Jessica’s Morning Oatmeal

 

Good morning!  We were staying with our kids recently and Jessica pulled this dish of oatmeal from oven, hot & fruity & just a bit crunchy.  Add some warm milk and it’s the loveliest breakfast.

So I brought that recipe home and here’s my version– the best baked oatmeal yet!  (and we’ve eaten our share of baked oatmeal, let me tell you…)

JESSICA’S MORNING OATMEAL
2 cups oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup kefir or buttermilk
1 cup water
1 egg
3 tab. unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
2 tsp. vanilla
1 pound fruit (pears, nectarines, blueberries)*
garnish:  a pitcher of cream (or milk) to serve/more syrup (optional)

In a bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In another bowl, stir up the maple syrup, buttermilk, water, egg, vanilla and 1/2 of the melted butter.  Set aside.

Cut the fruit to small chunks and spread it on the bottom of a 9″ square of 9″ deep round making dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Spoon the oat mixture over the fruit.  Then carefully pour the liquid mixture over the top of it all.

Bake the oatmeal at 375 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes until the oats are cooked through.  Drizzle the remaining butter over the oatmeal and serve with cream and syrup if you want a little more sweetness.

*I used 2 nectarines, 1 pear, 1 cup of blueberries (all unpeeled–easy!)

Almond Nectarine Crumble

IMG_1086Hello Summer Fruit Lovers– Isn’t that all of us about now?  There’s piles of peaches and plums and nectarines at the market and I’ve been scooping them up!

And a big bag of nectarines ended up in this dessert– quicker and easier than a pie– but with all the sweet baked fruit and that crunchy topping– and, like pie, a great excuse for that scoop of ice cream when it is still warm from the oven.  Ahh, summer…

ALMOND NECTARINE CRUMBLE

Nectarine layer:
2 pounds nectarines (about 4-6)
3 tab. cup white sugar
3 tab. cup brown sugar
a tiny pinch of  salt
1/4 cup flour

Pit and slice the nectarines.

In a large bowl, mix together the 2 sugars, salt and cornstarch.  Then add in the nectarine slices and stir to coat all the fruit with the dry mixture.  Spoon the fruit and any extra sugar mixture into a 10″ round/square baking dish.

IMG_1075Crumble layer:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sliced almonds

With a pastry blender (or food processor) mix the brown sugar, flour and salt.  Then cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.

Then spread the crumble mixture over the top of the nectarines in the baking dish.  Sprinkle the almonds over the top.

Set the baking dish onto a rimmed baking sheet in case the juices bubble over the edge of the pan– and set the whole thing in a 375 degree over for 40 to 45 minutes, until the crumble topping is browned and crispy.

Of course, this is best served warm with a healthy scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.  Enjoy!

IMG_1071

Nectarine, Blueberry and Crispy Ham Salad

IMG_3802Hi all–  Last week we had a big eating weekend.  Out for Chinese, then out again for Lebanese food the next night.  Spaghetti with friends and a  big shower brunch.  Ugh.  So Sunday night Larry suggested, “How about salad dinners this week?”  Sounds good to me.  Quick and cool is always good in August.  Here’s Monday night’s dinner…

NECTARINE BLUEBERRY AND CRISPY HAM SALAD
1 cup ham, cut to small pieces
2 tab. olive oil
4 nectarines, cut to polite little pieces
1 cup blueberries
1 can cannellini (small white) beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 head red leaf lettuce
2 cups baby arugula

Dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tarragon vinegar
1 tsp. seedy brown mustard
1 tab. apricot preserves
1 tab. sugar
salt & fresh pepper to taste

Drop the ham bits into a hot pan with the olive oil and cook until they crisp around the edges.  Layer the lettuce, arugula, cannellini beans, nectarines, blueberries and then the ham on a large platter.

Shake together the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight lid until it’s well blended.  Pour over the salad just before you set it on the table.

Light summer supper.  Hope you enjoy it!

IMG_3813

Fresh Necatarine Cake

IMG_2036Hey y’all– When I was growing up my grandparents had a tiny house on a big lot with a coop full of chickens, beds of flowers, a grape arbor, sweet corn, rhubarb and all kinds of fruit trees.  The nectarines were the best, warm from the sunshine, fresh from the tree.  It was a mini farm in the city.

So in honor of all those sweet summer nectarines, here’s a cake chock full of those things.  I love it because it has more fruit than cake–tender, juicy, fruity.    I think my grandma would have loved it just as much as I do.

FRESH NECTARINE CAKE
6 nectarines, pitted and cut into chunks*
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. amaretto** (or almond extract)
1 egg
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 tab. sugar

IMG_2047Stir together the sugar, oil, vanilla, amaretto and egg.  Next add in the flour, baking powder, salt and finally the milk. Then gently fold in the nectarine chunks.  Turn it into a 9 or 10″ cake pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Sprinkle on the almonds and lastly the sugar.  Bake if at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes until it’s golden and firm to the touch.

IMG_1997.

*You don’t need to peel the nectarines if you don’t want to.  They are tender enough to bake up soft and chewy.
**I buy the least expensive amaretto.  It costs a lot less than almond extract.  And I like amaretto flavoring with stone fruit that have pits just like almonds.  They seem to belong together.

P.S.  The photo is a small cake.  I made half a recipe to take over for lunch with Larry’s folks– just the 3 of us.

Blackberry Nectarine Salad

IMG_1626Hi friends– It happens every year– I wait for the first little handful of boysenberries to come ripe and this was the week!  The temptation is to pick them them too soon–still pinkish and not really sweet.  But finally there were enough ready to toss into a salad with some sweet nectarines and salty pistachios and here it is:

BLACKBERRY NECTARINE SALAD
2 cups leaf lettuce torn in bits
2 cups arugula
1 large ripe nectarine, sliced
1 cup boysenberries (or any blackberries)
1/3 cup pistachios
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
salt & fresh pepper to taste

Layer the greens, nectarine and berries.  Sprinkle on the pistachios.  Shake together the oil, vinegar, sugar and salt & pepper in a container with a tight lid to emulsify it all.  Pour on the dressing just before you are ready to serve it up.

3 or 4 servings.