My husband and I bought our first condo back in April (2016). After some ups and downs, including replacing all of our floors due to a water pipe bursting, we finally were ready to show off our new home (5 months after moving in).
On a side note, you can follow our search for a condo here. The short story, USA Today followed us around, House Hunters style, as part of an online series about first time home buyers.
We invited our friends for a housewarming brunch, promising great food and bottomless mimosas. I started thinking about the menu a few weeks in advance, wanting to make sure I covered all bases in terms of allergies and dietary restrictions. I landed on the following:
I could have chosen any of these recipes to review, but decided on the Blueberry Baked N'Oatmeal, which I found on the Fresh Planet Flavor blog. As a paleo-ish eater myself, I was eager to try this recipe, crossing my fingers it would turn out well enough to serve to friends. All of the recipes turned out well, though, so I would recommend any of them for your next house party, especially the ones you can make ahead of time (fruit salad, kale salad, and baked n'oatmeal).
Before discovering oatmeal causes me too many GI issues than it's worth, I used to love making it as a quick meal or snack. I continue to look for alternatives to fill the void on quiet weekend mornings or cold winter evenings when all I want is something warm, creamy and mildly nutritious. While this recipe does not completely fulfill my occasional oatmeal craving, it was a nice alternative to typical brunch coffee cake-like dishes.
The ingredient list was simple; I already had most of the items in my kitchen. Once again, it's obvious where I prefer to do my shopping.
Since I was expecting between 15-20 friends for brunch, I scaled the recipe up 2 1/2 times. I also decided to spend the extra dollar and buy the pre-chopped pecans; good life choice.
The recipe required mixing the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls. If you decide to try Baked N'Oatmeal for yourself, make sure to begin with the dry ingredients in the larger of your two bowls. The instructions dictate mixing the wet into the dry, which could result in a mess if bowl sizes are not correct.
You will notice, above, my wet ingredients look very lumpy. This is because I did not read the instructions as carefully as I thought, which said to melt the coconut oil. However, everything still turned out fine, and even melted oil may have re-formed into clumps when it hit the cold egg and almond milk mixture.
My only criticism of the instructions occurred at this point. Step 3 should have been split in two. I read the instructions multiple times before realizing the second sentence was actually a separate step.
The last piece in the recipe was mixing in the blueberries. I chose to go with fresh blueberries, but almost any fruit would work well. I would recommend always sticking with fresh though, as frozen fruit may create too much liquid.
Remember, I made 2 1/2 times the recipe, so I ended up with two, 9x13 pans. The original recipe calls for an 8x8, so my pan sizes were not ideal for the amount I made. In order to fill both pans, I had to create a thinner layer than I expected.
The recipe was quick, easy, and could be made the day before, which is always a plus when hosting a party. I reheated it the next morning, but leftovers could be eaten cold, and still hit the spot. In fact, we have been eating the leftovers for a few days now, so I can attest for the continued flavor.
I was afraid the recipe would fall apart too easily once it cooled, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well it gelled.
In terms of taste, I thought it lacked a little something, which I still can't put my finger on. Perhaps more cinnamon and nutmeg? Maybe more banana? Perhaps I put in too many blueberries, overpowering the more subtle flavors.
Regardless of taste, this recipe gets an A+ for looking just like the picture online; delicious, colorful and warm. It looked beautiful on my kitchen table.
Blueberry Baked N'Oatmeal from Fresh Planet Flavor
Clarity of Instructions: ✭✭✭
Met Expectations: ✭✭✭
Each category is ranked from 1-4 stars.
Walking enthusiast, kitchen experimenter, sports lover (watching, not playing), and future world traveler.
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