Okay, I have an admission. Starting this blog tripped the cooking trigger, admittedly that was a hair trigger to begin with. I just have so much to share with you guys, it’s like trying to make a “best of” mix tape. Only my best ofs seem to include cheese and cream and butter. Now it seems we are treading in some dangerous territory here and we need to reign it back in.
My husband came to me the other day and said, “Please make some healthier meals,” as he looked down at his stomach protruding slightly over his waistband. Then I looked at mine. Okay, I’m new at blogging and I love falling head first into things, guns a blazin’. I’ve learned my lesson, I need to do this in moderation, so let’s move on to normalizing our eating habits around here.
On a “normal” morning, my husband and I fix oatmeal. I grew up eating grits and by default that is my porridge of choice. However, grits, made properly, are full of fat and calories. I really didn’t like oatmeal until about 6 months ago when we were in the middle of yet another move. We threw the dogs in the car and left with a few bags of clothes. Driving out of our driveway, we said goodbye to our first home, a 100 year old Victorian that we had spent 4 years of our life renovating. It was sad, but we knew she wasn’t ours anymore. Another family had bought her after only a week on the market. Really, quite a blessing in the housing market today.
Now, our new mission was headed to the West coast! It took us 5 days to drive to our new home and then it was another two weeks before our moving trucks arrived with our stuff, that includes anything kitchen related. The hardest part was honestly not having a coffee maker. Believe me, after sleeping on a blow up mattress in an empty apartment for that long, your body begs for caffeine. Luckily, we have a Starbucks within walking distance.
Those first few weeks, every morning we would get up and go get our coffee. One morning, I decided to try their oatmeal after my husband had raved about it. It was different than any oatmeal that I’ve had before. It was creamy but had a chewiness to the oats that were wonderful. In my research, I found that they use steel cut oats. Let me tell you, if you haven’t tried steel cut oats, it really does make a huge difference in texture.
Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal
1 cup steel cut oats
3 cups water
1 cup milk or buttermilk
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped pecans
In a large saucepot, melt 1 Tbsp butter and add the oats. Stir for 2 minutes to toast. Add the boiling water and reduce heat to a simmer. Keep at a low simmer for 25 minutes, without stirring. Combine the milk with the oatmeal. Stir gently to combine and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with brown sugar, cranberries, and pecans.
Rice Cooker method:
Put oats, water and salt in rice cooker. Cook up to half the maximum capacity of the rice cooker, since oats seem to bubble up a lot more than rice. Press “on.” When you open the rice cooker, add milk to your desired consistency, it may not take much as the rice cooker is more efficient. Spoon into a serving bowl and top with brown sugar, cranberries, and pecans.