Saturday, April 21, 2012
This has been one of my favorites ever since I was a little girl. Warm and soft and sweet with sort of a caramelized custard taste that sends me to Heaven every time. It's a nice relief from the mushy, bland, simmering-slop kind of oatmeal most of us are used to. (Not that there's anything wrong with simmering slop, but I know I get tired of it pretty quick.) My mom found this recipe in a old magazine a long time ago, and we've modified it a little so it's not quite so rich. The original recipe was about as healthy (and tasty) as eating cookies and milk for breakfast, which I thought was wonderful when I was nine, but it's not exactly what I'm going for these days. Here's the version I make for my family:
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 scant cup honey or sugar (you can use less, I usually do)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt (reduce this if you're reducing the sugar or it will be too savory)
1 tsp vanilla
All you do it stir it all up, pour it into a greased 9 by 13 pan, and bake it at 350 for about 25 minutes, or until the edges get crispy and toasted and the center is set. Serve with milk and fresh fruit. In the summer my favorite is fresh strawberries or peaches. Leftovers are good kept in the fridge and eaten warmed up or chilled.
One of the best things about this recipe is how creative you can get with it. It's delicious when you make it plain like the recipe says and top it with fresh fruit, but when I don't have the fresh, ripe amazing fruit you can only get in the summer around here, I usually mix in a couple of things before I bake it to make it special. Here are a few of my favorites:
Banana-Nut: add one smashed banana and a couple handfuls of chopped walnuts (this is the one in the picture)
Cranberry-Almond: add a few handfuls of dried cranberries and sliced almonds
Almond Joy: add flaked coconut, mini chocolate chips, and sliced almonds
Apple-Cinnamon: add chopped fresh apple and a good sprinkle of cinnamon
You get the idea. It's fun to poke around the pantry and come up with new combinations.