Oatmeal Cookies

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I used to hate oatmeal…the texture, the consistency, and the flavor. Well I was wrong!

Oatmeal is so versatile. You can eat it as is, add it to baked goods of all kinds, and even make it into flour!

I love it for breakfast. Adding fruit, peanut butter, chocolate,  and cinnamon make it even more delectable.

But we are talking about cookies and  these oatmeal cookies take the cake in the declious department.

Brown Butter, oats, cinnamon and mollasses are combines for the best chewy, crunchy, yummy oatmeal cookie ever!

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Brown Butter Oatmeal cookies

Makes- 2 dozen

1 1/4 cups rolled oats

3/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons molasses

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350

Start off by melting the butter in a pan. Saute butter until it turns a golden brown color. Set aside an let cool for ten minutes.

Combine flour, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Cream cooled butter, brown sugar and molasses in a stand or hand held mixture for 5 minutes. Add in vanilla and egg and beat for another two minutes.  Add flour mixture in and beat until just combined refrigerate for 2-4 hours or place in freezer for 1/2 hour.

Drop cookies by the tablespoon and bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. (I did 12-13 minutes)

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Honey Beer Bread

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Well the Holidays are rolling in with Thanksgiving just around the corner then Christmas before we know it! And we all know once winter hits it’s all about the savory stews, soups, and delicious casseroles with hearty bread to go with it that warm your soul :). An even better ingredient to use in all these things is beer! It adds a nice flavor that goes along with these winter months. I found this beer bread recipe a couple years ago and it is a winner! It’s simple and comes together very fast. Once it’s done its chewy and dense with a wonderful aftertaste of whatever beer you choose to use! I recommend using a full flavor beer rather than a light version. The couple of times I have made it I have used Dogfish Head, Harpoon’s Winter Warmer, Ten Penny Ale, or any sort of flavored beer you want to come out in the bread.

Adapted from  http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/honey-beer-bread/

 

Honey Beer bread

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

4 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

1 bottle 12 ounce beer

5 tablespoons of melted butter

 

Preheat oven- 350

Serves 8-10

Preheat and turn oven on.  Grease and lightly flour a 9x5x3  inch bread pan

In a medium bowl sift together flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside

Microwave the butter until melted. After the butter is melted, microwave the honey for ten seconds to let it become runnier.

Take your greased bread pan and pour half the butter at the bottom of your pan.

Slowly pour your beer and honey or maple syrup into the flour mixture, stir with wooden spoon until just combined. Pour mixture into pan and pour rest of the butter on top of the loaf.

Bake for 50 minutes or until top is golden brown. Top with butter and honey and indulge in this yummy bread!

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Pasta

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I worked at a place called Noodles and Company for three years.  It made me appreciate good, fresh and simple product. It also enabled me to eat entirely too much pasta for the years I was there.

Side note: If there is a Noodles and Company near you, you should GO EAT THERE, its a great inexpensive lunch or dinner that is fresh and DELICIOUS…I no longer work there but still love to eat there whenever I am near one! 🙂

ANYWAYS, since I ate so much pasta while I was there, I found myself never eating pasta anywhere else. When I go out to eat, I always find myself ordering something other than pasta as well.  The portions are WAY too big or the pasta is over-cooked….then this past summer we went to Italy….and I fell in love with pasta all over again. The pasta there is nothing short of amazing. Fresh and simple ingredients is all you need make a great pasta dish.

This pasta dish reminds me of the ones we had in Italy.  The bacon, walnuts, spinach and parmesan are an amazing combo I wouldn’t of thought to put together, but it is oh so good. A little lemon juice over the top balances it out PERFECTLY. I used this recipe, we used bacon instead of pancetta and just onion instead of shallots… enjoy with a nice glass of wine ! 🙂

http://staging.ricardocuisine.com/recipes/5269-pasta-with-pancetta-and-spinach 

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Autumn Apple dessert

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I love fall. It’s by far my favorite season…and it’s why we choose to get married in October next year :). The changing of the leaves and the colors are a perfect setting for a wedding in my opinion. The weather is not to cold and the humidity is finally gone. I love scarfs, boots and cardigans. Mine and Alex’s birthday’s are in October. All desserts are spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg or pumpkin. Fall and I just get along splendidly, and there is so much to look forward to!

Apples are great this season as well. I used to go apple picking every year with my family. Everyone got loaded up on a tractor trailer and we got pulled all over the orchard to pick what apples we wanted. Many apples were taken and loaded up and once you were done picking and returned to pay for the apples, there was an enormous vat of apple cider to drink as much apple cider as you wanted. When it comes to any type of picking you usually have an over abundance of the product. The amount of delicious simple recipes to make with apples are endless. Here an apple is mixed with cinnamon and vanilla poured over greek yogurt and walnuts. I had this for breakfast but this can be a simple healthy dessert to have after dinner as well!

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Sauted cinnamon apple with yogurt and walnuts

Serves 1

1 granny smith smith or pink lady apple

2 teaspoons butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

pinch of sugar

1/2 cup of plain or sweetened greek yogurt

handful of walnuts

Melt butter in pan over medium-low heat. Add apples, cinnamon and vanilla and saute for 10 or until tender. Sprinkle with sugar.

Pour apple and walnuts over greek yogurt and enjoy a lovely taste of fall! 🙂

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Oatmeal banana waffles

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Waffles are delicious. Banana’s are great. Oatmeal is wonderful. All these things together? AMAZING. I’ve always been more of a fan of waffles rather than pancakes. The chewy and crispy texture is what makes me love them. Although growing up my parents would often cook pancakes with apples in them which I know I would love now but back then it was just weird. We actually didn’t have a waffle maker either so waffles were always eaten out to breakfast. I grew up in Ohio and waffle houses were around every corner. My favorite waffle there was the pecan waffle. Now that I live in Connecticut, waffle houses are no where to be found! My wonderful fiance gave me a waffle maker when we first met and I’ve been wafflin it up by myself ever since then! These waffles are quite simple to make and a heck of a lot better for you. They are pretty much just oatmeal in a different form! 🙂 I love topping them with peanut butter or jelly for a filling breakfast! A little butter and syrup would be great as well.

Banana oatmeal waffles

adapted from http://www.theveggiegal.com/blog/?p=1007

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2 cups rolled oats

2 cups unsweetened almond milk

1 medium sized banana

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Plug in waffle iron and spray with oil. Mix all ingredients in a blender till smooth. Once waffle iron is heated up cook 6-8 minutes until desired crispiness.

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Less is more

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I love simple things. I grew up with a family that cooked and baked all the time. But we also got fast food and had the typical Oreos and Little Debbies like every normal busy family. We really did make a lot of what we eat – mashed potatoes were never from the box, and chicken was baked, grilled, or sautéed. We had a cholesterol scare with my dad and after that everything became Fat free this and reduced calorie that. After watching Food, Inc. (a documentary everyone should see) I started realizing how important it was to read the label of a product. As I have come to know more and more about food, it’s amazing the things that are produced for the grocery store shelves that have a laundry list of 20 ingredients, but if made at home could include MAYBE five ingredients. My rule of thumb is that if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, its probably not good for you. I am an EXTREMELY indecisive person and when there are so many things to choose from, it makes my decisions that much harder! I could spend HOURS at the grocery store just looking at all the different products, only to realize I could just make most of it myself with a fraction of the ingredients – it would also taste better and be more healthful.  I know sometimes it’s easier just to buy it, but if you take the time to do it, it will be so worth it in the end.  I LOVE food and I’m so glad I have a good relationship with it . Image

These cookies were so fun to make, and support my peanut butter addiction 🙂 Peanut butter and jelly is just the perfect combination. The recipe is from a blog I love to read, http://joythebaker.com/. Her recipes are great and she’s funny!  It also only has 5 ingredients 🙂

Peanut butter and jelly thumbprints

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1 cup all natural peanut butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup of you favorite jam

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with butter.  Combine peanut butter and sugars and mix until combined, about two minutes.  Add egg and baking soda and beat for another two minutes. Roll cookie dough into teaspoon sized balls , make a small indentation and fill with your favorite jam. Bake in oven for 12 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool

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Quinoa

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I have a morning ritual of reading food blogs while eating breakfast. A lot of the articles include the latest food trends, and for the past couple years quinoa has been popping up. A lot of people have asked me what it is and I wasn’t even really sure! The texture is similar to that of couscous, but couscous is a pasta. A little research revealed quinoa is apparently a seed. Nonetheless I find it to be DELISH. I like the kind that is pre-washed because it has a less “crunchy” texture and you don’t have to soak it in water as long. Quinoa is great because it is so versatile – there are so many recipes out there using it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s a yummy gluten free alternative, plus is a lot easier to find in the grocery store ever since it started trending a couple years ago.

The picture above is from this recipe. It’s a great beginners recipe for quinoa and like the name says it can be used for any meal of the day 🙂
This is another ALL TIME FAVORITE…a little tricker but quinoa is soooooo good in this form.  Look up any sort of “quinoa cake” and you won’t be disappointed!
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I took out the cilantro and red onions because I am not personally a fan.
Seriously those these two recipes are keepers and will make you a fan of quinoa 🙂
If those don’t strike your fancy you can always make the quinoa according to the directions and add whatever you like! Any type of cheese, lemon, herbs or oil are some great options.  Get creative 🙂
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