Baked Oatmeal Cupcakes

If I tried every recipe my friends post to Facebook, well, I wouldn’t have time for anything else! However, as a big fan of oatmeal, and a big fan of chocolate, I just HAD to try this recipe, from this site here: http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2013/01/08/breakfast-oatmeal-cupcakes-to-go/ . Plus, maybe I can finally get the husband to eat breakfast. ( The guy goes to school full time AND works 30 hours a week; He needs fuel!)
So, here it is!

Baked Oatmeal Cupcakes To Go

(makes about 24 cupcakes)

◾5 cups rolled oats (400g)

◾2 1/2 cups over-ripe mashed banana (For all substitutions, see nutrition link below) measured after mashing (600g)

◾1 tsp salt

◾5 NuNaturals stevia packets (or omit and use 5 tbsp liquid sweetener of choice–such as pure maple syrup or agave–instead)

◾optional: 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

◾2 2/3 cups water (640g) (If using the liquid-sweetener option, scale water back by 1/3 cup.)

◾1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp oil (45g) (I really like coconut, but veg oil will also work. For lower-fat substitution notes, see nutrition link below.)

◾2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

◾optional add-ins: cinnamon, shredded coconut, chopped walnuts, ground flax or wheat germ, raisins or other dried fruit, etc.

Preheat oven to 380 F, and line 24-25 cupcake tins.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and stir very well.
In a separate bowl, combine and stir all wet ingredients (including banana). Mix wet into dry, then pour into the cupcake liners and bake 21 minutes.

These oatmeal cakes can be eaten right away, or they can be frozen and reheated for an instant breakfast on a busy day.

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* Note: I have this habit of NEVER following a recipe exactly as indicated; For sweetener, I went with the syrup, but I also couldn’t resist putting a little bit of sugar in there too!
I also included some cinnamon ( Maybe 2 or 3 teaspoons) and about 1/2 cup of sweetened shredded coconut.

And, voila!

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Eggnog Chocolate Chunk Cookies

A friend had posted a link to this website, http://www.ohbiteit.com/2013/11/egg-nog-chocolate-chunk-cookies.html
with a recipe for Eggnog cookies. I tried these out and they were pretty good; quite a hit at work too! 🙂
( I realize eggnog season is basically over, but I couldn’t resist posting!)

Here’s the recipe:

2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup melted butter

2 cups sugar

2/3 cup Egg Nog

2 cups Chocolate Chunk Morsels

(Yes, there are only 7 ingredients, and no eggs!)

Directions:

preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a med. bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, combine the melted butter with the Sugar and Egg Nog.

Combine the dry ingredients into the wet, a little bit at a time.
Mix until smooth and thick.  Now stir in the Chocolate Chunks.

Place 1-inch balls of dough onto a baking sheet, leaving about two inches between them.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cookies are set around the edges.

Here’s my own picture of the cookies! 

Eggnog ChocChip Cookies

 

New Year’s Resolutions

2014

It’s never too late to set goals for one’s self, right? I’ve had a few ideas floating around in my head regarding how to be a better person; a better Christian, a better wife, a better friend, etc.
So, in no particular order, here is my list:

1)  Eat Healthier / Cook More
~ Okay, so who doesn’t  have this on their list? My husband loves to cook, but between school and work, the opportunity to do so doesn’t come around very often. So lately, it’s been up to me. Meaning, a lot of frozen pizza and toast… Plus, it doesn’t really boost my confidence when my cooking lately seems to turn out only 50% of the time. Baking however, I am a Master of.
( My attempts in such ventures can be found on my ‘Food and Fun’ page:
https://thesleepwalkerswife.wordpress.com/category/food-and-fun/.)

2) Exercise
~ Again, on almost everyone’s list. I have one more kickboxing class, and then I will be on the hunt for something new. Swimming, maybe?

3)  Say Yes
~ I blog about community, but I am often shy to go out where I know there will be a large group of unfamiliar faces. Off with the shell, young turtle!
Church meeting? Yes! Tea Party? Yes! Baby Shower? Yes, yes, yes!

4) Dig Deeper
~ If I profess to be a Christian, I better have the knowledge and passion to back it up. Perhaps along with my morning devotions, I could start an evening read too. Like, Mere Christianity. I think I started that book (for the 2nd time) several months ago. And guess what? I’m still on Chapter 3. Or 4. 😛

5) Show People I Care
~ People need to know they are loved and appreciated! Whether through cards, goodies, words, etc.  Especially with my friends and family – I really, really need to work on this.

6) Pray More
~ Too much of a good thing? Not so, with prayer. Sometimes I think I forget (somehow) the power of prayer.

7) Get Creative / Get Skills
~ My husband and I already have some goals for the Spring, for making and planting a small garden, using pallet boards. Also I received a sewing machine for Christmas; so, I would like to bust that baby out one of these days and try my hand at refashioning.
(Speaking of, I really enjoy this blog: http://refashionista.net/ )

Those are some goals to get me started for 2014.
How do you plan to be a better You this year?

Beef Vegetable Soup

I think this is my new favorite, homemade soup!
I found it on this website:
http://www.acreativedayblog.com/2013/11/the-best-vegetable-soup-recipe.html?m=1

Beef Vegetable Soup

3 onions / chopped
1 lb ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cans beef bouillon
2 large cans diced tomatos
1 cup each: potatos, celery, carrots, frozen corn, frozen lima beans 
1 1/2 tbsp italian herbs
1 to 2 cups water
lots of salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce

1. Brown the beef, onions and garlic. Drain 
2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
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* Note: I made a couple small tweaks; used two onions instead of three, and I used canned corn and beans, instead of frozen.

Here is my own picture of the soup!

Beef Veg. Soup

Change is Good

Sometimes. Like, in this case; I am (attempting) to overhaul my blog. ( Just some little stuff, maybe a food category…:) )
I’m still quite a beginner at this WordPress stuff, and am learning everything by trial and error. Here’s hoping I don’t manage to delete my entire blog!
Hopefully, everything will be orderly in the next day or so.

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Time is Love

timeisloveTo Love someone – to love anyone – to love everyone,
is not  and should not be a half-hearted thing.
In James 2:14-26, James tells us that faith without deeds is dead.
Sometimes I think similarly about love.
It’s wonderful to say and hear ” I Love you”, and ” I care”.
But it is simply awesome to put the time and energy into showing that person how you feel. Showing people they matter to you.
I’m working on this. And Lord knows I’ve got a long way to go.
It’s the little things.
But the little things, can become big things.
Today, I’m particularly focused on special occasions.  We’ve just had two; Christmas and New Year’s.
On a little side note – the other day I watched a video showing New Year’s Party expectation vs. reality. One point was something like this:
Expectation: Best night of your life.
Reality: Just a Wednesday.
Maybe I’m silly. Maybe I live in a bubble. But I was a little sad by this. Yes, sometimes our expectations are too high. However, if life is what we make of it,
I want to make it special.
At least, several days a year, anyway.
Today is my husband’s birthday. I love him so much; I wanted to make it special. So I tried to make the day about him. Whatever he wanted to do, we would do. We watched the world juniors ( Disappointing game!); I made him breakfast of bacon, potatoes, and eggs; we went shopping for books; I baked him an apple crisp ( His favorite dessert); and tonight, we’ll go out for supper with good friends.
Every so often, there’s this country song that gets stuck in my head. The only words I remember are ” Time is Love”.
Perhaps one of my New Year’s resolutions could be showing people I care, by spending time.
When you give yourself, – give your time – you may find eventually that, in return, your life is enriched and blessed.
And that’s a beautiful thing.