Tag Archives: oatmeal

Lunch bag: Healthy No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls

peanut butter balls

My 4-year-old’s preschool asks parents to pack healthy snacks that feature at least 2 food groups. This being my first year packing anything resembling a school lunch, of course I’m going over the top looking for fun, healthy snack ideas she’ll eat. This has been my first great victory: they’re easy, she loved helping me make them, they travel well, they’re not messy, & even My Husband The Suspicious Of Anything Labeled “Healthy” gave them his stamp of approval.

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup Rice Krispies
  • 1 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mixing gently to not crush the cereal, until well coated.
  2. Use a tablespoon or soup spoon to scoop out tablespoon-sized portions & roll them into balls between your hands. Place them on a parchment- or waxed-paper-lined cookie sheet.
  3. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours. You can serve them now, or place them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer to portion out in your kids’ lunches. They’ll keep a week in the fridge or a few months in the freezer.

Original recipe here.

Linked up at Mommy Solutions

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Resolution-friendly recipes!

For the many of us who have resolved to treat our bodies a little better this year, here are some healthy recipes from the past year. (I can’t believe this blog is already almost a year old!)

More new recipes to come, promise!

I’m making these Chewy, Chunky (& Lowfat!) Oatmeal Bars for us to snack on as we walk around Disney World this weekend. They’re so hearty & delicious (we all love them), it’s hard to believe they’re so low in fat!

Start the day off right with yummy Oatmeal Raisin Pancakes. You just might want to skip the butter syrup.

Now, a couple vegetarian dinners: Pasta with Arugula & Tomatoes

…& Skinny Veggie Ziti.

If your Munchkins are joining you in your resolution, help them get some more veggies with some Veggie Latkes. (I can’t believe how young The Munchkin looks in this picture!)

Then finish it off right with the almost entirely nonfat Skinny Banana Bread for dessert!

Best of luck keeping your resolutions — health & otherwise — this year!

works for me wednesday at we are that family

36th Avenue

Cast Party Wednesday

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Oatmeal-Raisin Pancakes.

Our first Valentine’s Day as new parents was a family occasion: we went to breakfast at the highly-touted Uptown Cafe in Bloomington. There I tried the special of the day, oatmeal-raisin pancakes. They were sublime… probably the best pancakes I’d ever had.

So tonight, for “brinner” (breakfast for dinner — any other Scrubs fans out there?), I decided to make my own. I found an oatmeal pancakes recipe over at Bees Knees Recipes as my jumping-off point. The result? Well, let’s just say that if they were this tasty even with an uneven-heating electric range & my atrocious pancake-flipping skills (if you could even call them that), they’ve gotta be great!

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup raisins (or to taste)
  1. In a large bowl, combine oats & milk & let stand 5 minutes. (I let it stand while I got my frittata ready to go in the oven.)
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine dry ingredients.
  3. Add vanilla, eggs, & applesauce to oat mixture & mix well. Then blend in flour mixture. Finally, stir in raisins.
  4. Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to ladle batter for each pancake onto your nonstick griddle. You’ll likely need to stir the batter up again with each batch to keep the raisins from settling at the bottom.
  5. Serve with delicious butter syrup (below). For some reason, regular old plain syrup doesn’t cut it anymore for us!

Butter syrup:

Just put a 2:1 ratio of syrup (doesn’t need to be pure — we use Log Cabin) to butter in a Pyrex measuring cup & melt in the microwave. Swirl, pour over pancakes, & enjoy!

Tidy Mom

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Chewy, Chunky Oatmeal Breakfast Bars.

First, I want to take a moment to give a Web shout-out to all of my dear friends (& readers!) in the Midwest & South. A possible tornado hit Bloomington, Indiana, where we spent three amazing years, & where The Munchkin was born. Reading my friends’ Facebook updates last night about tornado sirens, thunder, & hunkering down in the bathroom into the wee hours turned my stomach in knots. I’m just so grateful to know now that all of my friends are unharmed! I know that right now there are so many who aren’t so fortunate.

One of my fond memories of our time in Bloomington was an unlikely visiting teacher named Sue. (The LDS Church gives members the opportunity & responsibility to care for & serve one another by assigning them certain people to visit once a month & generally look out for.) I had never had a visiting teacher so different from me: I was a new mom; she was older & had no children. At first I had misgivings — how could we have anything in common to talk about? — but she served me so well at such a stressful time of my life that I knew it was meant to be.

One of those ways she served me was by bringing me these breakfast bars so I’d have a nutritious snack that was easy to munch on. They’re low in fat, high in protein & fiber, & seriously addictive!

(By the way, yes, I do recognize the fact that this makes 4 oatmeal recipes in a row here on Make Myself at Home. I seem to be on a bit of a kick lately. & I’m not the least bit sorry. Neither is My Husband The Volunteer Taste-Tester. Or The Munchkin, apparently…)

Sue’s Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 6 oz. fat-free vanilla yogurt (I used Yoplait Light Very Vanilla)
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 Tbsp. skim milk
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil or applesauce (I used oil this time, only because I didn’t want to open a whole new applesauce container)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. vanilla (I just used 1/2 since I used Very Vanilla yogurt)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour (or use just 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins &/or Craisins
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or use 1 cup of all raisins/Craisins… but where’s the fun in that?)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 pan.
  2. In a large bowl combine sugars & wet ingredients.
  3. In another bowl combine flours, baking soda, salt, & cinnamon.
  4. Add flour mixture to wet mixture; stir well.
  5. Stir in oats, fruit, chips, & nuts.
  6. Spread dough into bottom of prepared pan.
  7. Bake 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  8. Cool before cutting & enjoying.

Do you have any dishes that bring back fond memories of old friends or places you lived?

Tidy Mom


Join  us Saturdays at tatertotsandjello.com for the weekend wrap   up           party!

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The Secret Weapon: Fudgy Wudgies.

While I’m off getting my husband graduated & gallivanting all over Manhattan like a tourist (a rain-soaked, caught-in-a-downpour-in-Times-Square-in-Chucks-that-have-yet-to-dry tourist), Momo has agreed to post my MOST FAVORITE recipe of hers. I never bought evaporated milk before she introduced me to these. They will change your life. I promise. (& maybe your pants size too.) (In a good way.)

Alicia was one of my roommates my freshman year of college. She came to school armed with good looks, a fun personality and a Secret Weapon for catching boys: Fudgy Wudgies.  A delicious, buttery, oatmeal ‘n’ fudge bar cookie that almost no one can resist.

Luckily, Alicia and I became best friends and she shared the recipe with me. Then taught me how to cook. Now that we are both happily married she has agreed that the recipe for this Secret Weapon can now be shared for the greater good. Consider yourselves very lucky. I know I am to have such a wonderful friend and a bootleg copy of her family’s cookbook. Buddy, where would I be without you?

Alicia’s Fudgy Wudgies

(Fudgy refers to the gooey chocolatey filling and Wudgy refers to the oatmeal cookie component)

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9″x13″ baking dish.

The Fudgy

Combine and melt in the microwave for 1 minute on high:

  • 1 package of semisweet chocolate chips (12 oz)
  • 1/4 cup evaporated milk (in a pinch you can use reg milk)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter

Stir until smooth, then add 1 tsp vanilla.  Set aside.

Next step: the Wudgy

Cream until fluffy:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar

Beat in until well mixed:

  • 2 eggs

Add:

  • 1 tsp vanilla

Then gradually mix in:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Stir in:

  • 3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats (depends on your texture preference)

Spread 2/3 of the Wudgy mixture in the bottom of the pan. Spread Fudgy over the top (do not scrape the bowl completely clean, you will regret it).

Drop small chunks of Wudgy over the top, leaving some of the chocolate layer exposed.

You will probably have a little bit of Wudgy left over. Save it. Put Fudgy Wudgies in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Now for the best part: dip some of the leftover Wudgy into the Fudgy and eat. Repeat until you have cleaned both bowls.

Fudgy Wudgies take a while to cool and set up so that they can be cut without a fudgy landslide. Plan on at least an hour before cutting into bars, or longer if you are plating them to take to friends. Also plan on being the recipient of many compliments and/or offers of marriage.

Tidy Mom

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Sweet-n-Savory Meatballs.

This recipe is a copycat from The Lion House, a restaurant & historic site on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. I have very fond memories of visiting there with my Grandma & filling up on their delicious rolls, but always saving room for the chocolate silk pie!

My friend Mandy gave me this recipe, & she got it from somewhere else before that, but the first couple of times I made it, it didn’t taste quite the same as I remembered at The Lion House. So I’ve adjusted it a little; hopefully it’s a little closer to the real thing, which you should definitely try (or anything on their delicious menu) if you’re in the neighborhood.

For the meatballs:

  • 1 to 1 1/4 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats (not quick)
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • scant 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. worcestershire sauce
  • a few shakes or grinds pepper

Combine ingredients in mixer bowl. Mix until well blended, but do not over-mix or the meat will get tough. Form into 24 or more balls, each about 1 1/2 inches, & place in baking dish. (For a family of 3-4, you can split the recipe in half: put half the meatballs in a foil pan, add the sauce [below], cover with foil, place in a Ziploc freezer bag, & freeze for later. Just put the foil pan in the fridge 24 hours before cooking to defrost, then cook as usual [below].)

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce (not hickory)
  • 2 tsp. worcestershire sauce

Combine ingredients in large saucepan & bring to a boil while mixing well. (Mustard may not incorporate entirely.) Pour over meatballs in pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Serve over rice.

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The Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.

Oatmeal has a special place in my heart. Oats just make every recipe better, don’t they? Heartier, tastier, healthier (yes, I am still deluding myself on this one) — you just can’t go wrong with oats! This Martha Stewart recipe is no exception.

These are our travel staple: any time we’re headed on a road trip, I make up a batch the day before & they keep us going forever. In fact, we had two Indiana-Utah road trips in six months that went awry — in Wyoming both times — & these cookies sustained us in countless mechanic’s shops & in the middle of the I-80 median for hours! (Let’s just say that a new car & a new undercarriage on the new car later, we’ve come to the conclusion that either Wyoming hates us, or their mechanics love us. No offense meant to anyone out there who hails from Wyoming — we’ve just had exceptionally bad luck driving through it.)

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 sticks butter, room temp
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp. milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups rolled oats (not steel-cut or quick-cooking)
  • 1 cup raisins
  1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl & set aside.
  2. Cream together butter & sugars. Add vanilla, milk, & eggs; blend well.
  3. Add flour mixture; beat until just combined.
  4. Remove the bowl from the mixer (or, if you’re weak like me… just don’t); stir in the oats & raisins.
  5. Refrigerate dough until firm — 2 hours to overnight.
  6. Preheat oven to 350. Line cookie sheets with parchment.
  7. Scoop out about 2 Tbsp. of dough & shape it into a ball. Place on prepared sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing the balls 3 inches apart. Press down with your palm to flatten to a 2-inch diameter.
  8. Bake until golden but still quite soft in the center. If you’re doing 2 cookie sheets at once, bake 16-18 minutes, rotating pans between shelves halfway through. If baking just 1 cookie sheet, bake just 14 minutes.
  9. Cool on wire racks.

What are your favorite road trip staples?

Tidy Mom

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