Sunday, October 16, 2005

Oatmeal… Yumy!

After a few days without posting I am back to talk about something I love and that instantly brings me comfort just to think about it: oatmeal!
I love oatmeal in everything from cakes, to cookies and muffins too, but the way I like to eat oatmeal the most is in its simplest form, cooked with milk and sugar. My mom used to make this for us all the time for breakfast, especially during the cold months. Sometimes she would also make these bowls of warm oatmeal for us to eat before bedtime. In Brazil it is not usual to have heating systems in the houses, so the oatmeal was more than welcome during the winter, warming up our bodies and soul before we went to bed.

When I had Matheus my mom and my sister came to stay with us and help during the first month (and what a big help that was!), and she made oatmeal for me every night. I would nurse Matheus and come to the kitchen to have some warm and deliciously sweet oatmeal with my mom and my sister, and it was so comfortingly good, sweet and creamy and best of all: made by my mommy! And you know how good it is to have someone special with you when you are going through such adaptation period.

After she went back I still would make my oatmeal every night before going to bed for a few hours of sleep, sometimes I would sit down and enjoy it warm, sometimes the plan didn’t work well as Matheus would wake up just as I sat down to eat, or even when I was in the middle of the cooking/stirring process… so some nights I would end up with cold oatmeal, or no oatmeal at all, but it was worth not to eat it and go comfort my baby boy, as now I have my own company to eat oatmeal with! (Hubby is not a fan of the sutff…) Matheus also loves oatmeal and to sit and enjoy it with me, and this to me is the best thing in the world! Even more because he says my oatmeal is “the best ever”!

Among doctor’s appointments, school projects, swimming lessons, and a lot more, I managed to find some time and made some oatmeal for us on Friday night. Yes, Matheus and I had oatmeal for dinner, and it was the best dinner of the week I might add!

This thyroid hormone thing is still not quite right, so my body is on an adjustment craziness that sometimes get me down a bit, and nothing better than some yummy comfort food to help us feel good again.

I was in need of some pick me up on Friday, so I decided to make oatmeal for dinner and Matheus loved the idea as much as I did. We were talking about it when he suggested we put some fruit in our oatmeal, so I remembered a recipe I saw on CL a few months ago for Oatmeal with Apples, Hazelnuts, and Flaxseeds. I tried to make it as written, and almost succeeded, the only except was that I burnt the hazelnuts… the good thing is that I did not miss them at all!

My mom always cook oatmeal with milk and sugar, and that is what I did with mine (I could not help myself, it was weird to have a "recipe for oatmeal". I always make it my moms way, this time I tried my best to stick to the recipe tough). I made ½ recipe and used more milk than the recipe says (2 cups for ½ recipe), added the sugar during the cooking process (instead of sprinkling on top), I added it to taste, did not measure it at all, and I slightly toasted the almonds we sprinkled on top, just to give them a crunch and bring out their nice flavor. I always make my oatmeal just my mom’s do, cooking it over medium heat, stirring it all the time (so it won’t stick to the bottom of the pan), until thick and creamy. It is soooo good, I LOVE oatmeal!

I liked the apple version; the apples came out nice and soft. I did not use granny smith though, as I like my cooked apples more on the sweet side. As you see I kind of ended up making my moms oatmeal with a few new twists, and I will post here the CL recipe in case you want to try!
(The proportions I always make is 1 cup of milk for 3 heaping tablespoons of oatmeal, sugar to taste)

Today I wanted ice cream with chocolate sauce… we bought the ice cream and I decided to adventure myself with the sauce. It came out good but not exactly as I wanted, not fudgy enough, so I will not post the first recipe I tested. Instead, I am going to experiment during the week and when I find out the right recipe I will share here with you all!

Until then, let me ask you guys, do you have a recipe for some fudgy chocolate sauce? The recipe I tested used cocoa, sugar, milk, butter, and semisweet chocolate chips. It came out nice looking and good tasting too, but still not as I wanted. I am guessing I need some corn syrup to make it sort of fudge-like, right?! (Not a big fan of corn syrup though…)

Just one more thing, off topic and nothing to do with food, but… does your husband (significant other) also doesn’t notice when you get a hair cut or is it just mine?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!
(Yes, oatmeal is comforting and makes you very happy when you get abrand new hair cut!)


Ice cream and chocolate sauce
, first attempt.

Oatmeal with Apples, Hazelnuts, and Flaxseed
1/4 cup hazelnuts
3 cups fat-free milk
1 1/2 cups regular oats
1 1/2 cups diced Granny Smith apple (about 1 medium)
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350°.
Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes, stirring once. Turn nuts out onto a towel. Roll up towel; rub off skins. Finely chop nuts, and set aside.
Combine milk and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in vanilla. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until thick. Sprinkle with hazelnuts, brown sugar, and almonds.
Cooking Light – May 2005


Anonymous said...

Sweet Ana, I also love oatmeal as you describe. Mum always used to make it in the mornings. Sometimes I think that it might be a very Brazilian thing to cook it like that. Most of my friends are quite surprised when they see me preparing mine and would most definitely not join me. My boyfriend is from Scotland and the Scotts have their oatmeal with water and salt.That's right!! And listen to that : he says that it makes him sick to think of having sweet oatmeal, and makes funny faces whilst I'm preparing mine. WEll, I guess at least we will never fight over a bowl of oatmeal.
Must ask you: what is that lovely penguin in the chocolate sauce picture? It's gorgeous!
Well, it's more than past bedtime for me. It will be another 3 hour sleep night.
Keep well.

Tyanne said...

I think it's all husbands. I have tried many of the recipes you have posted, and have liked them all. Thanks for a great Blog.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ana! I... erm... make my oat porridge using those one portion sachets. Microwavable ones, to be honest. I've got no dignity at all, have I? Oh and I loved your ice cream scoop too!

I hope you get better soon from the tyroid problem!

Feetje said...

Just had to come here to let you know something. Yesterday, during one of my pregnancy cravings I just had to eat chicken burgers, but since I found out how disgustingly the industrialized ones are prepared I refuse to eat those things so I found myself quite lost, 'till I remembered of the chicken burger recipe you posted here a while ago. Gotta admit that as I prepared them and added the breadcrumbs to the mixture I thought they would be dried. The first bite was amazing. The surprise of everything working out fine, and the taste!! The onion moisty taste blended in so well with the chicken. Only thing I did different than you was that I omited peppers (white and cayenne) because I can't eat spicy food.
Well, just wanted you to know. Next recipe will be apple pie :o)
Take care :o)

Anonymous said...

I never really liked oatmeal (except for cookies) until we tried steel cut oatmeal. Now it's one of my favorites.

Hope you are feeling better! :)

Michele said...

I eat oatmeal every morning, I HAVE to try this!