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