breakfast · Fast meal · Make-Ahead

Breakfast That is “Love In a Jar”

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Yep, you read that right – love in a jar!  That quote came from my husband when I fixed these cute little Instant Oatmeal Jars to have ready for his breakfast.  He LOVES a good bowl of hot oatmeal with fruit and a handful of nuts.

Our morning routines find my husband downstairs with coffee and Bible, and me upstairs.  Because of this, he often starts our breakfast.  This winter he had gotten really proficient at making up a couple of servings of oatmeal for us to have each morning!  That is saying a lot for a guy who only feels confident enough to make about three things – Scrambled eggs, French toast and …okay, make that two!  Though he’d learned the simple art of cooking the Quick oats, I thought I’d make it even a little easier without purchasing those nasty packets of Instant Oatmeal.

Here was the result: Instant Oatmeal Jars

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The blessing of having the jars already filled is that there’s no measuring or finding a pan or the additives.  Just open a jar, add a cup of boiling water and let it set for 4-5 minutes.  Voila!  It’s done!  You can be as creative with flavors and additions as your taste buds allow.  I made up several jars and have them in the pantry ready for any morning we’re hungry for oatmeal!

Here’s how I made mine:

Instant Oatmeal Jars

1/2 C Quick cooking oats
1 Tbl Craisins
1Tbl Chopped nuts
Dash of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbl brown sugar

Keep in a tightly closed jar until ready to use!

When ready to use:

  1. Add 1 cup boiling water (you could use milk instead) to the jar.
  2. Stir.
  3. Replace lid and let set for 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add other fresh fruits as desired. Eat!


Here is the process in pictures:
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We love blueberries, bananas and/or strawberries in our oatmeal!

This would make a great breakfast for a busy morning!  You could take the jar out the door with you, if needed.  Everything is contained and could be sealed back up when empty!

The first morning my husband had his “jar of oatmeal,” he sent me a text while I was getting ready upstairs.  It read,

“Now that’s love in a jar right there!”

That made me smile!! I’m on the lookout for freeze-dried fruits to add to my next batches.  I wonder what he’ll say about that?! I can’t wait to hear!

What would you add to a jar of oatmeal?  Peanut butter?  Coconut?  I’d love to hear!

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breakfast · Main entree

Kid Friendly/Adult loved French Toast Sticks

Happy New Year Friends!  I missed posting and interacting with you last week, but it was nice to have a little vacation with my family over the holidays!  I hope your Christmas and New Year were memorable and special! More about that later this week, but let’s get on with a new recipe, shall we?

One favorite theme at the holidays is the food, right?  Maybe you’re limiting yourself from certain food groups now that the celebrations are over, but if you have children in your life, I have to share a new French Toast Stick recipe that I made for my grandsons and we ALL loved!

French Toast sticks that you buy frozen are usually tough, but these are soft and easy for little ones to hold and chew.  Take a look!

French Toast sticks

This came from another Gooseberry Cookbook, which are some of my favorites!

French Toast Sticks

4-5 Slices bread
3 C Rice crispy cereal, crushed
1 T Sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten
1 C Milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 C butter, Melted

Cut each slice of bread into 4 strips.  Combine crushed cereal, sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl; set aside.

Mix together eggs, milk, vanilla and salt in another bowl.  Dip each bread stick into egg mixture and then (quickly) remove and dip into sugar coating.  Place sticks on an ungreased 13 x 9 baking pan, pour melted butter over top.  Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden.  Makes 16 – 20 sticks.

French toast sticks 2

I served these with warm syrup.  Yum!  They were scrumptious!

Prep the ingredients the night before for a quick breakfast in the morning.  Then when you’re ready to bake, do the dipping into the egg and cereal mixtures and place in the oven.

Now, don’t you wish it was time for breakfast???!!!!

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breakfast · Make-Ahead

(L)Oven Monday – Baked Oatmeal Cups

Oatmeal Cups 1

Hi Friends!  Happy Monday and Happy May 1st!  I hope you all had a great week last week.  I had a restful time away, but am happy to be back here with you today sharing another great recipe!

I’ve shared my recipe here for Baked Oatmeal – it’s a great do-ahead dish.  It’s nice to have on hand for a couple of days.  But there are times when I don’t have that made up and I need to eat something before heading out the door in the morning.  I’ve recently found a recipe for a Breakfast Oatmeal Cup that is a baked oatmeal made in muffin tins, creating the perfect single-serving size.  Once baked, they can be kept in the fridge for a several days, but what I’ve been doing is freezing them and popping one into the microwave for those busy mornings.  I put one into a bowl and add milk, just like I do with my other Baked Oatmeal.  It’s so delicious, and keeps me from getting that low-sugar drop later on.  This is so good, and lots better than regular oatmeal!  I love the texture of these as opposed to the traditional bowl of oats.

You could add any variety of fruits and nuts.  This recipe is one of my favorite combos – Strawberry-Banana.  So good!  Here’s the recipe:

Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Cups


  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2⅓ cup low-fat milk
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup – you could use honey instead, if desired
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • ½ cup sliced almonds or walnuts


  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix well until everything is combined.
  2. Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and scoop oatmeal mixture in using a large ice cream scoop or a ¼ measuring cup. The mixture will be a little watery, so it’s important to mix well before each scoop to make sure you get an even combination of milk and oats.
  3. Bake oatmeal cups for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
  4. Keep in fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days or in the freezer for 3 months.

Oatmeal cups 2

To eat from frozen state, thaw overnight in fridge or in microwave, then warm for about 30 seconds.  Add milk and enjoy!

What do you keep on hand for breakfast on busy days?

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Bread · breakfast · cakes · Cooking · dessert · Dinner · Easter · entertaining · main dish · memories · Side dish · Sunday Dinner

(L)Oven Monday – Easter Dinner 2017 Recap

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If you’ve been reading my blog more than a week, you know how I treasure Sunday dinner.  It makes my heart sooo happy! But how does Sunday dinner get even better?  It’s when Sunday dinner is Easter Sunday dinner.  On top of good food, there’s the blessing of remembering Christ’s resurrection from the dead and celebrating that truth that He lives!

So, yesterday, we did indeed have a big Sunday meal, but we started with a wonderful church service where Christ was exalted! We sang of His resurrection and heard God’s truth about how to be sure you can have eternal life!  Then we came home for dinner and included our daughter and son-in-law and a couple of other special people.  We also incorporated a few family traditions, which brings memories and makes memories.  It was a great day!

Here’s the menu:

 Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
Ruth’s Chris’ Sweet Potato Casserole
Tarragon Asparagus – New recipe
Deviled Eggs
Caesar Salad in Parmesan Bowls
Bunny-Shaped Breadsticks – New recipe
Coconut Cake with Lemon Filling

Let me roll the pictures so you can have a peek into our day and see that I also incorporated all the principles I’ve recently shared about Sunday dinner!

I worked early in the week and got the Coconut Cake baked and layers put in the freezer.  Then at the end of the week, I made the lemon curd and the icing.  It simplifies the process so much!  By Saturday night here’s what was already prepped:

The cake, the rolls, the Sweet potato Casserole, Deviled eggs, and the salad ingredients were totally ready. The table was all set, too.  I also had the roasting pan for the ham set out and ready to bake the main entree.


When I got home from church it only required to put the finishing touches on everything and bake the casserole.

Here’s how things turned out on Sunday~

Caesar Salad in Parmesan Cups –


Sweet Potato Casserole – The best in my book!


Terragon Asparagus – This was new, and it was pretty good.  My asparagus wasn’t as fresh as I’ve ever gotten, so I’m going to try this again before giving it a final verdict!


Bunny Breadsticks – Another new recipe.  These were fantastic on Saturday when I made them, but they don’t really do well the next day.  Sooo, I won’t make these for Sunday any more, but I sure will use this recipe for other days when I have time to make them for that day.  They were delicious right out of the oven!!  And how cute are they???? They can be baked into regular bread sticks if you want to make them other times of the year!


Coconut Cake


One tradition that we’ve had for years is Easter sunrise service outside at home.  That was a challenge (and very cold) when we lived in Indiana, but we would don our coats and head to the tree house where we would have our own Sunrise service!  Then we would come inside and have Cinnamon rolls and scrambled eggs.  Now that it’s just my husband and me, we simply eat breakfast on the patio and read Scripture together.  It’s usually warm enough that we don’t shiver, thank the Lord!  Here’s what we had yesterday:


We had Fresh farm eggs, Prosciutto, Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, Fresh fruit and Coffee.
It was a great way to start Easter Sunday!  This is a reminder that traditions aren’t just for when your kids are at home.  Keep those traditions going even when they’re gone.  It will continue to build strong home ties, and will also give your grown kids the security of knowing that you’re still making the most of your marriage!

So, another Easter dinner is in the (memory) books, and I’ll have to say, it’s a memorable chapter!  I thank the Lord for the blessing of celebrating our Savior’s life and getting to do it at church AND at home around the Sunday dinner table.

Did you have Easter dinner?  Did you cook?  What made it special for your family?

With love from my country kitchen,

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breakfast · How-to Video

Eggs In a Basket Video Tutorial

Cracker Barrel calls them Eggs in a Basket – they are simply eggs cooked inside a small hole in a piece of toast!  It’s like a breakfast package!  They’re great to fix for your family because you’re making the toast and the egg in one step!  Here’s a little video demonstrating how easy and fast they are to make!

Eggs in a Basket

  1.  Melt 1-2 Tbl butter in skillet
  2. Cut hole in bread slice, using a biscuit cutter or small glass.
  3. Crack egg into the hole in the bread.  Place bread rounds in pan to brown.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook 2 minutes, then flip toast over and cook until egg is cooked to your preference.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Do you make these at home?  They’re so good, and children love them!

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breakfast · Cooking · home

Wednesday ~ What’s Cookin’?

I thought we’d do something new today.  I’m demonstrating a recipe I’ve shared here for my homemade granola.  You’ve seen this picture –


and you’ve seen the recipe,  but sometimes it’s just good to watch someone do a demonstration to realize that you can do it, too!  I’ve made up a half batch in the following video…

Hope you’ll watch it again and make up a batch for your family!

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breakfast · Christmas · Dinner

Friday Favorites – Christmas 2016

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Christmas 2016 will have to go down as a favorite Christmas!  Everything about it was just special.  It wasn’t perfection, but it was full of good food, sweet faces, and fun memories!  Here are my top photos.  Let’s start with the FOOD!

Christmas Eve – Our traditional Senate Bean Soup, Chicken Gnocchi, Party Ryes, Cheese Ball & Crackers, Veggies & Dip, and LOTS of cookies and goodies not pictured!

Christmas Breakfast – Whitney made Grits and Bacon Quiche, Alli made these Cinnamon Rolls, I made Cream Cheese Danish and Orange Juilius, another tradition.

Christmas Dinner – Spiral Glazed Ham, Twice Baked Potatoes, Frozen Fruit Salad, Green Bean Casserole and Angel Biscuits.


Now, a look at the Faces:

I’m telling you, we laughed so hard while we were together.  The close up pics of my family were all taken while playing Quelf, a hysterical group game! Our time as a family found us talking and catching up, asking questions, interrupting with another question and enjoying every minute the Lord gave us to share!


One more group of pictures of random things from the Christmas weekend:

Liza loves ribbon and paper, of course!

I made snow globes for the Christmas Eve table and then scattered bottle brush trees in between.

We went After Christmas shopping and Whitney was nearly beside herself at Target!  We all got great deals that day!  That’s lots more fun than Black Friday shopping, in my book!

A couple days after Christmas we went back to Dollywood with Andrew and Alli.  She and I rode the Ferris Wheel; it was kind of scary in the dark!  But it was worth it to catch the view of the half million lights!


Love the picture of my husband with his daughters.  They love to tease him, and I’d say he’s had it coming!  😉

I loved that Christmas was on Sunday!  What a special service we had that day!  We also had a candlelight Christmas Eve service that was a blessing!  God’s gift to us in the form of His Son = the BEST gift ever!

Now, I’ll close with my favorite picture of the weekend.  It’s hysterical.  I snapped it as I was getting off the escalator during our epic After-Christmas Shopping trip. This wasn’t long before we headed home.  It wasn’t staged – it just happened ~

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I posted this on Instagram and said that this really said everything about how each one felt about our shopping trip –

Dale – Yes!  Let’s find more sales!
Paul – I’m good; can we go now?
Andrew – You spent how much?!
Alli – Let’s go get a snack!
Whitney – I’m tired, but let’s all smile for Mom’s picture!
Denise – Out front, leading the way!

Thanks for stopping by to see my Favorites today!  What was your favorite moment from your Christmas celebrations?

Happy New Year, Friends!

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