Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Close Up Shot

It’s official, fall is upon us.

[The first day is today!]

I don’t know about you, but for me, the summer flew by in a snap. Between traveling, beginning new business ventures, and the everyday hustle and bustle, I feel like I looked up, and summer was gone.

But truth be told, I’m ready for the slower seasons of fall and winter. When the atmosphere gets cozy, the leaves turn a beautiful rainbow of red, orange, and yellow, and the faint hint of fireplace smoke is in the air.

Days begin to shorten, people spend more time indoors with the family, and dinner gets served a little earlier. As the weather cools, the meals start to heat up. Braising, stewing, roasting, simmering, or even crockpot-ing take hold. Slow food… comfort food… become our cravings.

And I am here to fully oblige those cravings.

 

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Fresh Out of the Oven

Starting with this warm breakfast deliciousness- Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal.

If you like instant packets of Apple Cinnamon flavored oatmeal, you’re going to flip over this one.

It has all the same sweet and satisfying cinnamon sugar flavor, with generous chunks of juicy baked apple and crunchy walnuts. Plus, since it’s baked, it’s a little heartier.

I swear, it’s almost like eating pie for breakfast.

I don’t know anyone who will turn that down!

I love making baked oatmeal on Sunday mornings, when the pace is slow and you can relax before a busy week ahead. Pop it in the oven, enjoy a scoop when it’s warm and gooey, fresh out of the oven (maybe with a dollop of yogurt), and save the rest in the fridge for breakfasts later that week.

And even though this oatmeal tastes almost like dessert, the whole dish only has 1/3 cup of brown sugar!

The rest of the sweetness comes from the natural sugar in milk and the immensely tasty flavor of honeycrisp apples (everyone’s favorite apple these days).

I also added some egg to help bind the baked oatmeal together increase the protein content, and a generous amount of ground flaxseed for a boost of fiber.

The process for baked oatmeal is pretty simple.

Separately mix together the wet and dry ingredients, then combine in a large bowl and stir well. Spread the apple slices on the bottom of a greased baking dish, pour the oatmeal mixture over the top, and bake for about 45 minutes until firm.

That’s seriously it!

Don’t skip the part about putting the apples on the bottom of the baking dish, either. Some of them will end up floating towards the top of the oatmeal, but the majority will remain buried in the moist oatmeal interior, steaming and softening into melt-in-your-mouth juicy morsels that take this oatmeal to the next level.

Enjoy.

 

Warm Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

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Prep15 mins
Cook45 mins
Total1 hr
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • Cooking spray, butter, or oil for greasing the baking dish
  • 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 large honey crisp apples, cored and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 2 cups)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the interior bottom and sides of an 8x8 pyrex baking dish with cooking spray, butter, or oil and set aside.
  • In a large bowl mix together the oats, brown sugar, walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, flax, and salt. Stir until well combined.
  • In a separate medium bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, vanilla, and melted butter. Pour this mixture into the bowl that contains the dry ingredients, and stir to combine.
  • Spread the chopped apples on the bottom of the greased baking dish and pour the oatmeal mixture over the top. Use a spatula to spread the oatmeal evenly throughout the baking dish. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the oats have firmed up but still have a moist creamy texture. Let cool slightly, then scoop your portion into a bowl and enjoy.
Tried this recipe?Mention or tag @ericajulson !

World’s Easiest Garlic Mashed Potatoes

World's Easiest Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Raise your hand if you’re a mashed potato lover!

(Pretty sure I see ~95% of the hands out there raised)

Do you ever make mashed potatoes at home? Or do you tend to wait for the holiday season and enjoy them with loads of turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce?

If you haven’t tried making them at home, you’re in for a surprise. They are shockingly EASY!

World's Easiest Garlic Mashed Potatoes

And as easy as traditional mashed potatoes are, I’ve found a few ways to make them even easier.

  • First, choose a potato with thin skin. I like red potatoes or small yellow potatoes. Anything labeled as “new potato” will work, since these are potatoes that have been freshly harvested & don’t have a thick tough skin. These types of waxy potatoes have a nice creamy interior, and delicate skin with lots of earthy flavor, fiber, and nutrients. I skip the brown russet potatoes for this recipe because the skins are a little more tough, and the starchy interior doesn’t pair as well with creamy garlic.
  • Next, don’t even bother to peel them. Yep, you heard me correctly. I don’t even peel my potatoes. It saves so much time, and I actually prefer to leave the peels on to add some color and texture to my mashed potatoes. The peel contains most of the fiber and phytonutrients of a potato, so you’re doing yourself a huge favor by including them in your recipe.
  • Add garlic to the same cooking pot. Want garlic mashed potatoes? Don’t even bother with slow roasting the garlic and squeezing the goopy cloves into your potatoes at the end. I mean, yeah, you can put in that extra effort for a holiday meal or something, but on a weeknight? Nah. Instead, just peel a whole head of garlic and plop the cloves right into the potato pot. They boil with the potatoes and become nice and tender and creamy.
  • Drain and mash in the same pot. Since you already added the garlic to the same pot as your potatoes, you can simply drain the pot, add your butter, milk, salt, and pepper, and mash everything together. No extra dishes required.

World's Easiest Garlic Mashed Potatoes in a Bowl

These easy garlic mashed potatoes are one of my favorite kitchen hacks- I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

World's Easiest Garlic Mashed Potatoes Close-Up Shot

World's Easiest Mashed Potatoes

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Prep10 mins
Cook25 mins
Total35 mins
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 3 lbs small red potatoes, halved (or quartered if they are larger)
  • 1 head peeled cloves of garlic
  • 1 stick, 8 tablespoons pasture raised butter
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Place the cubed potatoes and the peeled cloves of garlic in a large pot. Cover with several inches of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low boil, so that the potatoes don't fall apart, and let cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.
  • When the potatoes are tender, drain and return to the pot. Add the butter, milk, salt, and pepper and mash with a potato masher until the potatoes are smooth. Serve right away.
Tried this recipe?Mention or tag @ericajulson !

Goes great with Turkey Meatloaf or Balsamic Marinated Skirt Steak.

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Easy Eggplant and Lentils

Easy Eggplant & Lentils

This recipe is one of my time-tested go-tos on busy weeknights.

It’s easy. It’s fast. It’s delicious. It’s nutritious. It’s filling. It makes great leftovers.

Can it get any better?

It’s also vegetarian and chock full of healthy vitamins, minerals, and fiber. 🙂

Basically, you…

  • cut up an eggplant and onions (easy)
  • mince a bunch of garlic & cilantro (even easier)
  • boil some lentils with bay leaf, thyme, & garlic for seasonings
  • saute the eggplant and onions with garlic & spices
  • throw in a can of tomatoes
  • serve over the lentils with crumbled feta & cilantro

LOVE easy meals like this that barely require a recipe.

Okay, I know some of you are probably cringing at the thought of eggplant and/or lentils, but seriously, you have to give it a try! I know you’ll love it.

Easy Eggplant & Lentils

Easy Eggplant and Lentils

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Prep10 mins
Cook50 mins
Total1 hr
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 cups of cubed eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 14.5oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup minced cilantro
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions

  • Place the lentils in a medium saucepan. Add the water, bay leaves, thyme, smashed clove of garlic, and a liberal sprinkling of salt. Bring to a low boil and cook for 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender to your liking. Drain and set aside, removing the bay leaves, thyme, and garlic clove.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until warm. Add the onion and sauté until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Add the eggplant and sauté for another 10 minutes, until cooked through and golden in spots.
  • Add the minced garlic cloves, tomatoes, cayenne, paprika, coriander, salt, pepper, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 minutes, until the spices are fragrant. Serve over the lentils and top with a sprinkling of cilantro and feta. Enjoy!
Tried this recipe?Mention or tag @ericajulson !
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