Tag Archives: oatmeal

If it’s Between You and Me

If it’s between you and me, I’m psyched that today was my last day working in insanity and I can now relax ad enjoy the holidays…although, if it’s between you and me, I feel like I ought to start a “Take Back December” campaign. I have plenty of wrapping and cleaning to do tomorrow!

If it’s between you and me, I’m a little obsessed with all things cranberry-orange right now.




If it’s between you and me, I was a little bit too excited to be having time for pancakes on a workday this morning, since my mom was home to take care of the horses.

If it’s between you and me, I really enjoy shoveling, and was glad to see more snow on the ground than was called for this morning.


If it’s between you and me, though, I apparently can’t focus my camera anymore. I think my eyes are going. Or I’ve just been too groggy-eyed these past couple of mornings!


If it’s between you and me, if I didn’t have this face to see every morning, I don’t know how I’d have survived the past month.




Because, if it’s between you and me, I’m beat. I didn’t know if I was going to make it through the day today.

If it’s between you and me, I’m usually biased against getting salads from pizza places around here, but seeing “mesclin greens” immediately made me choose A Crust Above for lunch.


If it’s between you and me, though, I almost always use hummus as dressing, and not the one I request.

If it’s between you and me, my hands are not as silky smooth as they would be if I took care of them…and have been moisturizing them rather than letting them get cracked and dry. Ow!

If it’s between you and me, I was a little disappointed when I came home and saw my mom chose not to make the quinoa-chickpea pilaf I suggested she wanted for dinner.


If it’s between you and me – the dish I made in its place gave me breath that is good enough revenge should we speak to each other in close vicinity.


If it’s between you and me, I’m a little bit obsessed with English muffins. As well as mushroom stroganoff.


If it’s between you and me, I really want a SuperCharge Me cookie right now…but cinnamon cereal will have to do.


It’s your turn:  If it’s between you and me……?


Filed under breakfast, dinner, lunch, oatmeal, pancakes

Always Room for Something New

There’s always room and opportunity to try new things – usually, it’s just a matter of whether we want to venture out from our usual routine and just go for it.

I’ll be the first to admit it – I’m one to get stuck in food ruts. It doesn’t help that by now, I tend to know what kinds of foods I like ad what I dislike.

But busting out of ruts? Quite fun! I mean – it doesn’t mean your diet needs a complete makeover. Just twists to your favorites; thinking outside of the box!


Cranberry-Orange oatmeal? First thought – no thanks. I like bananas in my oatmeal, not citrus fruits. Upon completion? Oh my God, I must have this again tomorrow.


  • 1/3 c. quick oats
  • 1/8 c. oat bran
  • 2 t. chia seeds
  • 1 c. almond milk
  • 2 T. homemade cranberry sauce
  • zest of half an orange
  • juice of one orange

Microwaved, and topped with:

  • a drizzle of maple syrup
  • orange zest
  • cranberry-orange nut sauce
  • walnuts
  • almond butter

and then, there’s mixing up lunch.


I realize this doesn’t look appealing – but rather than being all about sandwiches lately, I’m all about using the bread as a side to some sort of comfort dish. Like Italian Sweet Potato Gratin.

I’m not sure if this has more to do with the passing of a sandwich craze, or the fact that my bread isn’t big enough to create any sort of reasonable sandwich.


And sometimes, instead of bread – some sort of cracker for dipping into hummus. Or pretzels. because Gabriela said it best – pretzels trump crackers when it comes to hummus dipping. My favorite is Snyder’s.


I’m loving hot apple cider lately as a warm-me-up beverage. I can’t have more than one cup of coffee lately, and though I love tea – sometimes something sweet is nice!


I’ve raved before about Sahale Snacks, but these cashews are a new flavor to me…and definite winners.

I had the thought the other day to try and make a nut butter from one of their nuts – but I don’t think a bag could last that long!

I’m always bringing snacks like this to keep at work in case I get a minor case of the munchies – but lately they’re coming in more handy than usual. I dream of having the luxury to sit down and calmly eat a banana and peanut butter these days – there’s just no time before another customer walks in the door! Today I about shoved a half a banana + peanut butter in my mouth all at the same time because customers suddenly flooded us.

Of course, I realized after that that was a really bad idea because then I just had a mouth full of banana and peanut butter. Attractive.


New fruit? Check. I’ll eat anything that is buy-a-5lb.-bag, get one free.

Please don’t offer me a five pound bag of avocados. Blech.


And you know you’re really a little wacky when you spend your evening debating salad blends. A good wacky, though. This fresh herb salad caught my eye, and sounded interesting. Why not try? I really enjoy it…just one problem:


The dill is too overpowering! I guess that’s sort of the point, though. It is, after all – an herb salad.



Yes, my mushroom obsession is still in full-swing. Not only to they taste pretty good in a salad – does anything smell better than mushrooms and onions sauteeing in a bit of olive oil?

Okay – maybe if there were garlic in that equation it would smell better, but for some reason I just wasn’t feelin’ that tonight.


And for a brand-spankin’ new dessert courtesy of Foodzie?


An Effie’s oatcake. I wasn’t sure what to expect because I don’t know that I’ve ever had a oatcake – but these are far superior to any sort of cracker/packaged cookie I’ve had previously. I was going to spread jam on it per suggestion, but I’m glad I tried it plain first. Even though I am a self-proclaimed “dipper” doing such with these oatcakes would just hide their delicate flavor and texture given to them by real butter. The oatmeal adds a lovely nutty flavor, too. If these oatcakes are this good – I can only imagine what their nutcakes taste like!

What about you – what’s something new you’ve tried/done/made lately?


Filed under breakfast, dinner, lunch, oatmeal, review

BLOC Pancakes!

I finally got my wish!


Okay, well maybe not my full wish…the snow isn’t up to my waist, after all…but I woke up to beautiful, fresh snow rather than rain!


Since it fell overnight, though, I was bummed that I didn’t get to watch it storm. I love sipping hot cocoa/cider/tea inside while the outside is a winter wonderland.

Oh, well – beggar’s can’t be choosers, right?


Of course, Vermont could maybe think about using more than salt shakers to salt and/or sand the road. I’m pretty sure I could have counted the grains of sand if I wanted to. We also don’t plow very well.

I left home the same time I always do – 7:20 am, and usually get to the barn around 8. Today, I wouldn’t have gotten there until 8:30, so had to drive right by so I could get to work on time. Yeesh!


But all’s well that – starts well? Yeah, that sounds right Winking smile And this morning started well! Microwaved quick oats with some oat bran and almond milk, chia seeds, cinnamon, dried figs and banana…topped with fig jam, cashew butter, date syrup and cashews. I was in heaven.


Though I’m not certain it was quite as good as the pancakes I had this past weekend.

I think I’d be okay with eating these blueberry-lemon cornmeal-oat bran pancakes for B, L, D if I had no other options. Unfortunately, I’m busy working for the man this week and it’ll probably be a while before I see them again.

I’m getting teary-eyed just thinking about that…



This was also the first time I’d smeared my pancakes with cashew butter. The marriage between it, the fresh blueberries and the mealy-yet-hearty texture of the pancakes was something to write home about. Which is a little weird, since I’m already home, but whatever.

These were so enjoyable, it had to be repeated, though the next day I made it with lime zest in place of lemon.



Don’t worry – those were promptly sent back to the kitchen to be drizzled with date syrup, the element that tied everything together.

If anyone comes up with a name for these that is shorter than “Blueberry-Lemon Cornmeal-Oat Bran Pancakes,” I’ll send you some in the mail. Maybe. Probably not.

I could call them BLOC Pancakes – but then the long name will have to be blueberry-lemon oat bran-cornmeal.”

  • 2 T. cornmeal
  • 2 T. graham flour
  • 2 T. oat bran
  • 1 T. wheat germ
  • 1/2 T. poppyseeds
  • 1 T. chia seeds + 2 1/2 T. water
  • 1/4-1/2 t. baking powder (I’ve honestly never measured. I just shake it in)
  • 5 T. almond milk (a.k.a. 1/4 c. + 1 T)
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • zest of one lemon (or lime or orange)
  • juice of one lemon (or lime or orange)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c. frozen blueberries
  • optional: 1/2 – 1 t. sugar , 1/2 T. (?) earth balance or butter(see Note)

In a small bowl, mix together the chia seeds and water. Set aside and allow to “gel” while mixing your cornmeal, flour, oat bran, poppyseeds, wheat germ and baking soda together.

Begin heating a nonstick skillet over low heat.

Add the milk, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice to the chia seeds. Mix and add to the dry. Stir just to combine. If it’s too thick, add a little bit more milk, just a tablespoon at a time. Fold in the blueberries.

Melt the earth balance on the skillet, and then spoon on the batter – I made two pancakes. Cook until it looks like it is beginning to set around the edges, and flip. Cook until golden on both sides.

Topping suggestion (although it’s more of a demand than a suggestion Winking smile ) smear cashew butter on pancakes and top with more blueberries. Drizzle with date molasses.

Note: I added just a pinch of sugar so the lemon wasn’t too sour – they weren’t too sweet, nor too sour. However – I knew I’d be topping them with sweet things. If you’re planning on just eating them plain, I’d probably add a bit of sugar. Also – I love the taste of “frying” these in Earth Balance – you can just as easily use non-stick spray. I usually just melt the spread, spoon on the batter, and spray the tops with non-stick spray before flipping just as an extra precaution.



Filed under blueberries, breakfast, pancakes, recipe, snow

Foodzie December!

I loved reading everyone’s joke. Each one brought a smile to my otherwise gloomy day.

I’m out of bananas, if that explains anything. Can’t have that happening.


1/2 c. quick oats + 1 c. unsweetened almond milk + 2 t. chia seeds + vanilla extract – topped with blueberries + roasted almonds + almond butter.

Can have hot oats happening, though.

It was 0 degrees when I woke up this morning. Don’t want that happening.


1/4 c. quick oats + 1/4 c. rolled oats + 1 c. unsweetened almond milk + 2 t. chia seeds + vanilla extract + frozen blueberries – topped with granola + coconut milk yogurt + almond butter

And so, naturally, blueberries have been making an appearance in breakfasts. Reminder of summer…and from right down the road, too – not imported across the country.

The total downside of winter is that pretty much any form of produce has traveled around the world to get to me.


For this morning’s oats, I broke in to my Foodzie goodies. I enjoy Foodzie because it acquaints me with foods that I wouldn’t otherwise a. know about, b. purchase, or c. even think to purchase. Those are all good and bad things.


I really enjoyed this granola, though. I don’t buy granola often since I can make it, and bags last so long around here. I like granolas that aren’t really clumpy, and this fit the bill!




And then, of course – there’s stuff I wouldn’t necessarily buy, but am more than willing to try. Like these oatcakes and chocolates and caramels! And I am so excited to try different salts. They’ve always intrigued me, but I have never used anything other than sea salt!


Not a fan of these caramels, though. The passion fruit flavor really turned me off – way too fruity for the chocolate and caramel. I’d have loved to try the carrot cake, though. Ah, well. I’ll give the rest (along with the beef jerky) to my mom.  She’ll be happy.

Or not. She’s not a chocolate person either and I don’t know how she feels about jerky. Whatever. I’ll find someone who will appreciate them.


And in case you were wondering, that eggplant did cook – and I’m glad. It provided lunch and dinner yesterday and lunch again today.

I cannot wait for this weekend to go much-needed grocery shopping and to bake. Or at least cook something. I have been seriously scrounging for reasonable lunches and dinners this week.

Oh, and p.s. Teddie started his own blog!


Filed under blueberries, breakfast, foodzie, oatmeal, oats, review

A Day in the Life

4:10 am: Time to get up! Wait…it’s only 4:10? Ugh. I’m sort of hungry…

5:45 am: Time to get up! Ew, it’s going to be so cold tonight.

6:00 am: Crisis. Only one banana left. Do I have it in oats this morning, or as my snack this afternoon?

6:01 am: snack this afternoon.


6:05 am: I really need to get back in my photo groove and start taking more aesthetically appealing food photographs…

-enter blogging and breakfast here.-

6:30 am: I have no idea what I am having for lunch. I don’t have anything made. Ugh.

6:31 am: Chickpea salad.


– pack lunch.-

6:40 am: Get ready. Enter the Great Hair Dilemma. Keep singing “a day in the life” by the Beatles because you decided your blog topic of the night.DSC_4383

6:55 am: All done. I hate this sweatshirt. I really need to do laundry.



7:02 am: Whatever. This works too.


7:03 am: Crawl on hands and knees looking for lens hood that just fell off your camera because you were taking a picture of your feet.


7:10 am: Get ready to brave the outdoors. Warming up gertrude comes first


This is warm compared to what it’s supposed to be tomorrow.

7:12 am: Feed Thing 1 and Thing 2.



7:17 am: Play with icicles.


7:22 am: Say “see ya lata!” to the puppernaut and set sail for the wild blue yonder barn.



8:00 am: Thank God for the temperature dropping – I would have broke a sweat with that extreme heat from before.


8:02 am: Wish you had a real winter coat for the barn. Start picking out the mares & teddie’s runs.


8:08 am: Reach face freeze point. Can’t feel face. Mittened hands are cold ad making photography extremely difficult. Persevere.



Jewel is so unpleased by Teddie’s actions.


What a dashing young lad.



8:24 am: Really can’t feel face. Leave for work.

8:48 am: Decide coffee is necessary, even though you’ve already had your cup.


Mostly decaf, anyway. And a cup that size lasts me all morning into afternoon! Though the real reason I stopped was because I didn’t think I’ packed enough food.


Was overjoyed to find a KIND bar at the gas station. Wonder if anyone else ever buys them, as the code isn’t even in the system.

8:58 am: Arrive at work. Furnace is broken. Oh yay.

10:00 am: I’m hungry.


And want my “vitamins.”

Notice bar is really out-dated.


Decide you want crackers and hummus anyways.

12:24 pm: Holy moly it’s lunch time. Hm. Maybe I’d rather make an open-faced pb & pear sandwich with my bread than just use it for dipping into my chickpea salad…


2:00 pm: Am I hungry? I think I’m hungry. Oh, maybe I just want a ginger chew…

3:45 pm: Okay now I’m hungry. Bypass banana, save it for tomorrow. Try KIND bar. Ooooh – ver ver good!

4:01 pm: Why are all these customers asking me my name all of a sudden today? Am I being rude? Are they going to report me?

5:26 pm: Almost time to go. I’ll do busy work until then.

5:28 pm: Outta here.


Always grab a piece of dried mango to tide (is that the correct spelling?) me over. So good, too. Except sometimes I feel like I’m ripping into flesh. How creepy am I?

5:40 pm: Train? You’ve got to be kidding. What am I going to have for dinner?!



5:45 pm: I’ve got to cook that eggplant. That’ll take a while though. But I’ve got to cook it. Crap. I need gas. It’s too cold to get gas! I don’t have enough good karma built up for my tank to not freeze tonight with only 1/8th of a tank, though.

6:01 pm: This gas pump doesn’t have an auto shut-off! It’s cold out! I’m hungry!

6:02 pm: Oh forget it. My tank is full enough and I can’t feel my face. The church bells weren’t making me any happier. I’m hungry.

6:11 pm: I’ve got it! I’ll put the eggplant in the toaster oven to bake and take a shower while it bakes!

6:15 pm: Crap. Cop. Oh no. Oh no. Oh phew, it’s not. Wait, I’m not even speeding.

6:30 pm: Foodzie! Yay! Okay, eggplant. Oh, I should use up these mushrooms, too. Okay.


6:42 pm: I don’t think I shower long enough to give that time to bake. And I’m hungry.

6:50 pm: Crap. This still needs another 30+ minutes. I’m starving. I don’t care what, but I’m eating.


6:52 pm: This is randomly delicious. I knew I left all those burgers in the freezer for a reason.

8:26 pm: Why did I start out writing this post saying “your,” and now I’m saying “I”?


Filed under breakfast, dinner, lunch, oatmeal, teddie

Hot Oats

Everyone seems to love sugar cookies, based on answers from yesterday’s question! I found that funny – I hadn’t even thought to make a sugar cookie. Guess we know what recipe I’ll be trying next, eh?


I’m so happy because it’ finally snowed and stuck to the ground! Yeah, that power outage? Wasn’t from anything exciting. It was from so-called “wind.” That’s in quotes because for the strength of the wind we had, we should not have been out power for so long.

*insert eyeroll here*


I was getting a little worried we weren’t going to have a white Christmas. I just love freshly fallen snow, though. Sure it gets old, and sure I thought I was going to die driving home last night – but I love it.

It just makes me dizzy when it’s blizzarding at night and blowing at your windshield full force when darkness surrounds you because Vermont doesn’t know what street lights are. I got so disoriented a few times I almost pulled over.

I probably should have, but I also had stroganoff calling my name.


Apparently, the snow makes Kaia feel the same as I do. Just wanting to stay in bed.

But, ‘tis the season, which means I’ll be working more than I usually do.

The next best thing to sleeping in? Hot oats.


I’m so ready to have rotten tomatoes thrown at me, but I’m going to say it anyways: I think I prefer microwaved quick oats to old-fashioned stovetop oats.

Sorry. But not really. I also have some more time to make them in the morning (not that microwaving takes more than five minutes) because I have two less ponies to feed in the morning.

Yep – I mentioned we sold Georgie…but while the power was out, there was a new development – and we found a woman who wanted them both. The woman who wanted her first ended up thinking she was just going to “try” her without paying for her.

It’d be nice if that’s how things work, but it’s not. More important than money was finding them a good home, though – and we are so happy they were able to find one together. And their new home? Gorgeous. They are in heaven right now!


Anyways! Microwaving oats. No where near as pretty – but I’m thinking just as/more yummy. I still whip a banana in, of course Winking smile

Current kick is cranberry sauce, too. I made a new batch Sunday with a little less sugar. Lub it.

Which do you prefer – quick or old fashioned oats? Microwave or stove top?


Filed under banana, breakfast, oatmeal, oats

Where in the World is Jessica Exposures?

fallen off of the face of the earth?

…eaten by Teddie?

…taken to the cleaners by the angry customers at work?

…curled up in bed fighting the plague?

No. Not yet, at least. Just powerless. Well, I’m not powerless anymore, but up until last night I was. It was miserable. It was cold. I’m still walking into rooms without turning on the lights because I don’t expect them to work.

Coming home to a house that was warmer than the 48 degrees it was for the past three days was as monumental as the day we upgraded from dial-up internet to DSL.

It’s not easy to sleep when you’re shivering, you know.

Luckily, however, we have a gas stove.


Don’t be fooled by how light it looks. My shutter was open for more than a second (which is a significant amount of time in camera speak) and I was cooking with a lantern by my side.

Making oatmeal, of course.


The left is what it looked like to me. I’m trying to make you guys feel like you lost power with me. But if you’re not into eating food you can’t really see, maybe the right picture, lit up by my flash, is more your style.


The first night, I was grateful to have leftovers in the fridge to draw on. You know, “well, no power’s fine for now – I  was going to use my leftovers up, anyway!”

I waited all night for the little beep and lights turning on, expecting to be rudely woken from my not-so-comfortable slumber on the couch near the fire. Then I would retreat to my freezing cold room to sleep until morning.


Uh, yeah, that sound never came. I just woke up because I was uncomfortable, and finished the night freezing in my own bed since the fire was out anyways.

I was so grateful for instant coffee. And once again, a gas stove, upon waking.


Naturally, hot oats made an appearance. Multiple times. Even for dinner.

This came in handy when a “no opening the fridge!” rule came into act.


…which meant there was one point when they were just made with water, which wasn’t particularly wonderful but hey. At least I still had food, and was only freezing cold and powerless, not hungry, too.



There was lots of reading.

There was lots of “it’s only 6:00?!?!”

There was lots of complaining.



At one point, I stopped at the store on the way home from the barn, figuring if I bought a bunch of water and “supplies” to entertain me through the power outtage, we would have power when I got home.


Murphy’s Law, right?

Well, it worked!!


it only worked for a twenty minute teaser. Long enough to celebrate power being back…only to go out for another day and a half because we live in the boondocks ad don’t even have the privilege of running water and heat.

There was lots of lugging water bucket after water bucket up a hill from the pond for the horses to have drinking water.



There was lots of huddling warm bowls of oatmeal and hot cups of coffee or hot water in long underwear, hoodies and winter coats.

There was lots of “I need a shower!”s.

And when I did get a shower at the college gym it was cold.

I’ve had a great past couple of days.


At least Everyday with Rachel Ray has a crossword. I can’t stand really difficult crossword puzzles.

They’re just cruel.


I even had to breakdown and finally eat a frozen dinner for lunch at work.


And when I came home to power last night, I couldn’t have been more ecstatic to see a porch light and make kale chips. And browse a new bread cookbook.

And take a shower.

And crawl into a warm bed.

Please, Vermont, no more power outtages.


Filed under breakfast, dinner, lunch