Easy Slow Cooker Apple & Cinnamon Oats

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Get in muh belly, oats.

These apple and cinnamon oats are a staple in my house. We have them for almost every Thanksgiving/Christmas morning, fresh from the slow cooker and so tasty. I don’t even know how it’s possible for oats to taste this good.

I feel like a total cheat when a recipe tastes this good but is this easy, but hey, love me for it. I don’t even know how to describe the oats. They’re creamy but still have a little chewiness to them, so flavorful while being the perfect morning porridge. They are just the quintessential comfort breakfast cold weather food.

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Um, hello. Have you been outside today?

It’s literally heaven on my doorstop. I had one of those mornings where I was wearing my stretchy yoga pants and the biggest sweatshirt I could find, and walked outside to the nicest breeze of my life, and literally my entire mood changed. Not that I was in a bad mood before, it was just like the weather made me feel like I was floating. Does that even make sense?

I’m stuck in this amazing weather haze. Nothing can compete with the first morning of fall weather. Nothing.

It wins.

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I’ve also completely planned my future someday wedding in a matter of two days. This weather does that to me, okay? I instantly get into my nurturer homemaker miss my whole life is planned because of how happy I am persona. Go with it.

Don’t even get me started on what happens to me when the Christmas lights go up. I’m counting down the seconds.

And while I enjoy all things autumn, I am going to chow down on my favorite oatmeal eva. I love that oatmeal is so diverse. It can be a more savory kinda meal, or a super sweet meal (it’s fall, okay? It’s my nesting period). Not to brag, but I topped my oatmeal with the absolute perfect amount of almond milk, cinnamon, brown sugar, nuts, and dried fruit. ohemgee.

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Cinnamon and brown sugar make the best combo for oatmeal toppings.

Or honey if you swing that way.

I love nothing more than a packed house of my cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, parents, sister, and twenty of our closest friends, all snuggled around the fire watching one of my dad’s favorite movies on an early morning when no one has anything to do because it’s the winter break, and we are all digging into this oatmeal.

Mmmmm.

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Apple & Cinnamon Overnight Oats
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
 
Ingredients
  • 2 apples
  • 2 cups Irish steel cut oats
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
for toppings:
  • almond milk
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • nuts (pecans, pistachios, walnuts, etc.)
  • dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, blueberries, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Peel the apples and remove the seeds. Chop into cubes.
  2. Place all the ingredients into a slow cooker and put on low for 8 hours.
  3. Top with your favorite toppings and serve warm.
Notes
I used gala apples, but feel free to use whatever you want or is local to you.

 

Lunchbox Monday: The Italian Box

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Warning: this lunchbox is dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, and you-can’t-top-this-eiffel-tower delectable!

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It’s another beautiful Monday! And guess what I just saw in my planner? TOMORROW IS THE OFFICIAL START OF AUTUMN. Is this for reals? Pinch me, I must be dreaming. But seriously, I’m so excited.

I just got home from a week in Dallas and I am loving.this.weather. I had a great birthday and am ready to carry on with some awesome recipes this week! I also went to some of the best restaurants and can’t wait to share all about them. You’re in for a treat.

Let’s talk about this lunchbox for a minute. I ate this thing for dinner it was so good. Like gobbled it right on up. I made my favorite turkey quinoa meatballs for the sandwiches, and used my favorite Mario Batalli tomato sauce, and zoodles can’t be beat, and melon wrapped prosciutto?

Can I please go back to Italy now?

The countryside is calling my name. [Read more…]

Funfetti Cookies & Cream Donuts

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Let’s throw a party! I’m talking full-blown hello my online invisible little ghost friends party complete with yummy punch and only allergy friendly chocolate desserts, and for sure these donuts.

I’m talking mounds of donuts. These amazing circles of deliciousness took me ten tries. Literally 10 batches of mixing and whisking and pouring and painstakingly baking as I watched them fall, and fall, and become hallow each time.

Imagine my face just contorting into pure horror at the 15 minute mark as I turned the dreaded oven light on to see my beautiful batch of hard work and love go down the drain.

But two. Oh the holy two. [Read more…]

Lunchbox Monday: The Mediterranean Box

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Warning: this lunchbox is dairy-free, gluten-free*, soy-free, nut-free, egg-free* and oh-my-goodness-my-pants-are-on-fire tasty! Consumers of this lunchbox might be so thrilled to experience what it contains that they just can’t stop cheering. Viewer discretion is advised. 

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Heyo! Happy Monday!

I have a special treat for you. Close your eyes and imagine you’re sitting by the pool overlooking the mediterranean ocean on the outskirts of a small city in Greece with your family. Now take a bite out of this lunchbox. Good stuff right there.

This is just as perfect of a lunch for mom or dad as it is for the kiddos. Killing two birds with one stone? Bingo.

Who even came up with that saying?

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This lunchbox is loaded with delicious and nutritious foods like cucumber sandwiches filled with turkey, cherry tomato slices, and mayo (vegannaise?), homemade cous cous salad with olives, bell peppers, green onions, lemon and olive oil, hummus, and heart shaped carrots.

Oh my yumness. Can’t handle all the flavors. [Read more…]

Pretzel Crusted Chicken with Peach Honey Mustard

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I think I’m in love with this little stick food. Any type of food that tastes great, looks adorable, and is able to be eaten in a painless fashion is a winner in my book. And peach honey mustard? Goodbye summer on a high note. Because I am kickin’ it with my chicken on a stick. I picture myself taking these to lazy sunday barbecues with friends, or to a little child’s birthday party, or over to my neighbor’s house while we sip on mimosas in the backyard. When did I become a 30-year-old housewife?

I love it. [Read more…]

Lunchbox Monday: The Tropical Box

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Warning: this lunchbox is dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, vegetarian and hold-the-phone delicious! Consumers of this lunchbox might be so excited to eat it that they just can’t stop singing. Viewer discretion is advised. 

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Happy September! Whoa that went fast.

I hope you enjoyed last week’s first lunchbox post, I sure enjoyed eating it. As the summer is winding down I thought a tropical box would be the perfect way to end it, with the beach, and the sun, and the sand. Are we really sure we’re ready for winter yet, summer? Maybe just stick around a little bit longer.

Please?

This box is filled with gluten-free fish sunflower butter and jelly sandwiches complete with eyes and a smile, fruity tangy pineapple, relaxed sand dollars, homemade seaweed dip, and a Jello and gluten-free graham cracker beach scene with a Fruit Rollup lounge chair and Swedish fish. Can you say best-lunch-box-ever-because-I-sure-can! [Read more…]

Lunchbox Monday: The Breakfast Box

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Warning: this lunchbox is dairy-free, gluten-free, egg-free, and can’t-keep-your-pants-on-so-let’s-party flavorful! Consumers of this lunchbox might be so excited to eat it that they just can’t stop dancing. Viewer discretion is advised. 

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Happy Monday! We are starting off fresh here on Vivian & Me with a new post series called Lunchbox Monday! I’m so excited to share with you some great and extra delicious lunchbox ideas each Monday to add to your weekly school lunchbox repertoire. I encourage you to try these lunchbox ideas even if you don’t have an allergy, because trust me, they pack a punch!

I’ve decided to start off strong with one of my favorites: the breakfast box. Because who doesn’t love breakfast for lunch?

Not me! Not me! Not me! [Read more…]

Creamy Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas

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Hello chicken ench. How gorgeous do you look today?

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I kind of go through phases with food. For weeks on end I’ll crave only chicken tortilla soup and enchiladas, then I’ll switch to tagliatelle with tomato sauce and chicken fingers (random, I know) and finally I’ll settle on french fries and vegan banana pancakes, my usual go-to cravings.

As you can tell though, I am currently in the enchilada phase.

Like any person who has an allergy will understand, you’re always searching for that “creaminess” in food, something that you very rarely have. When I eat out, I order salsa verde chicken enchiladas a lot, and they are beautifully tender and flavorful and delicious. But it’s always missing the creamy, melt-in-your-mouth taste that queso gives you.

And then I found this vegan queso recipe from Side of Sneakers blog, and it basically changed my vegan queso craving little life. I thought about adjusting the recipe to make it my own, but sometimes you just gotta let someone else have it. And she’s got it.

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[Read more…]

Afternoon Tea at Brown’s Hotel: London, England

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The Vivian/Hunter family clan is off to Europe!

In these next few travel posts I’ll be writing all about our wonderful three week European Adventure!

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In any traveling entity, there’s always a planner. In my own traveling entity comprised of my family and Vivian’s family, the planner would be my father. He loves it.

He’s got us planned on:

where we’re staying.

where we’re eating.

what we’re doing.

what train we’re riding on.

what plane we’re flying in.

what car we’re renting, and the list goes on and on.

Literally being with him is like being with your own personal travel agent. We are so lucky to have a wonderful dad/husband/friend like that to give us such incredible vacations. He really researches where we’re going and fun exciting things we can do in each place. My family and I have been lucky enough to visit London many times, and this time my dad gave us the opportunity of a lifetime.

We all got to put on our fancy dresses and go have afternoon tea at Brown’s Hotel Tea Room! Let me give you some background to get you excited:

Brown’s Hotel was founded in 1837, therefore making it a super duper old hotel in the heart of London. What’s most notable about Brown’s Hotel is the famous people that have stayed there. Popular guests include: Theodore Roosevelt, Napoleon III, and Elizabeth, Queen of the Belgiums. Many writers have also stayed at Brown’s; Rudyard Kipling completed The Jungle Book there, Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, and many more.

Pretty neat, huh?

Not only were we able to have wonderful hot tea (Vivian’s new drink of choice), but my dad also made sure that the tea room knew about our dairy allergy. So when we arrived, we had our own afternoon snacks with no dairy! It was fabulous. We got to choose from little sandwiches filled with meats and jams and eggs and veggies and seafood, then dairy-free scones, and finally chocolatey desserts. We also got soy milk to go with our tea.

The desserts were definitely gluten-free too, and we think the scones!

We had such a beautiful experience and would urge anyone who wants to create some fun and lasting memories to visit Brown’s Hotel Tea Room next time you’re in London, and make sure to call ahead to tell them about your allergy!

Now on to the pictures…

[Read more…]

The Lemonade Bar: Homemade Lemonade 5 Different Ways

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Nothin’ says summer quite like a big ole glass of ice cold lemonade. You know what I mean, when the only thing that can really cool you down after a hot day out in the sun is a popsicle or lemonade. They are basically the epitome of summer if you ask me.

I’ve been wanting to try to make infused lemonades for a while now. The idea started when I found some dried lavender at a local health food store. And when I realized how easy it was to make really delicious homemade lemonade, I wanted to try other flavors, and on and on and on, until I came up with these five different lemonades.

Now that we’re entering the official hot season of summer, July and August, make one of these to quench your thirst and keep you hydrated while you’re out having summer fun!

[Read more…]