Back to our old tricks

So, I went away to PEI, and while I meant to post about this recipe (and a few other things!) in the past couple weeks, I just completely checked out of the blogging world. Sorry! Ami and I are still baking and cooking, though, and the last recipe we tried out before I took off was the simply titled Baked Oatmeal, from wholeliving.com.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus more for coating baking dish
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or almonds, toasted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup fine-grain natural cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 1/2 cups huckleberries, blueberries, or mixed berries
  • Maple syrup, for drizzling
  • DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish.
  • Combine the oats, half the nuts, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the milk, egg, half the butter, and the vanilla.
  • Arrange bananas in a single layer on the bottom of the coated baking dish. Sprinkle with two-thirds of the berries, then cover with the oat mixture. Slowly drizzle milk mixture over the oats. Gently tap dish on a work surface to distribute liquid. Scatter remaining berries and nuts across the top.
  • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set. Let cool slightly. Drizzle with remaining melted butter and maple syrup.
  • My ingredients, with my trusty laptop (i.e. “cookbook”) on the counter in the background.

    Ami’s ingredients. I want her maple syrup!

    I completely forgot to take a picture mid-baking, so this blurry oven-window photo had to make the cut!

    Ami’s prepared oatmeal, ready for the oven!

    As you can see, after the baked oatmeal came out of the oven, it was quite popular, but…

    Ami’s baked oatmeal looks great, and the added brown sugar looks delicious!

    Before I get going into our actual opinions about this recipe, I have to admit that because I baked it almost a month ago, this won’t be a long and involved review – my memory is fuzzy, man! But, as always, I’ll address the ingredients first:

    • Ami used hemp milk, and I used soy milk in place of regular milk.
    • I went with dried cranberries, but Ami tried out a mix of blackberries and strawberries, since that’s what her market had available that week.
    • I stuck with almonds only, but Ami went wild and used walnuts AND almonds. She mixed in the walnuts, and put her sliced almonds on top.
    • As I mentioned in Ami’s last photo, she sprinkled brown sugar over her oatmeal, which is something I wished I would have done too!

    As for the directions, in addition to the multi-nut mixture Ami used, she went completely crazy and didn’t measure either her nuts OR her berries, and just went with her instinct. Flouting measurement! Gasp! Another note:

    • Ami baked her oatmeal for an extra 5-10 minutes (45-50 minutes total) to ensure that it was set. She thought it was a bit more watery because she used hemp milk, but I also baked mine for about 40-45 minutes because it was hard to tell if the oatmeal was set. Turns out, it was, but the extra time didn’t hurt.

    When the oatmeal came out of the oven, it smelled SO GOOD, and Darcy and I had some almost right away. It tasted great! Ami and Chris also loved the oatmeal, but the difference is that they continued to love it. Mine and Darcy’s interest dwindled as the days went by. Sure, I heated it up in the microwave, but it just wasn’t the same as fresh from the oven. Plus, Darcy grew to despise the sliced bananas on the bottom of the baking dish – they turned too “slimy” for him. Chris, however, said it was one of his favourite recipes yet! Ami said she would definitely make it again, and is looking forward to experimenting with blueberries, raspberries, etc. She also mentioned this could be a good recipe for Holden (he’s nine months old), so there’s a perk for all you mothers out there! Her final rating was 4.5 out of 5, and mine is 2.5 out of 5, for the obvious reason that I ran so hot and cold on its taste: “I love it!” “I guess I’ll eat it because I don’t want to waste it.” “Uhhhh, maybe Darcy will eat the rest of this when I’m gone to PEI.” (He didn’t, and ended up throwing it out.)

    What will YOU think of the baked oatmeal?

    Back from the land of Anne

    Me, circa 1989, celebrating one of my many PEI birthdays.

    Hello, and welcome back to De Facto Redhead land! On Tuesday, I returned from an eight-day trip to Prince Edward Island (pictures to come!), and even though it literally rained at least once every day I was there, I didn’t care one bit. My family is from PEI, and it has a special place in my sentimental heart, so each time I visit and get to see my extended family, as well as reminisce over childhood memories, I always come home happy, but a little sad as well.

    The week has flown by since I arrived back in Burlington on Tuesday night, and the past three days have left me signed up for a half marathon in July, in Hamilton at Gate of India for dinner with Darcy, Caroline, her boyfriend Alex, and Erin, doing a mountain of post-vacation laundry, spontaneously trying a new restaurant ¬†(Local Eatery & Refuge) with Darcy, trying a recipe from my new Chef Michael Smith cookbook (thanks, Sandra!), ¬†bemoaning the unfortunate cancellation of the plans Ami and I had for this weekend (we’re rescheduled for June), and trying to catch up on all the TV I missed last week (James Durbin voted off American Idol?!?! Why?!?!). I also actually left the house today, and I tried to take some outfit pictures, but they didn’t turn out. My close-ups were all right, though, and while I attempted the no-smile blogger look, I don’t think I’ll make a habit of it:

    Serious business. (Shirt, Smart Set; sunglasses, H&M)

    It was a sunny, warm day, and I was happy about going out and driving with the windows down!