Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Morning Glory Oatmeal

You guys, the worst thing ever happened. I came up with this amazing idea for a baked oatmeal, only to discover that somebody else beat me to it by a matter of days. Days!! Bummer. I literally said to my mother, "I have this idea for oatmeal using zucchini, carrots, and apple," and two hours later, I stumbled on Oatgasm's post on Foodgawker. I was distraught!

On the other hand, I was able to use Oatgasm's recipe to help create my own version, especially when it came to the spices. I've never personally experienced a Morning Glory Muffin, so I appreciated the assistance. However, I did do some tweaking to meet my preferences (like how I never have applesauce on hand). And, since Oatgasm mastered the baked version, I decided to bring you the stove-top version. Want it baked? Go to her. Want it on the stove? I gotcha covered.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Orange Strawberry Oatmeal

I know it's still mid-summer, but I always experience such mixed emotions regarding the changing seasons. Earlier this morning, I was fantasizing about Sweet Potato and Cranberry Oatmeal and Pumpkin Pie Baked Oatmeal. I was drooling over the idea of autumn and imagining myself strutting the sidewalks of Manhattan with my light trench coat and some hot tea. Only a couple hours later, I noticed it was already the end of July, and my throat dried up a little bit. Where has my summer gone? I panicked.

What does this have to do with today's recipe? This oatmeal just strikes me as a refreshing summer recipe, so that's what led me to look at the calendar and notice how late in July it is.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal

Today marks the start of my final week in the Midwest. I must say I'm eager to return to the East Coast and ride subways to my heart's desire. And eat brunch in the Upper West Side. And shop at Trader Joe's. And read in Central Park. And all that good stuff.

I enjoyed an excellent morning in Minnesota today, though. I visited the farmer's market, which is small but mighty. Only four vendors had set up under the picnic shelter of the lakeside park. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the selection this week. Despite only having four vendors, the variety was impressive:  fresh breads and baked goods, maple syrup and goodies made with it (maple butter!), and two "typical" produce vendors.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fruit Salad Oatmeal

I must admit that I enjoy being a vegetarian. In the beginning, I struggled with feeling misplaced or left out, but once it fused into part of my identity, I embraced all of its challenges. Limited options on menus means I'll be less overwhelmed (I'm very indecisive) and more likely to try something new (like eggplant!). Potlucks become a scavenger hunt and careful investigation to discover the meatless dishes on a long table of bacon and ground beef. Thanksgiving and Easter turn into challenging games I like to call "How to Make a Meal Out of Side Dishes."

Potlucks, especially in Small Town, South Dakota, generally offer less than three vegetarian options (one of which is a basket of dinner rolls). The scalloped potatoes will always include diced ham. The quiche will always have bacon.

But there will always be fruit. Sometimes these fruits are in their raw form: a giant bowl of cubed watermelon or clusters of purple grapes. Other times, they're mixed together in one bowl: berries and melons and grapes! Sometimes, they're mixed together in a tasting "dressing," like honey mint or lemon poppy seed or coconut lime.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

10 Tips for Eating Oatmeal when Traveling!

For some of you, this post may seem ridiculous. You might say, "Go to IHOP!" or "Eat continental breakfast!" or "Get a bagel from Dunkin'!"

Grande Soy Mocha, no whip. To go, please.
But I know there are a few of you like me. A few of you who insist on eating oatmeal almost every morning. A few of you who hate the thought of starting your day without some comforting porridge, even on the road. A few of you who don't want to spend a vacation day with a stomach ache because you didn't get your daily dose of soluble fiber.

Or maybe some of you just want to save some money while traveling. Every dollar adds up, especially when you're eating out for every single meal.

This post is for all of you. You can have your morning oatmeal. In fact, many of the tips below have been personally used by me within the last month (and I provided photos for evidence!). Here's how I make it happen:

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Strawberry Baked Oatmeal

Simple recipes thrill me. Don't get me wrong; Neopolitan Baked Oatmeal is a beast, but sometimes I enjoy a return to simplicity. Strawberry Baked Oatmeal definitely fits that definition.

I stand by the proclamation that baked oatmeal is best with bananas, but this recipe is unadulterated strawberry heaven. If you want a marriage of the two, you could always try my Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Peach Pie Oatmeal Smoothie

I used to slurp down tons of smoothies. At the beginning of my junior year of college, I used to whip up some relatively extravagant breakfasts (by college student standards, anyway).*  Sometimes that included oatmeal, but not always. (It wasn't until January or February of that year that oatmeal became a daily ritual.) Often, I would make smoothies. These were usually banana-based (because that's what I could afford), but I occasionally splurged on mangoes, peaches, or pineapple.

*If you're interested, here's a post from my old blog where I documented all my breakfasts for the week.

I never really added oatmeal to my smoothies, though. I thought of that concept a little over a year ago when I made my Green Monster Oatmeal Smoothie, which was actually just a cheap trick to add variety to my blog (at least I'm honest). I was like, "Hey, I'll put oats in a smoothie, so I can have something other than porridge recipes on my blog! Har-har!"

But here I am, adding another smoothie recipe to my blog. This time, however, it's not just a cheap trick. The idea for this recipe came about the other day when I was attempting a new pancake recipe. As I licked the batter, the flavors and creaminess delighted me. It tasted exactly like a peach pie! I realized then that oats in a smoothie add more than just fiber and bulk; they add flavor, too! A smoothie without oats just tastes like peaches. A smoothie with oats tastes earthy and sweet, like someone took a slice of peach pie (crust and all) and blended it up.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Grilled Peach Steel-Cut Oatmeal

You know you have a fantastic oatmeal planned when you wake up at 6 am and spend twenty minutes wondering if it's too early to get up and start making breakfast. That's actually one of the billion reasons I love oatmeal. Did you know I used to hate mornings? Now I wake up at absurd hours because I'm so gosh darn excited to slurp down some oats.

Yeah, so... Remember on Monday, when I was all "sophisticated" with that Strawberry Basil Oatmeal? Here we go again. Grilled peaches, anyone?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Choco-Strawberry Sauce

My mom and I bought a massive crate of strawberries last weekend. (Actually, we bought a box of peaches, too! We're still waiting for those to ripen.) Much to our horror, they started going bad immediately. As in, we were throwing berries away by the next morning. :(

I've been making admirable attempts to salvage as many of these lovelies as possible. Naturally, I've been having pot after pot of strawberry-themed porridges. Duh! Yesterday, I whipped up a strawberry sorbet (which was delicious, if I do say so myself). This morning, I made this sauce!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Strawberry Basil Oatmeal

When I think about fresh herbs, I reflect on just how far my food journey has taken me. Until a couple years ago, I had never really experienced fresh herbs before. "Flavor" to me used to mean dumping sugar on top of my Frosted Flakes.*  The idea of using fresh dill to season potatoes or a sprig of thyme to add zest to a homemade soup was absolutely foreign to me. I think the first time I experienced fresh herbs (that I can actually recall) was the summer that my mom grew chives out on our backyard deck, just a few years ago.

* In my mother's defense, I did this behind her back; she did not approve. :)

Fast forward a couple years... I find using fresh herbs to be terribly inconvenient, but I still make the effort now and then. I despise how recipes always call for a minuscule amount, but stores sell them in rather large packages. Not helpful! Thus, I typically only buy them if it's either an important recipe or it's something that requires a hefty amount of herbs!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Tiramisu Oatmeal

I once told you that peach cobbler is my favorite dessert. Another time, I told you it was pumpkin pie. Well, both of those statements are only partly true. Actually, it's a three-way tie...with tiramisu.

In fact, when my birthday rolled around, what did I chose for my "birthday cake?" Yep. Tiramisu. From Vivaldi Cafe in Greenwich Village. There was live jazz. :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cookie Dough Muesli

Yes, there are recipes for instant and edible cookie dough all over the internet. You could certainly make any of them and be perfectly happy.

So why did I make my own version? Well, I didn't make cookie dough, exactly. I made a muesli form of cookie dough. What up?

Like I've explained before, muesli is a Swiss breakfast consisting of uncooked oats, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. It's typically eaten with yogurt, milk, and/or fresh fruit (kind of like granola).

This recipe actually started a year ago when I made CCK's flourless chocolate chip cookies. I really liked the result, but I realized that I liked the dough even more, and I frequently made it for dessert or a snack. As the months passed, my recipe simplified and progressed until I realized it was kind of like a muesli. Not exactly, but kind of. So that's what I'm going to call it. :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Applesauce Oatmeal

Chances are, you've had applesauce oatmeal before. If you're like me, you thought you were being super creative that first time you dumped some applesauce in your unflavored stove-top oatmeal. It was definitely one of the first flavors I tried. However, amid all the other flavors I was trying (lemon poppy seed, banana bread, carrot cake), applesauce oatmeal was quickly forgotten.

Well, I'm bringing it back. Applesauce Oatmeal is incredibly versatile. It can be a recipe you turn to when you're lacking almost everything else, and you throw some oatmeal together with three ingredients: oats, water or milk, and applesauce.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Salted Maple, Apple, and Pecan Oatmeal

I hope everyone had an excellent 4th of July. It's definitely not my favorite holiday, but I had a pleasant camping trip with my parents. Yes, I'm back in the Midwest for a few weeks before starting another school year in Manhattan!

I know many of my readers are from outside the U.S. (hello!), but I hope your July 4th was nice, too. ^_^ If not, I have the perfect recipe to make your week better:

Apples. Pecans. Maple syrup.

And it's SALTED!

I originally came up with the idea for salted maple and pecan oatmeal, but at the last minute I decided to include apples, and I'm glad that I did. It added an extra sweetness and boost of nutrition.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Allison's Chocolate Chip Cookies [Guest Post]

As someone who reads a lot of food blogs and watches many cooking shows, I cannot hear the phrase, "the best chocolate chip cookies" without rolling my eyes. Thus, when I met my roommate Allison and she told me she made the best chocolate chip cookies, my eyes nearly rolled all the way to the back of my head. "I've been perfecting these cookies since I was in middle school," she proclaimed confidently, but I still wasn't convinced.

And then she made them...and I became a believer. These cookies are in full dessert form--not vegan, not sugar-free, not whole wheat--but they contain a few special ingredients that will take the average cookie to the next level. One of these ingredients is oatmeal; that's probably why I love these chewy little rockstars so much! With a little persuasion (very little, actually), I convinced Allison to share her secret recipe on the blog for all of you.

As Lauren’s roommate, I am happy to report that her oatmeal tastes just as good as it looks. I will be the first to admit that I don’t eat oatmeal everyday—mornings are hard—but when I do, my porridges are almost always Oatmeal Artist recipes made by the Oatmeal Artist herself. What can I say, I’m spoiled!

The following recipe will probably be the first and only time that this blog will feature anything so explicitly unhealthy. Lauren and I have similar philosophies about fresh, unprocessed food, but she has better willpower. Sometimes you just want a cookie, ya know?

These chocolate chip cookies are not your average, run-of-the-mill Chips Ahoy. No, my friends, these cookies took several months of careful calibration and taste testing, many years ago. Since then, I have not looked back, and this has become my go-to recipe whenever I needed to bake something that was both quick to make and interesting to eat.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal

My family used to have a rhubarb patch in our backyard, but we never used it, so my dad literally just mowed over it every month. If you know anything about rhubarb, you know that this is not enough to get rid of it. It just popped up again and again and again, every summer.

I remember a few times in my childhood, I snapped off a stalk of rhubarb and sucked and chewed on it, thinking it would be sweet like candy. After all, the only rhubarb I had eaten before was in the form of a crisp or crumble. Well, in case you were wondering, that's not what it tastes like raw. I'm not sure why I kept giving it another chance, but each time I would pucker my face and spit it out disgustedly.

But here's the deal. Rhubarb, my friends, is not all that scary. I've wanted to use it in oatmeal for over a year now, but I feared I wouldn't be able to do it without sugar. Well, I was wrong, because I did not need 1/4 cup of refined sugar to calm the rhubarb down, like the internet claims.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Oatmeal Enthusiasts: Meet Brittany!

In addition to other guest posts, I am going to start an "Oatmeal Enthusiasts" series to exhibit the passion of all of YOU! Our first Enthusiast is Brittany, whom I discovered on Instagram of all places. I was so impressed with her creations, and I was delighted to see her taking my recipes and putting her own spin on them. She proves that oatmeal has endless possibilities and variations. I put her up to a challenge: document your breakfast every day for a week. Here's what she came up with!

Hey Oatmeal Fans,

If you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing you had oatmeal for breakfast this morning.  And if you didn’t, you totally should have! Lauren asked me to do a guest post on The Oatmeal Artist blog, so here I am, thrilled to be sharing my oatmeal love with anyone reading.

My name is Brittany, and I am currently a graduate student in the state of Pennsylvania. Come December 2013, I’ll have a M.S in Economics, and actually become a real adult in the working world. I’m not sure how I feel about that yet. 

So, why did Lauren ask me to write a guest post? Well, where to start…I’ll keep it very brief. I’ve been eating oatmeal for breakfast (at least 4 times a week) ever since I got my first apartment in college. I ate the same general combo all the time: bananas and berries, apples and raisins, or some slight variation of those two.  Around March of this year, I was looking for a way to finally mix up my morning meal, and I stumbled upon Lauren’s Pinterest, which led me to this blog. Needless to say, I was in awe of the recipes, and the site in and of itself. I’m sure most of you know what I’m talking about. That feeling you get when you discover someone with a similar oatmeal addiction. I started trying a bunch of her recipes and taking pictures of the final results. I was already in the habit of snapping shots of several of my meals because of my recently purchased HTC X One smart phone. I love to cook all kinds of things, so this was the perfect tool to capture my culinary creations. Fast forward to about a month ago, I finally started an Instagram. Of course I posted photos of my delicious breakfasts, and tagged most of them as #oatmealartist [Editor's note: If you upload pictures of any of my recipes, please do this! I love to look at your creations!]. The recipes I use are usually straight from this website, but I like to add my own aesthetic spin. Long story short, Lauren found my posts on Instagram and asked me to share some with you guys.

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