Blueberry Oatmeal Bake

A recipe for my fellow oatmeal lovers out there! I really enjoy eating oatmeal for breakfast, but I REALLY REALLY love baked oatmeal. It’s warm and delicious & not too sweet (until I covered it with maple syrup) it was sugar- free syrup though, so I don’t feel too bad.

This bake is somewhere between breakfast and dessert, although it could be eaten for both… or throughout the day. I’ve seriously eaten oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don’t feel bad after eating it!

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Also, Oatmeal is super amazing for increasing milk supply for nursing mamas. So this past year, I really upped my oatmeal intake for that reason, but it wasn’t hard to do at all because I love it.

My son and I also love eating blueberries! I try incorporating them into our food as often as I can. The blueberries I got from HEB this week were so sweet and delicious. They are also packed with antioxidants, which is such a bonus!!

The toasted maple almonds on top of the bake provide a nice crunchy texture. You really have it all In this recipe. Warm soft oatmeal, sweet pops of berries and crunchy almonds on top. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Ingredients:

- 2 cups oats 
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds 
- 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup divided 
- 1 tsp baking powder 
- 1 tsp cinnamon 
- 1/4 tsp salt 
- 1 egg 
- 2 tsp vanilla 
- 1 and 1/2 cup milk 
- 1/4 cup of maple syrup and 
  2 tbs maple syrup divided

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and liberally butter the inside of an 8x8x2 baking dish.

In a saucepan over low to medium heat, begin toasting the almonds, stirring often. Once they have been toasted for a minute or two, sprinkle in 1/4 cup of brown sugar and immediately move off of the heat. Stir the sugar into the almonds, the almonds should be warm enough that the sugar slowly melts and begins to adhere to them. Add in 2 tbs of maple syrup to the almonds, stir to incorporate, then set aside.

In a medium bowl, add your dry ingredients (oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar)

In a large bowl add the wet ingredients (milk, egg, vanilla and 1/4 cup of maple syrup) quickly stir to beat the egg into the milk. Now add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Fold in the blueberries into the mixture. Carefully pour the mixture into your buttered pan and sprinkle the toasted almonds over it. Stick into the oven anywhere between 30- 60 minutes. Until milk has thoroughly evaporated. Let the dish sit for 20-40 minutes so that the oats can be cut into squares for serving.

Thank you for reading!

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Roasted Chicken & Vegetables

Today was such a good day! We spent the morning and afternoon shopping for goodies for our kitchen! I went to Williams Sonoma and got new wooden spoons, some measuring cups, a new cooling rack and a zester. I seem to have lost my last zester from our last move. Yay for no longer having to use a cheese grater for zesting lemons!

Then I went to Sur La Table and got a couple serving platters! I just love getting new things for our kitchen. Luke and I are eventually planning to build our next home ( in the next year or two) and I have some BIG ideas for our future kitchen, I can hardly wait.

Anyway, so a few days ago we had gone to a night time farmers market at the Pearl in San Antonio. I had gotten some carrots, green onions and some other fresh vegetables. So I needed to cook them today because I was scared they would go bad soon.

 

 

I love roasting chicken with carrots/vegetables, especially when cooked in the same pan. It allows all the yummy juices from the chicken to sink into the vegetables and the flavor is so good!!

 

 

You can roast just about any vegetable combo with your chicken but I find that onions, carrots and potatoes are just the best. That’s how my mom use to bake her chicken and that’s how I like to do it too now! Plus, my picky eater of a son is into carrots and potatoes. So it’s a win-win for us.

Below, I will be sharing my usual method for roasting chicken, it makes for a tender juicy inside with a crispy skin! Crispy chicken skin is my favorite part of roasting a chicken! I hope you enjoy.

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Ingredients:

- 1 whole chicken
- 1 small orange
- 2 tsp paprika
- salt/ pepper to taste (enough to coat 
  entire chicken)
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 tbs room-temp butter
- 5-7 large carrots
- 2 large green onions
- 2 tbs chopped green onion 
  reserved for garnish
- 1 lb assorted small potatoes or red potatoes
- additional salt / pepper for vegetables to taste

Instructions

Set your oven to 400 degrees. Clean out the cavity of the chicken and rinse the entire skin well with cold water. Pat dry the chicken with a paper towel and set the chicken in a large roasting pan. Coat the outside and underneath the skin of the chicken with room temperature butter. About 2 tbs on skin and 2 tbs under the skin. Sprinkle the paprika over the top of the chicken as well as the salt and pepper (liberally).  Roughly chop one small orange and insert into the cavity of the chicken also add garlic into the cavity with the orange. Take a piece of cooking string and tie the chicken legs closed together.

Arrange the onions, carrots and potatoes around the chicken in the roasting pan. Coat the vegetables with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle entirely with salt/ pepper and the extra chopped green onions. Make sure to coat the vegetables evenly with The EVOO.

Place the roasting pan in the oven for about an hour and a half. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your chicken. At about the 45 minute mark, open the oven and baste the chicken with the juices that begin to fill the bottom of the pan. Baste the entire chicken a few times with a spoon, then allow to continue cooking. If your chicken has achieved the perfect brown color, but is not done cooking internally, then set the oven down to 350 degrees and cover the pan with foil. If you’re Chicken is cooked internally, (you’ll know if you cut into the chicken between the leg and thigh, and the juices run clear), and the skin is not browned or crispy, set your broiler on for 3-5 minutes or until desired color of skin is achieved.

Let the chicken rest for ten minutes outside of the oven before carving.

Thank you for reading.

Roasted Corn & Black Bean Salsa

Happy weekend everyone!! In our household we love bbq-ing on our Friday’s and inviting the family over to eat with us!

Tonight Luke wanted to grill cornbread stuffed chicken, ribs and sausage. I typically make my famous boracho beans and rice when he grills, but today I wanted something a little more fresh! It was hot today and this side dish just feels like summer time!! Side note, I really need to post my boracho (drunken) beans for y’all. They are a hit and have just about everything in them, but the kitchen sink lol.

I almost got completely full just off of this alone, with tortilla chips. It’s addicting! Sometimes I like to add a jalapeño in this for a little kick, but I knew my mother in law was coming over to join us, and she doesn’t like spicy food, so I left it out this time. But I will add it as an optional ingredient below. Sometimes I’ll add chunks of avocado in it as well.

Lime is a must for this Salsa! Sometimes I’ve eaten this as a “salad” with dressing mixed in, but today I was craving extra freshness so I wanted to go with the corn & bean “Salsa” because it’s loaded with fresh vegetables, a little salt and lime juice and it’s ready to go! I feel like when it’s coated in mayo or a dressing, it loses a bit of its freshness…. and I don’t know, eating the salsa with the lime juice, really wakens everything up. Yum yum!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! Tomorrow Luke is going to play golf while GM and I go visit my grandma. She’s recovering from surgery, so we want to go hang out and spend some time with her. Sunday we are going to La Cantera and I told Luke I have to go to Williams Sonoma! Ahhh I’m so excited! I need new measuring spoons, cups and wooden spoons. Who knows what else I’ll “need”. Thanks for reading!

 

Ingredients:

- 4 corn on the cobs
- 2 tomatoes
- 1/2 red onion
- 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
- 1 lime
- 1 can black beans
- 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp Uncle Chris' Gourmet Seasoning
- salt/ pepper to taste
- 1 jalapeño (optional)
- cotija cheese for garnish

Instructions:

I used a “comal” but any smooth flat griddle will work. Take a little butter and coat the pan, when griddle is hot, place the corn on heat and let it sit for a minute or two, or until some of the kernels begin to blacken. Rotate the corn from side to side so that the entire cob gets cooked. When they are done, set aside so they can cool.

Finely dice the tomatoes, onion and cilantro then add to medium sized bowl. Add in black beans. Check to see if corn is cool enough to handle with your hands. Then take a knife, place the corn standing up on a cutting board, and carefully cut downward so you begin taking off the kernels from the cob. Toss all the corn into the bowl, add seasonings and lime juice. Add cotija cheese over salsa as a garnish. Serve with tortilla chips.

Strawberry & Cream Scones

Okay y’all, let it be known that I absolutely love scones!! I’m so excited to share this post because these little treats are freaking delicious and they don’t really take a lot of effort!

So today my sister in law and my baby nephew were going to come spend the afternoon with GM and I. I told her I was going to bake something for her and asked her if she was a fan of scones! She said she had never had them before. I figured I’d make them anyway and just hope she would like them!!

I’m a big coffee drinker, so eating scones with a cup of coffee makes for the PERFECT breakfast, for me anyway!! They are typically not too sweet, but my SIL is not a coffee drinker, so I decided these would have to be a tad sweeter than normal because she wasn’t going to be enjoying them with a cup of coffee! So I added a sugary glaze over the top of these that did just the trick! OMG y’all, I’m obsessed with this recipe. I want it printed out on my fridge and I want someone to make these for me, fresh every morning.

I still had some leftover strawberries my grandfather had planted and for this recipe, I only used about a cup of fresh berries, which was perfect! When you take a bite of the crumbly bread, you get pops of fresh strawberry and the sweet glazed icing really just tied it all in together for me! Between my SIL, husband, granny and myself, these little babies were knocked out pretty quick. Seriously they are so good!

No lie, it probably took me 10 minutes to prep these! They were in the oven for about 20 minutes or so, so overall almost 30 minutes of time spent. Not bad, not bad! I want to make blueberry ones next, maybe with a lemon sugar glaze? Let me know if that sounds like a good idea.

Don’t be intimidated by making these! I would say its totally level “easy” in the baking department. Any non baker can pull these together!

I hope you enjoy 🙂

 

Ingredients:

For the bread

- 2 1/2 cups of flour
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda 
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter (very cold)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 tbs heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup strawberries

For the egg wash

- 1 egg beaten 
- 1 tsp heavy cream

For the glaze

- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- splash of vanilla
- pinch of salt

Instructions:

Bring your oven to 400 degrees. In the time it takes you to do the next steps, take your stick of butter and put it in the freezer to get it really cold. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper then set aside. In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, combine all the wet ingredients. Now it’s time to take the butter out of the freezer and cube into small pieces. Once the butter has been cut, place it into the bowl of dry ingredients and use your fingers to combine it. It will be very crumbly/floury and look like a mess. If it’s messy, don’t panic, you’re doing it right.

Take your bowl of wet ingredients and add into the bowl of dry ingredients/butter. Use fingers to combine the dough together, it should still be lumpy. Take your cut up strawberries and fold into the doughy mixture!

On a clean work surface, cover with a large amount of flour, so you can knead your dough without it sticking. Before kneading, this is what your dough mixture will look like. Reference photo below.

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Now, you will use both of your hands to form the dough into the work surface to incorporate the ingredients and to shape the dough into a circle with about an 8-9 inch diameter. See photo below for reference.

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I continuously added flour as I was shaping my dough, because it was getting a little sticky. If that happens, just toss a little flour over the sticky spots and it will help you form the shape. Once your dough is in a circle, slice in 8 even pieces and place on the baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Take your egg and cream, beat together in a small bowl, and coat a small amount over each pastry. (I used a cooking brush my husband uses to coat BBQ sauce on his food with.) Place in the oven for about 20 minutes or until a beautiful golden brown color is on top of the scones.

While the scones cool, in a medium bowl combine the cream, powdered sugar, salt and  vanilla. If the mixture is too runny, add a bit more of sugar, if it is too thick, you can thin it down with more cream. Lightly drizzle the pastries with the glaze. Let stand for a few minutes and they are ready to serve! Thank you for reading!

Chicken Egg Roll in a Bowl

 

Luke always asks me to make him “healthy” prepped meals that he can take to work. He works long hours, so sometimes he will eat more than one meal on a shift, so it’s easy for him to take multiple meals and eat when he can.

Anyway, I’m not a fan of healthy, green, granola lifestyle type of cooking. Give me the butter, fat, cream and sugar! That’s just how I am, but Luke is not! He tries his best to eat right and eat clean. So I try my best to accommodate for him every now and then!

A few months ago, Luke was working in the valley and found a healthy food store that prepped meals. One of the meals was a ground turkey egg roll bowl, he fell in love with it. He came home from that trip and kept asking me to make it for him, so I did.

I’ve made it a few times since, and tweaked the ingredients here and there. I like using ground chicken, but it could be done with just about anything! Hope you enjoy!

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Ingredients:

I - 1 1/2 tbs sesame oil
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 3 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 small yellow onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3/4 cup of diced carrots 
- 1/4 cup of diced green onions 
- 2 1/2 tbs soy sauce (or more, taste to your 
  liking)
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tbs garlic powder 
- Toasted sesame seeds optional 
- Salt and pepper to taste (lots of pepper)
- Sriracha mayo for garnish, optional

Instructions:

Dice the yellow onion, garlic and carrots, set aside. Pour sesame oil into pan over medium high heat and begin cooking the ground chicken. Salt and pepper the chicken lightly. When the chicken seems mostly cooked through, add in the cabbage, yellow onion, garlic and carrots. As they cook down, season with garlic powder and onion powder. Add in soy sauce, taste the mixture and if it needs more soy sauce add a teaspoon more at a time, till you have achieved a taste to your liking.

Remove the pan from heat and throw in diced green onions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve in bowl and add Sriracha mayo on top if desired. Let cool and it is ready to serve.

My Favorite Deviled Eggs

Easter is one of my favorite holidays because I love spring so much!! Bright flowers and spring colors just make my heart happy. I went to HEB yesterday and got some beautiful sunflowers for my kitchen and some marigolds for my back yard!!

So of course what is Easter Sunday without Deviled eggs!? It’s funny because we celebrated Easter today (Saturday) with Luke’s family and I was planning on baking a pie! I totally lost track of time this morning and had zero time to whip something together so I thought “well you can never have enough Deviled eggs for Easter”- plus they don’t take long to whip together.

As I was placing them in the container I was laughing to myself thinking there was probably going to be a ton of eggs to eat and I was kind of feeling bad that I didn’t take time to make a dessert.

But as luck would have it, when I walked into Luke’s grandma’s house I saw an entire table of desserts! Yummy cookies, mini pies and cakes! Everyone really outdid themselves! So then I started looking around to set my Deviled eggs, by the other Deviled eggs, (I was running a little late when I got there so all the food was set out) but there were none! Turned out my eggs were the only ones that made it to the party whewww lol 😂.

We had such a great time, and my son GM had an absolute blast playing with his cousins on the ranch. He even got to play with a baby goat! I hope everyone has a happy Easter.

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Ingredients:

- 6 eggs 
- 2 1/2 - 3 tbs mayonnaise 
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp sriracha
- salt and pepper to taste
- paprika for garnish
- chives for garnish

Instructions:

Take the eggs and place into a small pot. Cover the eggs in cold water, then set on stove with high heat. Bring pot to a boil. Once the water is boiling, set the pot aside and cover with lid for ten minutes.

Next, take a medium bowl with ice water and place the eggs into the ice bath to prevent the eggs from further cooking. Once cooled, peel the egg shells off. I like to lightly tap the eggs against the counter all around the egg, then I give the eggs a roll to loosen the shells even more before I begin peeling.

Cut the eggs in half and put all of the cooked yolks into a bowl, mix in the mayo, mustard, sriracha, salt and pepper. Place the mixture into a piping bag (or a zip block and cut one of the corners out) and pipe into the egg whites. Sprinkle paprika and fresh chives (or other fresh herbs) and serve!

 

 

Poteet Strawberry Cheesecake with Chocolate Drizzle

I had asked some of my friends on social media the other day what kind of recipes they would like me to share on the blog and cheesecake was one of the few requested! I’m not much of a cheesecake fan myself, and I’ve actually never made one, so I was nervous and excited to try and pull this off.

Also a couple days ago, my aunt had come by with a pint of fresh “Poteet” strawberries that my grandpa had planted. I knew I was going to top them onto the cheesecake. I think I was more excited to eat the strawberries than the cheesecake honestly lol. If you’ve never had Poteet strawberries you are missing out. They are so sweet and juicy!!! In a couple of weeks, the city of Poteet throws a large festival called the Strawberry Festival, and it’s kind of a big deal around here. The food is the best part, you can find strawberry nachos, strawberry funnel cakes, margaritas, ice cream, wine, etc. just to name a few!

They don’t only have strawberry food items though, there’s also a lot of really really really good Mexican food, fried foods, turkey legs… omg I’m getting hungry thinking about it.

So like I said I knew I was going to top the cheesecake with these strawberries, but I didn’t know how. I was torn between making a sauce to go over it, like a classic strawberry cheesecake or by topping the fresh berries over the cake and drizzling chocolate over them. I went ahead and let my friends on Instagram decide. Thank you to everyone who voted and helped me decide which way it was going to go!

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8E94A169-6EF2-4700-A069-D4829D1F085D.jpegFor the crust:

- 1 to 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs 
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
- 6 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

For the cake:

- 4 eight oz packages of cream cheese (full fat)
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- lemon juice from half of a lemon
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup heavy cream

For the topping

- 1 pint fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 tbs heavy cream

Instructions:

Set your oven to 350 degrees then start assembling the pie crust. Take a 9 or 10 inch springform pan and coat the inside with butter. In a food processor, pulse the graham cracker cookies till you make about 1 1/2 cup of crumbs. In a small-medium bowl mix in cookie crumbs with cinnamon. Pour in melted butter and combine with fingers. You should be able to form a soft clump if you squeeze the mixture with your hands. If your crumbs are too crumbly and won’t stick, add tad of water to the mixture until it starts to hold.

Pour the crumb mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Take two fingers and pinch the crumbs down to the bottom of the pan until the crumbs form an even crust. Now take two pieces of foil and cover the bottom of the springform pan forming the foil up around the edges of the bowl, like pictured below, this is because later when we bake the cake, we submerge the pan in a water bath, and the foil is to protect from water seeping into the pan while it cooks. You will need a large baking dish that the springform pan can fit inside.

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Cook the crust in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

While the crust is baking, take a medium size bowl and begin whipping the cream cheese in a mixer. Once the cream cheese is creamy in consistency, add the vanilla and lemon juice.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, sugar and salt. Slowly combine the dry ingredients into the cream cheese mixture. Next, add your eggs and egg yolk, one by one making sure that each egg is thoroughly integrated into the cream cheese mixture.

Now take the mixture and pour evenly into the pan. Take your springform pan and set into the baking dish. Next you will take a few cups of boiling water and pour into the large pan, about an inch of the way up to the springform pan. This method somewhat steams the cake while it bakes. Now, carefully place the baking dish into the oven and bake for about an hour (could go up to one half hour depending on your oven). I had to go an extra twenty minutes or so, giving the total baking time about 80 minutes.

You’ll know when the cake is done because the outer 2-3 inches of the cake will puff up and be firm. The inside circle of the cake will slightly wiggle like jello if you gently shake the pan, that is normal.

When your cake is done, turn off the heat and crack open the oven door slightly, and allow the cake to cool up to one hour in the oven.

After one hour, take a slender knife and make sure the outside of the cake isn’t sticking to the pan. That can cause the top layer of the cake to crackle. Allow to cool on a wire rack. Once the cake is completely cool, refrigerate for several hours.

Once cake has chilled in fridge at least 3-4 hours, it is ready to serve.

Before serving, cup up the pint of strawberries into slices. Arrange berries over the top of the cake. In a small microwavable bowl, heat the chocolate chips and cream. Drizzle chocolate all over the top of the berries. Slice your cake and it is ready to serve!