Feeling Good About Being Back In The Kitchen

With the cooler temperatures I find myself getting the urge to do two things, #1 return to the kitchen and #2 research next summers destinations. IMG_5524

Although one takes much longer than the other, returning to the kitchen comes fairly easy to me. I am not a big fan of cooking in the summer months. It’s simply a waste of sunshine and daylight hours for me to spend time in the kitchen. If it’s above 75 and the sun is shining, you better be willing to grill out or make your own meals at my house because this mom is not cooking…..

Fall brings changes to our backpacks by adding gloves and hand warmers for trail hikes

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and it also brings changes to what we eat for meals on a daily basis. There is no more grilling for us once the temps hit the 40’s unless my husband is willing to face the cold.

Some of my fall/winter favorites start making appearances for those chilly mornings like peanut butter oats with sliced bananas.

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I also found that both my family and my daycare children enjoy egg omelet cups. Which is basically your choice of veggies sauteed and topped with an egg. Bake these for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees and tada…..you have enough to feed a crowd or enough for a day or three to grab and go.

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For lunch I love roasted veggies. Sweet potatoes are one of my favorites.

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And dinners are all about casseroles again. No more brats, burgers, and hotdogs plopped in a bun for dinner. I recently made stuffed manicotti for the first time and it was FABULOUS!!!

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And then there is soup. What can I say…..I LOVE SOUP!!! I could eat it for every meal, everyday, and during every season. However, soup would not go over well with my boys in the summer months….so I make it at least once a week as soon as it gets chilly.

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For more recipes and ideas click on over to my recipe page. Enjoy!

Tell me…..what are some of the things you bring back to the table when the temperatures drop?

Do you have any favorites?

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Cinnamon Raisin Overnight Oats

For this last overnight oats recipe I kept it pretty simple. Most families will have all these ingredients in their homes which is always a bonus.

I just want to add that you should really get creative when you try these recipes. Kids may love mini chocolate chips added to their oats. Adults may like more bold spices in their mixtures. You will never know what works until you try it, so just go with it and see what happens.

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Cinnamon Raisin Overnight Oats

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

sprinkle of cinnamon

1 TBSP raisins

1 tsp. ground flax seed

1 TBSP. brown rice syrup or honey

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

Mix your dry ingredients all together and put them into your jars. Add the almond milk, shake and refrigerate overnight. In the morning heat the mixture for 1-2 minutes and enjoy.

Baked Oatmeal

This is a dish that I make often in fall and winter. It’s great for a brunch with guests or for a family. You can easily wrap the servings in plastic wrap and grab and go throughout the week or enjoy immediately. We have eaten it cold and warm, and both are very tasty.

Baked Oatmeal

2 1/4 cup quick cooking oats or 2 3/4 old fashioned oats,uncooked

2/3 c. brown sugar

3/4 c. dried cranberries

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

3 1/3 cups skim milk

4 egg whites, lightly beaten

2 TBSP. ground flax seed

1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 8×8 baking dish with non stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine oats, sugar, cranberries, cinnamon, salt and flax seed. In a medium bowl combine the beaten egg whites, milk and vanilla.

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Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until moistened. Pour into the baking dish.(Mixture will be very runny)

Bake for 55-60 minutes. Cool completely if your going to wrap them individually or enjoy hot after they cool slightly.

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Store in the refrigerator.

Options: either eat them as is or you could top them with addition fruit, yogurt or milk.