Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Personal Oasis

I made my basic oatmeal every morning of last week (oatmeal, water, banana, chia seeds, nut butter) and I was getting a little tired of it.  I've said before how much I like to have breakfast already prepared when I wake up (via breakfast cookies, overnight oats, or slow-cooker oatmeal) and this past Sunday I tried out a different variation:  baked oatmeal.  I followed a recipe from Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers for Banana Pecan Coconut Baked Oatmeal.

It's got an awesome ingredient list:  rolled oats, steel cut oats, baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla almond milk (I added 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to regular almond milk), 1 egg, applesauce (I used unsweetened), plain yogurt, 2 ripe bananas, pecans, and coconut.  I love that there's no added sugar or sweetener - the sweetness comes entirely from the applesauce and bananas.

Even though I'm not a huge fan of coconut, I really love this baked oatmeal - so yummy.

I couldn't resist trying a bite (or two) Sunday night after it came out of the oven.  It also made my apartment smell amazing!

In the morning I just scoop out some oatmeal and heat it up in the microwave to take the chill off.  I'm currently out of almond milk (tragic!) but I think it would be good heated up with some milk.  Julie also recommends serving it with maple syrup, yogurt, and/or fresh fruit, which all sound delicious to me.

I've been meaning to put together a tentative menu for a Mother's Day brunch, and the baked oatmeal inspired me to finally sit down and pick out some recipes.  I get recipe ideas from so many different sources - blogs, magazines, cookbooks, and a file folder of recipes I've collected over the years - so it can be a little overwhelming to narrow down the options, but a lot of fun.

Well it's pretty much the same ol' same ol' around here.  Got some cardio in at the gym this morning, and had a huge salad beast for lunch (along with an apple and almond butter):

That beauty had spinach, grape tomatoes, a hard-boiled egg, edamame, an artichoke heart, chickpeas, kalamata olives, raw sunflower seeds, hummus, balsamic vinegar, and bulgur.  So good.

This afternoon I stole away to my personal oasis to do some studying.

Okay, actually I just went to the mall to do some errands, and decided to grab a fresh juice (carrots, cucumber, beets) and do some studying there.  I should have thrown some change into that fountain and wished for good grades while I was at it.  I did see a little girl stumble into the fountain, which was a cute distraction.  (She was fine - she just got her feet wet, and luckily her mom had just bought her a new pair of shoes.)

Also, I would like this, please.  Thank you.  (But not that weird spatula.)

Now I'm off to make some dinner.  I'll leave you with these words of wisdom courtesy of my tea.

Song of the day:

"Silver Lining" by Rilo Kiley.  I absolutely love Rilo Kiley and Jenny Lewis (lead singer).

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