Yesterday was a trying day. I was feeling low. To cure my foul mood, I came home and baked. Out came this amazing peanut butter baked oatmeal with chocolate chips.

IMG_5576All better now :)

Baking definitely soothes my soul. There is just something about mixing and measuring and scooping and stirring that works for me. Creating something delicious doesn’t hurt, either, and  it’s a known fact that you can never go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate. And I needed something seriously right.

What’s the problem, you ask? I hesitate to share. It’s not all that big of a deal, in the larger scheme of things. Life is grand. I have all my limbs, a roof, a loving and healthy family. I have it all.

Still…

…I was smarting from a tough day on the volleyball court (boo hoo. toughen up, buttercup.). Apparently I’m the last to know that skills diminish as you age. There were also some – brace yourself – difficult parenting moments (like that never happens to any parent ever).

Laughable. Non-problems. Believe me, I know. I can hear you snickering. I hear ME snickering. Yesterday, though, my ineptness both on and off the court was wearing me down and I had to do something to turn things around, because the mini-Harry Potter marathon while buried under my covers wasn’t doing it.

IMG_5573 IMG_5575Peanut butter and chocolate. Yep. And a pile of oats, with apples for sweetness and a wee bit of brown sugar and cinnamon and vanilla for flavor.

That’ll do it! I dosed myself with a sample for dessert last night, and then for breakfast this morning. The cloud has lifted. My optimism has returned.

Time to be awesome again :)

IMG_5571Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal with Chocolate Chips
Serves 8

Prep time: 10 minutes     Cook time: 25-30 minutes

2 cups old-fashioned or quick oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium apple, grated
1 and 1/2 cups nonfat milk
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup miniature chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a large pie plate or quiche pan with spray oil (I used a 10″ quiche pan).

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, brown, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, peanut butter, and vanilla.(*I used natural peanut butter which was quite liquidy. If you are using thicker peanut butter, microwave it for about 10 seconds to loosen it up before whisking in the milk and vanilla) Stir in the oat mixture, shredded apple, and chocolate chips. Spread in prepared pan evenly. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. The top will be dry and spring back to touch.

Allow to cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes before cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature.

CHECK OUT THESE OTHER JWJ OATMEAL TREATS!

Apple Cranberry Baked Oatmeal

Apple Cranberry Baked Oatmeal -- Juggling With Julia

Coconut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Greek Yogurt

Coconut Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Greek Yogurt -- Juggling With Julia

No-Guilt Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie Bites

No Guilt Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie Bites -- Juggling With Julia

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Lemon Garlic Green Beans

by Julia Robarts on July 23, 2014

in Salads/Sides, Vegetables

Simple, zesty, and fresh – that’s the best way to describe these amazing Lemon Garlic Green Beans. Straight off the farm these beans came, and a bit o’ pizzazz is all they needed to make them pop!Lemon Garlic Green Beans -- Juggling With JuliaLemon Garlic Green Beans -- Juggling With JuliaThey were the perfect addition to a simple meal of corn on the cob and steak. We had big plans to sit down together as a family for dinner last night — something we hadn’t been able to do in just under a week.

Life, however, had other ideas…

…like an unexpected trip to Urgent Care for an x-ray of what turned out to be Casey’s fractured wrist. After he explained what happened multiple times to different clinicians (short version: three separate insults to the same wrist in one day, courtesy of soccer camp), they confirmed the fracture, splinted it, and sent us on our way with strict instructions to not sleep with the  sling on and, especially, NO SOCCER. The last bit might seem silly, but it was critical that last directive came from someone in scrubs with a cute name like Jenny. He sure wasn’t taking my word for it.

A couple of hours later we returned home, and, like any self-respecting teenager, he Instagram’d a pic of his splinted arm. He  smiled and laughed as the sassy/sympathetic comments rolled in, then settled in for the night with his fave movie (Pitch Perfect).

Now that I could see he was A-OK, I realized I was starving. I finally sat down to dinner around 8:30 pm. It turns out these lemony garlicky beans are JUST AS DELISH at room temperature as they are warm! I can’t say the same for the rest of the dinner, but ya can’t win ‘em all, right?

Just ask Casey :(

Lemon Garlic Green Beans -- Juggling With Julia Lemon Garlic Green Beans -- Juggling With JuliaLemon Garlic Green Beans
Serves 6

Prep time: 10 minutes     Cook time: 10 minutes

1# green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Zest of one lemon
Salt to taste

Steam or boil green beans just until bright green (about 3-4 minutes). While beans are cooking, make a large bowl of ice water (large enough to hold all the beans) Once the beans have reached that bright green color, remove them from the heat and submerse them in the ice bath to halt the cooking. Once they’re cool, remove from the water and drain in colander.

In a large sauté or frying pan, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes, or just until light golden brown. Add the drained green beans and stir fry for 1-2 minutes, until the beans are well coated in the garlic-butter mixture and are heated through. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest. Salt as desired. Serve immediately.

ENJOY!

 

 

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No-Guilt Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie Bites

July 20, 2014 Breakfast/Brunch
No Guilt Cranberry White Chocolate Cookie Bites -- Juggling With Julia

Apparently, the thought of a sinless cookie appeals greatly to the masses The No-Guilt Banana Oat Chippies were a huge hit, and continue to cause excitement around the Internet. I say this gleefully, while simultaneously trying not to sound too excited, as if this is NBD and it happens, like, all the time. Which it […]

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Kale and Watermelon Salad with Feta

July 6, 2014 Salads/Sides
Kale and Watermelon Salad with Feta -- Juggling With Julia

Fast food? You betcha. I whipped this salad together in 5 minutes with kale I picked down the street. If not for Karen, my volleyball pal (check her out at the Healthy Green Flamingo), I might never have thought to put kale and watermelon together. As we hung out in the shade at last weekend’s […]

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Chicken and Bok Choy Soup with Scallion Pancakes

July 5, 2014 Chili/Soup/Stew
Chicken and Bok Choy Soup with Scallion Pancakes -- Juggling With Julia

Soup in July? Sure, and it’s all compliments of Hurricane Arthur, the wettest of wet blankets, who doused 4th of July celebrations up and down the entire East Coast. While I don’t mind missing the fireworks, I am a little put out that this morning’s walk was rained out. I’m not good at long stretches […]

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Spicy Sweet Shredded Cranberry Chicken

June 22, 2014 Main Meals
Spicy Sweet Shredded Cranberry Chicken -- Juggling With Julia

Give me a hearty “Heck, yeah!” if you love to be inside cooking dinner while it’s 80 and sunny outside. <crickets chirping> Yup, that’s what I thought. The thing is, we ‘rents are obligated to feed the ‘dents if we are to keep those pesky social workers off our doorstep. However, there are no rules […]

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Thai Grilled Chicken with Honey and Lime

June 15, 2014 Chicken
Thai Honey Lime Grilled Chicken -- Juggling with Julia

Thai grilled chicken has summer written all over it. This marinade kicks all kinds of butt, with lime juice, honey, sriracha, garlic, hoisin, and red wine all joining in for a sweet and savory symphony of flavors. It’s not only incredible on chicken, but on shrimp as well, and I’m sure would be sure amazing […]

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Peach-Berry Milkshakes for a Cool Summer Treat

June 8, 2014 Appetizers & Snacks
PeachBerry Milkshakes -- Juggling With Julia

Need a cool treat for your kids to beat the heat AND get some fruit into them at the same time? This Peach-Berry Milkshake may be just the thing! Frozen peaches and berries blend together with milk and low fat vanilla ice cream for a nutrition-packed sweet treat you can feel good about. Peaches pack […]

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