Breakfast Gifts

The week between Christmas and New Year's generally involves sleeping in, having lazy breakfasts, and staying in our jammies until late morning. Now, just because we want a lazy breakfast doesn't mean we aren't looking for something delicious. Heck, we're often looking for comfort food, too. But hey, that's no problem:

Imagine mixing a handful of ingredients together in a casserole dish and baking it for about 45 minutes before finding yourself enjoying a bowl of creamy, delicious baked oatmeal that's studded with chunks of tender apples. This is my idea of easy comfort food and it gave me a chance to take a new thrift store find out for a spin. That gorgeous casserole dish (the pie plate lid isn't pictured, but is equally lovely) was mine for under $5 and holds enough oatmeal to generously serve six people. Hey, it's the holidays … you might have company or want the leftovers for an even easier breakfast the next day!

You could also add raisins or other dried fruit to the mix, but I kept my version limited to apples. It made it easy to reheat and enjoy for the next day or two. I sprinkled mine with slivered almonds because they are my favorite, but chopped pecans or walnuts would also be great. You could even drizzle some maple syrup on top, though I found the brown sugar and my apples kept it sweet enough for me. Besides, what could be more sweet than a comforting breakfast that nearly makes itself? Happy holidays!

Baked Apple Oatmeal

  • 2 2/3 c. old-fashioned oats — NOT instant
  • 4 c. milk
  • 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 T. butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 medium apples, peeled and chopped (2 cups)
  • 1/2 c. slivered almonds, if desired

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In 2-quart casserole, mix the oats, milk, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, salt, and apples. Bake uncovered in the preheated oven 40-45 minutes or until most liquid is absorbed. Serve sprinkled with almonds and additional milk, if desired.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes