Fruity, Nutty Oatmeal Crunch

If you don’t like the weather stick around it’ll change. That’s the way the saying goes, but it’s really only true during Austin’s winters. Less than a week ago the cold gray skies drizzled constant rain. This was weather meant for hot soup and stews made with vegetables, dried beans, fresh rosemary, sage and bay leaves. As things happen sometime, my dream stew couldn’t be made until the weather turned nice – sunny, upper 60’s. Ok, I could adjust. This was weather meant for leisurely strolls through produce sections and bike riding.

So, that’s what I did, sort of. Until the back wheel stopped working one mile away from my house. Not realizing the problem I stepped off the bike, bent my face down next to the unknowingly over-inflated tire to investigate  and suddenly found the world became a little quieter. Apparently this was how my day was going to be. The possibility of continuing on lasted about two more steps. Without the tire the wheel did more of a thwap…bump…squeak instead of a smooth roll. The whining bike got carried home where I climbed into my car and re-started my day.

What with the weather and the walk home, vegetable/stew soup wasn’t so appealing, but I’m stubborn and made it anyway. Though I’ve been told it’s good I wasn’t happy with the results and banned it from this blog. That night with my deadline hovering like last weeks clouds I longed for the cold and drizzly weather that inspired soothing, warm meals. Mentally, rummaging through my pantry I found a container of oatmeal, dried fruit and an orange.

This recipe comes partially from Quaker Oats and partially from me. The mushiest food becomes a very different dish by adding in the toasted oats and the zesty orange flavor. (I beg your eyes forgiveness for having chosen to photograph orange zest in a purple bowl.)

Oatmeal Crunch

¼  cup oatmeal Oats
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
3 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon

½  cup oatmeal oats
1 cup milk or water (I used almond milk)
¼  cup chopped dried apricots
1 tablespoon dried blueberries
pinch more cinnamon
orange zest

For Topping: Place oats and pecans in a small pot over medium/ medium-high heat. Toast until brown. About 5-10 minutes. Pour into bowl, combine with brown sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

For oatmeal: In same pot bring milk or water to boil. Add in oats, fruit and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat until most of the liquid has been absorbed, a couple minutes. Pour into bowl. Stir in half of the topping mixture. Sprinkle the rest of the topping over the top. Zest orange over the very top.

As a single serving this amount will fill you up for the rest of the day. Serves two for a normal day or one for a long day.

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