Friday, February 27, 2009

Humble Oats

Oatmeal is a breakfast favorite of mine, not the taste so much as the economy. A steaming hot bowl of oats, is quick, nutritious and cost effective for a family of eight. There are numerous ways you can add variety and nutrition to the bowl, with fruit, dried fruit, nuts and spices. Baked oatmeal is always an option, although it's not quite as cost effective or quick. Yesterday I saw a variation of baked oatmeal that added ginger, making it gingerbread! Yummy.

Although most of my children tire of oatmeal, my three year old LOVES it. She begs each morning for it. This morning was no exception as she came into the kitchen asking, "where's my yummy oatmeal?"!

Yes, I'm thankful for oats and the meal they provide each day in our home.

Here's the recipe for the Gingerbread Oatmeal, taken from my friend Teresa's blog.

Gingerbread Oatmeal
6 c. oatmeal
4 eggs
2 c. milk
1 c. melted coconut oil (I know you're cringing at that mom!) It's GOOD for you-really! (Butter can be substituted if you don't have this.)
1/2 c. molasses(for regular baked oatmeal use honey or maple syrup)
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. each cinnamon and ginger(omit the ginger if making regular baked oatmeal)
1/2 tsp allspice (wouldn't really need this)(omit for regular baked oatmeal)

Combine dry ingredients then mix in the wet. Stir unil moistened. It will be pretty thick. Spread in a buttered/greased 9x13 pan (not sure if you need to do this with all the oil but I didn't want to scrape it out burnt)
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until brown around the edges.
COOL before cutting. (it smells wonderful!)


Saturday, February 21, 2009

A dinner to remember...

Last night Glenn treated me to a night on the town! We dined at a charming restaurant, tucked in among other restaurants on the outskirts of Buckhead. The Blue Ridge Grill has been there for years, but Glenn just discovered it last year, when we were here during one of his trade shows. Last night he introduced me to this hidden gem. Oh, the flavors that awaited the palate! A reservation only experience, we were greeted by name as we entered and were ushered to our cozy booth. We began our evening with an incredible cream of wild mushroom soup, complete with truffle infused cream. Next we treated our taste buds to a perfectly cooked fillet Mignon...crunchy and grilled fired on the outside, melt in your mouth, tender and juicy on the inside. We also enjoyed fresh made crab cakes on a bed of scrumptious corn chowder. Our sides consisted of a sweet and creamy corn souffle that brought corn to a new level and a real southern treat of collard greens. I've never tasted collard greens that were so tender and infused with so much flavor! I could dine on these every meal. We completed our dining experience with a bread pudding that surpassed our previous favorite, Biaggi's white chocolate bread pudding. Last night's bread pudding had a crunchy outside and moist interior that was slightly sweetened and not overly moist and gooey. This was topped with caramelized bananas. We also enjoyed an apple tartlet with cinnamon ice cream. This dessert allowed the crisp, tanginess of the apples to shine within the fresh pastry. If you are ever in the Atlanta area make sure you visit the Blue Ridge Grill, awaken your taste buds and experience a dinner to remember. $$$

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Crock Pot

The crock pot is one of the best multi-tasking tools there is, allowing me to cook dinner while teaching, cleaning, taking care of the children, doing errands etc. I don't make use of this tool as much as I ought and hopefully this handy link that a neighbor forwarded on will change that:

Crock Pot Recipes

My soon to be sister in law is delighted with the idea that a crock pot will allow her to cook tasty meals for my brother, her soon to be husband. Her enthusiasm has reignited mine. Thanks Angela!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Humble Bean Pot

In an attempt to reduce our food expense, I've been making a large pot of beans once a week. I variate between pinto beans and black beans. While beans are economical, they are also extremely nutritious yielding a generous serving of protein and fiber. A large pot provides the base for several meals: beans and rice, fried bean and cheese tacos, refried beans for nachos and dip, pasta fagioli soup and chili are the meals we made out of last weeks humble bean pot.

On the sly...

I'm always looking for ways to get more fresh veggies into my kids, so after reading Deceptively Delicious, by Jessica Seinfeld, my creativity was renewed in this effort.

This morning my children enjoyed ice cream for breakfast without even a hint that it contained spinach and carrots.

There morning treat was very simple and delicious, with the help of one of my favorite kitchen Vita-mix. This incredible machine allows me to make fresh smoothies, ice cream, purees, soup, sauces, and nut butters with the flip of a switch. I find it very handy in the baby food stage of life that I am in once again.

Breakfast Berry Blast

Handful of baby carrots
Handful of baby spinach
1 cup of apple juice
3 cups of frozen mixed berries

Adjust the apple juice or frozen berries to bring to desired consistency.

The empty cups and pleas for more were proof enough of the success of this yummy treat.


So here I go again on another blog adventure. I thought since cooking consumes a large amount of my time, I might as well write about and share the mishaps and adventures in feeding my crew!