Monday, November 21, 2011

oatmeal that {just might perchance} change your life.

Do you like eating oatmeal? yah, that's what i thought. me neither. but sometimes, it's good to eat a bowl because:

1. it is very filling
2. they say it is good for you
3. it's quick
4. it tastes horrible and must be healthy.

ha, ok, so the last one is not really true, but oatmeal is not the most delicious thing on earth. (and if you think so, you are weird)

but if you're going to have real oatmeal (and by real, i mean actually making it from plain oats in a pot, not some little sugar packet you pour in a bowl and microwave), this is the way to have it.

i was reading an article in glamour (don't judge me, i get a free subscription), and i was reading about some movie star who had a page of foods that she ate all the time because they were delicious. 

{oh and sidenote about that: do super-skinny-i'm-on-10-diets-all-at-the-same-time actors really know how delicious real food is? i mean, they're always talking about how they love broccoli and cucumbers and eat them constantly, and how celery is a close runner-up. blegh. really guys? your favorite?}

ok, back to the oatmeal. so i was reading about how this person cooks their oatmeal and how it's soooo creamy and delicious. well, i've tweaked her recipe to have some flavor and now i love oatmeal. it's a fact. and deal with it. 

enough blabbing and sidenote-ing. here's what you'll need:

:: 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats
::1 cup water
::1 cup unsweetened almond milk
::1/4 tsp. vanilla
:: a blop of pumpkin butter
:: and a topping, like nutella. or in today's version, pomegranate seeds.

 put the oats, water, and milk in a pot over medium low heat.
stir occasionally for 5 minutes
add the vanilla and blop of pumpking butter. (see below for visual on a blop)

stir it until all the pumpkin butter is dissolved.

cook for an additional 10-15 min. 
top with deliciousness.

now i will warn you, this isn't super sweet. i usually sprinkle some sugar on top of my bowl of oatmeal.  it's so much more yummy this way.

ta-da! you have a bowl of creamy, yummy, oatmeal that will keep your stomach full and body healthy!

what do you top your oatmeal with?

ps. happy thanksgiving! i'll be taking a little break from blogging for the holidays while we go on a much needed vacation. yay!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup

It's been a while since I've posted a recipe so here we go! I looooove tomatoes and a good tomato soup is always a fantastic lunch, especially when paired with a good grilled cheese sandwich. Our all-time favorite soup recipe is a Potato Cheddar Soup that I received during one of my wedding showers. But that's another recipe for another time. This Tomato Soup comes in at a close second.

This recipe is so good I don't even bother looking for a better one. It's got 14g LESS fat than regular homemade tomato soup (aka, w/cream or whole milk). This recipe is from America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook. We are kind of obsessed with America's Test Kitchen and own a couple of their cook books as well as an entire season of TV episodes where you can watch them make this goodness.

So what's wrong with regular tomato soup?  Well when you add cream to tomato soup, it dulls the flavor, not to mention adds tons of fat and calories nobody needs. America's Test Kitchen's (hereto referred to as ATK) solution was to.................add bread! Yes bread. It gives it a nice creaminess without taking away from the tomato flavor as well as thickens the soup just to the right consistency.

Drooling yet?

Here's the recipe:

You'll need:

::1/4 extra virgin olive oil
:: 1 minced onion (i use a large one)
:: 3 or 4 garlic cloves, minced
::pinch red pepper flakes
::1 bay leaf
::2 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes (you can also used diced, which is easier)
:: 1 TB light or dark brown sugar
:: 3 slices of high-quality white sandwich bread torn into 1-inch pieces (crusts removed! very important!)
:: 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
:: 2 TB brandy (optional)
:: salt and pepper
::1/4 cup minced fresh chives (I don't use that much)

1. Heat 2 TB of oil in a large Dutch oven (or pot) over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 min.

2. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice. Using a potato masher (or large serving fork), mash the tomatoes into smaller pieces. Stir in the sugar and bread, bring to a simmer, and cook until the bread begins to dissolve, about 5 minutes.

3. Discard the bay leaf. Puree the soup with the remaining 2 TB of olive oil  in a blender, in batches, until smooth. Return the soup to a clean pot, stir in the brandy and cook gently over medium-low heat until the soup is hot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add chives in individual bowls.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Pros and Cons of Sleeping In

First off, let me say that there are no cons to sleeping in.unless, of course, it is your wedding day and you sleep through all your beauty appointments. Or miss any beauty appointments. (for the record, I have never had any beauty appointments unless you count hair cuts. Which don't really count in my book since I always end up getting the super cheap cut that costs less than a good quality steak.) but there really are no cons to sleeping in.

 I actually slept in this morning and the thought occurred to me that there is no better way to start the day. Even if it's a Monday (and you know what I think about Mondays). Here are the pros:

 For starters, you slept in. That alone is pretty awesome. So you start your day with an automatic awesome.

 Second, sleeping in will make you realize that all the things you "had" to get done today really aren't all that necessary for survival. And you will re-evaluate your goals (when was the las time That happened?) 

Also, you will drink coffee for pleasure instead of survival. And it will taste better. Trust me. In addition, you will be happy. Why? Because you got to sleep in of course!

 Next, you will get to have bacon, eggs, pancakes, sausage, and Chinese food because by the time you get dressed and ready to face the world it will be BOTH breakfast and lunch time.

 Your clothes will match better if you are conscious when you get dressed.

 You will be spontaneous the rest of the day. You might even take a nap for no reason.

 You will use the remainder of your day and time more wisely because, let's face it, you DID sleep in and have less hours in the day to work with. Unless you're like me and decide to blog about it instead.

 My apologies to my readers for the lack of pictures in my recent posts. I've lost my little picture uploading gadget that I JUST bought from the apple store. Until then you might be getting posts like this one.

for more ridiculous ravings, visit mindy kaling's blog. she's the bomb diggity on stuff like this. except better.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Potato Chips, Ginger Ale, and Skinny Jeans

That is exactly how I stated my day today. The first thing I ate this morning was a potato chip followed by a swig of Ginger ale, straight from the 2 liter. Every Monday morning I am not awake until around noon. I am usually pretty grumpy that 1) it is Monday and 2) I have to wake up at 7:30. I don't really bother wondering if my clothes match or if my hair is like, really freaking amazing looking. I just know that they don't and it's not. What usually cheers me up is that I will go shopping later that day. Grocery shopping. But still for me, it's pretty exciting. I don't know why I like shopping so much....maybe it's that little swipe of a piece of plastic that makes it seem like I'm getting awesome stuff for nothing. Or maybe I just like clicking that little button that says "add to cart." I'm a girl and shopping is fun for me. I think thats a pretty basic concept.

 Aside from all of the above nonsense today is a day where I remember the different ways I am blessed. Let's get on with that, because fact is, reading about the Mondays of an average American female is not all that exciting.

 This week Karl and I had breakfast at our favorite area diner. It was so nice just to sit down and spend some time with him, especially since we both had a crazy week with opposite schedules.
mmm....poached eggs with hollandaise sauce, ham, toasted english muffin, and home fries.

 I got a surprise scarf gift from a friend. That was awesome.

 Dinner is already in the crockpot.

 My house ( and by house, I mean apartment) is comfortable and warm.

The 3 concerts I played this weekend were fun and they are over. Let's face it,there's only so much Vivaldi and Piazzola one can handle. Or should I say, Handel, haha. ( corny joke, I know)

 Thanksgiving is coming up soon. Which means vacation is coming up soon. yay!

 What are you thankful for this week? Feel free to share on the comments or link back to your blog!