Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cream Cheese Oatmeal with Dried Fruit

This past weekend, I found myself in the unfortunate situation of being out of fresh fruit. I imagine this is a pretty common problem for some people, so I try to make sure I have a wide variety of oatmeal recipes that can appease the most vacant of pantries!

My mom recently sent me a box full of "fancy" dried fruits. By "fancy," I mean that they are not raisins and bananas. They are the pricier stuff that I can never afford:  pineapple, cherries, and blueberries.

Using what I had, I threw together this recipe. I thought it sounded unimpressive in my head, but I was shocked at how tasty it was! I had to share it.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Oatmeals to Impress

I definitely do not pretend to be the kind of person that understands humans. On the contrary, I find them incredibly perplexing. Like, how can there be an entire population of people who loathe oatmeal? How? How?

Alas, these people exist. I believe most of them simply haven't had it made properly. They think of the crappy instant packets, or the super gummy stuff served in some cafeterias. Here is a round-up of recipes I think are delicious enough to please the pickiest eater, but fun enough to appeal to the most unenthusiastic!

Psst...if you're really having a tough time trying to win over an oatmeal hater, I would also suggest checking out the chocolate recipes!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Coconut-Pecan Butter

Today is my 23rd birthday. Today, my goal is to celebrate the incredible ~8,400 days that have shaped the person I am today. Today, I will not fret about the future or complain about getting older. Today, I will eat whatever I want and enjoy the bejeesus out of it.

Starting with this:

I first made this back in September to top my German Chocolate Baked Oatmeal. At the time, my lazy bum did not actually tell you how to make the coconut-pecan butter. My directions were the charismatic equivalent of "Figure it out yourself." For your convenience, I've included two recipes below: one for basic coconut butter, and another for coconut-pecan butter.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Black Forest Cake Oatmeal

This morning, a screeching fire alarm woke me up at 4:26 AM. I do not remember being woken up by it, nor do I remember my first thoughts. My first memory today was standing in the middle of my bedroom, thinking, "I should put pants on."

This morning, I walked down fifteen flights of stairs in a creepy, side stairwell. I sat in the apartment lobby in my pajamas while waiting for the flashing firetruck to give us the okay. I had no idea what my hair looked like, until I spotted that frizzy lion's mane in the reflection of a window I passed. 

This morning, I stood in a crowd of tired, angry residents slouching and moping in front of the elevators, which were frantically shuffling everyone back up to their apartments. One minute passed. Two minutes passed. People started leaning against walls. Three minutes passed. People sat down. Four minutes passed. We lost hope. We took a deep breath. We took the stairs, each step reminding me that it was 5 AM and our lives officially sucked.

This morning, I sat at the kitchen counter for five minutes, coughing and panting and chugging water, while I waited for my calves to stop burning and my heartbeat to slow down to normal speed.

Then I made breakfast, and remembered why oatmeal exists:  to saturate every pore of my being with comfort and understated luxury, even on the worst of mornings. Even when you've lost an hour of sleep, a bowl of well-made oatmeal can transport you back to your happy place. :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fruit & Maple Oatmeal

I had to do something very, very painful to create this recipe: go on the McDonald's website. Of course, this was much less painful than actually going to their store and purchasing something, but the thought of giving more traffic to this company's website pained me slightly.

I understand there are people who are okay with McDonald's (and fast food in general) in moderation. I am not opposed to all fast food by any means, but I loathe crappy chain fast food joints (McDonald's, BK, Wendy's, Taco Bell, etc.) and refuse to support them. I gave up McDonald's first, and I haven't been inside one since the summer of 2010.

As a result, I've never experienced their Fruit and Maple Oatmeal, and I have no intentions of ever doing so. However, it seemed like a good combination of flavors, and I figured there may be some people out there who would like a copycat recipe. It's a little annoying because it requires both green and red apples, but you could ignore that and just use one kind of apple. Your secret is safe with me. :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Top 5 Recipes for Chocolate Lovers!

 Every single day - and I'm not exaggerating - I stare longingly at the jar of chocolate chips in my cupboard as I'm making my oatmeal. Most mornings, I talk myself out of it. "Save them for a weekend treat," I tell myself. "Control yourself!"

Chocolate makes everything better. I've loved almost every single porridge I've ever made with chocolate. I typically use one of two methods: mixing it cocoa powder, or topping with chocolate chips. The first option is slightly healthier and makes it feel like you're eating brownie batter, but eating chocolate chips automatically makes me feel nostalgic for childhood treats (like chocolate chip cookies!).

No matter what kind of chocolate you're using, here are my top five favorite oatmeal recipes when I'm craving the cocoa!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Nectarine-Lime Oatmeal

Last week, I found myself in possession of a ginormous, juicy nectarine. I always thought I didn't like them (because they were like an inferior version of peaches), but this one proved me wrong. I mean, they essentially taste the same, but peaches don the fuzzy skin. Other than that, they're nearly twins!

So what would I do with the nectarine? Obviously, my first thought was to use it in oatmeal. I did some hardcore research and studied all sorts of flavor combinations. I saw a few sources listing nectarine/peaches and lime as a good combination, so I thought I'd try it out.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Single-Serving Muesli

Are you aware that muesli is just raw oats and a smorgasbord of random ingredients that could easily be assembled in thirty seconds? Are you aware that you could just grab whatever nuts, dried fruit, seeds, or what-have-yous and throw it in to your muesli? Are you aware that you need not purchase $6 boxes of mediocre muesli from the store?

I'm going to give you a moment; this revelation can be a little troubling. After all, if you're like me, you may have been depriving yourself of this wondrous breakfast because "it's too expensive" and it's a "luxury item." Now, you've realized you've been wrongfully missing out.

When I studied abroad in Ireland (thank you, world, for your kindness to me), I ate muesli for breakfast every single morning. The first morning, I chose porridge for obvious reasons. However, it was bland and runny and not my style. Then, I noticed that every place we stayed was serving Alpen Swiss Muesli. I had never heard of muesli before then, but I was immediately smitten. It was like a healthier version of granola, and it went beautifully with peaches and plain yogurt, which must be popular in Ireland because every single place we stayed at offered these items in their "buffet" lines.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Peach and Almond Butter Oatmeal

Guys, I might have a new favorite oatmeal recipe. I mean, I love the Baked Peanut Butter Cookie, and the Nutty 'Nana Berry, and the Neapolitan, but this one has peaches! PEACHES!! And almond butter!! Two things that are amazing on their own are now brought together in this beautiful bowl of happiness.

First, let's talk about peaches. Juicy. Sweet. Tastes like summer. And then there's almond butter: rich, but sweeter and milder than its peanut cousin. Because of its milder flavor, it lets the peaches be the star, while still lending that rich, buttery taste.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

French Silk Pie Oatmeal

Sometimes, I toss my nose in the air at French Silk Pie. I think it's because it's my brother's favorite kind of pie, and (more often than not) if my brother thinks something is good, it's actually lame. He's the pickiest eater in the world, and most of his food choices are safe and dull. Or maybe that's just me being pretentious.

At the end of the day, how can you turn it down, though? It has a nostalgic appeal to it, probably because it's just a fancy way to eat pudding...with fabulous curls of chocolate on top!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Snickers Salad Oatmeal

If you do not reign from the Midwest region of the United States, you will be baffled by the name of this oatmeal. You will be even more confused as you look at the ingredients. Of course, the recipe for Snickers Salad has recently popped up around Pinterest, but for the most part, this piece of classic Midwestern cuisine is foreign to everyone in the remaining 45 states.

Let me break this down for you: Snickers Salad consists of chopped apples, chopped Snickers bars, mini marshmallows, and Cool Whip. Yes, you read that correctly. Take a second; read it again. Yep.

That's Snickers Salad.
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