Mornings are hectic in our household. Between waking up and getting out of the house on time on the first try with everything we need for the day, eating breakfast is often a secondary thought. But eating a good breakfast is important so I am always on the look out for easy and healthy alternatives to our usual standby of cold cereal. My family doesn’t eat eggs and reheated muffins or waffles work if we have leftovers from the previous weekend. In my quest for finding something that would work I came across this baked oatmeal recipe comes from The Yankee Kitchen Ninja. And it turns out that this recipe is a family wide hit.
The oatmeal is softer than a cookie but more solid than a bowl of cooked oats. Eating it with a spoon is recommended but I’ve also included it in lunch bags as a snack where it is eaten with your fingers. I used golden raisins and dried cranberries as my dried fruit of choice but the options are only as limited as your imagination. And best of all this recipe is super easy and fast to make. Meaning you can whip up a batch in no time at all (you could even make it first thing in the morning and have it on the table for breakfast if you are an early riser). So here’s to the most important meal of the day……….
2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup milk
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the oats, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.
- Stir in the raisins and cranberries.
- In separate bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, egg and vanilla.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir thoroughly.
- Pour the contents into a lightly greased 9 x 9 baking pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and firm.
Meatloaf is a classic comfort food that satisfies the way few other foods do. The ingredients are about as basic as they come; ground meats, a few herbs and spices and a bit of filling all baked together in the form of a giant loaf. Meatloaf can feed a crowd with plenty of leftovers for the next day or two. In fact, I like it better reheated the next day.
Of course every home cook has their own special recipe for this classic. My version of meatloaf is inspired by my mother. When my son was just over a year old she came and stayed with him while both my husband and I had to travel for work. Sidney hadn’t been eating solids for long at this point but he was a curious eater and always wanted to try new things. The night she made meatloaf not only did he try it, he loved it and ate everything on his plate. As well as the second helping that he requested. Its been a family favorite since. And here’s a hint: the instructions have you using your hands to mix everything together. Do it. A spoon or spatula is too cumbersome and your hands will make it so much easier to evenly distribute all of the ingredients.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1/3 pound ground lamb
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup parsley, minced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried basil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup ketchup, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil, lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a small skillet set over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion and garlic and saute until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes.
- Place the beef, pork and lamb in a large bowl. Using your hands, knead the meats until they are well combined and uniformly distributed.
- Add the oats, parsley, mustard, basil, salt, pepper, eggs and 1/3 of the ketchup to the bowl. Again, use your hands to combine all of the ingredients.
- Move the meat mixture to the prepared baking sheet and again using your hands, form the meat into a loaf shape. You can either form a thick loaf or a longer and narrower thin one. I prefer the later since it allows the meat to cook faster.
- Spread the remaining ketchup over the top of the loaf.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes depending upon the thickness of the loaf. A meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meatloaf should produce a temperature of 160 degrees.
- Allow to sit for 10 minutes then slice and serve.
Yields: 10 servings
I’m still on my rhubarb kick so here is my latest rhubarb creation- a strawberry-rhubarb crumble. A fruit crumble is my favorite way to use fresh fruit; it has all of the tastiness of a pie without the hassle of struggling with a pie crust. Instead, you have juicy fruit topped with a crumbly topping, which in this case is a combination of nuts, oatmeal, and flour. It’s fool proof, delicious, and fast to make. I like it best served warm so you can put it in the oven shortly before dinner is served and dessert will be done by the time you are ready for your final course. To make the crumble extra special top it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Yum!
For the topping:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup old fashioned oats (do not use quick or instant0
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
3 tablespoons white sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
For the filling:
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 quart strawberries, hulled and sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- To prepare the topping combine the flour, baking powder, salt, oatmeal, walnuts, sugars and lemon zest in a large bowl.
- Drizzle with the melted butter then use a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients until small clumps form. Set aside until ready to use.
- To prepare the filling, combine the rhubarb strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a 9-inch deep dish pie dish.
- Cover the top of the fruit with a thick but even layer of the topping.
- Bake until the topping golden brown and the fruit is bubbly, 40 to 50 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly before serving.
- Top with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.
Just add yogurt and berries
I love granola. Growing up my mom used to make huge batches of the crunchy cereal and I remember dipping into the big metal tin for both breakfast and an afternoon snack. As an adult I’ve gone through granola eating phases but as easy as it is to make, I had never made my own. Inspired by my in-flight breakfast on Austrian Airlines this past weekend, I decided to try my hand at it.
I was able to dig into my full pantry and adapted the recipe to the ingredients I had on hand. As I knew it would be, it was so easy to make that I think we’ll regularly have this cereal on hand. I added chocolate chips but you could easily add dried fruit instead or you could substitute different nuts depending on your preferences and the ingredients you have available. I ate mine with Greek style yogurt and fresh strawberries but Sidney loved it dry, eaten by the handful. However you eat it, enjoy!
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey
3 1/2 cups whole steel-cut oats
3/4 cup whole almonds, lightly chopped
3/4 cup pecan halves, lightly chopped
2/3 cup hazelnuts, lightly chopped
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of sea salt
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line two rimmed baking pans with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil and honey over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
- Combine the oatmeal, nuts and spices in a large bowl.
- Pour the warm honey-oil syrup over the oats and nuts and stir with a rubber spatula until evenly coated.
- Spread the granola over the prepared pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the mixture is dry, stirring the mixture occasionally to distribute the heat evenly.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. You may need to break up larger bits of the cereal. Stir in the chocolate chips.
The granola can be stored for up to two weeks in a cool dry location.