Monday, November 18

Baked Oatmeal

I'm more of a breakfast person than most.  Partly because I love food, and because I cherish the quiet of the morning.  I can't say I've always been this way, though.  Quite frankly, I spent a lot of my life annoyed with my Mom, who is the happiest, cheeriest lady you've ever met at 6am.  Seriously, she wakes up so happy.  And I always remember her being so loud in the morning.  Like clanging pots and pans loud. And always so proud to announce the list of things she'd accomplished so far that day when we finally woke up at 7am. 

But now, as a Mom and wife myself, I've discovered the beauty in the morning.  I love the quiet and peace of the house while my little one sleeps (it's a rare occasion, heck, it's no occasion to beat my husband's 4:45am alarm). It's the perfect time to catch up on housework, a quick yoga video, a quiet cup of coffee, pinterest discoveries, and a freshly baked breakfast.  So this weekend, I gathered my old cookbook and pa roused for a classic, healthy recipe.  And after adding my own touch (pears in place of apple, pecans instead of walnuts), I think we've found another solid go-to.  

A lovely cold-weather breakfast.  And a perfect Christmas morning treat.

Baked Oatmeal with Pears and Pecans
(serves 4)

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup pecans (save some for sprinkling before baking)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tblsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1 egg
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
2 pears, diced

Preheat oven to 350f.  Butter a baking/casserole dish.  Layer diced pears in bottom of baking dish.  Combine oats, pecans, powder, cinnamon, salt in a mixing bowl until just mixed.  Layer on top of pears.  In a separate bowl, slowly whisk milk into egg, maple syrup, and vanilla until combined.  Gently pour on top of oats mixture, coating evenly.  Sprinkle with handful of pecans.  Bake for 30 minutes or more, until set.
Enjoy warm with a drizzle of maple syrup.

Linking up at Thistlewood Farms.

A Real Weekend

It's been well over year since I've had a job with regular weekends.  So when Friday arrived, I had weekend excitement all over again, and it was so nice.  When previously working 12 hour shifts, it was common to have two or three days off in a row during the week, but always knowing I would have a work marathon ahead of me- I'm not sure I really got to enjoy my time off, as I was hustling to accomplish my housework, cooking meals ahead of time, and always vying for extra snuggle time with Molly.  Now that I'm home each night by 5pm, I'm less hurried when I'm home.  There is less hustle to accomplish things, because I know I'll have the next evening at home, too.  My husband told me this weekend that he thinks I'm already more calm, more relaxed at home.  Again, we prayed for this job, so  I do feel like I've got an extra ounce of support these days.  Not to mention the warm, heartfelt text message I received early this morning from a friend, just to offer support- it brought tears, and at just the right time. :)

Molly and I enjoyed a quiet breakfast of baked oatmeal (it was amazing, I'll post a recipe soon) to start the weekend.  We had beautiful weather on Saturday, which kept us outside chasing kittens most of the day.  Molly just loves those kittens, and is more than distressed when they run from her.  She sneaks around saying "ca-mereeeee kitty" for hours. Seriously- hours.  And eventually those sweet kittens let her catch them- and she improperly carries them to a destination they despise- her wagon (there seems to be a theme going), her stroller, the bucket- usual toddler antics.    I am constantly on attention, similar to my lifeguarding days, safely repositioning a kitten if being held incorrectly, rescuing a kitten from her arms just before she throws it, etc.  But they keep coming back for more, I don't understand.

Jesse's right in the heart of the most taxing season in farming, so Molly and I have been keeping each other company lately.  Until yesterday, I think it's been almost a week since we've seen him at bedtime-- he works until the dew sets on the soybeans, around 2 or 3 am, and then rushes home for a few hours of sleep to start the next day all over again. The old saying "you've got to make hay while the sun's shining" still reigns, as the nice weather has allowed the majority of the soybeans to be harvested at just the right moisture level (it's actually a lot more complicated than I ever imagined).  Sunday brought rain, which isn't great for a grain harvester, but is sweet for his family :)  Molly caught up on snuggles, and during her nap, I stole his attention for a DIY Advent Calendar- tutorial coming!  It's a take on the one in Pottery Barn magazine this month, for like 99% less cost. Think old plywood and burlap pockets.

Monday's here, and we're ready for the week.
Can you believe how close we are to Thanksgiving?!  Crazy.

Have a great week!