Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hot Breakfast for a Cold Day...

Well, like 70% of the US, we are covered in snow today. Frankly I love it, but it may be because I work from home and don't have to drive in it. The roads look OK though. The grandgirls will be coming for the afternoon, so I made supper already and am ready to spend some one on two time with the cutest babies ever.

But, breakfast is what I want to talk about today. I like oatmeal, kind of, but really like steel cut oats. They take a long time to cook, but you can shorten the time quite a bit if you start the night before.

Put 1/2 C steel cut oats in a pot and add 2 C water and bring to a boil, then put a lid on it, take it off the burner and let set overnight. In the morning scoop out what you want, add some milk and warm it up in the microwave. Delicious. This is two servings.

But, today I made Michigan Baked Oatmeal which is an old recipe I hadn't made for years. My sister, Gail, emailed me yesterday saying she had made it and it was great. I found this recipe in a book of breakfast recipes used at Bed and Breakfasts, so it is pretty universally liked.

So, for these cold snowy mornings, straight from the Bluegrass from a born and bred Michigan girl:

Michigan Baked Oatmeal
About 5-6 large servings

2 C old fashioned rolled oats
4 C milk
1/2 t almond flavoring
1/4 C brown sugar
1/2 C sliced almonds
1/2 C dried cherries
1 large apple, unpeeled and grated [or chopped fine]

Preheat the oven to 400°.  Coat a 3 qt casserole dish with PAM.  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well.  Put in baking dish and top with more almonds.  Bake uncovered for  45 minutes.  Serve hot. What is left over can be refrigerated and then re-heated in the microwave or pan fried in a bit of butter.  

I love this served with a cup of hot Darjeeling tea, but a cup of my Famous Hot Cocoa would go great with it too. 

Take care,

Here's the hot cocoa recipe in case you missed it:

Jill's Famous Hot Cocoa

Mix together in a 2 quart pan:
1/4 Cup dry baking cocoa
1/4 Cup white sugar [for sweeter cocoa make this a heaping 1/4 cup full or about 1/3 cup]
1/4 Cup water
1/4 tsp salt [optional]

Boil for 1 minute, then add:
1 quart milk
Heat till drinking temperature.
You can add some cream to this, or some whipped cream to the top. Kari and I usually add about 1-2 Tablespoons of real butter with the milk to give it a creamier taste. You may want to add 1 tsp of vanilla before serving.

This makes about 4 large cups of cocoa. Kari got too impatient waiting for the cocoa to heat, so she heated the milk in the microwave while she was bringing the cocoa, sugar and water to a boil on the stove. That way, when it boiled, she could put in hot milk and the cocoa was done in no time at all.

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