Bless Yer Heart

This post is dedicated to the memory of Carol Ann, a beloved friend whose life was taken many many years too early. Carol Ann lived in a very small town in North Carolina. Although I didn’t get to spend much time with her, I knew her to be a special person, full of love, kindness, and generosity. And although she had never left the south before, she was excited to embark on adventures. She came to California for an adventure – to San Francisco, no less – and was open to everything. She took on all new experiences with a smile.

When I first met her, in her own habitat, so to speak, she was warm and funny. And had no problem mocking the vegan food I was about to feed her. I had prepared vegan paella. I’m guessing she had never had non-vegan paella. She loved it. And I told her about the oatmeal I’d been making for my family for close to twenty years. She didn’t like oatmeal – I don’t know how that’s possible – but she liked how “healthy” this sounded, and the fact that she could make a big batch of it at the beginning of the week, and take servings of it to work. So I gave her the recipe, and she loved it, and ate it all the time.

If you make this, you’ll get lots of benefits in addition to the main one, which is that it tastes so good. You already know that plain old oatmeal is good for you, but this comes with two extra whole grains. And if you intend to make it regularly, chances are it’ll add at least one whole grain to your pantry, bulgur, which is quick cooking and delicious. You’re welcome!

So when you’ve reheated a bowl of this in the office microwave, making your co-workers drool from the cinnamony smell of home-cooking, think of Carol Ann, twinkle in her eye, smiling.

Best oatmeal ever

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup bulgur
  • 1/3 cup cornmeal
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup raisins (golden is extra yummy)
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp molasses, optional

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 qt of water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium and add the oats and bulgur. While whisking constantly, stream in the cornmeal until completely mixed in. Thinly slice the banana into the pot, add the raisins, cinnamon, salt, and molasses, if using. Mix well, turn the heat to medium low, and simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Cover the pot, remove from the heat, and let sit for 7 more minutes. Serve with (home-made) brown sugar or maple syrup, some toasted chopped nuts of your choice, and some dried blueberries like Daniel Tiger.

Makes 3 – 4 servings

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Dude. Tropical home-made ice cream.

Dude. I rule. Husband had a class tonight, so after a long day of cooking for my client, shuttling to and from appointments, I was feeding the kids solo. In between roasting the broccoli and messing up the millet, I made ICE CREAM.

Tropical ice cream

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple chunks
  • 4 medjool dates
  • 1 can coconut cream or coconut milk (just shy of 2 cups)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (plus a little to equal 3 cups of liquid)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the puree into your ice cream maker and process per manufacturer’s instructions.

It will be soft serve. It will be delicious.