Strawberry Overnight Oats

Ah life with a new born…

It’s crazy, hectic, slow, relaxing, and tiring. So basically it’s everything all rolled into one.

It’s amazing how fast one day can go by and then how 1 hour can take forever. Time is never on your side when you have a new born. I think that’s a fact.

To make mornings easier, I prepped by making a TON of banana bread muffins the weekend before having Hunter. Like 60+ muffins, that are currently stuffed into our freezer. I love them and so does Autumn, which makes the morning a lot easier since she basically announces she wants to watch Paw Patrol/ Shimmer and Shine and that she is HUNGRY the exact moment she gets up. So, by being able to microwave a muffin for about 20 seconds means that we can have some peace in the morning. And the name of the game right now is ‘do anything to have peace and quiet’.

Similarly, I have been prepping by making overnight oats.

Autumn doesn’t like that so more for me! Finally, something that is all MINE!!!!

Rumor has it that oatmeal helps milk production when you are breastfeeding. While there is no scientific proof, there are a lot of people that say it helps them. And probably as many people that say it doesn’t do anything for them. Here’s the thing, I will do and try anything to keep production up so what’s the harm in eating some delicious oatmeal.

I swear it worked for me last time so I am chowing down on oatmeal and overnight oats again. I love how quick overnight oats are to make, the soft texture, and how delicious they are too. Just reaching into the fridge and having breakfast at the ready makes life so much easier too.

These Strawberry Overnight Oats are going to rock your world. They are naturally sweet from the strawberries and honey. The flax seed meal is loaded up with fiber and omega 3 fatty acids. The chia seeds  are also packed with omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium.

I find the best storage option for them are wide mouth pint jars with plastic lids. The 2 piece metal lids work fine but I prefer the plastic lids so I know the seal is secure. More of an issue when I would take overnight oats to- do to work. Def didn’t want milk to spill in a bag! Eww!

Strawberry Overnight Oats

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups old fashion oats
  • 3 1/2 Cups milk
  • 1 pound strawberries, diced
  • 1 Cup flax seed meal
  • 1 Cup vanilla yogurt, preferably whole milk yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup Chia seeds
  • 1/3 Cup honey

Process

  1. Combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Equally portion out the oatmeal into 6 containers.
  3. Refrigerated overnight prior to enjoying.

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Adventures in Strawberry Picking at Hunsader Farms

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When my brother and his family were visiting last week from CT, we took everyone strawberry picking. It was a great, delicious activity for everyone, especially the kids.

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Strawberry picking is fun but it’s a great, affordable activity for young kids. They get such a trill finding a ripe berry to pick. And depositing it into the bucket (or their mouths) is the best. There is a great sense of accomplishment when you have picked something.

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We went to Hunsader Farms in Bradenton since a friend suggested it. She was spot on with her suggestion since it was an easy, nice drive and there were plenty of strawberries to pick from from long rows of strawberries.

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Bring a bucket or a basket with you to Hunsader since they don’t have buckets for you. They have plastic grocery bags but for tender fruit like strawberries, I’d suggest a bucket to help prevent them not getting squished.

Also, don’t pull all the way down the rows in the strawberry fields, they are not open at the other end. Sure, you can try to drive through the ditch but the people who got stuck ahead of it wouldn’t suggest it. I suggest just parking on the main ‘road’ and walking so you don’t block anyone or get blocked in yourself.

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Besides the ripe, super strawberries that are warm from the sun’s rays, we snagged a few tomatoes from the plants that were past their prime picking season. Autumn eats them like apples.

Hunsander Farms also has a petting zoo but we just hung around the perimeter watching the talking birds. It’s $4 a person  for entry into the petting zoo and playground so not too bad but we just had enough time to enjoy it before heading back home to cook up all our veggies that we picked up at the store for our dinner.

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Not into Strawberries? Then be sure to check out all the other fruits and veggies that you can pick throughout the year. Want some Eggplant? Then go from Oct-Nov and then again in April- May. Or stop by in Nov- Dec and then again in May for tomatoes. And don’t forget that rhubarb is ripe in Jan-March!

I can’t wait to get back there for some green beans, zipper peas, and okra. And getting to visit the petting zoo next as well.

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Hunsader Farms

5500 C.R. 675

Bradenton, Fl 34211

941.322.2168

Mon-Sat 8am-4pm

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And some strawberry recipes for all those berries you pick!

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Individual Strawberry Monkey Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting

Strawberry Margaritas_04

Strawberry Margaritas with Homemade Strawberry Syrup

5 Minute Chocolate and Strawberry Shortcake

The Best 5 Minute Dessert Ever

Fudgy Strawberry Brownies-4

Fudgy Strawberry Brownies

Roasted Strawberries_04

Roasted Strawberries

Strawberry Agua de Fresca

Strawberry Agua de Fresca

Strawberry Nutella Waffles-1

Strawberry Nutella Waffles

strawberry pie_01

Strawberry Pie

Strawberry Daiquiri_01

Strawberry Daiquiri

Fresh Berry White Chocolate Streusel Bars_02

 

Fresh Berry White Chocolate Streusel Bars

strawberry fizz

Strawberry Fizz

 

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cinnamon Rolls

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This weekend was all sorts of perfect.

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My brother and his family came in on Friday night for vacation. It’s been a year+ since we have seen each other so it was great getting to hang out and catch up. Best of all was the girls playing really well together, like they had just seen each other the weekend before. And the age different (3 & 6) even worked out well.

On Saturday we went Strawberry picking. So fun with the girls. And delicious. I made biscuits for shortcake for dessert that night. It was great with the grilled veggies, burgers, and hot dogs that we enjoyed for dinner. So yummy.

Besides that they also had a blast putting on tons of make up from my big makeup kit. Shoot, as long as you are not fighting, yelling, or destroying something… do whatever. They were so proud of themselves as well. But, let’s be real, they need to work on their eye liner application skills. ha!

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And then Sunday was all about hanging by the pool. We had a leisurely morning enjoying breakfast before we headed out to the pool. The weather was great and the pool was warm so we had a blast lounging around and playing with the girls in the pool. Autumn was so worn out that she napped on me for 2.5 hours as we sat by the pool. I even napped. The best kind of day ever.

More family came over later on and we made homemade pizza (of course the girls wanted boxed mac and cheese…). The night wrapped up with baths and girls cuddled up to me while I read to them.

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I am loving this year’s weekly recipe theme. I love working with dough and perfuming our house with cinnamon and sugar is just so fun. Plus, it’s fun as hell to come up with different flavors and combinations for the cinnamon rolls, monkey breads, and pull apart breads. And since we can’t possibly eat them all, I love getting to share with with our neighbors when they are fresh out of the oven.

Rock on Monkey Bread Mondays!

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If you love peanut butter then you will looooooove these cinnamon rolls. There is just the right amount of peanut butter in them where you can taste it, and smell it, but it’s balanced out so nicely with the typical cinnamon and sugar in cinnamon rolls. Plus, the jam glaze on top rocks.

I always make PBJ’s with strawberry jelly so it just felt right to use that for the glaze, but if you like grape or something else then just give that a try. I bet a blueberry jam would be awesome on it too. No matter what, you can’t go wrong.

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Cinnamon Rolls

Makes 12 large cinnamon rolls

Ingredients

For the Rolls

  • 1 Cup warm milk (100-110 degrees)
  • 1 packet yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted (but not hot!)
  • 4 Cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Cup melted butter
  • 1/3 Cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 Cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon

For the glaze

  • 1/2 Cup strawberry preserves
  • 1 Tablespoons orange juice

Process

  1. Add the yeast to the warm milk. Let rest for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs, then slowly mix in the warm milk mixture. Add the butter and just mix to combine.
  3. Add in the flour, sugar, and salt. Using a hook attachment, work the dough until combined.
  4. On a well floured work surface, roll the dough into an even ball. Add the dough to a large oiled bowl. Rotate to cover the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let double in size, at least 1 hour.
  5. While the dough is rising, cut the bacon into very small pieces and cook. Drain well and set aside.
  6. Once the dough is ready, preheat your oven to 350 F and grease 1 9x 13 baking pan.
  7. On a well floured work surface, roll the dough out so it is approximately 14″ x 24″.
  8. Mix the peanut butter into the melt butter and then evenly spread out on the dough.
  9. Then sprinkle with the cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll towards you and then cut into 12 evenly sized rolls. Arrange in the baking pan.
  10. Bake for 24-26 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. While the rolls are baking, warm the strawberry preserves and orange juice together; mix well. Drizzle all over the baked cinnamon rolls. Enjoy!

Individual Strawberry Monkey Bread with Cream Cheese Frosting

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I am loving winter in Florida.

It’s a joke to call it winter. It’s been amazing out. We had one cold weekend so far and you would have thought the end of the world was coming. People reacted to at the grocery store the same way that people in Boston reacted to snow storms. Everyone at the grocery store was all bundled up and talking about how cold it was. I was standing there in a sweat shirt like “yo, you have no idea…” It was like 45 out. ha!

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I remember how the cold would cut through the air when the wind would whip around the buildings. The morning walk from the train station was never welcomed. Basically, I hated any time that I needed to leave the house.

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But I can handle the winter now down here. The one that consists of us running the dogs outside for the last pee of the night while we are barefoot. The ‘brisk’ winter that allows us to comfortably sleep with the windows open. The winter that makes you laugh at your child when they say “It’s chilly out Mommy, I need a coat.” It’s 65 degrees, that’s sunroof and windows down weather kiddo. Stop whining. (And yet, she will happily get naked and play with the sand box/water play thing at the same temp…)

To all my friends and family freezing… don’t hate me. Just remember to come and visit us when you can’t handle any more shoveling, lost mittens, and scraping ice off your car anymore. We can hang out on the lanai or whatever. Oh yeah, our house, we finally have a closing date!!!! More on another day.

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Instead, get cozy up in your house with these awesome Individual Strawberry Monkey Breads with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Don’t be like ‘Fool, why are you sharing a recipe with strawberries?! They aren’t in season now!” Well, in fact they are! They are in season here in FL. So when you are getting strawberries up in New England now chances are they are from FL. Go on, check the label…

The sweet fruit mixed into the already sweet monkey bread makes it 10x more awesome than it is already. Unless you are a 3 year old, then you will tell your mom to pick all the strawberries out… send help.

Don’t feel like making these in muffin tins? Then you can make 2 loaves and just increase the baking time (approx. 32-35 minutes). Just keep an eye on it until it’s golden brown. It’s easily adaptable. And delicious.

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Individual Strawberry Monkey Breads with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 24

Ingredients 

For the Monkey Bread

  • 1 package (2 and 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1 and 1/2 Cups warm milk (110F-115F, 2% or whole milk, no lower)
  • 1/4 Cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
  • 1 1/2 Cups diced fresh strawberries
  • 1 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup butter, melted

For the Frosting

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3 Cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2-1 Tablespoon milk

Process

  1. Proof the yeast in the milk until the yeast is fragrant and bubbly, this takes a few minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs together. Add the milk to the bowl and mix again.
  3. Add 3 Cups of flour to the bowl and mix well. Scrape down the bowl, and add the remaining flour. Mix well to combine all the ingredients, about 4-5 minutes
  4. Remove the dough to a well greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let raise for at least 1 hour.
  5. When ready to assemble the monkey bread, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Put foil cupcake liners in the cavity of 2 12-cup cupcake tins.
  7. Combine the strawberries, granulated sugar, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
  8. Roll out the dough on a well-floured, clean, level work surface. The dough should be 1/2″ thick. Cut into 3/4″ x 3/4″ pieces.
  9. Mix the cut dough pieces into the strawberry and sugar mixture. It will get a bit gummy but that’s okay. Pour the butter over the mixture and then get your hands messy!
  10. Evenly portion out the dough into the cupcake liners.
  11. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until the top the golden brown.
  12. While the individual monkey breads are baking, mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and milk well until you have a smooth, creamy mixture. It should be a thick consistency.
  13. Drizzle the frosting over the warm monkey bread when serving.
  14. Store extra monkey bread and frosting in air tight containers for 2 days, max.

Fudgy Strawberry Brownies

Fudgy Strawberry Brownies

I am so thankful that Autumn is addicted to fruits and vegetables. I know there will be a day when she turns her nose up to them and will only eat white foods, but I’m enjoying this now.

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Autumn’s daycare teacher says that she needs to give her the protein and carbs first at lunch before pulling out the veggies and fruit because if she sees them she will only eat them. I think that is just adorable. I’ll have to remind her that when she is protesting them for plain buttered pasta in a few years.

Or maybe something magical will happen and she’ll skip that terrible phase?!?!? HAHAHA that’s doubtful, but I will take all the good vibes that I can get!

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And when that happens I’ll have to start to sneak fruit and veggies in other food.

Just like what I did here.

JUST KIDDING!!!

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I just had a massive package of strawberries that was staring at me every damn time I opened up the fridge and as much as we all love fruit I was doubting that we could finish it off before it went bad. That’s just the worst.

So I was daydreaming about what to do with them on my way home one day. I started to think about brownies and was thinking of tossing strawberries in the batter to make them extra sweet and delicious.

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I mean you pile on fresh strawberries or strawberry sauce on sundaes so I was thinking that putting the strawberries in the brownie would just help you make your sundae that much faster. Plus, even better. Just add some ice cream and hot fudge sauce and boom!!

Because these bad boys are so fudgey, dense, and moist – yeah, I said it- they are ‘fork brownies’. At least that is what Price called them. Hope that makes sense! xoxo

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Fudgy Strawberry Brownies

Makes an 8×8 tray of brownies

Ingredients

  • 3/4 Cup flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 Cup sugar
  • 3/4 Cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Cup (6 oz) chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 Cup (6 oz) chocolate chips
  • 1 pound chopped strawberries

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and line a 8×8 baking pan. (I used glass so I didn’t line my pan)
  2. In a small bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking soda until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl,  mix the sugar, oil, and eggs until combined for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the water and the vanilla extract, mix to incorporate.
  5. Mix the dry mixture into the wet mixture. Add the melted chocolate chips and stir for about 3 minutes to combined.
  6. Fold in the  chocolate chips and strawberries.
  7. Pour into your prepared pan.
  8. Bake for 55-65 minutes, until just set in the center
  9. When finished, remove from oven and allow to cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

Adapted from Jessica in the Kitchen