Creme Brulee Amish Baked Oatmeal

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Creme Brulee Amish Baked Oatmeal

Have you tried baked oatmeal before?? It’s so delicious, I can hardly stand it! We are huge oatmeal lovers, but this Amish creme brulee version wins the grand prize!

A few years ago some friends went out to brunch with us (yes, we are total brunchers and if you haven’t caught that bug, by all means JUMP IN!!) and we had this glorious amount of food delivered to our table. When in a group, always order many things so you can sample the menu, am I right?! I knew, absolutely KNEW that the french toast at Gourmandise was going to be my winner and was flabbergasted (when’s the last time you wrote that word? 😏) when it was the oatmeal!

A photo of two pieces of creme brulee baked oatmeal sitting on top of some vanilla oatmeal sprinkled with fresh blueberries, raspberries and strawberry slices all in a white bowl with a spoon in the bowl.

Now, you know I am an older woman at heart, so it shouldn’t surprise you that I LOVED the oatmeal, but to be the winner? That takes something special. Well, since I’ve been on this baked oatmeal kick, why not try a Gourmandise Creme Brulee Amish Baked Oatmeal?!

Just try to not pick off the entire topping, it is HEAVEN!!

What is Amish Baked Oatmeal?

Amish baked oatmeal like a warm oatmeal cookie but in casserole form that is made with oats, milk and a few other ingredients you will already have on hand. Traditional oatmeal is like cereal with a creamy porridge consistency. Baked oatmeal is more like a casserole or bread pudding. It is super versatile with endless amounts of add-ins or toppings. I’ll go into that more later in this post.

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Michelle Elman on how to relieve the unfair burden of ‘survivor’s guilt’

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Going through a traumatic illness or experience is unimaginably difficult – so making it through the other side is something to celebrate, right? But what people often struggle to vocalise is the confusing mixture of feelings that accompany this, and the burden of guilt that can, unfairly, weigh heavy on you

Michelle Elman on how to relieve the unfair burden of ‘survivor’s guilt’

I remember the first time I heard the words ‘survivor’s guilt’. It caught my attention because it was finally a phrase that I could put to how I had been feeling for the last decade of my life.

For a little context, I’ve had 15 surgeries and, in many ways, shouldn’t have survived. If I had been born a few years earlier, or in a family with less financial privilege to afford the medical care I did, I would not be alive, and I have been acutely aware of that fact since the age of 11.

The problem is, at 11, it is a very adult problem to have when you are still very much a child, and with the limitations of the vocabulary of a child, and the confusion that comes with not being able to articulate how you feel. At 11 years old, I had been in the ICU for three months, and because the ICU was where the most ill children were in the hospital, I witnessed more deaths of children from six months to 15 years old than one should ever experience, and as each death occurred, it often made me wonder why I was still here. Why was I surviving? What was so special about me?

The only way I found to console myself at that age was to tell myself that I would do my best to compensate for those lives by spending my own trying to help as many people as humanly possible… I hoped that it would make up for it, and decided to never vocalise this guilt.

As much as it’s called survivor’s guilt, there are many other emotions encompassed in it, and the other main one was shame. Shame breeds silence, and so this became my deep dark secret, and ultimately led to me working so hard to overcompensate for all the lives lost.

I was often told in hospital ‘Everything happens for a reason,’ and this made the guilt so much worse. It forced me to try to make meaning out of something that has no meaning and doesn’t make sense. When someone tells you that everything happens for a reason, and you can’t find one, you begin to believe the reason is you, and that’s where the blame comes, along with the shame. Survivor’s guilt is nonsensical. Logically and rationally, you can understand you did not do anything to cause their death, but emotionally, it feels unjust and unfair.

What I wish someone had told me back then was that it was not my responsibility. It was not my fault that others had died and I had lived and, most of all, no one should have to earn their right to life. The fact is there is nothing special about me. There isn’t a reason why I survived and others didn’t, and the most peace I have found is understanding that sometimes shitty things happen, and not everything has a reason or a purpose.

I only began processing all of this while writing my first book, Am I Ugly?, and discussing it in depth meant I finally put words to how I’d felt for decades, and those wo

What are age-gap relationships (and why are they controversial?)

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Can age-gap relationships really work? We answer your frequently asked questions about age gap relationships and explain more about what the research has to say

What are age-gap relationships (and why are they controversial?)

If there’s one thing that is bound to make headlines, it’s celebrity relationships with a big age gap. From the trending chart of Leonardo DiCaprio’s dating history (which revealed the then 47-year-old had never dated anyone over the age of 25), to top 10 lists of celeb couples successfully (and not so successfully) navigating big age gaps, we’re fascinated with the idea that there may be a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ number of years between our perfect partner and us.

But why is it that relationships with age gaps cause so much controversy? And what does the research actually have to say? We explore some of the most commonly asked questions about dating someone who is significantly older or younger than you.

What are age gap relationships?

An ‘age gap relationship’ typically refers to a couple who are seriously or casually dating, with an age difference of at least 10 years, though some people use the term to refer to shorter gaps. The exact number of years for a relationship to ‘count’ as having an age gap can also vary based on what is considered culturally normal, with other factors – such as a person’s gender or age – affecting how ‘acceptable’ others may see that gap as. For example, someone may be more likely to show concern over a younger woman dating an older man due to fears of grooming, despite the fact that young people of any gender identity and sexual preference can be at risk of grooming.

Anyone can be in an age-gap relationship – a celebrity, a friend, a family member, or a colleague. Age gap relationships can also happen at any point in your life, though someone in their 20s dating someone in their 30s may be more likely to experience comments or pushback from others than a couple in their 50s and 60s.

Why are age-gap relationships frowned upon?

Many people in age-gap relationships report facing stigma, despite nearly four in 10 (39%) of us have dated someone 10 years older or younger than us. According to research, men are more likely to have dated someone 10 or more years younger than them (25% vs 14% of women), while women are more likely to have dated someone 10+ years older (28% vs 21% of men). Over half (57%) of us would be open to dating someone a decade or more older than us, while just under half of us (49%) would consider seeing someone 10 years younger.

Despite around half of us being open to age-gap dating, research has shown an imbalance in how socially acceptable we see it to be for men and women to date someone significantly younger than them. 55% of people believe it’s

Cheese Stuffed Pretzels

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Cheese Stuffed Pretzels

Why are soft, salty homemade soft pretzels so dang good? Picture a golden chewy pretzel dotted with coarse grains of salt and…wait for it…stuffed with melty cheese! Bam!

Pretzels are going to take over the world. Or my blog. Probably both. We love our soft pretzels with cheese sauce, but I started thinking what if I put cheese on the inside? Nailed it! So good! For our sweet tooth people, we have our cinnamon roll pretzel bites that are heavenly and I just can’t stop thinking about variations of soft pretzels!

a photo of a golden baked soft pretzel topped with sprinkled course salt with cheese oozing out of the sides sitting on white parchment paper.


These cheese stuffed pretzels blow Annie’s in the mall out of the park. Dude, do not tell me you don’t secretly love those hot, salty, bready pieces of deliciousness dipped in oh, so very fake cheese. Gosh, I can taste it sitting here!!! Sometimes you just need one of those to get you through the shopping!

But these homemade pretzels are so much better! The outside is all chewy and salty and wonderful, and the inside is like pure squishy, soft flipping perfection, but then, oh my gosh, then you hit the cheese. It’s blasted wonderful! It’s so melty! And, and, it’s not fake cheese! It’s the real deal!!!! And when you tear a piece off, it like stretches with the bread like an awesome piece of pizza. HECK YES!

a photo of several golden baked soft pretzels that are stuffed with cheese and sprinkled with salt.Read more

The Little Things Newsletter #348 – Life, laughter, and lots of great food!

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Welcome to the weekend, my friends! We had a crazy storm here this week and one of our biggest trees came down. Fortunately, no one and nothing else was harmed, just a brief power loss. Super fun times over here. So, my guys have spent today starting to break it down for firewood. The boys are learning all kinds of nifty new things this week.

ON THE BLOG this week: This Sweet and Spicy Pineapple Shrimp Stir Fry is a skillet full of sautéed shrimp tossed in a spicy barbecue sauce with sweet chunks of pineapple and red peppers. This quick and easy meal earns two thumbs up from my whole family every time I make it.

Tender pieces of flank steak are simmered in their own juices creating a rich and super flavorful broth to create the Carne en su Jugo recipe (a.k.a. Meat in its Juices) that my family loves so much.

Would you believe that cauliflower can be air fried to crispy perfection with a simple package of frozen cauliflower? I’m here to tell you that this garlic paprika air fryer frozen cauliflower is absolutely delicious. All it takes is ten minutes and a few simple seasonings.

Sweet and slightly tangy, this creamy poppyseed dressing recipe has had a regular home in our refrigerator for several years now. Easy to make and adaptable as can be, this is the best poppy seed dressing I’ve ever tasted.

Cheesy, saucy, pizza quesadillas are as flavorful as you imagine they might be. They’re a messy, super fun, lightning-fast way to satisfy your next pizza craving.

Carrot Cake Pancakes topped with Maple Cream Cheese Syrup, just the name is enough to make me grin. This was a real breakfast treat.

Juicy fresh pears are topped with a generous cinnamon sugar crust to make this cinnamon spice pear cobbler. This unforgettable cobbler manages to be both buttery and flaky while never becoming soggy, even after a day or two in the refrigerator.

What I’m CRAVING: Ina Garten’s Chocolate Cake is what chocolate lover’s dreams are made of, my friends. My friend Sue shared the recipe and it’s been in my thoughts all week. It’s definitely time for me to do some baking.

My FAVORITE THING this week is this tiny keychain jewelry holder. It’s very small, and clips to your keychain, bag, or water bottle for the gym. It easily holds a few rings and I love how secure i