Thursday, January 20, 2011

CEIMB: Vanilla Spice Oatmeal

Okay, I'm not proud to admit it, but I almost did not participate in Craving Ellie in My Belly this week, and it was all because we were supposed to be making oatmeal. Ellie's Vanilla Spice Oatmeal, chosen by Mary of Popsicles and Sandy Feet, was not something I ever even considered making when I first purchased her So Easy cookbook. You see, here's another little-known bit of trivia about me: I can't stand oatmeal.

Yep, it's true. Or at least, I was pretty sure it was true up until this past weekend. I know I have been offered oatmeal in the past. I've turned it down every time. If I had to pinpoint my utter disgust concerning the mere presence of oatmeal, I'd say it's because of the texture. I'm just a big weirdo when it comes to food textures, and in particular I'm completely not a fan of mushy textures. Mashed potatoes are not my friend, and neither are grits, polenta, or even cream-based soups. So oatmeal certainly falls into that category for me.

When I first learned what we were to make this week, I told my husband, and then said that I would be choosing an Ellie rewind recipe from before I joined the group. I figured I would just make something else in place of the oatmeal. But then he asked me, "Why not just make it?" And you know what, I realized he was right. Why not? Neither of my children had ever eaten oatmeal (because I would never make them eat it, nor did I want to buy it and prepare it for them!), and it has been years since I last tried it. The truth is, my horizons have broadened so much in the last few years. I'm trying (and liking!) so many things now that I never dreamed I would. I've been pleasantly surprised so many times by foods that my former self could not palate.

And so, I decided right then and there, that I would make the oatmeal after all! At best, I would discover that I really did like it. At worst, I would just try it again and see that my suspicions were justified. Either way, no harm done.

In the end, I have to be honest. Me and oatmeal will probably never be bosom buddies. I loved the ease of making oatmeal from scratch (because I honestly had no idea it was so simple and fast!) and I did love Ellie's add-ins. She incorporates vanilla, cinnamon, brown sugar, and pecans for crunch. She added raisins to hers; I added dried cranberries. However, that darn texture is just not something I crave, or particularly enjoy consuming. I thought it tasted very good, but the mushiness is tough to deal with. Turns out, my husband is not a huge oatmeal fan either! I thought that was ironic and hilarious, considering he is the one who convinced me to make it! So he liked it okay, but wasn't in love. My five year-old son really did not care for it, but I had a feeling he wouldn't, so there were no shockers there.

I'm glad I revisited oatmeal, just so I could know for sure that it's just not our thing. Sorry I could not report some big culinary epiphany, though! I wanted it to work out better. Thank you to Mary for pushing me past my comfort levels! For the full recipe, you can go here, to Food Network's website. For the full CEIMB blogroll, click here.


  1. I feel the same way about oatmeal and it turns out I am really allergic to it so that settled it for me. No more oats for sure. So I subbed out risotto, but it was stil pretty dull and bland dish. I'm glad you at least tried it though. I'm surprised your guys did not like it!!

  2. That's funny. I'm not a fan of any of the things you don't care for either. But I've learned to tolerate oatmeal with my mental bargaining chip that if I eat it all week then I get to eat a HUGE omelet on Sat. and Sunday. Besides...1. Oatmeal has has significant positive effects on Ted's health and 2. It's a runners breakfast (CARB LOADED!).

  3. I am so glad you tried it, even though you didn't wind up loving it. Truth be told, I didn't love it either.....I guess, you win some, you lose some! Thanks so much for cooking along with me this week.

  4. What a team player you are! I like to visit things now and again as they say your tastebuds can change every 7 years which explains why kids like things as adults they would not touch as kids, etc. We loved this recipe, but then we like oatmeal. Here is Matt's pre-swim breakfast before a swim meet: big bowl of oatmeal with a sliced banana, a tablespoon of brown sugar, and cream drizzled on the top (and if we have them, blueberries and/or strawberries)...he relishes it! He liked this version very much.
    Yours looks great.