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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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Cinnamon Banana Bagels

I really love bananas. If you have been following my posts you will see that a lot (most) of my posts have something to do with bananas. They’re just so darn good, am I right or am I right? Especially home grown bananas. SO GOOD. Once you’ve had a home grown banana there’s no going back.

Here is the story leading to my banana addiction:
One day my parents decided to plant a banana tree in our backyard.
If you don’t know about how banana trees work I will inform you. Once the banana trees are all grown up, they start a stock of bananas. These stocks are HUGE. Then they ripen on the tree. You cut off the stock and you admire your cute little bananas and then devour them. [These bananas are about half the size of a ‘normal’ banana you see in the grocery store] That is the only stock that particular banana tree will make. It only makes one and then it dies. I know, it is sad.
However, they pour down their little seedlings all over the ground and before you know it you have five banana trees in your backyard.
{I think we may have close to ten trees right now, hehe}
For some reason, the trees decide to grow stocks and ripen all at the same time. Remember I said the stocks were huge? So, you have like 400 bananas that you have to try to mash/bake/eat/freeze/chip-ify, etc, before they rot.
And now you understand why I have so many banana recipes…it was out of desperation! We didn’t have anymore room in our freezer and we were tired of dehydrating them.

I totally made the inundation of bananas sound like a bad thing, but I actually love it a whole darn lot. I make smoothies, cupcakes, bread, chips, oatmeal, pancakes, muffins/mugfins, cake, dough, filling, ice cream, and use them as a topping. It’s an art.

Soo now after that long introduction about bananas I present to you…..CINNAMON BANANA BAGELS!
Perfection? I’m thinkin’ yes.
These bagels are slightly sweet, and not super banana-y. You could add more sugar if you want them to actually be sweet, but I like them just how they are.
They smell heavenly. That’s thanks to cinnamon and banana combo.

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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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Homemade Applesauce (a.k.a awesome-sauce)

Summer vacation.

Filled with sunshine, ocean waves, sleeping in, making food, diy-ing, camping trips, book reading, thrifting, recipe making, family game nights, and general bliss. Something so wonderful must come to an inevitable close, I guess. I will be back to the daily college grind far too soon for my own liking. I DON’T WANNA.

I’m now currently in a scramble to create, make, and bake as many things as I possibly can before I go back..since, ya know, classes take away my free time. One of my favorite things to eat is…drum roll please…….homemade applesauce. TADA! Impressed? Well, you should be. That’s some fine tasting sauce. And it’s so ridiculously easy to make I can hardly call it a recipe..but I will anyway 🙂 It’s really simple; I’m not really sure why I don’t make it more often when I’m at school. The most time consuming part of the recipe is peeling the apples which can be fun if you like to eat apple peels…just me?

Once you’ve had applesauce, of the homemade variety, there’s no going back. Yes, I know that applesauce is pretty cheap to buy at the store. But if you look on the back of that nice lookin’ jar on the shelf, you will see that many brands add ingredients that are totally unnecessary, plus if I make it myself I’ll know how it’s handled/made. *cough-controlfreak-cough* For some reason, commercial applesauce makers like to pour in sugar, but apples are sweet all by themselves… This recipe has no added sugar and contains 4 (yes only 4!)
ingredients!
That being said let’s commence with the applesauce making!

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Homemade Taco Seasoning

Everybody loves tacos, right?
You can pile loads of toppings on that taco meat and either eat them in a crunchy shell or a soft tortilla (or both).. Most of the time my tacos are a little too piled and I end up eating them as crunchy shell nachos or with a knife and a fork. It would probably be much easier if I just put the tortilla on the side and ate my taco like a burrito bowl, but I digress.

Making taco meat is so easy, you just cook the meat in the pan, add pre-made taco seasoning and water then let it finish cooking. DONE.
Have you ever taken a second to look on the back of that taco seasoning bottle to find out what you are pouring all over your meat? No?
I did and I was baffled that it could be more than just the normal spices I have in my spice drawer. They put things like caramel coloring, corn meal (most likely GMO), sugar (what?), and some put dairy based powders in there.
Well, that just won’t do for me. So I decided to make my own and it’s so simple. You can make a huge batch, pour it in a spice bottle, and then you’re set for a good long while.
Now you can crunch down on that taco like nobody’s business! Success 🙂
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