Showing posts with label oatmeal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oatmeal. Show all posts

Friday, January 10, 2014

Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes

Ever since I started my new job, I've realized the importance of pancakes for breakfast!  All summer long, during my fun-filled unemployment period, I had awesome breakfasts at least twice a week.  I usually made these big breakfasts after my ten mile runs and totally deserved pancakes on a Wednesday.  Now that I'm back to work, the weekend is special once again and that means Pancakes!


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Wilde Day

I'm sitting here today disappointed, a but disillusioned and unemployed. You read that right, jobless. After landing what I thought was my dream job two years ago, I find myself once again looking to the future and deciding what to do next.

As some of you know, I have been working at a pharmaceutical company on long Island. That company was OSI pharmaceuticals. While I can't disclose the full details of what happened (here's the news article about the site closure) I can tell you the story of my yesterday. 

It wasn't a surprise that our company was closing.  It was just shocking how quickly everything happened yesterday. A friend of mine had just returned from his honeymoon, I'm heading out of the country on Thursday for vacation. No one expected for Monday to be their last day at work.  No one thought they would be packing up their desks and saying goodbye to colleagues and friends.  I would have savored that last ride on the LIRR if I knew it was going to be my last one.

We all emptied our offices, carried our stuff to our cars and met up at the bar across the street.  Someone at the bar must have tipped off the news, because they showed up about thirty minutes later.  Since yesterday I've received about fifty LinkedIn and Facebook requests, started polishing my resume and surfing the internet for opportunities.

Now I am on the job hunt again. I have some time to find a new position, the company was very generous with our compensation at least.  Sadly I'm a little disillusioned with the whole pharmaceutical research business. If the new model is for big Pharma to buy smaller companies and close them, I can only hope to hold a research position for five years before another layoff.  Maybe I'll see what else I can do as a PhD chemist.  Clinical or regulatory affairs, patent law, consumer products development, there are so many options, it's time to start investigating.  And making cookies.






One Year Ago: Blueberry Mallomars
Two Years Ago: Cheesecake Brownies

Apricot-packed Oatmeal Cookies
A Wilde Original

I brought these cookies to work yesterday morning.  We ate them as we commiserated after hearing the news.  Actually, I ate one for breakfast before the meeting and then another one after the meeting.  They are super delicious and filling.  Be sure to use a new bag of dried apricots, I used dried Turkish apricots from Fairway.  They are amazing.

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups chopped, dried apricots
3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal

In a large bowl (I mean really large!  There is a lot of cookie dough in this recipe!), beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until fluffy.  Turn mixer to low and add eggs, one at a time.  Add vanilla and beat until combined.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Slowly add the flour to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low.  Once all the flour is absorbed, add chopped apricots and mix for about ten seconds.  Add oatmeal and mix for about 30 seconds.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat.  Scoop cookie dough with a 1/4-cup ice cream scoop and place on the baking sheet in rounded mounds.  You'll get about 15-16 cookies.  (You can make smaller cookies, just reduce your baking time)  Wrap the baking sheet with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.  You want to dough balls solid.

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Place 5-6 cookie dough mounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges and still slightly doughy looking in the middle.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet on a wire rack.

Store in an airtight container, share with your favorite friends.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

No-Bake Granola Bars

It would seem that we are into the thick of winter here in the Northeast.  I'm pretty sure it was a lot warmer out before I went to Buffalo for Christmas.  Maybe I brought the cold weather back with me?  All I know is, I find myself putting more and more layers on before I head out to the train in the morning.

I suppose that it had to happen eventually.  It's not like I live in Florida and this below freezing snap is a surprise.  It's just that you get used to those warm sunny days and it's sad to see them go.  This cold weather was further a slap in the face this week when I got to work on Thursday to find my office a balmy 40 degrees.  That's right, 40 degrees Fahrenheit.


Apparently sometime Wednesday night, both boilers in the chemistry wing failed and the offices and labs proceeded to equalize their temperature with the outside world.  All the space heaters in the world could do nothing to warm up our chilly offices.  The reason?  Hood fans.

In a chemistry building, you have labs.  In each lab there are four to five chemistry hoods.  These hoods are just like your range hood over your stove, only bigger, and enclosed.  These hoods constantly pull air from within the labs and vent it through filters and out the roof.  This means that they are always bringing in new air from outside, air which wasn't being heated.  This meant that we couldn't do any lab work until the heater was fixed. 

Everyone in our wing made for the conference room to get some computer work done.  It felt like study hall.  We waited all day to hear something, anything, about the boilers.  Our facilities staff was running around the building with large wrenches, people were up on the roof banging on things, I was getting antsy just sitting in the conference room.  At least it was warm in there.


Our facilities team was able to get the boilers up and running Friday afternoon, just before we went home.  At least it will be warm in the office come next week.  Though it will be the first full week back to work, it's going to be a long one!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Why Bother? 2012 - Granola Bars

Yes, the Why Bother challenge has spilled over into the new year!  I'm finally over a long bout of bronchitis and have drained nearly all of the congestion from my head.  Nobody is happier than I am, except maybe the hundred or so people I share my train car with.  No more loud coughing from me!  So many of my friends and family have been battling with some virus, bacterium or other, this season.  And after a month of being sick, I'm happy to count myself among the healthy again.
With the bronchitis I was battling, I had to push of the last few challenges of the Why Bother? challenge.  This January we will complete the challenges with granola bars, crackers and soft cheeses.  I'm excited to finish all of the challenges that you gave me over a year ago, so let's get started with snacks!

Most foodie friends that I know are highly unlikely to venture down the cereal bar aisle in the grocery store.  You bakers out there probably have your own go to recipe for granola bars, perfected after many tries in the kitchen with different grains, nuts and dried fruits. 


I want everyone else out there to have a go at the bar.  Or in this case, the cup!  I love making granola bars at home.  They change every time I make them, depending on what I have in my kitchen.  Sometimes they are heavy on the nuts, sometimes I have an odd assortment of dried fruits.  You should feel free to adapt each granola bar recipe in the same way.

Today I bring you a baked granola bar recipe (Saturday we'll have a no-bake variant) that combines some of my favorite flavors.  Peanut butter, cherry and oats.  It's like a PB&J sandwich!  Don't have any dried cherries in the house?  Substitute the dried fruits for whatever you have lying around!

Granola Bar Muffins
Adapted from Snack Girl

This recipe was given to me (via my mom) from a fitness fanatic.  She loved that these bars are low in calories, high in protein and packs major flavor.  With no added sugar, these bars are great to feed your kiddos or yourself!

1/2 cup peanut butter
2 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup mixed dried berries (mine included raspberry, cherry, cranberry & blueberry)
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.

Mix peanut butter and mashed bananas with a fork.  Add nuts, dried fruits, oats and vanilla.  Stir until it all comes together.  Scoop 1/4 cup of the mixture into each muffin cup and lightly press into the pan.

Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack.  Remove granola cups from the pan and let cool completely on the rack.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cherry Granola Bars

It's Tuesday again and we're making our way through another summer week.  Where did you weekend go?  I know exactly where mine went.  I spent one half of it shopping for cars, which I have decided is way more fun if you are the one buying said car.  Or you actually bring said new car home when you finish buying.  Boyfriends new car is currently spending some quality time with the dealer, while he is away on a business trip in Florida.

The other half of my weekend was spent watching the new Batman movie.  Seriously, it's that long.


Okay, so the Dark Knight Rises isn't really 24 hours long.  It's three hours long.  It is long enough, that it can go from being sunny, to down pouring and back to sunny and dry, over the course of the movie.  I know this because boyfriend and I have discovered a new found love of biking around our area. 

We live in Montclair, NJ, which according to the signs posted in the town, is "Where the city meets the suburbs."  It's a cute little town with a main street full of shops and restaurants.  There's a Whole foods and a weekend farmers market.  If you're into antiquing, there are at least four antique stores right downtown.  There is an indie movie theater and a Red Mango, right next to a cupcake shop and just down the street from a gelato shop.



A coal oven pizza place just opened up that serves the most amazing thin crust pizza.  You can go to Tosca and have their amazing corn salad, full of roasted corn, goat cheese and walnuts.  You can head to Raymond's (lovingly referred to as Raymondo's around our house.  I have no idea why.) and fill up on a plate of eggs Benedict, if you can get a table.  Or you can just get an espresso and macaron from Le Petit Paris and people watch.

It's a great little place to live and conveniently located on the train line.  But since this is New Jersey, we are only a few miles away from several other fun towns.  This Sunday we rode three miles, all uphill, to Upper Montclair (hence why it was all uphill).  While Montclair boasts our little Indie movie theater, Upper Montclair has an equally small movie theater playing the newest releases.


The clouds started to clear around two o'clock this Sunday, so we hopped on our bikes and rode up the hill to Upper Montclair.  (Much faster than our first attempt a few weeks ago I might add!)  We stopped and got sandwiches and smuggled them into the movie theater where we enjoyed three hours of Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway.  We came outside and it smelled like rain, but it was also intensely sunny and warm.  The only trace of the rain was a few puddles here and there and a wet bike lock.

One final random question here.  How much does it cost for a movie ticket at your local theater?  I felt like I was getting a deal the other day only having to spend $11 per ticket on our movie.  This is after buying two IMAX 3D tickets a few weeks ago for $18 each!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Wedding Weekends

It's been over a decade since I started my first day of college as a bright eyed art major. Those of you who know me are aware that I was not always on the path of science, not forever lab-bound. I spent the entirety of my freshman year dedicated to becoming a photographer. I'm always reminded of my photography roots whenever I head to a wedding, like boyfriend and I did this weekend.



It all started in high school, with my first photography class and senior year internship at a local photo studio. My simple internship of checking people in, organizing the studio and calling customers turned into a four year job. I graduated from desk duty to becoming an active member of the awesome photo team.


My second summer working at the studio, I started to go with the photographers to weddings, shooting as a candid observer. Black and white film loaded into my camera, I enjoyed being a fly on the wall for many a wedding. And I do mean many. Over my four years at the studio I attended at least fifty weddings (This is actually the reason I don't want to get married in my hometown!).


Come my junior year in college,I accepted an internship at a chemical company and said goodbye to my friends at the photo studio. Even though I'm a chemist through and through now, the wedding photographer in me always comes out whenever I attend a friends wedding. Boyfriend asks me why I'm taking pictures of the confetti-strew aisle and half-empty champagne glasses and I just say "I can't help it."



I also made some cookies this weekend and took their picture.  They were delicious.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Wilde in Chicago

Hello from the sunny Midwest!  Today I'm coming to you from my hotel room in downtown Chicago, sending you some tasty cookies rather than dinner.  Why am I in the windy city this fine Tuesday morning?  I'm off on my first official business trip!


The majority of my coworkers and I have packed up and relocated to Chicago for a week long conference.  I've been spending endless hours in dark rooms, watching powerpoint presentations and listening to scientists talk about their research.  There is a lot of biology, a little bit of chemistry and a whole lot of note-taking!  Let me tell you, my brain is fried!


 Luckily we've been able to enjoy the evenings away from the conference and in the great city of Chicago.  I've spent a lot of time here in the past, with going to grad school in Madison, Wisconsin, a mere two hours up the I-90.  It's been great being back in the city.  I've actually gotten to do a few things that I never had the chance to in the past.

I saw the bean...


I had some deep-dish pizza...


I took a walk through Millenium park...

Yay!  Tulips!  You all know how I love tulips


And I saw the new Trump building...


This building wasn't anywhere near finished last time I was in Chicago!
It's been an exhausting few days, and I've got another day before the conference is over.  I think that I'll sleep very well on my way back to New York City tomorrow night!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Why Bother? 2012 - Bagels

Monday morning I walked into work with three bags full of fresh, homemade bagels.  I sent around an e-mail to my coworkers and they came by for breakfast.  People limiting themselves to a half bagel soon came back for the second half.  Some showed up later in the day for a second bagel, wanting to try each of the flavors that I brought in.  I don't know whether it was the draw of a homemade treat or that never-dying grad student mentality.



For those of you that don't understand the "grad student mentality," let me explain.  Grad students live on a small income and love free stuff.  Any free stuff.  By the time you hear that there is free food in the building, it's already gone.  Grad students are like little piranhas.  After five years of perfecting this skill, it never goes away.  Former grad students will always find the best free stuff, make friends with them!


Of course I'd like to think that it was the bagels that brought people back for seconds.  This past weekend I spent half a day prepping, kneading, rising, boiling and baking two batches of bagels.  I decided upon two different recipes, one requiring oil and one a simple dough.  Both recipes required quite a bit of hands on time and a lot of flour! 



Today I'm sharing the recipe for my blueberry-oatmeal bagels with you (tomorrow we'll have some cherry-coconut beauties).  These were the favorite of my two weekend endeavours.  Beginning with a traditional bagel recipe, I swapped out some of the bread flour with oat flour.  Once the dough came together I poured in a pouch of dried blueberries, they turned the dough a beautiful color. 


After a short rise period, the bagels were boiled for a short time in slightly sugared water.  A nice egg-wash and sprinkling of rolled oats and the bagels went into the oven.  Within a few minutes, the apartment was filled with the sweet smells of yeasty bread.  The first batch of bagels wasn't ready until around noon, but that didn't stop me from having one for lunch!


Now the big question, was all the time invested worth the final product?  No doubt about it, yes.  Store-bought bagels, even some deli-bought bagels, tend to be too tough on the outside and too huge for a normal person.  Making your own bagels at home gives you the option to change the flavor, size and texture of the bagels.  And really, nothing beats a house that smells like freshly baked bread.  It's a bonus.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Nectarine Melba Crumble

Okay, I gave in. I signed up for my companies annual flu shot day. I didn't want to do it, but I think that I have no choice. I mostly didn't want to get the shot because I really hate getting shots.


I'm like a toddler when it comes to needles. I use needles and syringes on a daily basis at the lab, to measure out liquids and inject them into my reactions. They never come in contact with me and I freak out when I think I've poked through my glove with one (mostly because I don't work with the most friendly of chemicals). The flu shot comes in a needle and this is why I avoid getting them.


There are two reasons why I have decided that this is the year I get a flu shot. I spent the last seven years working in an academic lab. This meant seeing the same five people day in and day out. I was rarely in contact with anyone from the outside world. I lived in a safe, little, germ-free lab. Suffice it to say, my immune system is low from not being exposed to lots of worldly germs.


The second reason that I need a flu shot is simple. I am a commuter now and there seem to be lots of sick people on the train. Every mornin an night, there are people coughing and sneezing, looking all miserable and sick. Aside from not touching anything on the train, I think the flu shot is a good line of defense against sickness this winter.


The posters around the office, telling me to SIGN UP! are making me feel like I really should. Does this mean that summer is over? Sad day.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Oatmeal Pancakes

Today is my last day of summer vacation, ever!  I'm not sure if that should be a happy or a sad exclamation point.  Tomorrow is the big day, my first day of work in the real world.  It feels like the day before my first day of school.  I'm looking at my closet, trying to decide what to wear.  I got a haircut this weekend and I'm all ready with my new do.  The occasional butterfly in my stomach and those first day thoughts keep popping up.

What will it be like?  Will I fit in with the rest of the scientists?  Will I fall asleep on the train and miss my stop?  I hope not!  At least I'll have these little beauties to keep me energized and ready to go on my first day of work.  And I totally have my outfit picked out and ready to go.


Rather than posting yet another picture of pancakes (while they were delicious) I thought you might enjoy some pictures of the Macy's fireworks from last night.  Happy 5th of July!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snack Week! - Granola Bars

Monday passed in a bit of a fever-induced haze. You know how it goes, you’re sitting at your desk, staring at the computer, then it’s an hour later and nothing has sunk in. My brain is boiling, or something like that. All I wanted to do was go home and curl up in bed, the lab is so cold! Or it’s the fever.



I’m so glad that I spent the weekend cooking and baking, because right now I have zero energy. I think that I’m running on negative energy, the world is pulling the energy right out of my body. I’m also jazzed that I decided to make these granola bars for snack week. They are chewy, delicious and filling. Adapt them according to what nuts and seeds that you like. I’ve made them with raisins and walnuts instead of craisins and soy nuts. I’ve drizzled them in chocolate on my more crazy days. I think that I’ll have one of these for lunch. Eating sounds like a lot of work today.
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