Salted Caramel Mocha Overnight Oats for #Choctoberfest

Dress up your oatmeal to taste just like your favorite fall mocha… and add some extra caffeine too, because we all need more of that, right? Or is it just me? Ha. Thank you to Caveman Coffee Co. for providing the product used in this recipe! All opinions are my own.

Dress up your oatmeal to taste just like your favorite fall mocha... and add some extra caffeine too, because we all need more of that, right? Or is it just me? Ha. Thank you to Caveman Coffee Co. for providing the product used in this recipe! All opinions are my own. #sponsored

Oatmeal and coffee… these two items have filled my plate, err bowl and mug, since #BabyVolde was born in May. Breakfast is important, yo. Oatmeal is a healthy breakfast choice for anyone, and there is some anecdotal evidence that it helps with milk supply for breastfeeding moms. So I’ve tried to eat a bowl most days because it can’t hurt, right? And I love oatmeal so there’s that too. 🙂

You know what else I love? Coffee. Mmm, coffee! I’m drinking some now, actually. I think coffee has become more important lately since baby life=not a lot of sleep for the parents. Our sleep journey has been up and down–the first two to three weeks, he wouldn’t sleep unless held. By about two months, he was pretty much sleeping through the night [don’t be mad!]. That lasted, with a few bumps in the road, until four months. Over the past month we’ve been on a downward spiral with lots of wakeups alllll night long. Womp womp. Oh well, things have got to get better soon, right? But until then… lots of coffee! A cup of coffee at home, a travel mug at work in the morning, maybe an iced coffee in the afternoon… just depends on the day. I’m not a crazy coffee drinker by any means but I do love my coffee more than I did before! So putting it in oatmeal was just the natural choice, along with chocolate for #Choctoberfest too! Don’t forget to enter the giveaway before Friday, btw!! 🙂

Dress up your oatmeal to taste just like your favorite fall mocha... and add some extra caffeine too, because we all need more of that, right? Or is it just me? Ha. Thank you to Caveman Coffee Co. for providing the product used in this recipe! All opinions are my own. #sponsored

This isn’t my first rodeo with chocolate oatmeal, but it is the first time I’ve made overnight style. I know cold oats sound weird, but they are refreshing and it is great to not have to make breakfast in the morning! For this version, I paired the mocha base of the chocolate and coffee with a teensy bit of salted caramel. The result? Fabulous overnight oats like your favorite fall coffee beverage!

The sweet drink from coffee shops is certainly a treat, but dare I say that I like this version better? It’s not quite as sugary but still has that classic mocha + caramel pairing, with a hint of salt and a bit of indulgence to start your day. Salted Caramel Mochas have been my surprising go-to coffee shop order this fall [I used to be a PSL girl all the way], and now that I can enjoy those flavors in my oats, I am one happy girl! Hope you enjoy these as much as I have been! ❤

Dress up your oatmeal to taste just like your favorite fall mocha... and add some extra caffeine too, because we all need more of that, right? Or is it just me? Ha. Thank you to Caveman Coffee Co. for providing the product used in this recipe! All opinions are my own. #sponsored

Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn’t brag on how good the Blacklisted coffee from Caveman Coffee Co. is. This small batch coffee is rich and flavorful. Sometimes dark roasted coffee is too intense for me, but I love this kind! They also sent some Cacao Butter for me to play with–I can’t wait to bust it out in the kitchen! So fun. Thanks to Caveman Coffee Co. for sponsoring this event! Please check them out on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

one year ago: Coconut Oil Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
two years ago: Pumpkin Bagels
three years ago: Peanut Butter Apple Oatmeal Cookies
four years ago: 30 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup
five years ago: Sweet and Sour Chicken
six years ago: Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Salted Caramel Mocha Overnight Oats

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 5 minutes + overnight to rest
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adapted from my base recipe for Maple Berry Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coffee – I used Caveman Coffee Co. Blacklisted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • salted caramel sauce – I used Trader Joe’s Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce
  • mini chocolate chips

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together coffee, milk, and yogurt. Stir in oats and cocoa powder. Divide between two bowls or mason jars, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, top each serving with salted caramel and mini chocolate chips. I like it with about 1/2 teaspoon of salted caramel sauce and mini chocolate chips, but feel free to adjust quantities to your taste.

If I wanted to healthify this, I would make this date caramel sauce to use in place of the traditional caramel sauce. 🙂


Click below for more chocolate recipes!

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Creamy Sweet Potato and Kale Orzo

This easy, creamy pasta-based dish has all the makings of a cravable, comforting fall dinner. Creamy Sweet Potato and Kale Orzo may not look like much, but it tastes like a million bucks!

This easy, creamy pasta-based dish has all the makings of a cravable, comforting fall dinner. Creamy Sweet Potato and Kale Orzo may not look like much, but it tastes like a million bucks!

Eeek, I don’t want to tell you  how long ago I made this recipe! It’s embarrassing. But I wanted to wait until fall to share this gem of a meatless meal with you. This easy, creamy pasta-based dish has all the makings of a cravable, comforting fall dinner. Creamy Sweet Potato and Kale Orzo may not look like much [and my indoor photos don’t help it… alas], but it tastes like a million bucks!

This easy, creamy pasta-based dish has all the makings of a cravable, comforting fall dinner. Creamy Sweet Potato and Kale Orzo may not look like much, but it tastes like a million bucks!

Despite this dish’s less-than-steller appearance, it is so unbelievably good, whether prepared fresh or reheated for lunches later in the week. Mmm! The star of this meatless sensation is absolutely the creamy, sweet potato-based sauce. It’s just a little cheesy [thanks ricotta!] and somewhat reminiscent of summer since the flava flava comes from none other than pesto! So you can reminisce about warm days while cozying up with a warm bowl of this goodness. 🙂 Of course, you can’t just have the sauce… you gotta add some extra deliciousness to it! This time I added kale, sun-dried tomatoes, and orzo to the mix, but you can absolutely use other veggies or even some meat. I think bacon would be great here too… but can you ever go wrong with bacon? No matter how you mix it, this dinner is great! The slight crunch of the kale, the sweet essence of sweet potatoes [sorry that sounds weird but it was just speaking to me today–haha!], and the fun add in pasta shape of orzo makes this a dish that I know you’ll love! Enjoy! 🙂

one year ago: Cantucci (Almond Biscotti)
two years ago: Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice
three years ago: Autumnal Muffins
four years ago: Iced Tea with Ginger-Mint Simple Syrup
five years ago: Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad
six years ago: Spaghetti + Meatballs=Love

Creamy Sweet Potato and Kale Orzo

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Print

adapted from The Smart Cookie Cook

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 16 ounces orzo pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons pesto
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 cups kale, tightly packed [about 2/3 of a large bunch–washed, thoroughly dried, stems removed, and chopped into bite sized pieces]
  • 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes [dry packed or drained and patted dry if water/oil packed]

Directions:

Wash and dry sweet potatoes, then pierce with a fork all over and place in a microwave safe container. Microwave on high for 6 minutes, then flip and microwave for another 4-5 minutes or until potatoes are cooked all the way through. Set aside to cool in a bowl of cold water for a few minutes, then peel and chop into chunks. Discard skin.

Meanwhile, cook orzo to al dente according to package directions.

In a separate pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute, for about 4-5 minutes until onion is tender. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds until fragrant. Season generously with pepper. Add milk and broth, then bring to a boil, being careful to not let it boil over. Reduce heat to low.

Add sweet potato chunks, ricotta, pesto, and crushed red pepper to broth mixture. Whisk constantly until all has been incorporated. Break up the sweet potato chunks as you go, and if desired, use an immersion blender to completely smooth the sauce. Next, add kale and sundried tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes until kale has reduced in volume. Stir in orzo and serve immediately.

Apple Peanut Butter Pancakes with Sautéed Cinnamon Apples #FreshTastyValentines

Sweet and nutty, these Apple Peanut Butter Pancakes with Sautéed Cinnamon Apples are a great way to start your day! 

Sweet and nutty, these Apple Peanut Butter Pancakes with Sautéed Cinnamon Apples are a great way to start your day! #FreshTastyValentines

Apples and peanut butter go SO well together. I started typing just a minute ago about how they were a great childhood snack, blah blah blah–then erased it because I realized I eat apples and peanut butter as a snack or add on to a meal several times per week. And I am most certainly not a child! 🙂 When I found out that Envy Apples was one of our sponsors for #FreshTastyValentines, my first thought was: I don’t want to BAKE with a new variety of apples. I want to eat them by themselves, dipped in peanut butter. But a blog post about that would be pretty boring. So I went with the next best option: pancakes.

Sweet and nutty, these Apple Peanut Butter Pancakes with Sautéed Cinnamon Apples are a great way to start your day! #FreshTastyValentines

If you  know me, you know I’m a breakfast girl. And pancakes are my breakfast food of choice. Homemade or at a restaurant–it doesn’t matter… and I must say, sharing a pancake recipe today is especially fitting because February 5, 2016 is the eight year anniversary of our first date: breakfast at Bob Evans, where we both ordered cinnamon pancakes [Ben copied me because he was too nervous to figure anything else out to order! What a guy! :)]. I’ve already made several versions of apple pancakes before–but then, yesterday, I had the genius idea to play up the apple PEANUT BUTTER element. And voilà–these pancakes were born.

Sweet and nutty, these Apple Peanut Butter Pancakes with Sautéed Cinnamon Apples are a great way to start your day! #FreshTastyValentines

They’re not just your average pancakes–these babies are thick, hearty, and filling. Adding peanut butter to whole wheat pancakes will do that to ya, and stirring in some protein-rich Bob’s Red Mill Hulled Hemp Seed Hearts [also another fabulous #FreshTastyValentines sponsor] makes them even better! These pancakes have the perfect blend of sweetness and nuttiness. I topped mine with some easy sautéed cinnamon apples and maple syrup, and oh man… what a breakfast! I used a combination of Envy apples and Gala apples in my apple topping [since Envy apples are a Gala-Braeburn hybrid, and I wanted to save one to try on its own]. If you can find Envy apples in your grocery store, snap them up quickly because they’re great–so crisp and sweet. And don’t forget to enter our giveaway for a chance to win great prizes–including Envy Apples and Bob’s Red Mill Hulled Hemp Seed Hearts! 🙂 Happy Friday! And make these pancakes part of your weekend!

one year ago: Potato Rosemary Knots
two years ago: Lindsay’s Chicken Noodle Soup
three years ago: 60 Minute Sandwich Buns

four years ago: Loaded Sweet Potato Fries 
five years ago: Tomato Tortellini Soup

Apple Peanut Butter Pancakes with Sautéed Cinnamon Apples

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Print

pancakes adapted from my Go-To Pancakes

Ingredients:

for pancakes

  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill Hulled Hemp Seed Hearts
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups skim milk, room temperature
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter [I used a honey roasted peanut butter], melted in the microwave for 15 seconds if too thick to stir
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup finely diced apple [I used Envy Apples] – peeled or unpeeled depending on preference
  • butter or canola oil, for cooking
  • maple syrup, for serving

for Sautéed Cinnamon Apples  

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 medium apples, thinly sliced [I used Envy Apples and Gala Apples] – peeled or unpeeled depending on preference
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions:

In a medium bowl, stir together flours, hemp seeds, baking powder, and cinnamon. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, egg, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla. Pour wet ingredients over the dry and fold together gently to incorporate. Stir in apples until just combined. Batter may be lumpy. Let batter rest for 10 minutes.

While batter is resting, heat griddle over medium heat for cooking pancakes.

In a separate 10 inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. When melted, add apples and top with cinnamon, vanilla, and water. Stir to combine, then cook over medium heat, uncovered, until liquid starts to bubble. Reduce heat to medium low and cover, stirring occasionally, until apples soften and get slightly caramelized and juices thicken. Then reduce heat to low to keep warm while pancakes cook.

Pour batter onto hot skillet in 1/4 cup increments. Cook for two to three minutes on the first side until bubbles form, then flip and cook on other side until golden brown. Batter makes about 14 pancakes.

Serve pancakes with Sautéed Cinnamon Apples and maple syrup.

Notes:

You can use all-purpose flour in place of the whole wheat and white whole wheat flours, or use all white whole wheat flour too.

If you don’t have the hulled hemp seed hearts, you could substitute in flax or chia seeds, or some chopped nuts, or just leave them out.

Check out the other awesome recipes that our #FreshTastyValentines blogging crew have come up with at the link below. 🙂

Find Bob’s Red Mill

on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here

Find Envy Apples

on the web: here
on Twitter: here
on Facebook: here
on Pinterest: here
on Instagram: here
Disclosure: I received complimentary products from Bob’s Red Mill and Envy Apples for my participation in #FreshTastyValentines. However, I was not required to write a positive review and I was not otherwise compensated for this post. The thoughts expressed above are entirely my own. Thanks to Bob’s Red Mill and Envy Apples for their sponsorship of this event!

Mashed Potato Casserole

A cheesy, creamy, baked mashed potato casserole that’s perfect for ANY holiday or just a special meal with family and friends. 🙂

A cheesy, creamy baked mashed potato casserole... perfect for every special meal!

Sometimes it’s the simplest recipes that are the best, aren’t they? My family has long tried to find the best cheesy potato recipe because everyone loves them. My sister is pretty much the biggest cheesy potato fan I know, and my husband is pretty much the biggest mashed potato fan I know, so this is a dish to please them both!

A cheesy, creamy baked mashed potato casserole... perfect for every special meal!

Regular ‘ole mashed potatoes aren’t my favorite Thanksgiving side dish of all time, but add in a bunch of cheddar and parmesan, and you make this girl veryyy happy! All that cheese + some sour cream or greek yogurt jazz up plain mashed potatoes, but it’s the baking of them that take this dish over the edge! I don’t know what it is about baking dishes but that just adds an extra layer of deliciousness to the final product… especially when there’s cheese involved. Think about stovetop mac & cheese vs. baked mac & cheese. I’m right, aren’t I? There’s just no competition! Baked wins every single day. 🙂

A cheesy, creamy baked mashed potato casserole... perfect for every special meal!

I’ll admit that some may take issues with this dish because it’s not traditional enough… and there isn’t even any butter in it [gasp!]. But all the cheese and sour cream sure makes up for it. One of the best parts about this creamy ‘n cheesy side dish is that you can make it ahead AND it reheats beautifully in the microwave. Regular mashed potatoes can get kinda weird after the microwave but these absolutely do not! Have I convinced you to make them yet?!? I sure hope so, because they’re pretty much the tastiest version of mashed potatoes I’ve ever enjoyed and I bet you will too!

one year ago: Pumpkin Pie Peanut Butter Cups
two years ago: Chipotle-Cilantro Mashed Potatoes

three years ago: Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese
four years ago: Crockpot Saucy Italian Chicken
five years ago: Layered Taco Dip

Mashed Potato Casserole

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 60 minutes
  • Print

from The Kitchn

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 8 ounces sour cream or plain yogurt [regular or greek]
  • 1/2 cup half and half or milk
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 large shallots, minced – about 1/2 cup
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place potatoes in a large stock pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are tender, when a fork easily pierces through. Drain and return potatoes to pot.

Off heat, add sour cream and half and half to potatoes, then stir to combine. Use a potato masher to smash until desired texture is achieved. Stir in cheddar, shallots, and pepper. [If desired, shallots could be sauteed in butter or olive oil for a few minutes to soften.]

Transfer potatoes to a medium baking dish – a 10 inch round, 8×8 square, or the like, at least 2.5 quarts. Bake for 30 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle with Parmesan and extra freshly ground black pepper, and broil for about 2 minutes until golden brown.

Notes:

Dish can be prepared up until the baking step up to 24 hours in advance. Let dish come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before baking.

If desired, shallots could be sauteed in butter or olive oil for a few minutes to soften before adding to the potatoes. The flavor was fine when raw, but even though they were minced small, we found them a little crunchy, especially the ones that were left on the top of the dish.

 

#TripleSBites: Spiced Fig Turkey Mini Meatloaf

Mini turkey meatloaf… flavorful and perfectly portioned. 🙂 With a spiced fig sauce on top, what’s not to love?!?

Spiced Fig Mini Turkey Meatloaf | thepajamachef.com #TripleSBites

Who eats meatloaf for a romantic dinner?!? Obviously, we do! #nontraditional Haha. Romantic or not, these mini turkey meatloaf [meatloaves?] are absolutely delicious! Sometimes in the past when I’ve made turkey meatloaf or turkey tacos I’ve been let down with the amount of flavor the meal has since it has a different flavor than beef. So when I was making these mini treats I used SO much flavor… ginger, garlic, herbs, chile peppers, balsamic vinegar… Ben walked by and commented how good the raw meat smelled. Crazy! 🙂

Spiced Fig Mini Turkey Meatloaf | thepajamachef.com #TripleSBites

Two of our #TripleSBites [go HERE for more info on this fantastic event and don’t forget to enter the giveawayyy! Do it now!] sponsors contributed to these delicious meat muffins [Ben’s name, not mine]. All the herbs and seasoning–ginger and garlic, herbs and chile peppers–came from Gourmet Garden. Before #10DaysofTailgate in the fall, I had never used Gourmet Garden’s squeezable herbs and seasonings, but now I do all the time. They are just so convenient, especially when you only need a little of something. For more info, check them out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, or Pinterest. And the other major flavor player in my meatloaf was in the topping. Spiced Fig Not Ketchup is my new sauce of choice! It’s sweet and mild and I’ve been dipping everything in it lately, from sweet potato fries to meatloaf, and I’m playing around with making it into a salad dressing. Mmm! Find out more about Not Ketchup on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, or Pinterest pages. I love these blogging events because I get to try out so many awesome products. Thanks to you both for being such great sponsors. P.S. readers… you can WIN these products in the giveaway too!

Spiced Fig Mini Turkey Meatloaf | thepajamachef.com #TripleSBites

I don’t really like meatloaf in those long slices… but give it to me in muffin form and I could eat it all day long! Enjoy!

one year ago: Sweet Potato Pork Quesadillas
two years ago: Chewy Peanut Butter Brownies
three years ago: Caramel S’mores Cups
four years ago: Bacon-Wrapped Feta & Almond Stuffed Dates

Spiced Fig Turkey Mini Meatloaf

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Time: 45 minutes
  • Print

adapted from my mom’s recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Herbs from Gourmet Garden [or ~1 teaspoon dried basil/oregano/rosemary etc.]
  • 1 tablespoon Chunky Garlic from Gourmet Garden [or 3-4 cloves garlic, minced]
  • 1/2 tablespoon Ginger from Gourmet Garden [or an equivalent amount of grated fresh ginger]
  • 1 teaspoon Hot Chili from Gourmet Garden [or a pinch of cayenne pepper or red chili flakes]
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup Spiced Fig Not Ketchup, divided

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together oats, milk, and vinegar. Let rest for 5 minutes, then add turkey, egg, garlic, ginger, chili, and pepper. Use your hands [or a spoon] to mix everything together, then divide between the muffin tins. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from oven and brush each meatloaf cup with Spiced Fig Not Ketchup [using about 1-2 teaspoons per meatloaf]. Return to the oven and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, until cooked through and crisp along the edges. Top with remaining Spiced Fig Not Ketchup.


Check out other yummy #TripleSBites recipes today!

#TripleSBites | thepajamachef.com

Disclosure: I received herbs and spices from Gourmet Garden and a bottle of Not Ketchup as part of my participation in #TripleSBites. I was not compensated in any way–for my time, to create a recipe, or to publish positive comments. I was not required to use these products as part of my recipe. My opinions are my own.