Think oatmeal is kind of boring? Maybe it’s one of those breakfast options you feel obligated to eat because it’s good for you? That’s what we thought until we discovered this recipe for Apple Oatmeal. Chock full of real honey, cinnamon, apples, and walnuts (not just apple-flavoring included in some of those instant oatmeal packs), this oatmeal makes our everyday breakfast seem almost special.
Yes, you can make oatmeal in the slow cooker! And now is a great time of year to try it. Here’s why:
1. The trees are bursting with apples, and apples add a sweet crunch to the hearty oatmeal.
2. Oatmeal warms us up from the inside out on a cool morning.
3. The oatmeal and the protein-rich nuts really fill us up and keep us from looking for a mid-morning snack.
4. It provides a welcome alternative to our cold cereal-with-skim-milk morning routine. (Or whatever your breakfast routine may be.)
5. This healthy breakfast just might help us start shedding a few pounds before those holiday reunions with family and friends.
Make it now and reheat individual portions later (we stir in a little milk or water, if the oatmeal seems too stiff) or let it cook overnight. It’s one more great way to simplify our busy mornings. Now if only someone would set the table and start the coffee.
Have you ever started into a recipe—or wanted to—and then discovered it called for buttermilk? Said recipe requires a cup, at most. If you decide to make a run to the store for the buttermilk, you take out what little bit you need, and then the far greater amount that’s left in the carton spends the rest of its life drifting to the back of the fridge and eventually you send it down the drain.
I found this amazing buttermilk powder. And it gives fantastic texture and flavor to the cakes I’ve used it in.
This miracle ingredient is “Cultured Buttermilk Blend—for cooking and baking.” The stuff works.
Here’s how. You stir the buttermilk powder in with the recipe’s dry ingredients. (A formula stated on the Buttermilk Blend canister tells you how much powder to use.) Then you mix water equivalent to the amount of buttermilk called for in with the wet ingredients.
My first time out with the Blend I gingerly (sorry) tried it in my favorite gingerbread recipe. I made it for some friends, who I’m sure I served it to before, and they couldn’t stop fussing about how much they loved it. And they’re not big fussers.
Here’s the website if you want to learn more about this amazing stuff:
And here’s my favorite ginger-y, molasses-y, not-for-sissies gingerbread recipe with a wonderful surprise ingredient that’s first into the baking pan. Warning: you’ll need Buttermilk Blend—or buttermilk—for this!
Makes 9-12 servings
1/3 cup butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup molasses (as strong or as sweet as you like)
1¾ cups flour
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¾ cup buttermilk*
2 cups sliced apples, unpeeled
whipped cream, optional
1. Using a mixer and a large mixing bowl, blend butter.
2. Blend in sugar, beating until well mixed.
3. Add egg and molasses, beating until well blended.
4. Place flour into a separate bowl.
5. Stir salt, baking soda, baking powder, ground ginger, and ground cinnamon into the flour, blending well.
6. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix well.
7. Add 1/3 of the buttermilk to the mixture and blend well.
8. Continue by adding half the remaining dry ingredients and blending them in well, followed by half the remaining buttermilk.
9. Repeat Step 8, using the rest of the dry ingredients and buttermilk.
10. Grease the bottom of a 9” square baking pan.
11. Slice the apples over the bottom of the pan, arranging them evenly.
12. Pour the batter over the apples.
13. Bake at 350◦ for 45-60 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
14. Allow to reach room temperature—or nearly so—before serving.
15. Top with dollops of whipped cream if you wish.
*If you’re using Buttermilk Blend instead, check the canister for the amount of dry powder to add to the dry ingredients in Step 5. Add a total of ¾ cup water during Steps 7, 8, and 9.
I haven’t figured out why I love fruit-and-meat-combinations so much, but I can rarely resist them, whether I’m cooking or eating out. I’m so predictable that Merle often tells me what I’m going to order as we sit reading the restaurant’s menu—if he spots such a pairing.
Then I have to decide whether to go contrary and prove him wrong, or choose what’s jumping out at me—a tempting meat-fruit combo that already has me entranced.
Here are two great recipes; two more that I served to the host on my last visit to QVC. One is a meat-fruit main meal that’s so easy you won’t believe it. And the other a baked-bean-apple dish that can make a main entrée, too. These recipes wouldn’t make their mark without the lemon and the apple ingredients! Continue Reading...