Friday, January 24, 2014

Breakfast Perfection!

Recently, I was catching up on reading posts at Lines from Linderhof - a very lovely blog. The January 8th post gave a recipe for Baked Apple Pie Oatmeal.  Since I've been eating oatmeal for breakfast for several years, my attention was piqued.  It's healthy, and has reduced my cholesterol count, so I'm always interested in new ways to prepare it.

I decided to give the recipe a try.  When making a recipe for the first time I always follow directions exactly, and after that I tweak it to make it my own.  

The first day I didn't put aluminum foil underneath the ramekin, and the oatmeal bubbled over in my oven making a mess to clean up.  Grrrr!  ;-)   The recipe called for 1/2 cup of milk to 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats  [not quick or instant, which I never use].  That was too dry for my taste, and since it only required 18-22 minutes of baking time, the apples were still crunchy.

The next day I increased the milk to 1 cup [which is the ratio used on the Quaker container]. To prevent any more oven spillovers, I placed the ramekin in a square baking pan and poured a little water in the pan so clean up would be easy.  To my amazement, it didn't bubble over, and the water prevented a crusty top. Definite progress! ;-) I increased the baking time to 40 minutes, and the apples were soft.  The recipe doesn't call for any sugar allowing the apple to sweeten it naturally. A plus since I'm trying to lose weight.

On day three I substituted almond flavoring for vanilla, and topped it with 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts when it came out of the oven.  It was better, but still wasn't quite there yet. I concluded it needed a little additional sweetening. The calorie count for 1 tablespoon of brown sugar is 45 calories, so yesterday I added  that to the recipe.  I'm done tweaking! Like Goldilocks when she ate baby bear's porridge, my taste buds declared, it was j-u-s-t right!

The 40 minute baking time makes it ideal for my schedule.  After awaking, I go into the kitchen and put the ingredients together.  While it's baking I have my devotions [giving "First Fruits" to God - if you read my post last Sunday you'll know what that means]. When my devotions are done, the baked oatmeal is done.  I almost always eat breakfast by myself while sitting at my computer leisurely reading the blogs I follow.  [I love retirement! ;-)]

Lately my morning and afternoon tea has been Harney & Sons "Holiday Tea," a black tea blend with fruit and spices.  It goes perfect with the baked oatmeal. 

Baked Apple Pie Oatmeal
[Serves 1]

1 cup milk [skim, 2% or whole - I use 2%]
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon almond extract [or vanilla if you prefer]
1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
scant 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 small apple, chopped [or half of a large one]
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degree oven.  Grease  a single serving ramekin with butter or Pam. Mix together all ingredients and pour into ramekin.  Place in a shallow baking pan and fill with  a quarter inch of water. Bake in oven for 40 minutes.  Sprinkle top with chopped walnuts or almonds.  Add an additional splash of milk if desired.  Enjoy!

Oatmeal, cinnamon, and walnuts all lower cholesterol.  Everything I read says breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and this healthy, hearty "stick to your ribs" breakfast contains 533 calories. It's so worth the time and effort. I might drizzle a tablespoon of maple syrup over the top tomorrow, and tack on 52 more calories! ;-)


  1. Ooh, that sounds good! I think I will try it for breakfast tomorrow, I have all the ingredients but the walnuts! and I can substitute some chopped pecans. And Harney's Holiday Tea is one of my very favorites. I keep a box at work and enjoy it mid morning. Hope you have a great weekend.

  2. Your recipe sounds delicious, and I did read Martha's post when it came out. I had been cooking oatmeal in a pot the old fashioned way but Dr. Oz kept saying to buy microwave steel cut oats. They weren't in any of our grocery stores, and then one day they appeared as a store brand in one place I frequent. Ready in 2 minutes, made with water and I add cinnamon and 1/4 c frozen blueberries that I picked last summer.
    Although I grew up having brown sugar on my oatmeal, I find I like it plain now but will drizzle some maple syrup over it for a change.
    Have a great day Phyllis.

  3. Hi Phyllis, This sounds so good! I like oatmeal with apples and also with blueberries. I read and enjoy Lines at Linderhof too. Martha makes every meal or tea a celebration! I admire that. Have a wonderful day, Phyllis, and a delightful weekend!

  4. I love hearing how you went about tweaking this new oatmeal recipe!


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