pumpkin baked oatmeal

as you can tell we’ve been eating a lot of oatmeal recently.  since we finished up the batch of steel cut oats i made last week, this past weekend i made some pumpkin baked oatmeal.

it was sooo good!  almost like eating pumpkin pie for breakfast – okay i know, not really but it actually does have all of the pumpkin and spice flavors of pumpkin pie.  yum!  plus it has all of the health benefits of whole grain and fruit.  i also love that this recipe calls for both steel cut and rolled oats, so it’s nice and chewy with the familiar consistency of regular oatmeal.

beware, this recipe make a whole lot of oatmeal.  but it’s okay since you can just reheat it in the microwave for breakfast through the week.  perfecto!

oh and i did make a couple of changes from the original recipe.  the original recipe used bananas but i used apples instead since i didn’t have any bananas on hand.  also i upped the pumpkin and actually doubled the amount of pumpkin called for in the original recipe.  i really like pumpkin so i wanted to be sure the pumpkin flavor shined.

the oatmeal starts with a layer of sauteed apples and then the oatmeal mixture of steel cut and rolled oats, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spices, pumpkin, water, etc. is poured on top.

  

then it’s baked for 35-40 minutes and it’s done!

yay!  i’m excited to try even more baked oatmeal recipes.  any suggestions?

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caramel apple cheesecake cupcakes

hopefully you’re not tired of all of the apple recipes.  if you are, i apologize because here’s another one…

tomorrow we are having november birthday treats.  we only have one november birthday in our office and she didn’t have any specific requests.  i thought about making some kind of a fall cupcake and figured why not use apples!  as i was trying to think of what kind of apple cupcakes to make, my mom’s caramel apple cheesecake came to mind.

my mom makes the best caramel apple cheesecake.  she usually just makes it for special occasions and i remember always being very excited whenever she made it.  the cheesecake was creamy and rich and it was topped with apple slices drenched in a light apple-y caramel sauce.  amazing!  so for our november birthdays, i made a cupcake inspired by my mom’s caramel apple cheesecake.

this cupcake is very similar to the strawberry cheesecake cupcake i made a while ago.  actually it’s really just the exact same recipe but it’s filled with an caramel apple filling rather than the strawberry filling.  so this cupcake is a vanilla cupcake with a graham cracker crust, filled with caramel apple filling, topped with cream cheese frosting  and vanilla bean caramel sauce.

to make the caramel apple filling, i used the same recipe my mom uses for her caramel apple cheesecake.  oh and it did make a bit too much for the cupcakes so if you don’t want any leftovers i would suggest reducing the recipe by about a third.  but you could always use the leftover caramel apple filling on top of vanilla ice cream or maybe even some pound cake.

     

     

then to assemble the cupcakes, bake the vanilla cupcakes with the graham crust.  for step by step pictures, check out my post on key lime pie cupcakes.  then core the cupcakes using the cone method and fill the well with the caramel apple filling.

next frost the cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting.

now finish the cupcakes with the vanilla bean caramel sauce.  to do this, i spooned some caramel sauce into a pastry bag.  then microwaved it for just 10 seconds to warm the sauce and make it easier to work with.  then i cut off the tip of the pastry bag leaving just a small hole and then squiggled on some of the caramel sauce onto each cupcake.

happy birthday to our november birthday!!!

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apple cinnamon baked oatmeal

i had never heard of baked oatmeal before.  whenever i thought of oatmeal, i just automatically thought of the packets of instant oatmeal you can get at the grocery store.  so i was definitely intrigued when different recipes for baked oatmeal kept popping up on a bunch of blogs recently.  there were recipes for pumpkin banana baked oatmeal and baked oatmeal with blueberries and regular baked oatmeal.  but i decided to make apple cinnamon baked oatmeal because i had a few apples in the fridge that i wanted to use up.  this is the great thing about these baked oatmeal recipes, they are so easily adaptable to what you have on hand and your own personal preferences.

well can i tell you, i am so happy that i found about baked oatmeal.  it is super easy and so much more flavorful than instant oatmeal from a packet.  plus it reheats extremely well in the microwave, so you can make a big batch on sunday and have breakfast for the rest of the week.  also, it’s pretty healthy too – lots of whole grain, fruits, a bit of skim milk.  tasty and healthy – sounds good to me!

note: this is a “wetter” baked oatmeal recipe.  there are some others that are dryer, a bit more like a crumbly oatmeal cookie.  i prefer it to be more like regular oatmeal, but if you don’t like that texture feel free to cut down on some of the milk or add more oats to make it the consistency you prefer.

to make this easy peasy  baked oatmeal – combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another…

  

then pour the wet ingredients over the dry and mix.  add the chopped apples and walnuts…

next pour the mixture into a 8 x 8 pan and baked for 25 minutes…

all done!  enjoy!

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apple stuffed pork loin roast

pork chops and applesauce.

remember that line from the brady brunch?

well whenever we eat some kind of pork, this line always comes to mind.  it’s kind of random but pork and apples really do make a good pairing.  so when we had bought a large pork loin from costco so we used some of it to make this apple stuffed pork loin roast.

overall this roast was really good.  basting the roast and the stuffing, kept it pretty juicy (though there were a couple dry spots).  it was also pretty easy to make which was nice.  but next time i think i’m going to butterfly the pork loin and roll it up with the stuffing rather than just cutting it in half.  i think it would make for a nicer presentation and would have helped keep the stuffing inside the roast a bit better.

oh well, all in all it turned out pretty darn good.

  

  

  

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apple cinnamon coffee cake

i love reading baking and cooking blogs.  since starting my own, it is definitely become one of my favorite past times.  seriously i could spend hours just reading different blogs.  some are funny, some are really serious and sophisticated, some are fancy and some are more homestyle.

but the one common ground is that i am always so inspired by them.  i love learning about new and different ingredients, techniques and pieces of equipment.

my absolute favorite moment is when i see a recipe on a blog and i just know i have to make it.  most times when i post about different recipes on this blog, it’s because i already had an idea of what i want to make, i was just looking for a specific recipe to use.  but about a week and a half ago, while i was reading joy the baker i read her post on apple cinnamon coffee cake and i immediately add it to my wish list.  i couldn’t wait to try it out.

yesterday i tried out the recipe and boy is it good.  but sadly mine does not look as nice as joy’s.  oh well.  i guess it’s the taste the counts right?

beware, this coffee cake does take some time.  but it’s well worth it.  plus you get two coffee cakes!  so it’s definitely worth it.  i ended up baking both and sent one to work with chris for him and and his coworkers.  but you could definitely refrigerate or freeze the other.  also this is more like bread than cake – well it’s really like a mixture because the dough is sweet and a bit more tender than regular bread.  really all you have to know that it’s delicious and it pairs perfectly with the apple cinnamon filling.  yum!

making this coffee cake is pretty similar to making cinnamon rolls.  first, make the dough…

while the dough is rising, peel, core, and chop the apples.  then mix them up with the rest of the filling ingredients like cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch…

  

you can also make the streusel topping at the same time…

now that the dough has risen and the filling and streusel is ready, it’s time to assemble and form the coffee cake.  first, cut the dough in half.  using half the dough, roll it out into a large rectangle.  then sprinkle on half the streusel…

  

the next step is to sprinkle half the apples on to the dough.  but if you’re like me and can’t divide too well – you may end up putting just a little bit of apples on the first cake and which will leave a whole lot for the second one.  ooops!  so i guess try to divide it as best as you can do you don’t have unevenly stuffed coffee cakes.  haha.

  

now it’s time to roll the whole in thing up.  again it’s very similar to making cinnamon rolls but it doesn’t have to be as tight – just fold over 1 – 1 1/2 inch folds…

then carefully transfer the roll onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silpat mat…

now take a clean pair of scissors and snip the coffee cake, leaving about an inch still intact…

then carefully curl the bread it, exposing the apple filling and pretty design…

now the coffee cake now has to rest for a bit.  after about 30 minutes, brush the cake with an egg wash and sprinkle on raw sugar…

then pop it in the oven and enjoy the beautiful apple smell that will take over your kitchen.  once the cake is done – about 30 to 35 minutes later let it rest for just a little while and then enjoy!

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