During the Fall months, I love anything apple cinnamon-flavored — and I know I’m not alone! I also really like having a hot breakfast during these colder months in lieu of my usual spring/summertime fruit + yogurt. And having my breakfast ready for me as soon as I get home from the gym, with all of the preparation having been completed the night before? Well, that’s just perfection in my book. :-)
This recipe is super simple to make (as most crock pot recipes are), and I’m betting you have all of the ingredients right inside of your kitchen! This is most definitely an overnight recipe, as it needs to cook on Low for several hours.
1/3 cup brown sugar (use a little more if you want it sweeter, or if your apples are tart)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups oats
4 cups water
And finally, add your water. Resist the urge to stir! It’ll all get nice and mixed together overnight. Cook on Low for 8-9 hours. When I opened my crock pot after 9 hours, the oats were on the soupy side. I changed my heat setting to Warm, went to the gym for a couple of hours, and when I came home the oats were perfect!
Yesterday was the first day since Fall has begun that it was actually pretty chilly! I found myself layering my clothes, burning my favorite pumpkin candle, and feeling the urge to make a heavy Fall meal for my hubby and I. So, to my Pinterest boards I went, and I found this recipe for a Butternut Squash Skillet Mac and Cheese that did not disappoint.
Thankfully, my husband did all of the butternut squash prep for me while I took care of the other ingredients for this recipe. Cutting, peeling, cubing — I was lucky to have him around because, sheesh, the toughness of a butternut squash is no joke!
This particular recipe that we followed is supposed to be a “lightened up” version. But ours was not so light. I added quite a bit more of the fontina cheese, a tad more Parmesan, and double the breadcrumbs. We try to eat healthily most nights of the week so we splurged a bit last night. ;-) And you know what? It was worth it. The base of the sauce is the butternut squash that is simmered in the pan and then mashed. I was pleasantly surprised that the taste was not sweet, but nutty and full-bodied.
At the very end of the sauce preparation, a drizzle of a couple tablespoons of browned butter adds so much flavor! This was my first time making browned butter, and I loved watching the frothy color change from light yellow to golden. Like magic! :-)
Topped with a little extra cheese and the breadcrumbs, baked for 15 minutes, and broiled for 2, this was positively delicious. I served my husband those extra crispy parts — he loves crunchy cheese. ;-) Happy Friday!