Hurricane Oatmeal Cake

Below is a “health-i-fied” version of this delicious cake my family has been making for years. It’s great for a crowd, or you can cut the recipe in half to make an 8×8 version. You’ll love how incredibly most this cake is (thanks to the cooked oatmeal), and the crunchy broiled coconut topping just can’t be beat!

Hurricane Oatmeal Cake

1 cĀ  quick cooking oats
1 1/4 c boiling water
4 egg whites
1 c sucanot
1/4 c honey
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (or greek yogurt)
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1 t sea salt
1 t cinnamon

Combine oats and water in a small bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, beat eggs, sucanot, honey, and applesauce (or yogurt) until blended. Sift together flour, soda, salt, and cinnamon and add to sugar mixture. Add cooked oatmeal and mix well.

Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For Topping:

3/4 c unsweetened coconut
3/4 c sucanot
4 T melted butter
1/4 c chopped nuts (optional)
1/4 c milk

Spread over hot cake, and broil until topping is light brown and crunchy – about 2 minutes.

As always, you can find a printable version of this recipe on my food page: Victuals. If you like this recipe, be sure and follow Vignettes, so you never miss a future post!

Linking up with Jocelyn’s Trick or Treat Tuesday, Beauty and Bedlam’s Tasty Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Crazy Sweet Tuesday



PLEASE READ!!! A Very Important Announcement!

Hello Dear Readers!

I hope you’ve survived the time change this weekend. We’re still recovering…who knew that one measly hour could wreak havoc on a body?! –

So onto the announcement: you may have already heard this buzzing around town, but as of THIS MONTH (like soon) Google Friend Connect is being discontinued for bloggers who don’t use the Blogger platform. Sadly, I’m in that lot! šŸ˜¦

So, what does that mean for you? Well, you’ll notice that my GFC widget no longer appears in my sidebar, BUT those of you who originally followed this blog using that widget still have Vignettes showing up in your google dashboard reader everyday. – In just a few short days, it will disappear forever! *cue haunted house music*

So if you’d like to still keep up with the goings on around here you will need to re-follow Vignettes a different way. You’ll see a row of cute little buttons on the top right of the sidebar. If you choose the Facebook button, you’ll be taken to the Vignettes FB homepage, and you can “Like” it. Then every time there is a new post, it will show up in your Facebook feed. Or you can click on RSS and you will have the option to place Vignettes in an alternate reader that you use -OR- get it delivered via your e-mail inbox everyday. The choice is yours!

Thanks so much for taking the time to do this! I value each and every one of my sweet readers, and the thought that I might lose you due to this Google change, makes me shed a tear.

Now, “to ease the pain of this news, I bring glad tidings…” *name that movie quote* in the form of a pretty springtime photo:

Ahhh…springtime! When everything is green! Ok, now go trot on up to those buttons, and become a re-follower of Vignettes! kthanksbye

Friday’s Foto Felicity

Next week, I’m going to be writing about friendship. Why are adult friendships so hard to begin? Do you ever think: “How come it seems like everybody else has friends except me?” How can we learn to be a good friend? What does investing in relationships look like?

I would really like to hear where you are right now in the whole friendship world: do you have lots of friends? Just a couple close ones? Do you hang out with your friends? Or just talk on the phone? Has making friends in your season of life been a challenge? Do you miss having a “best friend”? Talk to me in the comments today!

Black Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas

A friend introduced me to this wonderful vegetarian version of the perennial Mexican favorite: enchiladas. We loved them! Hearty, delicious, slightly spicy, slightly sweet – you don’t even miss the meat. The original recipe was from HERE, and you’ll find my version is below:

Black Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas

15oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cloves of minced garlic
The lime juice from one lime
2 cups cubed, baked sweet potato (I cube it first, then roast the cubes in a pan – 2 c = about 2 medium potatoes)
4 oz can of chopped green chilies
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t chili powder
1/4 t cayenne pepper
Sea salt and pepper to taste

1 jar salsa verde
8 corn tortillas (or can use flour if desired)
Monterey Jack or Fontina cheese – shredded

Garnish Options
Greek Yogurt

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together the filling ingredients in a large bowl. Pour enough salsa verde into a baking dish to lightly cover the bottom. Warm up your tortillas, one by one in a skillet or all at once in a microwave between 2 damp paper towels. *This is important, otherwise they will break when you fill them! Add 1/8 of the filling to each tortilla and sprinkle with cheese. Wrap and place seam down in your baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Top them all with more salsa verde and cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and tortillas look slightly golden. Sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro, and serve with sliced avocado and a dollop of greek yogurt if desired.

As always, you can find a printable version of this recipe HERE at my recipe site. Does this recipe sound good? Subscribe to Vignettes, and you’ll never miss another recipe post!

Mantel Talk – Or How to Make a Mantel a Headboard

For those of you who follow me on Pinterest (and if you don’t yet, just click on the word “Pinterest” in my header above)Ā  you may remember when a little pin popped up on my Bedroom Ideas Board that had a beautiful bed with a fireplace mantel as a headboard. Well, for months I couldn’t get that beauty out of my head! I knew that was going to be the centerpiece of our new room! The struggle I had with it though, was knowing that it would have to be permanently affixed to the wall, and I’m the type that likes to rearrange my room 4 times a year. – Was it worth the sacrifice???

Well, judging by the house update photos I’ve been posting along the way, you will gather that it was. šŸ™‚ Here’s the story of how the mantel came to be:

Once upon a time, a girl had gotten very tired of her bed (no pun intended). Years ago, when she got married, she thought that every bedroom had to have a “bedroom suite” of furniture in it, so she bought one. All matchy-matchy like. But over time as this girl started to refine her style and taste, she realized that she wasn’t the matchy-matchy type after all. So when it came time to spruce up the Master Suite, she knew that set just had to go. Out with the old, and in with the Pinteresting new! Inspired by that one photo, she started scouring CraigsList for mantels. Lo and behold, the perfect one showed up not too long into her search – for $50 – and it happened to belong to a house that was on her “top 10 favorite houses in the city” list. Meant to be! So home it came, and sat upside down collecting sawdust for a very long while.

Note how it has beautiful dentil molding that perfectly coordinates with our dentil crown! Match made in heaven I tell ya!

By and by, when the renovations were well underway, the girl and her husband had a “dress rehearsal” to get an idea of how the mantel would look in the room:

They used this rehearsal to measure how much they needed to raise the mantel up so that they could comfortably lean against the back to read without hitting their heads on the molding.

You’ll also see a little chunk out of it that my husband so masterfully patched.

So boards were measured, stilts we made, chunks were patched and a base was built for this mantel so it could truly fulfill its destiny: as a beautiful headboard!

Then it was onto the wardrobe department to get her dressed. The girl tacked a twin sized white sheet drape-style to the back, and her husband nailed some plyboard behind it to fill the opening.

After all its sprucing up, the girl and her husband mounted a cleat board to the wall attached firmly to two studs. This would give them something sturdy for the mantel to be screwed into.

Then they measured for careful centering, placed the mantel against the board, and with some very long wood screws, screwed through the top and into the cleat.

That baby is NOT going ANYWHERE! If a tornado comes through their town, you may very well find the girl and her husband clinging to their mantel-bed.

After the mantel was secured to the wall, the husband drilled two holes so that they could thread plugs down to the receptacle below without the cords draping all over the headboard.

After the drilling (which was a little messy) they sanded the holes nice and smooth. – Threaded the plugs down through, and ta-da:


My Little Black Dress(er)

Once upon a time, we bought a dresser at a yard sale for super cheap. I don’t remember how cheap, I just know we were looking for a piece of furniture to put in our walk-in closet that had lots of drawers for organizing. Enter:

Yup, that’ll do the trick nicely. And because it’s in our closet (under a row of hanging clothes), we won’t care if it’s beat up a bit:


My husband always loved this piece, and was constantly thinking of ways to get it out of the closet and into broad daylight where we could enjoy it (he even wanted to use it as a dining room sideboard during our pre-reno musings). It couldn’t have clashed more with the style of our previous bedroom set (back when we thought that bedrooms had to have “sets”) – and the fact remained that we needed it for clothing storage, so it stayed relegated to the dark cavern of our closet for years.

But now, oh happy day! All of my husbands dreams have come true :-)! When we ditched the bedroom set (well, sold it on CraigsList) and planned to revamp the closet storage system, out from the depth of the closet she appeared! Turns out she was a perfect fit for one of our partial walls, an excellent height for cozy bedtime movie night viewing, and because we had amped up the formal factor in our room with the molding, stencil, and imposing mantel headboard, now she felt right at home!

But of course the banged up finish needed a little help. You know my motto though: “There’s nothing a little spray paint can’t fix!” – For this project I turned to a Lacquer product because I wanted a little glam factor on this piece. 25,000 very light coats later, and somebody’s looking hot to trot!

Nice! Don’t mind the etc.s, the room isn’t “staged” for photography yet, but isn’t she a beauty? The big empty spot is where the TV will go. We decided to try out the original antique brass pulls, but turns out I’m going to spray them in brushed nickel after all…I just think it will tie it into the rest of the b.n. accessories in the room. Just waiting for the next warm day to do it.

A nice little trick I tried out on this project was something I had read about ages ago: a spray paint trigger converter. If you’ve ever done a large spray painting project before, you know that your index finger runs out of steam VERY quickly. But with this sweet little under $3 jigger, you just pop it on your conventional can, and spray away forever with no finger cramping/seizing/falling off episodes at all. LOVE IT! You can find it at both Lowes and Home Depot.

One last thing we did for our new black beauty was have a glass shop cut a piece to protect her top from scratches – you know since I live with a man who likes to throw his keys, change, and whatever else ends up in his pockets on the dresser at the end of the day!

So for under $50 (including glass, paint, and sprayer), we got ourselves a brand new piece of focal-point furniture. Can I hear a hurrah!?

And the Renovate 2011/12 bus rolls on….

Linking up to Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Party