April 26, 2012

Overnight Oats

Now that days start with spring-really-more-like-summer sun, nothing sounds appetizing about hot oatmeal, not even my beloved baked berry oatmeal.  Fortunately, to save me from the humdrum of an all cereal, toast or yogurt weekday morning routine, my friend Lisa introduced me to a way to eat my oats chilled.

As the name suggests, you prep them at night. Which means no a.m. prep time. Which means I am slightly more likely to not have a strictly force self out of bed-shower-dress-eat-pack for day-start to-do list mantra running through my head as I start my day. Which means I might actually come before the Lord in praise in my waking moments and turn my day over to what He (gasp, not me) would have me do each moment of the day.
Simply mash up some banana and then mix in oats, your choice of milk, and a sprinkling of cinnamon and whatever other toppings sound right to you. Really, you can add whatever yogurts, liquids, spices, grains and fruits you like as long as there is liquid to soften the oats. I like to mix in blueberries or strawberries.

Voila, insta-breakfast of the scratch-made variety.
Starting with banana, cinnamon and oats.
What are your favorite weekday breakfasts?

April 20, 2012

Tiramisu Birthday Cake

Leave it to the Smitten Kitchen to find the birthday-perfect version of tiramisu via Dorie Greenspan. All I can claim in this art is simply following the directions they left behind in their path of confectionery genius.
The crown jewel was the whipping cream-mascarpone (fancy Italian cream cheese)-Kahlua-espresso cream that encased buttery cake layers. But some chopped semi-sweet chocolate in the middle made it all the better.
Oh, and the best part of this cake experience was not actually the way it tasted (although it was divine) but giving away most of our leftover pieces to the staff at the restaurant whose patio we celebrated on, well that and the birthday girls and their guests of choice.
Now that I have invested in Kahlua and instant espresso, my dessert-obsessed mind is running wild with ideas for more tiramisu creations. If you give me some inspiration, I might just bring you some of whatever comes of it.

Recipe: Smitten Kitchen Tiramisu Cake

April 11, 2012

Shrimp and Avocado Salad with Greek Yogurt Remoulade

Inspiration: Fancy French lunch of Shrimp and Avocado Salad and warm bread and butter at Chez Fon Fon in Five Points.

Adaption: Greek yogurt as the only source of creaminess (no mayo!) plus freshly shucked corn, because it grabbed my eye in its husks at the store. Also, serving with warm grainy bread and freshly picked berries from Witt Farm in Hayden with whipped cream (as in whipped whipping cream, the real deal).
Setting: Adirondack chairs on the front porch while the air chilled as the sun went down, a ladies' luncheon in the eveningtime because we ladies have jobs. Being real with one another. Bliss.
Variation: We ate this with grilled chicken with Cajun seasonings instead of shrimp for Easter lunch.

April 2, 2012

Easter M&M Cookie Bars

The latest in my chocolate chip cookie obsession: Add a heaping cup of dark chocolate M&Ms to a cup of semi-sweet chips in Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.
You might just have to bake another batch to replicate that perfect gooey texture in each square that you can't get with round spoons full of dough, no matter how much chocolate you add. Then you can pack them in a pretty tin, carry them onto a plane and share with friends in a far off land like Texas for  sugar power to survive, quite joyfully, hours of bridal shopping.
But first, take food photos in your backyard, even if their beauty might prevent you from being able to face a kitchen table shoot again.
Happy Easter week! May yours be filled with the darkness of the crucifixion and the hope and power of the Resurrection.

More Easter treats:
Friday Brownie Bites, Sunday Blondie Bites 
Easter Cupcakes