The night I spent awake in the hot tent was not entirely unproductive. While trying not to itch my feet in the sweltering heat I dreamed of fall weather and foods. I planned all the gorgeous foods and recipes that I could share here and online.
This oatmeal recipe is an all-around winner. With kids starting back to school and fall activities kicking into gear, this is a fantastic recipe for your repertoire. You toss all the ingredients in the slow cooker as you're heading to bed and wake up to the mouthwatering scents of apple, maple syrup and cinnamon. If you (gloriously) oversleep and the oatmeal cooks up a bit thick, just douse it with some fresh milk before eating. This is the way to start your day!
Slow Cooker Maple, Apple and Cinnamon Oatmeal
2 c. milk (For a richer oatmeal, you can substitute 1 c. half and half for 1 c. milk.)
1 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (You can use steel-cut oats instead but do not use quick oats.)
1/4 c. real maple syrup
1 c. peeled and chopped apple, any variety
1 T. butter
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 c. raisins, optional
1/2 c. toasted walnuts, pecans or almonds, optional
Nonstick cooking spray
Spray the inside of the slow cooker with a light coating of nonstick cooking spray. Add all remaining ingredients and stir gently. Cover and cook on low for between 8 and 9 hours. Uncover, stir and serve.
And while my heart is yearning for fall, my head is making use of the rest of our bountiful summer fruits and vegetables. While I've canned quite a few regular garlic dills to get us through the winter, these Almost Instant Garlic Dill Pickles are a favorite around here. We look forward to these all year and eat indecent amounts before our garden stops producing pickling cucumbers. A word to the wise: Be sure to use Kosher salt or coarse ground sea salt, as the amount of salt in the recipe is crucial to a perfect pickle.