Baked Apple Oatmeal

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We love to have this on weekend mornings – you can toss it together
the night before and then just pop in the oven when you wake up!

Baked Oatmeal with Apples

1 cup whole rolled oats
1 tsp. cinnamon
a pinch of nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tbsp. grated orange zest
2 medium apples, peeled and diced
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1-1/4 cups milk (use any type you like)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a 9-inch pie plate (you can use any baking dish you like) with butter.
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
Pour into the pie plate and place on a baking sheet in case of spills.
Bake in the centre of the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the
liquid is absorbed (but don’t cook it for too long or it will dry out
too much).
Remove from the oven and let cool. Serve with yogurt or milk and
honey. Sprinkle on your favorite nuts.

Black Beans with Sofrito

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Mmm, in an attempt to lower our grocery budget, I’m experimenting with making main dishes using black beans.  We really liked this recipe and it kept us satisfied.  Even Henry ate up his bowl with joy (a rarity indeed). 

**a few changes in this one that I made.  First, I didn’t have any peppers so I left them out.  Second, I tend not to have ham hocks on hand.  So – I left that out as well – but I cooked up bacon and added the drippings to the sofrito instead of olive oil, and then added the cooked bacon at the end.  You can also use balsamic vinegar instead of lime juice!!  Garnished with chopped tomatoes, sour cream, a few dashes of hot pepper sauce and serve over rice.  yum!

(adapted from New Best Recipes)

Black Beans:

  • 1 lb (2  1/2 cups)  black beans,picked over and rinsed
  • 12 cups water
  • 1 ham hock
  • 1 green pepper,stemmed and seeded, and quartered
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt

Sofrito:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 small green pepper stemmed,seeded and minced
  • 8 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • For beans:
  • put first 8 ingredients in a heavy soup kettle or dutch oven,bring to a boil over medium-high heat,lower heat to low and simmer for 2 hours,skimming surface scum as needed.add water if needed to keep beans covered
  • remove hock and set aside to cool enough to handle
  • remove bones and skin, cut meat into bite size pieces and set aside

For Sofrito:

  • heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat
  • add first 7 ingredients, saute until soften,about 8-10 minutes
  • add cumin and cook 1 minute longer
  • to finish dish:
  • scoop 1 cup of beans and 2 cups of cooking liquid into pan with sofrito
  • mash beans with a potato masher or a fork, until smooth
  • simmer until liquid is reduced and thickened, about 6 minutes
  • return sofrito to beans and simmer until beans are creamy and liquid thickens to sauce consistency, about 15 minutes
  • add lime juice, simmer 1 minute longer
  • stir in cilantro, adjust salt and pepper and serve hot over fluffy rice