Things We Do On Vacation, Part II

priest_lake

1. Feel lucky that rush hour on the lake is so much different than rush hour in LA. Feel extra lucky that during rush hour on the lake I can drink a glass of wine on the boat while we drive.

dock

2. Embrace a lazier style of parenting. Exhibit A: If you tie a rope to your child’s floaty toy, they can swim and you can stay on the dock and read. Everyone is happy.

autumn

3. Watch the seasons change. When we arrived last week in August, it was summer. Yesterday while I was swimming, these two leaves dropped into the lake next to me. Right on schedule, autumn has arrived.

lake_clouds

4. Listen to thunder at night and wake up to clouds and rain. Take a walk in the rain. Wear rain boots and jump in puddles with O. Come home and make O her first mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows.

5. Start counting down the hours until we return to reality. Less than 48  to go. Decide to stay in denial about vacation ending, pour another cup of coffee and linger over breakfast even longer than usual.

baked oatmeal

baked oatmeal with local huckleberries

Baked Oatmeal

Baked oatmeal is just like eating a bowl of oatmeal, but the texture isn’t so mushy, which turns it into a whole different thing. Baked oatmeal is soft, but a little crunchy on top, and is like eating dessert instead of gruel. Think of it as a healthy, less-sweet fruit crumble. You can change the flavor by using different types of fruit and milk (coconut, regular, almond, etc), adding nuts, or using more or less amounts of sugar/maple syrup.

Ingredients:

2 cups old fashioned oats
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Scant 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups Silk original coconut milk (or any type of milk you like – see recipe tips below)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups berries or other sliced fruit

Recipe Tips:

There are tons of baked oatmeal recipes out there, most of them similar. What makes this one different is the addition of ground flaxseed, olive oil instead of butter, and less sugar. I used Silk Original coconut milk, which has some added sugar, so I didn’t add any more sugar to the recipe.  Instead, I let people drizzle their own preferred amount of maple syrup over their slice of baked oatmeal when I serve it. You could, however, add a few tablespoons of maple syrup or brown sugar to the recipe before baking, no matter what type of milk you use. You can also use melted butter instead of olive oil.

I added local huckleberries, which are really delicious, but I won’t be able to find them in Los Angeles. Back home, I use other types of berries or sliced peaches or apples.

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375°

Butter or oil an 8-inch square baking dish or a pie plate.

In a bowl, mix together the oats, flaxseed, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla, egg and olive oil.

Scatter two-thirds of the berries on the bottom of the dish. Cover the fruit with the oat mixture. Pour the milk mixture on top. Smooth out and press down the oats with a spoon to make sure all the oats are submerged. Sprinkle the remaining berries across the top.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden and a bit crisp. Let cool for a few minutes before slicing. The baked oatmeal can also be refrigerated and warmed up in the microwave for the next day or two.

When serving, drizzle syrup on top and a little bit of milk or cream.

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