Lovely Boatmeal

(Baked + Oatmeal = Boatmeal) Makes 4 servings or 3 if you're a hungry breakfaster like me. Easily doubled. And has nothing to do with boats. 

 2 cups uncooked oats 
1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
1 tsp baking powder 
1/4 tsp salt 
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 cup melted butter 
2 eggs 
3/4 cup milk 
1/2 cup dried cranberries, raisins, or other fruit. 

Mix all together put in lightly greased 9x9 inch dish. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-45 minutes (at 30 minutes, mine was still jiggly in the middle (aren't we all!) but at 40 minutes it was set.) Heat additional milk and spoon over each serving. (So the recipe says to heat milk, but I just poured milk out of the jug into my bowl, and the oats heated up the milk just fine.) 

(Update: I made this again this morning (6.3.2009), left out one egg and the melted butter accidentally, and it had a faster cooking time (about 30 minutes total) and tasted just as fantastic. Just wanted to throw that out there ...) 

Thanks, Bonnie, for the recipe! I've been wanting to try a baked oatmeal for a while, but I was scared ... after all, oatmeal itself is ... well, mushy, tasteless, and pretty gross (I feel like I can say that because I eat oatmeal at least 3 times a week). The thought of adding baking powder and eggs to that mushy tastelessness makes me shiver even now. But I did it. It tasted really good. Could be the half cup of sugar or the warm milk ... not sure exactly. But now I have a new favorite. It's just that ... I have to plan at least 30 minutes ahead. Could be tough. Today's Boatmeal comes after last night's Inaugural Tuesday Night Summer Potluck That Might Be On The Occasional Wednesday (Mexican theme). We've considered having Mexican-themed potlucks every week (I know I'D be ok with that, but not sure about everyone else.) Do you have any other ideas? The following have been suggested already: mediterranean 
medieval times (what?!?) 
around the world 
favorite childhood dishes 
green stuff or red stuff 

 Throw it out there, good neighbor. Rock my boat(meal).


Answer: What is "your granny"?

Question: This is the person you would "jump up and slap" when you have a slice of this delightfulness.
For real.
Granny's Pound Cake
from Southern Living, November 2005
1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. shortening
2 1/2 c. sugar
5 eggs
3 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
1 c. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
Cream butter and shortening at medium speed with electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition just until the yellow appears.
Stir together flour and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla just until blended. Pour batter into a greased and floured 12-cup Bundt pan.
Bake at 325 for 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cook in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from pan, cook completely on wire rack. Dust cake evenly with powdered sugar.
Makes 1 cake (as many servings as you want ... probably 12ish)
Really, all I can say about this cake is that you must make it. It's as simple as that. Don't you dare read the ingredients and think anything other than, "Do I have all of these right now?" Beats a store-bought cake any day, and it's the most moist, tasty thing EVER. With summer coming and lots of fruit on the vine/tree/bush that's ripe for the taking, you've got to make this for dessert one weekend and top it with blueberries or peaches or strawberries.
It really will make you want to jump up and slap someone. If it's your granny, just make sure she won't slap you back (I believe mine might ... she's spunky for an 85 year old).
PS. I've had a not-so-secret secret-desire to appear on the show Jeopardy ever since I was twelve. I think I could do it, though I am afraid that I'd win so much money that I wouldn't know what to do with it ...


Marination Celebration

Marinated Steak Salad from Elizabeth & Jesse W. Serves 10 Marinade: 1/2 C veg. oil 1/4 C soy sauce 1/4 C red wine vinegar 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger 1 teaspoon minced garlic ( 1 clove) 2 lb flank steak Combine first six ingredients. Poke holes in steak with fork (so the marinade seeps in - yum) and place in large dish or plastic bag. Pour marinade over steak and marinate for 1-24 hours, turning every so often. Grill steaks to desired doneness and carve into thin slices across the grain (1/4" is good). Provide the following and have each person assemble steak salad as desired: salad greens craisins (do I need to give kudos since this is a registered trademark? Don't want to get sued over a blog posting) chopped pecans sauteed yellow onion (2 onions for 10 people is just about right) goat cheese (chevre) steak Newman's Own Light Balsamic Dressing (another trademark ... here's to you, Newman) We have lots of reasons to celebrate in our family right now. But first I would like a critique on my use of "marinate" and "marinade" ... you may not care, but I've been struggling for 30 minutes now trying to remember which one is the verb and which is the noun. I hope I correctly distinguished between marinate (the verb?!) and marinade (... noun?). Criticism welcome. Reason uno: my husband just finished his entire first year of PhD work. I honestly didn't know he had it in him to work this much. I've already given him my full year's quota of props. (I do, however, have some kudos leftover, so when I find out that you've done something great I'll give you some of those.) We had some of his classmates over on Tuesday night after their last class and served this salad. Reason dos: we've done our part to control the pet population by having Salem ... er ... snipped. Snippadee doodah. Just trying to make Bob Barker proud. (However, I am afraid this has set us back on the whole "gaining trust" thing ... nothing says "I love you" like subjecting your beloved pet to castration) Reason tres: the seeds we planted in the garden are actually coming up. Miracle of nature. I guess when I set my expectations low I leave lots of room for pleasant surprises. Reason cuatro: I live in a college town but don't have to take exams. Lovely. Reason cinco: I stepped outside this morning and saw that it was raining on one side of my house but not on the other. The side it was raining on was also the side the sun was coming up on, so the sun/rain/blue sky combination was fantastic. Reason seis: Have I already mentioned how excited I am to be going to Spain and France this summer?


Did you know you could use leftover french fries?

Tortilla Española (Spanish Tortilla) Serves 2-3 but easily expandable

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium or 1 large potato, peeled and cut in 1/4" cubes OR 1(ish) cups leftover french fries, chopped. 
4 eggs 
salt and pepper to taste 

Heat olive oil in small skillet (nonstick is best, FYI) over medium-high heat. Put potatoes in skillet - if using fresh potatoes, fry until soft and cooked through (maybe 10-15 minutes), stirring often. If using leftover fries, fry until heated and crispy (3-4 minutes?). 

While potatoes are cooking, beat eggs in a medium-sized bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

Remove potatoes from heat and put in bowl with eggs. Mix well. Mixture should be thick. 

Reheat pan, adding more oil if necessary (oil should cover the bottom of the pan but you don't need too much). 

Pour egg-potato mixture into skillet and cook for 8-10 minutes or until edges are set and the middle isn't as runny. You can lift up one edge to look at the bottom - if it's brown, you're doing good.  If it's still runny, let it set for a few more minutes. 

Now for the fun part: Get a plate ready. Slide the tortilla onto the plate, turn the skillet upside down over the plate, and then flip the tortilla back onto the skillet. Put it back on the stove and cook for 5-8 minutes more or until the bottom is browned. Remove from heat, cut into wedges and serve for any meal (can be eaten straight up or in a sandwich ... er ... bocadillo ... that is a tasty way to eat any leftovers). Tada. Spanish tortilla.

I've also added black beans, parmesan cheese, spinach, garlic, and onion (not all at once though) ... just mix in whatever you want to when you add the potatoes to the eggs. I have big news. BIG news. My most favorite girl cousin on my mom's side is going to Spain. And I get to go with her. Olé. I may have cried a little bit when I heard the news. Just a bit. We're going to Paris too. Oui. More soon. On a "Cinco de Mayo" note ... I heard a radio announcer say "pick-oh day gal-oh" instead of "pico de gallo," and it hurt. It hurt real bad. If you're going to say it on air shouldn't you know? I mean, really.