Thursday, June 28, 2012

Homemade Instant Oatmeal

My oldest son goes through streaks where all he wants is one thing for breakfast and he'll eat that SAME. THING. OVER. AND. OVER. AGAIN. until the new thing.  For a while, he wanted omelets every morning.  Now we're off omelets and onto oatmeal.  I had some packets of instant oatmeal in the cupboard.  My hubby brings them home from the hotels he stays at sometimes (he grabs them at breakfast time intending to make them later) or I'll see some that look good while I'm in the store.  In any case, we had quite a few of them here.  Rugby's been making them for a couple weeks and now we're completely out and the kid eats 3 packets at a meal, so HOLY EXPENSIVE, BATMAN!  There's got to be a better way!

 I keep quick cooking oats in the house to bake with, so yesterday I opened them up, fired up Google and found a recipe for our own.  I have a large glass container that I used to keep our popping corn in, but that was nearly empty, so I poured the popping corn into another container that was already empty and VOILA! Oatmeal storage.  :) I wrote the instructions on a piece of card stock, cut it out to the size of the lid and glued it on with a little Elmer's school glue that was handy.   Then I printed out a list of "variations" so that there were ideas right there for him to jazz up his oatmeal and I had some of the  things in the house already.  There were some things on the variations list that will be special request and some for special occasion (Dude, we're NOT having Pop Rocks in our oatmeal every day!)  Anyway, here's the recipe and a list of the variations.  Enjoy!

Cinnamon Spice Instant Oatmeal

6 cups quick cooking oats
2 cups quick cooking oats flour (pulse in a blender in 1/2 cup batches or run through the food processor.  This helps thicken the oatmeal)
1 cup dry milk powder (optional...I didn't include just because I didn't have any on hand)
 3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp salt

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients.  Pour into a large storage container or separate out into snack bags.  Most packets you buy in the store are 1/3 cup and that will fit lovely into a snack size baggie. 

To use: Add 1/3 cup mix to 2/3 cup milk (or water if you prefer).  Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes and enjoy.

Now the fun part....MIX INS!  The boys all had oatmeal this morning because they got to add sprinkles.  It wasn't much, but it was enough to get them excited about oatmeal and for my little two, that NEVER happens!  :) Here's a few more options:

Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal-  2 Tbsp. chopped dried apples.

Oatmeal w/Raisins & Brown Sugar - 1 Tbsp. raisins.

Health Nut Oatmeal -  2 Tbsp. any kind of wheat germ

Fruit & Cream Oatmeal - 1 Tbsp. non-dairy coffee creamer and 2 Tbsp. dried fruit

Fun Fruit Oatmeal -  6 or 7 pieces of 'fruit snack' type dehydrated fruit

Confetti Oatmeal - 1 tsp. decorative cake/cookie sprinkles.

S'More Oatmeal - add 6 miniature marshmallows and 1 Tbsp. Milk Chocolate Chips to each packet.

Cookies n Cream Oatmeal - add 1 crushed Oreo cookie and 1 Tbsp. non-dairy coffee creamer

Exploding Oatmeal -  1/2 tsp. 'Pop Rocks' candy to each packet. This one is fun for celebration days, such as birthdays.

Bart-man Oatmeal - add 2 Tbsp. 'Butterfinger B.B's' candies to each packet.

And don't forget about plain old fresh fruit, too.  Raspberries or blueberries would be awesome!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Herbal Oven Roasted Potatoes

Tonight we were looking for something to go with some marinated chicken breasts for dinner.  It's 90* today, so I didn't want to spend a lot of time or effort on it.  I had a bag of Honey Gold Potatoes left in the pantry from a couple weeks ago.  They are 2 bites-sized potatoes and look like baby Yukon Golds.  I cut a few herbs from the garden, tossed it all together and VOILA!  Enjoy!

Herbal Oven Roasted Potatoes

2# potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces (I quartered the Honey Golds)
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes (I used romas, but grape or cherry halves would be good!)
5 cloves pressed garlic
3 tbsp EVOO (I used Rosemary Canola Oil that we got for Christmas.  Pampered Chef sells it.)
2-3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
1 cup fresh basil, chopped

In a gallon sized bag, toss together potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, rosemary and oil.  Spread in a greased 11x17 pan (I lined mine with foil, then sprayed with cooking spray). Bake at 450 for 20-30 minutes.  remove from oven and toss in basil before serving.