Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dish | Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

I. AM. TIRED! Henry and I just got back from an impromptu one-night camping trip - near Lake Tahoe - in what truly had to be one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my 26 years on this planet. A magical place called Buckeye Hot Springs. You see, my friend Henry and I could be considered amateur hot springs enthusiasts... we only started checking out local hot springs once we moved to San Francisco. There are the trusty old spots like Harbin, Orr, and Mercey, but in deciding where we wanted to go we figured maybe it was time to check out something a little more adventurous! We wanted that open spaces/tons of nature/a million stars in the sky/might be woken up by a bear outside your tent kind of camping. It was the kind of camping trip that makes you think about your childhood. Maybe I've been in the city too long, other people go camping all the time, but it's a rare treat for me and this particular trip is one I will never forget.

For my part of the deal I said I would prepare all of the food for the trip. The night before we left I spent a few hours in the kitchen and busted out finished meals we could travel with/could be eaten warm or cold. We weren't even sure if we could have a fire until we got there so we didn't want to pack a bunch of cooking equipment for no reason. Dinner was a Broccoli & Pesto Orzo. Lunch, a Green Bean & Quinoa Salad. And last but (obviously) not least... breakfast! We had to borrow our neighbor's cast iron skillet to make it happen, but this Baked Blueberry Oatmeal turned out great, and was a perfect start to our 34°F morning.

BAKED BLUEBERRY OATMEAL  |  Recipe inspired by Heidi Swanson's "Super Natural Every Day: Well-loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen"

2 cups rolled oats
2 cups blueberries, or mixed berries
1/3 cup maple syrup, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup toasted chopped almonds
1/4 cup Turbinado sugar

1  |  Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter an 8 inch baking dish. Place the berries in a layer at the bottom of the baking dish.

2  |  Mix the oats, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Sprinkle the dry mix on top of the blueberries.

3  |  Mix the milk, butter, maple and vanilla together. Pour the liquid on top of the oats. Let it seep through to the bottom. Sprinkle a handful of fresh berries on top and bake on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and the top is just browned. Sprinkle the top with the toasted almonds and Turbinado sugar.

We carried the hot skillet and a side of vanilla Greek yogurt down to the water to have our oatmeal next to the river - perched on a log - before taking a dip in the hot springs. AND I finally got to use mine and Ryan's pewter camping dishes! I'm sad the camping season is basically coming to a close, but I think we ended it on a pretty high note.

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