White Chocolate Oatmeal Recipe

About This Recipe

Happy Friday! or more accurately HAPPY FLOAT MY OATS FRIDAY! Im so excited to share with you this White Chocolate Oatmeal Recipe. I haven’t posted an oatmeal recipe for a couple of weeks because I have been complete obsessed with my Hot Cocoa Oatmeal. So obsessed, that I couldn’t bare to make any other kind of oatmeal for weeks. You can find my hot cocoa oatmeal recipe here.  You are welcome in advance.  In a couple of weeks, when you too are finally over your inevitable hot cocoa oatmeal love affair, come back here.  Because creamy, light, white chocolate oatmeal is the perfect rebound.

Oatmeal for Dessert

Yesterday I started telling my friend about this little gem of a recipe. She said “sounds like a dessert.”  For the record, a lot of my recipes do border on dessert.  I mean hot fudge Sunday oatmeal isn’t even border line, its a full on dessert.   Since I love dessert, oatmeal is a better way to satisfy my sweet tooth than with say a cookie or brownie.  Steal cut oats are a good source of protein, soluble and unsoluble fiber, and vitamins and minerals.   One cup of cooked oatmeal has about 170 calories.  The white chocolate cocoa mix adds about 90 calories.  Then add in the toppings and you still have a meal under 500 calories. A meal that stays with you longer and satisfies that sweet tooth.

White Chocolate Oatmeal Recipe

This Instant Pot white chocolate oatmeal recipe is super easy and has the perfect hint of sweet, creamy white chocolate.

Ingredients

  • 1 c steel cut oats
  • 3 c almond milk
  • 1/2 c Stephens Gourmet White Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix
  • 1/4 c whipped cream
  • 1/4 c berries
  • 2 tbsp. white chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp. buttermilk syrup to drizzle
  • 1 tbsp. granola

Instructions

  1. In an Instant Pot / pressure cooker add oatmeal and almond milk. Lock lid in place. Turn vent to "sealing." Press the STEAM button and set timer to 10 minutes. Once finished, allow to vent naturally for about 10 minutes. Then turn vent to "venting."
  2. Stir cooked oatmeal, then add in white chocolate hot cocoa mix and stir.
  3. top with whipped cream, fruit, drizzle with butter milk syrup, and sprinkle with white chocolate chips and granola.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Activity Tool Box for the Creative Kid

Don’t get me wrong, I love being a parent. My 3 year old little Oliver Jack says 20 amazing and cute things every day. He gives the best snuggles.  And I knew going into it, that it would be hard. Everyone says parenting is hard.

I just didn’t understand all the ways that it is hard.  Sure, sleepless nights, diapers..yadda yada.  I had no idea I would spend a significant part of my day trying to negotiate with an unreasonable tyrant.  And thinking “this is SO HARD!” “Why won’t he just take a nap?”  “Stop making messes!”

The Solution

Redirecting Oliver’s behavior in a positive direction can be difficult.  My first instinct is to just say “stop that” and “don’t.”   But every time I take a deep breath , give my self a mini pep talk,  and then actually take the time to guide his behavior in a positive manner, it works out far better.

Which is why I started compiling a basket of positive activities for him to do when he is in an especially mischievous mood.  I added paint, crayons, colored pencils, scissors, play dough and flash cards. But very quickly this basket became a “hot mess” of chaos sitting on top of my fridge for all to see.  It bugged me every time I looked at it..

So I found these awesome little stackable caddy organizers on amazon to create the perfect activity tool box for my creative kid. (Disclosure: affiliate link above. {JUST TRYING TO SUPPORT MY FAMILY}).

I love having all of these activities in one place.  Its so easy to pull this out when I need that positive direction and say, “which activity do you want to do?”

This is my favorite mommy hack to date.  And the best part is that eyesore on top of my fridge is a distant memory.

These organizers are awesome because they stack together and you can even get a rolling cart bottom. I think my office/craft room needs a few.

For all you parents out there, I hope this idea helps you get a few more moments of peace, it has for me.

Hot Cocoa Oatmeal

Is it just me or does hot cocoa sound amazing right now?! I pretty much want hot cocoa around the clock from now until March. I was planning out what I wanted to do for #FloatMyOatsFriday but I kept being distracted by my desire for Hot cocoa. Then BAM, the two ideas converged. How have I never thought of this before? Delicate, creamy, chocolate oats topped with fluffy marshmallows and whip. So dreamy! And since my Husband Juice is always talking about how he doesn’t want to “drink his calories” this little gem makes that hot cocoa bender a little less disastrous for the waist line. You are welcome!

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Hot Cocoa Oatmeal

  • Prep Time: 5h
  • Cook Time: 10h
  • Total Time: 15h

Ingredients

  • 1 c steel-cut oats
  • c almond milk
  • 1 c water
  • 1/4 c hot cocoa mix
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. salted butter
  • whipped cream for garnish
  • mini chocolate chips for garnish
  • mini marshmallows for garnish

Instructions

  1. Place oats, almond milk, and water in Instantpot and seal. Set to steam for 10 minutes with the vent closed.
  2. After the 10 minutes, let the Instantpot sit for an additional 10 minutes to allowing to vent naturally. Then switch to venting.
  3. Add in hot cocoa mix, brown sugar and butter. Stir until combined. Garnish and enjoy.

Baby Henryk Birth Announcement

With baby Henryk fast approaching 3 months, I have to post his Newborn pics before another day goes by.

I have been a busy momma with two kids and I started back to work from home when Henry was 1 month old so forgive me for being behind and going with an adorable birth announcement from Shutterfly instead of designing my own.

Being Baby Henry’s Mom is an incredible blessing. Whenever my heart is just bursting with joy, which is all the time when I have this little guy in my arms, I think “How did I get so lucky?!”  Two beautiful and healthy little boys.

There are also quite a few moments where I think…”Oh Cuss!  I’m outnumbered.”  (Anyone notice the Fantastic Mr. Fox reference?)  In honor of Mr Fox, Juice and I have decided to change all of our swear words to “CUSS” to avoid problems down the road with Oliver’s preschool and all of the Grandmas in our life.

Now behold total cuteness:

 

 

Photography by Mary Clark DMC Studios

Florida Layered Salad

Pregnancy cravings are a roller coaster.  One minute I want mashed potatoes and pineapple, the next minute I have a burning desire for Sour Patch Kids.  Pinterest should be avoided if at all possible, 5 minutes in and I want so many different things all at once its dizzying.

At the grocery store I end up buying very strange meal combinations like strawberry ice cream and salad with peas and beats, to be eaten simultaneously or Chinese food and a crepe. Couple that with “pregnancy brain” and my poor husband hasn’t eaten a cohesive meal in months. I end up halfway through making dinner before I realize I forgot the other half.  But at least I have a few go-to meals that I almost always have the ingredients for on hand and not coincidentally are on my most craved list of 2017, such as….drum roll please …..

Florida Salad.

Like so many of the yummy recipes in my go-to arsenal, I originally got this recipe from my long time Boss Starla. Crisp, fresh salad greens, sweet peas, celery, savory bacon, diced ham and boiled eggs, topped with a creamy, thick dressing and shredded cheddar cheese.  It’s no wonder that I crave this salad all the time. I made just one minor adaptation to Star’s recipe, I add ranch mix to the dressing. Some fresh chives would be killer as well. But I just go with what I have on hand. I have no idea why its called Florida Salad. But regardless, this layered salad is a must. You can make it the night before and it always disappears at any gathering.  I also love this salad in the winter because the ingredients are easy to find year around.  

Florida Layered Salad Recipe

Refreshing, crisp, and savory layered salad recipe. Great salad year around.

  • Prep Time: 20m
  • Total Time: 20m

Ingredients

  • 6 oz lettuce, chopped
  • 4 oz baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 c celery, diced
  • 1/4 c bacon crumbles
  • 4 eggs, halved and sliced
  • 8 oz ham, cubed
  • 1 1/2 c frozen sweet peas, thawed
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 c mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. ranch dressing mix
  • 1 c cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 c green onions, finely diced

Instructions

  1. With stand or hand mixer, beat cream cheese, mayonnaise, and ranch dressing mix until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a trifle dish, layer lettuce, spinach, celery, bacon crumbles, eggs, ham, green onions, and sweet peas.
  3. Spread prepared dressing evening over the salad.
  4. Top with shredded cheese.

My French Experiment: Baking with a 3 year old.


Baking with my 3 year old was not something I had any intention of doing anytime soon.  I know of other moms  who occasionally let their kids help them bake cookies, but it always seemed to me to be a bigger pain than it was worth.

But couple month ago I had a lunch play date with my lovely friend Ingrid. I was a little apprehensive about meeting at a Chic-fil-a play place because the only other time we had ever been to one, it ended with him at the very tippy top of the play tunnel, refusing to come down. The horror of having to climb up through the clausterphobic, gooey tunnels to drag him down is not something easily forgotten. But I decided that 6 months was a long enough banishment and to give him another chance.
While our children played, we got to catch up and I got to vent about how my once amazing eater has digressed into a ridiculously picky one. She recommended a book called Bringing up Bebe.

Im so glad she did. The basic premise of the book is that an American journalist in Paris notices some pretty big differences between American and French children. She sets out to figure out why French babies almost unanimously sleep through the night by 8 weeks, have good manners, and even eat pretty much anything their parents eat. In France, there are no special kids menus at every restaurant.

I really loved the book and a new perspective. I was shocked to learn that in France its pretty normal for a three year old to bake with very little supervision.

After reading about the confidence it helps foster, I decided to accept that it might be a huge mess and give it a try anyway. I even used the French Yogurt Cake recipe she mentioned in the book.
So on a cold Sunday morning I gathered the ingredients and let Oliver and my niece Sia bake. They were really into it and had so much fun. It really wasn’t anywhere near the disaster I thought it would be. There was very little mess and it was nice to have an engaging, positive activity with these littles. Im definitely be doing more baking with my little guy.  My favorite part was that while Oliver swears he doesn’t like raspberries, after baking with them, he actually gave them a try.






DIY get well gift cold flu season

DIY Get Well Gift for Cold & Flu Season

It seems like everywhere I turn someone is sick; work, childcare, family, & friends.  Its that not so lovely time of year we fearfully refer to as cold and flu season. I unfortunately succumbed to the germs myself last  week and could have really used one of these “DIY Get Well Gift for Cold & Flu Season.”  Now on the mend, I am hoping to spread get well cheer.

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These little gems are the perfect gift to make ahead and have on had this time of year.

Start with a cute mug or teapot. I found these adorable mugs at West Elm today and I picked up this little teapot on clearance at Target a while back.

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West Elm Textured Mugs

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Things to add:

  • honey
  • lemon  (fresh lemon, bottled lemon juice, or True Lemon)
  • cough drops
  • travel tissue
  • tea bags
  • Emergen-C packets or organic effervesce drink mix
  • lip balm

 

 

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Just arrange everything in the container of your choice and give it to your favorite “sickies!”
You could even make several at the same time and keep on hand. Thats where the True Lemon would be perfect.

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On a side note, how cute are these tiny honey bears?!

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Comment below with any additional things I need to add to my list and when a cold or flu does hit, I hope you and your loved ones a speedy recovery.

xoxosarah

S’more Bites with Halloween Candy

Halloween Candy Smore Bites

Halloween candy s’more bites are a super quick treat to make and the perfect way to use up that Halloween candy. These are also a great treat to bring to a Halloween party.
What sets these s’more bites apart is the gourmet graham crackers I get from the Tulie bakery here in Salt Lake City, Utah. A world of difference in the taste and texture department!


Each cracker is about 3 inches square so I quartered them. Making each bite perfect for one marshmallow.


I then cut up an assortment of candy into smaller pieces. My favorite topping is Almond Joys.


You don’t need a fancy torch, I just lined a baking sheet with parchment, added the crackers and marshmallows, and toasted them in my over on broil. It took about 3-5 minutes to get a nice golden top.


Press the candy down into the toasted marshmallow, being sure to get it down in the gooey melted part!

You can serve these warm or cool like I did last night. I let them cool down for a few minutes, added a lid and took them to a party.

I want to hear about your s’more bites so leave a comment with your favorite S’more topping or where to find gourmet graham crackers in your area.

xoxosarah

 

Best Ever Brownies | Living Darling

Julia’s Best Ever Brownies Recipe

Julia’s Best Ever Brownies Recipe

Wow, there is a reason why everyone’s hero in the kitchen, Julia Child, called this brownie recipe BEST EVER BROWNIES!  Gooey, creamy, chocolate for days.  These are the brownies of my dreams.

I knew they would be good because every Julia Child recipe I have ever made turns out to be a winner but this was beyond expectation.  I’m totally in love with the fact that something so complex in both texture and taste came from just 6 simple ingredients.

The hardest part about this recipe is having patience while melting the chocolate and butter.  But other than that, it comes together very quickly.  Just remember to not over work the batter in the last few steps and they will turn out to be the most fudge like, creamy brownies you have ever had.

Ingredients

Melting the Chocolate and butter.

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Add in 1 cup of sugar and the vanilla.

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Whisk remaining sugar and eggs.

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Add half of egg mixture to chocolate mixture.

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Whisk remaining egg mixture till doubled in volume.

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Gently fold into chocolate mixture.

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Add dry ingredients. 

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Spoon into prepared pan and spread evenly.

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Bake

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Eat!

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Best Ever Brownies | Living Darling

Julia Childs Best Ever Brownies

Best Ever Brownies | Living Darling Wow, there is a reason why everyone's hero in the kitchen, Julia Child, called this brownie recipe BEST EVER BROWNIES! Gooey, creamy, chocolate for days. They are the brownies of my dreams.

  • Prep Time: 25m
  • Cook Time: 25m
  • Total Time: 50m

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 c plain white flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 c butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c white sugar
  • 4 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Place rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 9 inch square pan and line with parchment paper, which makes it much easier to cut into perfect squares at the end.
  3. You have two options for melting the chocolate: Option A If you have really hot tap water you can use this method or skip down to option B. Place a medium glass bowl inside of a slightly larger bowl. Add hot water from the tap to the outside bowl. Add the chocolate and butter to the inside bowl and allow to sit for about five minutes while you prep the dry ingredients. It will have melted slightly, keep stirring often. Switch out the water if needed. Keep stirring until the chocolate and butter are fully melted and incorporated. I switched out the water twice and this took about 10-15 minutes. This method requires patience but ensure that this mixture doesn't get too hot for the next few steps. Option B In a medium glass bowl, add chocolate and butter. Place the bowl over a saucepan half full of water and bring to a very gentle simmer, reduce heat to low. Stir the chocolate and butter continuously to fully incorporate and avoid overheating.
  4. Remove the bowl from the water and wipe dry. Mix in 1c of the sugar and the vanilla.
  5. In a bowl, whisk the other 1c of sugar and the eggs until just combined. Gradually stir half the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture until just combined. Stir a few times during the next step to keep from thickening up too much.
  6. Either with a stand mixer or by hand whisk the remaining egg mixture until pailed, and doubled in volume. I did this step by hand and it took about 5 minutes. I will definitely use my stand mixer next time. Gently fold into the chocolate mixture.
  7. Once the eggs are almost completely folded in, gently fold in the dry ingredients.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Bake 23-28 minutes, the batter will rise a little and the top will look dry. If you give the pan a gentle shake, it should have just a little movement but not look like batter.
  10. Let the brownies cool completely, then using the parchment paper, lift out of pan. With a large knife cut straight down into 16 equal pieces.

Here in Salt Lake, the first official weekend of Fall was a cold and dreary one. The perfect kind of weather to stay in, put up Halloween decorations, and bake.  This recipe really got me back into the baking mood after a really hot summer.

So get your fall baking on with this amazing recipe.

xoxosarah

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Bacon Dog Treat Recipe

forpinterest1I’m excited to share with you this awesome dog treat recipe with peanut butter, bacon, and  bananas.

But first, let me introduce you to our furry family members.  Gidget pictured below is a Black Shepard mix and a “daddy’s girl.”

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Blanca pictures below is our mystery prize since Juice saved her about a decade ago after being abandoned.  She is most definitely a “Momma’s girl!”

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A little over a week ago our two escape artists Shawshanked their way out of our backyard while we were away from home. Which lead me to briefly question why they would ever want to leave our little piece of paradise? Seriously, they live with two full-time “crumb monsters” a.k.a. my hubby and toddler, who leave a trail of delicious crumbs wherever they go. They have a big yard to try to destroy on the daily, dog beds at every turn. But I digress.  Luckily our neighbor saw them running the streets, lured them back into our backyard and secured our gate.
So I added “do something nice for your neighbor” to my to-do list.

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(On a side note, If a scowl could kill!…Oliver inherited this exact scowl from me. In his defense it was a really bright day.)

Then our friend Janell helped us out with our dogs on our last day of vacation and I again pondered what to do to say thank you.

I thought about baking human treats for both, but since I’m not familiar with my neighbors food preferences, the last thing I wanted to do was show up at her door with a dozen cookies only to find out she is diabetic or has a gluten allergy.  That is when it became obvious that I need to make doggie treats!  It was a perfect solution since they both have dogs, and while my own dogs haven’t exactly written up terms for surrender like better food, I figured a few yummy pupcakes might just keep them from trying to escape.  In the words of Michael Scott, it’s a WIN, WIN, WIN scenario.

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I found this great recipe on The Happy Foodie by Martha Stewart for Peanut Butter and Banana dog cupcakes but I decided to improve it immensely with one simple addition;  bacon. Your pups will thank you.  If you would prefer to weigh out your flour and oats into  grams you can use the recipe above but I doubled the batch and converted the recipe to the U.S. Cups.

Peanut Butter, Banana, and Bacon Pup Cake Dog Treats

A super easy dog treat recipe that your pups will love.

  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 12m
  • Total Time: 27m

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 2/3 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c bacon crumbles
  • 1/2 c water

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, mash ripe bananas, add honey and eggs, stir until combined.
  2. Add peanut butter and stir until smooth.
  3. Add rolled oats, flour and baking powder, stir until combined.
  4. Mix in bacon.
  5. Add water and stir gently till combined.
  6. Fill mini cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely.
  7. Store in air-tight container and refrigerate for up to 14 days.

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pupcake dog treat recipe peanut butter bacon

pupcake dog treat recipe peanut butter bacon

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I hope your fur babies love this treat as much as mine did.
xoxosarah