Toast – The Tastiest Bite

I’m a sucker for personality tests. I find it comforting that seemingly personal quirks and internal motivations can be sorted and classified. When my husband sent me the 16 Personality test, I took the free test almost immediately. The results showed my personality type as more extroverted and organized than I often feel. Wanting to learn more, I signed up for the weekly e-newsletter which discusses challenges and opportunities for growth. Today’s topic was organization. I thought about this as I opened the fridge and pulled out the soft, white sandwich bread.

Consuls (my type from the test) are highly organized. I put the thick slice of bread into the toaster and grabbed the cold jar of natural, no stir creamy peanut butter. The toast was dark brown and smelled as toast should; nutty and reminiscent of the lazy mornings of childhood. I spread the peanut butter on thick. This can be helpful but also leads to a hard time just “being”. It’s challenging for me to slow down long enough to enjoy the very act of living. Next, I slipped the speckled skin off the ripe banana and sliced it into coins. After nestling the slices into neat rows, I grabbed the jar of honey and roughly squeezed the little bear so that honey lay in thick puddles on top of the bananas. Lastly, I sprinkled coarse salt lovingly over top and grabbed a fork.

It’s a good reminder that checking off a to-do list is not what makes for a happy life. I cut a small square of toast and speared it with my fork. The toast shattered happily in my mouth and I tasted the perfect balance of my simple breakfast. The checklist can wait until later.

Did you take the personality test? Do you have a trait that can be both challenging and helpful?

Apple Oatmeal – Day 2 Tastiest Bite

Oatmeal has a special place in my heart. I find it tastes best when made slowly on the stove top, preferably stirred gently with a wooden spoon. I conjure the spirit of Laura Ingalls Wilder as I divide the thickened oats into bowls. I’ve tried desperately to bring my love of oatmeal to my children. One will tolerate oatmeal if offered twice a year. Any more often and it is flatly refused.

I thought we were having a break through a couple of years ago when the littlest was in preschool. His class made the cutest of cookbooks for Mother’s Day. One morning, Kai brought me the cookbook and asked to make the recipe from his friend for oatmeal with apples in it. Elated, I grabbed the pot and we poured in the old-fashioned oats, water and salt. Kai stood on a stool and stirred the oatmeal. I added the chopped apple, spoonful of sugar and dash of cinnamon. We covered the pot and waited expectantly for the apples to soften and become infused with the spices. I spooned the apple oatmeal into each bowl and added a stream of cold milk. The oatmeal was eaten with pride and enjoyment.

I have tried a couple of times to replicate this experience, yet somehow it doesn’t live up to the memory of the first time. Kai will halfheartedly eat a few bites and leave the rest for me to eat the next morning. Yesterday, I bypassed the stove and went straight for the instant Nature Path Apple Spice Oatmeal and was pleasantly surprised by the creamy texture and hint of spice. It was slightly sweet and the apples were minced and dried, which created the illusion of apple flavor without having to bite into chewy chunks that are often a part of packaged mixes. Maybe, tomorrow I’ll make two bowls instead of one.

How do you eat your oatmeal?

Stove top Apple Oatmeal

Serves 2

This recipe is adapted from the cookbook “Good and Cheap” which I highly recommend. I threw in a peeled and diced apple and used water for the liquid instead of apple juice.


  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Mix all ingredients in a small pot on the stove. Stir occasionally. Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to low. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Spoon into bowls and top with milk if desired.

Berry Smoothie & Freezer Packs

Feeding children three meals, plus snacks, seven days a week for the last 10 years has taught me many forms of patience and humbleness. I honestly thought that all I had to do was offer my children food and then they would eat it. HA! In reality, it is a much more complex situation; with many moving parts and ups and downs.


Smoothies are one of the foods that bridge the gap between what I want them to eat and what they want to eat. I used to make smoothies in the morning, but now it has become our afternoon snack. The boys come home from school hungry, thirsty and wanting something sweet. This smoothie is like a daily fruit milkshake. Everyone wins!


In the past, I often used what ingredients I had on hand to make smoothies. I thought I could throw whatever fresh fruit I had in the fridge or skip the orange juice if I didn’t have it. Silly me! My kids truly only like this one combination. Smoothies with peaches or kale just aren’t enjoyed the same way. The banana? Non-negotiable it seems. So, I have settled on this combination and stick to it religiously.


My boys want a snack 0.2 seconds after we walk through the door after school. Though blending a few ingredients is super easy, I find that prepping the smoothie bags weekly is helpful in easing the afternoon rush.

What about you? What is your quick, kid friendly, go-to food?

Berry Smoothie

I know it may seem silly to use three different liquids but I truly do think this works best. Using water as the majority of the liquid keeps the berry taste bright. Milk helps mellow the yogurt but too much would make it taste like berry milk. Orange juice helps round out the flavor profile and helps disguise the spinach successfully. Also, I know that the banana would freeze well but fresh and at room temperature is more successful in getting a creamier texture in my opinion.


  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup blueberries, frozen
  • 4 strawberries, frozen
  • 1 banana, at room temperature and broken into chunks
  • small handful of baby spinach
  • Pinch of flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons of orange juice
  • 1/2 cup cold water plus more if needed


In blender container combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Add additional cold water to thin the smoothie if it is too thick. Add extra frozen fruit if the smoothie is too thin. I like ours to be thin enough to drink easily through a straw but thicker than juice. Pour into large glass (16-18 oz) and serve with a straw.

Pro tip: These smoothies freeze well as popsicles!

Frozen Smoothie Packs:

Each smoothie pack includes the ingredients for one smoothie: blueberries, strawberries, spinach and flax. Store in freezer.