Recipe: Super Baked Oatmeal

For starters, it’s not the most photogenic food.

baked oatmeal in a glass baking dish

But I’m not going to apologize, because this super baked oatmeal is KK’s new favorite breakfast.

She likes it because it’s healthful and keeps her full until lunch time.

I like it because:

  • I can make our breakfasts for the week in about 15 minutes.
  • It’s gluten free (when you use gf oats, etc)
  • It’s customizable enough that I can change the flavor profile and not feel like we’re eating the same thing week after week.
  • It’s forgiving enough that I only actually measure out the oats and the milk. Everything else gets eyeballed.
  • It’s got all the goodness of oatmeal, without the pot or bowls to sandblast clean every day.

Super Baked Oatmeal

Adapted from a recipe in Cooking Light
Yields: 10 generous servings, enough for 2 people to enjoy every weekday

Ingredients

4 cups uncooked gluten-free oats (old-fashioned and quick cooking work equally well)
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
1/2 cup coconut flakes (sweetened or not)
2 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups milk
1 cup applesauce
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
optional: 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, OR apple pie spice

Preheat oven to 375º. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes.

To serve warm: Top it with butter, margarine, heavy cream, cream cheese, greek yogurt, maple syrup, or honey.

To serve later: It’s easier to slice after it’s been in the refrigerator. Reheat individual servings in the microwave for 60 to 90 seconds.

To customize:

  • Make a 4 or 5 serving size by halving all the ingredients and cook it in an 8×8 pan (or an 8- or 9-inch cake pan — like I said, it’s forgiving) for about 35 minutes
  • Instead of raisins, try any dried fruits, like cranberries, dates, currants, or berries.
  • Instead of dried fruits, try fresh blueberries or chopped bananas.
  • And while I personally don’t like chocolate chips with oats, I won’t tell the breakfast police if you throw some in there.
  • Instead of walnuts, try pecans, cashews, or mixed nuts. Or go no-nuts, and just add extra fruit or your favorite seeds.
  • Instead of milk, try substituting your favorite milk-alternative — I bet it would work fine.

You can probably also sub out the sugar, oil, and eggs, too. Let us know in the comments if you try something else that works!

One year ago today

Exactly one year ago today, after more than a year of
wishing,
hoping,
planning,
trying,
and two-week-waiting,
I saw this:

Positive home pregnancy test (HPT)

Three weeks later, my wife and I saw this:

Twin ultrasound at six weeks gestation

And in late October, the world saw this:

New mom holding twin babies in hospital

And now everyday, I get to see this:

twins

Life is so strange and so good. Who needs Valentine’s Day with a February 13th like this?

File under “God Bless America”

 

 

It really cheers me to to know that no matter how bad things may get, there are ways to keep doing bad things.

Like with this Posey Smoker’s Apron, designed “for individuals who smoke and require a protective cover to shield against hot ashes and dropped cigarettes.”  The “wipe clean, silicone coated fiberglass fabric” will protect your outsides while you poison your insides. Available in navy blue or light gray.

Working it out

Benefits of moving to another county

KK will be able to second-parent-adopt the babies, so they’ll have the two legally-recognized parents that they deserve. That we deserve.

Closer to friends and family

Closer to all my healthcare providers and the hospital we’ll deliver at

Closer to friends and family

Opportunity to find a house/apartment without stairs, so I wouldn’t have to worry so much about my future mobility or lack thereof

Closer to the farmer’s markets

Closer to the airport

Closer to friends and family

Potential for using public transport at least occasionally

Closer to a few bakeries that offer gluten-free goodies

Closer to more alternative families (there are some everywhere, I know, but there’s a greater concentration intown)

Closer to free/lowcost cultural events and field trips

Closer to friends and family

 

Benefits of staying where we are

…uh…

Not having to come up with a $20,000 cash ransom before we’ll be allowed to leave?

We get to continue working on our cooperation skills by sharing a single bathroom sink? Even though KK sticks her elbows out like Peter Pan when she’s brushing her teeth?

 

This makes my head hurt.

Thrift Happy Thursday

Exhibit A: Lucky charms, minus the arms

I’ve heard that horseshoes are lucky, but never have I ever heard anything about a headless/limbless woman’s torso adding any particular oomph to a horseshoe’s benefits.

Exhibit B: Head and limbs, but no torso

It’s kind of like the Care Bear Stare, but with about 1,000% more creepiness. I think this unfortunate little guy was supposed to be painted…and filled…to celebrate…a holiday? But it’s an even Easter/Halloween split, so I give up.

I will admit to being temporarily tempted to use him as a salt pig instead.

Exhibit C: Speaking of staring

Pink Squirrel knows what you’ve been up to. If he had a mouth, he’d scream.

Exhibit D: Just four aisles away

These guys were shocked — SHOCKED! — at the prices on promotional backpacks. Is this a thrift store or Needless Markup?

Exhibit E: Not from a thrift, but fits the creepy theme of today’s post

I arrived on the scene after whatever happened had already happened. I think it’s better that way.

Exhibit F: For “Freaky”

A few weeks ago, I discovered a new Salvation Army store that was previously unknown to me (but is only 0.3 miles from one of the best Goodwills in the metro area AND close to a Park Avenue thrift and maybe a Value Village).

It was a HUGE store, brightly lit, fully-stocked, and nearly empty ON A SATURDAY. It didn’t even smell like a thrift store. It didn’t smell like anything, really.

Until I went in the bathroom.

As soon as I pushed open the door to the (spacious, well-lit, empty) ladies’ room, I was bowled over by the smell of moth balls. Lots and lots of moth balls. Pew.

But duty calls. I chose a stall, and as I’m sitting down, I’m thinking, “Who has a problem with moths in the –” when this tiny little moth flew into my stall and perched on the wall.

Well. Question answered, before I could even finish asking.

 

Birthday, Part 1

My birthday didn’t start out well.

To begin with, it fell on a Monday this year, which is not a day known for its devil-may-care attitude or raucous parties.

It had been raining, and cloudy, and raining for days.

The Saturday just prior, I attended my last grandmother’s funeral…in the rain.

My lovely, shy Nana

Her life lesson from beyond the grave: let people take your goddamn picture every once in a while, or else your family will be forced to use your 20+ year old Glamour Shot, because no more recent photo could be located.

Then, back to birthday Monday, I waited with KK while she had her sprained wrist x-rayed, then drove us all over, in rush hour traffic, to get a part for the pool pump that had broken Sunday evening.

And they accidentally kept her credit card, and we had to go back and get it (hurry! in rush hour!) because they closed at 6pm.

And we found out this morning that it wasn’t even the right part. But I digress.

On the way back from the pool store, KK reminded me that the iPad mini she’d ordered for my birthday wouldn’t arrive for another week. (Joy.) This time, she let slip that she was having it engraved — something I’ve never had done before.

Before I could stop my morbid self, I said, “But that means I won’t be able to resell it.”

The Apple ladder is how I’ve managed to afford my last iPhone, and I’m planning to sell my iPad 1 (practically an antique!) to pay for most of the Mini. It’s how we not-richies get the goods, right?

So then KK got on the phone and tried to cancel the order.

She tried to return the only birthday present I knew I was getting, before I even got it.

I might have cried, there in the interminable rush hour gridlock.

Luckily, they wouldn’t let her cancel the order. I think they said she’d have to wait and return it? But by then, I can throw my body over it to stop her from doing so.

When we finally got home, I started making dinner, and KK went to run some “top-secret birthday errands.”

I really didn’t want her to go. I was so afraid she’d come back with some balloons or something so obviously last-minute, back-up birthdayish, and I’d have to pretend to be cheered by it, but really, it would just be that much more depressing. Right?

I needn’t have worried. (When will I learn?)

First, my bacon-hating sweetheart showed up with this card and present.

And an armful of these, so I got to play Miss America right in my own living room. Bra-less and tear-stained, but I got the wave down pat.

They even SMELL good!

While I put the finishing touches on dinner, she turned the bouquet into this.

My latest addiction is the rice krispie treats that Publix sells in their bakery (BOGO this week, yo!). I ate a box a few days ago, and right before KK went to run errands, I asked her to bring me two more boxes (while they’re still on sale, of course).

Even so, I was surprised when I asked where she’d put the krispies, and she handed me this instead.

And then she said, “I bought all the krispies the store had.”

It was only 3 boxes, but isn’t that the most romantic thing to hear?!

Birthday Part 2 will take place this weekend, with all the best Pals (on Saturday) and the parents (on Sunday). I know we’re going to have a blast, and I needn’t have worried, etc etc. Even so, it was really lovely to let KK save the day in a way that only she can.