Chai Oatmeal with Spiced Pears

Chai Oatmeal with Spiced Pears

There’s not much that I love more than a hot chai tea made with almond milk from our local coffee shop, Sam and Zoe’s. One look at my debit card statement would quickly give me away. I love a good chai, so when I saw a recipe for chai oatmeal made with almond milk I knew I had to give it a try. I found it on a blog called Healthy Aperture and I could not resist, especially when said oatmeal is also gluten free and is topped with warm, spicy, buttered pears. Oh my goodness, is your mouth watering imagining it?

I’m not one to spend a lot of time making breakfast because our mornings are pretty busy trying to get the boys out the door for school in the morning, but since Abby is home schooled, I decided to make this for our breakfast one morning after the boys had left for school. It was a bit time consuming but the end product was so worth it. It is wonderfully spiced, just like my favorite winter drink, and the pears add a sweet (but not too sweet) fruity flavor that completes the dish perfectly. Click over to Healthy Aperture for the recipe and try this one while we still have cold mornings that call for warm comforting breakfasts.

Lime-Coconut Krispie Treats

Lime-Coconut Krispie Treats from The Southern Institute

Rice Krispie Treats are one of our favorite treats to make. They’re gluten-free and just plain yummy. I’ve loved them ever since I was a child. Abby and I have had a lot of fun experimenting with different flavors and shapes over the past several months. We’ve made dark chocolate cherry treats, and heart shaped treats with pink candy drizzle for Valentine’s day. For the summer I wanted to try something with a bit of a citrus twist and I was dying to use my DoTerra essential oils… could it work?

Why lime, you might ask?

Doterra Lime oil

Plus, it just tastes great, right? I’ve been putting a drop of DoTerra lime essential oil in my water every morning to cleanse my body and I love it. It’s refreshing and it tastes great! I thought it would taste so good paired with coconut, so I combined the two in a Rice Krispie Treat! Here’s how I did it:

-Combine 3 TBSP of unsalted butter and one 16 ounce bag of mini marshmallows in a large stock pot. Heat over low-medium heat until melted. Remove from heat.

-Stir in 3 drops of lime essential oil to the marshmallow/butter mixture, stir well.

-Add 6 cups of Rice Krispies and unsweetened shredded coconut to the marshmallow mixture and combine well. I think I added about 3/4 cup of coconut (I didn’t measure it. Add as much as you like.)

-Press mixture into a lightly greased 9×13 Pyrex or glass baking dish. Press flat with wax paper and allow to cool. Cut into squares and enjoy!

These turned out to be so delicious! The lime flavor is not overwhelming, but definitely noticeable. It makes for a really yummy summertime treat! I hope you like them!

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2: Meet Leek!

The following is a sponsored post, which I have written as a Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Foodimals Featured Contributor for Sony Pictures.  All opinions and ideas are honest and my own.


The Leek Foodimal at

I have to tell you that as picky as we are about what movies we let our children watch, I’ll admit that I’m kind of excited to take them to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 at the end of this month.  It seems that Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is on everyone’s list of favorite childhood reads, and the movie is just as cute.  When Sony Pictures asked if I would be a Featured Foodimal contributor for the sequel that will be opening in theaters on September 27th I agreed because, let’s face it, everyone loves to play with their food, right???

The Leek is one of the funniest Foodimals, in my opinion.  Have you seen the trailer?  “There’s a leek in the boat!!!”  Hilarious!  I’ll confess to you now that I had never bought a leek until this week… for real.  I knew that it was in the onion family, but I’ve never cooked with it before, and still I haven’t, but I sure did make a great looking Foodimal… and you can too!  Here’s how to make the Leek from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.  Make sure to read to the end of the post to enter to win a Sony Reader and a copy of the original Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movie on DVD!

Leek from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 at

First, take a small paring knife and cut out a mouth.  You’ll want to create the mouth towards the bottom of the leek, starting at the top at cutting down.  

Leek from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 at

Choose two Bunapi mushroom (or another small, white, button type mushroom) of the same size.

Leek from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 at

Remove the stems from the mushrooms and place a small amount of peanut butter on the backs of the mushroom tops.  Place them side by side and touching in the middle right above Leek’s mouth.

Leek from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 at

Use peanut butter again to attach small, yellow confetti sprinkles to the whites of the eyes.

Leek from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 at

Use a toothpick (or in my case a paper clip because I was out of toothpicks) to make a tiny hole on each side of the leek, right next to his mouth.  Insert the parsley stems.

Leek from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 at

Last, but not least, use decorating gel to create the pupils of Leek’s eyes.


There you have it… it’s Leek!  He just cracks me up, and the kids and I had the best time putting him together.  Levi and I started with a fun trip to Whole Foods to search for our ingredients, inspecting different foods and trying to decide which would made the best eyes and arms.  Both he and Abby got a kick out of watching Leek come together and helping me take the photos of him too.  It was such a blast to do this for Sony Pictures.

Like I said, I had never bought a leek before this week, much less cooked with one, but I thought I’d share a few links to leek recipes that you might like to try:  

Sony Pictures is being so generous!  They are giving away a Sony reader and a copy of the original Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs DVD to one lucky Southern Institute reader!  Enter through the Rafflecopter widget below… I’ll announce the winner at the end of the week.  Good luck and thanks for reading!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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