Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Squares

I have a pretty serious sweet tooth and LOVE dessert. If I'm in the mood for a treat but don't want to spend a bunch of time in the kitchen, I'll whip up a batch of Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Squares.

Now, this isn't Chris' favorite recipe; he actually groans when I make it. This and pasta were on the menu quite often when I was pregnant with Charlie and even though that was three years ago, I think he's had enough. He prefers something a little more gooey.... think brownies, cookies, Seven Layer Bars.

This is a recipe I've had since high school and got it from my best friend's mom. The first time I made it was at my best friend's house; her mom put out the ingredients for me and none of us realized until we were eating it that she put out powdered sugar instead of flour. I like sweet, but that was a bit too much!

When I made these tonight, I decided to try to "healthify" the recipe by substituting wheat flour for half of the white flour. The resulting squares were a little more dry than normal, but they crisped up quite nicely and I liked it.... so much that I ate two, no make that three squares! So much for staying on track today! lol

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Squares

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup wheat flour (or additional 1/2 cup white flour)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While oven is heating, place stick of butter in 8x8 pan and pop the pan into the oven to melt the butter (and save you from having to wash an extra dish!). Once butter is melted, remove pan from oven and add all ingredients, except chocolate chips, to the pan. Mix with a fork. When ingredients are combined, add chocolate chips and mix. Press mixture with fork to flatten. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Enjoy!

Linked up at The King's Court IV: What's Cooking Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Family Snowshoeing Outing

One of my favorite family activities is hiking and this past Saturday, we packed up our gear, the kids and the dog and headed over to my mother-in-law's house to walk her land. This was our first time snowshoeing this year and it was also Charlie's first time in snowshoes. He was a natural!

A former co-worker of mine offered me Charlie's snowshoes in return for me writing up her bio for the company website - what a great deal! We went out a few times last year but thought the shoes would be too big for Charlie. We packed them this time figuring it would be another no-go, but they tightened up around his boots nicely and within two steps, Charlie was walking all over the place. He even managed to get up easily when he fell over! However, he quickly decided it was fun to fall in the snow and pretend he couldn't get up so that I would have to lean over (with Isaac in the backpack) and give him a hand. Silly boy!

Our first trip lasted about 70 minutes. Isaac was nice and cozy on my back

and Charlie survived about half the trip on his shoes. Unfortunately, his love for falling into the snow didn't keep his gloves very dry and he got a little whiny. Luckily, he has the best Popsy ever and got a mix of shoulder rides and sled rides on the walk back to the car.

I would say we all had a blast and we will definitely be doing it again! I can't wait!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Meal Plan 1/24-1/30

Most people hate grocery shopping, but I really enjoy it! I'm a big fan of meal plans and I go to the store with my grocery list in hand and do a pretty good job of just getting what's on my list. Plus, I love having a fridge that's stocked full of fresh fruits and veggies and other healthy snacks.

Our meal plan for this week is as follows:

L: Turkey Sandwiches, Apple Slices
D: Gnocchi with White Beans

L: Leftover Gnocchi
D: Coconut Chicken Fingers, Sweet Potato Fries, Broccoli

L: Chef Salad
D: Parmesan & Tuscan Herb Crusted Haddock, Squash Puree, Roasted Cauliflower

L: Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup
D: Cheesy Spinach Lasagna Soup

L: Leftover Soup
D: Homemade Pizza (with Wheat Crust)

L: Leftover Pizza
D: Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Veggie Sticks & Hummus

L: Leftovers
D: Pot Roast with Fall Veggies

For more meal planning ideas, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Meal Plan 1/10-1/16

It's been just short of two months since I last posted! I've been thinking of posts in my head, but I've never had the motivation or time to actually make the post. My depression has gotten the better of me quite a bit lately, but for the time being, I'm on top of it and feeling great! I've been working out steadily since the week between Christmas and New Years' and what a difference!

I've changed up our schedule a bit at home so that I'm working out in the afternoons before I hit my afternoon slump and because of the workout, I've been avoiding that slump! Isaac goes down for a nap, Charlie watches a movie on the (free!) TV and (free!) DVD player we now have hooked up downstairs and I hop on my elliptical for a 40-minute workout and then some strength training and yoga. Woohoo! I'm also active again on SparkPeople; I've yet to see a weight loss (damn holidays!), but there should be one soon! The important thing is that I'm feeling amazing mentally and I'm working hard to make that last!

It's been more than a few weeks since I've created an actual menu plan, so here goes for this week. A bunch of our meals are coming from Taste of Home's Healthy Cooking magazines and I've included the link to the recipes; unfortunately, you do have to register to view the recipe, but it's a simple registration and you can opt out of receiving any emails. ;)

L: Miscellaneous Leftovers
D: Favorite Skillet Lasagna

L: Leftover Lasagna
D: Tortellini Soup

L: Leftover Soup
D: Pulled Pork Sandwiches (made with leftover pork in the freezer), Veggie Sticks & Hummus

L: Chef Salad (I had a craving last week and Chris and I both enjoyed the salads when I made them, so this might become a common lunch!)
D: Cran-Apple Turkey Skillet (made with leftover turkey in the freezer)

L: Leftover Cran-Apple Turkey Skillet
D: Homemade Pizza

L: Leftover Pizza
D: Chicken Parmesan

L: Miscellaneous Leftovers - whatever we can find in the fridge
D: Calico Beans (made with a hodgepodge of leftover pork chops, steak tips & hamburger we have in the freezer and need to get rid of)

For more menu planning, ideas, hop on over to I'm an Organizing Junkie!