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Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal

Do you ever get tired of the same old breakfast? How many days a week can you eat granola, yogurt, bacon and eggs, bagels and cream cheese, toast and peanut butter? I desperately needed a change. PINTEREST…help!!! Overnight refrigerator oatmeal I had never heard of until this week. With Mason jars at hand (found here in Merida) I set out to try something different. Below are three variations… use your imagination to come up with others…

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Overnight Refrigerator Oatmeal

THE BASIC PROCEDURE

Step 1. Assemble these ingredients & supplies:

  • old fashioned rolled oats (not instant, quick, or steel-cut)
  • Greek yogurt (regular yogurt is thinner; if you use it, you’ll need to reduce the amount of milk
  • milk (I used coconut, but any kind will work)
  • chia seeds;
  • half pint (1 cup) mason jars,

Step 2. Add oats, milk, yogurt, and chia seeds to jar, along with desired sweeteners or flavors (see options below).

Step 3. Put a lid on the jar and shake to combine. I use white plastic jar lids sized to fit canning jars–they last longer than the metal tops and rims that come with the jars, and they are easier to screw on.

Step 4. Add fruit and stir gently until combined.

Step 5. Place in fridge overnight and up to 2 days; maybe longer depending on the type and ripeness of the fruit. The non-banana varieties have been good after 4 days for me.

VARIATIONS

Blueberry Maple Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 cup blueberries (or enough to fill jar)

Directions

In a half pint (1 cup) jar, add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, and maple syrup. Put lid on jar and shake until well combined. Remove lid, add blueberries and stir until mixed throughout. Return lid to jar and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days. Eat chilled.

Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal

 Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter (may substitute PB2 powdered peanut butter)
  • 1 teaspoon honey, optional (or substitute any preferred sweetener)
  • 1/4 cup diced ripe banana, or enough to fill jar (approx. half of a small banana)

Directions

In a half pint (1 cup) jar, add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, peanut butter (or PB2), and honey. Put lid on jar and shake until well combined. Remove lid, add bananas and stir until mixed throughout. Return lid to jar and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days. Eat chilled.

Raspberry Vanilla Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon raspberry jam, preserves, or spread
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup raspberries (cut each berry in half), or enough to fill jar

Directions

In a half pint (1 cup) jar, add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, vanilla, and raspberry jam. Put lid on jar and shake until well combined. Remove lid, add raspberries and stir until mixed throughout. Return lid to jar and refrigerate overnight or as long as 2-3 days. Eat chilled. 

FYI – I found a set of three  1 cup Mason Jars here for 149 pesos…

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Slow Cooker Kielbasa and Barbecue Beans

Took this recipe off of Pinterest – Mom on Timeout, since I had all of the ingredients at hand and felt like a lazy dinner. I am not a fan of BBQ sauce so I omitted it entirely at first. I also changed the amount of beans as you can see by the red… My slow cooker often seems to cook in less time, so I checked it after 3 hours and it was done as well as I like it.

Slow Cooker Kielbasa and Barbecue Beans (Author: Trish – Mom On Timeout)

Ingredients

  • 2 large can black beans, drained and rinsed (originally 2 – 15 oz. cans)
  • 1 15.8 oz. Great Norther beans, drained and rinsed (instead of two)
  • 1 15.25 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ½ cup barbecue sauce (omitted and it made no appreciable difference)
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 14.5 oz. can chicken broth
  • ½ lb. bacon, cooked, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 lbs. Kielbasa, cut into bite size pieces (or less)

Instructions

  1. In a large slow cooker, add all of the ingredients except for the kielbasa and stir gently to combine.
  2. Place the kielbasa on top and cover with the lid.
  3. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 4 to 5 hours. (I found it was done on low after 3 hours and kept it on warm for 2 more).

Notes

I recommend the low setting for this recipe because on high, the beans tend to get dried out. If you need to cook on high due to time constraints, monitor the beans and add more broth or water if necessary.

 

Fragrant Fall Red Cabbage with Apples and Bacon

This has to be one of my favourite fall recipes and it would be great with your Thanksgiving Dinner! The origin of the recipe was the Dallas News way back in 2008. When I searched online it is nowhere to be found, either on Google or Pinterest as far as I could check. Fortunately I had a copy! You’re going to love serving this fragrant dish with your dinner.

Fragrant Fall Red Cabbage with Apples and Bacon

4 slices bacon cut into 1 inch pieces

1 large head red cabbage cored and thinly sliced

1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 apples, halved, cored and sliced

¾ cup red wine vinegar

¼ cup maple syrup

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon allspice

Salt and pepper to taste.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon until lightly browned, but NOT crispy, about 4 minutes.

Add the cabbage, onion and apples. Stir well to coat with bacon drippings. Cover and cook until the vegetables and apples are limp, about 15 minutes.

Add the vinegar, maple syrup and spices. Stir well, then season with salt and pepper.

Serves 8 to 10

Maple Glazed Ribs

Thanks to our departing friends we had some previously frozen ribs to cook. Since I only got them in the afternoon and they were already partially thawed, I had to cook them! Yes, according to the USDA Safe Food Handling website, I could have re-frozen it! If in doubt about safe food handling check the site yourself…

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/safe-food-handling/freezing-and-food-safety/ct_index 

Refreezing
Once food is thawed in the refrigerator, it is safe to refreeze it without cooking, although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through thawing. After cooking raw foods which were previously frozen, it is safe to freeze the cooked foods. If previously cooked foods are thawed in the refrigerator, you may refreeze the unused portion. Freeze leftovers within 3-4 days. Do not refreeze any foods left outside the refrigerator longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90 °F.

My reason for checking the site was that I just recently watched a programme on CBC which identified problems in restaurants as a result of improper handling…wash your hands in hot water before you start this recipe and especially when you are handling the raw ribs! Follow this link for more info – http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/Shows/Marketplace/Season+41/ID/2448613655/

So here’s the recipe…

Maple Glazed Spare Ribs
3 lb. baby back ribs
¾ cup maple syrup (what true Canadian has no maple syrup in the cupboard?)
2 T. catsup
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. dry mustard

Cut ribs into serving sized pieces. Place in roasting pan. Roast at 425F (220 C) for 30 minutes.
In small saucepan, combine remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Pour over ribs after 30 minutes and bake uncovered at 325 F (160 C) for about an hour or until tender. Turn ribs occasionally during cooking.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Balsamic Glazed Carrots/Maple Glazed Asparagus Bundles

Whether you use these as appetizers or side dishes is not important. We had both of these at our friends’  Sandy and Ted’s in KW and thoroughly enjoyed both. They are great Summer additions to any menu.

Balsamic-Glazed Carrots:

8 servings, 25 minutes prep and cook time.
10 carrots (1 1/4 lbs.) peeled, quartered lengthwise.
1/4 cup Kraft Calorie-wise Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (optional: 1-2 oz. augmentation of real balsamic vinegar)
3 Tbsp. brown sugar.
1 Tbsp. butter.
1 Tbsp. finely chopped Parsley.

Cook carrots in boiling for 4-6 min. or until crisp- tender.
Meanwhile, cook dressing, sugar and butter in small saucepan on low heat for 3-4 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Drain carrots, return to saucepan. Add sauce and stir. Cook 2-3 minutes until heated through and evenly coated with sauce.
Sprinkle with Parsley and serve.

Maple-Glazed Asparagus Bundles:

1 Large bunch Asparagus, 24 to 32 spears, trimmed.
1/2 Red Pepper, sliced into long thin strips.
8 Prosciutto Ham trimmed, 4oz.(125g.) thinly sliced.

1/3 cup (75 ml.)  Diana’s Sauce, (Maple flavour) OR real maple syrup
2 tsp coarsely cracked black pepper.
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp each, lemon juice and melted butter.
Optional: 2tsp. Balsamic vinegar added to the  sauce for basting the bundles on the grille.

Blanch the Asparagus in boiling salted water for 3 minutes.

Rinse under cold water until cool.  Drain and pat dry.
Divide asparagus into 8 bundles (I use 3 per bundle).

Add a few red pepper strips per bundle.
Lay out a prosciutto slice, lightly cover with sauce or syrup and  add 1 proportion of Asparagus and red pepper strips.

Roll the prosciutto tightly around the trimmed based asparagus bundles base, secure with toothpick(s). Repeat.
Cover bundles with sauce. Prepare grille to med-high heat.
Grille bundles for 2 minutes turn and brush with remaining sauce or syrup.

Grille additional 2 minutes. Turn as needed until vegetables are marked and ham is lightly crisped.
Remove toothpicks to serve. Makes 8 servings.

Maple Mustard Chicken Wings or Thighs

Was looking for something to do with chicken thighs and came across lots of recipes for chicken wings. What the…? Why not use the same ingredients and substitute the thighs? Happy to report that they worked very well! So next time you are looking for recipes to do something different with thighs OR legs, just use any wing recipe…… WING IT! LOL

Maple Mustard Chicken Wings OR Thighs

Ingredients

2 lb. Chicken wings or thighs

2 T vegetable oil

2 cloves of garlic minced

½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper

1/3 cup maple syrup

¼ cup Dijon mustard

¼ cup grainy mustard

2 T cider vinegar

Preparation

 Mix all of the above ingredients in a bowl large enough to contain the wings or thighs. Add in the chicken pieces and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or for up to 24 hours.

Reserving marinade, arrange chicken on a rack on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Spoon half of the marinade over top. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes and turn over. Brush reserve marinade over the chicken. Bake until juices are clear…about 20 minutes more. Broil for 1 minute if you want them crispier.

This recipe can be found in Canadian Living : Best of Chicken magazine  Spring 2008, page 61