breakfast

Easy Cranberry Oatmeal Squares

The moment the Stay at Home mandate started I remember thinking this is great. I envisioned myself having  a hot breakfast every morning, taking lunch breaks and going for walks. None of these things have actually happened because work has gotten busier than ever. Not having time to make breakfast every morning gave me the idea to make these easy cranberry oatmeal squares. I had also received a bag of the amazing Cape Cod Select frozen cranberries that I have been dying to use. These oatmeal squares are the perfect on-the-go breakfast or any time snack. 

easy cranberry oatmeal squares

easy cranberry oatmeal squares

Ingredient Spotlight: Cape Cod Select Frozen Cranberries

We love Cape Cod Select frozen cranberries in our home for their great quality and convenience. They always taste good and we love that we can get them all year round. They are grown with the highest standards which is one of the reasons why they are America’s best selling frozen cranberries. You can use them for sauces, smoothies, cocktails, yummy baked goods and more!

Tips to make the perfect cranberry oatmeal squares:

Use quality ingredients: As always, to get the best tasting dishes you need good quality ingredients no matter how simple the dish is. Use the best cranberries and oats for the ultimate result. Old fashioned oats add a nice bite and nutritional value to the recipe. The orange zest although minimal adds a nice flavor profile to these oatmeal squares. 

Use a longer piece of parchment paper than normal: With some parchment paper hanging on the sides, you will be able to easily lift the bars out of the pan. Try it, you will be mad at yourself for not having done this before. 

Mix well: This recipe is meant to be crumbly however you want to make sure it does not completely fall apart. Make sure you mix in the melted butter to the flour mix well and press the dough firmly when layering, especially the first layer. 

These oatmeal squares keep well. They last for at least 7 days at room temperature and they can be frozen as well. Place them in a tightly sealed container and enjoy a square or two each morning with a cup of coffee or tea.

easy cranberry oatmeal squares

Print Recipe
Easy Cranberry Oatmeal Squares Recipe
Easy cranberry oatmeal squares
Course Snack
Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 60 Minutes
Servings
Bars
Ingredients
  • 3 cups Cape Cod Select frozen cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
Course Snack
Prep Time 20 Minutes
Cook Time 60 Minutes
Servings
Bars
Ingredients
  • 3 cups Cape Cod Select frozen cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
Easy cranberry oatmeal squares
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Grease a 8x8 inch pan or spray it with cooking spray. Line the sides and bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Make the parchment paper long enough to overhang on the sides then grease or spray cooking spray over it as well.
  3. Melt butter, cover and set aside.
  4. Mix the flour, oats, 1/3 cup of granulated sugar, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and baking soda in a large bowl.
  5. Chop the cranberries in a food processor, add to a small bowl and stir in orange zest and remaining granulated sugar.
  6. Pour the warm butter into the four mix and stir well till ingredients are combined. Place half of the dough into the pan and press firmly into a nice level layer.
  7. Spread the cranberry mix over the layer of dough then top with the remaining dough. The top layer can be gently pressed.
  8. Bake until golden brown for about an hour making sure to rotate the pan halfway through the cooking.
  9. Allow to cool completely and pull out using the hanging parchment paper. Cut into 16 squares and serve.

Easy Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

Wow, another home-made bread! What is going on with me. The hubby and I have become quite the bakers since the stay at home mandate. Last week I made some flat breads and this week Marcus made some easy whole wheat bread. It has been very hard to find ingredients like yeast the last few weeks but it seems things are getting a little better as we were able to get some. We finally got some paper towels towels, which we were extremely excited about. 

This whole wheat bread is delicious and easy to make. We sliced it straight out of the oven while it was still warm, put a little butter on it and had it with a nice cup of coffee. Eating  bread fresh out of the oven is one of life’s greatest pleasures in my opinion. 

If you are intimidated by making bread, it isn’t as difficult as you may think. I have a few tips to help you achieve the best result with your homemade bread. 

4 important tips and ingredients for perfect home made bread: 

  1. Do not over-knead the dough: An easy way to tell if your dough has been kneaded enough is to test if you are able to stretch the dough at least 3-4 inches without it breaking. 
  2. Season well: When it comes to bread make sure you add enough salt. The first loaf we ever made tasted bland and it was because we used very little salt. The flour absorbs the salt a lot so be generous but make sure not to add too much either. We used a tbsp for this recipe compared to the a pinch of salt which we used for the disastrous first loaf. 
  3. Yeast: Using yeast always makes me feel a little intimidated because it is a live ingredient. This means that you need to get good yeast. Make sure the yeast isn’t expired; this is very easy to forget to check. To help your yeast thrive, give it some warmth, carbs (flour) and a little sugar. The yeast will do the rest.
  4. Patience: I am very impatient and I really hate waiting for anything to cook or marinade. However, when it comes to bread, the longer you let your dough sit, the better your bread will be. If you are tempted to put it in the oven after 30 minutes of sitting, don’t. Wait at least an hour or 2 hours to let the dough rise. 4 hours plus is even better if you have the time. 

 

Print Recipe
Easy Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
Easy Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Passive Time 1 Hour
Servings
Loaves
Ingredients
  • 3 cups sprouted whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup lukewarm coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup almond Milk
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 packet or 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Passive Time 1 Hour
Servings
Loaves
Ingredients
  • 3 cups sprouted whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup lukewarm coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup almond Milk
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 packet or 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
Easy Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
Instructions
  1. Mix all dry ingredients together; Salt sugar, flour and yeast
  2. Melt butter and add to coconut milk (Make sure mixture is lukewarm before adding to dry ingredients) Mix coconut milk mixture with flour mix and knead until dough is sticky and stretchy.
  3. Form dough into a ball and brush with canola oil. Place dough in a large bowl, cover with a towel and let the dough rest for at least an hour or until dough has doubled in size. The longer you let it rest the more complex the flavors. You can even store in the fridge overnight.
  4. Remove ball of dough from the bowl, poke holes on the dough with your fingers to release some of the gas build up from the yeast.
  5. Divide dough into 2 pieces and shape dough into desired bread shape. Please in baking tin covered with parchment paper and set aside for 15 minutes.
  6. Place in a preheated oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 45 minute till lightly golden. You can brush the top lightly with butter before placing in the oven.

Super Easy Pancake Recipe

I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t like pancakes. They are one of the most comforting breakfast treats and they have remained popular since the old ages. Pancakes remind me of lazy Saturday mornings and they are such a happy meal. There are many good pancake mixes out there however these can easily be made from scratch. This super easy pancake recipe is perfect if you like simple and quick recipes. 

Super Easy Pancake Recipe

We made these when my sister came to visit around Thanksgiving time last year and they came out great. As you can tell, they all don’t have the perfect shape and uniform look as those you see in magazines and instagram but I actually like them this way. There is something about effortless, non-perfect and rustic meals that I love. 

The trick is to mix the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately then adding them to the same bowl. Also avoid over mixing as this can lead to tough pancakes, having some small lumps in your batter is fine. 

Pancake toppings are endless. You can do tangy yogurt, syrup, butter, whipped cream, strawberries, honey and so much more. We had ours with raspberries and maple syrup and they were delicious. 

Super Easy Pancake Recipe
Serves 2
A super easy pancake recipe you can make anytime.
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Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup all-purpose flour
  2. 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  3. 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  4. 1/4 tsp. salt
  5. 1 1/4 cup milk or buttermilk
  6. 3 tbsp melted butter
  7. 1 large egg
  8. 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  9. coconut oil for brushing pan
Instructions
  1. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in one bowl. In another bowl, whisk milk, butter, vanilla and egg
  2. Pour the milk mixture into the flour and mix gently making sure not to over mix.
  3. Heat a nonstick skillet or griddle over medium heat until drop of water sizzles; brush with oil.
  4. In batches, scoop batter by about a 1/4-cup into the skillet and spread the mix.
  5. Cook for about 2 minutes or until you see bubbles and edges are dry.
  6. Turn each pancake and cook another 2 minutes more or until golden brown.
  7. Transfer to serving dish or keep warm on a cookie sheet in 200°F oven.
  8. Repeat till batter is finished and brush griddle with more oil if needed.
Spoons and Stilettos http://www.spoonsandstilettos.com/
Follow me on Instagram for more meal ideas. If you need something more savory for breakfast, check out my Toaster Oven Baked Italian Eggs Recipe

Toaster Oven Baked Italian Eggs

I am happy to have had a few days off before the new year began as it meant more time to do the hings I love including cooking. On most weeks I find myself settling for scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast but whenever I have time I like to make something a little more special than scrambled eggs. These Toaster Oven Baked Italian eggs are a great way to up your breakfast game. Eggs baked in a garlicky marinara sauce topped with melted cheese. Its absolute heaven!

Toaster Oven Baked Italian Eggs

This recipe sounds like a lot of work but is actually super easy. The ingredients speak for themselves i this dish. I am a big believer that good quality ingredients are what makes a meal great. You could be using the most advanced technique to cook but if your ingredients are not the best quality your final result will just be ok.

I like to make this dish with leftover homemade marinara sauce but you can use a good quality store bought sauce if you don’t have time to make your own. The Rao’s Homemade brand makes one of the best sauces as far as I am concerned, I highly recommend. Next thing is to make sure you are using nice fresh eggs. I think free range organic eggs always taste a little better but regular eggs will so work. Last but not list make sure you have some fresh basil and good quality cheese to finish the dish. 

You can make this recipe in the oven however I like to use my Ninja Foodi toaster oven for something like this. Advantages of a toaster oven is that it is right on your countertop for easy access, it doesn’t require long preheating times, uses less energy and has less clean-up. 

How to Make Italian Baked Eggs in a Toaster Oven

Step 1: Place Marinara Suace in a Ramekin dish. 

Toaster Oven Baked Italian Eggs

Step 2: Add Eggs. You can gently remove the white string attached to the york at this point if it bothers you. 

Step 3: Add milk and top with cheese. 

Toaster Oven Baked Italian Eggs

Step 4: Bake in toaster over at 325 degrees for 12 – 15 minutes till egg is set to your liking and cheese has melted. 

Final Result is perfectly cooked eggs in a delicious garlicky sauce. Top with fresh basil and toast your favorite whole grain bread to dip into the eggs. 

Toaster Oven Baked Italian Eggs

Toaster Oven Baked Italian Eggs

Toaster Oven Baked Italian Eggs Recipe
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
13 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
13 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Eggs (Organic, free range preferably)
  2. 1/2 cup Marinara sauce
  3. 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  4. 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or Italian cheese mix
  5. 2 tablespoons milk
  6. 1/2 cup fresh basil
  7. 1 tsp olive oil
  8. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Rub inside ramekin dish with olive oil then place 1/4 cup marinara sauce in each ramekin.
  3. Gently crack 2 eggs in each ramekin, followed by a tsp of milk in each then top with cheese.
  4. Reduce temperature to 325 degrees and cook for about 12-15 minutes till eggs white is set and yolks are set to your liking.
  5. Remove from oven, top wth fresh basil and serve immediately with whole grain toast.
Spoons and Stilettos http://www.spoonsandstilettos.com/

Kale, Mushroom & Ricotta Toast

This post was sponsored by Better Than Bouillon as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

My 80/20 meal plan is still in full swing and I am proud to say I have managed to stick with it. If this is your first time here, you are probably wondering what the 80/20 meal plan is. It is a plan I set where I eat 80% plant based foods and 20% everything else. Eating a mostly plant based diet feels great and encourages creativity in the kitchen. I’ve already seen benefits of this meal plan like weight maintenance and more energy. One of the recipes I have added to my repertoire is Kale, Mushroom & Ricotta ToastKale, Mushroom & Ricotta Toast

Kale Mushroom & Ricotta Toast

The creaminess of the ricotta paired with the earthiness of the mushrooms and texture of the kale is a match made in heaven. This is a toast recipe you don’t want to miss. 

The key to making this Kale, Mushroom & Ricotta Toast shine is using the absolute best ingredients. I got the kale, ricotta and mushrooms from my trusted local store that sells the best produce in town. What elevates the kale from good to amazing is the use of Better Than Bouillon Roasted Garlic Base in the cooking process. Not only did I use it in the kale, I also mixed the roasted garlic base in my butter for the toast. This recipe is packed with flavor, which is why it is one of my favorites.

If you are not familiar with Better Than Bouillon, it is a concentrated paste that can be used to elevate the flavor of meatless dishes. It’s awesome for creating delicious plant-based versions of meals and has become my best friend when preparing vegetarian meals. I also got my husband hooked on it. 

I used roasted garlic base for this recipe but there are more flavors to choose from if you are not a big fan of garlic. The Better Than Bouillon vegetarian and certified vegan flavors include Seasoned Vegetable Base, Vegetarian No Beef Base, Organic Seasoned Vegetable Base and Vegetarian No Chicken Base. I love that you can also use Better Than Bouillon bases to make broths or as a marinade to add flavor any dish. I love using them when making some of my favorite dishes like glazed carrots or butternut squash soup. 

5 more ways to use Better Than Bouillon Bases

  1. Mix it with oil and add to your roasted vegetables before cooking. 
  2. Add it to your Fettuccine Alfredo sauce for an even bolder flavor.
  3. Use some in your homemade hummus dip recipe. 
  4. Add it to your favorite stir fry recipe or any sauteed veggies. 
  5. Mix it in your veggie burger mix for a super flavorful veggie patty. 

Kale Mushroom & Ricotta Toast

Kale, Mushroom & Ricotta Toast

For more recipe ideas and to learn more about Better than Bouillon products, visit their website here. What are your favorite vegetarian dishes? How do you make them taste amazing? I would love to hear from you in the comment box below!

Kale, Mushroom and Ricotta Toast
Serves 2
This kale, mushroom and ricotta toast is packed with flavor thanks to the use of @betterthanbuillon roasted garlic base. You can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it's an absolute winner!
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Print
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 small bunch fresh roughly chopped kale, about 6 cups
  2. 3 cups sliced Shitake mushrooms
  3. 3 tbsp Whole Milk Ricotta
  4. 1 1/2 tsp Better Than Bouillon Roasted Garlic Base
  5. 2 tbsp softened butter
  6. Olive oil
  7. Salt and pepper
  8. 4 slices whole grain bread
Instructions
  1. Mix 1/2 a tsp Better Than Bouillon Roasted Garlic base with softened butter. Spread over bread and broil in the oven till browned and slightly crispy.
  2. Sauté mushrooms in olive oil until they are crispy and brown then set aside.
  3. Add kale to the same pan, add 1 tsp Better Than Bouillon Roasted Garlic base and cook until kale is wilted.
  4. Season with some freshly ground pepper.
  5. Add a little pepper to the ricotta and spread over toasted grainy bread then place kale and mushrooms on top.
Spoons and Stilettos http://www.spoonsandstilettos.com/

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