Peach Cobbler Baked Oatmeal

Dessert for breakfast is definitely the way to go.

Because, let’s be honest, everything always tastes better at breakfast time. Leftover apple pie? Friday’s Chinese take-out? Bowl of vanilla bean ice cream? Yes, yes and oh, yes, please! Feed me all of that for breakfast. Although, preferably not all together. I’m not so sure how well that veggie lo mien goes with a side of ice cream.

There is something so appealing about starting my day with something warm and sweet (unless it’s ice cream, in which case cold is okay). I love oatmeal and have been known to eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. It’s just so good and when you’re on a college monetary and time budget, well, let’s just say that instant oats make frequent appearances around here.

When I’ve had my fair share of instant oats, I love to switch it up and treat myself to some baked oatmeal. It’s just as easy and although it requires a bit more time, I really don’t have to worry about it after putting it in the oven. Thus leaving me to clean, shower or catch up on work while it’s baking. Hello, multitasking.

I’ve got a pocket full of sunshine and a freezer full of peaches; my absolute, most favorite fruit. I’ve shed tears when they go out of season. Growing up in a sorta big farm area, I am very picky with my fruits. I know what great, fresh fruit tastes like and I will accept nothing but the best. Especially when it comes to peaches. I’ve tried dozens of times to accept the peaches that I’ve bought around here at school but they are terrible; not juicy, not sweet and definitely lacking in flavor.

At the beginning of last semester, I would buy peaches from home, cut them up and freeze them. I would say that I had close to twenty-five peaches frozen in there and I did not want to use them. Seriously, I was like a greedy kid rationing out her Halloween candy until Christmas. The other day I defrosted a bag to make this cobbler-oatmeal and nearly died. The peaches were still so juicy, sweet and fresh; it transported me right to summer. Needless to say, I don’t think the rest of those peaches are going to last the remainder of this week! My resistance has been broken.

Peach Cobbler Baked Oatmeal
(Makes about 4 big servings)

1 c. oats
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 c. maple syrup
1 c. milk
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2-3 peaches, sliced
(or about 1 1/2 cups frozen peaches, thawed)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place peaches at the bottom of a lightly greased baking pan. In a medium bowl, toss together oats, baking powder, cinnamon and brown sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together syrup, egg, milk and vanilla. Pour the oat mixture evenly on top of the peach layer and then pour the milk mixture over top; be sure to pour it evenly over the oats and fruit. Bake for about 35 – 45 minutes, until the top is set and browned on top. Can be served warm or cool.

Now I have the perfect excuse to eat dessert for practically every meal. This would taste great with some vanilla ice cream too…

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Apple Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

I dislike Mondays for several reasons.

Not only do Mondays mean it’s the end of the weekend, they just arrive way too fast for my liking. I shouldn’t really complain as someone who has a four day weekend every week, but I find that by the time I start to enjoy my weekend, it’s already Sunday night and I’m dreading the next day.

Why must you do this to me, Monday? I’m not ready to make myself presentable for the rest of the world; I’d rather bum around in pajamas and eat cereal out of the box all day without having to comb out my hair. I would like to have this kind of relationship, Monday, if not today, then maybe sometime in the near future.

Monday is the day that you chastise yourself for letting your diet slip over the weekend or not getting a head start on your work or organizing your apartment. For me, today is definitely that Monday that encompasses all three. I mean, I can’t be the only one that wishes she didn’t eat that last slice of pizza, right?

I sit here at my computer, procrastinating, while I have a pile of dishes up to my chin in the kitchen and a broken glass that I have yet to sweep up after knocking it over in my haste to get to work this morning. However, a few extra slices of pizza and a broken glass aside, I’m going to make this Monday better. It’s going to be a good Monday for both of us because this baked oatmeal is heavenly and healthy. It’s the perfect breakfast and at around 150 calories and full of fiber, it could be the perfect dessert as well (with a little bit of whipped cream on top, of course).

Apple Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
(click here for a printable version)
Makes 4 servings

1 c. oats
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. light (or sugar-free) maple syrup
1 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (regular milk works too)
1 egg or 1/4 c. egg substitute
1 med. apple, chopped
1/2 c. blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the chopped apples and blueberries in a greased medium baking dish; spread them evenly on the bottom. In a bowl, mix together the oats, baking powder and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and syrup. Pour the oat mixture evenly on top of the fruit and then pour the milk mixture over the oats and fruits; try to pour it evenly throughout the oatmeal. Do not mix. Bake the oatmeal about 30-40 minutes until golden brown on top.

Eating healthier today totally negates yesterday’s pizza, I promise.

Toasted Coconut & Walnut Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Drizzle

I literally just made these yesterday and I’m dying to share.

I love all things about this cookie. It’s sweet, it has a little crunch to it and it’s just so packed with flavor.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t too sure how they were going to turn out but I ate three right out of the oven. The roof of my mouth hates me right now but it was worth it. You can’t beat cookies straight from the oven.

The dough was probably my favorite part. I’m sure this recipe could make about four dozen cookies…I only got about three but then again, I did eat my weight in cookie dough. The calories don’t really count until it’s in cookie form, right?

What’s really great about these cookies is that you can totally adjust the recipe to your liking. If you’re a huge coconut fan, go ahead, add an extra handful or two. Not feeling the chocolate drizzle or it’s too much of a hassle? Totally cool. They taste just as great without it, trust me, I did ample sampling. Although there is definitely something beautiful about that chocolate drizzle on top.

Especially when you’re the one doing the drizzling (or being the drizzler) because you get to melt all that wonderful chocolate and secretly hope there’s going to be extra so you can lick the bowl, spoon, bag etc. Also, feel free to use any type of chocolate. I only had semi-sweet mini chocolate morsels but I’m positive that dark chocolate would be absolutely gorgeous drizzled on top. White chocolate would be great as well, I’ll keep that in mind for next time.

Toasted Coconut & Walnut Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Drizzle
Makes 3-4 dozen cookies

1/2 c. butter (1 stick), softened
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. coconut (I used the sweetened kind by Baker’s)
1 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. walnuts, finely chopped (optional)
1 c. chocolate chips or chocolate bar, any kind

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. {This is optional: On a greased cookie or baking sheet, spread coconut and walnuts on the sheet and toast them for 5 – 10 minutes. Be careful not to burn the coconut. Allow to cool before adding to batter}

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars together until creamy. Then add the eggs and vanilla; mix well. Mix in the flour, oatmeal and baking soda. Add coconut and walnuts;
mix well.

You can either drop the dough by the spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8 – 10 minutes or chill the dough for about thirty minutes, then rolling the dough into a loose ball and dipping the top into coconut for extra flavor, then also baking 8 – 10 minutes. It’s up to you, they both taste equally fantastic; I did half and half.

Melt chocolate in the microwave for 1 – 2 minutes and spoon into a small ziploc bag. Make a very small cut in the corner of the bag; drizzle chocolate over cookie. Allow chocolate to cool completely before storing cookies in a jar or tin.

With all this coconut talk, I really want a piƱa colada.