Friday, March 29, 2013

Blood Orange and Chocolate Chip Oatmeal

You know those moments in life when you've wanted to try something for months, or even years, and you've formulated an idea of what it will be like and the sensations it will give you? (Okay, that question could get misconstrued quickly. We're talking about food here!) That is how I felt about blood oranges. I had never seen one before, so I definitely hadn't tasted one. I imagined them bursting with deep, red, juicy flavor, more "berry" in flavor than "citrus."

To be honest, when I finally tried it about a year ago, it let me down. I was disturbed by its bitterness, and turned off by the harsh nuances in its citrusy flavor.

Of course, with some more exposures, I came to appreciate its unique taste. Plus, similar to grapefruit, blood oranges mellow out once cooked into porridge. It almost does have a berry taste! Win!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Grapefruit Avocado Oatmeal

Don't freak out. I know it looks and sounds strange, but...just give it a chance!

It's verging on a savory oatmeal, but it's definitely still sweet. It's inspired by one of my favorite salads, grapefruit segments and avocado slices piled on a heap of spinach. Mmmm. If you're hankering to try savory oats, but are still too scared to make the jump, this might be a good transition recipe for you. The grapefruit is flavorful, but the avocado is rich and creamy. As long as you like avocado (and I really, really do), you'll enjoy this.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Chocolate Banana Overnight Oatmeal

I took one of my laziest recipes and made it even lazier! Dirtying a saucepan can be just so tedious. Now you can carelessly toss the ingredients in a jar, shake it up, and wake up to chocolatey oatmeal at 5:30!

Except you probably don't have to get up that early. Good for you.

I intentionally designed this recipe to be flexible. If you want, you can create this with four ingredients: oats, chocolate milk, banana, and a pinch of salt. However, it doesn't have to stop there.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Grapefruit Overnight Oatmeal

I'm still disappointed that my Grapefruit Oatmeal recipe isn't more popular. How many glittering reviews do I have to give it before people try it out? What I love about it most is that the oatmeal and coconut milk mellow out the bite of the grapefruit, leaving you with just the sweet, citrusy flavor of the grapefruit. No bitterness! The only thing I don't like about it is the prep work; segmenting grapefruits is such a bother.

Well, here's a way to save some time. You can do the prep work the night before, and you'll be able to wake up to delicious grapefruit oatmeal in the morning without dirtying a knife!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Berry Chocolate Crunch Oatmeal

Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, taste buds!
For I ne'er tasted true beauty till this week.

Sweetest pepitas...

If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this:
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand

I know I'm being incredibly overdramatic, but my confession must capture the scale of my new infatuation. This past weekend (thanks to my mother's birthday present), I tried pepitas for the first time. I've had "roasted pumpkin seeds" before, but they were nothing like "pepitas." You would think they would be equally wonderful (considering pepitas are pumpkin seeds), but there is definitely a difference, the first being that pepitas are as glorious to this night as is a winged messenger of heaven, and "roasted pumpkin seeds" are just a big pile of "meh."

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Irish Soda Bread Baked Oatmeal

I normally don't get into "holiday recipes." In fact, I can barely tolerate visiting my favorite sites (FoodGawker, TasteSpotting, and FindingVegan) during major holidays because I find them almost nauseating. I used to think Valentine's Day was the worst, but now I'm starting to think St. Patrick's Day might be. I mean, what's with everything being dyed fluorescent green?

But alas, here I am, joining the club:

When I think of my time in Ireland, I think of soda bread. (Okay, and muesli...) For those of you who have never had authentic soda bread (not sweet, not cake-like, not made with white flour), soda bread is a wonderful treat for any time of the day. It's best as a side with some SOUP (soup and soda bread made up about 50% of my diet during my time overseas), but it's also lovely at breakfast. With jam or butter, it was a hearty start to the day, worlds better than a slice of toasted WonderBread.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Apricot Granola Oatmeal

Prepare yourself for a whole lot of dried fruit craziness coming your way. Remember the box of goodies my mom sent me before my birthday? Well, she apparently decided that wasn't enough, and she shipped an even BIGGER box of treats last week. I guess the first box was my "pre-birthday gift," and the second one was the "belated birthday gift." Either way, THANK YOU, MOM!!!

The second box contains oodles of awesome stuff, from papaya to crystallized ginger. I can't tell you how excited I am to use them all in oatmeal!

For my first recipe, I was feeling a little uncreative, so no papaya spears made it into the saucepan. I did, however, use the maple-almond granola my mom sent as a topping! Granola makes a wonderful topping; I also used it on the Loaded PB&J Oatmeal! Some days, you just can't decide between cold granola and hot porridge, so you have both! :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Black Forest Cake Overnight Oatmeal

You all said to me that you wanted more overnight oatmeal recipes, and this is one that will start your day right. I mean, what could be better than waking up to a BLACK FOREST CAKE!?

This recipe was a tough cookie to crack. Much to my disappointment, cherries are not the most flavorful ingredient, especially in its whole form. Their flavor is locked in within that fragile skin.

The first time I made it, I dropped the berries in whole. In the morning, the oatmeal was very flavorless and did not taste at all like a Black Forest Cake. Then, I tried something a little different:  I blended the cherries first, so the oatmeal soaked up "cherry juice," which gave it much more flavor.

I also snuck in a little bit of strawberry preserves to enhance the berry flavor. Other possibilities would be "cherry extract" or "cherry flavor," anything to give more berry flavor to the final product. However, your oatmeal will be fine without any of that.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Belated Announcement!

Hey everyone!

Something incredibly spectacular happened to me way back in October, but I kept forgetting to post about it! It feels almost foolish to post it now, but it seems more foolish not to share it.

An online journal called The Violet contacted me in September asking if they could feature me and my blog in their Fall 2012 issue. I not-so-hesitantly responded, "YESOMGAREYOUSERIOUS?!"

For the issue, my Sweet Potato and Cranberry Oatmeal is featured in the recipe section, and little ol' me is featured in a Q&A section a couple pages later. The recipe is on page 52, and my survey is on page 54. Please check it out if you have the time!

Major, major thank you to Molly for giving me this opportunity! Looking back over everything today reminded me just how excited I was back in October when I saw the issue for the first time!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Banana Chocolate Chip Oatcakes for One

The poll results are in! I must say, when I created the survey, I was nervous. I feared that nobody would respond, and it would remind me to be humble and that nobody actually reads my blog. Much to my delight, I got over 100 responses (the free service caps out at 100)!

So for you guys, I made these:

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Orange, Maple, and Pecan Oatmeal

I promised you a recipe with oranges, right? Well, here we go!

Now, I've told you about the list - the lengthy checklist on my iPod of all the oatmeal ideas that I've yet to make and post about. The weird thing is, only about half of my recipes actually originate from that list. The rest are born on mornings when I walk in the kitchen, analyze my limited ingredients, and throw something together (exhibit A). This is one of those recipes.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tip: Segmenting Citrus

I haven't done a how-to post in a while, and it occurred to me this morning that I could show you how I segment oranges. It's something I've given instructions on, but never elaborated or shown pictures of, so VOILA, here it is! It's so easy that I narrowed it down to five steps. 

And coming later (next week), I'll provide you another (really delicious!!!) recipe to use these orange segments. :)

1. Cut the orange in half (through its waist, if you will).

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