The best days are lazy Sundays with nowhere to go and nothing to do, and enjoying coffee while half awake until yours truly finds the motivation to bring her fleece-clad self into the kitchen and make breakfast. I was looking forward to having some baked oatmeal seeing as how it’s healthy and not the usual eggs, bacon, and toast that I whip up when I have guests in the morning. I then decided, after I put everything in the oven, that 45 minutes was more than I was willing to wait to start my lazy Sunday, so while it baked, I made eggs and sausage anyway.
Let’s face it, oatmeal is delicious, but it’s not exactly sexy. I jazzed this oatmeal up with some dried fruit, cinnamon, and sugar, but it’s still oatmeal. Oatmeal is warm and comforting, and just like those too-big fleece pants, it’s uncomplicated, comfortable, and un-sexy. Oatmeal is also versatile. This bakes up in 45 minutes and is delicious warm or cold. Depending on my mood, I’ll take a square of it, put it in a bowl, pour milk over it and eat it cold, or I’ll warm it up and add an extra sprinkle of brown sugar. On occasion, I’ve also warmed it up and served it with a small scoop of ice cream, because life is short and sometimes you should start the day with dessert.
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup chopped dried apples (you can also use fresh apples)
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1 Tbs. cinnamon
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups vanilla soy milk (you can use regular milk)
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, cinnamon, dried fruit, and brown sugar.
Stir the applesauce, egg, and vanilla into the mixture.
Stir in the milk.
Spray an 8×8 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Pour the oatmeal mixture into the prepared baking pan, and spread evenly.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Source: modified from Quaker Oats