Peanut Butter Brown Sugar and/or Double Chocolate Overnight Oatmeal, plus the KA Mixer Winner, and Part 13AJune 9, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Posted in Breakfast, Fruit, Giveaway, Healthy, Jams/Jellies, Lunch | 47 Comments
Tags: brown sugar, First Love, fruit, Greek Yogurt, Heavy Cream, Jam, Jelly, Milk, Overnight Oatmeal, Overnight Oats, Peanut Butter, Peanut Butter Oatmeal, Preserves, vanilla
I don’t usually go for food fads, trends or rules. In fact, I don’t abide by any rules when it comes to food. I’ve been known to bake pumpkin pies in June, and I know some people may argue this, but there is NO discernible difference between using fresh roasted pumpkin puree and canned. I’ve tested it many times over the years..and no one..I mean NO ONE, could tell the difference between the pumpkin pie using canned pumpkin and the pumpkin pie using fresh pumpkin. As long as the canned pumpkin is pure butternut squash or pumpkin puree, with no additives, it’s perfectly fine.
There..I said it, and I didn’t want to wait until Fall to say it.
By the way, did you know most canned pumpkin puree is actually butternut squash. or a variety of squash, not named pumpkin? Yes, this includes the one that starts with L.
Back to trends and fads in the food blogosphere. I have seen overnight oats all over the place for months now. Normally, I’d steer clear, because I’m not a trendy person. However, I need quick breakfasts, I don’t eat breakfast anywhere near as much as I should, and I’m sick of cheerios, toast or smoothies, when I do. After seeing Barbara’s (of Barbara Bakes) overnight oatmeal with berries, I decided I really needed to give these a shot. I also decided to blog it because I didn’t bake or cook anything for the KA Stand Mixer winner announcement, and Part 13…ummm…13A. I don’t like putting up posts without something tasty and visual in them.
This is a food blog..well, food blournal, you know.
That said, no pretty jars for these overnight oats, since you will be using up the peanut butter at the bottom and around the sides of the peanut butter jar, so everything goes into the almost empty peanut butter jar. If you want to make it look nice for serving to someone(s), spoon it into pretty glasses or bowls..like I did for photos. BUT, off of my blog, it’s getting eaten straight from the jar, then bye-bye jar – into the recycle bin!
This is not a completely healthy version, but if you want to add protein powder, flax, chia seed. hemp, swamp goo, motor oil..or whatever, go ahead – no rules.
Well, there is one rule, but it’s a general rule to get the right consistency..and that rule is 1 part oats to 2 parts liquid, plus extras of your choice. If you want it thicker, add more oats.
Here’s my version.
Overnight Refrigerator Peanut Butter – Brown Sugar Oatmeal with Jelly or Chocolate
About 2 servings
1 almost empty jar of peanut butter (about 1/4 cup peanut butter left in jar)
1/2 cup old-fashioned or quick cooking oats (I tried both and preferred the quick oats, but if you like more ‘chew’, choose the old-fashioned oats)
2 to 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/2 cup whole milk or any milk you prefer (skim, soy, rice, almond etc)
1/2 cup vanilla bean Greek yogurt or 1/2 cup heavy cream steeped with vanilla bean scrapings and pod (pod removed after steeping, of course)
fruit or jam/jelly/preserves of your choice and/or chocolate chips, chunks (optional)..I even added chocolate ganache to the bottom of one glass. No rules! You can go healthy or decadent, or both!
1. Dump the oats in the almost empty peanut butter jar. Sprinkle the dark brown sugar evenly on top of the oats. Stir together the milk and yogurt or steeped cream, then pour on top of the oats and dark brown sugar. If you’re adding chocolate chips or chunks, add now. Put the cover back on the peanut butter jar, tightly, and shake it vigorously. You’ll be stirring it come morning, so this is just a preliminary ‘shake’ to get the oats soaked and dissolve the brown sugar.
2. Put the covered jar in the fridge overnight, The next morning, open up the jar and stir it all together, digging the peanut butter up from the bottom and around the sides. Stir in fruit if you like – raspberries would be great, or swirl your favorite jam, jelly or preserves into it. If you prefer your oatmeal warm, give it a nuke in the microwave for a minute or two. Grab a spoon and dig in! Throw out the jar when you’re done..my favorite part next to eating it.
Note - I stirred extra peanut butter into the oats after they soaked overnight, only because I’m a peanut butter freak. It doesn’t need extra, but it doesn’t hurt if you’re a freak too. Also, I topped it off with some fresh, whipped cream and chocolate. If you want it topped, but healthier, use Greek yogurt.
Double Chocolate Overnight Oatmeal
1/2 cup old-fashioned or quick cooking oats (I tried both and preferred the quick oats, but if you like more ‘chew’, choose the old-fashioned oats)
1 to 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar (taste)
1 cup whole milk or any milk you prefer (skim, soy, rice, almond etc)
1 tablespoon dark cocoa
1/4 cup chopped chocolate
1. Stir together milk and cocoa powder until uniform.
2.In an empty jar..like a mason jar, dump in oats, dark brown sugar, chocolate milk and chopped chocolate. Shake the jar vigorously and set in fridge overnight.
3. Eat right out of jar. I like to microwave it for a few seconds to melt some of the chopped chocolate. Enjoy!
Now to Part 13A (Yes, 13A, I’m determined to get this memoir finished in 14 parts, so I’m cheating) of Bad Boy First Love. If you’re just tuning in, Part One is HERE, Part Two is HERE , Part Three is HERE, Part Four is HERE, Part Five is HERE, Part Six is HERE, Part Seven is HERE, Part 8 is HERE, Part 9 is HERE, Part Ten is HERE, Part 11 is HERE, and Part 12 is HERE.
The month I had left with him before the two-week separation was so much fun, things about it still make me laugh to this day. For one, I finally saw him drunk. It was 4th of July, and a bunch of his friends got together in an empty parking lot to party and shoot off fireworks. I brought one of my friends, who was now completely ensconced in a full-fledged friendship with Coco and one of his brothers.
Empty parking lots were a big thing in his town, no matter how small or large the gathering. They even had different nicknames for each one.
For instance, “Meet me at The Barber Pole” meant the parking lot across the street from a barber shop with a spinning pole in front. I soon knew each lot, via the nickname for it, very well.
I’d already gotten to know his friends and family well. One of my friends and I spent most of that summer hanging out with Coco and one of his brothers, whether or not Dreamboat was around.
Yeah, I know what it looks like. Gross, huh? But tasty, tasty, tasty.
He had two younger brothers, one a year older than me, one a year younger than me, and they looked nothing like him. Dreamboat was the golden boy – his looks coming from his Mother, who was of German descent. His father was a sweet, Italian man, and his brothers were dark-haired and brown-eyed like him.
They looked nothing like each other, either. The one who was older than me was about the same height as Dreamboat, but that height came with a slouch and a generous helping of grunge movement chic. He had a faint ‘stache of soft hair on his upper lip because he wasn’t old enough or hairy enough to grow a full one yet. The brother younger than me was shorter than the both of them and had a head of thicker, slightly curly hair. He was a metrosexual..rarely a hair out-of-place and always dressed well – the scent of Giorgio Armani wafting from his pores.
They looked up to Dreamboat in a way that was kind of rare in sibling dynamics, at least in my world. They adored and respected him, but at the same time – feared him as you would a parent if you did something wrong.
They called me ‘sistah-in-law’, it was cute.
SO, that night, Dreamboat got drunk – super drunk. thoroughly shnockered.
He had a very cool and calm disposition, never raised his voice to me, never out of control in any way, shape or form – BUT, on this 4th of July, once blitzed, he was all over the place, and it was fun…I couldn’t help but enjoy my pickled Dreamboat.
He was always affectionate publicly (PDA!), he didn’t care what people thought, but because he was drunk, he was almost slobbering me, hanging all over me like a dead weight. I could barely converse with anyone. I was laughing, but relieved when he pulled me away from the crowd to talk in a wooded area off to the side. He pushed me up against a tree..kissed me for a few minutes, then leaned back a bit, just looking at me. A very serious look came over his face, and although he was 10 sheets to the wind, he sounded completely sober when he said this..
“I don’t want you to leave me, please don’t go”
I reassured him instantly..”It’s only two weeks, baby..we’ll have the last three weeks of August togeth…” He interrupted me..
“No, I don’t want you to go to Boston. I mean, I want you to go to college..but locally”
I didn’t know how to respond, because I had thought about that myself. It was too late, though.. I’d already changed colleges to be closer to him, and everything was paid for and set.
Double Chocolate Oatmeal with melting chocolate shards
He nestled his face in between my shoulder and neck, and mumbled into my collarbone..
“I can’t stand the thought of not seeing you for months at a time”
He was like a child – so vulnerable, I’d never seen him like this before. I wanted to hold him forever, keep him safe…soothe his heart.
I stroked his hair (god, I loved his hair) and whispered, “But you can come visit me anytime you want, and..”
He cut me off again…
“No, you’ll meet other guys..rich college guys, you won’t want me anymore”
Was he kidding? That would NEVER happen..I loved him with every inch of my body, heart and soul. I could NEVER be with anyone else. I told him this, but not in those exact words..body, heart and soul was too poetic – I don’t talk like that..
“I don’t want anyone else, baby..I can’t even fathom it.”
That was better.
He hugged me tight, but I could tell he still didn’t feel good about it.
We remained that way for a while, his face buried in my neck, squeezing me to him so tight, at some points I couldn’t breathe. After about 15 minutes, the bark of the tree was starting to scrape my back. I tried to wiggle into another position, but then felt pain. The damn bark had scratched me..since I was wearing a white sun dress with straps in the back. I could feel the blood starting to ooze.
He was too wasted to tend to my latest injury, so I let him know what happened and suggested we go back to the parking lot. He tried to tend to it, he felt awful, but instead we went back to his house with Coco, his brother, and my friend. His parents had left for the shore with his other brother earlier that day..so after my friend patched me up, she took my car home, and I spent the night because he wanted me to. He was out like a light in minutes.
While I watched him sleep…I tried to think of a way to tell my father I was going to change schools again..apply to NYU. I couldn’t bear to be away from him for months at a time either.
Well..it didn’t work.
“NO, you’re going to school in Boston, and that’s it! ” my father shouted angrily when I tried to reason with him, “But, Dad, you went to NYU”
He left the room.
OKAY..no Plan B here, this was sticking like super glue – arguing or begging wasn’t going to get me anywhere.
Dreamboat remembered what he said by the tree..it wasn’t the alcohol, he really meant it, but in the light of day, minus the alcohol, he knew that was something he couldn’t ask of me. He apologized, but I could see in his eyes that he was hoping I would tell him I’d stay.
A little over 2 weeks of more wonderful with him, later, he left for the shore, and I left for Florida with my friends and family. The night before, I cried, and he tried not to, but we would see each other in 2 weeks, so this wasn’t the end – yet.
I have to admit, I had a blast in Florida. We hung out a lot with some guys (just friends) that my raven haired friend and I had met during X-Mas break of my junior year, who lived in the condo, owned by one of their parents, year round. Lots of partying, lots of cruising, lots of beach, and lots of climbing the fence and swimming in the condo pool at 3 or 4 am. But, I still couldn’t wait to get home and start packing for the shore and my last 3 weeks with Dreamboat. We spoke on the phone a few times, but we were always interrupted by my friend wanting to talk to his brother.
When we finally got home, packed up, and left for the shore the next day, early evening, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I drove so fast, my friends finally convinced me to let one of them drive the rest of the way. They were right, I was too keyed up and anxious to see him. As soon as we got there, around 8 pm, I fixed myself up and practically ran to the pier. The one friend who accompanied me could barely keep up, and bitched about it plenty.
I was in a zone, and that zone was him..and only him..I had to see him, smell him, touch him, feel his lips and body against mine again. He was my oxygen, my drug, the love of my life.
With Cocoa Nibs
That summer he was working on the most popular ride on the pier, second to the roller coaster, called The Enterprise. This was a ride that started spinning horizontally, then lifted up slowly, until it was spinning round and round upside down, a non-stop loop – the one Dreamboat took me on the summer before that I hated, because I don’t like being upside-down, unless my head is hanging off the edge of a bed. It also scared the crap out of me. I felt like I was going to fall out, regardless of the closed car and how tight he held me from behind.
Gravity and I don’t mesh.
Naturally, there was not only a huge line for this the ride, but a throng of girls trying to get his attention. As I approached the platform, he was running from car to car closing them shut. He looked amazing, his hair was lightened and streaked by the sun, his lightly tanned skin accentuating his beautiful blue eyes. New ‘summer muscles’ had appeared from working on the ride.
Suddenly I felt like I did the summer before, insecure, scared, nervous..worried he wouldn’t want me anymore. We had been inseparable all year-long – in our own little world back in North Jersey, and now he was the ‘rock star’ again, but on a much bigger and more popular stage than the previous summers.
I tentatively stepped up on the first step of the platform, away from the line. He saw me and came jogging over..grabbing my hand and pulling me the rest of the way up..hugging me, lifting me in his arms, then kissing me long and slow. I heard a collective groan and a few curses from the girls as we put on our little show.
When we broke for a moment, he took my hand and walked me over to the booth so he could start the ride, and then we embraced outside the booth and kissed more, little sweet nothings and ‘I love you’s’ peppering the moment. He was just as happy and excited as I was – the moment was perfect. All of my worries disappeared - just as fast as they had reappeared. I was bursting with joy, inside and out..I loved him so much it hurt.
He took both of my hands in his, and stood back..looking at me..his dazzling smile melting me to goo as usual.
“Wow, look at that tan, my beautiful girl” He still hadn’t had his eyes checked.
I was suddenly that shy, nervous 15-year old again. My voice was weird..
“You look awesome too, baby”
He kissed both of my hands in his. This was getting even better.
“Baby, there’s something I need to take care of tonight in Bricktown (a town about a half hour from his shore house)…I promised Andy (his friend from Part 4, with the nice girlfriend), I can’t get out of it”
A slight chill came over me…all the warmth and happiness draining as I tried to register what he just said. We hadn’t seen each other in a little over two weeks..what the f%^k??
He saw the look in my eyes and pulled me to him..kissing my face all over and squeezing me tight. He pressed his lips against my ear and explained that there were some people giving Andy’s brother trouble, and they needed to take care of it. He didn’t want to bring me, it could be dangerous.
I couldn’t help it, the disappointment was so fierce, and the fear of him getting hurt, so scary – that my eyes started to well up.
Remember how I told you nothing ever rattled him? Well..there was a negative side to that. When I became emotional or feisty, he treated it like it was no big deal and there was no reason for me to get so agitated, almost amused by my reaction when I was angry or upset with him. It had happened a few times during my senior year, but now it was more painful than ever.
For some reason, I couldn’t help thinking that all the girls watching him hug and kiss me were thinking how lucky I was, and probably wished they were in my place, but little did they know..he was blowing me off..or at least that’s how I felt.
I started to pull away from him but he kept pulling me back. The people on the ride were getting a bonus round of upside-down.
He took my face in his hands..looked deep into my eyes, trying to be serious since he knew his nonchalant reactions to my being upset with him, bugged me.
“If I get back early enough, I’ll come by and get you, ok ? It’s no big deal, baby..we have lots of nights together after tonight”
He kissed me a dozen more times, but I didn’t feel any one of them. How could he blow me off for some tough guy shit when we hadn’t seen each other in weeks? Maybe there was a girl there he liked?
On top of soft chocolate ganache
For the first time in our relationship, I opened the vault to my anger, and let it fly..
“Why can’t you stop being such a tough guy? Why do you always have to be a f%^%ing hero? Why do you always have to put your life in danger??”
I pulled away from him and walked away fast. I knew the girls watching us were happy as pigs in shit now that it didn’t look good between us.
When I reached my friend, I grabbed her and pulled her with me. Suddenly I heard a girl in the swarm of Dreamboat lust say to her friend..”Go over and talk to him, I think I saw him look at you!”
I stopped dead in my tracks and turned to see two relatively attractive girls continuing to plot their move on him. I saw nothing but hot, blazing red. I took a step toward them..
“Don’t even think about it!”
They both looked at me with surprise, as did my friend…totally shocked at what came out of my mouth. One of the girls decided to pour fuel into my already raging fire;
“I don’t see a ring on your finger”
That was it..I was in NO MOOD..
“No, but you will see one around your eye!”
OMG, what had come over me? I was going completely Jersey on these girls. This was a first. I think some of Dreamboat’s friend’s girlfriends had rubbed off on me.
My friend yanked me away..as the girls continued to yell obscenities. She had to pull pretty hard to get me to move..I was ready to rumble. I was hurting and seething at the same time.
Once we got off the pier and onto the boardwalk..I started to cry…sob uncontrollably. She consoled me as we walked back to the apartment, reminding me that I was PMSing, so I was probably overreacting. All she ever saw was pure love in his eyes for me, and he would be ok – he was strong and not afraid of anything.
It didn’t matter, I told her..strong and not afraid do not trump a knife or gun.
Coco and his brother were waiting out in front when we got back to the complex..since our other friend’s BF had driven up an hour after we did, and they didn’t want to disturb them.
My friend told them what happened as I rubbed my puffy eyes. His brother hugged me…
“Awww, Sis, (short for sistah-in law), he’s crazy about you, trust me…there is something he needs to do”
Yeah..like his brother, who adored and feared him, would tell me the truth if he was in fact lying to me. But it wasn’t just that..it was the worry I now had to endure. What if he got hurt? What if he was killed??
His brother then announced that their Mom had made her killer lasagna, so why not go back to his house and have some, so we could leave our other friend and her BF alone for a while? Of course my friend, who loved to eat and never gained weight, jumped at the offer. I felt sick, but went anyway. Great..I’ll be at his shore house……without him.
When we got there, his Mom was only too happy to feed us..well, them, since I couldn’t eat, I was too upset. She also tried to soothe my worries…telling me there was no one else he wanted but me,…she’d never seen him so in love.
Her blue eyes, Dreamboat’s eyes, sparkled as she sipped some wine. and enjoyed having a daughter to talk to – she stroked my hair in a motherly fashion….
“I’m tellin’ ya…I’ve seen dozens of girls come and go, yaw the first one he’s evah fell hard faw”
It helped, but I still couldn’t shake that icky feeling. I couldn’t tell her about his ‘taking care of Andy’s brother’ deal, which was scaring me more and more as the clock ticked away. There was no need to make her worry too.
Swirled with raspberry jam
She suggested we stay the night. Since his father only came up for long weekends, due to work, she insisted my friend and I sleep in their bed and she would sleep on the couch. She was in a good mood.. excited because they were going to Atlantic City that coming Saturday night to Sunday night.
After hanging out for a while, watching movies and playing some board games (as I desperately hoped he would suddenly walk through the door, the later it got), we finally went to bed around 2 am.
Surprisingly, sleep came fast. In what seemed like minutes, I was jolted awake from my deep slumber, as if someone had dumped a pitcher of ice-cold water on my head. I heard the backdoor creak open. He was just getting home..it was almost 5 am.
Part 13B coming soon.
Now to the winner of the KitchenAid Professional 600 Series 6-Quart Stand Mixer! I really wish I could give everyone who entered one of these mixers. I promise, there will be more great giveaways coming soon! Thank you all for entering!
The Random Number Generator decided that Candace, who’s comment is #224, is the winner!
Congratulations, Candace! I will be sending you an email so you can choose a color and give me your mailing info. As soon as I get it, it will be sent out to you ASAP. If there is no response from you within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.
One more thing – I’d like to thank Bonnie, of Bonnie Banters, for nominating me for a Food Stories Award! Again, I’m incredibly flattered! Since I was nominated late last month, and have already passed on 5 nominations…I’ll throw in another random fact about me.
When I was a child..having had the luxury of seeing several Broadway shows, and listening to my father’s collection of Broadway soundtracks..I decided I wanted to be a Broadway singer. I used to stand on my front door step and belt out tunes like Tomorrow, Memory, One etc. There was one small problem, I couldn’t sing. My poor neighbors.