I like oatmeal, the rolled variety cooked with water and a dash of cinnamon, adorned with nuts, butter and brown sugar. However, I LOVE this steel-cut oatmeal recipe. I had always shied away from making steel-cut oats because of the time commitment (40 minutes vs 5 minutes for rolled oats), even though I usually have a canister of it in my cupboard. Then I read about these miraculous oats on Orangette and I am not sure I can go back to the quick variety again, at least for breakfast. The rolled ones will always have a place in cookies and granola, but that might be their only role in my kitchen now. This pot of goodness cooks up so nutty, creamy, and has a little chew still in the oats. I have taken to adding vanilla or almond extract and a handful of raisins (which plump up nicely) along with the oats to the simmered milk/water and I highly recommend you do the same. And if you have leftovers, it reheats perfectly with a little water. I think I might try using toasted coconut and coconut milk next time.Steel-Cut Oatmeal
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cup steel-cut oatmeal
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
- dash of cinnamon
- handful of raisins (or other dried fruit)
- Optional toppings: nuts, bananas, berries, brown sugar, maple syrup, etc.
- In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and then toast the oats until fragrant and golden, stirring occasionally; about five minutes. Set aside.
- In a saucepan, bring the water, milk, sugar and salt to a simmer, then add the extract, cinnamon, raisins, and oats. Bring to a simmer and lower the heat, partially cover and cook for about 25-30 minutes, again stirring occasionally.
- Serve with any desired toppings.
There are some changes happening at CucinaCollora. The site will now be a solo venture by me, as my sisters pursue other creative endeavors, although we will still share our love for food and all things delicious. The blog will have a new look and feel, and there will be more regular posts, so stay tuned…
My nephew is a baseball nut (well actually both of my nephews are) and when his birthday rolled around, I made a simple and easy baseball cake to celebrate. This kind of cake is one of my favorites in that you don’t need any special pans or tools, just two round pans, a round tip, some red hot candies and red gel. The cake itself can be whatever suits the birthday kid’s fancy (this particular one was vanilla cake) and your basic vanilla frosting recipe. This could also be easily made as cupcakes. It’s a home run!
Vanilla Frosting (recipe from America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book)
- 3 sticks butter, cut into chunks and softened
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Beat the butter, cream, extract, and salt together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Reduce the mixer speed to medium-low, slowly adding the confectioners’ sugar, and beat until incorporated and smooth, 4 to 6 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, 5 to 10 minutes.
To decorate cake:
- Frost entire cake. Put two curved lines in vanilla frosting on top for the seams; use red food gel to make the stitching.
- Decorate the bottom of cake with alternating vanilla frosting dots using a round tip and red hot candies.
- Optional: put the child’s age or jersey number in red gel.
Autumn equals soups. Since I just posted about the joys of roasted cauliflower, the next thing to do is make a soup out of it. I like this recipe because it is healthy and relatively easy to make, and most importantly, delicious. It pairs well with a crusty loaf of bread and a salad. Note that when blending the soup in the final step you can opt to completely puree or leave a bit more texture. Recipe is adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
- 1 onion, halved and sliced 1/2 inch think
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup half and half
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the cauliflower and onion with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Roast, stirring occasionally, for about 30-40 minutes until vegetables are browned and softened.
- Heat a little olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the roasted vegetables and cook until cauliflower starts to fall apart, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the wine, scraping up any brown bits, and simmer until nearly evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir in the broth and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until broth is flavorful, about 5-10 minutes.
- Discard the bay leaf. Puree the soup using an immersion blender (or in a regular blender in batches until smooth, then return to the pot). Stir in the half and half and cook gently over medium-low heat until the soup is hot, about 3-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy. Optional: could top with parmesan or chopped fresh herbs such as chives.
I never thought I enjoyed cauliflower until recently. It was always the neglected vegetable on a crudite platter, forsaken for the carrots, celery and peppers, and certainly never made it into my grocery cart for any other reason. Then I had dinner at a friend’s house and she introduced me to the idea of roasting cauliflower in the oven; I was sold. I love how the florets become a dark golden brown, just soft enough but not mushy, and full of flavor. It could not be easier to prepare and all you need is a hot oven, rimmed baking sheet and some olive oil and seasoning. It is so versatile in terms of the flavor profile that it can go with just about anything. Keep it simple with olive oil, salt and pepper or get fancy with some garam masala, or sesame and ginger, or whatever you’ve got handy. Just give the vegetables a little breathing room on the baking sheet so that they roast instead of steam.
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Toss the florets with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer.
- Roast for 30-40 minutes, occasionally stirring to get even browning.
Ciabatta french toast with fresh raspberries, bananas, fat free greek honey yogurt, warmed syrup, and lemon zest. perfecto!
Vegetarian pizza on wheat crust w pesto, mushrooms, spinach, roasted tomatoes, artichoke hearts and mozzarella, with a side of sauteed shaved brussel sprouts.