I still remember the day I learned the word ‘routine.’ I was at Jean’s pastry with my Nana and Papa having my daily pre-kindergarten donut (OK, so maybe I did eat cake for breakfast as a kid). I guarantee it was either a maple frosted, a boston cream or a sugared jelly, because those were the three in my rotation. Matt, who at this point I knew only as the man who worked with Mom and who we occasionally saw at Jean’s, stopped by our table and commented that we sure had quite the routine. Hearing a word I didn’t know, I grilled him on what he meant. “A routine? What do you mean we have a routine?” He explained that a routine was something that you did everyday or on a regular basis.
My whole life, I have been a girl of routines, even before I knew what that meant. My routines have certainly changed over time, (which is a good thing since Jean’s Pasty went out of business), but as much as I’d like to say that I have the capacity to be completely spontaneous, wherever I go and whatever I do I quickly find a routine.
(I swear I’m getting to a point)
Just like when I was a little girl at Jean’s, what I eat is still a part of my routine. In fact, I eat the same thing two meals a day, almost every day, happily. For breakfast, I make a bowl of oatmeal with either mixed berries or banana, cinnamon and too much Splenda (bad habit) and mix a container of honey Greek yogurt into it. For lunch, I have this “Nomad Salad.”
Like I said, I do so very happily. Still, this week I decided maybe it was time to try to broaden my horizons, think outside the box… break my routine.
Apple Cranberry Oatmeal Bake (from Karma Cucina)
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup walnuts or almonds, toasted and chopped
1/3 cup natural cane sugar (turbinado)
3 Tbsp. ground flax seed meal
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon + more for sprinkling
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 cups almond milk (or milk of choice)
1 large egg or 3 tablespoons liquid egg white
1 1/2 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped
3/4 cup cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Combine oats, half the walnuts walnuts, sugar, flax seed, baking powder, cinnamon and sea salt in a medium bowl and mix well. Combine almond milk, egg, butter, and vanilla in another bowl with a whisk and mix until smooth.
2. Line the bottom of the baking dish with the banana slices. Scatter half of the chopped apple and cranberries over the banana. Sprinkle with the oat mixture. Drizzle the almond milk mixture evenly over the oats and fruit and shimmy the dish around until all the oats are wet. Top with the remaining fruit and walnuts and sprinkle with cinnamon.
3. Bake 35 – 45 minutes until puffed up, golden, and the mixture has set.
The baked oatmeal was pretty good (prob