How to Make Quick Oats and Oat Flour

There’s nothing magical about these instructions and many of you probably know how to do this already. I’m not even entirely convinced that this will save much money, as there isn’t much price difference in whole oats, quick oats, and oat flour.

However, here’s why I find these tips to be beneficial:

They save my brain. And also storage space in my pantry, but my brain is obviously a much bigger issue now. Anything that saves my brain makes me so, so happy. (Hello, 40’s. I love you truly. But why do you make it harder to think straight? I think it must be because my children are coming and going more than they used to and also, I have more profound, wise thoughts floating through so I have less space for silly little unimportant things like remembering where I put my phone.)

So see? If I order Whole Rolled Oats, then I can make my own Quick Oats and Oat Flour as needed. My brain is thus saved from ordering three different items and making sure I have them on hand. It takes turning 42 to come up with stuff like this. Be amazed.

How to Make Quick Oats and Oat Flour

Why do I need Quick Oats? Well, I rarely do, except for when I make Homemade Instant Oatmeal – which is da bomb. And Oat Flour? Well, that’s just nice to add to muffins or pancakes sometimes when I want to include a variety of grains. I guess that’s another nice reason to not buy each of them individually. I mostly use whole rolled oats. The rare occasion I need quick oats or oat flour, I can just make it quickly with my whole oats.

So, how to make these delightful oat products? It’s as easy as putting Whole Oats into your blender and turning it on. Whirl for a few seconds until quick oats are formed. Whirl for a few more seconds until oat flour appears. It’s almost the easiest thing in the world.

Making Quick Oats and Oat Flour

Below you will see, from left to right: Whole Rolled Oats, Quick Oats, Oat Flour. Beautiful, right?

oats 3

With that, I will tell you that if you’ve never needed this information before today, you will need it tomorrow because I have a Monster Cookie Bar recipe to share that includes no flour but it does include both whole oats and quick oats. Get out your oats and your blender. You’re going to want to make these bars.

monster bars1

What do you prefer to use at your house? Whole oats or quick oats? Do you use oat flour much?

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How Does Prepping 5 Meals in 20 Minutes Sound?

You might remember how a couple of weeks ago I made 7 Chicken Slow Cooker Meals in 30 Minutes. Well, the next day I made 5 Beef Slow Cooker Meals in just 20 minutes. It is too fun.

This is the easiest, fastest, most fun freezer cooking I’ve ever done. Plus, these freezer meals keep saving my neck on busy days. I just pull a bag out of the freezer and throw the contents into the crock pot. I add some veggies to the table in the evening, and we are set.

Here are a few pictures of my 5 beef meals in 20 minutes prep. They aren’t pretty, but at least it’s better than looking at pictures of mannequins in my office. (Ain’t that the truth.)

First I took my printed copy of Eat Right Away: Slow Cooker Beef Edition and put the ingredients for the Hawaiian Beef and Rice directly into the crock pot. That would be for dinner that day – you know, since I was so busy spending another 17 minutes making 4 more meals. Obviously, I was exhausted after that and couldn’t possibly think about cooking our evening meal.

slow cooker beef 1

Next, I labeled freezer bags and started filling them with ingredients for the other four packet recipes.

slow cooker beef 2

This process is so fascinating to witness. Lookie at the meat with Onion Soup Mix and other ingredients splashed into a bag. Ooh. Aah.

slow cooker beef 3

A grand total of 20 minutes later, dinner was in the crock pot and four other meals were ready for the freezer.

slow cooker beef 4

Read about our Eat Right Away Packets here. We’ve got four packets (a total of 20 recipes!) all organized and ready for you to work with!

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It’s Not a Race But…7 Slow Cooker Meals in 30 Minutes!!!!

If you don’t have the Eat Right Away: Slow Cooker Editions, I humbly suggest that you get them now. I am not even kidding when I tell you that I just spent only 30 minutes recently prepping 7 slow cooker chicken meals for my freezer.

The geek in me discovered that this averaged out to be 4.285714 minutes of work per meal. I don’t know how anything could be easier – except for the fact that now 7 different times, I can pull out a bag and dump it into my crock pot, then walk away and have a meal for my family 6-8 hours later. So yeah. That’s easier. I am loving this.

slow cooker chicken 1

Above is a picture of Malachi eating strawberries and a piece of carrot cake at the table while staring peacefully out the window. Love him. It is also a picture of some of the ingredients I grabbed out of my pantry, plus the freezer baggies I labeled so that I could be super efficient as I worked my way through the Eat Right Away: Slow Cooker Chicken Edition directions.

Apparently I thought the whole shebang was going to take so long that I wouldn’t possibly want to walk three extra steps to get out the olive oil in the midst of all the work. This undoubtedly saved me four seconds, giving me the edge on prepping so many meals in so little time. Rock on, olive oil. Thank you for being there when I needed you.

Just look at these beauties, will you? Seven freezer bags of chicken crock pot meals – made in less time than it takes to make a list of all the things it takes 30 minutes to do. For real.

slow cooker chicken 2

Next I work my way through the Crock Pot Beef Edition. Details to come.

Check out all the Eat Right Away Packets here. Save so much time and money! Love, love love. Want the carrot cake recipe? Trust me, you do. You can get that here.

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How to Set Up an Iced Coffee Bar

Monday was my birthday. (Yay, 42!) Since most of my favorite peeps (aka three outa four of my boys) were still at church camp and thus not home to help me celebrate – we instead invited a few friends over. It was such a blessed time.

Not planned or appreciated is the fact that our grill chose to die at the very moment we were ready to begin cooking our meat (for 13 hungry people). I mean the grill didn’t just die. It also became very dead. So, so dead.

One of our friends who had just left her house to come over saved the day by bringing her grill (hi, can you come to my birthday get-together and if it’s not too much to ask can you load up and bring an entire grill when you come? k thanks.) So we ate a little bit late. It made for a longer celebration, and then the food tasted even better than if we’d eaten an hour and a half before during the regularly scheduled program. This is what memories are made of. And also this…

While the men were outside looking under the hood of the grill, and one of my friends was loading up her grill to bring over, and some other friends were outside throwing around a football, and some kids were in the lego room upstairs – this was happening in my kitchen:

birthday bouquet1

birthday bouquet2

I am loved and richly blessed by these dear people.

After we finally ate the most delicious dinner (grilled steak and chicken and amazing side dishes brought by friends), out came a brand new buffet I had been working on for a couple of days. Allow me to introduce you to the very wonderful Iced Coffee Bar. This idea came to me as I was thinking about my favorite foods and drinks while planning the get-together. What did I want for my birthday meal? Steak, for sure. And wouldn’t it be fun to serve iced coffee, thought I. One thing led to another until this:

Iced Coffee Bar

Yes, the White Chocolate and the Caramel are in vases.
What a great way to re-purpose those, don’t ya think?

I brewed/chilled coffee and made coffee ice cubes all day in preparation. I made sweet sauces. I had absolutely wayyyyy too much fun. And then during the party? Let me just say that you must do this sometime. It was a blast seeing what people put together. Some drinks got blended. Some used ice cream. Some mixed all three sauces. Some made fun of me for having to drink decaf. Hey, I wanted to sleep after my party, okay? Caffeine can’t happen after 5pm for this (very young) 42 year old.

How to Make an Iced Coffee Bar

Suggestions for options to include in your Iced Coffee Bar

Explain the options to your guests, then let them have at it.

It was so much fun to see what people came up with for their special drink. We all took turns building our concoction, then we all stood around sipping and saying “yum” over and over while talking and laughing. Bliss.

iced coffee

This Iced Coffee Bar is going to be my new go-to idea for special gatherings. Come winter, we’ll just switch it to a Hot Coffee Bar with fun fixin’s. Do this!!! It is so much fun!

Want to borrow my Coffee Bar Labels? These made it easy for guests and added cuteness to the fun.

coffee bar labels

Download and Print These Free Coffee Bar Labels

What else can you think of to add to this Iced (or hot) Coffee Bar?

P.S. If you are in my local Bunco group, you are not allowed to use this idea until after I host, mmkay?

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9 Foods I Like to Make-Ahead to Help Make Meals Simple For “Back to School”

It’s like I’m nesting or something – which I am not thankyouverymuch. I just get this way at the end of a summer break as we head into full school days, regular music lessons, and a busy soccer season. I like to be prepared, and I also somehow have a mind-set that I’ll never again have time to go to the store so I’d best purchase 52 boxes of kleenex to ensure that leaving the house for any variety of nose issues will not be necessary for a very long time.

This makes no sense, except that it is how my brain works so I just go with it. I’m a stocker-upper, and a prepper-aheader, and I want to ease us in to our full schedule with as much grace (read: frozen food and kleenex boxes) as possible.

This mind-set will go away completely after precisely 3.5 days of school, at which time we will all settle into a routine and I will realize that life outside the home hasn’t stopped. Plus I will learn that fresh plums are on sale and determine that we should buy some. We will also be out of eggs.

9 Foods I Like to Make Ahead to Help Make Meals Simple for Back to School

In the meantime, here are 9 of my favorite foods (random though they may be) to have prepared ahead of time to make life easier overall. Want to borrow my list? I highly recommend it. Also, here is a toilet paper coupon because if you’re like me even a little bit, you realize that stocking up on tp is even more important than stocking up on kleenex.

Homemade Peanut Butter

I make several jars at a time, otherwise we would run out within just a few days. If I’m dirtying up my food processor, I might as well make it worth it, right?

peanut butter

Whole Wheat Quick Mix

I use this mix to make Quick Mix BiscuitsQuick Mix Fruit PizzaQuick Mix Honey Cinnamon Muffins, Quick Mix Pancakes, and Quick Mix Very Vanilla Cookies. (These recipes and more in my Oh, For Real cookbook.)

Homemade Granola

I love having this on hand because it is so versatile and convenient. We can sprinkle in dried fruit, chocolate chips, fresh fruit, or plop in some applesauce – whatever sounds good.

dark_chocolate_almond_granola

Pictured is the Dark Chocolate Granola variety.

Freezer Muffins

Do this. It’s an amazing trick. You will love the convenience of fresh-from-the-oven muffins without any work.

Chicken Broth and Beef Broth

Having broth on hand means I can make soup very quickly on a busy day. And ooooohhhhh the health benefits. :)

chicken week 5

Cooked Bacon

I like cutting several pounds of bacon into bit-sized pieces and cooking in a big pot. Why? Then I have cooked bacon on hand for Bacon Cheesy Egg mornings, and to use in recipes like Bacon Cheese MuffinsBacon, Egg, and Avocado SaladBLT Chopped Salad, or BLT Wraps. Also, my hair won’t smell like bacon every single day we eat bacon – only the day I cook several pounds of it. See what a great strategy that is?

blt salad

Instant Oatmeal

Or you can make Frozen Oatmeal Cups. Or you can make both.

instant_oatmeal_jars

Ranch Dressing Mix

If I have a jar of this mix on hand, I can quickly make Ranch Salad Dressing, a Ranch Cheese BallRanch Potato Wedges or Cheddar Ranch Burgers.

ranchdressin2sm.JPG

Italian Dressing Mix

Not only do I use this mix to make Italian Salad Dressing, I use it for these easy recipes: Italian Cream Cheese ChickenItalian Roast Wraps, and Italian Stew. It also makes a great marinade for grilled meats.

I haven’t completed this list yet, but here’s what I did over the weekend:

I got out my food processor and made several batches of Homemade Peanut Butter.

school food prep1

I turned out 4.5 jars of Super Creamy Peanut Butter variety, but left one jar for me which is just straight Peanut Butter with nothing added. I labeled it “Mom’s” but I’m very nice and willing to share. I just wanted to avoid accidentally dipping into the wrong one since I prefer the straight peanut variety.

school food prep2

 

Also pictured is the Oatmeal Breakfast Bars I had made for Sunday morning.

I cooked four pounds of bacon, then froze it into six bags. If we’re making salads, we might need two bags for our whole family. But if we’re making Bacon Cheesy Eggs we can get away with one bag, less than a pound. (Yay for stretching meat.)

school food prep4

Everything is getting back to normal at our house now that all the boys are home from camp – as in we are blowing through food faster than I can keep up. Thankfully we have cooked bacon and peanut butter on hand so we won’t starve. (Because we were all so worried about that after seeing my freezers.)

In all the years past, our family has begun our school year the first week of August. This year we’re pushing it back two weeks for these reasons:

  • The three older boys were at Guys Camp the first part of this week.
  • The boys need to recover from church camp (lack of sleep).
  • Matt and the boys are redoing someone’s roof – a project that couldn’t be started while they were away.
  • Asa is moving into the college dorm in a week and a half and will be on a college schedule. (How do I feel about this? I’m excited for him and I also cry. Just like one would expect.)
  • Justus is taking a college class, which makes it even more necessary to stick with the college schedule.
  • None of us are quite ready yet and that’s just the truth. But hey, at least the peanut butter is ready. And the kleenex.

As soon as the books are ready, I’ll try to post about what we’re doing for school this year.

What are your favorite foods to make and have on hand for convenience? When does school start for your family?

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From Frosty Freezers to Defrosted Freezers to Full Freezers

It may not look like much of a difference to you when you see my pictures, but trust me on this one. My freezers were completely disorganized and full of frost. I didn’t know what I had in there, much less where anything was.

Before I show you my before and after pictures, let’s establish this right away: No one ever accused me of not having enough food on hand. No one ever said, “Laura I think you should really consider buying more than one pound of meat at a time.” No one ever said, “Have you ever considered buying in bulk?”

“I sure hope the Coppingers can find something to eat today,” said no one ever. I’m thankful for the abundance, and you’ll read more about how we afford full freezers below.

Instead, this is what people say:

“If ever there is a food crisis, we will go to Laura’s house.” and “What are you guys, carnivores?!” and also “I would never have time to do all that freezer cooking.”

That final statement always makes me bang my head on my freezer since time is something I often feel that I am severely lacking and freezer cooking is what saves my meals (and ironically, my time).

So how do we afford to buy so much at once? True statement: We can’t afford not to.

Buying meat, cheese, nuts, grains, and butter in bulk and when we find good deals is the only way to feed a family full of teenage boys (and guests) without breaking our bank. If it’s a good price, I buy a cartful – which is a lot of cost upfront but saves $1,000’s in the long run.

How do I find time to do freezer cooking? I make time, spending an additional two hours or so here and there to save a dozen or more hours of cooking later. Or my favorite tip of all, when I’m making one casserole to eat at dinner, I typically make an additional one or two while I’m at it. Same effort, same amount of dishes, twice or three times the eats. It only makes sense.

So let’s take a look now at my freezers, and then let’s encourage Laura not to buy any more meat for a while. Seriously.

First I will show you (because I love splashing my disorganizational skills all over the internet) my two frost-filled, haphazard freezers in which one can only hope to reach in to grab a chicken and actually come away with a chicken.

Freezer #1

freezer1

Freezer #2

freezer2

Operation defrost and reorganize the freezers began Saturday afternoon.

Half the fun of this project was actually discovering that I had over 12 prepared freezer meals scattered all over the place. Thinking a better idea would be to put them all one one shelf so I’d know just where to look, I…you know, put them all on one shelf so I’d know just where to look. Brilliance. I’ll be saving these meals for the first few weeks of school/soccer season. This is what sanity is made of.

I put all the chicken on the top shelf, all the beef on the second shelf, all the butter in the door, and all the frozen fruits and veggies on aisle 4.

freezer4

Freezer #2 then only contained only our lamb meat, nuts, and a couple packs of cheese.  But wait. There’s more.

freezer5

On Tuesday, Matt picked up the grass-fed beef we had ordered from local farmer friends. Did we need to order beef right now? No, we still had some. But our friend’s cows were ready right now…and later would be too late. Saying no now would have made us run out of beef before next spring/summer, so we ordered before we needed it. I think we’re set on beef for a while. Although we will go through this faster than many would think. You’ve seen teenagers eat, right?

freezer6

In other freezer cooking news, I made a batch of Whole Wheat Pizza Crusts for an easy lunch once school starts. I also cooked 3 pounds of hamburger meat (seeing as I had some to cook). We’ll use it on the pizzas and for other easy meals.

pizza crust for freezer

I have more to share about how I used my Eat Right Away Beef and Chicken Slow Cooker Editions (my fav so far!) to make many meals in a tiny amount of time – but that’s another post for another day.

I also planned to make a bunch of muffin batter for the freezer, but I am completely out of eggs (and beef is a poor substitute). We will be getting several dozen eggs today from our friend with chickens, then the muffin-batter-for-the-freezer plans will commence.

So now you tell me about your freezer(s). And about your beef. And about your eggs. And about your experiences in watching teenagers eat.

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The First Thing I Did When I Got Home From Camp – Plus What I’ll Be Up to This Week

I bet you can guess. What’s the first thing I did the moment I got out of the van after being at camp for two weeks?

Okay fine. I went potty. But after that? Well, yes I started a load of laundry. But then??? Well I filled a glass of water to make sure I was hydrated.

But none of those count. What’s the really first thing I did after being away from my kitchen for two weeks?

groceries725
Ahhhhh, yes. I made a big price-matching list and headed to the store. The fridge was all but empty, we’re craving more fresh produce, and I’ve missed cooking. I loved the break (especially from the dishes!) – but I am so excited about being back in my kitchen!

I must admit that our three teenage boys are still at camp for another week and a half which means that I might have over-purchased just a wee bit. All you see in the picture up there? That’s just for Matt, Malachi (age 10), and me. We’re that hungry for freggies. I couldn’t hold back.

Case in point: Matt washed one of the containers of blueberries as soon as I gave him permission (aka, as soon as I got a picture taken – it’s a food blogger thing). I snagged a few of the berries as I scrubbed refrigerator shelves and put away groceries. A few minutes later, Matt appeared with the blueberry container and a grin. The blueberries were almost completely gone. The guy ate an entire pint (minus the 17 little berries I ate) in about 5 minutes. We’re craving this stuff, I tell ya.

Cravings aside, I would not have gotten 6 pounds of strawberries and 6 pints of blueberries for just the three of us – but I was able to price match them for just $1.00 each. Who can pass up filling the cart when they’re only a buck?? If we can’t finish them before they go bad, we’ll just freeze them for muffins and smoothies. It’s too easy.

So here’s what I’m thinking. I’m thinking that while I still just have one boy at home and therefore don’t need to prep large meals – I’m going to do some freezer cooking this week. My list is too long, which means I won’t likely get around to all of this since I have so much other work to catch up on after being away for two weeks. But here’s my crazy-lady list nonetheless:

1. Defrost the freezer.

We’re getting a quarter of grass-fed beef this week, so that along with putting prepped food in the freezer means I need to get rid of the terrible ice build up I’ve been ignoring for way too long.

2. Make a few batches of Strawberry and Blueberry Cream Muffins – freezing the batter to bake fresh later. (Read more about this wonderful freezer tip here.)

3. Work through my Eat Right Away Beef and Chicken Slow Cooker Editions to get easy meals in the freezer ready for upcoming school/soccer/busy days.

4. Make Whole Wheat Pizza Crusts for the freezer so the boys can quickly make their own pizzas on busy days.

5. Make and freeze Chicken Fried Steak Strips with the beef we’re picking up from the butcher.

6. Stop making this list before I become overwhelmed.

There are too many great freezer cooking ideas. I made myself stop adding to the list so I don’t overwhelm myself. I’ll take pictures of my progress throughout the week and share an update with you soon!

What are you going to be doing this week?

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How to Store Leftovers in Jars

This post was originally published in June, 2011. I still love jars.

It is no secret that I love jars. Big jars, little jars, tall jars, short jars…they’re all useful. One of my favorite ways to use jars is to store leftovers.

Many have asked how in the world it works to store leftovers in jars – isn’t it hard to get the food in and out of the jar?? I have two words for you:  Wide Mouth. (No-no, I’m not calling you a Wide Mouth. Oh dear. I’m just saying that wide mouth jars are my favorite and the most wonderful for storing leftovers.)

The regular jars are fine and I like to use them for canning produce and such, but give me a wide mouth jar and I can do all kinds of things with it. You can fit your whole hand into a wide mouth jar, making it easy to wash or to put food in and take food out.

The best thing about having leftovers (and other food) in jars is that you can clearly see what is in the jar, unless of course the jar somehow got shoved to the back of the fridge and forgotten, causing it’s contents to change somewhat in appearance.  Not that any of us would ever let that happen.  But really, I can open my fridge and easily see if I need to make more Ranch Dressing, if we have any homemade sour cream, if we have enough cooked chicken to make dinner and what kinds of leftovers are available for lunch.  As you saw in this post, my fridge is full of jars of all shapes and sizes. Let’s talk just a little bit about those jars, because many of you have asked what kind I have and where I get them.

Pint and Half Pint wide mouth jars are wonderful for storing leftover vegetables, small bits of casserole, little portions of leftover meat, etc. I have a nice variety of wide mouth pint and half pint jars that I can grab depending on what I need to store. These wide mouth pint jars are great for my homemade dressings and homemade peanut butter.

Someone gave me this set of Ball Wide Mouth 1/2 Pint Elite Jars for Christmas last year and I LOVE them. They are short and perfect for small amounts of leftovers. They’re also quite cute, not that it matters, but shucks cute jars are fun.

My favorite, favorite, absolute all time favorite kinds of jars for leftovers are the Elite Pint Sized jars When we were going through my mom’s canning supplies after she died, I found loads of them and brought them home. I love canning with them and using them for leftovers. They are the perfect size for me to use at least 80 different ways in my kitchen. And they are from my mama.  Of course I love them best.

I also use Quart Sized Wide Mouth Jars constantly, both for canning and for storing leftovers. I find the quart sized wide mouth jars work great for storing leftover soup, sloppy joe meat, cooked chicken, creamy mac and cheese, etc.

In addition, I have several sets of Wide Mouth 1/2 Gallon Sized Jars, which I use mostly for our milk, but also for chicken broth and large amounts of soup. I buy these Wide Mouth 1/2 Gallon Sized Jars from Azure Standard, but you can also get them from Amazon or sometimes at hardware stores.

Which leads me to:  Where is the best place to buy jars? That’s hard to say. You can get several different kinds from Azure Standard if this is accessible to you. The best place to find jars for very little money is yard sales or auctions.  I’ve also acquired many jars from people who are simply not canning anymore. It pays to ask around to see who might have jars they’re not using anymore – they are usually happy to get rid of them!

If you’re going to purchase jars, like some of the specialty sizes I mentioned such as the Elite which are harder to find, I’d say you are making a pretty good investment. They’re less expensive than tupperware, and because they are glass, they are safe and will not leach plasticy chemicals into your food. Being able to see your food in the fridge is an invaluable time saver.

By the way, I love having a drawer full of Wide Mouth Plastic Lids, which makes it super simple to fill the jar and throw leftovers in the fridge. I have Regular Mouth Plastic Lids as well, I love having both. They’re so clean and nice!

One last thing:  for storing leftovers like lasagna or hamburger patties – foods that would be hard to put into a wide mouth jar, I love having these Pyrex dishes with lids. They are fantastic for storing leftovers and warming them up in the oven or toaster oven right in the dish.

Phew. Well, you just found out way more about my leftovers than you ever wanted to know. Again, let’s just be clear that I was not calling you a Wide Mouth. Although, after reading my post, you would realize that even if I was calling you a Wide Mouth (which I wasn’t), it would have been a compliment.

How do you store your leftovers?

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Some Of My Favorite Summer Kitchen Tips

I’m at church camp teaching Bible classes and have been since July 12. Since there are not 42 hours in a day, there was no way to get ahead on two week’s worth of writing before I left. Therefore, today I am offering you a little more linky love from past posts.

But first, let us be amazed together. While you’re reading this on July 24th-ish, I really put this together on July 8 because I knew that for 2 weeks I would be unplugged. In summary, I’m not really here. It’s like I’m writing this for the future, but you’re reading it in the present, but these posts you’re about to click on were written in the past. I don’t know about you, but I find that completely fascinating. {snore}

So here you go – some of my favorite summertime kitchen stuff. Stay cool, friends. Stay cool.

Because Iced Coffee is da’ bomb: How to Cold Brew Coffee

How to Cold Brew Coffee

Then once you have that, you need to know How to Make a Healthy Homemade Chocolate Frappe.

Healthy Homemade Chocolate Frappe

Which means to need to know this lovely tip about Making Coffee Ice Cubes. (I promise these links are not all about coffee. See below.)

Freeze Coffee in Ice Cube Trays

You don’t want to rely on cereal every day, but you don’t really want to turn on the oven to bake muffins either. Here are 14 Oven Free Breakfast Ideas.

14 Oven Free Breakfast Ideas For Summer

While we’re at it, you probably want 10 Oven-Free Lunch and Dinner Meal Ideas too.

10 Oven Free Meals for Summer

If they haven’t taken over your life already, zucchini season is on the way. Here are 8 of My Favorite Ways to Use Zucchini.

Zucchini Recipes - Easy, Healthy, Delicious

Want a cold treat that doesn’t include high fructose corn syrup on a stick? Here are 10 Cold Treats That Are Good For You.

10 Cold Treats That Are Good For You

And with that, I’m gone again – even though technically I’m not really here, I’m just pretending to be here. What in the world?

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Stickers on Produce. I Cannot Handle It.

Those of you who know me well are very aware that I have plenty of weirdness lurking in my brain. Hey, we all have a variety or three of weirdness going on, do we not? We all think our personal weirdness makes sense (and is, therefore, not weird) and we do not understand why other people’s weirdness is different from ours. Then when we see someone else being weird we’re all dude, that’s so weird. When in truth, the weirdness we see in others is simply a different variety from our own weirdness because we are all weird.

The Bible backs me up on this although I think it uses more terms like “different gifts” and “knit together uniquely” and stuff like that.

So here’s one of the ways I’m weird that you likely did not know as of yet.

First, I love staring at my groceries. Yes, you knew that one already. That’s not my weird thing even though it kind of is. What you didn’t know is what I’m about to show you. I cannot handle it. I mean, it looks like a lovely table full of grocery and Bountiful Basket purchases. But as it is at this point, I can not admire it. There’s too much distraction.

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There are stickers everywhere. It’s highly alarming. I want to see the pretty produce in all its natural beauty. But the bar codes and the item numbers and the sticky residue – oh it is all too much.

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Say it isn’t so.

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So weird thing #672 about Laura: I have to take all the stickers off my produce the minute I set it down in my kitchen. The admiring of the produce cannot happen until all stickers are removed.

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You think I’m kidding.

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Ahhhhhhhh, there now. Now we can all stare at the pretty produce, without stickers, in all its God given glory.

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Before you say, wow Laura that’s weird – let me just remind you that you also have weird things that you cannot handle. They are perhaps different from my weird things because God knit us each together uniquely amen and amen. But you, my friend, are also weird. And I mean that in the kindest, most supportive way. I do.

Today, let us embrace our weirdness. Leave a comment confessing one way you’re weird.

Just so you know, if you make fun of my weirdness, I will pretend to give you a big bear hug but what I will actually be doing is placing all 28 of my produce stickers onto your back then watching to see how long it takes you to notice. Then people will see your back full of stickers and think you’re weird and it would be for real.

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