Going home for the holidays can mean being force-fed giant breakfasts of bacon, bagels, and various Christmas cookies, but it can also mean unlimited access to my mom's full-sized, non-apartment kitchen, which gives me plenty of options for making my own meals.
Oatmeal has always been my go-to office breakfast, but I'd never tried baked oatmeal before this weekend. Not only is it less watery than packaged oatmeal but it has a much deeper, homemade flavor. I chose to start with the recipe from Everybody Likes Sandwiches for a few reasons:
It's a wonderful blog, the recipe didn't require half a cup of oil, and it was padded out with fruit.
My first attempt made the kitchen smell like a pie factory, and though I liked it, my family felt it needed a little more sweetness. So, the second time around, I took out the coconut (which we couldn't taste anyway) and added a bit of brown sugar.
The result was a warm, filling, comparatively healthy alternative to Mom's bacon and egg smorgasbords. Plus, it's pretty infinitely adaptable. Dried cranberries, walnuts, or even peanut butter would all make excellent additions.
- 1 cup oats (Quaker old-fashioned, etc.)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Dash each of cloves, nutmeg, and/or cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large apple, peeled and diced
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 2/3 cup apple cider
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 5 pecan or walnut halves, chopped
- Butter or shortening
Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a small casserole dish.
In a medium bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and other spices. Stir to mix. Add apples. Stir again and pour into casserole dish.
In a large glass measuring cup, slowly whisk milk, cider, and maple syrup together. Pour into oatmeal mixture.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove, top with pecan bits, and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven, let sit for 5 minutes to cool, and serve.