Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cranberry Gingerbread Oatmeal

I'd eat gingerbread for breakfast every day, if I wasn't afraid of weighing 300 pounds.

Instead, I do an easy cranberry gingerbread jazz on oatmeal.  The oatmeal absorbs the flavors of gingerbread, the cranberries soften into juicy morsels, and the warmth comforts on a cold day.  Life is good.

Start with steel-cut oats. Measure out according to package directions and put in a medium sauce pan.  I use 1/2 cup steel cut oats for 2 servings.

Add to the pan, more or less to taste, stir to mix:
1 heaping tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger (I love Penzey's ginger for the zing)
big pinch nutmeg
big pinch kosher salt
couple grinds black pepper (balances the sweet flavors)

Add:  small handful, approx.1/4 cup, dried cranberries
Add water per package directions.  I use 1 3/4 cups.

Stir to mix, bring to simmer and reduce heat, cover and cook 10 minutes.  Remove cover and stir, scraping the bottom to make sure nothing sticks.  Re-cover and cook another 5 minutes.  Uncover and stir.

If cereal hasn't absorbed all the water, leave the lid off and stir occasionally until absorbed.  I like this part, it reminds me of volcano lava, how the boils come in widening circles with little explosions of steam.  Puts some excitement in my morning.  I suppose I could just drink coffee but entertainment is a morning bonus.

Serve with milk or cream.

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