Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Food for the Soul.

I know what you are thinking…Oatmeal? Yes oatmeal. On those long awaited and far too few snow days, my mom always made Oatmeal for breakfast. I can still see her at the stove stirring the oatmeal, the kitchen extra bright from light reflecting off the snow outside. My brothers and sister and I would be anxiously sitting at the table pestering her by asking over and over again, “Is it ready yet?” When the oatmeal was done, we wolfed it down, burning our tongues in the process. We jostled each other trying to get our empty bowls to the sink so we could run out the door and play in that snow!

On Christmas morning we were allowed to open our Christmas stockings but had to wait to open the presents under the tree until after breakfast. Yep, you guessed it; we had oatmeal and toast, so I am a little mushy over oatmeal.

Following is a great recipe for Oatmeal. I like it because you can tweak it anyway you want. I leave off the pecans. You can sub in dried cranberries or blueberries for the raisins, add fresh fruit, whatever. The vanilla and nutmeg add a really interesting pop of flavor. Only takes about ten minutes to make. So below find the recipe for Vanilla Spice Oatmeal. Enjoy!

Vanilla Spice Oatmeal (serves 4)

½ cup pecans

3 ½ cups water

2 cups old-fashion rolled oats

½ cup raisins

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 cup low-fat milk, or to taste

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Toast the pecans in a dry skillet over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until golden and fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes. Chop them coarsely

Combine the water, oats, raisins, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring a few times, until the oats are tender, about 5 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla and nutmeg. Swirl in the brown sugar and place the oatmeal in serving bowls. Sprinkle with toasted pecans and cinnamon. Add milk to taste.

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