Comfort Cooking for a Pandemic Winter: Part 9 – Misc.

And, so we come to the end of my Pandemic recipe sharing. I wish you a happy Christmas and healthy New Year, and hope you’ve found a new favorite recipe or two to keep you through the winter.

Baked Oatmeal Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal
2-1/2 cups old fashioned oats (not quick cooking)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup oil
1 egg
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients and pour into a greased 9×9 pan or round casserole dish. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30-40 min. Serve warm with milk and fresh or dried fruit.
This recipe is from a friend who got it from her college roommate who got it from her favorite hometown restaurant in Hershey, Pennsylvania. I make a batch for the fridge, warming it in the microwave for a hot weekday breakfast.

Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal
2 cups steel cut oatmeal 
6 cups water
2 cups milk
2 tbsp butter
2-3 apples (peeled and chopped, optional, might also use raisins or other dried fruit, or none)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tbsp cinnamon
2-3 star anise (optional)
Put all ingredients in a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. This type of oats has a 4:1 liquid to oats ration, so feel free to sub other liquids (oat milk, soy milk, any type of nut milk, water). Can also be cooked on the stove by bringing to a boil and simmering for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick. 
I recently made this, adding some whey protein to up the staying power, which meant adding a bit more liquid. I’ve also made this for work breakfasts, served buffet style with coconut flakes, brown sugar, maple syrup, dried fruit, jams, yogurt, fresh fruit. 
Bob’s Red Mill has a great explanation of the different types of oats. 

Photo by Taryn Elliott on

Hot Fudge Sauce
Melt 1/3 cup shortening (substitute butter or ghee?) and 4 squares baking chocolate in a double boiler. Add 3 cups sugar, 1 can sweetened condensed milk, dash of salt and 1 tsp vanilla.
Although this recipe is handwritten in my mom’s writing, it says it’s from her mother, Martha Irene Sholley Armstrong. I remember Mom making this to pour over vanilla ice cream. Delicious, and no wonder — all that sugar!

Hot Spicy Toasted Nuts
I make these every year for Christmas, using a mix of pecans and walnuts. Once cool, the nuts can be stored in a tin for over a week, and I often packaged them in baking cups wrapped with plastic wrap and tied with a ribbon or yarn. The sweet heat of these treats is highly addictive. 

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