Cool Mornings

Thank you so much for all the kind comments on my last post.  They all made me stop…think…and smile. :D

“Stick to just one thing and you just might have missed out on the fun adventures and experiences in life!”—Burp and Slurp

“The future is never certain or predictable, but that’s what makes it awesome.”—Inside I’m Still Dancing

Love it…and love all your comments and thoughts!  Thank you so much! :D

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The thermometer read 50 degrees this morning.  Where did this cool weather come from?  The autumn breeze was unexpected and felt strange for this time of year, but it became the perfect excuse to make a hot bowl of oats—not that oats need any excuses. ;)

There were no bananas in sight this morning, so I went down the blueberry route. :D 

  • 1/4 c. oats
  • 1/4 c. oatbran
  • 1 c. milk + 1/2 c. water
  • cinnamon + nutmeg
  • 1 T. crushed flax

On the side, I heated 1 c. frozen blueberries in a small saucepan just until they were defrosted.  I then added them to my oat mixture once the oats were nearly cooked, and topped with:

  • 2 T. Natures Path Pumpkin granola
  • 2 T. walnuts

Cool mornings + hot oats = perfection.  This also reminded me of the fact that autumn and the winter to follow will be here before I know it—and I need to enjoy some more summer fare before that happens! :D

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With such a gorgeous day on the way, mom and I meandered out for a hike.  I brought along a cheesestick for the drive. :D

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On a scale of 1 to 10, today was a 12.

The top of the mountain was absolutely beautiful.  I wouldn’t mind eating lunch there every day.  Because no matter how simple an almond butter and blueberry jam sandwich with some veggies on the side are…

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…or how simple a grapefruit may appear…

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You can’t beat the views! :D  Or the company, for that matter. ;)  Mom and I were both gabby as always, and spent a good 1/2 hr. just taking in the scenery.

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When I came home, I pulled out a bowl of coleslaw.  My heart was overflowing… ;)  Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

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I followed this advice today: “Never grocery shop on a hungry stomach.”

Been there, done that…moving on, lesson learned. ;)  I snacked on a bowl of multigrain cheerios with a bit of milk before heading to the grocery stores.  :D

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I was terrified of tonight’s dinner, I have to be honest.  I don’t know which scenario was scarier: cutting open an eggplant this past week or frying these plantains.  Both are not my normal food choices.  But it was so much fun to get out of my cooking comfort zone and mix things up a little. :D  So with a few new recipes in hand, and a few brief warnings to the family that I was experimenting (dad kept the pizza barn’s phone number nearby, just in case…;)…haha, kidding–kind of) tonight, I got right to work!

On tonight’s menu: Simple Black Beans with garlicky brown rice, peas, and sauteed plantains!

The black bean recipe comes from CookingLight and was good but needed TLC.  I added a ton more vinegar, a little cayenne, and a bit of salt since I had bought sodium-free beans.  For the rice, I simply sauteed 1/2 green bell pepper, 1/2 onion and 1 garlic clove in a tablespoon of olive oil.  Then I added 2-1/4 c. water, brought it to a boil, and added 1 c. of uncooked brown rice.

Next time I’ll mix the rice and beans together once they’re cooked, because I think it would have just made more sense that way!  They tasted similair to the black beans and rice you might buy in a box (think Goya) but less salty and made with brown rice.  The flavors were very subtle, and I think some salsa may help jazz up the flavor too.

Now let’s talk about the plantains…

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I was a little worried about these guys.  I let them ripen to the point of being yellow with a few black spots, because I wanted to be sure that I got the full plantain experience.  Supposedly, that is when they taste their finest—some say they taste similiar to a sweet potato.

I heated 1 tsp. olive oil in a non-stick pan, and threw on the slices.  I cooked each side until they started browning and became caramelized on both sides.  They were fun to make and fun to eat…but I can’t say I’m a fan quite yet.  The flavor reminded me of a banana, only it was very intensely sweet.  I think they’d be lovely if I could turn them into crispy slices.  Perhaps by baking them in thinner slices?  Hmmm….

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Shopping Day = restocking my date supply. :D  Love this combo!

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Tonight was strangely chilly, so I made a cup of tea and had a homemade granola bar.  These were made by following my regular recipe, only I cut out 1/4 c. of raisins and added in 1/4 c. chocolate chips instead.  YUM!  I like to refrigerate them so that they become a chilled, chewy treat.  Perfect with a hot cup of tea. :D

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I’m plain tuckered out tonight!  I’m off to read a new magazine that I bought while relaxing in my p.j.’s. :D  Have a good night!!

Exercise: mountain climb + 2 mile post-dinner walk

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17 thoughts on “Cool Mornings

  1. How lucky are you to mountain climb whenever you feel like it?! :D I’ve never tried plantains but we have a banana variety in the Philippines that we always fried for breakfast. Mmm, I’m craving that right now.
    Your experimental dinner looks wonderful and well-balanced. And so good for the tummy. Hey, can I come over for dinner? :P

    • This particular plantain took about a week to ripen from being green to yellow with black spots. I had another green one that I was planning on cooking, but I’ve had it for two weeks now and it still hasn’t shown signs of yellowing! I may just try and eat it this way to compare the differences… ;)

  2. I’ve never had a plaintain but if it’s super sweet I think I need to!

    Your such a good cook! I always just throw stuff together and never actually make a meal haha.

    I can’t believe fall is already coming! My favorite part of cool weather is oatmeal too!

  3. Magazine + PJs + tea + homemade granola bar = perfect evening in lady! That sounds heavenly.

    You are so lucky to live close to the mountains and go on hikes like that! I miss hills! Gah to the flat-old Midwest!

  4. That view is awesome, and the 50 degrees – I’m jealous. The oats look awesome!
    I’m a big fan of plantains and usually bake them in the oven. I haven’t tried green ones yet, but they are not as sweet as the yellow ones.

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