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Pumpkin spice latte oatmeal

I know it’s Sunday and I should be posting a pancake recipe to my ‘Short-stack Sunday’ series, but my new pancake recipe didn’t exactly turn out as planned. It’s all about trial and error…this time was definitely the latter. But I mean it comes with the territory of making recipes; like my mom says “they can’t all be winners.” And I can’t possibly be upset about my failed pancake attempt with weather like this.

Today feels like the first real day of Fall. HOORAY! If it could stay like this all through winter I would be one happy camper.
Too bad it actually gets cold. It is absolutely gorgeous outside. Crisp, cool air. Clear blue skies as far as the eye can see. Birds chirping. Light breeze blowing. Sun shining. Today’s weather is the kind of day I define as a ‘perfect weather’ day. I just want to lay in the grass (like that meadow from Twilight…yeah, I went there) all day long and do absolutely nothing.

With this weather comes my resurgence of pumpkin cravings.
I. need. pumpkin. now.
Pumpkin and fall go hand in hand, of course. Obviously a lot of other people agree because I went to the grocery store yesterday and there was pumpkin everywhere. Literally every direction I looked. It was insane…I was in heaven.

This morning I walked onto my balcony, to water my little herb plants, and felt that magnificent fall weather. I knew at that moment that it was time to break out the pumpkin and create a delicious breakfast for this delicious day. Good thing I always have huge 48 ounce cans of pumpkin tucked away.

Introducing the stupendous Pumpkin spice latte oatmeal.
Pumpkin + Coffee + Oatmeal = a mind-blowingly delicious breakfast

It’s definitely at the top of my ‘Favorite breakfast’ list…I have a lot of lists.

Pumpkin spice latte oatmeal.
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Grilled Thai Peanut Chicken and Veggie Fried Quinoa

I’m sorry I have been gone for so long. All of my classes decided to have exams at the same time. Isn’t that always how it works though. When it rains it pours, right? I’ve missed blogging so much, but was always so tired and too stressed. I just couldn’t sit down and write something worth reading. But never fear, I am here 🙂
I am almost done with the chaos for the time being. And I was in serious need of a study break, so why not post?

An ode to peanut butter:

Peanut butter, oh peanut butter/
Where are thou/
oh, thou are right next to me/
and I have a spoon/
how convenient.

My brain is basically a mushy mass of unrelated, crazy thoughts. Don’t judge me.

I love peanut butter. I eat it with everything. Apples, celery, popcorn, toast, crackers, bagels, oatmeal, pancakes, cookies, cereal, rice cakes, and (of course) on a spoon. Is it just me or is one spoonful just not enough? I can’t ever stop at one. I can stop at one chip, I can stop at one cookie, but I can never stop at one spoonful of peanut butter. Since I’ve gotten to school (which is now a little over a month) I have eaten three [and a half], yes THREE, family size jars of peanut butter. That may be a record. I’ll have to check on that.

If you feel like it’s time for an intervention, I would not argue with you. Instead I would agree with you, sneak to my room, and take my peanut butter (that I’m hoarding) and run for it.

*Hello, my name is Chelsea and I am completely addicted to peanut butter.*

-Anyway-
I was craving peanut butter [surprise] but it was dinner time and I wouldn’t want to ruin my appetite now would I? So I combined my craving of peanut butter with dinner. This Thai Peanut Chicken is SO good and easy. The sauce is literally 4 (ish) ingredients and takes 2 minutes. Pair it with my veggie fried quinoa and you have one tasty, hunger-quenching dinner.

This is one of my favorite meals to make because it is ridiculously easy and it SO DARN DELICIOUS. You’ll just have to try it out and see for yourself!

Thai chicken and veggie fried quinoa

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Cereal squares

I’m coo-coo for cocoa puffs! They’re GREAAAT! Silly Rabbit! They’re magically delicious! Breakfast of Champions.
If you haven’t caught on yet, those are slogans for a few of the very popular cereals on the current market. Cereal, oh cereal how I love thee. I, and many others on this Earth, include cereal in their daily routine.

*stands on soap box*
I must tell you, though it breaks my heart, that the cereal on the grocery shelves that you have spent hundreds of dollars on over the years is terrible. There I said it. It is filled with a ridiculously large amount of sugar (in several forms), artificial food coloring, BHT, random “stabilizers and preservatives”, and a whole bunch of other ingredients you have never heard of and certainly wouldn’t use in your kitchen. I literally almost had a panic attack when I looked at the ingredients and understood what I was putting into my body by the bowlful.
Why, oh why, do they need to put such terrible things in our food? Cereal companies focus on selling their product to children with their colorful boxes, cute spokespeople/things, and catchy commercials. They count on kids being drawn in and their parents buying it for them. Most cereals have at least 9-11 grams of sugar (refined and processed, of course) in just a 3/4 cup. Let’s be real though, who only eats a 3/4 cup serving..not me. We are only supposed to have 24 grams (for woman) or 36 grams (for men) of sugar in our diet a day and that is the max. With all of the other foods we eat, this bowl full of sugar is not helping us keep that number in check.

You know how all the specialists say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Well, if that is true, why would you be feeding yourself a bowl of sugar n’ chemicals? That is most certainly not great.

So those cute colorful (delicious) marshmallows, those mini chocolate chip cookies, those little balls that taste like a peanut butter cup, and even your ‘natural’ (ha) granola, are now banned forever from entering into my body again and I hope yours too!
I have been trying to create something to squash my intense cereal withdrawals. This particular recipe came about by accident, actually. I was trying to make gluten free crust and it didn’t work out, but it most certainly worked as cereal! YAY FOR EXPERIMENTS!

This cereal is gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, kid friendly, adult friendly, no processed sugars, preservative/chemical free, and very-happy-tummy approved. Winner all around.
Cereal squares
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Peanut Butter Quinoa Bowl

Happy weekend everyone! These past two years of college weekends were never exciting because I would spend all day doing homework. This year I decided to stop (sort of) being such a workaholic and do some fun things on the weekends. I went rock climbing today! They have all of these activities for free with my college ID: rock climbing, water skiing, kayaking, disc golf, sailing…how did I not know about this? Oh yeah…I was holed up in my room…

I am currently trying to put more balance in every aspect of my life: food, work, fun, and so on. Stressing is so not worth it. You only live once, so why not make the most of it?
So back to my adventures of conquering the wall. Rock climbing is hard and rigorous (at least it is to me, since I have 0% body strength), but oh-my-goodness it was SO much fun. I took me a while to actually get up the wall, but I felt good about making it to the top both times I climbed! It helped that my belay guy was cute; motivation?
Well, this morning I decided if I was going to ‘work out’ I needed a good, filling, nutritious breakfast. To me that = peanut butter. Peanut butter keeps me feeling full for hours and satisfies even my most vicious hunger pangs. Combine PB with quinoa and you have a super protein-filled breakfast; ready for anything. So I concocted this breakfast beauty. Behold the perfect rock climbing, hunger quenching breakfast!

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Banana split…oatmeal

Well, today was my first day back at school. Is it totally sad if I’m already tired?
I am now officially a junior in college. Where on Earth did the time fly? I am feeling particularly old today..well really since my birthday. I still feel like I am thirteen years old, for goodness sake’s. I can’t possibly be an adult! I’m pretty mature in most things…(people call me mom a lot), but I like to do kid things and I really don’t want to do taxes.

What says kid like a banana split? Whenever I did something really well I always had a banana split. A couple scoops of vanilla ice cream, a banana, strawberries, walnuts, chocolate drizzle, topped with tons of sprinkles. As you well know, I love dessert for breakfast. And since I’m being mopey and nostalgic I decided to make some comforting Banana Split Oatmeal to feed my stomach as well as my need for childhood memories.

I absolutely love this oatmeal. It is probably in my top 5, so I hope you like it too…and feel a little younger while eating it:)

It has absolutely no added sugar..not even in the chocolate sauce! oh yeah, I’m that good.

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Scrum-dalium-ptious carrot-y cake-ish oatmeal

Oh, breakfast. It’s one of my favorite meals of the day. Probably due, in part, to the fact that I usually eat dessert. Crazy, you say? Preposterous? Well, no actually.

I’ve learned that if I eat dessert for breakfast I am:
#1 In a great mood. [I would much rather eat a Chocolate raspberry filled lava cake-oatmeal (coming soon) then a piece of toast.]
#2 I don’t crave sugar later in the day.
#3 I actually eat more fruits/vegetables. Dessert + fruits/vegetables = best breakfast ever. You’ll understand as blog time goes on.

Don’t get me wrong. Some mornings, I just feel like a piece of toast with peanut butter on it, or a big bowl of plain cereal and almond milk. buuuuut..usually I crave dessert. Rise and shine.
You may be thinking that I am crazy and that I must get up super early to get my breakfast together. On the contrary my good readers, I make sure it is fast, simple, and (of course) the outcome is so worth the minuscule amount of time it actually takes to make (which you would have spent making your toast and such, anyway.)

Enter: One of my favorite desserts..breakfasts..foods, of all time. I may consider this a food group all its own. Carrot cake!
When I think about carrot cake, I think about homey, cozy, dense, super moist, delicious cake. And a carrot piped on top, in icing, of course.

I’ve been in love with carrot cake for as long as I can remember. I will always remember eating carrot cake with my grandma on her birthdays. I never seemed to eat carrot cake any other time, so I guess I associate it with her. Hence, the cozy/homey feelings, probably. ❤

Sometimes, I just get into a carrot cake mood and I, reasonably, want it for breakfast. So I invented a carrot cake oatmeal to indulge myself while retaining my healthful persona.

carrot cake oatmeal
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Blissful Blueberry Muffins

When I was getting ready to write this post I did some research on the history of the blueberry muffin. I thought it might be interesting…I’m a nerd.

Among many blueberry muffin recipes, chacha answers, and ‘can my –insert animal- eat blueberries?’ inquiries, was a site about Minnesota and their official muffin. Did you know a state could have an official muffin? It said that a group of 3rd graders convinced the State Legislature to give Minnesota a state muffin. Since blueberries grow there in abundance, they decided on the blueberry muffin.

The blueberry muffin is probably my favorite type of muffin. I like it not too sweet, moist, and fresh…straight from the oven. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find a blueberry muffin, nowadays, that’s not packed with preservatives, GMO ingredients, and tons of processed/refined sugar. Looking at the ingredients list for a blueberry muffin on one very famous coffee shop’s website, I found that it contained 29 grams of sugar (3rd on the ingredient list), modified corn starch, natural flavors, and cellulose gum (eat wood pulp? no, thanks.) I don’t even want to go into what I found in other bakery’s websites.

This, and the fact that we just got a huge carton of fresh blueberries yesterday, had me craving a nice, safe, homemade blueberry muffin. I’m a little bit of a control freak.

Blissful blueberry muffinsclose Continue reading