The Brown Shed


oatmeal overnight |

Steel Cut Oatmeal (overnight)

- one small pat of butter

- one cup of steel cut oats

- four cups water

In a medium saucepan, heat butter on medium-high heat.  Once butter is melted, add the oats.  Stir and heat oats until toasted and fragrant.  Add water and turn heat to high.  Bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat.  Leave on stovetop overnight.  

In the morning, remove the lid and heat on low, stirring occasionally until heated through.

Serve with your favorite add-ins.  

butter * cream * brown sugar * berries * nuts * honey * fruit

I love to serve this when we have houseguests.  It's easy to get everything ready the night before so you can spend less time in the kitchen, and more time with the ones you love.

For a delicious and simple breakfast, I will also serve a warm Kringle (thanks Trader Joe's) and a big bowl of fruit or a platter of sliced melons.  Pulling the Kringle from the freezer, cutting the fruit and getting the coffee ready to brew the night before makes everything come together quickly and easily in the morning. 

Sugar Cookies | Valentine's Day

I have used this sugar cookie recipe for years.  I am not even sure where or who I got it from.  It makes a nice soft cookie.  If you're looking to make a cut-out cookie with a lot of detail... this is not the one.  I use a different sugar cookie recipe at Christmas, but for hearts this works great.

This recipe makes a big batch... perfect for sharing.


1 cup crisco - 2 cups sugar

Cream shortening and sugar together.  (I use my KitchenAid with beater attachment.)

3 eggs - 1 cup milk ( I use whole) - 1 teaspoon vanilla

Add eggs, milk and vanilla.  Beat until combined.

4 tsps baking powder - 2 tsps baking soda - 1/2 tsp salt - 7 cups flour

In separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, then add to the wet ingredients a cup at a time until all is incorporated.

Lay out plastic wrap, and scrape out dough onto wrap.  Flatten out and cover completely, and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes prior to rolling.

Flour your surface, roll out thick (about 1/4) and cut with heart shape cutter.

Bake at 375 for 5-8 minutes.  Do not let brown.

I cool my cookies on a rack until time to frost.

Since I usually make these cookies for sharing, or giving to a class, I want my frosting to harden.  I simply use powdered sugar (I like to sift mine), add milk and a small amount of vanilla until desired consistency.  Add in your color.

I rarely use shortening in a cookie recipe, but as I have ventured out and tried many, many, many sugar cookie recipes... I always come back to this one for my heart cookies.

I hope you try it.  I think you'll like it.


Personalized Pillow Cases (revisited)

I am always on the look out for a good gift idea, and I especially like the handmade variety.  A while back I shared a tutorial for some personalized pillow cases I made for the boys in our family.

I thought they turned out so cute that I made a girl version as well.

You can see the original post and tutorial here.