Thursday, April 4, 2013

Pumpkin Oatmeal in the crockpot...

I did make Pumpkin Oatmeal in my crockpot over the Easter Holiday and I have to say - it's okay...I'm not wild about it, but I would do it again, just not right away.

I used this recipe, although I cut the sugar in half - between the sugar and the maple syrup, it just seemed like a lot!

This made 9 cups, so I was able to freeze a bunch.  Can't get my kids to try it, though. ;-)

Here's the recipe if you don't want to click on the link:

Servings: 9 (1 cup each)
2 cups steel cut oats
1 12 oz. can fat-free evaporated milk
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
5 1/2 C water
1 C sugar
2 t pumpkin pie spice
1/4 C maple syrup
1. Combine all ingredients in crock, stir well. Cook on low for 8 hours or 3 hours on high (stir every hour to keep from getting a crust).
2. For an apple version: substitute 2 cups sugar free applesauce for the pumpkin. Add 1 large chopped apple. Substitute 2 teaspoons cinnamon for the pumpkin pie spice.

I definitely want to try the apple version.  Yum...

Oh, Pinterest...

...How addictive you are!

I have been scrolling through Pinterest ... regularly ... for the last week. I am tossing around starting to sell some craft items utilizing my Silhouette, and I've been looking for inspiration. In the process, I've pinned literally hundreds of pins. One of the pins that caught my eye was this pin:

I am a HUGE fan of coconut lime, so this certainly fits that bill. So, I decided to try making the scrub.

Coconut-Lime Scrub

1/2 cup coconut oil (I used Trader Joe's Organic Virgin Coconut Oil)
1 1/4 cup white sugar
3 TBSP fresh lime juice

I did microwave the coconut oil to measure it easier. I placed all the ingredients in a jar, mixed and stuck the concoction in the refrigerator. After the coconut oil hardened a bit, I stirred the mixture again.

And this is what I've got:

I haven't used it yet. It smells ... very coconutty. I don't smell much lime in it. I plan to use it the next time I'm in the shower - I never have time to pamper myself with a bath. I'll let you know how it works!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The post in which I talk...

...about cooking oatmeal in a crockpot...

Why yes, two posts in a week - both on crockpots!

I made another attempt at crockpotting oatmeal overnight, and this time it was a success!  *flails*

I used an Alton Brown recipe, doubled it, modified it a wee bit, and adjusted the cooking time - sort of.

Overnight Oatmeal - adapted from Alton Brown

  • 2 cups steel cut oatmeal (also called Irish Oatmeal) - I had problems locating this - I got mine from the local Trader Joe's.
  • 8 cups of water
  • 1 cup half and half
  • couple pinches of salt
  • cinnamon

Mix together.  Cook on low for a couple hours, turn down to warm overnight, turn on high for 2 hours or until done in the morning.

Add one packet of splenda, fresh berries, mini chocolate chips, bananas, coconut, etc...YUMMY!!

(AB differences: his recipe did not call for the salt or cinnamon, was cut in half and had dried fruit in it.  I "might" reduce the liquid a little bit next time since there is no dried fruit to rehydrate, although it really worked out great.)

I divided the oatmeal in one cup servings and froze what I didn't eat.  Will thaw and add the extras for quick breakfasts on the go!

Weight Watcher Points = approximately 4 points without topping.  Add 2 points for 1 TBSP of chocolate chips, 1 point for 1 TBSP of shredded coconut.

Tomorrow, I plan to add caramel, chocolate chips and coconut - Samoa Oatmeal!

Next up to try is Pumpkin Oatmeal!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


*blows dust off blog*'s been... a long time since I've posted anything here...hmmm...must do better!!

Since the last time we chatted, my job has been VERY busy - I am a researcher in fuel science, and I've had loads of projects going on.

In addition, I met my goal at Weight Watchers, and actually, I exceeded it. I am about 13 lbs lighter than my goal. Which is ok. My goal was sort of where "I'd be happy here if I can't lose more weight", not where I'd love to be. I am actually where I wanted to get, but didn't think I'd ever get there again. (I'm 49 peeps, I never thought after 4 kids and 6 pregnancies I'd be the same size I was when I got married.) I am now a lifetime member, and I get all my membership fees and online tools for free, provided I weigh in once a month and stay within 2 lbs of goal.

I am successfully doing that.

I turned 49 in January, registered for my first half marathon (I had a goal to do one before I turned 50), started training, and... ended up getting shingles after the death of my beloved aunt. I am back at the training, albeit not as stringent as I need to be, but I am still recovering from the shingles - the rash is still there, and I still itch or hurt occasionally.


Post for today - crockpotting...

I have always been a one crockpot woman. I never owned 2 or more crockpots - when one broke, I got a new one. If our family expanded, I'd get a larger one, and get rid of the other. My last one had the handle break, so I bought a fancier programmable one (not the top of the line - just one that switches to warm after 4/6/8/10 hours).  It's a 6 qt crockpot, which accommodates my large family quite nicely. I can easily double most soup recipes in it, and have soup coming out our ears.

Not literally. :)

But a few years ago, I had the opportunity to purchase a three crockpot unit. It was when they first came out, they were expensive, but I got it for 50% off. I really only use it for holidays to keep things warm on our buffet (I host a large family gathering almost every holiday). Each crock is only 2 qt. so, it does have limited uses. I have used it for a soup lunch at work a couple times as well, and that's about it. Until I decided to make bean soup in my crockpot from leftover frozen ham from Christmas, and the hubby doesn't like bean soup.

He wanted split pea.

Which, I don't like. At. All.

So, I made a big pot of bean in the larger crockpot, and brought out the three pot unit for the split pea. While it would have been great to just use that unit for both soups, the crocks weren't big enough for my love of all things bean soup.

Don't judge.

So, that got me thinking...would it be beneficial to have a smaller crockpot to use for situations like this? Two quart was too small - they would be good for side dishes, but not for larger meals like soups and such.

So, I decided maybe a cheap, basic smaller crock (like 4 qt) would be worth the investment. And, as luck would have it, our grocery store had one on sale for $25.00 - it was a 5 qt, but it came with a 2 cup Little Dipper - perfect for keeping chocolate warm to dip cake pops (which I had been looking for something like this, anyway...).

And it has been a great investment...I made a triple batch of black bean soup (so I could freeze it) and I made it between the 2 crock pots (the 6 qt and 5 qt). I've attempted overnight oatmeal in it (it was a fail, but not due to the crockpot - I had the wrong oatmeal), and today, I'm cooking up chicken breasts in it to freeze the cooked chicken (and to use a bit for dinner tonight). It's not quite as cumbersome on the counter as the large oval one, and good for simple things. If there is a recipe that I don't want to overcook, I'd definitely use the 6 qt so it'll switch to warm, but this one does do a nice job on some smaller meals/jobs.

Leave me a comment if you are interested in some soup recipes for the crockpot. I made an awesome white chicken chili, black bean and lemon chicken orzo (actually, the lemon chicken orzo is stovetop, not crockpot...haven't tried to adapt it yet...)

I have some craft ideas in mind, as well, that I hope to get to soon...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Quickie - Weight Watchers

Quickie - Danica's Daily is hosting a contest for a Weight Watchers ActiveLink.  If you are interested, click on over to her website and enter to win!

I have now been on WW for 10 weeks and have lost over 17 lbs!  I am very close to my goal weight.  If you are interested in losing weight, but have never given WW a try, I highly recommend it.  My cousin and coworker are also both on it, and between the three of us, we've lost a total of 69 lbs!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Need Cake? Chocolate Angel Food Cake!

Want a quickie cake recipe?

Chocolate Angel Food Cake

1 box of Angel Food Cake Mix
1/2 c baking cocoa

Mix the Angel Food Cake and cocoa together in a bowl.
Follow box and continue making the cake from the box instructions (my instructions had to add 1 1/4 c of water and mix on low for 30 seconds, and medium for 1 minute, pour into pan, bake for 37-47 minutes at 350 degrees until cracks in cake are no longer spongy.

Sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar and serve with cut-up fruit and cool whip.


Very simple, very quick, very delicious!

Recipe found at Dine and Dish

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Nails, Anyone?

When I originally started this blog, I was going to stick to strictly recipes and crafting projects.  Wellllll.....I've decided if I find something else to suit my fancy, I plan to post it as well!

Today's topic?  My nails.

I have really horrible looking nails - they are brittle and dry, crack and peel at any given moment.  I'm seriously embarrassed by them, and I LOVE to have my nails done.

Enter paying for private school tuition times four boys (two of which are in high school), and the nail thing goes to the bottom of the expense list.  Actually, it's not been on the expense list for a very LOOOONG time.  I used to get my nails done when the first two were younger, and I did for about six months about five years back.  But, for the most part, I've suffered through crappy looking nails.

I am sort of a weird type of girl.  I don't necessary enjoy shopping.  I don't wear a lot of makeup (if any), and, up until recently, I didn't own many shoes (I still don't really).  I do like purses (can't figure that one out), and I love to have my nails pretty.  It does make me feel more ... girlie.

I think it comes from living in a house full of men.

Anyway, a friend of mine posted some awesome shots of her nails, and I got to wanting to do mine again.  So.  I did.

Broadway Nails Brush-On Gel Nail Kit
(image from Amazon)

This kit was very easy to use.  I was skeptical, I can tell you.  First thing it had you do was attach the fake nails with the "gel".  I have always used glue any time I've attached a fake nail, and if I had had nail glue, I would have used it.  But I didn't, so I used the gel, and it worked perfectly fine.  I followed the instructions on the box, and my only complaint was that the stuff didn't completely "dry".  it always felt sticky.  In hindsight, I could have just painted over it, and it would be fine (I had to repair a nail, and did that, and it worked fine).  I went to bed with my nails "sticky" and woke up with my nails "sticky".  So drying didn't happen at my house.  Once I put clear coat on it and a drying agent, they were fine.

Durability - I work in a field where I wash my hands a lot and I use  rubber gloves.  My hands get a lot of abuse.  They worked fine - but I did have to glue nails down periodically (I finally got some nail glue).  However, a week and half in, and the nails are peeling off.  They are not hard like acrylic (they are gel afterall...), and I will probably remove them completely, instead of doing a fill (I had a friend recommend product to me, that I plan to try next time).  Overall, they worked well, but didn't last long term for me (again, I have a job that is hard on my hands...)

Here is a link to Broadway Nails website:

I purchased the kit from a local drugstore.

Now pictures - I was trying out new paint techniques as well, so that's why only one nail is blue - but I do like my nails, and I love the blue:

And because I love the color on my toes, I present my current toe polish:

This is Sally Hansen's Insta-Dry Fast Dry Nail Color in Co-Bolt Blue and a heavy coat of Sally Hansen's Xtreme Wear Nail Color in Strobe Light.  The blue nail above is also Co-Bolt Blue with a streak of the Strobe Light.