Maple Nut Oatmeal

14 01 2009

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When it comes to breakfast a lot of people just eat the same thing every morning: maybe some cereal or toast, a piece of fruit or an egg and some coffee.  However, breakfasts can be seasonal meals, reflecting the weather and what’s available at the markets.  In the summer, an omelette with fresh herbs and tomatoes served outdoors hits the mark while in winter we might prefer something a bit heartier on cold mornings.

This morning it is -22 degrees Celsius here so clearly something warming is in order. A bowl of hearty oatmeal with toasted nuts and a hint of maple fits the bill perfectly. By using quick cooking oatmeal, you can have breakfast on the table in minutes without a lot of fuss.  While oatmeal is often sold in single-serve, flavoured packets, I prefer to add my own seasonings.  It allows you to control the ingredients so you’re not eating a lot of weird additives and you can sweeten it to your taste (it’s much more economical as well!).  You can adjust the maple syrup in this recipe depending on how sweet you prefer your oatmeal.

Maple Nut Oatmeal

Makes 1 serving (can easily be multiplied)

(VEGETARIAN)

  • 1/3 cup quick cooking oats
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts OR pecans
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • Whole nuts for garnish (optional)
  1. In a saucepan, add oats, water, salt, brown sugar, nuts and 1 teaspoon maple syrup.  Stir to combine.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil and cover.  
  3. Turn heat to low and let simmer for 5 minutes.  
  4. Remove from heat, stir and drizzle remaining 1 teaspoon of maple syrup over oatmeal. Garnish with whole nuts and serve.

 

Maple Pecan Oatmeal on a cold winter morning

Maple Pecan Oatmeal on a cold winter morning

Bon Appétit and Stay Warm!





Baked French Toast

26 12 2008

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When cooking for a crowd around the holidays, it’s helpful to have a few recipes that can be prepared in advance so you can enjoy the festivities with your guests.  This is the perfect dish for Christmas morning or New Year’s Day but it can be made any time you want something fuss-free and delicious for breakfast.  All the prep work is done the night before so all you have to do is bake it and serve in the morning.

This recipe was developed by me and my sister-in-law Jenn this year so we could minimize kitchen time on Christmas morning.  It works best with bread that is slightly stale.  Use a whole loaf (instead of pre-sliced bread) so you can slice it thickly yourself.

Baked French Toast

Makes about 12 thick slices

  • 1 whole loaf unsliced challah or other white bread
  • 1 can (370 ml / 12 fl. oz.) evaporated milk (equals 1-1/2 cups)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest (finely grated orange peel)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • Butter, to grease baking pan

 

  1. Grease a large baking pan (at least 12″ X 16″).  Slice bread into slices about 1″ thick and lay flat in pan. Make sure all pieces are laying flat and not overlapping or they won’t brown properly.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine evaporated milk, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, orange zest, nutmeg and salt.  Whisk until smooth and thoroughly mixed.
  3. Pour mixture evenly over bread slices.  Once it has soaked in a bit, turn slices over so they are completely soaked in egg mixture. 
  4. Cover pan and place in the fridge overnight.
  5. To bake: heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Bake french toast for 20 to 25 minutes or until the bread is browned on top and beginning to puff.
  6. Serve with maple syrup or your favourite topping.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!