Oatmeal – From Boring to Fabulous

Is oatmeal one of your breakfast staples?  It is for me, too; and while I love a nice hot bowl of oatmeal, it can be quite boring and monotonous to eat it every day.  It doesn’t have to be that way (monotonous).

While many days I may just drizzle a bit of honey and add some milk to my oatmeal; I really love adding chopped fresh fruits of all sorts to my oatmeal, then topping with a bit of cinnamon.  I get one of my “fruit servings” for the day, along with the fiber from the oatmeal, and I am good to go for the morning!

Today, I chopped up an apple to add to my oatmeal.  Now, I am usually get the apples chopped and into the oatmeal/water before I put it on the stove to cook.  this not only softens the apples a tad, but also allows some of the sugars from the apple to infuse into the oatmeal.  Today the apple was a bit of an after-thought; but it was still yummy!

 
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What other fruits do you add to your morning oatmeal?  Bananas, pears, peaches, etc?

 

Orange Scones for Saturday Morning Breakfast

Yesterday late afternoon I found myself in the mood to bake.  Scones came to mind as I was looking for a sticky bun recipe made from the sweet dough that I posted about recently.  While I really wanted to make the sticky buns, the sweet dough would take longer than I wanted, so when I spied a Sweet Lavendar Scones recipe I cut out of the May 2012 edition of Bon Appetit’, I knew that was what I would be baking.

The original recipe called for culinary lavendar buds, of which I did not have any, as well as lemon zestx which I was also out of.  So, starting with the basic scone recipe, I modified it just a touch and came up with some yummy Orange Scones.

These are great with your morning cup of java or tea.

Orange Scones

Makes between 16 – 24 scones, depending on how you cut them.

Preheat oven to 425*

3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for surface

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk (if you don’t have butter milk, make some using 1 cup milk and 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or white wine vinegar.  For this recipe, just add 1 tablespoon more of milk to get the total amount noted.)

2 teaspoons orange zest (I eyeballed this from some orange zest I had frozen in the freezer)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons sanding or granulated sugar

Arrange racks in oven before starting to preheat oven.  If you use 2 baking sheets, place racks in upper and lower 1/3 of oven.  if using only 1 baking sheet, place rack in middle of oven.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and soda together in a large bowl. Add butter and using knives, a fork or a pastry cutter, cut butter into mixture until you have coarse mixture that resembles corn meal.

Whisk together 1 up milk and all other wet ingredients, including orange zest.  Add this to the flour mixture and mix together just until combined.  Use your hands to mix, not a mixer.  You want the dough to be tender. Mix until a shaggy ball forms.

Transfer dough to floured surface and knead about 4 – 5 times to bring the dough together.  Pat down into a 10 x 6 inch rectangle.  Cut the dough to the size of scones you want.  I cut mine into small squares, so I got 24 scones out of the recipe.

Place on baking sheets  brush with remaining buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 425* got 13 – 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and tops are lightly browned.  Remove from oven, transfer to wire rack to cool.

I also made some orange flavored icing and topped a few of the scones with this for a more “dessert like” scone.

Feel free to add other things to the scones like dried cranberries, dried cherries, or nuts of your choice.