Tuesday, December 13, 2011

On the first day of Christmas

Well, I did not receive a partridge in a pear tree. Come to think of it, I have never heard of anyone receiving a partridge or a pear tree for Christmas or any other holiday.

Here is a random picture to add to the festivity that I am feeling right now. This is from making gingerbread houses a few weeks ago. I don’t go for ambitious projects, but I really do need a neat and structured little cottage. Thanks for the picture Alexandra!


Back to the story, because I am home alone and I just remembered that Christmas is only 12 days away, I did make myself breakfast. It was actually kind of cheating because I made breakfast yesterday morning but then just warmed it up and added a chai latte.

Yesterday I made pumpkin  pie oatmeal for Jerry and me. Honestly, any excuse to pull out my family’s little-used ramekins is a good enough excuse for me. The oatmeal turned out thick and the taste is similar to pumpkin pie because of the spices and the pumpkin puree. Also, I like that an egg is not necessary for this baked oatmeal unlike most other baked oatmeal recipes. This is definitely a very festive breakfast, perfect for making near Thanksgiving or Christmas and it is a great way to use up left over pumpkin puree. I even used pecans that I cracked by hand on top. The nuts added a textural contrast and a wonderful flavor. I promise, this is seriously the last pumpkin-related post of this year. On to the chai latte.

I love chai lattes! However, I wish they were not so terribly expensive at coffee shops. $3.50 to $4.00 or more can really add up, even if I indulge only once every one or two weeks. So, when I found a recipe online I knew that I had to try it. I did take some liberty with the original recipe, but I liked the way it turned out. The orange was stronger than I thought it would be, but I really liked the flavor. Check out the original recipe if  you only have black tea at hand, there are more spices added in the original. The recipe was definitely a keeper. I might mess around with it a little bit and make different variations. I once had a chocolate chai latte and it was amazing. Not sure if I am up for such a difficult challenge but it is one I will have to try. For now, enjoy!


Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Adapted from Soup Addict

1 1/4 cups old fashioned oats

1 tbsp packed brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp butter, softened

3/4 c pumpkin puree

3/4 c milk

pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 4 ramekins (12-14 oz.) and set on a baking sheet (it should have sides to keep ramekins from sliding off).

Mix together all dry ingredients until the salt in a medium-sized bowl. In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients until smooth. Pour wet ingredients into the bowl with dry ingredients. Stir to combine.

Divide mixture evenly into 4 ramekins.

Bake for 12 minutes. (I sprinkled chopped pecans over the top when I took them out of the oven.)


Chai Latte

Adapted from Living Mostly Meatless

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup skim milk

1 chai tea bag

1 strip of orange peel

1/4 tsp vanilla

1/8 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp white sugar

Combine the water and milk in a small pot, heat over eye until warm. Then add remaining ingredients. Turn up heat so that mixture boils, then reduce heat back to medium until the color begins to deepen. Turn off the eye and let simmer for another minute. You can pour yours through a strainer or just spoon out the orange peel. Pour into a cute, Christmas mug and enjoy!

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