breakfast · Make-Ahead

Friday Favorites

Hi Friends and Happy Friday!  I wanted to share some of my recent favorite things that might help and refresh you as they have me!

  • Let’s start with a reminder about a hot, filling breakfast.  This is an important meal, but it can be difficult to find time to put it together on busy days.  Last year I shared these easy Instant Oatmeal Jars that make having a hot, delicious, filling breakfast super simple!

I pulled my small jars out this week and put several breakfasts together in just minutes.  All you have to do is add a cup of hot water and let it sit for 4-5 minutes!

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Sure, you could use those Oatmeal packets, but who likes eating paste first thing in the morning?  (Sense a little sarcasm there?! )  I’m not a fan, but these instant jars are creamy and delicious!

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  • I recently found a Podcast that has been so encouraging!  Donna Otto’s podcasts on Modern Homemakers is full of biblical wisdom and practical, helpful tools!  She speaks on child training, marriage, Christian growth, organization, and current events.  I’m sure you’ll find something that will be a blessing to you!
  • My new Fall dining table centerpiece is made up of all things I had on hand.  My parents had just given me a bag of their beautiful pine cones and I piled them onto the wooden board I had.  I added some pumpkins, both fabric and metal and also added some softness with a cloth napkin.  The flickering candle adds another measure of softness.  It’s rustic, it’s earthy, and I love it!fall centerpiece 2
  • One last thing is the reminder I set on my phone.  This isn’t for my afternoon nap, rather it is a reminder to pray for a lost individual.  I have it set for 1:00 in the afternoon.When I hear the notification,
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    I immediately stop and pray for one minute for a friend who needs Christ.  This has been such a blessing to me!
    Do you have a special burden for a lost individual?  Can I encourage you to set an alarm or reminder for 1:00 p.m.and pray for one minute?  Oh sure, we pray for them at other times, but I’m consecrating this time until Christmas to pray for my friend.  I can’t wait to see what God is doing and how He will answer these prayers!

What’s your favorite new thing?

Denise

 

baking · Easter · Entertainment · Make-Ahead · Time management · Uncategorized

Organizing Plans for a Special Dinner- Like Easter!

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This Sunday is Easter – my favorite holiday!   I’m excited about attending our church services, worshiping the Lord with a thankful heart, hearing God’s Word preached, and then having guests in our home for a special Easter dinner.  What a great day to look forward to!

Because the meal is quite involved, I knew I needed to really get my plans organized.  I even started my preparations last weekend.  I thought I’d share my plans with you about how I am working to get everything ready as much ahead of time so I won’t be  Continue reading “Organizing Plans for a Special Dinner- Like Easter!”

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!

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Here is the process in pictures:
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Oatmeal

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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!

Denise Signature 150 px

Cooking · Dinner · Main entree · Make-Ahead · Pasta · salad · Side dish

Summertime Pasta Salad

pasta salad

I tried a new recipe this week that I loved for several reasons:

  1. I love a cold pasta salad in the summertime.
  2. I served it alongside a BLT and it was a great side dish.
  3. This would also be a great main dish by adding grilled chicken strips, or even shrimp or crab meat!
  4. It’s also a great do-ahead dish.  I made it the night before and it was so great to have it all ready to pull out and add to a simple summer meal like BLT’s!

BLT

Tortellini Caesar Pasta Salad

This recipe was found in a Community Table magazine.  

INGREDIENTS

2 (9-oz) packages cheese tortellini

1 head broccoli, cut into small florets

3 ears corn – I used frozen corn kernels – You could use any fresh vegetable – cucumbers, zucchini or squash would all be delicious in this!

1 cup creamy Caesar salad dressing

Juice of 1 lemon

2 carrots, thinly

4 tomatoes, diced

Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

Cook tortellini according to package directions; drain and cool.

Steam broccoli until tender, about 6 minutes; cool.

Cook corn in boiling water, 5 minutes; cool, then slice kernels off cob. I simply ran the frozen kernels under cold water and added it to the salad.

Toss tortellini, broccoli, and corn with dressing, lemon juice, carrots, tomatoes; salt to taste.

If you love pasta, you’ll love this recipe!  I hope you’ll add it to your menu, either as a side or a main dish, and do it this summer!!

With love from my country kitchen,

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dessert · Make-Ahead · summertime

No-Churn Peppermint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

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On this (L)Oven Monday, I’m sharing a recipe that has NOTHING to do with the oven!  This is all about cold, creamy homemade ice cream!  I’m thinking that homemade ice cream is dying.  That makes me sad.  Very sad!  Sure, store-bought is cheap, easy and good, but there’s something really special about making up your own flavors at home!!  You don’t have an ice cream freezer?  Then this recipe is especially for you!

No ice cream could be easier!  I found this recipe on Pinterest and had to try it because it just seemed too good to be true.  Now mind you, this doesn’t take the place of home-churned ice cream, but it is a great second!  The ingredients are few and the method is simple!  Check out this easy recipe!!

No-Churn Peppermint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

INGREDIENTS
2 cup Heavy Cream
14 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
Red or Pink Food Coloring (if desired)
1 cup Miniature Chocolate Chips
1 tsp Peppermint Extract

DIRECTIONS
Whip heavy cream and peppermint extract until stiff peaks form.
Beat in condensed milk.
Add food color and beat until color is uniform.
Fold in chocolate chips (reserve a few to sprinkle on top).
Spread mixture in loaf pan.
Distribute remaining chocolate chips on top.
Place in freezer for at least 5 hours.

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It’s as easy as these these pictures show!

This would be great served with these brownies or between two cookies or in a dish all by itself!  This is one of those great do-ahead desserts.  Mix it up, pop it into the freezer the night before you’re having company, and boom!  Homemade dessert is served!

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Who owns a freezer and makes homemade ice cream?  
Who’s going to try this simple recipe?

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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

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions:

  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.

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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?

Denise Signature 150 px

 

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