Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cranberry Baked Oatmeal and my little boo-hoo

     I have seen more and more blogs lately where the post talks about the blogger missing for a while. Folks are really busy and there is so much to do. I'm amazed that anyone in this day and age is able to post daily, myself included. I was absent yesterday. MIA. AWOL. The correct term would be... sad. One of the girls lost two pets recently. One, we have no idea why. It was a well cared for bunny and she was young. The other was part of the "little flock." It was one of the first chickens my daughter hatched herself. The hen was just in her prime when a mangy fox appeared and carried her off. Hubby and I followed, but it was too late. This was in broad daylight.
     I was sad, and sad for my daughter at the same time. Yesterday was a day of realizing that one of my favorite farm cats will probably never come back. If you remember the post about the cats with the milk a few weeks ago, she was the gorgeous gray cat. She was watchful, careful, rather large and not one to easily be taken, but she disappeared the day before we saw  the fox. This is the downside to loving animals. Still, I would never miss the good they give for the hurt that follows when we lose them.

     On a different note. I made something yummy  this morning. Cranberry Baked Oatmeal. This is somewhere between oatmeal and cheesecake. I thought  you'd pay attention when I said cheesecake!

Cranberry Baked Oatmeal
Makes a 15x10 pan. Probably should serve
8-10, but they can't resist seconds so we serve less.
4 cups old fashioned rolled oats- see note about soaking
water to cover the oats
2 heaping Tablespoons plain yogurt- good quality stuff like Stoneyfield
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 large or x-large egg, beaten
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened 
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract (optional, but good)
1 can or jar of berry cranberry sauce - forget the high fructose corn syrup kind-yuk!

     I use a soaking method for this oatmeal. It can be found in the book, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. By soaking the oatmeal, it makes it more digestible, it cooks faster, and makes a better texture in this recipe. The theory on this is that the yogurt contains that healthy bacteria that breaks down some of the  oats, and protects them from bad bacteria. I use this method all of the time with no problem. If you are at all hesitant or would rather read for yourself in  the book I mentioned, you can still do this recipe easily.
     To soak the oats, you place them in a large bowl with water and stir in the yogurt.Liquid must cover the oats. Cover and leave on the counter overnight. In the morning, you will have puffy, moist oats.
     If you do not wish to soak the oats, you can put them in water for a few minutes before mixing everything together. That would be a good time to get everything else together and to mix the cream cheese filling. When you are ready to use the oats, drain them and place them in a bowl. If you have soaked them overnight, you do not have to drain them.

Preheat oven to 350.
Spray oil a glass 15x10 pan.
You now have oats in a large bowl, whether you soaked or not.
Add salt, baking powder, butter, 1/2 cup sugar or more if you are real sweet tooth. Stir really well.
Place cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar, vanilla, and almond extract in mixer bowl. Mix until creamy.
Place 1/2 the oats in the pan and spread to cover bottom.
Place large spoonfuls of cream cheese mix over the oats, using all of it.

Place spoonfuls of the cranberry over the top, using it up.
This looks like jelled cran, but it had the berries. If you know of
a cranberry sauce that has LOTS of berries, it would be even better.

Cover with remaining oats.
Bake for 45- 55 minutes. Oat part will be firm, but cheesecake part will be creamy.

This would be so good Christmas morning! It works well with any berries, peaches, pie fillings. It's a very versatile recipe.  This recipe could also be cut in half or even quartered quite easily. ENJOY!



  1. Oh I am so sorry about your bunny, your kitty and your hen. I hate foxes, you husband should have shot him pretty or not. Once they start they just keep killing. But Your oatmeal is wonderful, it has all of my favorite things, I will be making this for sure, but I am sure I would eat the whole thing by myself, breakfast, lunch, dinner. :) I hope you feel better about your poor animals soon.
    It is never easy. The trappers we call out to set traps, do it so I don't have to see it.
    I think they have market on the side and sell the pelts. We have caught 35 in the last two years.
    The reproduce like crazy. It started here because I let a Momma fox have six babies and then it just went crazy.

  2. I'm so sorry for you and your daughter! Farm life is not easy sometimes, especially for our animals. We don't have foxes here - just coyotes. I think they're less daring than foxes as they do most of their hunting at night. But we've lost a kitten and my neighbor has lost several cats to them. So I know the frustration. And if foxes continue killing and raiding like Farm Girl said, you've got a real problem.

  3. Where do you come up with this stuff?? it looks amazing!! Another recipe to save :)

  4. We have coyotes that can really be nasty when they run through in a pack. It makes me nervous for our dog! So sorry about your pets; it's even worse when your daughter's heart is breaking too!

    I'm struggling to keep up with blogging right now. Made it through the T-Day and birthdays, and now we get to turn the calendar page and POOF! there is Christmas looking at me. I've got a decent start on shopping, but I am hoping to get it all together next week after my one craft show at our school.

    Take care of you and yours!

  5. Yes, you grabbed me when I saw the word "cheesecake". Looks so good but I would use strawberry or blueberry instead of the cranberry.
    Sorry about your pets. We get so attached to our animals. Hope you are all feeling better soon.


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