Blissfully Baked (Oatmeal)

We need to lighten up  a little this week, Dave and I (at least in my opinion…I haven’t actually checked with Dave yet; he’s hunched over the computer with Turbo Tax). This probably sounds melodramatic, but we’ve been just entrenched in Japan and Libya news. As a result, we’ve been kind of hard on ourselves for anything that seems frivolous. We didn’t go out for St. Patrick’s Day. I’ve been mentally scolding myself for just thinking about the likes of Facebook and Twitter. We’ve even been feeling guilty when we’ve had the slightest complaints or disinclination about tough key workouts, reminding ourselves that being able to “train” as recreational athletes is a luxury. These are healthy thoughts, but to a point. I realized when my sister sent me this video link that I’ve been letting myself get lured into excessive Debbie Downerdom; in fact, I may owe my teaching teammates an apology for steering every casual lunchtime conversation into the arena of what’s wrong with the world lately (so sorry, Steph and Kelly, if that’s the case! Thanks for putting up with me!). I’m not sure I actually advise you to click on the aforementioned link, or even what I think of it. It’s a Japanese educational video for kids explaining the nuclear threat, and pinned on a poop analogy; you may find if hilarious, tasteless, or even offensive.  Yet it did have the effect of making me remember for all Japan’s amazing intellect, strength, and efficiency, the culture has its silly side, too; and somehow people manage to retain and draw from some place of  lightness even in the face of overwhelming tragedy and looming threat.

Recently, with all the heavy doses of perspective, we have been re-framing and underlining goals and priorities, and I realize this is a really good thing, as long as, like everything, there’s balance. Keep those most important to you close to your heart, and show them the love, but for goodness sake, don’t drown them in gravity! That’s what I’m telling myself, and why I think this  week we need to let loose a little.  I promised our friend Jen I’d save “get silly drunk”, if that is ever to happen, for when she either visits or moves back to Colorado.  Next on the list was watching some crappy but hilarious comedy, but instead we chose Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story”,  not exactly what I had in mind. So for now, I’m settling for giving myself a mild giggle by naming my oatmeal tacked to a euphemism. Kind of sad, right? But not really, because baked oatmeal is awesome.  Considering how much I love oatmeal, you’d think I’d have discovered that before now. It’s creamy along the lines of rice pudding, and you can throw any and all of your favorite oatmeal toppings in there. I’m told my friend Susan makes an unbeatable baked oatmeal, and rumor has it the key is using coconut milk. I’ll have to ask her for her tips and update! This recipe is adapted from a recipe in Simply in Season, a cookbook I borrowed for way too long from my patient friend Melissa. The original recipe includes oil and applesauce. I used less sugar but more dried fruit, didn’t have applesauce, and didn’t want to use oil, so I more than doubled the liquid, and I loved the result. Here you go! : )

Baked Oatmeal

Serves 4

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2-3/4 cup chopped fruit/dried fruit (I used dried cranberries and apricots this time)
  • 2 cups  milk (I used skim)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 cups hot water

Combine oats, brown sugar, baking powder and dried fruit. In a separate bowl, mix milk and egg. Add to the oats and stir in the water. Pour mixture in a prepared 8 X 8/2 inch baking pan or 2 quart casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees F/180 C for 30 minutes.


Approximate Nutrition info based on 4 servings, using raisins for dried fruit, and skim milk

Calories: 321.2; Fat: 3.8 g; Saturated fat: 1.3 g; Cholesterol: 48.8 mg; Sodium: 89 mg; Potassium: 554.7 mg; Carbohydrate: 92.9 g; Fiber: 9 g; Protein, 11.2 g

Photo credit: Flikr user JPom1

  1. Burke
    March 20, 2011

    Nice post my dear…gave Joan & I food–or oatmeal–for thought in our similar mindset this past week. Thanks!

    • Wendy McMillan
      March 20, 2011

      Thanks, Burke! Dave actually noticed your post the other day reflecting that similar state of mind, and it was kind of reassuring. Looking forward to seeing you and Joan soon!

  2. Burke
    March 20, 2011

    …IN FACT, we are going to have it for breakfast this morning

    • Wendy McMillan
      March 20, 2011

      Hope breakfast was delicious! Beautiful day–here’s to a ‘looking up’ week for all of us! : )

  3. Lisa Smith
    March 20, 2011

    Love this post Wendy; we all need to let loose a little and just “chill”. I am so looking forward to spring break to let my mind just run on neutral and follow my heart re doing whatever, whenever! Hang in there and thanks for the wonderful post and recipe!!

    • Wendy McMillan
      March 20, 2011

      Thank you, Lisa! You know you always make me so happy with your feedback. I can’t wait for spring break either!! Time to recharge. xo

  4. Jen Price
    March 21, 2011

    Okay…you promised!! 🙂

    That oatmeal dish sounds delicious!!!

    • Wendy McMillan
      March 29, 2011

      Come back and visit soon, soon, soon, and we’ll make it!

  5. Susan
    March 26, 2011

    I just made this–I made a bigger recipe (I used 2 eggs, increased the milk, water, and oatmeal) to fit my casserole dish and added cinnamon. It’s so good!

  6. Charla
    April 11, 2011

    Mmm! This sounds good! I think I’ve been inspired for the next rainy morning. 🙂

  7. lisa smith
    June 21, 2011

    Hey Wendy!

    When you get a chance could you send me nutritional breakdown on this recipe when using soy? Whenever you can; hope summer is going well.


    • Wendy McMillan
      June 21, 2011

      Sure thing, Lisa! How many servings would you typically make the recipe go for?

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