Thursday, April 16, 2015

Overnight Steel Cut Oats

**First of all, I apologize for the terrible lighting for all of these pictures. It was at night, so no natural light for me! **

After scouring the internet for a fool proof recipe for overnight steel cut oats, I decided that I needed to post about my journey. I had to take a combination of different recipes and make my own method that resulted in the right texture of oats that me and my husband agreed on. (Although he honestly didn't mind a super chewy -- almost crunchy-- texture... I couldn't get past it.)

You could eat these cold right out of the fridge or your could heat them up like we do in the morning. Just zap them in the microwave for 1 minute. Really -- that's it! Just one minute and they are piping hot and deliciously creamy.

The best part is that the possibilities are endless! You can add whatever you'd like to switch up the flavors. Add some apple sauce and sliced almonds. Or add coconut flakes and crushed pecans. If you're being "bad" add a couple chocolate chips for a sweet addition. 

I personally use unsweetened almond milk because I watching my calories and carb intake. But you could use half and half or milk as well. This is the reason you also won't find any added sugar (or artificial sweetener) in my recipe. By all means go ahead and add it if you must, but honestly with the PB and fruit you don't need it.


1/4 cup dry steel cut oats
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp (or 3/8 cup) unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup berries, sliced bananas, apple sauce, whatever you'd like

Half pint mason jars and lids


Place 1/4 cup of dry steel cut oats in one of your mason jars.
Add 1/4 cup almond milk to the oats, mix together and stick in the microwave for 1 minute.
The glass will be hot, so place it on a towel or napkin instead of directly on a cold counter. 
Add the vanilla and the cinnamon, mix together.

Add the tablespoon of peanut butter and an extra 2 table spoons of almond milk to loosen up the oats and mix together.
Wash and slice the berries or fruit you're using and add to the jars.
Mix the fruit into the oats so they are fully immersed.
Put the lids on the jar and leave on the counter until the jars are completely cool. (If you are doing a large batch, they will most likely be cool by the time you finish up adding the other ingredients.)
Stick the jars in the fridge until you are ready to eat (at least overnight). 
When you are ready to eat, take off the lid, stir up a bit and stick in the microwave for 1 minute OR eat cold. I personally like them heated up. They are warm, filling and comforting.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Crockpot Corn Salsa Chicken with Quinoa

New picture! :)

 Picture from original post.

I know I have been lagging on the posts as of late. I just honestly haven't been making anything spectacular to post about. I tend to post most of my normal weekday dinners on my Instagram account, but don't usually do blog posts with the recipes unless I take hi-res pictures of the food. The problem with that method is that when I make something and it turns out amazing after I eat it, I have no hi-res pictures so then I don't blog the recipe. Well now that I think about it, that seems silly. Not all of my photos have to be perfect or hi-res. It's the food and taste that all of you really care about anyway! So thanks to one of my Facebook/Instagram friends Grace's request for the recipe, I decided to break tradition and post the recipe and just a simple low-res picture that I took and posted on Instagram last night.

UPDATE : I couldn't stand the low-res singular picture of this yummy dish so I went home during my lunch and shot the leftovers with the hi-res camera. I know, I know. I'm stubborn. Haha. See pictures below at the end of the post! :)

While this may be a crockpot recipe, I'd like to warn you all that I made the quinoa separately and then added it to the yummy shredded chicken.

Crockpot Corn Salsa Shredded Chicken with Quinoa
Yields: about 4-6 servings
Wine pairings: Loma Prieta Winery 2009 Viognier, Amorosa - Lodi GOLD MEDAL WINNER or a good Riesling would pair well


- 4 frozen boneless chicken breasts (I know there is a lot of debate out there regarding putting frozen chicken into a crockpot, but I have done this countless times and have never gotten sick. I got my information from here when deciding whether or not to risk it.)
- 1 jar of Trader Joe's Corn and Chile Salsa
- 1 jar of Trader Joe's Organic Tomatillo and Roasted Yellow Chili Salsa

- 2 cups of quinoa (rinsed and drained)
- 4 cups of water


1. Spray the crockpot to ensure nothing sticks, or use one of those crockpot liners.
2. Dump the entire jar of Trader Joe's Corn and Chile Salsa into the pot.
3. Place the 4 frozen chicken breasts on top of the salsa. (Yes, I literally pulled these chicken breasts out of the freezer during my lunch break and stuck them in the crockpot. I'm alive today to talk about it.)
4. Pour about 1/2 of the jar of Trader Joe's Organic Tomatillo and Roasted Yellow Chili Salsa over the 4 chicken breasts. (It's okay if there are parts of the chicken breasts that are not fully covered in sauce. The breasts shouldn't be submerged.)
5. Set crockpot on high and walk away for a good 5 hours or so.
6. After cooking 5-6 hours on high the chicken should be incredibly easy to shred. I just used 2 forks right in the crockpot to shred the chicken up easily. (The mixture may seem a little watery, but not to fret, it works out!)
7. Pour the rest of the Trader Joe's Organic Tomatillo and Roasted Yellow Chili Salsa over the shredded chicken and put on "warm" and let sit for another 20 minutes or so while you prep the quinoa.

1. Pour 2 cups of dry quinoa into a fine mesh strainer and rinse completely. (Water dripping out should be clear.)
2. Prepare quinoa per package instructions OR use my method which is using a rice cooker (see below).
Rice Cooker Method
3. Dump the rinsed quinoa into the rice cooker and pour 4 cups of purified water on top.
4. Set rice cooker to "cook" and walk away for about 15-20 minutes until your rice cooker indicates it's done cooking. (I swear by this method, my quinoa comes out fluffy and moist every single time!)

Final steps would be to serve about 1/2 cup of quinoa in a bowl and then place desired amount of shredded chicken on top. I mixed the two together slightly, however you could eat separately and it would taste just as yummy!

This is a really filling meal, so I only needed my one bowl of the mixture and I was stuffed! Almost couldn't eat my last bites. The recipe is boyfriend approved, so I know it's not just me who thought it was pretty darn amazing. ;)


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Beauty Army Box June 2012

Hello all! So one of my most recent addictions are beauty boxes. If you haven't heard of them before, they are basically samples of different beauty products and makeup that are shipped to you monthly. It's a great way to try out a bunch of products before buying the full size. I love the concept because it feels like you are getting a present every month! I mean first off, who doesn't like getting mail? Secondly, it's not just mail, it's a package. :) So I decided to be a nerd and do an "unveiling video" like many other people post on Youtube. I am embedding it here for you to all check out if you want. Basically I just show what I got in the box and that way you can compare items received. I signed up for Birchbox and for Glossbox as well, so we will see what those boxes bring. (the one I feature in the video)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes for Easter

Okay, okay, so I know banana chocolate chip cupcakes don't exactly scream "spring" or "Easter," but I had tons of bananas and when I made these a couple months ago they were a big hit with the fam bam. I originally found a recipe that inspired me on epicurious (the original recipe called for a peanut butter frosting--which could also be amazing). The first time I made them I didn't use green food coloring in the frosting and I sprinkled crushed Nilla wafers on top. This time for Easter, I decorated the cupcakes to look like grass with Easter eggs on top using Hershey's candy coated miniature eggs.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Yields: 12 - 16 cupcakes


1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 very ripe large bananas, peeled
1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (more if you're a chocolate fanatic like me)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or all spice)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1 8-oz package cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon (or more to taste)
Green food coloring drops (to preference)
Hershey's Easter Candy Coated Milk Chocolate Eggs (3 per cupcake)


1. Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. 
2. Line a muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.
3. Whisk flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl to blend. 
4. Mash bananas with fork in another medium bowl until smooth. 
5. Mix sour cream and vanilla into bananas.
6. Using stand mixer (or electric mixer), beat sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. This took me about 2-3 minutes.
7. Add one whole egg and the egg yolk of the second and beat until well blended. 
8. Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with banana-sour cream mixture in 2 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating just until blended after each addition. (I'm not sure if this really makes a difference or not, but I did this and it made my cupcakes come out light and fluffy--not like when you overmix a batter.)
9. Add in chocolate chips, fold into batter until well distributed.
10. Divide batter among prepared muffin tin -- with about 1/4 cup each.
11. Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center of each comes out clean, about 20 minutes. (Mine took exactly 20 minutes)
12. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
1. Sift powdered sugar into large bowl. 
2. Add cream cheese and butter.
3. Add cinnamon and vanilla.
3. Using stand mixer (or electric mixer), beat until smooth.
4. Add green food coloring and mix until well blended. (Do not overmix)
5. Pipe frosting onto cupcakes. (I was at my grandmother's house and didn't have my piping bags and tips so I simply used a plastic baggy and cut off one of the bottom corners to use as my piping bag. But you could get really fancy and use the Wilton's grass tip --  Wilton Multi-Opening #233 Decorating Tip)
6. Place 3 candy eggs in the center of the cupcake.


Monday, April 9, 2012

First Award -- Liebster Award!

YAY! How awesome! Thanks Kavita from What's Cooking @ Kavita's Kitchen? for the Liebster Blog award. Apparently, liebster is a German word meaning favorite, dearest or beloved. The award is awarded to up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers. It's definitely an honor to be chosen and I'm glad there are people who enjoy my pictures and recipes as much as I love them! :)

I'd now like to keep the love going and share this award with 5 other bloggers who all have a wonderful blog worth checking out.

Here are the 5 I have chosen (in no particular order):
  1. Erin - Lemon-Sugar 
  2. Edwina - My Mezzaluna
  3. Amalia - C2 Cookie Construction
  4. Holly - Happy Food. Healthy Life.
  5. Heather - A Sage Amalgam
If you accept the award:
Copy and paste the award on your blog. Link back the blogger who gave you the award.
Pick your favorite 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers who deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog to let them know that they have received the award.
Hope that the 5 blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to 5 more blogs.

Friday, March 16, 2012

"Irish Car Bomb" Cupcakes

These "Irish Car Bomb" cupcakes are Guinness chocolate stout cupcakes filled with a Jameson whiskey ganache topped with a Bailey's Irish Cream frosting. They were in one word: DELISH! :) I made them last night and brought them to my coworkers and they were definitely a hit. I found these cupcakes online when looking for a tasty treat to bring to work. I was tired of making cake pops for every holiday so I thought I'd do a simple cupcake this time around. But of course, I can never just do something "simple." I found a recipe that included a ganache filling--something that I don't usually do when making cupcakes. I felt a little inspired last night, so I decided to go for it. The original recipe can be found here on I Sing in the Kitchen's blog, I added a couple twists but pretty much followed the recipe for the most part.

I was super excited to make these cupcakes and I was planning on doing a step by step photo tutorial since I had time and wasn't rushed for once. Of course I left my memory card in my work laptop--which was at work. So unfortunately I wasn't able to take hi-res pictures of the steps. I'll still include the pictures I took on my iPhone, but pardon the resolution.


Guinness Stout Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup Guinness (Feel free to substitute some other type of stout)
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Jameson Whiskey Ganache Filling
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate (I used 76% cacao dark chocolate from Trader Joes)
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 to 2 tablespoons Jameson whiskey (or your favorite Irish whiskey)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting
8 oz cream cheese, softened
4oz unsalted butter, softened
5 cups powdered sugar (cut back or add more depending on how much Bailey's you add)
4-6 tablespoons of Bailey’s Irish Cream (I only had the small 50 ml sample bottle of Bailey's on hand so I had to cut back on some of my powdered sugar)


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 cupcake tins with liners.
2. Bring 1 cup Guinness and 1 cup butter to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. (Use at least a medium sized saucepan as my small one got too hot and overflowed--a mess let me tell you.)
3. Take the mixture off the heat and add the cocoa powder and chocolate chips and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
4. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt together in large bowl.
5. Using a stand mixer, beat eggs and then add sour cream in another large bowl and mix well.
6. Add Guinness-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and mix in mixer to combine--don't overmix.
7. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined.
8. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way (a tip from the original recipe was to use a two cup measuring cup for this task, it worked beautifully).
9. Bake cake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. This took me exactly 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely before coring for filling. (They smell SOOO good coming out of the oven! I almost wanted to stop and just eat them plain... almost. Haha)

1. Heat the cream until simmering and then add in the chocolate chips and dark chocolate. Stir rapidly until smooth while on the heat.
2. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined.
3. Take the ganache off the heat and let it cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped (I put mine in the fridge, but make sure to stir it every 10 minutes).
3. Meanwhile, use a 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer (the original blogger used a large round piping tip and I did the same, it worked perfectly) to cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom, so aim for 2/3 of the way. A slim spoon will help you get the center out (I used one of those plastic tools that you use for dipping things into chocolate with and it worked great). Either toss the scraps (gasp) or eat them while you finish up the cupcakes. I decided to make cake balls with the left over cupcake scraps and left over ganache. They were amazing--almost worthy of doing a separate post.

4. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top. (The piping bag really does work wonders and saves a lot of time. If you don't have a piping bag, I'm sure a plastic freezer bag with one of the corners cut would work fine.) 

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer mix the room temperature cream cheese and butter on low to medium low speed until well incorporated.
2. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar and beat until light and fluffy on medium speed.
3. Drizzle in the Bailey’s, depending on how prominent you want the Irish cream flavoring to be. Mix until completely incorporated.
4. Use a piping bag with tip of your choice (I used Wilton's tip 2D with coupler and disposable piping bag) and frost the cupcakes. Sprinkle with festive sprinkles or decorate to your liking.

OH and if you like the cupcake wrappers, I found them online at the following website and printed them out and wrapped them after frosting and decorating (way less messy if you do it AFTER you frost).


UPDATE -- Here are some pictures of the inside of the cupcake. :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pineapple Fried Rice Style Quinoa with Sweet Chili Stir Fry Chicken

I made this weeks ago but it's been so busy at work that I've been working a lot of overtime and haven't had time to blog unfortunately. (I haven't even had time to cook actually!) I made this quinoa as an experiment and the chicken followed. I love quinoa and I have been experimenting with it as a substitution for rice. I decided to try making quinoa fried rice style. It was AMAZING. Let me just tell you, it exceeded all of my expectations. I thought it tasted BETTER than some of the normal fried rice I've had at restaurants even. My co-workers loved it as well--it passed the taste test! Haha. You could potentially make the fried rice quinoa with or without the pineapple. I just LOVE pineapple, so I threw it in there.
DISCLAIMER: Sorry for the low quality photos, I really thought this was going to be a failed attempt at something great so I didn't bother with taking a bunch of photos. Next time! :)

Pineapple Fried Rice Style Quinoa

1 cup dry, rinsed quinoa
2 cups water
1 egg
1/4 cup and 2 tbsp grapeseed oil (separated) or 1/2 stick of butter
6 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup chopped cashews (optional)
1 and 1/8 cup yellow onion, finely chopped -- separated into 1 cup and 1/8 cup (I basically chopped up one entire yellow onion and used 1/2 for the quinoa and 1/2 for the chicken)
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup chopped baby carrots
2/3 cup peas

Sweet Chili Stir Fry Chicken

2 chicken breasts
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp grapeseed oil
1/3 cup sweet chili sauce (I got mine at the grocery store but it looks like this: Sweet Chili Sauce - 25 oz)
Pineapple Chunks to taste (I used a whole can of pineapple chunks in water for the rice and chicken)
Salt & Pepper


1. Cook quinoa using the method on the back of your package or use a rice steamer like I do. Along with the water and the quinoa, add in about 1/8 cup of chopped onion as well.
2. While the quinoa is cooking (usually takes about 20 minutes) stir fry the yellow onion, carrots and peas in the 2 tbsp of grapeseed oil and garlic.
3. Once the onions look fairly translucent, add in the pineapple. Heat for another 3 minutes or so and then take off the heat.
4. When the quinoa is completely cooked, melt the 1/2 stick of butter in a large skillet (may be substituted for grapeseed or olive oil as mentioned in the ingredients).
5. Put the cooked quinoa into the skillet along with the butter or grapeseed oil and "fry" the quinoa, stirring rapidly as to not burn. (I typically use medium heat.)
6. Once the quinoa is fully coated, add in the stir fried veggies, soy sauce, and chopped cashews and mix thoroughly.
7. In the pan you had the veggies, use the left over oil to fry and scramble up one egg.
8. Once the scrambled egg is cooked, chop it up (using the spatula) and add it to the fried quinoa. Mix thoroughly.

While you're frying up the veggies on one burner, start the chicken on another burner.
1. Cube the 2 chicken breasts into 1 inch pieces.
2. Add the grapeseed oil to the pan and saute the onion and minced garlic.
3. Once the onion looks translucent add in the cubed chicken.
4. Stir fry the chicken for a good 5-10 minutes until the chicken looks white. At this point add in the sweet chili sauce and pineapple.
5. Continue to cook the chicken for another 10 minutes on low-medium, stirring occasionally. (I covered my chicken with a lid and let it simmer while I finished up the quinoa.)


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