Steel Cut Oats with Apricots, Cherries, and Cardamom

It’s been a rough week. A busy week.

My step-grandpa passed away after 91 years of living, so we took a trip to Arkansas for the service and to be with my Mormor. It was a quick trip because we had obligations here to get back to. My mom stayed with my grandma, though, and she and my sister are bringing her down this weekend. It will be good. I think Mormor needs to get away for a little bit. My Swedish grandma has outlived two husbands, and at 93, still loves to shop and swim and hang out with us young(er) ones.

At her age, it has to be terribly hard to feel so alone, but she needs to know she’s not alone. That she can come stay here with us. I hope she accepts that this weekend.

I want to make her Semla for tea one afternoon. And for breakfast, I think she’d like a warm bowl of steel cut oats strewn with apricot pieces, plump cherries, and hints of orange, cardamom, and vanilla.

Sound good? Stick around and I’ll make a bowl for you too.

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Steel Cut Oats with Apricots, Cherries, and Cardamom

  • 1 c. steel cut oats
  • 1 1/2 c. water
  • 3 T. yogurt, plain

Combine, cover and soak overnight. In the morning, add…

  • 3 c. water
  • 1/2 t. sea salt
  • 1/2 t. cardamom

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. In the meantime, combine and soak…

  • 3/4 c. sliced, dried apricots
  • 1/2 c. dried cherries
  • juice of one orange
  • 1 T. vanilla

After the 15 minutes buzzer goes off, add the dried fruit mixture, along with…

  • 2-4 T. butter

Cook for 5-10 more minutes, or until desired consistency. Serve with raw honey, cream, toasted nuts, and a dash of cinnamon on top.

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Dip your spoon into this creamy, chewy, porridge and let all your worries melt away with the butter.

Egg, Bacon, and Cheese Stuffed Peppers

We actually hit 58 degrees the other night. The leaves are starting to fall from the elm trees already and for the first time in my Oklahoma life I’m just a teensy bit sorry to see summer go so soon.

Our counter is piled high with red (and green) tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers…still cucumbers (I’ve made more pickles this year than I can count.) We even have a few strawberries and some knobbly carrots that look like they didn’t know which way was down.

A friend of mine gave me red peppers from her garden that were just amazing (Thanks, Libby!). I roasted a bunch of them and put them in everything from Eggs Florentine to Mac and Cheese with Caramelized Onions. You can’t get much better than that!

These Breakfast Peppers come pretty close. I had to make them twice just to make sure because I’ve never been a fan of stuffed peppers. This is a whole different story.

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One thing I love about these is that I don’t feel like I need extra carbohydrates to go with it or to fill me up. Two pepper halves make a very satisfying and delicious breakfast.

Here’s what you need…

Egg, Bacon, and Cheese Stuffed Peppers

Serves 4

  • 4 medium to large red peppers (You can also use green, or yellow for that matter.)
  • 6 slices Applegate Farms smoked turkey bacon (or bacon of your choice)
  • 7 eggs
  • 2 T. milk or cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 4 oz Parmesan, freshly grated

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds and membrane, being careful not to cut through the pepper. It’s helpful to get peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom (There’s probably a technical name for those…) and cut them so they balance by themselves, but if your peppers are oddly shaped like mine were, place them in a ramekin or muffin tin to balance them out.

Cut or tear bacon into pieces and saute in a skillet until cooked through. Divide evenly between pepper halves.

Beat eggs, milk and salt together (You can go crazy here with herbs, too, if you like) and pour over bacon, filling the peppers just before the point of overflow. (Am I explaining things weird today or what?!)

Slice cream cheese thinly and layer over egg mixture. Top with grated Parmesan.

Bake for 35 minutes or until eggs are set. Let cool slightly before digging in.

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If you happen to have enough refrigerator space (Mine is stuffed with pickles [1 gallon jar, one 1/2 gallon jar, and 2 quart jars to be precise], sauerkraut, milk kefir, water kefir, creme fraiche, lacto-fermented peppers, plus groceries for a week… I really need another refrigerator for this fermented stuff!), you could assemble these the night before and pop them in the oven for a quick breakfast. As it is, it takes 10-15 minutes to assemble and 35 minutes to bake.

Hope you all are enjoying the last days of summer!