24 Oct 2014

Microwave Peanut Butter Oatmeal

To me, fall and winter will always be oatmeal seasons.

It just feels good to wake up in the morning with a bowl of hot oatmeal and a steaming mug of tea. It's always the small things that make a huge difference in my day. A good breakfast. A neon yellow scarf. A seat on the metro. These are some of the things that brighten my morning, and keep me happy throughout the day.

And maybe one of the most important things that make my day a whole lot better and brighter is sleeping in. Even for just a little bit longer. I deserve it, don't I? My days are long enough as it is!

So what do you do for breakfast on a sleepy weekday morning? Well my friends, this oatmeal is the recipe for you.

While I am pretty obsessed with my Coconut, cranberry and pumpkin seed banana microwave oatmeal right now, this one comes in a close second. Or when I don't have a ripe banana on hand. Which is pretty often.

I have made this oatmeal SO many times over the past couple of weeks because it is just too freaking easy. Also, PEANUT BUTTER! Am I right?

On a side note, I have this weird thing where I cannot STAND the smell of wet peanut butter. Everyone thought I was crazy, and just imagining weird smells, or trying to get out of doing the dishes. It wasn't until I told my boyfriend about it that he admitted that he knew what I was talking about. It must be love! Please, someone tell me that we are not crazy!

But back to this oatmeal. This was so fast to make that I could make it, take some pictures, and head out the door without being late for work! Now how's that for a perfect morning!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal
printable recipe

What you'll need:
  • 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon honey

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, together the oats and milk in a bowl. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, and let stand in the microwave for 1 minute.
  2. Remove the bowl from the microwave and mix in the peanut butter, cinnamon and honey until fully incorporated. Enjoy!

22 Oct 2014

Easy Mustard Chicken

What do you make on a weekday night when you come home late and have close to no ingredients in your house?

No seriously, I want to know. I need ideas! And not ideas like "order a pizza". I have already become the master of that idea.

This recipe has been a staple at my house for the past couple of weeks. 4 ingredients, and ready in 30 minutes, you can have a delicious, satisfying meal in less time than it takes you to watch your favorite TV show.

I will never go hungry on a weekday again!And this time, it's NOT because of the ordered in pizza!

Easy Mustard Chicken
printable recipe

What you'll need:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Dry the chicken on a paper towel.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, salt and pepper until fully combined.
  4. Spread mustard in a thin layer on the top of the chicken. Dip the chicken into the bread crumbs mustard side down. Paint the other side of the chicken with mustard and flip to coat with breadcrumb mixture. Shake off any excess, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and juices run clear.

Adapted from Kitchme

20 Oct 2014

Whole Wheat Nectarine Upside Down Cake

Monday! Everyone's favorite day...am I right?

Okay, I hear you. No one can escape the Monday morning blues. Where you wake up and realize that you have the whole week in front of you. Unless you are one of those weirdos that loves their job.

I am totally just joking about that last bit. My job is a lot of fun, doing math all day equals my day of fun.

But what I am trying to say here is that Monday morning = waking up early = cranky Cathleen.

To be fair, I am a morning person. But just not a Monday morning person. If Monday morning were more like Stay-in-Your-Pajamas-All-Day kind of day, then I wouldn't be whining so much. But since I need to be out the door by 7:30, I am mostly wanting a quick breakfast and a cup of tea before I leave for the day.

But of course, today was the day where I turn my alarm clock off, then wake up realizing that I need to leave in 15 minutes. It's surprising how much stuff you can get done when you are in panic mode. Make tea, wash face, get dressed, put an ice cube in my tea so I can actually drink it... thank goodness I made this cake last night!

This cake is me wanting to grab a hold of every ounce of summer and never let go. Because the cold winter scares me, and I have an irrational fear that as soon as I make something with pumpkin, winter will finally take hold, and I will need to walk around in what looks like a sleeping bag with a hood.

Happy Monday everyone!

Whole Wheat Nectarine Upside Down Cake
printable recipe

What you'll need:

  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened and divided
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 nectarines, cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place 4 tablespoons butter in a 9-inch round cake pan, and melt in the oven. Remove pan from oven and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over butter.
  2. Arrange the nectarines in an even layer in pan.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together flours, baking powder and baking soda. In a bowl attached to a stand mixer, beat 6 tablespoons butter on high until light and fluffy. Add the white sugar and beat until well combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then beat in the vanilla. With mixer on low, add flour mixture, alternating with the yogurt, and beat to combine.
  4. With a spatula, spread the batter over nectarines. Bake until cake is dark golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on a wire rack, for 15 minutes. Run a knife around edge of pan and invert cake onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Adapted from Martha Stewart

17 Oct 2014

Whole Wheat Black Cat Cookies

Are these just the cutest darned cookies that you ever did see?

Because Halloween is all about being cute, donchaknow. Or am I thinking about Valentines day. Because I can make these cats again for Valentines day and fall in love with them all over again.

These cookies came to pass when my and my boyfriend stumbled across this store that only sells bulk food. Tubs and barrels and vats of bulk food. A bulk food heaven, if you will. Anything a foodie can possibly want. However much you want. Just a scoopful away.

We shoveled quinoa, beans, chia seeds, popcorn, chocolate chips, raisins, dried cranberries... everything we even remotely wanted inside bags. It was the best shopping spree of my life. Who knew it would be in a bulk food store?

And when I saw the candy corn tub, I immediately grabbed a bag and scooped a huge bagful of the stuff. Which made my boyfriend happy because he is a candy fiend, but it also made me happy because I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them.

I credit this idea to a class I observed during my practicum. It was last year, a couple of weeks before Halloween, when I stepped into a grade 8 foods class to watch the teacher teach. And they were black cat cookies Not these exact cookies, I didn't have the foresight to steal the recipe, but I was amazed at how a whole class of teenagers bakes.

I think only one group's cookies actually looked like cats The other ones were brown balls almost entirely covered in candy. I understand their reasoning: why only have 3 pieces of candy on these cookies when the teacher is willing to give as many as we need to make these cookies? This is why making them at home is so much better: the leftover candy can go straight into my mouth.

Thank you bulk foods store. I will see you soon.

Whole Wheat Black Cat Cookies
printable recipe

What you'll need:

  • 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg
  • +candy corn
  • +swedish berries


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of of a stand mixer, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and the sugars until fully combined 
  3. Mix in the butter and egg on medium speed. The dough will mix into a big sticky ball when it is ready.
  4. Form balls of dough, and place on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten them a little with the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes. While cookies are warm, pinch the cookies for ears, and use a fork to create whiskers for each cat. Decorate with candy corn for the eyes and swedish berries for the nose.

Cookie recipe adapted from Fulfilled Homemaking

14 Oct 2014

Coconut, Cranberry and Pumpkin Seed Microwave Oatmeal

Can I talk about how obsessed I am with oatmeal lately?

I have had oatmeal every morning for a month. And this is not an exaggeration, I accepted a challenge from someone to see if  I could last. They thought the lack of variety would kill me,

Seriously? No way. Over the course of this month, I will be posting some of my most favorite oatmeal recipes that I have been making, and show you that oatmeal is not some boring last minute breakfast.

Not saying that it can't be a last minute breakfast. Case in point, this oatmeal.

This is my favorite microwave oatmeal. Ever. Say goodbye to those Quaker packets. Say hello to the next best thing in quick and easy breakfast ideas.

As you can see, I am slowly easing my way into the pumpkin season. You see? You see the seeds? I was thinking of making this oatmeal pumpkin flavored, but decided against it. I was too lazy to find my can opener, and plus, why complicate a good thing?

This is also one of my favorite recipes because it's a "one ripe banana" recipe. How often do you have one ripe banana, and don't know what to do with it? For me, almost every week. I have found my solution. And it is in the form of oatmeal.

Coconut, Cranberry and Pumpkin Seed Microwave Oatmeal
printable recipe

What you'll need:

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dried cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons sweetened coconut 


  1. In a microwave safe bowl, mix together the banana, oats, milk, cinnamon and vanilla until fully combined. 
  2. Microwave for 3 minutes, stiring halfway through.
  3. Add the pumpkin seeds, cranberries and coconut. Mix in and enjoy!

Adapted from Fannetastic Food

11 Oct 2014

Spiderweb Cupcakes

This year is going to be the year that I make more Halloween treats than ever before.

And since the only time I have ever made a Halloween treat was last year, and it was just the one recipe, this year with my candy corn peanut butter and this cupcake recipe, I have already DOUBLED the amount of Halloween recipes I made last year. Take that 2013.

Now I would like you to look at these cupcakes. What do you see?

Other than deliciously orange frosting, I just see a regular cupcake. But what does my boyfriend see? "Too much icing" he claims. Armed with a butter knife, whenever he takes a cupcake I catch him scraping half of the icing into the garbage.

Horrified, as I often am when people waste food (or FROSTING!) I take the knife away from his hand and scoop half of his frosting into my mouth. Even though he looks at me disapprovingly, I am not going stand and watch some cream cheese laden, rich frosting go to waste. My new life mission.

And while these cupcakes are orange, I am sad to say that they are not pumpkin in any way. If you are asking me what is my problem, and why I have not yet baked with pumpkin even though it is well into fall, my response is..I don't know. I bought a can of pumpkin a week ago, and it's just sitting in my shelf. Staring back at me with pleading eyes. Waiting to make my baking life a little better.

To this can of pumpkin all I can say is...soon.

But let me talk about these cupcakes just a little more. The cake part: so moist. The frosting part: SO good! My boyfriend is one of those people who likes things plain and healthy, so I'm not sure I can get him on board with my frosting techniques, which oftentimes include piping some of the frosting into my mouth. Shh, don't tell.

The chocolate spiderwebs are what sends these cupcakes over the top. I made only a handful of them because, unlike my sister, I am NOT an artist. Half of the spiderwebs I made turned out to look like lifeless blobs of chocolate. Of course, since I couldn't put them onto the cupcakes, what is a girl to do but to eat all the defective ones? Which somehow ended up becoming more and more when I came to that realization.

I would suggest maybe using a spider web template such as this one to avoid what happened to me. But my chocoholic self is not endorsing that piece of advice one bit.

Spiderweb Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes

printable recipe

What you'll need:


  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 11.2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  • 8 oz butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 6 cups icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • orange icing color (I mixed yellow and red gel icing color)
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line two muffin tins with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Cake: In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt until fully combined.
  3. Add in the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mixing until fully incorporated.
  4. Stir in the boiling water. The batter will be very thin..
  5. Scoop the batter into the muffin tins, around 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven for 14 – 17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with some moist crumbs, but no liquid.
  6. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pans, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Let cool completely before frosting.
  7. Frosting: In a large bowl, cream together the butter and the cream cheese until light and floffy. Mix in the icing sugar 1 cup at a time until fully incorporated. Mix in the vanilla, cinnamon, and icing color if using. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.
  8. Spiderwebs: In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate in 30 second intervals, stiring until the chocolate is melted. Pour the chocolate into a large freezer bag. Place some wax paper on a baking sheet. Cut the end off of the freezer bag, and pipe the chocolate onto the wax paper, creating your spider webs. Freeze until hard, then place on the cupcakes.

Cupcake recipe adapted from Texanerian

8 Oct 2014

Cheeseburger Soup

If you think this chilly weather is going to make me stop eating burgers, then you are wrong my friend.

Just because summer is over, and we can't easily grill them burgers outside, I have brought you all the fun of summer into a fall/winter-esque soup.

The potatoes thicken the soup. The croutons are so that you don't skimp on the bun, unless of course you can't or don't want to eat gluten. In that case, just leave it out. But then we top this soup with bacon, and I can hear my belly sing.

Too over the top? I think not over the top enough.

Even though soups might be the easiest thing to make known to man, I have made a couple of soups this past week, and many of them were just a huge fail. Here's a serious question: how do you cook lentil soup if your lentils refuse to get soft? After 4 hours of cooking it was still like I was eating pebbles.

This soup is honestly no fail. As long as you add all the necessary ingredients and cook the meat just right, you are going to be eating this soup by the bucket. One bowl is simply not enough.

Spoon summer into your mouth right now! Unless you live in Australia. In which case, I will never stop being jealous of you.

Cheeseburger Soup
printable recipe

What you'll need:

  • 1 hamburger buns, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 375g ground beef
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 large carrots, grated
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk, or more, as needed
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Green onions for garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spread the bread cubes into a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in the preheated oven, and bake for around 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, around 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside. 
  3. In a medium saucepan, pour in the bacon fat and heat. Add in the ground beef and break into pieces using a spatula. Continue cooking until browned. Drain excess fat and set aside.
  4. In a large saucepan, heat the butter on medium heat. Add in the garlic, onion, celery, carrots and Worcestershire sauce. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions have become translucent, around 2-3 minutes.
  5. Whisk in the flour until lightly browned, around 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the chicken broth and milk for around 1-2 minutes or until thickened.Stir in the potatoes.
  6. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, around 15-20 minutes.Stir in the ground beef, cheese and the salt and pepper to taste. 
  7. Scoop into bowls and crumble some bacon on top. Add some croutons and green onions if desired.

Adapted from Damn Delicious

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