Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Did you ever eat steel-cut oats?

I never tried any until the last year or so, but have since really enjoyed having it for breakfast now and again. Actually, lately we have been having it pretty often.

Before I ate any, I had never understood why or how they were different than regular (rolled) oats. Apparently rolled oats are steamed and then rolled, whereas steel-cut oats are just sliced a different way and not steamed. So they come from the same plant, but just processed a slightly different way. The picture below illustrates the difference pretty well.

I like steel-cut oats because not only are they very healthy, they have a different texture and a nuttier flavor.

What I don’t like is how long they take to cook. That is, until I discovered this recipe in Cook’s Illustrated magazine.

Instead of putting them on to cook in the morning and waiting a good 20-30 minutes, for these you do one simple step the night before and cook a mere 5 minutes the next morning. Sweet!

Here’s the recipe I’ve been following as of late and have found to be spot-on. With toppings added in, one batch usually makes enough to feed our family.

4 cups water

1 cup steel-cut oats

1/4 tsp salt

The night before: Bring 3 cups of the water to a boil. Remove from heat and add in oats and salt. Place cover on the pan and let sit overnight.

In the morning: Add in remaining cup of water and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

Photo courtesy of

We like to add our toppings in at the end. Some things that are good on steel-cut oatmeal: any kind of dried fruit, various nuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, chopped apples, milk, honey, molasses, or whatever else floats your boat! To mix it up a bit, you can also substitute fruit juice in for the 1 cup of water in the last step.


Cherry Almond Chews

Are you on the lookout for a new Christmas cookie recipe? Well, then, you’re in the right place! Today I’m sharing one of my all-time favorite cookie recipes ever. I make these every year, give them out, and get lots of requests for the recipe shortly after. Yup, they’re that good. Coconut, almonds, and a maraschino cherry make this a unique crowd pleaser.

In the mood to try some for yourself? Here’s the recipe I use to make these scrumptious goodies:

  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 tsp almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 cups flaked coconut
  • 3/4 cups chopped almonds or pecans
  • 1 small jar maraschino cherries, drained and halved

In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugars. Add eggs, then beat in extract. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt–gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in coconut and nuts, if desired. Drop in rounded teaspoons 2 in. apart onto lightly greased baking sheets. Place a cherry half in the center of each one. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes.

Recipe from Best of Country Cookies, Taste of Home, 1999.


Recipe for Walnut Pie

This is a little something I baked up for my well-deserving, hard-working man last week. He loves almost any baked goods with nuts, and walnuts are his absolute favorite. Years ago we were in a restaurant in Wellsboro, PA (beautiful town to visit, by the way!) and had a piece of walnut pie for dessert. It was fabulous, so I tried to recreate the recipe at home. Basically I used our well-loved pecan pie recipe and subbed in walnuts instead. It’s a winner! Crunchy, sweet, and just the right amount of gooey-ness, mmmmm……

A little lovin' straight from the oven.

Pastry for Single-Crust Pie

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup shortening

4-5 TB cold water

Stir together flour and 1/4 tsp salt. Use a pastry blender to cut shortening into small pieces. Add 1 TB cold water at a time, mixing it in with a fork. Form ball with your hands. On a lightly floured surface, press dough into slightly flattened ball. Roll dough into a circle @12″ in diameter. Transfer to a 9″pie plate, trim,  and crimp edges.

Walnut Pie Filling

3 slightly beaten eggs

1 cup corn syrup

2/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup melted butter

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (or pecans)

Preheat oven to 350. Combine eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter, and vanilla. Mix well and stir in chopped walnuts. Pour into pastry shell. Cover edges with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and place back in oven for 20-25 minutes. Makes 8 servings.



Homemade Granola

Breakfast has got to be my favorite meal of the day.  I always wake up hungry and enjoy a variety of breakfast foods. However, I am not one of those Moms who make their clan a hot, nutritious breakfast every morning. Kudos to you if you are! My kids usually get a hot breakfast Sunday and Monday mornings when my hubby is off, that way we get to eat breakfast as a family. All of the other mornings my kids are very familiar with Toucan Sam, Tony the Tiger, and all of their friends. Though they are quick and easy to serve, I don’t dig all of the sugar and other not-so-healthy elements of these cereals.

Recently my Mom came across an old recipe that she used to make for homemade granola. It was written on an old recipe card by our neighbor from almost 30 years ago! I don’t know about you, but I love to keep hand-written recipes from family and friends. When my Mom discovered this, we decided to make a batch for old times sake. My brother, who must have the memory of an elephant, remembered the last time she had made it, which was over 20 years ago. Mmmm, was it ever good! I enjoyed it in lieu of traditional cereal for about a week straight, and can honestly say it kept me full and satisfied much longer than other cereals. It is chock full of good stuff and doesn’t have any added sugar. So, if you’re looking to serve your family something a little different for breakfast, or just to snack on, give it a try! Another good thing about this recipe is that you can adapt it to the likes of your family, or adjust it if there are any allergies as well. Enjoy!

Chock full of goodness, made with love.

Homemade Granola

Heat oven to 250 degrees F. In a large roasting pan, heat the following ingredients:

1/2-1 cup oil OR 2 sticks butter

1/2-1 cup honey

1/2 cup water

2 tsp vanilla

After the above ingredients are heated, add 6 cups of rolled oats.

In addition to your rolled oats, add 6 cups of any combination of the following ingredients:

whole wheat flour

soy flour

wheat germ

sunflower, pumpkin, or sesame seeds

non-fat milk powder

shredded coconut

walnuts, almonds, or pecans, chopped


pinch of salt

Bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stir every 20 minutes.

After baking, add dried fruit (raisins, craisins, dried blueberries….) in any amount that you wish. Store in an airtight container. This recipe can easily be doubled.

PS-Put some in a mason jar, add a handmade tag, and give to someone you love or appreciate!


Andrew’s Banana Nut Cookies

Do you have a bunch of these lying around? Or maybe ones that look even worse? Here’s a new way to use those babies up! Banana bread or banana nut muffins seem to be my go-to  default for using up overly ripe bananas. One evening recently my dear man decided to bake something with the kids. If you’re wondering if this happens very often in my house, it actually does, no joke! Though they love to help me in the kitchen, as soon as Daddy goes near the stove, I hear screeching chairs being pulled across the kitchen floor. Before we know it, he has at least a couple of helpers up on chairs, ready to be put to work. Can I just say how much I love him for this? Besides the fact that he loves to cook and bake (I admit, totally better than I do!) he loves to involve the kids and get them in on the action. Yes, sometimes he’s a way better parent than I.  Anyway, one night Andrew (our 7 year old) wanted to bake something with our bananas that were getting old. They totally concocted this recipe on their own. Banana nut cookies (or just banana cookies if your household is avoiding nuts) may sound gross to some, but they turned out fantabulous. Since they made up the recipe as they went, Andrew recorded the ingredients afterwards on a piece of paper. Don’t worry, he consulted Daddy as he wrote, so the ingredients and amounts should be correct. I’ve had it on the fridge since he wrote it–though I don’t want to condone wrong spelling, I did find it precious how he wrote some of the ingredients: “brown bunanas,” “1 stic of buter,” “wite sugger,” 2&1/2 cup flower.” Too cute. So go ahead, use up them “brown bunanas” and make a yummy little something today.

Andrew's hand written recipe

Banana Nut Cookies

  • 3 medium sized overly ripe bananas
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tsp baking spice
  • Optional-3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Bake on 375 for 11 minutes.