Wow. It's uh...been a while. Because you know what? Grad school. The new semester started last Tuesday. Also, I was teaching. But the teacher I was covering for is back, meaning I'm back to part-time tutoring and as-needed subbing. It was fun to be a real teacher there for a few weeks, but I'm glad to be able to devote more mental energy to keeping up with four grad classes, a couple of which look like they're going to be a good bit more demanding than anything I took last semester.
What exciting developments in your life did we miss, Lori? Oh, thanks for asking. Well, let's see. Raj went skiing in Nagano for a long weekend. I couldn't go along since it overlapped with some school days, but I did host a girls' night in, which included a viewing of The Greatest Chick Movie OF ALL TIME, a.k.a. Steel Magnolias. Because laughter through tears is my favorite emotion. I considered making an armadillo cake for the occasion, but like M'Lynn Eatenton, I was stumped as to how one goes about achieving gray icing.
Oh, and we've been eating a whole different kind of breakfast. I KNOW. How could I keep you in the dark about this important development for so long? I apologize.
It felt like time for a break from the overnight oats. And something warm sounded good since winter (ok, "winter") has come to Okinawa. I'd tell you what the outside temperature is when I get out of bed, but then you might all leave me hateful comments, so I'll just mention that it's chilly inside our house in the mornings. Plus, we had some bananas that were well past their prime and I knew I'd pinned a recipe for baked banana oatmeal.
That recipe was this one from Budget Bytes, a cooking blog I highly recommend to you. (Her chicken yakisoba is a frequent dinner around here.) We liked the banana baked oats so much, I decided to try some variations. For my next trick, I used this recipe for single serving blueberry almond baked oats, adapted using roughly the ingredient measurements from the banana baked oats to turn it into a pie pan-sized amount. (Because, seriously, I'm going to get all of that stuff out and only get one breakfast out of it? No.) And lo, it was good too. (If you make it, be sure to include the almond extract. I might have skipped it if I didn't already have some here, but I do think it's key to the deliciousness.) In both of these recipes, I cut way back on the sugar. And I added about 1 T chia seeds per serving. For added nutrition and fillingness, yes, plus another reason. See, chia seeds have a lot of fiber. I put a tablespoon in our overnight oats every day. And once your body adjusts to having a tablespoon of chia every morning, you want to continue to have it. For...digestive purposes.
It was my third attempt that resulted in what Raj called "my favorite of your breakfast concoctions". Naturally, since this one was Indian spiced oats. Way to be an ethnic stereotype, Raj. I found a recipe back on Budget Bytes for Indian spiced steel cut oats. It looked like a good candidate to be turned into baked oatmeal and we happened to have all of the stuff. So here, for your viewing pleasure, is my adapted recipe:
Preheat your oven to 350. When your oven beeps to indicate it has reached the desired tempterature, call it a liar. Out loud. Because thanks to your handy oven thermometer, you happen to know that when it beeps, it's generally really at about 200. LIAR.
Does it matter that much if you do this in two separate bowls? I have no idea. It seems like this is the general method and I have a dishwasher, so I go along.
In a big mixing bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients (cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, salt, baking powder, brown sugar, oats, and chia seeds if using). In a smaller bowl, whisk together your eggs, coconut milk, and vanilla. If you happen to overflow the teaspoon when adding the vanilla, everything will not be ruined forever. It might even taste better than if you don't. I wouldn't know because I've never added the precise amount of vanilla to anything.
Dump your liquid ingredients into the big bowl and stir it all up. Then add a cup of raisins and a half cup of almonds. But hey, you've already got a measuring cup out, so you could probably just estimate half of that for the almonds. Or if you want more than half a cup, knock yourself out. Almonds are good for you. Stir everything together.
Now you've got options. Last time, I dumped the whole thing into a pie pan. A square (8x8 or 9x9) pan would work too. This time, I decided to make six jumbo muffins since, for reasons I do not recall, I happen to own a jumbo muffin tin. And since there are a lot of really filling ingredients here, this can be about six servings. You could make regular muffins too. I can't make all of the decisions for you people. Whatever pan you choose, you should grease it. This is where your reputable cooking blogs would tell you to lightly grease the pan. And where I tell you to go ahead and grease the hell out of it. If you're making muffins, try to get them to all be roughly the same size.
Put whatever you've got into the oven. Bake it until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. For the pie pan, this took about 40 minutes. For the giant muffins, more like 30. One assumes regular-sized muffins would bake even more quickly. Cool on a cooling rack (or whatever) and then store in the fridge. In the morning, reheat a serving in the microwave for 30 seconds or however long floats your boat. Enjoy.
Preferably with coffee. So much coffee. ALL THE COFFEE.
Indian Spiced Baked Oatmeal
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 c brown sugar
2 c. old fashioned oats
4-6 T chia seeds (optional)
2 large eggs
2 cups or 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk or light coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 c raisins
1/2 sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, salt, baking powder, brown sugar, oats, and chia seeds if using. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, coconut milk, and vanilla. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until well combined. Stir in raisins and almonds. Pour batter into greased pie pan, square pan, or muffin tin. Bake 20-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm. Or cool completely, then cover with foil or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Makes about six servings, depending on how hungry you are.