Friday, September 14, 2012

Baked Oatmeal

Welcome to my latest obsession - Baked Oatmeal!!

I have been looking for recipes that I can make and freeze for grab-and-go meals ~~~ or at least fast-to-prepare meals.  I found a baked oatmeal recipe and gave it a go.

Whenever I try a recipe, I start with the exact recipe and then I tweak it later.  This recipe is done in a 9x13 baking dish, but you can easily cut the amounts in half and bake in an 8x8 dish.  Try the big one - you can always slice it and freeze the pieces and warm them up later.  Here's my version of Baked Oatmeal.  I made some changes from the original (added vanilla, removed some of the sugar, etc.)

Whisk the following together
2 eggs
1/2 C applesauce (I used one without high fructose corn syrup)
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 TBL vanilla
1 C milk

Mix in the following:
3 C quick cooking oats
1 tsp salt
1 TBL baking powder

Fold in:
2 C fruit (can be fresh or frozen)

Spread in baking dish (sprayed with no-stick spray)
Sprinkle on top:  2 TBL brown sugar and cinnamon (a couple tsp)
Bake 30 minutes in 350* oven

Enjoy in a bowl with milk, cream or yogurt.

Remaining oatmeal can be cut and wrapped and frozen for future quick breakfasts.
The batter is like brownies - but no oil and if you want it gluten-free, get gluten-free oatmeal.

Yum!  Hope you like it and hope you like making lots of variations!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Here's a Hug of Encouragement

I got the nicest card from a friend in the mail.
You all know how I love a good card in the mail and this one totally hit home

Here's a Hug of Encouragement

When you need encouragement, remember these things:
You are stronger than you realize.
Life's inevitable adversities call forth our courage.
You have a lot of wisdom inside you.
God's plan will unfold with perfect timing.
The voice of your soul will lead the way.
A hug from my heart is only a phone call away.

I've had a long week and I can say that Mitzi is doing pretty well.  If you didn't know about the struggles she had this past weekend, you'd never know my youngest dog has anything wrong with her.  She's as happy-go-lucky as ever!  She's a sweet thing with lots of love in her heart -- that must be why her little heart is so overworked.

I love the charm attached to the card.  
I'll be adding that to my necklace.

Mitzi - my baby girl with the bad ticker.  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pear Honey

Pear Honey - it really isn't honey.
It is more of a preserves or a jam.
It is my Grandma Rosie's recipe and has been made every year for as long as I can remember.  After Mom passed away, I started making it and sending to friends and family for Christmas.

I even remember that my mother made it in 2001 on September 10 and when I gave a jar to a friend; he remarked ... "this Pear Honey is innocent" --- it was made the day before 9/11.

It also ushers in fall for me.  Mom usually made it around Labor Day or a week or so later - so even though it is 102* today in Vegas, I had a very fall-like afternoon in my kitchen making my beloved Pear Honey (and enjoying the air conditioning!!)

And now that the jars are filled, I can sit and watch the first Broncos game of the season!

Grandma Rosie's Pear Honey ©

8 cups ground up pears (very ripe)
1 large can crushed pineapple
5 cups granulated sugar

Mix all together in a turkey roaster.  Bake at 350* for at least 2 hours (stir every 20 minutes or so) -- it needs to thicken and become "golden" in color.  Immediately scoop (I use a one-cup pyrex measuring cup) into scalding hot jars - a super hot dishwasher and using the "heated drying" cycle will make them plenty scalding - take the jars out of the dishwasher towards the end of the drying cycle.  Turn the jars upside down after you screw on the bands and then flip upright when they've cooled off.  Makes about 5 pints.

This year, I used two flats of pears at Costco, let them fully ripen on the counter, 2 cans of pineapple and 10 cups of sugar.  Doubling the recipe also meant I had to double the time to cook the elixir -- it took over 4 hours for the jam to get the color I wanted.  I do believe this is my best batch ever!!  Yield this year: 9 pints (18 half pint jars)