in the kitchen: poor man's mocha

ben and i are pretty lowbrow when it comes to food. this post will prove decisively that i am no foodie. my sister has all the culinary prowess (seriously) and i'm rather a hack in the kitchen. but sometimes a hack in the kitchen stumbles across a gem!

even if i had an unlimited coffee budget, i would have a hard time regularly spending $4+ on a latte, mocha, or other coffee treat. enter the poor man's mocha.

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mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

i learned this trick at my old summer job at a golf course. i pass it along in the hopes that it will help you save your pennies when you feel the urge to indulge in a "fancy" coffee but don't want to spend an arm and a leg.

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it really is that simple. add your hot chocolate packet to the coffee, stir in some cream, and top with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. of course you could get really fancy with flavored creamers and maybe some crushed candy cane. take that, starbucks!*

*okay not really. i like starbucks too much to send any ill feeling their way. but do yourself a favor and give this a try. your taste buds and wallet will thank you.

in the kitchen: baked oatmeal

i looooove breakfast food. my husband knows that if he wants to make me swoon he just has to take me out for a breakfast date on a saturday morning. bacon, eggs, sausage, waffles, pancakes . . . i don't discriminate. with a cup of steaming coffee and a good portion of cream i am a happy camper.

i am currently into baked oatmeal, which was introduced to me by my friend lorna beth. hers had chunks of apple in it and it was tasty tasty. i'm a huge fan of cinnamon and brown sugar, so i hunted and found a recipe from taste of home (here it is). i served it when we had some friends over for breakfast and i loved it——it is fantastic with milk poured over it, which i forgot to do when they were over (sorry, bert and beki, i know it was a touch dry). as an added bonus, it smells so delicious baking it makes my mouth water!

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i fiddled with the recipe a bit by substituting applesauce for half the butter and lowering the amount of brown sugar (i've made it both ways, and i won't lie——it is definitely better with more butter and sugar, but isn't everything? :) some of us still have some baby weight to lose!). i bake up a batch of this and can heat up portions for a hot breakfast each morning. it sticks with me until lunchtime and it is so much better than packets. i have a batch in the oven now and i can't wait to dive in.

give it a try! it is delish!