Like on facebook Follow on Twitter Subscribe to Posts! View Instagram Feed Pastry Affair on Pinterest
RECENT POSTS




subscribe
Subscribe to posts! Connect on facebook! View flickr page! Add to google reader!

To receive RSS updates
Click here
subscribe via email

Entries in oats (25)

Wednesday
Mar132013

From the Archives: Chocolate Chip Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies

Inventing and developing new recipes has become a weekend pleasure for me. Creating wild combinations and indulging in my favorite ingredients is a perk of the job. Even though I love sharing original recipes with you, every so often I find myself looking back through the archives with nostalgia, wishing I could bring back the magic of sharing my favorites with you once more. Then I realized, why couldn't I?

With a spruced up look and a pleasant reminder, maybe you will fall in love with them all over again. While a few archived recipes may pop up from time to time, you must not worry. I do not plan to stop playing with my food any time soon.

Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies

This recipe for Chocolate Chip Raisin Oatmeal Cookies was among the first handful I posted on this website. The recipe is not of my own invention, but the credit can instead be attributed to my wonderful university physics professor and his wife. As with any great recipe, there is usually a story behind it. This is no exception.

While getting my degree in physics, the physics department of the university held an annual spring picnic to bring together the students and professors for an afternoon of fun. Along with a tower of board games, there was a smoking grill and a table spread with salads, potato chips, and these cookies. Each year, rain or shine, these cookies found their way into the spread and, soon after, found their way into my heart. I would eat three or four in an afternoon's time; more than once, I wrapped one up in a napkin to take home. I had fallen in love with theses cookies and made sure my professor (and everyone there) knew it.

Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies

It was the third picnic when my professor casually revealed that the cookies had a secret. The cookies, he whispered, had no added sugar. Naturally, I did not believe him at first, skeptical that a cookie could taste so positively delightful without sugar or a sugar substitute, but the truth was staring me in the face. In many ways, this simple fact made these cookies that much more precious. After prodding him for the recipe for at least a dozen times, he told me to be patient and that the time would come.

On my graduation day, he congratulated me, shook my hand, and gave me a small sheet of paper with the typed up recipe, entrusting me with cookies I treasured. Every time I make these cookies I am reminded of those spring picnics and all of the memories that come with it. By trusting this recipe with you, I hope that you will bake and share these cookies with the people you love, creating memories of your own.

Chocolate Chip Raisin Cookies

Chocolate Chip Raisin Oatmeal Cookies are thick, chewy, and have no added sugar. The cookies are made with oatmeal and an abundance of chocolate chips and raisins. While the batter isn't sweet, the add-ins are delightfully so. Do not fret! This cookie will please even the most sugar-happy children. The cookies are formed with a 1/4 cup measuring cup and will keep their shape while they bake; they will not spread. I adore these cookies for both their unique texture and characteristics and I hope you will too.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar102013

Chocolate Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins

Chocolate Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins

Since the beginning of January, my baking habits seem to be circulating around one central theme—breakfast. When I pull out the flour and sugar early on Saturday morning, scones and muffins are the first items swirling about my mind. Perhaps it should not come as a surprise to me that cookies and cakes are pushed to the side for a simple treat that can accompany a plate of bacon and eggs. With dozens of ingredient variations on my favorite recipes just a cupboard away, I could not resist baking and sharing just one more breakfast recipe with you.

I stand by the claim that everyone loves a good muffin.

Chocolate Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins Chocolate Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins

Recently at work, a coworker brought in a couple dozen muffins from a nearby bakery to share. Since I began baking a few years ago, I have rarely gone out of my way to buy baked goods that I can easily make for myself. Along with chocolate chip cookies, good old fashioned muffins make that list. I grabbed the nearest over-sized blueberry muffin and took a bite. To put it quite simply, I was disappointed. The muffin was much more like a mislabeled cupcake—too sweet, with blueberries that looked and tasted nothing like the fruit I adore.

When did store bought muffins fall so far?

Chocolate Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins

Feeling the desire to right the wrongs of bakers past, I turned on the oven and got to work, creating my vision of what a muffin should be. Muffins hold a place as a sacred breakfast treat to me. They ought to be lightly sweetened, with enough sugar to satisfy the taste buds, but never enough to mistake it as a cake. Muffins should be driven by a hearty texture and filling personality. A good muffin should have a healthy nature, but be delicious enough to deceive yourself into believing that you are eating dessert.

These whole grain muffins, with chocolate chunks and a hint of espresso, will do just the trick.

Chocolate Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins Chocolate Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins

Chocolate Oatmeal Flaxseed Muffins have a complex texture and compelling flavor. The muffins are made with a combination of whole wheat flour, ground flaxseed, and rolled oats, which give a nutty, chewy texture to the final product. The muffins are not very sweet, with just a hint of brown sugar and sweetness from chocolate, but if you do prefer a bit more sugar, you can do as my boyfriend does and drizzle the muffins in a bit of maple syrup before taking a fork after them. A few chocolate chunks and a hint of espresso powder give the muffins all the flavor they need. This is a healthy and hearty alternative to the breakfast "cupcakes" out there.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan032013

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

A new year has arrived, bringing hopeful expectations and cheerful intentions. I feel pressed to make a list of resolutions, as so many friends have done and shared. Two years ago I made a list and shockingly accomplished everything I wanted. Last year I hastily found myself joining the bandwagon late, divining a list of January 5th resolutions that were immediately tossed to the wayside—the single resolution that was accomplished was by shear accident and without intention.

Resolutions have always felt so pressure-filled to me. While others may find them encouraging, my list of resolutions tends to stare at me from my desk, a stark reminder that I am nowhere near crossing them off.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

This year I've decided not to make a list of resolutions. Truthfully, I don't really have anything new to add to it. I already try to exercise regularly. Eating healthy has become a lifestyle choice for me, one I have been trying to follow for years. It is a decision I face three times a day. Like anyone, I have good days and bad days, but I do not disgrace myself based on the outcome. I fear that if I put Eat Healthy on my list, I'd only end up in a negative pattern of self judgement. There is no beginning, end, or easy system for measuring healthy eating without dieting—it is just a factor of life.

Despite a lack of resolutions, I do have many goals for myself, both shared and unspoken. Most of them are purposely vague, such as become a stronger writer or become a compelling photographer; they are not easily measurable, a work in progress for a lifetime instead of just twelve short months. For these and many more reasons, it is liberating not to have a handwritten list judging me this time around.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Even so, I have many friends that begin new diets in the New Year. Undoubtedly, I hear stories of one or two who have started skipping (or continue to skip) breakfast to save on calories. These decisions are often followed with excuses (I am never hungry in the morning or I don't have time). After a few years as a breakfast skipper myself, I am now a strong believer in a hearty breakfast. A proper, stick-to-your-bones meal can hold me over until the middle of the afternoon and I really do find I eat less during the rest of the day.

In a way, this oatmeal is for my breakfast-skipping friends—a reminder not to skip the most important meal of the day. It may even be a subtle nudge for you. I know for certain, however, that this oatmeal is for me, too. Healthy and gloriously delicious, I could eat this every single day.

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal

Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal is hearty and satisfying. Mashed banana gets cooked along with the oats, pervading the oatmeal in a wonderful manner. Peanut butter complements the flavor while a pinch of salt brings out the sweetness of the banana. Topped with a pinch of brown sugar and sliced banana, this is a filling breakfast that will certainly hold you until lunch.

Click to read more ...