Showing posts with label cinnamon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cinnamon. Show all posts

Friday, January 3, 2014

Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Happy New Year! It's time to get our healthy eating habits back on track...


If you were visiting the Wilde Kitchen last month, you may have been overwhelmed by the huge quantities of sugar around.  All the cookies, candies and desserts really have wreaked havoc on our usually healthy eating habits!  It's time to get back to basics and fill our bellies with fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

With the new year comes going back to work too!  I'm commuting again and that means I take my breakfast on the go.  Last year around this time, this slow cooker oatmeal became my go to breakfast. I picked up the basic recipe from Monica at The Yummy Life and have tweaked it a little to add some more fiber and flavor.


I prepare a batch of this oatmeal during the weekend and enjoy a warm breakfast each morning on the train. Depending on how I'm feeling will change up the garnishes I add.  Sometimes it's dried cherries or raisins. Some days I like walnuts, others I toss in sunflower seeds. By Thursday I just feel like adding a whole bunch of brown sugar and cinnamon.  You can really make it your own!

One Year Ago: Granola Bar Muffins
Two Years Ago: Iceberg Wedge & Blue Cheese Dressing
Three Years Ago: Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches

Slow Cooker Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
Adapted from The Yummy Life

1 1/2 cups skim milk
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup steel cut oats
2 Fuji apples, peeled, cored & diced
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 tablespoons ground flax seed

Dried cherries, chopped walnuts & chia seeds for garnish

Lightly coat your slow cooker bowl with cooking spray.  Add all the ingredients except garnishes and stir to mix.  Turn slow cooker on low and cook for 7 hours.

Eat immediately or...

Divide oatmeal between four containers.  Place in the fridge until it's time for your daily breakfast.  When it's time to eat, remove one oatmeal serving from the fridge and add dried cherries and 1/3 cup milk.  Microwave for 1 minute.  Stir and microwave for 1 minute more.  Add 1 tablespoon chia seeds and 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts and stir. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow chia seeds the time to hydrate.  Enjoy your breakfast now or on the go!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Banana Bread French Toast

I can't believe that it's been months since I shared a breakfast recipe!


I know exactly who is to blame, Boyfriend.  Okay, and me.  The guy I live with doesn't really care for breakfast and we usually spend our weekends at the Starbucks downtown.  Or the Panera around the corner.  Or if we're in a hurry, the Dunkin' Donuts two minutes from our apartment.  Rarely do I spend a Saturday morning frying up eggs, flipping pancakes and pouring tall glasses of orange juice.


The one positive with not having a job right now is being able to enjoy a delicious breakfast on a Tuesday morning!  Sure, I ate this French toast by myself while watching Charmed and sitting on the couch in my PJs, but that doesn't bother me!  At some point in the day I managed to take a shower and put on some real pants.  Then I had a second serving of French toast for lunch.


As long as I am unemployed, I think I'll enjoy making myself fancy breakfasts!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Why Bother? 2012 - Spreadable Flavored Cheese

What a year it has been!  Okay, a year and a month really.  We've finally come to the last week of my year of homemade challenges.  Today I present to you, flavored spreadable cheeses!  This was a fun challenge, I wish I took more pictures during the process of the cheese making.

Boyfriend was perplexed when he opened the fridge and found this.
There were a few ways that I could have gone with the generic term "flavored spreadable cheeses."  Would I make a cracker cheese?  A bagel cheese?  A sandwich cheese?  There are so many soft cheese options!  After reading about cream cheese, queso fresco and other artisan cheeses, I decided to go with a Neufchatel cheese.  This was mostly due to the fact that I didn't need to order and special starters off the Internet.  All you need to prepare Neufchatel is milk, buttermilk and rennet!
I have really grown to love making cheese.  It's a science experiment in your kitchen!  Don't worry though, it isn't an experiment that requires a lot of science know-how.  You just have to heat, stir and wait!  Seriously, the rennet and buttermilk do all of the hard work.  You just have to be patient enough and wait for the cheese to be formed.  I checked on my milk three times before it was actually cheese, it took about 18 hours to reach the desired state.  Cheese making requires a lot of patience.


Science experiment aside, this challenge was seriously fun.  After the buttermilk and rennet formed cheese curds in my milk, I cut the solid slab of curd into 1/2-inch cubes.  Then I shook the pot that the cheese was in.  Rather than the fluid motion of the milk that was in there a day before, there was a geometric pulse of cubes of cheese.  I'm going to have to make more cheese so I can video this weird phenomenon.

After collecting and draining the cheese curds, I was left with a smooth, creamy, white cheese.  Giving it a little taste test, the cheese didn't really remind me of cream cheese.  I didn't go with a cream cheese recipe because it required a mesophilic starter (special bacteria culture), that gives cream cheese its distinctive flavor.  This neufchatel that I had made tasted more like a very strong yogurt.


I totally should have scheduled this challenge for right before or after my bagel challenge (which was just about a year ago now!).  Instead, boyfriend and I headed to our local bagel shop and picked up a half dozen.  We feasted on bagels and neufchatel Sunday morning and hid away from the cold cold temperatures here in New Jersey. 

We weren't just having plain farmers cheese (another name for neufchatel) with our bagels.  Oh no, I divided the cheese into two bowls and flavored them in opposite manners.  One bowl became a sweet treat, with cinnamon and honey.  The second bowl I made into a savory spread with sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil.  I enjoyed the cinnamon and honey cheese on my whole wheat bagel.  The sun-dried tomato and basil is destined for my turkey sandwiches for lunch this week!


Is it worth it to make your own cheese at home?  Well, I enjoyed this so much for the process of making cheese.  The end product was delicious and it was great to be able to pick my own flavors.  The neufchatel that I made was done with whole milk, though you can definitely make this was a lower fat milk if you want to make a lighter cheese.  I liked the sweet cheese because I was able to control the amount of sweetener in the final product, most sweet cream cheese is full of grams of sugar.

Will making your own bagel topping save you money?  Not a whole lot.  An 8-ounce tub of flavored cream cheese is $2.29 at my local store (about 28 cents per ounce).  This cheese recipe was prepared with 1 gallon of milk ($3.99), 1/4 cup buttermilk (~ $0.25) and 1/4 tablet rennet (~$0.06).  The recipe made 30 ounces of cheese, making it about 14 cents per ounce.  It's about two flavors for the price of one!


I hope that you enjoyed this Why Bother 2012 challenge.  I really had fun making some unusual things in my own kitchen.  Some things I won't be making again (say yes to store bought coconut milk!).  Some recipes were eye-opening (you can make your own organic Greek yogurt!).  A few challenges I've even incorporated into my everyday routine (You know I'm having homemade walnut butter on my waffles every morning!).

Challenge yourself and make something crazy at home!  At some point, everything was homemade (well, except cheese puffs!), you can bring the factory into your kitchen and make everything in a more healthy and economic manner.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chai Cupcakes with Chai Cream Cheese Frosting

When you collect your race packet and written in large red letters is the following "There is a real possibility that YOU MAY DIE or be catastrophically injured," you may be wondering what you got yourself into.  I was staring at these exact words this Saturday when boyfriend and I got ready to run our very first Spartan Race. 

Registering for the Spartan Race was not my idea.  Four months ago, Boyfriend found the race through a Living Social deal and signed us both up.  I went to the website and was presented with a video of fit looking people crawling under barbed wire, scaling ten foot walls, leaping over fire and jumping into giant pits of mud.  On top of all of this, the runners were confronted with armed gladiators in the last 100 feet.  What did I get myself into?

Saturday morning we drove through rainstorms and wound up at the Mountain Creek Ski Resort, in beautiful and sundrenched Northwestern New Jersey.  We donned our race numbers and lined up at the starting gate.  I jumped up and down, arooing at boyfriend.  He stood there and told me I was acting crazy and to stop it.

The siren blared and we were off and running!  For the first 500 feet.  Then we were faced with a very daunting, very steep, very tall hill.  A black diamond ski slope to be exact.  The 250 racers in our heat quickly turned from a group of excited, cheering athletes, to a mass of red-faced, short-of-breath ninnies.  What am I saying, I was right there with them.  This hill just kept on going up, it took me 2/3 of the way up to control my breathing and get into a good place.

After the first two miles, boyfriend and I found our pace.  He pushed me to keep going up those hills and I kept him running through the woods.  We swam through a lake, climbed over wall, flipped huge tractor tires but at mile 7, I was on my own.  Boyfriend was struck down by a serious migraine and I had to finish the last four miles on my own.

Luckily there was lots of fun to be had in the last four miles, including a 200-foot rock scramble to the top of the last hill, 9 & 10-foot walls to climb, monkey bars, mud slides, A-frames and...  a torrential thunderstorm.  With only two miles to go, the heavens opened up and the racers and I were sprinting to the finish line through sheets of rain, it was way dramatic.  Good thing I didn't know about the tornado warning.

I crossed the finish line, accepted my fancy medal and located my sad boyfriend.  Now I'm nursing my wounds and walking very slowly down the stairs.  And I'm eating cupcakes.  Because I ran eleven miles on Saturday and totally deserve them.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

Are you like me?  Can you have breakfast for any meal of the day?  Omelets for dinner.  Bagels for lunch.  Pancakes for a late night snack.  Breakfast, the best meal of the day.  Well, almost.  I don't really like eggs for breakfast.  Eggs - fried, scrambled or over-easy - are dinner fare.


I decided that this week, rather than making pancakes for dinner, I would make a true breakfast for dessert.  Cinnamon roll cupcakes!


A simple vanilla cake, with layers of cinnamon-brown sugar, topped with a layer of cream cheese frosting.  These little treats tasted just like the breakfast buns I can't keep my hands off.  Whenever I make a batch (or can if I'm in a hurry and have a big craving) of cinnamon rolls, I always have at least two.  I know they are about a million calories each, I can't help myself.


These cupcakes were just what I wanted and I was totally satisfied with just one.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Island Sides

The past few days have been feeling more Caribbean-like up here in the northeast. I stepped off the train this morning and was greeted by a hot, humid gust of Long Island wind. Not only is the morning heat very reminiscent of the islands, these afternoon thunderstorms are too!


There is just one big difference between enjoying Caribbean weather while on vacation and suffering through it on a regular day. I try to look presentable when going to work where I don't even bother with mascara on vacation. This humidity is making my hair straightener work overtime! Even after ten minutes with the iron, all of my hard work is undone upon opening the front door!


Luckily I have an appointment at the salon this weekend, where I will cut several inches off my hair. This will make it lighter and easier to curl. The straight-haired days of winter are over. Time to embrace bouncy curls once again! (Which means its also time to confuse my male coworkers with my ever changing hair.)


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Daring Bakers - Povitica

On a recent Friday at work, we had ourselves a party.  It was a party that is probably right up your alley.  It was called Bake-toberfest and it was for charity.


For Bake-toberfest, the kitchen-saavy members of my company took to their ovens (and a couple to their cars and the grocery store) and produced some seriously delicious treats.  I wish I had pictures of the tables.  There were pies, cookies, cakes, bars, cupcakes, tarts and even a jell-o dish, lining over fifteen feet of table.  The bakers had really outdone themselves.

You might be asking what we did with all of these treats?  Were we baking and sharing just to pig out and drink all of the milk in the lunchroom fridge?  No, it was all for charity.  For a mere $5, you were allowed to come in the room and enjoy the buffet of sugar.  For a scant $10, you could not only enjoy the treats at work, but you could bring as much home and you could carry.  It was a brilliant idea, because once someone glanced over the table of treats, there was no way that $10 wasn't making its way into the till.

The Daring Baker's October 2011 challenge was Pivitica, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered-Whisk.  Povitica is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!  I decided that it was the perfect item to bring in for Bake-toberfest.  It was totally different from anything else on the table and quickly disappeared.  Even a coworker who tried to stay away from the buffet, couldn't help herself from trying a piece.  When I asked her why, she responded "We have this at home, it's a treat we eat during the holidays!"  My coworker is originally from Romania, and was very happy with this recipe.  She suggests you eat the end pieces, because they are the best!

In the end, Bake-toberfest was able to raise almost $800!  Quite the feat for a table full of goodies.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Orange Cinnamon Bread

While I may be the queen of trains, they don't always like to obey my commands.  This is unfortunate, because I have to rely on two different train systems to get to and from work.  Back in March, boyfriend moved to a great little apartment in New Jersey.  He had transferred to the New York office of his company and thereby moved closer to me (while I was still in Connecticut).  In May, I received the offer for my dream job on Long Island and, as you know, I jumped at it.


So, now I travel from New Jersey to Long Island everyday.  I am subject to the trials and tribulations of both the New Jersey transit and the Long Island Railroad and the two systems do not like to cooperate with each other.  Inevitably one train will be late, and the other will be right on time.  This is a problem and I'm the girl you see, running through Penn station, mowing down little old ladies with big suitcases.  I had to hurdle over a toddler once.


Okay, I'm not really jumping over children and knocking down grannies.  But I am that blur you see out of the corner of your eye.  Why do my trains always come in on the furthest apart platforms?  LIRR - platform 21, NJT - platform 1, blurg!

In the past three weeks there have been three different problems.  1. "Police situation" held up my LIRR train for an hour, then it rained on me.  2. Lightning struck some important train equipment, keeping all LIRR trains from entering New York city.  3. A derailed train in Penn station caused all NJT trains hours of delays and rerouted trains.  And I've only been commuting via train for a month, I can't wait to see what the future of train travel brings me! 


I will tell you this, I know all the ins and outs of Penn station, like which bathrooms are generally the cleanest.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Apple Marshmallows & Apple-Cinnamon Crispy Treats

I’m going to be honest with you, I’ve had these marshmallows in my house for three weeks. I would come home from work and have one, you know, a little sugar to fuel my workout. Each marshmallow tasting like a fluffy apple pie. Now, doesn’t that sound tempting?


A big slab of happiness!

I have become addicted to making marshmallows. This is mostly due to Eileen Talanian’s book – Marshmallows. These marshmallows were to most fun batch yet, they are fluffy, springy and bouncy. They are so full of air and flavor. These little pillows have a hint of cinnamon and a subtle tartness.


Once I finished preparing, cutting and coating the marshmallows I had to decide what to do with them. These apple marshmallows were too fun to let them just exist as marshmallows. Sure, they make a wonderful candy, but I thought they could be even better. Then it came to me, in a rush of sugar-induced giddiness… Rice crispy treats! Apple-cinnamon rice crispy treats, drizzled in caramel.


And that’s just what I did. Let me tell you, these will rock your world. Now I’m sitting, leafing through Eileen’s cookbook, thinking of all the amazing flavors of crispy treats that I can make. Chocolate, honey, matcha, dulce de leche, the options go on and on. I’m also wishing I hadn’t shared my cooking plans with my coworkers, because I want to hoard these treats and eat them all myself.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Cinnamon Rolls

When I was little, I loved the weekends. Wait, my love of the weekends was not because I wanted to sleep in and I didn’t have to go to school. No no. I loved school. I loved doing homework. I loved practicing my flute. I was a big ole nerd, just not the briefcase carrying, coke-bottle glasses kinda nerd. I was a secret nerd, but now is not the time to discuss my secret nerdiness, perhaps another time. Now we are talking about the weekend!


The weekend meant enjoying a warm breakfast with my family. Mom and I would toil in the kitchen as dad read the morning paper and brother played computer/video games in his room. I would toast slice after slice of bread or watch the bacon get all crispy (then forget it and it gets burnt). Mom would make everyone omelets or cook up dippy eggs. Dad would clip coupons and brother would slaughter monsters, or something like that.


Sometimes, I would take control of the whole breakfast situation. This meant heading to the fridge and pulling out a tube of dough. I’d proudly rip off the label and crack the tube on the counter top. As the dough exploded from its cardboard prison it would let off an amazing aroma of cinnamon and yeast. I always thought the raw dough looked delicious, mom suggested I didn’t eat it, please.


Cinnamon rolls were always my favorite and I preferred when we got the tube of seven, rather than the tube of 5. Sure, the tube of 5 meant bigger cinnamon rolls, but the tube of 7 meant leftovers! I’d have one right out of the oven, then try to sneak back later in the day to get another. Sometimes I’d be too slow and brother would have eaten them all, blast him!


Now I get all the cinnamon rolls. I don’t have to share. I’m greedy with the cinnamon rolls, so here’s the recipe. You have to make your own, I ate all of these and there aren’t leftovers.

Be sure to stop by Candy Challenge 2011! (see it up there?  Below the banner?)  This is where I'll link all of my candy recipes for this year.  This is also where you must add your challenges.  Got a candy you want me to try and make?  Post a reply and consider the gauntlet thrown! 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread

Okay, so I might be doing the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge a little out of order. Can you blame me though? Once you flip through a bread book, and see a perfect loaf of cinnamon bread, you have to try it. I know, the Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread is number nine on the list of breads, but I LOVE cinnamon bread! I can even pinpoint the reason for my love of cinnamon bread.



When we were little, my brother and I never had a babysitter. While some other kids were watched by neighbors or teenage daughters of their parents friends, we got to go to the tiny house. I loved the tiny house, because in the tiny house was my tiny Gram. At Gram’s house we would spend hours in the garden, eating grapes off of the back fence. I would sit in the kitchen, organizing the cabinets. And when we were hungry, we would get toast. Toasted cinnamon raisin bread, yum.


So baking my own loaf of cinnamon raisin bread brought back so many memories from that tiny house. More of a free form loaf bread, this doesn’t have to be perfect. This recipe made for a wonderful day, filling the house with a sweet, cinnamon aroma. So this post is in honor of that tiny house and my tiny Gram who lived inside.

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