Tuesday, September 11, 2012

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10 Ways to Upgrade Your Oatmeal


For Sunday brunch on my recent trip to NYC, I forced Frank to schlep across town to try out OatMeals. The Greenwich Village brunch spot only opened this summer, but it features a menu I've been waiting for my whole life: oatmeal (not too soupy, just like I like it), made with milk or water, and a cornucopia of sweet and savory toppings. (The list ranges from dulce de leche to cinnamon chips to truffle oil. Die.) Buffets have my heart. So does oatmeal. I nearly stroked out on the sidewalk from the anticipation alone. 

Frankie went with The Canadian, a sweet-and-savory combination of bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, roasted apples, maple syrup, and sea salt. He ordered the "Papa Bear" (a.k.a jumbo) size, yet managed to wolf it down before I finished even half of mine. (He eats indiscriminately, so I'm not sure if it was that tasty or he was just that hungry.) 

I chose the more traditional Strawberry Shortcake, featuring fresh strawberries, graham cracker rounds, strawberry jam, whipped cream, white and brown sugar, and peanut butter chips (my own special addition). My only complaint: all of my toppings were gone before I ate even half of the oats. (It was almost impossible to stir because the toppings were piled so high.) Other than that, it was divine.

I love the idea of upgrading steel-cut oatmeal, since it's such an easy, reliable breakfast food. Here are eight more AMAZING topping combos from OatMeals that I'm dying to try:

1. Salted Caramel
Cinnamon, brown sugar, sauteed apples, whipped cream, caramel drizzle, fleur de sel (a type of sea salt)

2. S'mores
Dark chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, sliced almonds

3. Cheesecake
Blackberries, candied lemon zest, crystallized ginger, dollop of mascarpone

4. Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin puree, pecans, brown sugar, pumpkin spice, whole milk

5. Shaved Parmesan
Extra virgin olive oil, Parmesan cheese, flaky sea salt, cracked pepper, bacon (optional, but recommended)

6. Fig & Gorgonzola
Dried figs, crumbled gorgonzola, balsamic vinegar glaze

7. Croque Monsieur
Diced ham, gruyere cheese, nutmeg, steamed milk

8. Indian Spiced
Raisins, sliced almonds, coconut milk, crystallized ginger, cardamom, vanilla, brown sugar


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