Breakfast, Oatmeal, Recipes

S’mores Oatmeal

Creamy oats topped with your favorite campfire dessert… S’mores! What could be a better way to wake up?

Creamy oats topped with your favorite campfire dessert... S'mores! What could be a better way to wake up?

looove oatmeal for breakfast. No matter the weather, I could eat oatmeal almost everyday (and sometimes I do!). Sometimes I like them cold (yay overnight oats!), and sometimes I like them hot (made with milk and topped with berries and almonds)… and sometimes I like them baked (but not in the pot nine days old #thankyouverymuch).

Creamy oats topped with your favorite campfire dessert... S'mores! What could be a better way to wake up?

Flahavan’s recently sent me a fun little oat-licious care package that included a box of their famed Irish Oatmeal and some packets of quick-cooking steel cut oats. Both were DELICIOUS! There’s something to be said about enjoying oats from Ireland made by a family who has been in the oat business for over 200 years. I think these people know oats! And what Flahavan’s is known for is their flaked oats that cook up fast (only three minutes on the stovetop!) and creamy as can be. Thank you, Flahavan’s, for letting me try your amazing oatmeal! Now I know what all the hype with Irish oats is… and I’ll be seeking them out. If you’re curious, you can find out where to buy them yourself here.

Creamy oats topped with your favorite campfire dessert... S'mores! What could be a better way to wake up?

Naturally, I had to fancy up my first bowl of Flahavan’s oats. Since Ben was out when I made my morning oatmeal, I decided to top my oats with a combo that only I would enjoy… S’MORES! Ben does like s’mores, but s’morifying other recipes isn’t really his jam… oh well, more for me! So I wasn’t basically eating dessert for breakfast, I chose to be intentional about the amounts of marshmallows and chocolate chips I added to my oatmeal. That way I didn’t go overboard! Is this is a bowl of oatmeal I’d eat everyday? No, probably not. But it’s a fun treat! The best part is that these oats cook up in just a few minutes and are the absolute creamiest oats I’ve ever tasted! I think some of that is the marshmallows stirred into the hot oats, but it is also the Irish oats doing their thing. 🙂 Hope you enjoy!!

one year ago: Bacon, Potato, and Egg Casserole
two years ago: Cheesy Taco Muffins
three years ago: Coconut Curry Popcorn
four years ago: Guacamole Salsa
five years ago: Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Icing
six years ago: Sausage Egg Apple Strata

S'mores Oatmeal

  • Servings: 1 but can be easily scaled up
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal (or other old-fashioned oatmeal)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of vanilla
  • 15 mini marshmallows, divided
  • 1 tablespoon graham cracker crumbs, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sliced, toasted almonds
  • 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Combine milk, water, Flahavan’s Oats, and cinnamon in a small saucepan set over medium-high heat. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook until liquid has absorbed, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and half of the marshmallows and half of the graham cracker crumbs. Stir until melted, then transfer to a serving bowl. Top with remaining marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, almonds, and chocolate chips. Enjoy immediately!

Disclosure: I received samples of Flahavan’s Irish Oatmeal to try. However, I was not required to blog about them or provide positive feedback. I was not compensated in any other way. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Flahavan’s for some great oats! 

Advertisements
Main Dishes, Pork, Recipes

Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese

Looking for a show-stopping dish for New Year’s? This Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese is sure to impress… and it tastes even better! 

Disclaimer: This recipe was created for the Cape Cod Select Holiday Blogger Recipe Challenge. Please follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. I was sent free cranberries for recipe development purposes, but was in any other way compensated for my time, ingredients, etc. 

Looking for a show-stopping dish for New Year's? This Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese is sure to impress... and it tastes even better!

While I am not much of a “meat and potatoes” sort of girl, the one special cut of meat that I do appreciate is the pork tenderloin. Large hunks of meat tend to scare me a little bit. In college, my roomie and I always said that we would be “real adults” when we bought our own meat. We were joking around, but it’s sort of true… and then I married a man who loves his meat–so I had to get out of my comfort zone! Thankfully pork tenderloin, at least in my experience, is ridiculously simple and hard to mess up. Plus it tastes amazing! Pork tenderloin is incredibly versatile, and my recipe today combines lots of great winter flavors that the whole family is sure to love.

Looking for a show-stopping dish for New Year's? This Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese is sure to impress... and it tastes even better!

Normally, I make my pork tenderloin with some sort of marinade or sauce. And that’s true here…but I ALSO stuffed it, hassleback style, with cranberries and pears and goat cheese. MMMM! The cranberries and pears get all roasted and yummy–the perfect combination of tart and sweet–and when you add in the melty goat cheese, it’s just like a party on your plate! There’s nothing better! 🙂 For this recipe, I used Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries. These cranberries are utterly wonderful–and a great way to enjoy cranberries every season of the year. This was the first time I had used Cape Cod Select products and I was really impressed with their freshness and quality. Check ’em out at a store near you!

Looking for a show-stopping dish for New Year's? This Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese is sure to impress... and it tastes even better!

After the pork is done cooking, all the excess cranberries, pears, and juices from the meat aren’t going to go to waste–you can make a quick, savory cranberry sauce by pulsing everything together with an immersion blender or food processor. Spoon the savory sauce with the pork to keep it moist with every bite or use it as a dipping sauce. It’s in this sauce that the flavors of the maple syrup, Dijon mustard, rosemary, and cinnamon that was poured over the pork before cooking really comes through! The double dose of cranberry goodness is sure to spice up your pork and your dinner!

one year ago: No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars
two years ago: Orange Spritz
three years ago: Cranberry-Pistachio Citrus Butter Cookies
four years ago: Cranberry Orange Pancakes with Cranberry Maple Syrup
five years ago: Chocolate Covered Cherry Cookies
six years ago: Cranberry Scones

Hassleback Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Cranberries, Pears, and Goat Cheese

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • freshly ground pepper
  • sea salt
  • 2 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 large pear, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat olive oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until soft. Season with pepper and salt to taste. Evenly scatter half of the onions in the bottom of a roasting pan or other oven-safe dish. Place rest of the onions in a medium bowl.

Slice pork tenderloin by cutting 3/4 of the way through, approximately 1/2-1 inch apart. Place in pan.

Stuff each opening with 1 slice of pear and 5-6 cranberries. Place remaining pear slices and cranberries around the pork tenderloin.

Pour maple syrup over the onions in the bowl, then add Dijon mustard, rosemary, and cinnamon. Stir together, then season with pepper and salt to taste. Pour mixture over pork, then sprinkle with goat cheese.

Cook for 35-50 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F and pork is no longer pink in the center [unless you prefer it rarer]. Pork takes about 15-20 minutes per pound to cook through, and I found it needed a little longer probably due to the pears and cranberries.

Transfer cooked pork to a serving platter and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Pour drippings from pan, including excess fruit/onions, to a medium bowl. Use an immersion blender to puree everything together into a chunky, savory cranberry sauce. Add a little water to thin if desired. You can also use a regular food processor. Serve savory cranberry sauce on the side and enjoy!

Cakes, Desserts, Recipes

Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake for #Choctoberfest

This Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake is just the thing if you want a quick dessert with plenty of delicious fruit and chocolate flavor. The crumb topping makes it extra special!

This Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake is just the thing if you want a quick dessert with plenty of delicious fruit and chocolate flavor. The crumb topping makes it extra special! #Choctoberfest

I think we need a little dessert around here, don’t you? Most of what I been up to in the kitchen [and sharing on the blog, when I have had the chance] this summer has been savory… dinner, mostly, just to keep us fed amidst the newborn days. But lately I’ve had the urge to bake! I think pregnancy made me into more of a chocoholic than I have ever been before, but I still love me some fruity desserts too. 🙂 The best desserts are those that combine fruit and chocolate into one lovely package… like this banana cake that’s studded with chocolate chips and laced with a little bit of espresso flava! It is absolute PERFECT for Chocotoberfest!

Psssst…. don’t forget to enter the giveaway here. 🙂

This Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake is just the thing if you want a quick dessert with plenty of delicious fruit and chocolate flavor. The crumb topping makes it extra special! #Choctoberfest

I think that we can all agree that sometimes we buy extra bananas just to have them on hand for baking. Or is that just me? Haha. Anyways, this banana cake is a fabulous way to use up extra bananas languishing on your counter or popped in the freezer. It is a banana cake for people who like bananas–the flavor is definitely present, but if you aren’t the biggest banana fan on earth, don’t worry, as it is also tempered by the rich chocolate and coffee flavors too. There’s something in this cake for everyone! I would be remiss if I didn’t emphasize how perfect the sugary/spicy/salty crumb topping on this cake is also. Don’t omit the salt! It definitely adds a hint of something special to this cake… enjoy!

This Banana Espresso Chocolate Crumb Cake is just the thing if you want a quick dessert with plenty of delicious fruit and chocolate flavor. The crumb topping makes it extra special! #Choctoberfest
two years ago: Asian Turkey Meatballs with Carrot Rice
three years ago: Cream of Broccoli Soup with Cheese
four years ago: No Bake Tropical Energy Bites
five years ago: Garlicky Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil
six years ago: Pillow Cookies

Banana Espresso Crumb Cake

  • Servings: 12
  • Print

from The Sweets Life

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 mashed ripe bananas, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup [1 stick] unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour [can use 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour & 3/4 cup all-purpose flour if you wish]
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee [or 1 1/2 packets of Starbucks Via or other packaged instant coffee]
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

for crumb topping

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon coarse salt [I used Kosher salt–use 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon depending on how salty you like things]
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 8×8 or 9×9 square pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together bananas, sugar, butter, half and half, and egg. In a larger bowl, whisk together flour, instant coffee, and baking soda. Fold wet ingredients into the dry, stirring until just moistened. Gently stir in chocolate chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

In another bowl, make the crumb topping by mixing together flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Pour melted butter over dry ingredients, then toss with a fork gently until crumbs form. For larger crumbs, toss less. Sprinkle evenly over cake batter.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and top is golden brown. Do not overbake–sometimes it can be hard to tell with banana baked goods whether they are done or not, so if you are in doubt, take it out and let it cool a little bit and check it a few more times.

For clean slices, cool before cutting. Slices of this cake reheat well in the microwave!

Check out other chocolate recipes of the day for Choctoberfest at the link below!

Breakfast, Pastries, Recipes

Copycat Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls #bookclubcookbookCC

Tender, soft, and sweet cinnamon rolls… these basically taste like the famous mall food court treat of my childhood, but they are homemade and actually, pretty easy! 

Tender, soft, and sweet cinnamon rolls... these basically taste like the famous mall food court treat of my childhood, but they are homemade and actually, pretty easy!  #bookclubcookbookCC

This month, as you may remember, was my month to host #bookclubcookbookCC. I chose to have the group read Peace Like a River by Leif Enger and make cinnamon rolls. Though I haven’t quite finished the book yet, I’m loving it so far. The story is just so powerful and the way the Land family is united yet so divided has been incredibly compelling. I can’t wait to finish the book! No spoilers, please. 🙂

Peace Like a River #bookclubcookbookCC

For my recipe this month, I thought about making the provided cookbook recipe for the cinnamon rolls [especially because they call for honey in the dough which I found realllly interesting]. But then I changed my mind and made these Copycat Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls again instead. I have made them multiple times over the past couple of years for important people in my life when they have come to visit–my sister and brother in law, my college friend, my parents, my Bible study… and okay, okay… for just Ben and I on several occasions. If you come to visit us in Nashville maybe you’ll be lucky enough that I’ll make them for you too! 🙂 And I’m sure you’d love that, because these cinnamon rolls are truly, truly amazing! So I just had to share them with you. I hope you don’t mind, because these are the best cinnamon rolls I have ever made!

Tender, soft, and sweet cinnamon rolls... these basically taste like the famous mall food court treat of my childhood, but they are homemade and actually, pretty easy! #bookclubcookbookCC

So, why are they the best? Cinnamon rolls have the reputation for being tough to make from scratch. You have to use yeast, which scares people. They require a lot of time–make the dough and the filling and the frosting, let them rise twice, bake, frost, etc. Blah! And don’t forget the rolling out process! A challenging prospect if there ever was one. While I can’t say that these cinnamon rolls are quick to make or that they are yeast free, this dough is the softest and stablest yeast dough I have ever worked with! I’m not sure why, but it’s a cinch to roll out every. single. time. It’s incredible. Even the time that I royally screwed up the dough by not adding all the ingredients because I was trying to make the dough while making dinner, Facebook messaging a friend, listening to music, AND emptying the dishwasher. Still, easy to roll out. Winner of a recipe in my book!

Tender, soft, and sweet cinnamon rolls... these basically taste like the famous mall food court treat of my childhood, but they are homemade and actually, pretty easy! #bookclubcookbookCC

The relative ease of making these cinnamon rolls [and yes, I just said ease of making cinnamon rolls. If you can roll out dough without tearing your hair out, cinnamon rolls are easy, imo!] is trumped by how good they taste, and how reminiscent of Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls these really are. It’s not the dough or the filling or the frosting… but all three in one that makes these treats so special. I haven’t had a Cinnabon in years, though I am tempted nearly every time I visit a mall that has one.

Tender, soft, and sweet cinnamon rolls... these basically taste like the famous mall food court treat of my childhood, but they are homemade and actually, pretty easy! #bookclubcookbookCC

Cinnabons were an integral part of my childhood. My grandpa, who passed away in September, always used to take me to the mall to split a Cinnabon with him when I was growing up. We lived near my grandparents for the first eight years of my life, and he often took care of me while my mom was in grad school and my dad was at work. Even though I haven’t had a Cinnabon with him in many years, almost every time I saw him, and even sometimes on the phone, he would mention this. He loved to reminisce about the activities we did together–everything from Cinnabon trips to feeding the ducks to making up stories together. I know I will always associate cinnamon rolls, and Cinnabon cinnamon rolls to be precise, with my grandpa. Though these past five months of pregnancy have been incredibly happy, they’ve also been filled with a touch of sadness knowing that I never got to tell my grandpa that he was going to be a great grandpa again. The last time I saw him, I was pregnant but didn’t know it yet, and I found out about the baby about a week after the funeral. Someday, a couple years from now, when I make these cinnamon rolls for [or with] our baby boy, I will tell him about his great grandpa and what a wonderful man he was. Even though these aren’t true Cinnabon cinnamon rolls, I think he would approve. ❤

two years ago: Champorado [Filipino Chocolate Rice Pudding]

four years ago: Cranberry Feta Pinwheels
five years ago: Baked Rigatoni with Bechamel Sauce

Copycat Cinnabon Cinnamon Rolls

  • Servings: 12-15 rolls
  • Print

slightly adapted from Culinary Couture

Ingredients:

for dough

  • 3/4 cup water – microwaved for about 15-20 seconds, should feel warm like bathwater, about 105-110 degrees F
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk [1/4 cup milk + a couple drops of lemon juice/vinegar stirred and left to sit for 5 minutes works great]
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour

for filling

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

for frosting

  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together warm water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Let rest for 5-10 minutes until yeast starts to bubble. When frothy, add salt, buttermilk, egg, oil, and remaining sugar. Whisk to combine. With a wooden spoon, stir in 2 cups of the flour. Then using a dough hook, add flour in 1/2 cup increments, mixing on low speed until dough begins pulling away from the side of the bowl. When a total of 4 1/2 cups flour have been added, increase speed to medium and knead for 5 minutes. If you need to add an additional 1/2 cup flour, do so during this kneading process. I usually add the extra flour if the dough seems too sticky.

Grease a bowl with cooking spray [you can use the same bowl if you are coordinated enough to grease while the dough is in there/hold it to the side], then allow dough to rise in a warm location, covered with a dish towel, until doubled in size. This should take 1-2 hours.

When dough is almost ready, prepare filling. Stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, and vanilla in a small bowl and set aside. Also, grease a 9×13 inch baking pan and set aside.

When dough is ready, flour your clean counter top/work surface. Punch down the dough and roll into a large rectangle, about 20×30 inches. Spread butter over dough, leaving a 1 inch margin on all edges. Top with filling mixture. Roll into a tight log, rolling from the long side closest to you. When you are almost to the other end, bring the far long side up and over so the seam is on top. Gently press the exposed edge to the top of the dough to seal.

Divide the log into three sections, then divide each section into four or five rolls depending on how big you want them. Cut with a sharp knife and gently transfer cinnamon rolls to prepared pan. If you lose the filling along the way, just gather it up and sprinkle over cinnamon rolls. Cover rolls with a dish towel and let rise in a warm location for another 1-2 hours, or cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to bake the next morning [this is what I always do]. For the refrigerator rise, remove from refrigerator and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake for 15-17 minutes for 15 rolls or about 18-22 for 12 rolls. Bake until tops begin to brown, but check in the middle to make sure the dough isn’t raw. If they need additional baking time, cover with foil to prevent excess browning.

While rolls bake, prepare frosting. Using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or a whisk, beat together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add vanilla and lemon juice, beating until combined. Add powdered sugar gradually, mixing until smooth. In my stand mixer this usually takes about 2-3 minutes. When I make the rolls the night before, I leave the butter and cream cheese on the counter overnight so they are soft in the morning.

When rolls come out of the oven, immediately spread half of the frosting on top. Add additional frosting on individual rolls for serving, or when they have cooled down considerably. Serve warm–they reheat well too!

Appetizers, Recipes

White Bean Sriracha Dip

White Bean Sriracha Dip is the best {slightly} spicy, flavorful snack you’ll make this winter! 

Did you guys survive the snow?!? On Friday in Nashville we got the biggest snowstorm the city’s seen in something like 13 years! We got about 7-8 inches of snow, but parts of the Nashville area got 9-10. So Ben and I have been snowed in since Thursday night…and today is the first day we’ve been able to really get out, except for a few random walks and the afternoon we spent building a snowman! 🙂

And can I admit that I frankly enjoyed being snowed in? 🙂 I got to read a lot, watch tv/Netflix, bake a “just because” cake, work on the nursery, and just lounge about. I think I would be fineeee being snowed in for awhile longer if I had more groceries. 🙂 #introvertalert But alas, the sun has been shining and temperatures are rising to melt the snow away… so back to reality!

White Bean Sriracha Dip | thepajamachef.com

If there are two recipe categories that I need to improve in my life, they are appetizers and beverages. I’m not sure why those types of recipes are so hard for me exactly… probably because I don’t make them very often. When I need an appetizer, I have a few go-tos… and some are super simple, like cheese and crackers, veggies and dip, or the like. As for beverages, those always seem way too complicated to use a recipe for, you know? I mainly drink things like coffee, tea, milk, juice, and a whole lotta water. So I’m not really the best person to ask about what to drink. Ha! But let’s get to the subject of the day: this awesome appetizer! Yup, if you need a new, interesting appetizer to make this winter, perhaps for a certain football game coming up soon, you will certainly want to check this one out! White Bean Sriracha Dip is just the ticket for a slightly spicy, flavorful, and unique dip.

White Bean Sriracha Dip | thepajamachef.com

It’s perfect with crackers or pita chips or veggies… so no matter what you have on hand, or what you want to serve it with [healthy or not], you’ll be satisfied. 🙂 This dip was somewhat reminiscent of hummus, but with white beans. It’s always fun to try something new! If you don’t like much spice, just use less Sriracha. There’s tons of other flavors in this dip: sesame, curry, soy sauce, cinnamon, cilantro, lemon… and the Sriracha just enhances them. But they’d shine on their own! Regardless of your tolerance of spice, this Asian-inspired dip is divine! Hope you love it as much as we did. 🙂

one year ago: Cheesy Molasses Chicken with Mushrooms and Homemade Rice a Roni Mix
two years ago: Flourless Peanut-Chocolate Cookies
three years ago: Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

four years ago: Lime Chicken Rice Bake
five years ago: Crispy Honey Ginger Chicken

White Bean Sriracha Dip

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

White Bean Sriracha Dip | thepajamachef.com

from Inquiring Chef

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 15 ounce can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sesame seeds, for garnish
  • crackers or pita chips or veggies for serving

Directions:

Pulse white beans a few times in a food processor, then add oils, soy sauce, sriracha, curry powder, cinnamon, cilantro, and lemon juice. Add 1/4 cup water and puree until smooth, adding another 1/4 cup water if necessary. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with crackers or pita chips for serving. Also great with crudites!