Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Baked Oatmeal

"But mommy...I don't like Oatmeal!!!" cried Blockette when she learned this was what I made for breakfast one leisurely Saturday morning. Mrblocko told her it was like a big Oatmeal cookie...and she liked Oatmeal cookies, didn't she?
I gave her a small portion in a bowl with a little bit of milk. She took one bite and she closed her eyes in bliss. "MMM!!! This is good! It's oatmeal pie."
This baked oatmeal was so good, Blockette even asked for seconds. She asked for seconds!!!! Seconds people. She doesn't even ask for seconds with ice cream. Someone please alert the media, Blockette asked for seconds.

Besides being scrumpdidililyumptious, this recipe is great because you can totally mess around with it and add whatever strikes your breakfast fancy. I added 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp cinnamon and scant tsp almond extract because that was all that was left in the bottle.

Here are some add in combinations I think would be tasty:
1 c chopped apples, 1/2 c chopped walnuts or pecans and 2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 c dried cranberries and 1/2 c chopped pecans
1 or 2 ripe mashed bananas and 1/2 c chopped walnuts

I think maple syrup or orange zest would be a tasty add in but I'm not sure about the quantities. I'll also test out replacing half or all of the oil for applesauce. That's a part of that new math. Food-fat=OK to eat large amounts of sugar. Yay new math!

I halved recipe and baked it in 8x8 dish. I wasn't sure we'd like it or if we did how the leftovers would taste reheated. Of course the leftovers were awesome. The only difference was that they lost some of their crunchiness sitting in the fridge overnight. We reheated ours in the microwave for a minute, but I'm sure you could pop the pan back in the oven to reheat. I bet the oatmeal would crisp up again too. I'm just too lazy on a weekday morning to wait for the oven to preheat. Next time I make this, I'll be whipping up a full recipe.

If you want to experience a breakfast so tasty that even a persnickety four year old begs for more, head on over to my kitchen cafe for the baked oatmeal recipe.

Baked Oatmeal from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
6 cups oatmeal, either quick or old-fashioned
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup applesauce
2 cups milk
4 beaten eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt

Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a greased 9X13-inch baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve with milk and/or fresh fruit. Can be halved and baked in an 8X8-inch pan.

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