Slow Cooker Gingerbread Oatmeal

Gingerbread Slow Cooker Oatmeal - best oatmeal ever!

I’ve made this Gingerbread Oatmeal twice.  Both times, Jim has texted me later in the morning to say it was an awesome breakfast.  These really are fantastic.

In addition to the common cinnamon and brown sugar, they also have ginger, a bit of cloves and vanilla.  The combination is full of fall flavor.

Even my daughter, who has never eaten (or been willing to try) oatmeal, liked these.

And they’re really easy to make too.  Set them up at night before going to bed and they’ll be ready to eat in the morning.  I do use a timer for my small crockpot so they don’t have to cook all night.  You can read more about making your own programmable crockpot here.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

Easy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

easy smashed sweet potatoes

 

I love sweet potatoes.  I usually just serve them baked as a side dish.  If I’ve got more time, I like to make Sweet Potato Fries.

But this time, I decided to make them mashed.  Or rather, smashed.

This is such an easy side dish to fix.  And it’s a nice change from serving the potatoes baked.

It starts with baking the sweet spuds.  I scrubbed them and put them in a foil lined pan, covering the whole pan with foil.  This was faster than wrapping them individually.  It made the final step easier too.  Just whip the foil off the pan, instead of having to unwrap individual potatoes.

smashedsweetpotatoesingr

 

This is more method than recipe.  Easy to fix.  Easy to remember.

Easy Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Ingredients
  • ½ - 1 sweet potato per person
  • 2-3 Tbs. brown sugar
  • ¼ - ½ stick butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Scrub the sweet potatoes.
  2. Place in foil lined baking pan and stick potatoes with a fork several times each.
  3. Cover with more foil.
  4. Bake 350 for 1½ hours or until very tender.
  5. Or line crockpot with foil and place potatoes. Cook on high 5-6 hours or low 7-8 hours.
  6. Remove from oven or crockpot.
  7. Slice potatoes in half and scoop out the middles.
  8. Place in a bowl with brown sugar and butter.
  9. Smash and stir with a spoon until well combined.

You’ll also need butter and brown sugar in addition to the sweet potatoes.

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

These quick bars combine my favorite flavors in one dessert.  Pour yourself a big glass of milk (or if you’re naughty, like me make it chocolate milk).  If you like peanut butter and jelly, then you are going to love these.

I used strawberry jam to make mine.  I think they’d be awesome with grape or blackberry too.  Or cherry or…really any kind of jam would be great in these bars.

I adapted the recipe for Cherry Oat Bars.  I thought I’d be able to decrease the butter, since I was adding in peanut butter, but that didn’t work out.  The photo of the ingredients only shows part of the butter you’ll need.  I love recipes like this one that use common pantry ingredients.  If you’ve got a nearly full jar of jam to spare, then you’ve probably got everything you’ll need to make these.   [Read more…]

Grilled Pineapple Dessert

Yes.  This is just as fabulous as it looks.

This is the first time I’ve ever grilled fruit.  Someone mentioned grilled pineapple on the Ebates Savvy Living Community and I could not get it out of my head.  And I thought it would be best served over pound cake, topped with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.

Caramel and pineapple is a combination I’ve tried before.  And this version with cake and ice cream reminded me of a tropical twist on strawberry shortcake.

Grilling the pineapple adds depth of flavor to the fruit.  It doesn’t hurt that the rings get basted in brown sugar and butter.  [Read more…]

Slow Cooked Brown Sugar Chicken and Sweet Potatoes – 4 ingredients!

I’m never going to convince my family to love sweet potatoes like I do.  But this dish did convince the to eat them.  My oldest daughter even said the sweet potatoes were pretty good.  She didn’t think she liked them at all, but decided to give them a try when I served this.

This is a basic, quick recipe.  The prep is easy – just 4 ingredients too!  Chicken and sweet potatoes are a great combination.  Add a little butter and brown sugar and they’re even better.

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more…]

Cherry Oat Bars

This is a dangerous dessert for me to make.  I love them!  They are so buttery tasting that I have trouble stopping with one.  Or two. Or more.

This is an adaptation of Pioneer Woman’s Apricot Oat Bars.  However, I have a recipe exactly like hers that I printed off the internet sometime in the 90s.  So I’m not sure where the recipe originated.  I must thank whoever created it.  These bars are fabulous and the cherry version is delicious too.  [Read more…]

Tropical Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa and Coconut Rice – Easy & Special!

This is one of those dinners that tastes special, like you’ve gone to extra trouble.

Good news!  This dish is quick to fix.  I had it finished in about 30 minutes and that included time to line up ingredients, take photos and jot down my recipe.  Not bad.

I did start with another recipe as inspiration.  I wasn’t sure what should go into the Pineapple Salsa, so I searched Tasty Kitchen and came up with a recipe for Tropical Chicken and Coconut Rice Bowl.  It’s from Katie at The College Culinarian.

I wanted fish instead of chicken, so I turned the marinade into a sauce for the tilapia.  And I tweaked her salsa recipe a bit too.  The result was delicious!

Here’s what you’ll need:  [Read more…]

Ingredient Spotlight: Brown Sugar

Brown sugar is just white sugar with the addition of molasses.  That’s where the extra flavor comes from.

In fact, you can make your own by adding a tablespoon of molasses to a cup of sugar.  If you like it darker, add 2 tablespoons of molasses.

We use a lot of brown sugar in our house.  Partly because Jim and our youngest daughter like it on their oatmeal in the mornings.  And partly because we make a lot of chocolate chip cookies.

Here are a few more recipes that use brown sugar: [Read more…]

Apple Cinnamon Skillet Monkey Bread

Some of you wonderful readers recently introduced me to the blog, Picky Palate.  The first post I saw there was Peanut Butter and Jelly Skillet Monkey Bread.   Heavens to Murgatroyd!  That looks delish!  And you know how I love peanut butter.

But as I read the recipe, the words “jelly of your choice” caught my attention and all I could think of was apple jelly.  Which pairs perfectly with cinnamon and brown sugar.  So I took the original recipe and did a bit of tweaking to come up with this: [Read more…]

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches in the Slow Cooker

I could have called this 3-point BBQ Chicken, because I was literally tossing things into the slow cooker from across the kitchen.  No stirring.  No mixing.  No thawing took place.

We were in a hurry to get out the door at 7:25am.  I grabbed a bag of frozen chicken breasts and dumped them in the slow cooker.  Then I tossed other ingredients in, based on the Pulled Pork recipe.  I didn’t stir or mix, just turned the pot on and let it cook.

We came in that evening to wonderful smells, so much better than if I’d just used bottled BBQ sauce.  I quickly shredded the meat and served it on buns.  This was the meal we tried out popcorn as a side dish.  It had been a crazy, busy day and popcorn was the fastest thing I could think of.  I’m pretty sure I threw some apples and/or carrots on the table too.  Some nights you’ve just got to get everyone fed.  Can I get an amen?

Here’s what you’ll need.  No ingredient photo this time, because I was in such a hurry when I made it. [Read more…]

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