Summer vacation is here in Central Pennsylvania, woot woot! Unfortunately, this does not mean that I will be spending the next 2 1/2 months lounging by the pool or sleeping in because I have a job in an office and summer is a busy time of year for us. Despite the fact that my personal schedule remains largely unchanged, I fully celebrate the fact that we have a few months off from arguing about homework and take home folders and launching full expeditions throughout the house in search of someone’s misplaced glasses – which always happens 5 minutes before we need to leave the house to catch the bus. So in celebration of said summer vacation, we’re having S’mores Baked Oatmeal for breakfast!
The holidays are over friends. OVER. And thank God for it. You know every year I tell myself that I’m going to do better; I’m going to retain some microscopic bit of self-control so I can avoid diving headfirst into the bottomless cookie tray for the duration of the season. Inevitably, I fail. Partly because I simply love cookies and all of the other treats that go along with the holidays, partly because work is always busy and our family is always sick for the month of December which is a bad combo, because I then self-soothe with said holiday goodies.
I used to beat myself up about it, but I’m working on bringing an end to that nonsense. Instead, I spend my time looking forward and trying to get back on track with eating healthy and taking better care of myself. No more watching Hallmark movies until way too late so I’m too tired to get up and do my workout in the morning. No more stress-eating sugar cookies, even if they are really pretty. Why is it that bad habits develop in the blink of an eye, but undoing them is painfully slow process?
I am perpetually mystified by those people that do not eat breakfast. Or the folks that have a piece of toast and a cup of coffee and go on their way, inexplicably full despite eating what I would consider little more than a bowl of air. I wake up HUNGRY. If I don’t eat, then watch out because I am unhappy, very cranky, and even more short-tempered than usual. Suffice it to say, breakfast for me has to be substantial. A bowl of cold cereal just isn’t going to get the job done. Give me a bowl of oatmeal or a giant smoothie that requires a quart size mason jar to serve it and then I’m happy.
I understand that mornings are busy. Ours are definitely busy, which is why I make lots of baked oatmeal. It’s delicious, it freezes well; it’s a perfect make ahead breakfast. The other week, I was lamenting over the fact that I was out of my regular oats and I discovered that I apparently went on a bulgur bender over the past few months because I have enough bulgur in my pantry to feed the entire populace of Turkey. I did some experimenting and I now have a new favorite hot breakfast that combines cooked bulgur and quick cooking steel cut oats. The bulgur makes it extra chewy and the apples and raisins give it some sweetness without adding lots of extra sugar. An added bonus is that bulgur has a similar nutritional profile to oats, but with twice the fiber.