Friday, February 14, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

My weekday breakfasts consist of the exact same thing, every day. I'm a big smoothie lover, and smoothies fit perfectly into my morning schedule because a) I'm usually not hungry at 6:00 a.m. (or even 7:30 when I'm leaving for work), b) the smoothies I make are really healthy and I intend to share them on here at some point, and c) I already get up early enough. Ain't nobody got the energy to get up an extra 20 minutes to eat breakfast before the leave for work. Although, I suppose that if I confiscated my laptop in the mornings, I wouldn't need to get up earlier. But that's an entirely different issue I'm not ready to broach yet.

So, when the weekends come around, I'm usually looking for something that is filling (as I end up eating even later), nutritious, and let's face it, a bit carb-y. And I like to make something that lasts for a couple days. So oatmeal is often a go-to for me! And this oatmeal is really fulfilling. It has multiple grains that give it a nice chewy, not mushy texture, delicious caramelized apples, warm spices, and to-die-for maple syrup. This is the real stuff folks. None of that imposter corn syrup stuff. Not even real maple syrup from the sugar bush. This is maple syrup made from MY bush, right here on my property. I can't take credit for cooking it all up; that was my parent's doing last year, but I do hold a certain amount of pride knowing the syrup was tapped from our trees. And it has a delicious smoky flavour. Not to make you jealous or anything... but you should be jealous.

Yield: 2-3 servings
3 cups water
1 cup milk
1/2 cup steel cut oats
3 tablespoons quinoa, rinsed
1/3-1/2 cup large flake oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of all-spice and nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2-4 tablespoons maple syrup (depending on your taste)
1/3 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 large apple
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
pinch of cinnamon

Combine water and milk in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add in the steel cut oats and rinsed quinoa, and continue to simmer for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, peel and dice apple to desired size. Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat and add in the apple. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon over top, and slowly cook the apples until they begin to become translucent and soft. The sugar will also start to caramelize on the outside of the apples.

Once the oats and quinoa have cooked for 20 minutes, stir in the large flake oats. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes. The mixture will begin to thicken up. Stir in the cinnamon, all spice and nutmeg, salt, brown sugar, maple syrup and raisins. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes, or until the liquid is almost completely gone and the oats are soft (*note, sometimes the oats take longer to cook or depending on your own taste, you might like them firmer or harder. If you need to cook them longer, simply add in a little more water and continue to cook). Once the oatmeal is done to your desired firmness/softness, stir in the vanilla and the caramelized apple pieces.

Serve while hot and enjoy! If you have leftovers that you are heating up the next day, add in a little milk prior to heating to help loosen the oats and restore some of the moisture.

Source: Sweet Treats & Healthy Eats Original. Pin It

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Happy Stuff-Your-Face-With-Chocolate-Hearts Day!

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Truffle Filling

For those of you who don't follow, that's Happy Valentine's Day!

I'm taking a short bit of time to share with you some of the different cookie sets I've made for Valentine's Day this year. I tried out a delicious new recipe for chocolate sugar cookies, found on Sweetopia's site. Easy to come and hold together, easy to roll out, holds it's shape nicely when baked, stays beautifully soft, and has a delicious and rich chocolate flavour. My new favourite.

Minis in a mason jar, cute! Only problem with these babies is that because they're bite-sized... you can gobble up the whole jar in... well let's just say a very short time. But great for little fingers!

Conversation heart cookies! These are so great, because they can really be personalized to say whatever you like! And they really take very little time to make. They make a great gift when you pair them with a cute little bucket and wrap it all up!

Lastly, how stinkin' cute are these?? For the doggy-lovers out there, these dog-themed Valentine's Day cookies are perfect. Love how they turned out.

Ok, just one more, because when all packaged up, these puppy cookies take the adorable-ness factor to a whole other level.

In the mood to check out some more Valentine's Day goodies? Take a look at some of these!

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Truffle Filling 
Soft Heart Sugar Cookies
Whoo do you love Sugar Cookies
Cherry Chip Rose Cupcakes
Strawberry Cupcakes
Red Velvet Cupcakes
Valentine's Day Sugar Cookies

Hope every one gets to spend Valentine's with someone/somebodies special. But just remember, you don't need a 'special' day once a year to tell/show someone you love them. Telling/showing them on a random day for no real reason makes it SO much more special and meaningful. In my opinion. :) Pin It

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Honey Glazed Salmon with Browned Butter Lime Sauce

I am SO pleased to share this recipe with you today! I know it's been a long time since I posted anything healthy- ahem, or really anything in general. I'm going to try to do a little better this year. Lately I've been uninspired and unmotivated in the domain of cooking, and I'm guessing this has something to do with the amount of things I have going on in my life. For the most part, I just try to get something quick and healthy on the table, and usually in big batches so I can eat it all week, but the dishes are often lack-lustre and repetitive.

Not this one though baby! I am so pleased I stumbled upon this recipe the other night. The preparation itself could not have been easier, and overall took minimal effort. For all that effort, the final result was absolutely delicious. The flavours in this dish were light and delicate, perfect for anytime of year, but I think it will really shine in the summertime. With every bite you can taste the sharp tang of the lime, the subtle nutty flavour of the browned butter, the sweetness of the honey, and just a touch of garlic.

I have a garlic maple salmon recipe that is typically my go-to; although I haven't posted it on here yet, I do have a similar recipe found here. However, I think this dish may have become my new favorite, and I'm sure I'll be making it again shortly!

6 salmon fillets, or about a pound and a half cut into fillets
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
zest of 2 limes

For the browned butter lime sauce:
5 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

To make the sauce, heat the butter in a small saucepan on medium-high. Swirl the butter occasionally until it has turned a light brown color and has a nutty fragrance. Be sure to keep an eye on the butter so that it does not burn. It will begin to collect brown flecks on the bottom- this is what you want so don't worry! Once the butter has browned, turn the heat to the lowest setting and whisk in the garlic, honey, salt and pepper. Keep the sauce on low to keep warm until the salmon is ready.

To make the fish, place the salmon fillets onto a cutting board and put approximately 1 teaspoon of flour on each side, evenly spreading the flour over the salmon. Drizzle about 1 teaspoon of honey on each side of the salmon (you can coat the second side of the salmon once it's in the saucepan to avoid getting honey on the cutting board).

Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil into a saucepan and heat to medium-high. Since you don't want to overcrowd the pan, you may want to use two pans, or do two batches, reserving the second tablespoon of olive oil to use then.

Carefully place the salmon into the pan and cook 3-5 minutes on each side, browning each side of the salmon until the fish flakes. Once the fish is cooked, pour the browned butter sauce over the salmon and sprinkle with lime zest.

Source: adapted from The Recipe Critic, who adapted from Cooking Classy Pin It