Tag Archives: Almonds

Baked Oatmeal

2 Nov

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This baked oatmeal is the perfect, cozy breakfast on a chilly day and the sweetness of the raspberries is a wonderful compliment to the warm, cinnamon-y oatmeal (apparently I’m on an unintentional raspberry kick). However, lots of other fruits can easily be used instead – I would love to try fresh peaches the next time they’re in season! And I’ve used blueberries for this as well and it was just as tasty. We may try apple next, as we have a plethora of apples from a recent apple orchard visit. 

Now, before we dive into the ins and outs of making yourself baked oatmeal, I first have to say that before this attempt, I had never had baked oatmeal and didn’t really know what about oatmeal would even require baking. I grew up with the delicious Quaker Oat instant packets that required a few minutes in the microwave and “ta da”, oatmeal! I associated oatmeal with – “instant”. Effective marketing, Quaker Oats.

So, when I opened my Seriously Delish cookbook (from one of my absolute favorite bloggers, Jessica, over at How Sweet Eats) and I saw this recipe, I knew it was moving up to the front of the recipe queue. For starters, Jessica talks about HER love of Quaker Oak instant oatmeal! Ha! A kindred spirit! And the recipe looked like one that would be the perfect recipe for a fall day and well, tis the season. I was sold.

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This does take a little planning, but I promise you that it’s not a difficult breakfast to whip up for you, you and a roommate/spouse or even for a big group! I made this the first time for my husband and I and then proceeded to make it again a week later for Luke’s family. For the second attempt I used steel-cut oats and blueberries and the twist resulted in just as delicious oatmeal but with a bit more texture.

Enough about the ‘why’ of baked oatmeal, let’s get to the ‘how’!

I made a few tweaks to the original recipe that Jessica provides in her cookbook and I can’t wait to continue to experiment with this in the future. Possibilities are endless!

Ingredients:

For the oatmeal:

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats (I’ve also done this with steel-cut oats and it’s super tasty, but has more texture than the normal oats route, so just know that in advance. But I definitely encourage you guys to try this too! If you’re like us, you’ll just go with what you have in the cupboard.)
  • 1/2 cup loose packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chunky applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup fresh raspberries

For the topping:

  • 2 Tbsp browned butter
  • 1-2 Tbsp coconut milk
  • 2-3 Tbsp slivered almonds

How to Make:

If you’re anything like Luke and I, before you start making this breakfast you’re going to pour yourself a big, steaming cup of coffee. It’s the best way to make this recipe, I promise. While you’re sipping that java, preheat your oven to 350.

Grab a small baking dish or small casserole dish and spray it with Pam or whatever cooking spray you have in the cupboard. Set that aside for now.

Locate a large bowl and now begins the mixing and assembling of ingredients. First in are the oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Whisk it all together.

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Now, in a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk the coconut milk, applesauce, melted butter, egg and vanilla together.

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Pour the melted butter into the wet ingredients and then pour the fully mixed wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

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Get all that?

Not too hard, right?

Last thing to do is grab your fruit of choice (we did raspberries, but as noted above, have also done blueberries and had this turn out just as delicious). Give the fruit a good rinse, chop them up if needed (like if using peaches, for instance) and then through ’em in with everything else.

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Pour the oatmeal into a baking dish…

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…and bake this for 25 minutes or so, or until the top is turning golden. However, while this is baking, you have a second task!

Browned butter. What the heck is that?! It’s glorious. That’s all you need to know. And you’re about to have some on your oatmeal.

In truth, it’s just normal butter that’s been cooked up to just enough of a temperature that these wonderful brown bits form in the bottom of the pan start to meld with the melted butter and this new toffee scent from the butter is wafting into your nostrils.

I learned how to make browned butter from Jessica’s instructions in Simply Delish and it is pretty damn simple. You heat the butter over medium-low heat (I go lower so I don’t accidentally burn it) and you whisk and whisk and whisk until the previously mentioned little brown bits start to appear in the bottom of the pan. Once you see those, you’re golden! (Haha, pun fully intended). Remove this from the heat and keep giving it a few more stirs and then, it’s ready to use!

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I made only the 2 tbsp that were needed for the oatmeal, but you can always make a bit batch and store it for use down the road!

Once the baked oatmeal is done, pull it out and drizzle the browned butter over the top, drizzle the bit of the coconut milk too and then throw on the slivered almonds.

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This is sooooo yummy and it will be a wonderful breakfast. It’s got all these great flavors with the coconut milk mixed with the caramel-y browned butter, crunchy and nutty almonds, tartness from the fruit and that classic oat flavor that is at the base of why we all love oatmeal. Such a simple dish when you think about it, oats and liquid, but this recipe kicks it up a notch and in the best way.

We ate ours with a fantastic Spicy Maple Sausage that my husband whipped up. I can’t wait to share his recipe with you all in a future post!

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Hope you guys enjoy this as much as we did!

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Rainbow Chicken Salad

24 Jan

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OH baby. I can’t begin to tell you how delectable this salad is. I literally am so excited about this salad that I made it a few hours ago and am writing the blog post now. And yes, that means I’m enjoying a wonderful Friday night in. Judge away, I’m fairly pleased about the situation.

But back to salad, delicious, wonderfully delicious salad.

So, what’s all in this salad, you may ask? You’ve got a mix of juicy fruits, tangy dressing, crunchy almonds, and a delicious feta cheese that cuts through it all. Oh yes, and the chicken! Juicy chicken to absorb all of the flavors.

If you can’t tell, I’m having a slight relationship with my chicken salad. Sigh.

Moving on!

I found this amazing little gem on Pinch of Yum, a great blog with so many recipes that I want to take a whack at. This will not be the last recipe of theirs that I try, I just know it. I’ve made a few tweaks to their original recipe in my list of ingredients below, but didn’t have to make too many changes. Love this recipe!

Prepare yourself….here we go…

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 cups purple grapes, halved
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 2-3 big handfuls of lettuce, chopped (I used a spring mix but you can do what you wish!)
  • ½ cup feta cheese
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
Dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon stoneground mustard
  • ½ tablespoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic

How to Make:

First up, season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and the chili powder. Get both sides nice and covered with seasoning. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat, and sizzle up. Get the chicken nice and brown on the sides, flipping as needed to ensure the chicken is fully cooked.

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Once it’s done, remove to cool, then cut it up into chewable sized pieces. Yes, also known as bite-size pieces. But you knew what I meant.

Now, to prep the rest of the salad!

Slice the grapes in half…

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Measure the cup of blueberries…

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Measure the 1/2 cup of slivered almonds…

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Measure the 1/2 cup of feta…

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Wash, rinse and pat dry a few good hearty handfuls of lettuce…

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Then arrange as you desire in a large bowl. I went with the pretty route, taking a leaf out of the Pinch of Yum‘s book. Their picture on the blog looked similar which is what inspired me in the first place. This is also where the ‘rainbow’ in the title of the recipe comes from.

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Now as you make the dressing, you can refrigerate this beautiful bowl of salad. For the dressing, you’ll want to use a food processor to get things all creamy. You’ll add all of the dressing ingredients to the food processor and give a few seconds on full blast. I loved the taste as I stuck my finger into the bowl of the food processor (cord unplugged mind you) and basically swooned.

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Ok, ok, that’s dramatic. No swooning but i do believe there was a “yummmmmmmmm” noise that escaped. You will understand when you make this dressing.

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Now, all that’s left to do is grab the bowl of salad and drizzle on your dressing. Use a spatula to mix everything all up, get the dressing all coated over the chicken, the lettuce, all the other salad pieces.

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Then, serve up!

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Dig your fork in…and…

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Yes, you will see why I love this salad. You will love this salad too, friend. You will too.

Granola

7 Apr

This is the second of the flurry of posts that will be coming about due to Easter weekend cooking at the Vose house. This recipe is not a Vose recipe, but one that I wanted to make this weekend nonetheless. It’s excellent with yogurt – normal or frozen. You can also add whatever variety of ingredients you’d like.

I came across this recipe from a coworker of mine passing it along. I was in search of the perfect granola recipe and wasn’t having a ton of luck in my internet searches. Although hard to believe from some of my more caloric recipes previously posted, I do like to make healthier things to have on hand in my kitchen. Granola was something I wanted to be a healthy snack or dessert and many recipes are actually much higher in sugar and carbs than needed.

NOT saying this is the healthiest recipe on the planet, but it’s not terrible for you. Take it or leave it – but I think it’s very tasty. Course I only post things on here I think are tasty so perhaps I’m slightly biased. Oh well.

This recipe is taken from Leite’s Culinaria website with only slight variations from me.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes or shreds (this time I didn’t use the coconut as the individuals eating it weren’t huge fans. However, I’ve previously made this and enjoy adding this in. Your choice about your personal views on coconut.)
  • 1 cup whole raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil (I’ve used both and found both to be similarly effective. Use what’s on hand.)
  • 1/4 cup mild honey or light agave nectar (I like honey, though agave nectar may be better for those more health conscious. I should be more of that…oh well.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped dried fruit (I usually used dried cherries or cranberries. Cranberries was used in this version.)

How to Make:

Essentially all you need to do, is mix everything together. However, there’s a slight method that is suggested.

Preheat the oven to 300°F. I’m the master of forgetting to preheat and then have to sit around wait for the oven to heat up. Don’t be like me.

Grab yourself a nice large bowl and mix your oats, coconut, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. I know my brown sugar usually gets a little chunky so try to break those up as best you can.

Next in a separate microwavable safe bowl, microwave the oil and honey for 20 seconds. Pour the heated mixture into the dry ingredient mixture and make sure everything is thoroughly coated. Add in the vanilla too and stir it in.

Once everything is all mixed up, pour it into a 9×13 baking pan and spread it out evenly (you want everything to bake evenly don’t you!?). Nicely done sous chef, nicely done.

I put the timer on for 25 minutes, but the original recipe says 25 – 40 minutes total. You want to bake it until the top turns golden brown. Also, pull out the pan about 2-3 times during the baking process to stir it around. You want all the granola to be baked well – not just the top. Below is the half-way point.

Your kitchen smells pretty dang good at this point. Serious.

Once you have a golden brown mixture, pull it out and mix in your dried fruit. Then it’s suggested that you push the granola to one side so that it cools in nice little clumps. If you’re into clumps then yes, follow this method. If you prefer clumpless (not a word, but it felt like it should be used here) granola, then spread it out evenly to cool.

Throw it into yogurt, ice cream, oatmeal or whatever other fun item you’d like!

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