Sunday, April 29, 2012

Caramel Apple Oatmeal Bars

I tell myself these bars aren't that bad for me since the serving size is only for 100 calories. However, that is for an unfairly small portion!. However, they do have fruit... and oats! They're a yummy treat for lunches and my husband adores them. I have adapted my recipe from the one you can find here on Betty Crocker's website.


cup packed brown sugar
cup butter or margarine, softened
1 3/4
cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2
cups quick-cooking oats
teaspoon salt
teaspoon baking soda
4 1/2
cups coarsely chopped peeled tart apples (3 medium)
tablespoons all-purpose flour
carmel ice cream topping, drizzled on top until your hearts content :)
Nuts, optional

  • 1Heat oven to 400ºF. Mix brown sugar and butter in large bowl. Stir in 1 3/4 cups flour, the oats, salt and baking soda. Reserve 2 cups oat mixture; press remaining oat mixture in ungreased rectangular pan, 13x9x2 inches.
  • 2Toss apples and 3 tablespoons flour; spread over mixture in pan. Pour caramel topping evenly over apples. Sprinkle with reserved oat mixture; press lightly. Add nuts of your choice if you'd like. I usually use pecans of walnuts.
  • 3Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender. For 36 bars, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows while warm. Store covered in refrigerator (I leave mine on the counter).

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Well that took awhile...

If you all remember this post I shared with you LONG ago (back in September) about our living room makeover, you were probably wondering if it ever evolved into anything. Well, it did!

Let me tell you, it was a LONG process! We had originally painted the below piece of furniture (follow link for the make-over) a light yellow to match the sheets that I picked up at HomeGoods and made into curtains.

We sat with that current set up for a couple of months before finally deciding that neither myself, nor my husband, nor many friends and family, liked the color scheme we had chosen.

So, it was back to the drawing board and I had looked EVERYWHERE for curtains, which I wanted to be the jumping off point and big pattern and color for the room. Below is what the end result looks like. I LOVE IT!

P.S. The curtains are from Pottery Barn. They were very expensive, but at that point I think Kyle and I were both sick of trying to find something we liked, so he let me splurge :) Such a good husband!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Grandmom South's Baked Mac & Cheese

This dish has been a staple at any holiday dinner we have ever had in the South Residence (my dad's side). At least that I can remember.

The usual spread consists of the following: ham or turkey-sometimes both, gravy (somehow, it was always my job to make this- appointed by my grandfather), baked mac, mashed potatoes, corn, beets, dinner rolls, deviled eggs and a fresh vegetable and fruit tray... oh, and we can't forget the apple and pumpkin pies! It was always quite a feast!

Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away in 2007. She and my maternal grandmother really taught me everything I know about cooking, and most things domestic. My mom's strong suit is cleaning, but she's not big into sewing/crafts or cooking/baking (sorry mom, but I think you would willingly admit this). My dad always says I was born decades too late, seeing as how much I adore the domestic, slow-paced, home-grown life.

Anyway, my paternal grandmother, whose recipe this is, NEVER wrote anything down. She did everything from memory and added a little of this or that, depending on how the dish tasted. Before she passed away, I was getting old enough to realize that once she was gone, all of our favorite recipes would be gone with her if I didn't write them down, so that's what I did, hence the simplistic, to-the-point recipe below :)

Grandmom South's Baked Mac & Cheese
1 box elbow macaroni
10 oz. Sharp White Cheddar Cheese, shredded
MUST be cracker barrel- I have used other brands and nothing has the same flavor
Whole or 2% Milk (eyeball this- fill the 13x9 pan a little less than 1/2 full)
You must use whole or 2%, I have used skim and it really takes away from the flavor

Preheat over to 325-350 degrees

Cook the macaroni as directed on the box. Drain and set aside. Pour drained macaroni into a greased 13x9" pan and sprinkle with cheese. Fill the pan about 1/2 full with milk. Top with bread cubs if desired. Cover with foil and bake for one hour. If you like your edges a little crisp, take the foil off for the last 10 minutes in the oven. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

This is not an April Fool's joke...

This pictures sums up my life thus far in 2012. Back in January I had shared with you a very personal post regarding Kyle and I's possible "infertile" future. However, it appears with no hard work, miracles grow from difficulties!

We are 9 weeks and 5 days. Not quite to the 12 weeks mark, where the chance of miscarriage drastically drops, and most people start sharing with friends and family, but if you read my blog, you are most likely our friend or family... so I'm sharing a little early!

The reason for the long break is just that... pregnancy! I wish I could say I was one of those dreamy women who adore being pregnant, but so far I haven't like it at all! I hear after 12 weeks it gets much better, so I'm hoping things turn around then.

Let me share all of the details; for you... and me to remember later!

I have been very lucky so far... though I don't feel like it! Nausea started around 5 weeks and was quickly followed by a four day long GI bug.  That was horrible, but the nausea was bearable and was mostly gone by noon. However, around 8 weeks, the nausea changed course and set in around lunchtime and was much worse than it had been a few weeks earlier. I have my very favorite friend, Zofran, to help when I can't bear the sickness.

Well, at first, around 5 1/2 weeks, I was craving vegetables and salads and anything healthy... that didn't last very long! When I hit 7 weeks I was craving macaroni and cheese- Kraft blue box- every night, and a little later mashed potatoes. I'm kind of tired of mac at the moment, but I made the most delicious mashed potatoes that I just finished today-boo. (TIP: I used 1/2 cup of cottage cheese in them and they were delicious! They warmed up beautifully, which isn't always the case with mashed potatoes). Currently, I'm not craving anything because EVERYTHING gives me indigestion, already! I knew with having IBS, pregnancy was probably going to be miserable GI-wise. Surprisingly, I haven't really craved sweets, which I'm pretty excited about, because usually that is my downfall!

I have just the slightest little bump below my belly button... really I just feel like I'm getting chubby right now! I don't feel pregnant at all. Depending on what scale I use, I've gained less than a pounds to 2 pounds since this little peanut has started to develop. Hopefully I only gain about another pound in the remaining weeks, because after that they'll really start to pack on!

Oh and yes, there is only one! Seeing as Kyle is a twin and my aunt and uncle are twins, and my HCG levels were about 3 times higher than the normal range, we were a little worried we might be having multiples. Not that we would be ungrateful of course, but we'd like to enjoy one at a time!

I hope to be back to posting 2-3 times a week. I have some yummy recipes coming up to share with you: baked french toast, my grandmom's baked mac and cheese and caramel apple bars, as well as our living room makeover.... and a photo shoot with my cousin's little girl! So much to catch up on!

Have a great Monday!