Tagged: recipe

Crock Pot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

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.

Crock Pot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal  {Inspiration Affirmation}
INGREDIENTS

Crock Pot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal  {Inspiration Affirmation}
2 sliced apples, peeled (I used Honeycrisp)

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

Crock Pot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Spread your apples onto the bottom of the crock pot.  Then, pour the brown sugar and the cinnamon over the top.

Crock Pot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Next, pour the oats.

Crock Pot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal  {Inspiration Affirmation}
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!

Crock Pot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Serve with a little bit of maple syrup, some dried berries, and enjoy!

Crock Pot Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal  {Inspiration Affirmation}
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  Happy Friday!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

There’s not much better than chocolate chip cookie dough straight from the bowl — especially when it is eggless and the threat of possible food poisoning is far from reality.  These bites are so delicious — perfectly salty and sweet with the delightful crunch of chocolate chips in every bite.  I based my recipe off of this one from Disney Family.com, tweaking a few things here and there to my liking.  These bites make great gifts, and you can even send them off to work with your sweetheart for a yummy office treat.  I think these would make a really sweet hostess gift, as well.  And they are perfect for the cookie dough-lover in your life!  :-)

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites  {Inspiration Affirmation}
INGREDIENTS

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites  {Inspiration Affirmation}
1 cup salted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

2 cups flour

1 cup chocolate chips

melting chocolate (for drizzle)

sprinkles, if you wish

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites  {Inspiration Affirmation}
First, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Next, add remaining ingredients with the exception of the chocolate chips.  Hold onto those until the very end.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites  {Inspiration Affirmation}

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Fold in the chocolate chips.  If you’re using a stand mixer, just set it at its lowest mix option.  That’ll keep the paddle from being too rough with the chocolate chips — you’ll just get a nice stir.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Roll into balls — I used a 1 tablespoon ice cream scoop in order to get them to be a uniform size.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls  {Inspiration Affirmation}

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Put the balls in the refrigerator for about a half an hour so that they can chill.

When you’re ready, pull out your melting chocolate and sprinkles.  I chose silver glitter sprinkles that I received as a gift — I think they are from Sur la Table?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Our apartment doesn’t have a microwave, so I have to melt things the “old fashioned way.”  ;-)  On our stovetop.  I kind of love it, though.  My recipes sometimes need extra steps, but I find that I enjoy melting butter or chocolate on my stove.  There’s something relaxing about it.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites  {Inspiration Affirmation}

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites  {Inspiration Affirmation}
After the chocolate is melted, you know what to do!  Pull your cookie dough bites out of the refrigerator and drizzle some chocolate over each one with a fork.  Sprinkle a smattering of glitter on top.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites  {Inspiration Affirmation}
Now get them out of your house!  ;-)  These are addicting.

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Butternut Squash Skillet Mac & Cheese

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.

Butternut Squash Skillet Mad and Cheese - Inspiration Affirmation
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!

Butternut Squash Skillet Mac and Cheese - Inspiration Affirmation
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.

Butternut Squash Skillet Mac and Cheese - Inspiration Affirmation
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!  :-)

Butternut Squash Skillet Mac and Cheese - Inspiration Affirmation
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!

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Reindeer Mix

I had a little bit of time on my hands the other day while my husband was at work, so I thought I would make a fun treat to bring him and his workies!  :-)  Enter…Reindeer Mix.  Like Puppy Chow — but peppermint.  Thus, Reindeer Mix.  You dig?  Some of you are yelling at me through the computer — too EARLY for the Christmas “stuff.”  To you, I say — I know.  BUT, it was an especially cool and overcast day, I was playing Christmas music in our apartment, and I thought — why not?  

Reindeer Mix
Serves: Lots of hungry men (or just a lot of peeps in general)

Mix Far Away
Ingredients

1 regular-sized box Rice Chex cereal
1 cup Peppermint Hershey’s Kisses
1/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Method

1. Melt the Hershey’s Kisses and butter in a *large* microwave-safe bowl.  Do this in 30-second increments, and stir in between each session.  When melted, stir in the vanilla.

2. Pour the Rice Chex cereal into the very melty chocolate-butter mixture, a little bit at a time — and stir gently, coating.

3. In a Zip-Lock bag, add half of the powdered sugar, and half of the Chex mixture.  Zip up the bag and shake what yo momma gave ya!  Empty the bag into an airtight container, and repeat the process with the remaining powdered sugar and Chex mixture.

4. Enjoy!  But not too much, otherwise you will get heartburn.  I’m not kidding.

Mix and Chocolate

Mix Close Up

What is your favorite Christmas-y treat?

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