healthy eating

Maine, from scratch

Slow mornings like this are the ones I cherish the most. I’m enjoying a homemade latte (from my $10 espresso machine purchased at Goodwill), watching my tulips slowly pop up out of the ground and reveal their beautiful colors, all while cooking up a batch of steel cut oats for breakfast while the hubby and kids are still in dreamland. I’m living the dream. Or at least my dream.

And I’ll teach you how to live the dream, too. Together we’re going to make some delicious and incredibly healthy food, most entirely from scratch. You’ll learn personal finance 101 and a thing or two about some advanced finance topics. We might tackle a DIY project here and there to spruce up the digs a bit. Like my current project of painting old sconces and shelves I got for a few bucks at an antique shop. Or maybe we’ll hop in the car and go on the road with the kids and hubby, cooler full of homemade snacks in hand, for a weekend adventure.

The hubby and I have built this life from scratch after leaving our stressful corporate jobs and the idyll of Northern California. We packed up our Subaru, because what else do you drive in Maine, and headed East until we almost couldn’t go any further. Two kids and nearly five years later, we’re living on the coast of Maine trying to build a more sustainable, less stressful life. It hasn’t all gone seamlessly. We veer from our plan from time to time and have to pull ourselves back on course. But it’s a great adventure and learning experience and we want to share it with you.

To start us off, here’s a staple recipe in our house for steel cut oats. A cheap, easy and delicious breakfast the whole family enjoys. Feel free to sub in whatever fruit or nuts you have on hand. We always use organic ingredients and local, when available.

Steel Cut Oats

Serves: 4


3/4 cup steel cut oats
3 cups water
Pinch of salt
1 TBSP coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen, and preferably from Maine
Walnuts, handful (or almonds or pecans or your favorite nut)
Unsweetened shredded coconut
Banana, sliced

Bring water and a pinch of salt to a boil in a medium sized pan. Add steel cut oats and boil over medium heat for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. If using frozen blueberries, add them now and simmer for 1 to 2 more minutes. Stir in coconut oil, vanilla, almond extract and cinnamon.

Spoon into bowls. Top with blueberries (if using fresh), walnuts, shredded coconut, banana and a dollop of yogurt. Left overs can be stored in the fridge and reheated the next morning. They will keep for about 4 days.

* We use whole milk greek yogurt from Milkhouse here in Maine – this stuff is creamy and delicious! Use your favorite yogurt but whole milk is preferable.