Archive for February, 2011

Old-fashioned oatmeal is like comfort in a bowl

If there’s one recipe that represents a warm, wholesome breakfast, it’s a piping hot bowl of oatmeal. The classic dish is cheap, nutritious and filling. When craving this comfort in a bowl to start the day, it’s easy to grab a packet of that instant stuff and dump in some hot water. While that can be convenient, it doesn’t take much longer to make old-fashioned oatmeal, well, the old-fashioned way: by simmering it in water or milk for several minutes.

The result is a better-tasting, better-textured product, and because you’re making it yourself, you can tailor just how much sugar and other additives go in. Besides, if you make enough to have leftovers the next day, you’ll have “instant” oatmeal then: all it takes is a trip to the microwave. It will taste just as good if not better than the first day, since the ingredients have had time to mesh.

Another bonus: Old-fashioned oatmeal easily goes from modest to marvelous with a few ingredients like brown sugar, cinnamon and dehydrated fruits like cranberries and raisins, which will plump up as they absorb the cooking liquid.

For a special treat, I like to make mine with fresh berries, which pack an extra punch when it comes to nutrition and flavor.

If you’ve always relied on that instant stuff for your oatmeal fix, grab a box labeled “old-fashioned oats” (they’re just a few bucks and last forever) and get ready start your day on an extra-wholesome note.

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Pan-roasted chicken and other tasty stuff

Hey y’all,  sorry I’ve been away from the blog for a while — it’s certainly not for lack of cooking.

The past couple of weeks have been a blur, as I’ve been writing recipes for my Food 101 column for The Orange County Register and working on the Register’s latest video shoot for our O.C. Chefs at Home cooking series.

(As some of you know, my “real job” is Automotive Editor for the Register.)

I’ll have another recipe posting here next week, but in the meantime I invite you to try my latest from the Food 101 series: Pan-roasted chicken.

The recipe involves a little more technique, but the results are so worth it. The recipe can be made in about half an hour, uses only one pan, and in addition to some of the most amazing chicken you’ve had, you’ll also learn how to make a wine-butter reduction sauce. Need I say more?

Happy eating,



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