Tag Archives: baked oatmeal

A day of doing nothing and everything

Just when I was beginning to feel stressed over the inevitable busyness of the holidays, there is a day like today to remind me of what I love about this time of year. A day of doing nothing and doing everything.

This follows last night’s accidental discovery that all of our efforts to segregate the miniature Schnauzer from the visiting Lab have been a trifle over done. Luna, the lab, escaped from her prison and tore downstairs. In the midst of the scuffle, one sniffed the other, found nothing of great interest and both dogs retreated to their corners. That was that.

This morning, child number 2 woke me up to let me know she’d  be downstairs waiting to go for a run. This had to be a first. I’m usually the one waiting. We survived about 45 minutes of intermittent sprinkles, make more enjoyable by about two weeks worth of conversation.

Soon after that, the kitchen activity commenced. My only part so far has been to make cinnamon raisin bread in the bread machine, some iced tea and periodically answer questions about where certain items are kept. So far, today’s cooks have produced one batch of baked oatmeal, a whole pineapple cut up, several pots of coffee, and now vegan jelly doughnut cupcakes.

Still on the agenda is tofu spinach soup, which I guess will require my assistance since I’m the only one who knows how to make  it. That and the fact that someone else wants to learn how to make it.

In the middle of this, we’ve been serenaded by child number 2, who makes the grand piano sound like it’s supposed to sound, playing some Christmas stuff mixed with an old favorite, Clair de Lune. In the dining and living areas are three Macbooks, one iPad, the New York Times strewn in various piles, three iPad Touches.

Standing at a window overlooking five bird feeders and several dozen birds, are two dogs — paws on the windowsill, tails wagging, as one Significant Other eggs them on. From the kitchen come strains of daughter number one and her dad, singing their old variation on Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual To Be…”, the lyrics of which should not leave this house.

The best part of this is that there are — as yet — no Christmas decorations to worry about. Quite honestly, when you add four adults and two large dogs to the usual threesome, the house can’t take much more “stuff”. Or maybe it’s just that I like the unfussiness, the unhurried feeling of listening to others cook, bake and clean.

In the end, it’s this kind of day that I love about this time of year. Lots of family conversations, some music, shared activities, a competitive game of Scrabble.

Cooler days of fall call for “cozy” foods

Last week one day, my daughter texted me a photo of something edible. At least I thought that it looked edible. Turned out it was strawberry baked oatmeal. It look really good and I was really hungry. Only problem was she lives oh so far away. So I asked for the recipe. I’m thinking of making my own version with rhubarb.

This reminds me of a conversation I had with the late Barney Habegger (of http://www.habeggerfurniture.com/) . Barney and I were eating breakfast at Camp Friedenswald (http://www.friedenswald.org/) where baked oatmeal is often on the menu. Unfortunately, he and I both had to skip it because we both have (had) high cholesterol and that morning’s version had a high fat content (not the good fat). We were both determined to create a lower-fat version. Lindsay’s done that for us.

Strawberry baked oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal
1.5 cups rolled oats
1a/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk (I use soy)
1 egg
1/4 cup applesauce
1tsp vanilla
any fruit you want

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes

(Add maple syrup if you want)

I haven’t baked my oatmeal yet, but the cooler days do inspire me to cook more “cozy” foods. Yesterday I woke up and my first thought was that it felt like a lentil-soup-in-the-crockpot day. Since I didn’t have all the ingredients in an specific recipe, I combined ingredients from three recipes. This is what I came up with. It’s a vegetarian version but you could easily add ham to it. Here’s the thing about lentil soup — you can add just about any veggie to it and it’ll still turn out great! I also don’t know exactly how much garlic was in mine. My husband had to dig some up from the garden, so he added it later after I’d left.

Lentil Soup
1 c. onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 c. fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth (I make this, using the vegetarian chicken-flavored broth powder from The Food Store in Bluffton)
1 c. dried lentils
1/2 c. carrots (I skipped these — I hate cooked carrots)
3 c. Swiss chard (I used a mixture of chard and spinach)
1 1/2 c. potatoes, chopped (I used sweet potatoes)
1 c. ham, chopped (didn’t use this in mine)
14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 tsp. dried basil (or fresh)
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
Combine all ingredients except fresh parsley in slow cooker. Cover. Cook on low 7-9 hours. Stir in fresh parsley and serve.
Note: We sprinkle grated cheese on ours right before eating; sometimes we also add vinegar.