First things first – it’s Monday.
I don’t know about you, but I need chocolate on Monday. It’s no longer the weekend, I had to set my alarm earlier, I didn’t get to sit and linger over coffee or tea, or watch a few episodes of I Love Lucy before switching to the news.
Mondays….just aren’t the weekend anymore. And that’s just a little bit painful.
So, chocolate is always a good idea on Monday! Especially when it’s thrown into this double-duty baked oatmeal.
I love having dishes that can serve as a breakfast or snack. It makes planning for the week easier, and having something like this in the fridge makes busy mornings a little less hectic and also gives you an easy (and pretty healthy) snack or dessert for after dinner.
The only bad thing about making things that can be breakfast, snack, or dessert? They seem to disappear way faster than anything else.
I was on a kick with this baked oatmeal a few months ago, and was honestly making at least one batch a week, sometimes more. We would heat up pieces to have with fruit in the morning, or I would pack a piece as an afternoon snack to get me through the 3 o’clock slump.
First things first: I think I’m going to start posting Nick’s comments on my dishes. And this is a good one to start with. One, because Nick loves any kind of sweet dish. And two, he especially loves anything strawberry + rhubarb.
When I asked for his review, this is what I got: “Delicious. Can you make some more?”. I don’t think I can get any better than that!
Summer somehow always seems to escape me. This year, spring didn’t even show up – we went straight from winter to summer – and for the past few weeks, it’s felt more like fall even though we’re barely into August.
Ours jobs are year round – there is no summer break. There’s nothing in my normal day that says, “Hey, it’s summer!”
The one thing that reminds me that yes, summer is finally here, is produce. Especially berries and tomatoes. And boy are we stocked right now.
When berries and tomatoes are coming in by the pound, it’s hard to not eat them at every meal. They take over everything. Our porch right now is covered in spaghetti squash and pounds and pounds of tomatoes, waiting to simmer down into sauce.
I’m going to get right to the point.
Today we’re having chocolate. For breakfast.
Honestly, it’s what everybody secretly wants.
Being an adult doesn’t mean we have to eat boring breakfasts everyday – being an adult means you can have whatever you want!
Overnight oats tend to be a spring/summer/early fall breakfast for me. I’m weird about temperatures of food in the winter, so all cold things get put away until there’s green on the trees again. Smoothies, ice cream, and cold breakfasts like this don’t happen for me in the winter. I need warm food to wake me up in the morning – oatmeal, eggs, pancakes.
But this time of year is perfect for overnight oats. The long days of summer practically beg you to prep something for busy mornings. More daylight = more productivity. Or that’s how it is for me, anyway. I’m pretty convinced that winter makes me lazy….way lazier than normal.
In spring, summer, and fall, though, the weather is nicer, the days are longer, and I want to get things done and check them off my list.
Am I the only one who puts things like “pack lunch” or “prep breakfast” on their to-do list, every day? I hope not.
I fell in love with overnight oats a few years ago, but I think this might be my favorite batch of all time! Using the chocolate almond milk and cocoa powder, along with the maple syrup, makes this taste really rich – but it’s really healthy for you! Besides a little maple syrup, there’s no other sweeteners.
‘Tis the season!
Canning is back. Which basically means that our work days don’t end when we get home from the office, my back and feet are aching, and our pantry is filling back up. Thank goodness for summer gardens and farmer’s markets!
A few weeks ago, when our green beans were coming in non-stop, we put up 18 quarts of beans in less than a week. I was exhausted that week…canning really can take it out of you sometimes.
But pickles are a different story. They’re easier! Well, most things are easier than green beans since they don’t include the pressure cooker. For some reason, it takes about a day for the cooker to get up to pressure on our old, inconsistent stove top. Super fun.
Either way, pickling things is the way to go if you want to start canning. It doesn’t take much time compared to other things (jams, tomato sauce) and you still end up with fresh, homemade goods to enjoy this winter.
To be honest, I was not a fan of any pickles besides dill when I was growing up. My Mammaw made bread and butter pickles every year, and I would never eat them. How could I miss out on those?! Sometimes it makes me sad that my taste buds took so long to grow up and start liking things.
But I’m not missing out on things now.
If you’re looking for a great bread and butter pickle recipe, check out this one I tested/updated from Dixie Crystals – it’s so easy! I’ve even halved the recipe, and it turned out perfect.
You’ll be happy you have these pickles in December. Trust me.