Steel Cut Brûlée Oats

Steel Cut Brulee Oatmeal (via abeautifulmess.com) I am on a mission. That mission is to find ways to use my brûlée torch in many different meals. I think it can be so much more than a dessert tool. My brûlée torch is destined for great things—I've just got to facilitate the opportunities. First up, let's tackle breakfast.

Steel Cut Brulee Oatmeal (via abeautifulmess.com)  If you're not already a fan of steel cut oats, then this recipe might just convert you. We'll be adding a secret ingredient that makes the oats SO creamy and then the brûléed top just hits it out of the park for me. It's dessert breakfast. Which is totally a thing, I swear!

Best method for cooking steel cut oatsSteel Cut Brûlée Oats, serves 2-3.

1/2 cup steel cut oats
1 cup whole milk
1 cup water
2 oz. cream cheese (the secret ingredient!)
2 tablespoons brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup
3-4 tablespoons granulated sugar (for the tops)

This recipe takes about 25-30 minutes from start to finish. If you feel that's too long to fit into your morning routine, I hear you! One awesome thing about steel cut oats is you can easily make a double batch and refrigerate to use throughout the week (just rewarm in the oven or microwave). It holds up and doesn't go to mush like traditional oatmeal sometimes does when saved for too long. 

How to cook steel cut oatsIn a small/medium size pot, bring the milk and water to a boil. Add the oats and stir for one minute. Then turn the heat down to a simmer and allow to cook for 20-25 minutes. I'll give it a stir every few minutes to avoid any oats getting stuck to the bottom of the pan, but you don't have to baby it quite as much as, say, risotto. 

During the last 2-3 minutes of cooking (when it looks like most of the moisture has absorbed into the oats), add the cream cheese and your sweetener of choice. Taste and add more sweetener if you like.

Steel Cut Brulee Oatmeal (via abeautifulmess.com)Place in a small bowl and use a spoon to get the surface as even as possible. Then top with granulated sugar (or super fine/baker's sugar works well too if you have some on hand). Torch until the top begins to caramelize. Serve warm with fresh fruit. Yay for dessert breakfast! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Scrapbook Sunday: Keepin' It Simple

Scrapbook SundayHi, friends! Happy Sunday. Today I'm here to share some super simple scrapbook pages with you. I made these three pages in an hour (or two?) one afternoon last week. I've probably said this before, but my favorite way to scrapbook is current and FAST. It's so much easier to scrapbook things that just happened. So even though I am trying to catch up on past, years I am prioritizing THIS year at the top so that I can stay caught up from here on out. 

Here are three simple pages I made. They all involve full page photos and stamping. 

Scrapbook Sunday My friend Kelly Purkey just sent me a bunch of stamps that she designed. That's mostly what I am using today along with Staz On ink and my own inks, which you can get in our shop. Staz On ink is what I always use if I am stamping on a photo or other weird surface (leather, plastic, metal etc). 

Scrapbook Sunday  For this page all I did was use one stamp all the way down the edge of the photo. I love big, simple pages like this. 

Scrapbook Sunday    Yes, please! 

Scrapbook Sunday   Scrapbook Sunday     Coffee needed. :) 

Scrapbook Sunday      Scrapbook Sunday      Next up I did some letter stamping and then filled the letters in with colored markers. I love the finished look. And you see how the stamping isn't perfect? Even better. 

Scrapbook Sunday         Here's the finished page. Gotta print ALL our selfies REAL big since we only get a few on every vacation. :D 

Scrapbook Sunday          This is a sneak peek of a new product coming soon for the Messy Book. Clear printed page dividers. I can't wait to show you the rest! They'll be out in a few weeks—don't tell anyone I showed you, k? ;)

Scrapbook Sunday            At the moment, the best part of scrapbooking to me is putting my new pages into the album and seeing them add up over the weeks and months. I'm so excited to be back in this habit! 

Chit chat with me in the comments, OK? Happy Sunday! xx. Elsie 

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions.

A Few Favorites

Great cookbooks to check outAs you could probably guess, I am completely obsessed with cookbooks. I love reading them. I love cooking from them. And I LOVE geeking out over the food photography. Just for fun I thought I'd share a few new (or new to me) cookbooks I'm into right now.

1. The Forest Feast was a book that was gifted to me by my mother for my birthday a few months ago. The photography and food styling is stunning, the book design features lots of hand-painted and just pretty touches, and it's a vegetarian cookbook. So basically my mom totally nailed it—I love everything about this book!

2. When I saw Prune on the shelf at Barnes & Noble a couple weeks I go, I got so excited! I loved Gabrielle Hamilton's (sort of) biography, Blood, Bones, and Butter, and I've wanted to check out her New York restaurant (Prune) ever since. I haven't been able to make it there yet, but at least I have the cookbook. And I must say, the dark pink cover and overall design and, frankly, heft of this book seems fitting for a chef who I think is probably equally intimidating and cool. Can you tell I'm a big fan of Hamilton? I am SO excited to cook some of her recipes soon.

3. If you enjoy step-by-step detailed guides, then you'll love Baking by James Peterson. A very useful resource for anyone looking to take their baked goods game to the next level.

Food photography4. I love the concept behind The Soup Club Cookbook. It's sort of a unique approach to writing a cookbook in that it is authored by four friends who teach how to start a successful soup club (raise your hand if you'll start a soup club with me?!?!), and it has over 150 recipes they've created together from their soup club. Fun, right?

5. Afro-Vegan mixes African, Caribbean, and southern American flavors together to create some really unique (and vegan!) dishes. It's got a lot going on, so if you like truly unique recipes, you'll love this book.

6. A good friend sent me a couple books last month. Asian Pickles is one of the books she sent me and I loved it immediately. It's a little bit quirky and filled with pretty photography and inventive flavors.

7. Although this is not technically a cookbook, I guess I'm still putting Skin Cleanse on the list because it's a new book I recently picked up and have been enjoying so far. I would put my skin on the "OK but probably could be healthier" spectrum of things. I don't have plaguing problems outside of some dryness in the winter, but I think a reminder that what we put into our bodies manifests itself through out skin and health in general is a good thing. I mean, I can always use a friendly reminder to make healthy choices. But that's just me. 

If you have any cookbooks (or other books) you'd like to recommend and share with us, please leave me a comment. And happy Saturday everyone! If you need me, I'll be in my kitchen trying to pretend I'm Gabrielle Hamilton. xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

Baked Seafood Dip

Baked Seafood Dip (via abeautifulmess.com)When I show up to a party, I head straight for the snack table. Oh yes, I'm that girl. Give me all your dips and cheese plates! 

Baked Seafood Dip (via abeautifulmess.com) So, of course, I'm always looking for new dips, appetizers and party snacks that I enjoy and can throw together for future parties of my own. But the thing about serving food is you really need to "test" out the recipes first, possibly multiple times. It's hard work, but someone's got to do it (she said with a mouth full of dip and celery). 

Baked Seafood Dip (via abeautifulmess.com)   Baked Seafood Dip, serves 6-8 as an appetizer.

8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste*
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 oz. canned tiny shrimp, drained
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

*Don't be a afraid of the anchovy paste! It's actually really good as an accompaniment to a cheese plate or to make your own Caesar dressing (among other things).

Baked Seafood Dip (via abeautifulmess.com)     In a mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, mayo, anchovy paste, garlic, seasoning and parsley until well combined. Then stir in the tiny shrimp and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese. The anchovy paste and Parmesan cheese are already quite salty so you really don't need to add much, if any, additional salt. 

Scoop into a small baking dish or oven safe bowl. Top with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes until the cheese begins to look golden brown on the edges. Serve hot with crackers and fresh veggies.

Make easy crackers from store bought pie crustYou might recognize those little lobster crackers if you remember when I shared a lobster mac and cheese recipe a couple years ago. I used my lobster cookie cutter to cut out store bought pie crust that I topped with a little Old Bay seasoning and baked until crispy. Ta da! Homemade lobster crackers to go with the seafood dip. :)

Baked Seafood Dip (via abeautifulmess.com)  I think I'm gonna need to host a party soon. Maybe I'll make this AND my jalapeño popper dip. Dip party! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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