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Autumn

Autumn, Breakfast, Dessert, Food & Drink, Seasonal

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Breakfast Cookie Cups

Oatmeal Chocolate Breakfast Cookie Cups - Oh Honey by Kayleigh KosmasI’m not a natural breakfast eater. I think it’s because I’m not a morning person, and I’d rather sleep an extra 15 minutes than spend that time eating. So in order for me to actually eat breakfast, my breakfast food has to 1. Be made in advance; and 2. Be tasty enough that it’s worth making time for. I’m happy to say these healthy (vegan and refined sugar-free!) and versatile (fill them with whatever you like!) oatmeal chocolate chip cookie cups tick both those requirements. Before I get to the recipe, though, some life updates!

In case you missed my Insta-announcement, I’m having a baby!!! I’m officially going to be a mama next February, and I’m pretty darn excited. I’m not someone who always knew they wanted to raise kids. I’ve been back and forth and on the fence, and at times I’ve really felt content with a husband and super cool cat. But now that my little one is on the way, having a kiddo feels like it’s absolutely the right choice and four months into my pregnancy, I can’t imagine not doing this right now!

When I found out I was pregnant, I naively thought, “This is great! Ponny and I will have one last summer, just the two of us, before we’re parents.” I imagined happy hours, impromptu trips to the coast and lots of hiking. About five minutes after having that thought, morning sickness hit and is just letting up now. I thought morning sickness was a trivial pregnancy rite of passage that wouldn’t interfere much with daily life and I think that’s because of its cutesy name. After nearly four months of mostly round the clock “morning” sickness all I can say is this: it really needs to be called what it is. All. Day. Nausea. And vomiting! It kept me from leaving the house, from socializing, from eating, let alone blogging about yummy summer foods. That’s why it’s been so quiet here this summer.

Oatmeal Chocolate Breakfast Cookie Cups - Oh Honey by Kayleigh KosmasBut I’m starting to feel a little more like my old self again, and I think it’s time to dust off the blog. Now that I can eat more than saltines, my biggest priority is eating lots of filling, nutrient packed foods, but without compromising on flavor. If the healthy food I’m eating also tastes good, the chances of me breaking down and eating a tub of ice cream are lower, know what I mean?

So in the coming months, expect some tasty, healthy(ish) recipes along with some make-ahead meals. I’ll want to have some of those under my belt in preparation for baby’s arrival! I have some mama- and baby-friendly DIYs I hope to get to soon, too.

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Autumn, DIY, Home, Lifestyle, Seasonal, Winter

Festive Laurel Wreath, in Green or Gold

Festive Laurel Wreath, in Green or Gold by Kayleigh Kosmas

Happy November everyone! It’s hard to believe we’re already halfway through autumn, and the month of Thanksgiving (and Gilmore Girls!) is upon us. Before you know it, it will be Christmas which I can’t wait for, because it means P will have two weeks off of work and my sister will be home from college. December also happens to be Bisou’s birthday month! Needless to say, I’m very much looking forward to the next several weeks. For now though, I’m still making the most of fall – even if it is an extra gray and rainy one in Portland – before all the leaves fall and it’s too cold out to go on strolls around the neighborhood. Speaking of leaves, how about this laurel wreath? The leaves aren’t technically from a laurel bush, but once they’re layered into wreath form, they look pretty darn festive anyway. Don’t you love how the wreath looks like it’s magically floating on the front door!?

Festive Laurel Wreath, in Green or Gold by Kayleigh Kosmas

I’m not usually one for seasonal decorating; I think it’s because I don’t like the idea of storing a bunch of objects that only see the light of day a month or two out of the year. I’m happy to make an exception for this wreath though, since it’s seasonally appropriate for fall and winter, and afterwards I don’t have to worry about finding a place to store it. All you need to make your own wreath is a bit of floral wire, hot glue, fishing line and any thick, glossy leaves you can find. I couldn’t decide whether to make a natural green wreath or a fancy gold one so I tried it both ways, and I still can’t choose a favorite. Either way, hanging a laurel wreath on your front door or somewhere in the house adds some natural looking autumnal vibes and holiday cheer, depending on the month. It complements our pumpkins now, and I really hope we get some snowfall this winter so I get to see it in the snow, too. Read on for the tutorial, and a look at Bisou wondering what the heck I was doing standing outside. Continue Reading

Autumn, Beverages, Food & Drink, Seasonal, Winter

Maple Cider Tea Hot Toddy

Crafts and a Cat | Maple Cider Tea Hot Toddy with Stash Tea by Kayleigh Kosmas

Despite growing up in the cold, damp Pacific Northwest and spending a few years in the Midwest for college, I’ve never gotten used to the cold that hits every year around this time. While other people are leaving the house in light sweaters, I’m in triple layers with a scarf and wool socks and I’m still shivering. We’re spending our first cold season in our new place, which happens to be older and thus full of drafts, and now I can’t seem to stay warm inside, either. So what to do all winter long, when it’s so cold you can’t get cozy no matter how many chunky knits you’ve piled on? You warm yourself from the inside out, my friends. I’m convinced that nothing will thaw a freezing person more efficiently than imbibing a steaming mug of seasonal spice with a splash of liquor. You might be already be familiar with this drink’s official name: the hot toddy.

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Traditionally made with hot water, lemon, honey and spices mixed with some of that liquor I mentioned before, the hot toddy is a drink made for chilly, rainy days. It will even help you nurse a cold; when you’re under the weather, what could be more soothing than warm liquids, honey and, of course, that bit of alcohol to dull your aches and pains? This hot toddy is a seasonal twist on the original recipe thanks to my current favorite Stash tea, maple apple cider. Substituting tea for plain old hot water gives a hot toddy loads more flavor – in this case, apple, cinnamon, caramel, maple and a hint of hibiscus – so I highly recommend this particular blend. Stash has been a family favorite for as long as I can remember. When I was very young I’d spend holidays at my grandma’s house sorting her vast assortment of Stash teas by color, and when I was old enough to appreciate the tea for its flavor I’d regularly deplete my mom’s Stash reserves of everything minty. With the holidays approaching I’m looking forward to serving this hot toddy to my family and making more memories to reflect on whenever I sip my morning Stash. Read on for the recipe!
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Autumn, Cats, Seasonal

Mini Kitty Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Holes (Yes, For Your Cat!)

Mini Kitty Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Holes (Yes, For Your Cat!) with Bisou the Cat by Kayleigh Kosmas
Sometimes I envy Bisou. When the alarm goes off at 6 a.m. and it’s time for P and me to wake up and face all the meetings, deadlines and responsibilities adult life brings, my jealously shows. Bisou rises and shines for a quick breakfast and then, because she can, she goes to sleep for as many hours as she pleases. It’s not just about sleep though. Someone makes dinner for her every night and does the dishes. She wakes up looking more gorgeous than I do after getting ready for 40 minutes, with perfect eyeliner and everything. She never has a bad hair day! Of course, being a human has its advantages too, I remind myself. I get to see the world beyond the front door, socialize with other members of my species and enjoy the little things in life that Bisou isn’t able to appreciate. Seasonal eating used to be on the that list of little things. But a while back I started to wonder if Bisou is ever envious of me. She rarely tries to take food off my plate, but she does like to sniff what I’m eating. She eats the same meals day after day, so it would be understandable if she wanted a little variety. Why should people be the only ones to enjoy fresh fruit in the summer, or pumpkins in the fall?

I made Bisou these tiny, cat-friendly doughnut holes so she can get in on the fall pumpkin frenzy we humans are enjoying. I was only able to get a couple pictures of her sitting patiently by her plate of doughnuts before she chowed down on them in a rather unladylike and not very photogenic way, so I think it’s safe to say she’s just as crazy about pumpkin spice as the rest of us. So let’s talk about these doughnuts. The “dough” is a mix of homemade pumpkin purée, chicken and potato starch (a grain-free flour substitute).  Instead of the cinnamon and nutmeg you’d find in pumpkin spice doughnuts for people, these are “spiced” with fresh catnip. They’re shaped into a scaled down, doughnut hole shape, rolled in more catnip instead of powdered sugar, and gently baked at a low temperature just until they hold together. Hit the “read more” button for the recipe!

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Autumn, Breakfast, Food & Drink, Lifestyle, Seasonal

Apple, Cinnamon and Pecan Baked Oatmeal

Crafts and a Cat | Mountain Rose Apple Baked Oatmeal by Kayleigh Kosmas

Earlier this year P and I took a trip to the Oregon desert. Neither of us had ever been out to central Oregon and as we drove east, we were blown away to see a landscape unfolding before us that was a total contrast to the evergreen forests of the northwestern part of the state. Central Oregon was beautiful – if you can make it to the Painted Hills, it’s like stepping into another bizarre, breathtaking dimension – but for a homebody like me, the best part of traveling is heading back home. Do you ever get that feeling when you’re nearing home after a trip, a mix of comfort and something like nostalgia? That feeling began to sink in when the pale flats of the desert began to turn back to hills of lush greens around Hood River, a small town known for its many breweries, not far from Mt. Hood. The many rolling orchards in the region were barren in early spring but promised to be beautiful when flush with fruit, so we vowed to go back in the fall.

Last weekend we made good on that promise and drove out to Mt. Hood at the peak of apple picking season. We came home with boxes full of heirloom apples and Asian pears I’d never seen before, including the Mt. Rose apples I used in this baked oatmeal. They are, without question, my favorite of all those we brought home; they have a light green peel with a stunning bright pink flesh I didn’t know existed in nature. Could an apple be any more gorgeous? Most importantly (since not even apples can get by on looks alone!), they are super crisp and have a lovely sweet-tart flavor that was nice and fruity even when baked. Baked oatmeal is a perfect make-ahead breakfast if you’re like me and have trouble making time for breakfast on busy weekday mornings. I made it Sunday and it’s come in handy this particularly hectic week (a roof replacement + getting Bisou out of the house before the roofers start work + also getting P to work on time + sharing one car = eeeeuuuuggghh!), but it would also make a cozy and not-too-messy breakfast in bed on a weekend.

Apple Picking & Mt. Rose Apple, Cinnamon and Pecan Baked Oatmeal | Crafts and a Cat

This baked oatmeal is decidedly non-fussy; everything is mixed together in one big bowl before going into the oven, so you get a satisfying breakfast without creating a whole day’s worth of clean up in the kitchen. It’s sweetened with a combination of brown sugar and honey, so it’s just sweet enough without being sugary. An egg gently binds it all together, while a splash of a milk of your choice makes it moist and chewy. It’s tasty right out of the oven but I’ve also been eating it cold throughout the week and can say that either way, it’s hearty, flavorful and satisfies the butter and sugar cravings I get when the weather turns cold without being too unhealthy. It’s hard to go wrong with apples, cinnamon and roasted pecan bits, but you could switch up those flavors with whatever fruit and nuts you have on hand and I’m betting it will turn out just as tasty. Read on for the recipe!

Crafts and a Cat | Mountain Rose Apples by Kayleigh Kosmas

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