Tag Archives: breakfast

NanaBread’s Caramel Apple Oatmeal


This morning, as I zombie-stumbled to my coffee pot, I noticed 3 wrinkling apples in my fruit bowl. After I had my coffee firmly planted in my cup which was glued to my hand, I went back to take a closer look. You know that stage when apples have been sitting around a few days too long? When their skins become a little wrinkly and they start to feel slightly rubbery to the touch? Well, my three aging apples were staring me down this morning, daring me to do something. Choices: throw them in the trash or cut them up and see what happens. Since I hate to waste anything, I decided to peel and chop them and turn them into a lovely breakfast of caramel apple oatmeal. Have I ever cooked or eaten caramel apple oatmeal before? Nope. But that didn’t stop me.

To make this, you will need:

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
½ cup of brown sugar, packed
2 ½ to 3 cups of peeled, diced apples (I used Gala)

1 cup of water
1 cup of milk
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 cup of extra-thick rolled oats

In a heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the butter and brown sugar. Cook over medium-low heat until the sugar starts to melt and the mixture starts to bubble a little. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. When the apples turn a nice opaque brown and the caramel sauce is bubbling and starting to thicken, they’re done. Pour the apples into a heat-proof bowl and set aside.

In the same saucepan (don’t rinse it out), heat the water, milk and salt until it starts to bubble gently. Add the oats, give them a good stir, and place a lid on the pan. Cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, or until most of the moisture is absorbed. When it’s done, give it another good stir for good measure. Now grab your apples. Set aside a few spoonfuls for garnish, then pour the apples and caramel syrup into the pan of oatmeal. Stir until well combined. Spoon into serving bowls and top with the reserved apples. This smells SO good!

If you like your oatmeal slightly sweetened, eat it as is. The sweetness of the apples and caramel syrup pair beautifully with creamy oatmeal. If you like oatmeal on the sweet side, add a drizzle of maple syrup. And that’s all there is to creamy caramel goodness in a bowl. What a great way to start your day!

Note: if you are using quick cooking oats, please follow the cooking times listed on your package. Times listed above are for old-fashioned extra-thick rolled oats. My favorite brand is Bob’s Red Mill. If you haven’t tried it yet, you really should. Bob’s Red Mill oats also make the best oatmeal cookies. (See Monday’s post for my Cinnamon Oatmeal cookie recipe.) Warm, chewy cinnamon oatmeal goodness. Judge for yourself!

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Quite Possibly the Easiest Summer Berry Dessert You Will Ever Make


This is one of those “accidental” recipe finds, discovered while browsing comments on The Pioneer Woman’s website. PW posted a photo blog of fabulous strawberry recipe photos (many of which made me weep with joy), but it was the first comment posted that really grabbed my attention. Sydney B posted a link to a strawberry clafouti recipe. A strawberry what?!? Clafouti. That’s klah-FOO-tee. Say it with me. “Klah-FOO-tee.” I like it! It sounds like a party in a Pyrex. Reminds me of KC & the Sunshine Band. It’s got me singing, “Shake shake shake…. shake shake shake… shake clafouti. Shake clafouti.” Let’s see if that’s not stuck in your head the rest of the day, right? But what IS a clafouti, really? I needed to know.

“Clafouti, is a baked French dessert of black cherries (or other fruit) arranged in a buttered dish and covered with a thick flan-like batter. The clafouti is dusted with powdered sugar and served lukewarm.”

There. Now we know. So back to Sydney B’s link. It took me to www.shutterbean.com, where I discovered the easiest berry dessert I’ve ever made. And since I love berries and I love custards, this has the potential to become my go-to throw-down company’s coming dessert-in-a-hurry recipe. Thank you, Tracy the Shutterbean!

Here’s how easy this recipe is. For the record, it calls for strawberries, but I threw in some raspberries, too. Basically, you butter a glass baking dish. Toss your fruit with 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and arrange them in the bottom of the dish. Combine the other ingredients in a blender and whiz for 15 seconds. (I didn’t want to dig out my blender, so I used a mixing bowl and a whisk – old school style). Pour the mixture over the fruit and bake it until the center is set and the top is lightly browned. Remove it from the oven, sprinkle it with powdered sugar, and serve it warm. Done. Can you believe it? Seriously… from start to finish, it took 10 minutes to pop this into the oven. To see Tracy’s step-by-step photos and recipe, click here. You won’t be sorry.

If you love summer berries and creamy custards, you should try this. I will give you a few tips. Use really ripe, sweet strawberries. If your strawberries are really large, cut them into bite-size pieces. If you add raspberries like I did, increase the sugar to 1/2 cup or it will be really tart. Other than that, this recipe is simple, easy to make, and bursting with the fabulous flavors of summer berries and vanilla. And that’s all I need. Well, that and the Strawberry Kiss Cake posted by Brooks the Cakewalker from the Pioneer Woman’s photo post mentioned above. Have mercy! If you make that one, I am SO coming over!

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Recipe Review: The Pioneer Woman’s Lemon Blueberry Pancakes

I’ve never eaten a lemon pancake. I know, it’s not a dark confession, but it is a confession none the less. I love all things lemon, but somehow lemon pancakes have eluded me. Until this week, when I saw the most gorgeous photos of lemon blueberry pancakes on The Pioneer Woman’s website. Have mercy.

Luckily, I had 2 lemons in my fruit bowl who were screaming, “C’mon! Go get the blueberries already! We’re dying to jump in some pancakes here!” Taunted by fruit – that’s my life. Since I can’t stand to disappoint anyone, much less a couple of mouthy lemons, I went to buy blueberries. Big, fat, juicy Texas blueberries. Thank God I did, because these pancakes did not disappoint.

Here’s what I loved about this recipe:
1. the batter was fragrant, light and bubbly
2. it took only minutes to whip up
3. except for blueberries, I had everything I needed in my pantry
4. the texture of the warm pancakes was soft & fluffy perfection

Here’s what I would do differently:
a. I would use two lemons instead of one, to boost the lemon flavor
b. I would use sweeter blueberries; mine were a little tart
c. if I had company, I would definitely double the recipe
d. if I didn’t have company, I would definitely eat every single one myself

If you love lemon more than you love blueberries, consider using 2 lemons (juice & zest) to kick up the lemon flavor. If you love blueberries more than you love lemon, make the recipe exactly as it’s written. Personally, I’m all for more lemon in just about every single situation. Except around a paper cut.

As is my custom, I’m not going to re-publish a Pioneer Woman recipe on my blog. It’s much more practical to provide you with the link so you can see Ree’s Lemon-Blueberry Pancakes for yourself, along with the gorgeous photos she provides in her step-by-step instructions. If you don’t fall in love, then you are definitely not a pancake person. Maybe a muffin man, but not a pancake person. PS – Do you know the Muffin Man? The Muffin Man. The Muffin Man?

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