Friday, September 21, 2012

Oatmeal and Cream of Chicken Soup

   This is a much overdue and highly anticipated post.  I realized this week that I have not blogged since my first weekend in Nyack...oops.  So much has happened in the 17 days since I last posted!  It's crazy how time seems to fly, yet it seems like I've been here much longer than three and a half weeks.  Since it is going to take many more than one post to catch you up to date on my crazy New York adventures, I decided to start with a food post.  My goal is to make you hungry!
      In my last post I mentioned that I spent Labor Day weekend in upstate New York babysitting my cousin Scott's girls with my other cousin Ruth.  While Ruth did all of the evening cooking, I tackled breakfast every morning.  Breakfast requires more baking skills, while dinner requires more cooking, which is why I was quick to take kitchen duty in the mornings.  The first two days were simply cereal, but I felt adventurous on Saturday, when the adorable Zoe asked for a "special breakfast" like they usually have on Saturday mornings.  I scrolled all the way down to the bottom of my "Yum!" board on Pinterest, where I had pinned a recipe for whole wheat brown sugar banana bread pancakes more than a year before.  I have to admit I was nervous about trying pancakes, since my pancakes usually end up being burned on the outside and doughy on the inside. The last thing I wanted was to disappoint the four year old sweetheart for whom I was slaving away in the kitchen at 7 o'clock on a Saturday morning.  The link for the recipe is here.  I am proud to say that the pancakes turned out better than I ever could have hoped!  I made little pancakes instead of normal-sized ones, which allowed me to ensure they were cooked all the way through.  No doughy pancakes in the house that morning!  The little darlings gobbled them up, especially the 2.5 year old, who usually takes a very long time to eat.  The lovely picture is courtesy of the blog from which I found the recipe...I forgot to photograph mine! 
On Monday morning, I made blueberry and raspberry oatmeal, which was also an instant hit! Again, the picture isn't mine, since the original looks way prettier than the pics I tried to take!
I have a recent obsession with oatmeal.  Maybe because it's cheap, easy to make, and filling.  Hence the reason two out of the five recipes I've made in my apartment include large amounts of oatmeal.  Two weeks ago, I made my own version of apple crisp, since I didn't have all of the ingredients to follow an actual recipe.  As most of you know, I am a huge fan of fall and all of the yummy treats it brings, my favorite of which is apple crisp.  I had bought 4 pounds of apples at the farmers' market and decided they were just itching to be made into an apple crisp.  I cut up four apples, spread them over melted butter in the bottom of a 7.6 x 7.6 pan (8x8 doesn't exist at the dollar store), and covered them with a mixture of old-fashioned oats, raw sugar, and butter.  I dumped cinnamon on the top (thought I was opening the "sprinkle" side...oops) and popped it into a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  The result? Yumminess!
      It was the perfect dessert to complete a delicious meal of Crockpot Italian Chicken, which I served over whole wheat penne with a side of sauteed zucchini and yellow squash.  Yes, I said sauteed.  I am the queen of veggies sauteed with olive oil and garlic.  Can't go wrong with that combo!  I must say this meal is the one I am most proud of, since it's really the only time I've cooked a complete meal since being on my own.  I was so proud of it that I invited my friend Quinn to eat with me - cooing isn't nearly as fun if I'm eating alone!  Usually I'm rushing around between classes and babysitting and don't have the energy to cook.  Needless to say, I eat a lot of cereal.
      This past Tuesday, I decided to make another chicken crockpot dish because the chicken sitting in my fridge needed to be used.  I tossed two chicken breasts in the crockpot with three organic potatoes and two handfuls of baby carrots, topping it off with cream of chicken soup, chopped garlic, and Italian seasoning.  This time Kristi, who lives down the hall, took part in this yummy chicken dinner with me.  She brought ice cream for dessert....we were meant to be friends!
      So, those are my cooking adventures from the past 3 weeks.  Except for the failed apple pie oatmeal attempt two weeks ago.  Ick.  That's all for now.  Here are a few teasers for future blog posts: peanut butter and jelly, Bob Marley, ducks, New York City.  Be excited! 

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