Quaker Has Nothing on Alton Brown

You know, I completely racked my brain trying to write this post today (you can tell it was a verrrrry slooooooooooow workday), and I came up with nothing.
Oatmeal, you see, is simply not going to be gussied up and paraded around. Oatmeal is comfort food, when it's cold out in the morning; it is substantial food, when you have an early morning drive ahead of you; and most importantly, oatmeal, as I found out, is lazy food. This is not the only reason to make this recipe - for instance, you get better quality oats and far better taste and far less strange-sounding preservative-related words than a regular packet of instant - but it's definitely a selling point for me.
Granted, you do need to start this the night before, but with about a minute of prep time it's not that big a deal. I had a moment of panic the next morning when I spooned it out of the crockpot and found it just slightly sour, but the lightest sprinkle of salt and a half-spoonful of brown sugar later - magically delicious. I'd advise you to taste first before that though; I found out my parents had tried the same recipe last winter and found it too sweet. I'm not certain if this is because I used a bit less fruit, or because I and AB share a sweet tooth, but either way. I have never really been a fan of your so-called breakfast foods (I maintain that the three best things to eat for breakfast are, in no particular order, leftover pizza, leftover Chinese takeout, and leftover tuna casserole), but the next time oatmeal crosses my mind, this is definitely going to be it.
There are no pictures here (sorry, Adam) sadly, in part because when you are rushing around in the morning it is not the optimal time to be playing around with the camera, and secondly because well, oatmeal isn't the most photogenic of foods to begin with.

adapted from Alton Brown via the Food Network

1 c steel-cut oats (such as McCann's Irish)
3/4 c dried cranberries
3/4 c dried tart apples
4 c water
1/2 c half-and-half
1 good slug of vanilla extract, probably about a tsp or so

Spray the inside of a small (mine is 3 1/2 qt) crockpot with nonstick cook spray. Pour in everything a stir a bit to combine. Cover and set the crockpot to low. Let cook for eight to eight and a half hours.
Happily, leftover oatmeal can be refrigerated and individual size portions can be reheated successfully in the microwave, on high for about 2 minutes (stir well after heating; you may want just a splash of milk or butter when reheating).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whilst I can't say that I share your love of oatmeal (I love oats, but not the gluggy oatmeal that they make), I most definetely agree that leftover pizza and Chinese takeout make for a most excellent brekkie (that's a bit Bill and Ted huh? LOL). Haven't ever had tuna casserole, but I might try and make it just to see how it fares as breakfast food! ;)

9:13 PM  
Blogger Laura Rebecca said...

I love this idea -- thank you so much for sharing it!

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