A Successful Oatmeal Experiment

Well, today’s oatmeal experiment was less successful. You warned me, but now I have empirical evidence that I do not like making steel-cut oats in the microwave. I will not be trying that again. (I will probably try the overnight method at some point, but the problem is that I don’t necessarily know the night before whether I’ll want oatmeal in the morning.)

Even though I was just making 1/4 c. of oats and I put it in a large covered 4 c. glass measuring dish, that wasn’t large enough to keep it from foaming over anyway, which made an extra mess to clean up, bah.

AND, less of the liquid cooked off, so while the oats were cooked in 10 minutes, they were swimming in more liquid that I would want. Much prefer stovetop method, where the liquid simmers down and concentrates to more of a porridge-y thing.

On the other hand, I tried a different chocolate-nut butter, and I think it’s a better option for me (I’m pre-diabetic, and had gestational diabetes with Anand, so I try to watch my sugars).

Justin’s Chocolate & Almond Butter isn’t as sweet as Nutella, nor as silky, so if you’re going for that dessert-y feel, you may be disappointed. And it does have a little more fat & a fair bit more sodium than Nutella, so if you’re trying to limit those, you may not want to switch.

But Justin’s has half the sugar / carbohydrates of Nutella, which is better for me. I also appreciate that the first ingredients listed (the ingredients it has the most of) are hazelnuts and almonds, where Nutella’s first ingredients are sugar and palm oil.

Justin’s is quite nice swirled in with oatmeal, banana, and a sprinkle of chia seeds, and I like it straight off the spoon too — that bit of extra salt is a nice contrast with the nutty sweet.

Oatmeal Options

This morning’s oatmeal — my doc says I need to lower my cholesterol a tiny bit, so I’m experimenting with oatmeal options. I had a banana that was on its last day, so oatmeal + banana + a heaping teaspoon of Nutella. Yum.

It looks a little ooky when you mix it all together, but it tastes delicious. I offered Anand a spoon of it to try, and he tried to take my bowl away. I made him make his own. 🙂

I don’t really love sweet breakfasts, so savory oatmeal experiments may be coming soon.

Oatmeal and Knitting

Autumn mornings — oatmeal and knitting. 🙂 Between start of semester, ChiCon, eldercare, and catching a bad cold, I haven’t had time or energy for knitting in a while, especially something that takes as much concentration as this pattern. Nice to come back to it. Breathing in that crisp fall air…

D20 Birthday Waffles

Today for Anand’s birthday weekend, I’ve promised to run a small D&D-style one-shot game for him. A couple of friends are coming over later today, so I need to go find some character sheets to download and remind myself how to roll up characters. But I thought it was appropriate to start the day off with D20 waffles…

Cooking Class: Sri Lankan Brunch (9/25, in person)

Cooking with Mary Anne! Learn how to make a classic Sri Lankan brunch of hoppers (with both egg hopper and sweet coconut hopper variations), along with coconut (pol) sambol accompaniment. Served with an accompanying fish or jackfruit curry, and mango-passionfruit mimosas.

  • Sunday, September 25, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • $60 / person (or $85 / person, which includes a signed copy of A Feast of Serendib and a 4 oz. sampler of homemade Sri Lankan curry powder).
  • Limit 8 in class.
  • 332 Wisconsin Ave, Oak Park, Illinois

Click here to sign up for the class.

Bumbleberry Rhubarb Bar

(about one hour, plus cooling time; makes 16 bars)

These fruity little fusion bars could be breakfast or dessert! I used up the last of the berries from my spring garden, along with rhubarb, and gave it a slightly Sri Lankan inflection with lime juice in the filling and cashews for the topping.

If you don’t have fresh berries and rhubarb on hand, frozen will work fine — just cook them down long enough for the excess water to cook off, so you get a good thick filling consistency.

If you’re making this in Sri Lanka, you might use native embilla, a berry with a flavor that’s somewhat similar to grapes, or try Ceylon gooseberries, which have a flavor reminiscent of apricot.

1 1/2 c. rhubarb, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 c. fresh berries — raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, etc.
1/2 c. sugar
2 T lime juice
1 1/2 T cornstarch

1 1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. quick oats
1/2 c. jaggery or brown sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. chopped cashews

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8″ square pan with parchment paper. (You can butter and flour the pan instead, but it’ll be a little harder to take the bars out neatly.) Set aside.

2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring filling ingredients to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes, until the filling is thickened and rhubarb and berries are starting to break down. Remove from heat; set aside until fully cooled.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combing flour, oats, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Melt butter and drizzle in, stirring until the mixture forms loose crumbs.

4. Press half the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Spread cooled filling onto the crust, and crumble the reserved topping evenly onto the filling. Scatter chopped cashews over the top, pressing in lightly.

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until filling is bubbly around the edge and topping is lightly golden. Let cool completely in the pan. Transfer to a cutting board and cut carefully into 16 bars. Enjoy!