Tag Archives: cinnamon

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

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Ahhhh, autumn.  Pumpkins and squash and apples, oh my.

I borrowed an idea from Mixxedtape for an oatmeal add-in this morning.  I sautéed an apple with a little bit of olive oil and a lot of cinnamon, stirred some honey into my oatmeal, and mixed the apples in with my morning bowl of oatmeal.

I poured myself a cup of ambition, and enjoyed a yummy, comforting breakfast.

Adventures in Pumpkin

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The local grocery stores have been sold out of canned pumpkin for weeks so, when I finally spotted some yesterday, I loaded up with at least eight cans of the stuff.  I was anxious to use some right away and decided to experiment with pumpkin soup.  I browned a tablespoon of diced yellow onion in a tablespoon of olive oil.

I poured in 3.5 cups (a 29-ounce can) of pumpkin.

I mixed in half a cup of unsweetened applesauce.  I thought it might add some natural sweetness but balance out the pumpkin.

I poured in 1.5 cups of vegetable stock, added a dash of nutmeg, and dumped probably a tablespoon of cinnamon in it.  (I love cinnamon.)  I mixed everything up and let it simmer, covered, on low heat.  (Please–cover, cover, cover your pumpkin or you will quickly have a pumpkin-colored kitchen!)  There was no need to use a blender–I just poured a bit into a bowl and garnished it with roasted pumpkin seeds.

It was…okay.  It wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t knocked out by it.  I definitely should’ve chopped up the onions a little finer.  Other than that, I’m not sure what I should’ve done to give it more flavor.  Left out the applesauce?  Added a tablespoon of maple syrup?  Added cream?  I don’t know.

What do you use in your pumpkin soup?

Quick Hot Cinnamon Dark Chocolate

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There’s a chill in the air which makes me crave warm, soothing drinks like apple cider and hot chocolate.  I’m eating healthier, but I treat myself once in a while to chocolate, so I wanted to find a healthier hot chocolate.  I tried a hot chocolate experiment at home.

I broke up six pieces of Green & Black’s 70% dark chocolate into a mug.  I nuked the mug in the microwave for about a minute.

While “whisking” the chocolate with a fork, I nuked one cup of fat-free milk, in a separate mug, in the microwave for about 1.5 minutes.

I gradually poured the milk into the chocolate mug while whisking.  Halfway through, I whisked in a generous helping of cinnamon.

Although I think it might be a tad tastier with 2% or whole milk, it was still pretty darn tasty.  Dark chocolate gave it depth, and the cinnamon was just the kick to bump it up a notch.

All of this for just 210 calories–which is 30 fewer calories than Swiss Miss Cocoa Indulgent Dark Chocolate Sensation made with fat-free milk!

UPDATE: Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

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Thanks for everyone’s suggestions on how to improve the overnight oatmeal!  I used your tips.  I mashed a banana in a bowl.

I spooned in the leftover oatmeal.

I splashed a little bit of milk into the bowl.  I wanted to add applesauce, but I didn’t have any at home.

I mixed everything up and nuked it in the microwave for a couple of minutes, then mixed in some cinnamon.  (I love cinnamon–I think it makes everything taste better.)

The oatmeal tasted so much better!  I enjoyed it with a cup of coffee.  It was a good start to the day.

Overnight Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

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I’ve been curious about overnight oatmeal and how it tastes, especially if steel cut oats are used.  I finally gave it a try.

I poured 2 cups of McCann’s steel cut Irish oatmeal into my Crockpot.

I diced an apple and dumped it into the pot.

I covered the ingredients with 8 cups of water and sprinkled the concoction with a generous helping of cinnamon.

The Crockpot was set to low heat for 10 hours, and I went to bed.

When I woke in the morning, the whole house smelled like oatmeal.  It was a warm, cozy introduction to the day.  I peered into the Crockpot where I saw…well…watery goop.

I’m a lumpy oatmeal kinda girl, so I hoped it wouldn’t be as watery once I mixed it up and poured it into the bowl.  It was a bit thicker.  Unfortunately, it was bland.  Really bland.

I sprinkled cinnamon into the bowl, along with about a teaspoon of maple syrup.  I didn’t want to use a sugary ingredient like maple syrup, but this oatmeal needed help–stat!

I’m sorry to report that it was still very bland.  I didn’t have time to futz around with it, so I put the leftovers in the fridge until I could experiment some more.  Any suggestions on how to flavor this stuff?  Or how to cook it next time so it isn’t so bland?

Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

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I love autumn.  I love the crisp air, the multicolored leaves, and the food.  Of course, a healthy lifestyle means I need to lay off the giant slices of apple pie and look to healthier options, so I experimented with butternut squash soup.

I bought a couple of large squash, washed them, cut off the ends, and cut them in half.

The oven was heated to 400 degrees.  I roasted the squash for 25 minutes.  I took out the larger pieces that seemed soft, and left the smaller, harder pieces in the oven for another 10 minutes.

I trimmed off the skin and cut up the squash into pieces less than an inch thick.  I threw the pieces into a big pot and poured about 6 cups of vegetable stock over the squash.  A lot of squash soup recipes call for onions, leeks, or celery.  I didn’t add any of those ingredients because (1) I’m lazy and (2) they were already in the vegetable stock.

I seasoned the soup with salt, pepper, nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon.  The soup simmered on medium heat for 30 minutes.  I tasted it, and added more cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

I poured the soup into a blender, in batches, and pulsed the blender for less than 5 seconds.  Voila!  Spicy squash soup.

It was spicy like pumpkin pie filling, but not as sweet.  A pinch of almond slices gave it a more complex, nutty taste.  Hubby and I each enjoyed a bowl for dinner, and we had enough left over for probably 4 or 5 more bowls.

What’s your favorite squash dish?