Last week was one for the books, not in a great way. The general recap is this: Cooper had a cold, I had a sore throat/chills/fever/headache//flu-like symptoms, Nicholas was in a car accident that left him unharmed, but totaled one of our cars, and a few other things (jury duty that ended up being cancelled, appointments, etc.)
Life has been a swirl of joyful visitors for us! It's been wonderful, and all our visitors are the best kind—low-key and they make your heart glad. All that said, having people in town does upset our routine a bit (routines can do with a bit of upsetting from time to time, though). Today is for catching-up, tidying, writing this post, reading, and knitting, as a bit of downtime.
Baked PB oatmeal or just "PB oatmeal" as we fondly call it, serves as our breakfast at least 300 mornings of the year. I've mentioned it about one million times on the blog, since I've been making is for us ever since Summer posted the recipe almost exactly five years ago, but I've never actually shared the recipe and how I make it. Over time, I've adjusted a few things and tweaked it to it's current state. I adore recipes like this that I can make again and again. We eat a lot of eggs for any meal of the day, and so it's nice to have an egg-free breakfast option. And I really love the idea of a make-ahead breakfast that will reheat easily and fill us up with both protein and carbs.
As the temperatures cool and the holidays approach, I dream about having a simple, savory, throw-it-in-the-oven, baked breakfast casserole. I had some specific criteria in mind:
I enjoy the taste of coffee, yes, but also the practice of slowing down, choosing to savor something, meeting a friend for conversation, and holding a warm mug in my hands. I suppose that's a lot of emotion tied to my coffee drinking. No matter, I drink it everyday, and since we've lived in Austin for nearly two-and-a-half years now, I've developed a method to my Austin coffee drinking.
Last weekend, some of my best girls here in Austin and I decided to have a girl's sleepover. I mean, we're adults, but a sleepover still sounded like a super fun way to catch up, spend quality time together, and pamper ourselves, although my goodness, I loathe the word "pamper." It looked a little different than your typical sleepover for eight-year-olds. We made supper together—salmon on the grill, topped with a basil/mango/avocado salsa, plus roasted potatoes, brussels sprouts, and mashed cauliflower. We drank coffee at 8pm, because, well, we could. We sang worship songs together, practicing harmony variations, and talked about marriage and essential oils, and a bunch of other stuff. We took blurry photos in the backyard, most of which at least one person's head was cropped out. We each took a turn in a foot bath, and with the nail polish. And naturally, we rifled through Molly's closet, because friends do that, right?
Even if you're not a fan of Valentine's Day, more than likely, your thoughts turned to affection, relationships, and investment in the lives of other people. We kept it low-key with our usual breakfast—I just shaped our baked PB oatmeal into heart shapes and made some bacon as a treat. After church, we went out for lunch, and even though it was chilly we sat on the patio. We drank coffee and I wore my hood the whole time to stay warm and we just talked and laughed and ate yummy french fries. I loved it. And I really, really love my husband.
Not too long ago, I wrote a post on how and why I meal plan. In that post, I said I'd write about our favorite, frequently made meals. While I enjoy trying new recipes, I love having a set of "go-to" recipes that we know we love. Also, as dorky as it sounds, I like the idea of making a recipe frequently enough that I know which baking dish is the the perfect fit.
Naturally, a whole bunch of little everyday things are happening over here lately. In particular:
It's no secret that breakfast food is one of my love languages. Eggs, pancakes, waffles...they're all my favorite foods. That being said, I'm not 100% on the granola bandwagon. I generally don't crave it and we rarely buy it. The blend of textures has to be just right. But this granola is a game-changer. Each time I make it a little differently, but this was my favorite batch yet. It has a lot of crunch, and it's not too sweet (my biggest objection to most store-bought varieties). Next time I'm tempted to think, I don't like granola very much, I need someone to remind me of this granola, okay? And nothing will make your home smell so, so good while it bakes in your oven.
On Monday, we returned home from a trip to Minnesota (where I grew up). Even though we love our home here in Texas, a trip North was overdue. Lauren's wedding was one of many reasons for a visit. This one was jam-packed with lots of wonderful things. Some of my favorite things:
Okay, so epiphany might be a bit dramatic, but these still count as fairly significant realizations in my book: