Monday, March 28, 2016

Baked Oatmeal Muffins

Hey Y'all!

I have a really quick, easy recipe to share today - baked oatmeal muffins. These are perfect for a quick breakfast, mid-afternoon snack, or a pre-workout snack.

I had seen recipes like this floating around Pinterest and so about a month ago, I decided to try one of my own. :) They only take 5 minutes to put together and 20 minutes to cook!

I am using mixed berries here, but you can always switch that out with a fruit of your choice. Chocolate chips and walnuts are also good add-ins. The banana adds a bit of sweetness to the 'muffins', but if you like them sweeter you can always add honey, maple syrup, or brown sugar. As always, I have the recipe typed out below the video and you can Pin it for later too. Enjoy! :)

Baked Oatmeal Muffins
Makes 6 muffins

1 1/2 mashed bananas (about a cup)
1 c. oats
1 egg
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. fruit

Preheat oven to 425. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Scoop equal amounts of the mixture into prepared muffin tin. Bake at 425 for 5 minutes; then bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Let baked oatmeal cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Eat once cool or refrigerate up to a week.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Freestyle Friday: Bed, Bath, & Beyond Haul + Sink Makeover

Hey Y'all!

It's finally Friday! :) Today I wanted to share a kitchen haul with you all. I went to BB&B a couple of weeks ago and picked up a few items I had been wanting/needing for a while. The best part was that it was all free! I had a gift card from my birthday last year and a gift card I found leftover from our wedding almost 2 years ago that still had $20 on it! I made my list and headed to the store for my items. I was determined to not use any spending money on this trip (I can get a little carried away in BB&B ;) ) and had actually put several more items in my cart but had to remove them and wait for a later time. It's crazy how fast everything adds up! If I had not had any gift cards, the items below would have come to about $65. Is it just me or is that crazy?? Obviously, I was very grateful to have the gift cards and also very pleased with the items I purchased. Read on to see what I bought . . .

The first item on my list was a soap dispenser for my kitchen. We had a sad little Softsoap brand soap bottle that we had used for the past two years and needless to say, it was pretty gross and just generally unattractive with all of the writing on the front of it. We chose a cute little mason jar soap dispenser to replace it and I love it! So much better.

The 'before' . . .

I also purchased some trivets. We have never had any trivets. We had pot holders and they worked fine, but I wanted actual trivets. They look better than messy pot holders anyway! I bought a set of 3 cork trivets and I also decided to try a silicone trivet. So far I'm happy. :)

Kitchen twine. My goodness, kitchen twine! With as much cooking as I do, can you believe I had never purchased kitchen twine in the almost two years I've been married?? Ridonculous. I know. My roast chicken and stuffed pork loin will greatly appreciate this. ;)

For those of you who don't know this, I'm a somewhat picky person. Particularly when it comes to kitchen dishes. When I got married, I did not put any serving plates or bowls on my registry because those are the sort of things I like to see and feel in person before deciding if I like them enough. I don't know why I'm so picky with serving dishes, but I am. So, I don't have very many serving dishes but I want to start purchasing some so that when I have company over, there are pretty dishes to serve food in, not just pots and pans. :) This platter is perfect for so many things - a pork loin, cookies, bruschetta, bread, appetizers, etc. 

For my sink area, I bought a sponge holder and a dish rack. I previously had a sponge holder with suction cups to stick to the side of the sink, but they became unstick-able after a ridiculously short amount of time, so I opted for this style now. I'm very pleased with it. It's small so the sink area doesn't look too cluttered, but it still holds all the sponges/scrapers that I use regularly.

As for the dish rack, we were gifted with a dish drying mat when we got married, but it isn't always the best option for sitting dishes out to dry and it takes up a lot of counter space. (Cluttered kitchen counters stress me out. Actually, cluttered anything stresses me out. ;) ) Instead, I bought this dish drying rack to sit in one side of my sink - it fits like a glove! I like this set up much better. :)

Finally, here is the picture of my 'made-over' kitchen sink area. I'm quite pleased with it. Even my husband noticed the difference that just switching out a few items made and said it looked like a whole new sink. :)

Sorry, there's no 'before' photo of the sink area - probably a good thing!

That's it for my kitchen haul! Hope you enjoyed the read/photos. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Chocolate Crack Pie

Hey Y'all!

I have a super chocolatey, fudgy, sweet, and scrumptious pie recipe to share today. (Was that descriptive enough? ;) ) You might have already seen this pie on my Facebook page; I made it for pi(e) day last week! This crust turned out infinitely better than the one last week . . . the difference in a store bought crust versus a homemade crust is quite obvious! 

I am adding something in this post that I have not done before - I've added a video! Eeek! <---- Slightly terrified. ;) For about the past year probably, I have been playing around with the idea of sharing some of my recipes in video form. I just think it's more fun sometimes to actually see a recipe be made, not just read instructions. :) My two best friends, A & A, have also been encouraging me to make some recipe videos whenever we talk about the blog or food in general. However, I'm really awkward and uncomfortable in front of a camera . . . so this could be interesting. And I hate the sound of my own voice (who doesn't? And is that really what I sound like all the time?!). That's actually the main reason I have held off on doing a video for so long. But I will not let fear, or more accurately, awkwardness, hold me back. :)

Now, this is my first recipe video so don't expect anything professional or spectacular. Shoot, half of my head is cut off throughout the video because I didn't have it quite high enough! ;) But I had worked really hard to get everything ready for it and so I decided to go ahead and post it as is. You can see the pie and that's the main point. :) I want to experiment a little with the recipe videos - in some of them you will see me and I will be talking and in others, you will only see the food and I will probably not be talking. We'll see which type works best. ;)

But enough of that, back to the pie! I have a few photos here to share with you all and the video is below. If you scroll down past the video, I have the recipe typed out as usual. I hope you enjoy and will give this recipe a try! It is so easy to make - if you are a new pie baker, I highly recommend this recipe as a place to start. :) To save this recipe for later, there is a Pinterest button at the bottom of the post near the comments section.

Chocolate Crack Pie


1 (4oz.) bar semi-sweet baking chocolate
1/2 c. unsalted butter
1 c. granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 pie crust (bottom crust only)*
whipped cream and/or vanilla ice cream for serving (optional)

1. Lightly spray an 8-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray. Fit pie crust into plate & set aside.

2. Melt butter and chocolate together in a small saucepan over very low heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and immediately add the sugar; stir until well combined. Allow to stand 3 minutes to cool slightly.

3. Place eggs in a mixing bowl & beat lightly with a fork or whisk. Add chocolate mixture and whisk until well combined.

4. Bake at 350 degrees on the bottom oven rack for 30 minutes. Move to top oven rack and bake for 10 minutes more. Cool to room temperature.

5. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream, if desired.

Eat! :)

*This is not a deep-dish pie; plan accordingly

**Recipe from: The Kitchen Is My Playground**