Friday, July 20, 2012

Great Minds Think Alike

Happy Friday, everyone! We have successfully navigated another week, and soon it will be the weekend.

Today you can find me guest posting over at Little Homemade Housewife. I wrote about the challenge of staying fit in the heat.

Speaking of heat, we are experiencing a temporary lull in the heat wave. My windows are open, and I'm letting my house breathe. It is only supposed to get up to 83 degrees today. And down into the 50s tonight. LOVE!

Friday is special for two reasons...

#1-it is BFF hang out day! This is my bff.

We have been bff for a very long time-like 20 years. (who woulda thought I was old enough to have a bff for 20 years?!)

We started the whole bff relationship when we were 12. We were actually pen pals-who lived like 2 miles away from each other. We didn't actually start seeing much of each other until we were 16. When we could drive. Then we had a couple years of swimming in her parent's pool, hanging at at youth group, daily telephone conversations, and game nights.

When I was 18, my family moved up to the burg of Newaygo-an hour away. We started writing letters again. Then the bff moved to FL for college. We wrote more letters.

She graduated, I got married. She moved back to MI. And we started our tradition of breakfast every week.

Then, after about 2 years (I think), she moved to the other side of the state. For a while we kept up our breakfast tradition, but it got more sporadic.

Until the bff moved back, almost 6 years ago. Happy dance!!!

Since her return to these parts, we have reinstated our weekly confab. During the school year, we get together for dinner on Tuesday nights. During the summer, we picnic at the Blues on Tuesdays, plus we have breakfast on Fridays. We switch off-one week I cook, one week she cooks. And it is great. We get to have delicious food, and yack it up. 

There is always more than enough to talk about. Enough to fill hours. These days we talk about her fledgling business, and my fledgling blog. We talk about kids. We talk about life. It is an oasis in my week.

Our meals have grown to include my four kids, and her one. They eat, and then they play. And they know it is our time to visit. 

So, today is my day to cook which brings me to Friday special thing number 2...

#2-Small Kitchen Adventures. For our breakfast this morning I am making a Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal. 

Baked oatmeals are a gussied up version of stovetop oatmeal. The baking tends to bring out the nuttier flavor of the oatmeal. Most baked oatmeals have eggs, sugar, milk, and oil added to the oatmeal, which makes it into a kind of dense cake. I like to serve my two favorites with cinnamon milk poured on top. 

Today I am pairing the baked oatmeal with sausage links, a honeydew and blueberry salad, and strong coffee. 

This is a very easy, quick recipe. Why not try it out this weekend?

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
3 cups quick oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup pumpkin
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 Tbsp brown sugar
sprinkle of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine everything through the pumpkin. Stir until evenly mixed. Add chocolate chips. Pour into the greased pan. Top with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Bake 30 minutes, or until center is fully cooked. Serve warm with cinnamon milk.

Baked Oatmeal
4 eggs, beaten
2 cup milk
1 cup oil
1-3/4 cup brown sugar
4 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

-Mix together.
-Stir in:
6 cups oatmeal
1 cup raisins or chopped apples (optional)

-Pour into greased 9x13 pan. 
-Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. 
-Serve warm with cinnamon milk.

Cinnamon Milk
1 cup milk
dash cinnamon
2 Tbsp sugar

-Heat on stove over low heat until hot but not boiling.

Oh, did I mention that the bff and I both married Brians? 'Cause we did. Great minds think alike.

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