Hello new kitchen! We've just moved to a new home, and I don't mind telling you that it took us a couple days of piling dirty dishes in the sink to remember, wait, we have a dishwasher... A quick trip to Target for some detergent, and an hour later, we were pulling clean glasses out of the washer, marveling at them as if they were made of emeralds. "Look! They're clean!"
The Magic Dish Cleaner-Upper Machine
However, anyone who has moved can tell you that it feels like a really long game of Fruit Basket Upset. Everything is in disorder, you don't quite know where you are or what you are supposed to do next, and frankly, I still haven't found my glasses. After a couple scrubby days of hauling boxes, scrubbing floors, and sustaining ourselves on cold pizza, I needed a) a really long hot shower and b) to bake something comforting.
I ripped this recipe out of Reader's Digest, but it's from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson and her gorgeous natural foods blog 101 Cookbooks. If you've been visiting my little blog for any amount of time, you know I don't subscribe to any one food philosophy. Come over for dinner and you may be served meat and potatoes (probably grouse, pheasant, or venison), but you're just as likely to get a big plate of veggie stir-fry with edamame and brown rice on the side. We don't really do "meatless Mondays," because frankly, many meals are meatless in our house; but then again, you may swing by in a couple weeks and see a mule deer hanging in our garage with me frying up thin slices of deer heart in a cast iron pan. In my kitchen, all* are welcome. *Except Monsanto, if I can help it.
I made this baked oatmeal on Sunday morning as my friend Amber and her sweet daughter Emma stopped by to visit. We all ended up digging in, comfort in a bowl, nourishing and just sweet enough with berries and bananas and a little extra cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top. I promised Amber and Emma that I'd share the recipe, and it was so good that I made it again this week for a weekday breakfast. If you'd like, you can assemble it the night before and pop it in the oven in the morning; also, leftovers are good warmed up the next day.
I'm not sure if it was this magical oatmeal, the fact that one of my best friends was sitting at my kitchen table, or just the quiet of Sunday, but making this dish marked the first moment that I finally started feeling like this wasn't "the new house." This was home. Our home. And as we sat together at our kitchen table, I could almost hear the tender little roots of our family starting to plunge and stretch into the soil under our feet.
Check out the original recipe here. But do make this. Really. I think you'll like it.
2 cups rolled oats (aka old-fashioned oats, not quick cooking)
1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted and chopped (toast in the oven while it's warming up for a few mins)
1/3 cup sugar OR maple syrup
1 tsp. baking powder
1 and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Scant 1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups milk
3 Tbls. butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, sliced
1 and 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries or mixed berries
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8x8" baking dish. In a bowl, mix together oats, sugar (if using), baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together maple syrup (if using), milk, egg, half the melted butter, and vanilla.
Spread banana slices on bottom of baking dish. Sprinkle two-thirds of the berries over the top. Cover fruit with the oat mixture and slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats. Gently shake the dish to make sure the milk moves through the oats. Scatter the walnuts and remaining berries across the top.
Bake 35-45 minutes or until the top is golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes. Drizzle remaining butter on top and serve with extra sugar or maple syrup.