Tag Archives: blog updates
Tomorrow, my blog turns five years old. Five years! This little baby is ready for kindergarten.
I’m celebrating with a GIVEAWAY for FIVE winners, courtesy of Nairn’s and their fabulous gluten-free oatcakes and crackers!! Scroll down for details.
This past year has not been easy as I’ve gotten more and more frustrated with my inadequate camera and photography skills 😇 but I’m still proud of the posts I managed to publish this year.
Like this Pumpkin & Kale Steel Cut Oatmeal:
Hello, oatmeal lovers!
(I do recognize, of course, that in the Southern Hemisphere, it is not spring. I apologize for that.)
What is “Spring” Oatmeal? That’s the best part of this contest–you can take it in many different directions, as long as it reflects seasonal spring produce. (more…)
Okay, I know I’ve only posted one recipe a week for the past few weeks, but I have good reasons. First, I was–thanks to constant nagging from my boyfriend–filling out job applications at every free chance. Second, the pressure is on right now for me to complete my thesis. I have to have a pretty solid, basically finished draft by the end of February. Third, the other course I am taking this semester is reading- and writing-heavy, which I like, but it requires time. A lot of time. Third, I was in Boston for one of the weekends, which takes away blogging time. And finally, every day I had available was, of course, a rainy, cloudy, snowy day. As I have explained before, I need sunlight to take my photos.
That sounds like a lot of excuses. Regardless, I got the job I wanted. My thesis is coming along nicely. I’ve established a pretty good routine with my course readings. Now I’m just waiting for the sunlight to work in my favor. 🙂
The forecast shows lots of clouds and raindrops. However, I will do my best to find some pockets of sunlight! I have lots of recipe ideas to share, and I have TWO product reviews to do as well. I look forward to bringing those to you soon!
In the “Best of 2014,” I said that it had been “definitely the most difficult year of my life.” That’s because I hadn’t met 2015 yet. Happily, I escaped the soul-sucking nightmare that is teaching and have spent the last several months focusing on my mental health and progressing my professional career in grad school. One of my favorite parts of this major life change is that I’ve been able to return to blogging with purpose and enthusiasm after struggling to keep the blog afloat during my teaching years. With that dedication, my blog has flourished and progressed in ways I never imagined. First and foremost, 2015 was absolutely the year of zucchini!
Without further ado, here are some of the top recipes from the year!
1. Fan Favorite Recipe
Spiced Pumpkin Oatmeal with Java PB2! I wasn’t sure how you would receive this new spin on my Pumpkin Spice Latte Oatmeal, but it turns out, you loved it! The only page you visited more than this recipe in 2015 was the Recipe List. 😄
At the request of a reader (I searched the comments but could not find who said it–sorry!!), I am holding a guest post contest for savory oatmeal recipes! While I enjoy savory oatmeal and have a long list of ideas for them, I rarely have the motivation to actually make them, so I’m pawning off my duties to YOU! (I’m not too proud to admit my laziness. ^_^ )
What are the rules for the contest recipes?
- It must be a savory recipe and use oats–not other grains.
- The recipe does not have to be vegan, but preference will be given to vegan or vegan-friendly recipes.
- It must be inherently savory (e.g. herbed pumpkin & leek oatmeal), NOT a sweet-salty blend (e.g. salted plum oatmeal).
- The recipe can be a single serving or a big batch. It can be steel-cut or quick. It can be baked or stovetop. Please no pancake, muffin, or baked goods recipes.
- I recommend looking through my savory recipes to avoid pitching an idea for something I’ve already done.
Happy Sunday, friends!
You can tell by the fact that I’m posting on Sunday that I have a special announcement today.
I love blogging. I do a lot of writing (did you see my published article on Thought Catalog???), but blogging allows me a constant, structured, uncensored outlet for my writing. Seeing my “fanbase” (quotes added because I feel unworthy to call it that) grow steadily throughout my blog’s three and a half years has been such a blessing.
I apologize for the excessive amount of parenthetical comments in that paragraph. Bad writing.
However, I’ve noticed something. You guys don’t comment much. As I peruse other blogs, even ones with fewer followers than mine, I see a slew of comments on each post. Why are my posts not receiving comments? Hmm. . . Being trained in data-driven education, I can infer that people are less likely to comment if they so nobody else is commenting, and they are more likely to comment if they see it’s what everyone else is doing. Perhaps I have not done my part as the blog host to create a culture of commenting.
Why does it matter? Because comments are fun. They give me motivation and push my creativity. The also give me valuable feedback about how my recipes turn out in YOUR kitchens. They also show which recipes you guys are more interested in, and which you couldn’t care less about. This is all valuable data for me.
So here’s the contest.
For every FIVE comments that you post on ANY recipe/post (including the Oatmeal Enthusiast series, Saturday round ups, and Weekend Musings) between TODAY and November 14th at 11:59 PM EST, you will receive one point.
The commenter with the most points will get to be the final Oatmeal Enthusiast of 2015 (the coveted December slot!) . . . even if you’ve already been one!
- Your comments may not be spam in nature. This includes copy-and-pasting identical or near-identical comments on multiple posts. Give me authentic comments, please.
- “Throwaway comments” will not be counted. A throwaway comment is something with minimal meaning, like “Cool!” or “Interesting!” I am looking for engagement. The definition of engage is to “occupy, attract, or involve someone’s interest or attention.” “Cool” is not attracting anyone’s interest. Here are some exemplary comments:
As you can see from the last example, they need not be lengthy, but Cassie was explicitly responding to the conversation within the post.
- All eligible comments (see rules 1 and 2) posted between NOW and Nov. 14th at 11:59 PM EST will be counted. Five eligible comments = 1 point!
- Make sure you post under the same name/account each time, as that is how I will track who is commenting. (Yes, I’m doing this manually–yippee!) Anonymous posts will not be counted. Consider using your last initial if you think it will help with identification.
- Responding to other readers’ comments also counts.
Here are some tips for getting started:
- Obviously, comment on new posts as they come out. Let me know what you think of the recipe idea. However, my favorite comments are your thoughts on the oatmeal after you’ve actually made it. Here’s an example of my favorite kind of comment (although I don’t expect every comment to be of this caliber!):
- Look back at your favorite recipes on the site and leave a note telling me why/how much you like it.
- Leave a comment on a recipe telling how you adapted it to suite your taste/dietary preferences.
- Leave a comment on an Oatmeal Enthusiast post sharing how you can relate to their story.
- Leave a comment on a “Weekend Musings” post sharing additional tips that I may have missed, or anecdotes that relate to mine.
- Leave a comment on a post requesting more of that kind of recipe. For example, I don’t have a lot of recipes with plums. If you love plums, tell me on a plum recipe that you’d like to see more plum recipes in the future!
Ready . . . set . . . COMMENT!
You have until Nov. 14th at 11:59 PM. 🙂
When I started The Oatmeal Artist at the beginning of 2012, cooking was still pretty new to me. I had been cooking “clean” recipes from scratch for about a year, but my palette was still a baby. You can see that by the tame recipes I created: Chocolate Banana, Thin Mints, Blueberry Muffin, etc.
One of my favorite parts of learning to cook was my introduction to herbs. I thought I didn’t like them, but that’s because I had only had dried herbs in a jar. Once you experience the earthy, flavorful hit of a fresh herb, there’s no going back. (more…)
Do you ever browse the blog and become frustrated because you don’t have a certain ingredient? Do you find yourself making substitutions frequently because you don’t have the right ingredients?
Here is a handy-dandy list of pantry staples that I recommend having that would allow you to make the majority of my recipes. For some, I provided brands that I recommend. If I did not list a particular brand, it means I have not found significant differences among the brands.
The Essentials: 80% of my recipes revolve around these items!
- Vanilla extract (McCormick, bulk size!)
- Ground cinnamon (McCormick, bulk size!)
- Cocoa powder
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
Perhaps you are hosting guests this weekend for Easter, or you simply want to impress friends or family for brunch some weekend. Now is your chance to prove that oatmeal is not just for winter!Most of the recipes below make a single serving. However, it’s easy to make them as larger servings. To make any recipe as steel cut oatmeal, for example, use four cups liquid and one cup steel cut oats (makes four servings). For the mix-ins, just triple everything. (Your instinct may be to quadruple everything, but I have found that is excessive for some reason. For example, if I use one banana in a single serving, I usually use 2 or 3 bananas–not 4–in a steel cut recipe for four servings.)
Here are 10 spring-themed recipes that would impress a crowd:
Instead of morning glory muffins, how about this oatmeal? It’s a pleasing, springy combo of shredded carrot, zucchini, and apple. Num! (more…)
It’s my birthday month, everyone!! Hooray for February. Recently I was browsing #oatmealartist photos on Instagram, and I came across some bright, lovely aerial shots from a user that I had not seen before. I was instantly in love with her shots and couldn’t wait to ask her if she’d be February’s Enthusiast!
Hello, everyone—from oatmeal lovers to those who have yet to see the light!
I’m Queena, hailing all the way from the Philippines, who is in love with music, art (I wouldn’t call myself artistic though—I’m more of a viewer) and literature. With just one semester left, I’m about to graduate with a degree in secondary education, majoring in special education. After a year of work experience, I’ll be entering law school. I know my bachelor’s degree doesn’t really match with being a lawyer, but to be one has always been a dream, yet I wanted to spend college dealing with kids and people in general, to do something that would help me get out of my shell before I bury myself in thick, massive books on constitution. Basically, I just wanted to make the most out of everything. And I guess that’s already a sneak peek into the kind of person I am.
I have to admit, I wasn’t very athletic in the past. I didn’t care about physical activity except for the good ol’ games Filipino children typically played on the streets. Later on, in high school, I stopped playing with neighbors; I focused on academics and reading for pleasure. It was also during this time that I discovered all sorts of stereotypes through the Internet, and from this, I learned that I was, for all a label’s worth, an introvert. I lived up to that since I enjoyed the quiet and being on my own anyway, but I still belonged in a circle of friends, except that when I got in university, it was literally a whole new world. I saw all kinds of people there, and that was when I became too self-conscious, constantly thinking that I’ll never be as attractive as that girl across the cafeteria, and wondering when I, too, will have someone walk me to class and make after-school plans with me. Along with the heavy academic load came the realization of all my flaws, particularly how I have always been a chubby girl. I then remembered all the times I was teased about my baby fats and my round cheeks—I guess I just didn’t care at the time—and without even any preparation or notice, I started to go on a diet. What type, you ask? Starvation diet.
To read more about Queena’s struggle with an ED, click here (TRIGGER WARNING).
Then leading to the last quarter of 2014, through Pinterest, I was introduced to Lauren’s blog. I was amazed. I didn’t know that you could do all this stuff to the oats I only used to drench in water! At first, I kept it to myself, without taking it to Instagram (@queenamarticio), even though I ate a different, beautiful bowl every single morning (and sometimes even for dinner!). I think it was because I did not want to tamper my identity as a foodie, deceived by the thought that being one meant trying out every restaurant in the city. But then, December came and so did the the traditional Misa de Gallo that transpired on the nine days before Christmas, and I “monitored” my attendance by posting a photo of a different oatmeal recipe everyday. To my surprise, friends whom I feared would criticize me for being obsessed with healthy eating actually said that they would love to have breakfast with me! (My niece once slept over just so I could make oatcakes for her.) I also recently became fond of yoga, and it was beautiful. I learned to listen to my body, and I got back to healthy eating. On the 23rd of December, I took it up a notch by going vegetarian (lacto – ovo), inspired, of course, by the likes of Lauren and other people over the Internet as well as a couple of people I recently made friends with, which made me believe it was possible in a country like ours. What I like about it, as opposed to all the other restrictive diets I tried (i.e., 3-day military diet, 7-day fruit, veggie, chicken and turkey diet, juicing, etc.) was that I could still eat food I liked such as pasta and fancy desserts sans the carb coma and sugar rush.
On the first day of the new year, seriously, I woke up feeling good in my own skin, which I haven’t done in a long time, and I attribute it to the lifestyle I have chosen, among others. So far, so good. Although my family is not 100% okay with vegetarianism because aside from the fact that the Philippines is not exactly a haven for people like me (excluding a few select specialty places that I love, which include vegetarian / vegan restaurants and a really accessible grocery), they think it’s my way of going back to my underweight self. Also, I read an article on the science of simplicity, explaining why successful people such as Steve Jobs didn’t spend that much time with supposedly simple decisions like what to wear and eat. But I am glad about my choices, and honestly, I have learned in this crazy and long process of finding myself that it doesn’t matter what other people say about you, as long as you’re happy. Good thing my mom and my grandmother would choose that over my self-starvation in the past, so yes, I cling to them for support. With that, here’s my week of oats for you! Everything’s from Lauren’s blog since I intend to try everything I can from there before I start experimenting on my own. It’s a long way to go, what with her gazillion ideas, but so what? Each and every bowl is always wonderfully delicious.
Day 1: Tropical Oatmeal
Living in a tropical country has its perks—we are famous for our sweet mangoes! I used to prefer Lauren’s dessert-like oatmeals, but now they’re in a tie with all the others just like this refreshing bowl! Every time it says coconut milk in the recipe, I use coconut water. I’ll probably get my hands on coconut flakes right after I finish this pack of desiccated coconut.