This week, my blog post is coming a bit late. Yesterday, I got the opportunity to spend time with my boo, and so I did that instead of writing. However, I did complete all my tasks for my weekly meal planning and I’m ready to tell you all about it! (Soup, Bread, Bars, Crisp)

Don’t mind all the food stains. It was late at night.

The soup came out marvelously. It was really key to process the garlic and onion together with water. Just be careful though, because I ended up bombing my entire apartment with the smell of garlic. My hair stank of garlic the entire day. I didn’t realize until later, when I wasn’t at home, how much my hair smelled like garlic. Kind of gross. Next time, I’ll make sure not to put the processed mixture into the boiling water. I think it would be better to put it in with the other vegetables so that the mixture doesn’t heat up too fast. Or maybe I’m totally wrong and there’s just no way to escape all the garlic smell.

It tasted amazing though. Where I work I have access to free produce that isn’t pretty enough to sell. So, I added in some fancy mushrooms and three different kinds of potatoes. I found the oats added a nice texture and heartiness to the soup that would otherwise not be present. It’s such an easy soup to put together, I’ll just remember in the future that I can give a soup a “stew-feeling” by using a cup of oats.

The honey oat bread did not come out perfect at all. Here’s why: I tried doing too many things too late at night, too stoned. Sunday night, I decided to make the bread, but then I also decided to make oat bars and an apple and pomegranate oat crisp. While those two came out wonderfully, I think I over-proofed my bread dough. Either that, or my kneading wasn’t right. It was my first time making bread, really.

The flavor of the bread was good, and the texture came out pleasant and moist, but it just came out way too dense. I used a whole wheat flour too, which may not have helped. If anything, I’ve learned that, for now, when I’m making bread, I should just stick to that one activity. I was juggling too many baking times and probably got it screwed up as it was like midnight and I’m usually in bed by 10pm. One thing I do know is that I plan to keep trying to make bread. In the future, I want to focus on making some really fluffy bread. I don’t like dense bread.

As for the oat bars, I haven’t tried them yet. I’m planning on eating them with yogurt for breakfast before work this week. I have four bars and four-day work week, so, yas! Antwanzhan√© tried them today and he said they tasted good, but were a little plain and would go well with yogurt. So, wish me luck! What I liked about this recipe is that it was quite easy and seemed flexible to change around the flavor of it. It didn’t take very long at all and this particular recipe made 8 solid bars. I took wax paper and wrapped each one, using some stickers I had on hand to secure them. That reminds me, I need parchment paper, foil, AND plastic wrap! I was busy this weekend! I’ll report back and update on whether or not they are the kind of oat bars that I’d like to keep in my regular rotation or not.

Finally, let’s talk about the Apple & Pomegranate Oat Crisp I made for this week’s deserts. There’s really not much to say, other than it was about as easy as making a crisp can be. At first, I thought the ratio of fruit to crisp was off, but, after tasting it, I think the combination was perfect. Having the oat in the crisp makes it rather textured and a little tough, so the extra fruit helped balance it out. I thought it was delicious.

I was a little worried I’d not like the pomegranate seeds in the desert. And, for the most part, I couldn’t tell when I was eating one. I did find one seed that was not really chewable. I think maybe next time, I’d use the fresh pomegranate juice, but maybe leave the seeds for something else, or someone who enjoys them more than I. Once again, the apples and pomegranates I was able to get for free because of my awesome work situation as a cook. It helps that I’m planning my meals around the produce I know will be at the store, in season for sale.

Okay, that’s it! Next week, I’m doing an Oat Risotto and “Grilled” Portobello Mushroom steaks! Yum! I may even find another Oat dessert. More to come. Please share with me your own experiences, support, feedback, and wisdom! So far, this meal planning thing is making my life pretty darn good!