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Hi Everyone,

First of all, I'm going to go into some personal details and then I will share with you something I think is pretttyyyyy amazing. Actually based on how little of this I actually get to eat before it totally disappears, I'm guessing I'm not the only one who feels that way!

Personal Stuff
Our apartment will again be the stage for hosting a holiday meal. Mother's Day. But not just ANY Mother's Day, a joint Mother's Day with Boyfriend's parents. Now, it's true that we live together and have been dating for over 1.5 years, but our families have not yet met. This seems a little strange to me since they are from the same background (Russian Jewish) and are both pretty social people. Well this will all change now, so needless to say, I'm going all out. I'm preparing a few things, but since I don't expect to be doing a ton of cooking (and therefore less posting) in the upcoming month, I will split up the recipes between posts. I do expect these all to be pretty picture heavy, so I hope you all have good browsers!

On to Cooking!
Last night was supposed to be a musical with my family and a girlfriend that ended in a night of debauchery. Well my girlfriend didn't make it and so my night ended with....baking. Yes, I felt like a loser, but to be fair, not drinking was probably good for my self image anyway. So I began prep for Mother's Day, thus reducing my stress on the actual day, I hope.

I prepared and finished my Oatmeal Breakfast Bars. These are a great little snack or more that you can always take with you or serve at a brunch. I've cut this batch into 12 pieces, making each 125 calories. Also though, these are quite nut-heavy for me. For myself I would probably put in more seeds or even soynuts for crunch, but these are more family friendly.
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Topping Ingredients (user's choice)
*I used a 3/4 cup : 1cup ratio of dried fruit to nuts for this batch*

1/4 cup raisin/cranberry mix
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped (7-8?)
1/4 cup dried fig, chopped (4 figs)
1/2 cup mixed nuts (from purchased medley), pounded.

Note: I put the nuts into a ziplock bag and pounded them with a pan...mmm....therapeutic!...


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Base Ingredients (I wouldn't fluctuate these...)
1.5 cups oatmeal (5-grain is just as good)
1.25 cups milk (I use 1%)
1 egg

Note: Vegans-I'm sure soymilk would work here. I'm excited for the chocolate almond milk I'm saving for the next batch!)

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Mixture before baking
Throw all the ingredients into a bowl together.
Add sweet spices: I use a liberal amount of cinnamon, maybe a tsp of ginger, and a tsp or 2tsp of almond extract + 1 packet sweeter.

I would bet that nutmeg, vanilla extract, honey, agave nectar would all also be great. I completely intend to try cocoa powder in here too.

Let sit for 10-15 minutes then pour into a casserole dish or brownie pan (anything with sides). Make sure to use parchament paper for this. You don't have to oil it/spray it or clean up after it!

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Bake this for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Again my oven seems to be a little slow on the uptake, so maybe in yours it will be shorter. Keep an eye on it, it's done when liquid doesn't seep out when you press on it or when a toothpick comes out clean.

This is pretty thin, maybe about the thickness of a thin magazine. You can make them as thick and thin, large or small as you like. My mom has tried these before and makes them really thick. I find that it increases the calories and makes it "look" smaller.

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Here's a closeup of my Mother's Day Oatmeal Bars. You can see apricot, fig, nut, raisin, oatmeal.....

Depending on what you put in here, these can be SOOOOO healthy. Add dried blueberries/cherries: antioxidants! Use a predominance of almonds: monosaturated fats can lower cholesterol! Soy nuts/peanuts: these will up the protein content. Pumpkin seeds: iron. Chia seeds and flax: omega-3 fatty acids!
You get the point. These can really be pretty good for you. They're already chock full of fiber as I have them here.

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Ok, time for me to end this post because we are heading out for my sorority sister's birthday that will feature vegan food, sake and Belgian beer. Yes I know, sake and belgian beer don't really go together but they are two of my BIGGEST alcohol weaknesses! Here's my plan for tonight:
3 alcoholic beverages (only 1 of the three will be my favorite highly alcoholic-and highly caloric!-belgian beers. The other 2 can be sake or sake+lighter beer)
Sharing 1 (maybe 2) apps and 1 entree with Boyfriend, hoping he eats 2/3 of each portion himself.

Will tell more about today and more about last night tomorrow. There may or may not be recipes in tomorrow's post. Maybe just teasers!!

 


Comments

05/30/2011 17:46

How to make yourself Happy? It is not esay to do, But, we could make it better, how do you think about it ?

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    I'm a recent graduate from medical school and a pathology resident living in New York City. Like most girls living in the city, I've found that a lot of my social life revolves around the regular consumption of high-calorie food and alcoholic beverages. I've decided to start a blog about how I am trying to beat the bulge by eating and cooking defensively between social engagements and how even a busy girl can fit exercise into a busy life.

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