This is the best oatmeal with caramel maple cream! Imagine a flavorful, texture-filled chewy bowl of cozy oats speckled with dried cranberries swirled with a mouth-watering caramel maple cream and you have the makings for this incredible breakfast fare that I think borders on "healthy" with the addition of the steel cut oats. Yes, yes, the cream is added - but let's just keep that as our little secret.
Don't pass this one by because you've never been a fan of "porridge" because this is really more like dessert! Conjure up tasting a mash-up of oatmeal cookie dough meets caramel-maple ice-cream. You will love it!
The Best Oatmeal with Caramel Maple Cream
The Best Oatmeal with Caramel Maple Cream
2 cups water
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
pinch of salt
1 cup Steel Cut Irish-Style Oats (I buy them at Trader Joe's but I also love McCann's when I can find that brand in area grocery stores.)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup (The grade B maple syrup is much more authentic tasting with a stronger "real" maple syrup than the grade A. I order Coombs Family Farms Organic Maple Syrup on Amazon and my family loves it! Because it is the real, from the tree, tapped version - a little goes a long way and dishes are transformed from ordinary to extraordinary!)
This is so easy guys, I'm almost embarrassed to be sharing this, but it does take a smidgen longer than the average oatmeal to cook, but I promise it's worth it!
1. Boil the water, butter and salt in a small saucepan.
2. While you are waiting for the water to boil, mix the cream, maple syrup and brown sugar in a small bowl or measuring cup until the sugar melts and the mix is smooth.
3. Add the oats to the boiling water, turn the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 20 minutes, stir in the cranberries, spices and sugar and cook for another 10 minutes on low.
4. This is where you can get creative! Whatever you decide, serve the oatmeal immediately but you can either stir in the sweetened caramel maple cream or you can pour it over the top of each serving. It's divine either way.
Enjoy your most important meal of the day!
Start with steel cut oats (Irish Style Oats).
Add dried cranberries, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Top with this mixture that combined creates a heavenly caramel maple cream.
Need a unique idea for a gathering of friends of family? Hosting a Miracle Fruit Tasting Party is a fun way to experience the transformation of fruits, sour and bitter foods to a spectacular sweet taste via Miracle Fruit.
Miracle Fruit is an amazing tropical fruit that temporarily changes your sense of taste and transforms sour or bitter foods and drinks to taste sweet.
Miracle Fruit, Synsepalum dulcificum, a small red berry native to West Africa and Asia resembling an almond-shaped cranberry, causing sour and bitter foods to temporarily (from 10 minutes to an hour) taste sweet. The proteins in the fruit (miraculin) coats and binds to your taste buds and confuses the sweet receptors on the taste buds to respond to acids, allowing the sour or bitter flavors to be perceived as sweet.
Place a Miracle Frooties tablet (made of Miracle Dried Fruit Pulp and Potato Starch) on your tongue and roll it around very slowly without swallowing until it is completely dissolved. After the tablet has melted, taste sour foods and drinks to experience the unreal change in sour fruits and vegetables into unbelievable sweet treats!
Miracle Frooties recommend you try fruits and vegetables such as:
desserts sweetened with lemon and orange juice
fruit drinks and beverages without sugar
balsamic vinegar/apple cider vinegar
For our special tasting party, we tried:
Other ideas we didn't try that could be interesting:
unsweetened natural yogurt
salt and vinegar potato chips
broccoli drizzled in lemon
unsweetened tea with lemon
coffee with a few drops of lemon
dark beer (I'm not a beer drinker but on the Miracle Fruit website, Guinness is suggested with a drop of lemon sorbet)
cheap red wine
sugar-less strawberry topping
sugar-less key lime pie
salad with a splash of lemon or vinegar instead of dressing
My sweet mom before her tasting!
I heard one gentleman compare the experience to being like Jack and the Beanstalk and buying the "magical beans". The blissful reaction and the giddy-excitement that comes from tasting your first lemon or lime with this sweetened perception quickly allows you to believe the hype.
My dad samples the sour green lime and is surprised by the outcome!
For the party, you can invite guests to all bring different "sour" or "bitter" foods to try.
Our selection of acidic, sour and less sweet fruits and vegetables.
We could not believe how incredible the sour fruits tasted under the influence of the miracle fruit. I can't wait to hear what you think of this delightful experience!
This guy is waiting patiently for the tablet to dissolve.
I thought it was really interesting to learn that studies are in motion to consider the miracle fruit properties to help those with diabetes to help lose weight or to utilize substances such as apple cider vinegar, known to regulate blood sugar before meals, which allows the vinegar to taste better, increasing the use of the vinegar in diabetic patients. Other studies include experiments in using the fruit extract as a sugar substitute or to consider use for chemotherapy and radiation patients who complain of a metallic taste when eating. The miracle fruit can improve a patient's food intake experience.
I'm not sure what it is about this recipe but my family always think this is a "fancy" restaurant-inspired recipe. Let's keep it our little secret that it is a fast weeknight recipe that can get thrown together with minimal ingredients or efforts with results that rival an Italian restaurant entree.
Our version of Parmesan Chicken - otherwise known as "fancy Italian restaurant chicken".
Weeknight Restaurant-Inspired Italian Chicken
1 pound boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil
2 garlic cloves
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 zucchini, cubed
1 medium red or green bell pepper, chopped into chunks
2 teaspoons dried basil or 4-6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes, Italian style (I love using the basil, oregano, chopped tomatoes)
1. In a pie plate or dinner plate with edges, combine flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off extra flour.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan or wok over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until golden brown, turning once, until golden brown for about 10 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate.
3. Mix remaining oil and garlic in the pan and cook until fragrant no more than 30 seconds. Add zucchini, pepper and basil, cooking for about 2 minutes until tender but still slightly crisp. Add tomatoes and mix.
4. Return chicken to mixture in pan and cook until chicken is no longer pink in center and vegetables are tender for approximately 6 more minutes.
This is great served over pasta, with garlic bread and a chopped kale salad.
If you happen to be in San Francisco and seek a tantalizing dining experience, go explore San Francisco'sKokkari Estiatorio. Celebrated as "Food for the gods", this romantic restaurant showcases sought-after Mediterranean and Aegean dishes with "innovative adaptations of cultures and techniques".
Go Explore San Francisco!
Photo credit: Todd Engstrom
The swank restaurant, nestled in the Financial District, is named after a small fishing village on the island of Samos in the Aegean Sea where the legend of Kokkari, the site where Orion, son of the Greek god Poseidon, fell in love with the daughter of the King of Chios. For her love, Orion foraged the island for wild game and seafood to prepare elaborate banquets. Such is true upon entering this restaurant 'steeped in Old-World charm of a rustic Mediterranean country inn on the shores of the Aegean' with an inviting fireplace with the evening's special game roasting on a spit, fresh flowers, dimmed lighting, candle light, extensive woodwork - with the warmth and tradition of age-old hospitality.
Upon entering this cozy yet bustling restaurant, I was overcome with a heady, excited feeling - poised for an evening with each of the senses tingled.
Because we were in the City while traveling the area for a business trip, we did not make reservations and found ourselves wishfully hoping for an opening with an earlier 5:00 dinner slot. Of course, a restaurant selected as one of San Francisco's best on several travel sites, would be bustling, especially on a Friday night! However, we were encouraged to stand and wait in the already-full bar area for an opening. A gregarious bartender with a lilting Irish accent offered us a beverage option, despite not having a seat. He shared that the "regulars" finishing their lamb and dessert respectively, would be finished and he gave us pointers on how to edge in for the soon-to-be-vacated seats.
After quizzing us as to what types of beverages we prefer, he quickly shared that he knew just the solution. He produced a Green Flash (green chartreuse, rum, lime) for me and a Gypsy Vodka (Benedictine, Aromatic Bitters and vodka) for the Hubs. This started our evening, trusting Tony, bartender extraordinaire, to guide our amazing dining experience.
I am so happy our fate led us to that spot at the rustic wood bar that evening as we felt as if we were sidled up to a friend's dinner table in Greece. With Kokkari Estiatorio's undeniable hospitality, celebratory atmosphere and "wow factor" food, we had stumbled upon a foodie's goldmine.
The menu boasted a plethora of over 20 different starters and offered meats prepared in the fireplace rotisserie such as Don Watson's Napa Valley lamb, Heritage Berkshire pigs, goose, goat, and whole fish such as Petrale sole. We always want to know what our waiters or waitresses would order if they were selecting their favorite menu items and we were open to suggestions, so we followed Tony's lead for what to order to include the following:
Spankotiropita - are traditional phyllo pies of spinach, feta, leeks and dill. I am already a lover of all-things spanakopita so this blending of flavors, prepared perfectly, exceeded all expectations.
Soutzoukakia - grilled lamb meatballs with spiced tomato sauce and Greek yogurt. I loved the flavor and seasoning pairings ignited the taste buds yet were balanced by the cooling Greek yogurt.
Octopodaki tou Yiorgou
Octopodaki tou Yiorgou - grilled octopus with lemon, olive oil and oregano. Okay, I'm being honest here. I have had octopus before and despite my kids' fascination and love of calamari, I can take it or leave it. However, at Tony's urging, we fell prey to his description and promise of octopus prepared like nothing we have ever had before. Tony was spot on and this dish was amazing.
Grilled Lamb Chops - This is what the regulars come in for. The gentleman sitting next to me shared that he was a weekly regular and hands-down, these were the house's specialty, drawing him in week after week. I trusted him as we had Tony. These tender chops fell off the bone and were prepared with a lemon-oregano vinaigrette to perfection.
Kolokithokeftethes - Feeling as if we needed something green to balance out our selections, we ordered the zucchini cakes with cucumber and mint yogurt dressing at Tony's urging as well. Of course, these were every bit as brilliant as every carte du jour produced by the chef that evening.
And then it was time for dessert...drum roll please...
Kataifi - I am a huge fan of baklava, but Tony insisted that we try Kataifi, very similar but a unique twist and excellent flavor-pairing version of baklava! With a crust of filling of walnuts, almonds, cinnamon sugar, this mixture is rolled inside a thread-like dough then soaked in a sweet syrup of lemon peel, juice and honey. It's garnished with pistachios and could not be more enchanting.
Galaktoboureko - This creative dessert married a semolina custard encased in phyllo dough with blood orange sauce and crème fraiche ice cream. I loved this blending of flavors and wish I could recreate it in my own home kitchen today.
As the evening continued, I made my way to the restroom and was baffled to discover that the restaurant went on and on beyond the initial 'Saloni', front room, with the massive stone fireplace and dramatically-lit bar to expose additional dining areas (7,000 square feet) to include cozy private dining rooms reminiscent of wine cellars, private wine dining rooms, and a more lively kitchen dining area flanked by a large open kitchen.
I hope that you will get a chance to experience Kokkari Estiatorio when you visit San Francisco - it will transport you to Greece and delight your senses.
Kali Orexi! (Bon Appetit)
200 Jackson Street (at Front), San Francisco, California
Be sure to call far in advance for reservations at 415-981-0983.
A girl in love with the seasons who wants to cram as much as she can into the 365 days of the year to live a life of bliss. Welcome to What Matters Most Now! I hope you will find inspiration and recipes you love.