Next, add the oats and cinnamon. Pour into greased 2-quart casserole dish. In the morniing, add cranberries and almonds, stir. Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes in a 350 degree oven, stirring twice until thick and creamy. Remove from oven. Stir before serving. Serves 3-4.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Brussel Sprouts Even My Hubby Will Eat

You may not dig brussel sprouts. Your mama may have made you eat them as a child. If she did, she's one smart cookie! Brussel sprouts are rich in protein, fiber, minerals and antioxidants. This is a recipe for sprouts that even my husband will eat. I made these off a recipe once, but I can't find it now. This is what I remember and they turn out great!

Bacon & Brussel Sprouts

1 bag fresh brussel sprouts
4 slices of turkey bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
salt & pepper
oil for your skillet

Wash sprouts, peel off any loose outer leaves. Cut off the tough white end. Cut each sprout in half lengthwise. Steam the sprouts until tender (about 7 minutes or so).
Heat a few teaspoons of oil in your skillet. Use a cast iron skillet if you have one. (Small amounts of iron leech into your food, when cast iron-cooking). Cook bacon slices. Remove bacon from skillet and set aside. Place sprouts flat side down in the skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste. Saute the flat side of the sprouts until brown, but not burned. You'll probably need to do at least 2 batches, adding extra oil if needed. Once all the sprouts have been sauteed, add all of them and the bacon back in to the skillet for a minute or two to re-warm. Eat up! Makes about 4-6 servings.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Finish Line

January is cool. Don't get me wrong. Tweaking old habits, employing a new regimen, and starting fresh are a good wake-up from the ruts we all fall into. What about a month to celebrate finishing things, though?

I am a champion "starter". I like to research, plan, list, and get going, but I'm not always so great at following through to the finish. Either that, or it takes me forever to get there!

Part of that comes from being the mama to small kids. I can hardly finish putting the breakfast dishes away before whining (theirs, not mine!), requests, something lost, and/or a dirty diaper diverts my 'flow'. Under these conditions, finishing a book seems like a monumental task! Plus, let's be honest, starting something is usually more fun than the in-between execution of the plan.

I am resolving, however, to finish something in February! Maybe one of the 5 books I have sitting on my night stand! For now, I'm going to focus on finishing a chapter of one of them, shoot, maybe even just a page. Baby steps, right?

What do you want to complete? How are you going to get there? Can the project be broken up into smaller portions so you can have mini-victories along the way? Meet you at the finish line!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Slow Cooker Oatmeal

It warms your heart and your belly! Why not make Monday morning easy with some Slow Cooker Oatmeal prepared the night before? Yum. Can you guess what we ate this morning?

Slow Cooker Oatmeal
2 C. old-fashioned oatmeal (not the quick kind)
4 C. water ( I used a bit more. Approximately 4 1/2 to 5 cups works well in my cooker)
pinch of salt
dried fruit and nuts (I cut up dried apricots and prunes with my kitchen scissors)

Place ingredients in your slow cooker. Cover and cook for 8 hours or overnight. A smaller slow cooker works better for this recipe. I use my 2.5 quart size, but an even smaller size would work quite well. Makes 4 servings. If the oatmeal is too thick for your liking, you can add milk to your bowl of oatmeal once you've served it. (You don't want to add it to the crock while it's cooking unless you wait until the very end to mix it in.)

  • For any recipe, you want your cooker to be 1/2 to 2/3 full. Any less or more will change the cook times needed and may effect the outcome of the recipe.
  • Never expose your slow cooker stoneware to quick temperature changes. I cracked my first one years ago by placing the hot stoneware in the sink and putting cold water in it.
  • After your crock has cooled, fill it with soap and water to soak before you head out the door. Clean up will be snap when you get home!

Pictured above is the Belle Meade Entertaining Stand

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Pomegranate Orange Juice

The ingredients

Pomegranate seeds in my Italian Stitch Ramekin

Pretty in pink: Pomegranate Orange Juice served in my Simone Glassware

Pomegranates were on sale this week at the grocery store. I've never tried one, so I thought I'd see what I could do with one. The juice turned out great! Even my preschooler gave it the thumbs up.

Pomegranate Orange Juice
2 oranges
1 pomegranate, seeds only
1 carrot

Makes 1 serving

Using your juicer, process all the ingredients. Whisk the juice to mix and pour into a glass.

  • If you don't have a juicer, you could use store-bought OJ and put the pomegranate seeds in your blender and pulse until they're pureed. Strain through a paper towel-lined sieve, and mix the 2 kids of juice together.
  • Pomegranate seeds are messy, so use care. Cutting them in half is actually not the "correct" way to remove seeds, but I thought it looked pretty for a picture!
  • Pomegranates are high in anti-oxidants, so eat up!
  • You can also use pomegranate seeds to add beautiful color to salads.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Manic Monday

Are your Mondays a little too crazy for your liking? Here are a few tips to help you ease into the week:
  • Work on your weekly goals, schedule, menu and grocery list over the weekend so when Monday starts, you're organized and ready to go.
  • Make oatmeal in your slow cooker overnight. Monday morning, you'll have a hot breakfast waiting for you when you get up.
  • Put coffee and water in your coffee pot the night before.
  • Set out any items you may need for the day on Sunday night, like your workout clothes, kids' backpacks, etc.
  • If possible, empty your dishwasher Sunday night.
  • Pack your lunch and your kiddos' lunches in advance.
Ready, set, go! Have a great week!

Have a great sanity saving tip? Please share in the comments section!
Pictured above is the Maribel Tabletop Clock. Cute, eh?