Aug 012016
 

I definitely found the right “recipe” for overnight oats. Here it is:

1/4 cup steel cut oats

1/2 cup water

pinch of salt

1 Tablespoon flaxmeal

1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt

That’s the base I’ve been using and the last week or so I’ve been trying to experiment with other flavors.

The first experiment was with a 100 calorie black cherry yogurt. I used that instead of the plain Greek yogurt and added some frozen blueberries to it. I liked the flavor and chunks of the black cherry but I really don’t like flavored yogurts. I’ve been eating plain for so long now that the flavored ones taste either too sweet to me or they taste like fake sweeteners and chemicals. Yuck!

IMG_1508

The next try was a chocolate flavored Greek yogurt. I added some peanut butter and topped it with crushed nuts and chia seeds. This second try confirmed that I just prefer to use my good ol’ plain Greek yogurt (my favorite is the Costco brand). So I tried a few things and I’m going back to the basics.

IMG_1529

This time I used the base that is my old stand-by but substituted 1/4 cup of water with pineapple juice and then used 1/4 cup water. I added chopped pineapple and strawberries. Then I topped it with some shredded coconut, chia seeds and crushed nuts.

Yum! I liked the “tropical” flavor. 🙂

I tried using your basic rolled oats when I ran out of the steel cut and I am NOT a fan. The texture was all wrong. It was exactly how I imagined overnight oats to be before I tried them–mushy and like a sludge. For some reason the steel cut oats are just better to me. They are a bit chewy and not mushy at all and I just prefer it.

I’ve been back to work part time for a month and a half and on those days I do overnight oats for breakfast. It’s seriously been a time saver! It saves so much time in the morning when I’m trying to get out of the house. PLUS — I am full all morning long! This recipe is very satisfying and fulfilling and I don’t feel hungry for hours.

On those days, it’s very rushed and busy. My alarm goes off about 5:40 am. (I am so not a morning person. UGH.) Often time Logan has already woken me up, ready to eat. Depending on the time we often nurse in bed. (So glad we finally mastered the “side-lying” position. I just have to make sure I don’t fall back asleep as he eats.) Then he falls back asleep, I put him in his bassinet and get ready for work. Sometimes this isn’t the case and he stays asleep, so I need to pump instead. I’m pretty rushed trying to get everything done and packed for the day–even though I try and prep as much as I can the night before. So having these pre-made breakfasts ready to just take out of the fridge and put in a bowl has been a life saver! And they are delicious!

So after a few different experiments, I’m down to the same ol’ routine that works for me (the plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and steel cut oats) and I love it. I am definitely not sick of this breakfast yet. On days that I am home I have my old standby of eggs. I feel like I have a good balance right now. Once I’m back to work full time, this might change because I probably won’t want to have the oats every day.

What are your favorite FAST breakfast options?

May 302016
 

My bff Rachel surprised me with an amazing gift recently! Since she lives in Seattle and couldn’t bring us food when Logan was first born, she decided to gift us with a house cleaner instead! It was so sweet of her to think of doing something like that and I couldn’t have been more excited.

I was beyond ecstatic. I’ve been able to keep up with the minimal house cleaning since Logan arrived but it’s definitely not up to my usual standards and deep cleaning…? That hasn’t happened in awhile. A long while…

For local Portland people: I highly recommend the services of Double Duty Cleaning Services. Email: doubledutyclean@gmail.com. Phone: 503-933-1933.

DeNae and her assistant came over one day and cleaned our entire house from top to bottom. They even did stuff I never think of doing (and will try to keep up with in the future!) like dusting light bulbs and cleaning air vents. They even cleaned inside the microwave!

They were efficient and thorough. They used green products for most of it and then used heavy duty hospital-grade type cleaner (that kills stuff like MRSA) for certain areas. It was nice to know that the house was going to be super clean and sanitary. Especially considering our little guy is getting bigger and will be on the move soon.

Michael came home and said our house “sparkles”. It looked AMAZING. I was really happy with the results and hope to hire them again in the future when I need the deep cleaning again. 🙂

I just can’t get over how clean everything is!

In other news, we’ve been a bit more social lately. We went to a friend’s housewarming party and Logan was a little trooper. He slept through most of it. Their yard:

13230185_10205982366414920_5025258495250259930_n

Love it!

We’ve been out to dinner with him a few times, which was nice. Logan did great and I think the ambient noise of restaurants helped him just sleep through most of it so we could catch up with friends.

This weekend we had some friends over for a BBQ.

IMG_1733

Michael did up his awesome ribs, friends brought over spicy guacamole and some corn on the cob. I made coleslaw for the first time.

IMG_1734

I used this recipe:

Vinegar Coleslaw Recipe

From: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/06/vinegar-coleslaw-recipe.html

Ingredients

  • For the Dressing:
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced garlic (about 1 medium clove)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • For the Slaw:
  • 1 large head green cabbage (about 3 1/2 pounds), finely shredded on a mandoline or by hand
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely sliced on a mandoline or by hand
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt

Instructions

  1. For the Dressing: Whisk together vinegar, sugar, oil, garlic, black pepper, and celery seeds in small bowl.
  2. For the Slaw: Combine cabbage, carrot, and onion in a large bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and salt and toss to combine. Let stand five minutes, then transfer to a large colander and rinse thoroughly under cold running water.
  3. Transfer vegetables to a salad spinner and spin dry. Alternatively, transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet lined with a triple layer of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and blot mixture dry with more towels. Return to large bowl.
  4. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to coat. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt, pepper, and/or sugar.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=50247

Michael and I both prefer vinegar-based coleslaws over mayo. I tried to find a recipe to try for my first time and it was actually kind of hard to find vinegar slaws! I found a few that sounded good.

This recipe was really good and everyone was a fan. My one complaint was that it was a little on the sweet side (and holy cow, 1 cup of sugar?!?!). I made the dressing as is and then tasted it and it was way too sweet for my liking. In the end I added a little more vinegar, doubled the garlic, and add some more salt. Then it was pretty good!

IMG_1735

IMG_1724

In the bad news department: an hour before our guests arrived we discovered our air conditioner was broken. JUST IN TIME for the coming heat wave that will be in Portland soon. UGH! Hopefully we can survive the next few days before the guy comes out (and most likely replaces the entire thing…womp womp). But we sat outside for the BBQ so it wasn’t too bad.

IMG_1736

In Logan news: twice last week he slept through the night! He went to sleep at 10pm and then I woke up at 4:45am like WTF IS HAPPENING?!? Completely dazed and confused, unsure of what time it was and kind of freaked out. Then I realized he was ok, he was just still asleep! So instead of getting up at 2am to feed him and pump, I was able to get a solid stretch of sleep! The first time it happened I figured it was a fluke. But when it happened again I started to wonder if maybe he was slowly growing into a “he might sleep all night” routine!

IMG_1740

The only downside for me is going that long in between pumping or feeding is kind of a bad idea. But hopefully it will be okay and my body will get used to that and I won’t have issues. It sure would be nice to just sleep all night!

Sunday was book club. And as usual there was tons of really delicious food:

IMG_1746

Greek Orzo salad, caprese, BBQ’d veggies, homemade bread and this asparagus tart:

IMG_1745

The asparagus tart was amazing! I’ve seen this on pinterest a million times and have wanted to try doing it. Now that I’ve eaten one I know I can make it so I will be trying that soon.

Dessert:

IMG_1747

Fruit tart with chocolate and Bavarian cream. Holy cow was this amazing! I seriously could have eaten so much of it (but didn’t). So delicious!

Lots of good food, hung out with friends, sort of talked about this month’s book (but really ended up just catching up on stuff!) and then it was time for me to head home to feed the baby. It was nice to get out of the house and be social solo, though.

Anyways, that was my weekend!