SRC: Chocolate Baked Oatmeal

Hi friends! It’s another SRC day. Every month I am always SHOCKED at how quickly it’s SRC time again. It means time is passing quickly… both for blog stuff and real life stuff. My first full semester working as a librarian has already come to an end, and we’ve been living in Nashville over 7 months now! Crazy stuff. But you know what isn’t crazy? How wonderful my Secret Recipe Club assignment for May was. [Betcha didn't see that transition coming, now did ya? :)]

Chocolate Baked Oatmeal | thepajamachef.com

This month I was assigned to Food Ramblings, written by the lovely Elizabeth. She has tons of recipes on her blog, ranging from the indulgent to the uber healthy. My kinda girl! That’s exactly  how I cook, so I had SUCH a hard time deciding what to make. As I was browsing through her archives basically everything sounded good to me. Maybe I was just hungry. :) First, I really wanted to make this polenta with roasted tomatoes and spinach, I decided to wait until the summer for that–I’m sure it’ll be unbelievably delicious with fresh farmer’s market tomatoes. Then, I thought about making cheese and broccoli quinoa casserole, and finally landed on Chocolate Baked Oatmeal. It was only when I was writing this post that I realized it fell on Cinco de Mayo and I should have made something Mexican. Oh well, it was delicious. Though the baked oatmeal tasted rich and fudgy, it’s actually a pretty healthy breakfast. Well, as far as having chocolate for breakfast can be considered healthy. :)

Chocolate Baked Oatmeal | thepajamachef.com

Elizabeth’s original recipe called for making this baked oatmeal in muffin cups, which is SUCH a good idea. So why didn’t I do that? Ben. I asked his opinion and he thought it would be easier to just make a big pan of it. So that’s what I did. I also was nearly out of regular size muffin liners, and I never have luck greasing my muffin tin. She also used strawberries and peanut butter chips in her baked oatmeal, neither of which I had. So I used bananas and cinnamon chips and OH MY GOODNESS was that an awesome combination. I usually am not a banana oatmeal kinda girl but you can’t even taste it in this, especially if you mash up the banana really well. The cinnamon chips just add SO much flavor and little bursts of sweet cinnamon goodness. Later in the summer you can bet I’ll try that chocolate, strawberry, and peanut butter combination though… it sounds incredible, like a jacked up peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Chocolate Baked Oatmeal | thepajamachef.com

Before this, I was a newbie to chocolate baked oatmeal–usually I just make this plain version from my summer camp counselor days, and add my own toppings, but from now on I will be tempted to make this delightful chocolate version. Hope you enjoy as much as we did, and be sure to check out Elizabeth’s blog for more yummy recipes!

one year ago: Club Soda Waffles
two years ago: Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
three years ago: Salsas for Cinco de Mayo

Chocolate Baked Oatmeal [adapted from Food Ramblings]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup milk [I used skim]
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 medium bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon chips, divided

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 inch pie pan with cooking spray, or line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl, stir together oats, flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, egg, bananas, and maple syrup. Fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, then stir in half of the cinnamon chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan and top with remaining cinnamon chips.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. [If baking in a muffin tin, bake for 20-25 minutes]. Serve warm, adding milk or yogurt if desired.

Time: 45 minutes.
Yield: 6 servings.

 

Please check out all the other fabulous recipes from my SRC pals here:

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck.

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SRC: Coconut Curry Popcorn

Hello and welcome to another edition of the Secret Recipe Club! For the month of April, I was assigned Leandra’s blog, Love & Flour. Leandra lives in Charlotte, and claims to have a dual affiliation for/affliction of the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Florida Gators. My husband says this is absolutely impossible, but he is a diehard Buckeye so that’s to be expected I suppose. :) I’ve long admired Leandra’s blog because of her lovely photography and creative recipes, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to make something from her blog! I was quite torn between many delicious dishes like this unique Popcorn Bread, a lovely Sparkling Rosemary Grapefruit Soda, or a scrumptious-looking White Texas Sheet Cake. In the end, I went with ease and simplicity, but just because this recipe came together in about five minutes flat does NOT mean it is lacking in any way.

Coconut Curry Popcorn | thepajamachef.com

No, actually this Coconut Curry Popcorn has big flavor and has absolutely revolutionized my popcorn habit. Normally I’m a butter ‘n salt girl. I pin all sorts of popcorn recipes but haven’t ever made any of them. So making this popcorn seasoning was a step of faith… and truth be told, I was kind of SCARED to try it.

Coconut Curry Popcorn | thepajamachef.com

How ridiculous is that? I love coconut and I love curry, but I think I was just terrified that I’d ruin a perfectly good batch of popcorn with a weird seasoning. To be fair, I have curried myself out in the past but I haven’t had any in awhile so I figured I’d be safe now. But Leandra described this popcorn in such a way that I absolutely HAD to give it a try. And I’m so glad I did. It’s everything good at once… salty, sweet, spicy. This seasoning certainly has a little bit of kick to it, but the sweetness and warmth from the sugar, coconut, cinnamon, and ginger provide an awesome balance that is way too addictive for my taste. I’m glad this recipe makes a lot [even after I cut it down from the original] so I can keep some in the cupboard for easy access every time a craving strikes.

Coconut Curry Popcorn | thepajamachef.com

Thanks for the great recipe, Leandra! Enjoy! :)

Coconut Curry Popcorn | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Dark Chocolate Crumb Bars
two years ago: Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing
three years ago: Chicken Pot Pie

Coconut Curry Popcorn [from Love & Flour]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • popped plain popcorn

Directions:

Combine all ingredients except popcorn in a food processor, then pulse until coconut flakes are broken down. Toss over popcorn, then store remaining seasoning in an airtight container.

Time: 5 minutes.
Yield: 1/2 cup popcorn seasoning.

Be sure to check out all the other SRC recipes for the month at the link below!

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck.

SRC: Apple Rubies in Coconut Milk

Welcome to another edition of SRC! [Insert shameless plug for my photo canvas giveaway, now through 3/15/14].

Secret Recipe Club

Hope you’re all adjusting to that time change. Boo to losing an hour! I grew up without daylight savings time [most of the state of Indiana abstained until I was in college] so this is a semi-new thing for me. Falling back is great…but springing forward? Not so much. But enough about the time… a fun new dessert is calling your name!

Apple Rubies in Coconut Milk | thepajamachef.com

My Secret Recipe Club blog this month was Inquiring Chef, written by Jess, an American currently living in Thailand with her husband. She’s pregnant with twin girls! How fun! Jess has a huge repertoire of recipes on her blog–from Thai dishes like Shrimp Bites with Peanut Lime Dipping Sauce, Red Curry Salmon with Coconut Brown Rice, or Pad See Ew, to more traditional dishes like Pimento Cheese, Bagels, and Potato Pancakes. I wanted to make everything!! In the end, I realized I had to go with a Thai dish. How could I not? Instead of a noodle creation, I landed on this unique dessert–Apple Rubies in Coconut Milk. I have seriously never heard of anything like this before…and let me tell you–it is fabulous!

Apple Rubies in Coconut Milk | thepajamachef.com

Jess describes this dish so well that I am going to borrow her description: “Each bite is all at once crunchy, creamy, chewy, cold… almost impossible to describe.” Basically, what you have here is are apples soaked in juice, coated with tapioca flour, and then boiled to create a gelatinous coating. These sweet nuggets are served in a bowl with creamy, luscious coconut milk and crushed ice to create a fun taste and texture experience. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but whatever you have in your mind… this is even better! It’s sweet, but not overly so. If apples aren’t your thing, don’t be dismayed: Jess decided to use apples after the traditional “rubies” ingredient [water chestnuts] weren’t to her liking. And it’s genius! Be sure to check out Jess’ post for tips on preparing this dish [hint: use large pots and bowls, and have everything prepped ahead of time]. Thanks, Jess, for a great dish!

Apple Rubies in Coconut Milk | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Quick Chocolate Pudding
two years ago: Quinoa Pancakes
three years ago: Lemon Blueberry Bread

Apple Rubies in Coconut Milk  [from Inquiring Chef]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 2 crisp apples, cored, peeled, and cut into small pieces [Fiji, McIntosh, Pink Lady, Gala as well as any other crisp type would work well]
  • 2 cups red juice [I used grape; Jess used pomegranate]
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • crushed ice, for topping

Directions:

Place apples and juice in a small bowl to soak, making sure apples are completely covered. Soak for 20 minutes.

While apples soak, bring a large pot of water to boil. Set a medium bowl of ice water next to stove to use as an ice bath.

In another bowl, stir together tapioca flour and sugar. After apples are drained, pour apples into tapioca mixture, tossing evenly to coat. Shake off extra tapioca mixture and gently drop coated apples into boiling water. Boil for 5 minutes, until coating is transparent. Remove from water and place in ice bath.

Drain apples and divide between 4 small bowls. Top each bowl with 1/2 cup coconut milk and a serving of crushed ice. Serve immediately.

Time: 40 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings.

Notes: This dish is traditionally made with water chestnuts so those could be used in place of the apples if you wish.

Check out all the other SRC recipes for this month below!

Linked up with Weekend Potluck.

SRC: Chili Relleno Casserole

Finally! Time for another edition of the Secret Recipe Club! We took a break in January, but now we’re back and it feel sooo good. :) I just love being part of this club. It’s fun to get to try out new recipes and get to know new bloggers.

Secret Recipe Club

This month for SRC, I was assigned to Ilona’s Kitchen. Ilona shares tons of recipes on her blog every month that are family tested and approved. She loves to feed her family new recipes and old classics… a great combination, I think! She’s also loves to shop, bake, and go to the gym. A woman after my own heart!! Well, I run, but you get the idea. :) When perusing her blog, I found quite a few recipes I wanted to make: Blueberry Popovers, Chicken & Spinach Tortilla Bake, and Coconut Tea Cake. The last option sounds AWESOME! She just posted the recipe, otherwise that is definitely what I would have made. But alas, Chili Relleno Casserole it was. And it did not disappoint, even though it’s not the most photogenic recipe ever!

Chili Relleno Casserole | thepajamachef.com

Ilona has about three Chili Relleno recipes on her blog… some have been flops and others have been great. Ilona claimed this was the best of the three, and we found it to be pretty wonderful. It seriously tasted great! I’ve never had a real chili relleno, so I can’t testify to the authenticity [it is a casserole after all], but the flavors are phenomenal. It’s just a simple mix of ground beef and vegetables, topped with eggs, oregano, garlic, tomato sauce, and cheese. What’s not to like? Plus, it’s quick and easy to throw together–perfect for those busy weeknights. Ben actually made the whole dish and it was ready waiting for me one night after work. That must be why I like it so much. :) I have no doubt that we’ll be making this again soon! Thanks, Ilona, for introducing me to this great recipe! Can’t wait to try more of your recipes. :)

Chili Relleno Casserole | thepajamachef.com

one year ago: Baked Jalapeno Popper-Ranch Dip
two years ago: Fried Eggs on Pesto-Parmesan Toast
three years ago: Mini Meatloaf

Chili Relleno Casserole [from Ilona's Kitchen]
click to print

Ingredients:

  •  1 pound ground beef
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cans [4 ounces each] chopped green chilies
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded mexican blend/taco cheese, divided
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

In a skillet, brown ground beef. Drain fat and then add green pepper. Cook until tender, then stir in oregano, garlic, and chopped green chiles. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs and milk.

Layer half of the meat and 1/2 cup cheese in prepared baking dish. Top with the rest of the meat and another 1/2 cup cheese. Pour egg mixture on top of everything,

Bake for 30 minutes, then remove and spread tomato sauce on top. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of cheese on top and return to oven for 7 minutes.

Let sit for 10 minutes before cutting, then slice into squares to serve and enjoy.

Time: 40 minutes [10 minutes active].
Yield: 8 servings.

Be sure to check out other recipes from this week’s Secret Recipe Club reveal here:

SRC: Dark Chocolate Ginger Squares

Hello! Be sure to introduce yourself to your new favorite Christmas treat! Usually, you have to choose between chocolate and spice… but not this time!

Dark Chocolate Ginger Squares | thepajamachef.com

I made these Dark Chocolate Ginger Squares for December Secret Recipe Club, thanks to the lovely Mellissa of A Fit and Spicy Life. I was assigned her blog for the December reveal and I’m so happy about that!

Secret Recipe Club

Mellissa lives in Minneapolis, so she’s a fellow Midwesterner… although I am now a Midwestern transplant living in the South, where they call rain storms things like ‘gully washers’ or ‘frog stranglers.’ Bizarre. But anyways, back to Mellissa. She loves trying new recipes, sharing her favorite wines, and traveling. In fact… she just got back from Greece!! How cool is that?!? Definitely head over to her blog to check out her pictures from that trip–it looks incredible! Speaking of incredible, take a look at these Dark Chocolate Ginger Squares.

Dark Chocolate Ginger Squares | thepajamachef.com

Mellissa originally made these as cookies, dubbing them Chocolate Ginger Drops. They had cherry flavored dried cranberries and dark chocolate chips, and were cute little cookies. I was so excited to make them! But I was feeling a little bit lazy. So I mixed up the dough [using extra dark chocolate chips, some crystallized ginger, and no dried cranberries], pressed it in a pan, and hoped for the best!

Dark Chocolate Ginger Squares | thepajamachef.com

And let me tell you… these Dark Chocolate Ginger Squares ARE the best. They have a chewy texture and spicy flavor from the typical ginger cookie ingredients like brown sugar, molasses, and spices. But these ginger squares are kicked up a notch because I added some minced crystallized ginger AND those dark chocolate chips! If you feel so inclined, check out Mellissa’s original recipe for instructions on making these as drop cookies, but I think the bars are equally chewy, spicy, chocolately, and delicious! Enjoy! :)

one year ago: Caramel Apple Dip
two years ago: Honey Yeast Dinner Rolls
three years ago: Sweet Potato Soup

Dark Chocolate Ginger Squares [slightly adapted from A Fit and Spicy Life]

click to print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tablespoon crystallized ginger, minced

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8×8 pan with cooking spray.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter for 30 seconds. Then add brown sugar, baking soda, ginger, and allspice. Mix to combine, then add egg and molasses and mix again.

Add flour by 1/4 cup increments, mixing in between additions. Finish by stirring in dark chocolate chips and crystallized ginger with a wooden spoon.

Press dough in prepared pan, then bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cover with aluminum foil after 15 minutes so the top doesn’t get too brown.

Cool for 30 minutes before cutting into squares. Store in an air-tight container.

Time: 40 minutes.
Yield: 20 servings.

Be sure to check out other recipes from this week’s Secret Recipe Club reveal here: :)

Also linked up with: Tuesday Talent Show.