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Gingerbread Oatmeal

With the holidays in mind, I thought the kids might enjoy this for breakfast while they were waiting for me to wake up, so they could open Christmas presents. Well, I didn’t get to making this–the store was completely sold out of molasses, go figure. I didn’t give up.

Here is it put together a week later, and the bulk of the finished recipe was frozen for future consumption.

The oatmeal, spices, salt, and molasses together remind me of a dessert with chocolate drizzle!

Because I did not have steel-cut oats as the recipe suggests and used old-fashioned oats, I cut the water in half and had the rest of it ready to add as I checked on the oatmeal after an hour. It was looking pretty good, but still had a couple hours to go, so I added two more cups of water.

The spices are beautifully mingling together waiting to be added to the pot.

The results were a little watery, a little too heavy on clove for me as well as unsweetened. I recommend only using no more than five cups of water if you used old-fashion oats like I did and adding milk and your favorite sweetener when the oatmeal is ready to eat.


How Will This Go?

*UPDATE: It’s not Celiac, but some autoimmune disorder, plus crazy food allergies. Back to potato binging! Just kidding! Anything in moderation.

Concerning, but necessary diet changes were made after a week-long, cuisine-/book-hunting vacation to Vancouver B.C. for my almost-40th birthday. A lot of food, a lot of walking, but my jeans’ size still went from a 10 to a 12 and did not recover after returning home to my normal diet and routine, as it would normally. So I thought, “Maybe my shorts shrank in the wash?” To test the theory, I went to the store I had been to the previous month where I bought new, summer clothes to replace the winter wear I had brought with me on my move to California (a-whole-nother story) thinking I could get more of the shorts I was wearing but in different colors. Nope. I had to size up. Very disheartening, considering I had only been that size when I was pregnant with and immediately after I had my son. My mom, had she seen me, would have asked if I was pregnant which would have resulted, had it been true, in a very litigious conversation with my gynecologist about a certain contraceptive device. My man suggested I email my doctor since I was experiencing other symptoms including bloating and the very embarrassing “gas” associated with the food allergies I already had but had been avoiding. I figured since I had not seen her in awhile, I would make an appointment and speak with her in person. The results? Testing for Celiac Disease. I thought that was discovered in children–if you had it, your doctor would find it when you were a kid. I am still learning. Anyways (prognosis?), I had to cut out gluten and dairy to start. Then potatoes–French fries, chips, sweet potatoes…all of it. It sucks being as potato foods were one of my vices. It is working out. I have found alternatives and they do not make me sick, so I am learning to live (eat) without them! I have rediscovered corn chips and since my man makes one amazing pico de gallo, we are finding creative ways to include corn as well as rice products in our meals.

Coconut, taro, banana chips. Alternative to potatoes!
Coconut, taro, banana chips. Alternative to potatoes! Do not get this if you are sensitive to potatoes; it comes with sweet potatoes (which my kids love)!

We have found some “gluten-free” products to have a potato base, so we really have to pay attention to the ingredients. Strangely enough, I can get away with “potato starch” in my digestive system…at least for now. We shall see if it lasts.

Gluten-free finds.
Gluten-free finds.
Watch out for potato ingredients if that is one of your problem foods.
Watch out for potato ingredients if that is one of your problem foods.

Understanding Celiac Disease means knowing whether or not my kids may develop reactions to foods the way I have. As a mom, that means experimenting on myself to see what ingredients are detrimental to this illness. I understand symptoms vary from person to person, but using myself as a baseline, I think, is the perfect place to begin, especially considering these are my children. So I started this blog to help other moms and women who have to find alternatives to the traditional pastas, breads, and other foods that we grew up with but are now enemies to our digestion; or moms who are looking for cleaner food. I try to experiment with both. I love to cook and often have resorted to adjusting recipes based on what I have on-hand but, now, also have to substitute ingredients for this disease. If this helps anyone, it has served its purpose. I hope you enjoy!

Hello World!

August 4…That’s the day I returned, reluctantly, from France 17 years ago. My longing to return has never subsided just like my passion for gourmet food, cooking, reading, and traveling among other things. It has taken me this long to build up the confidence to share my thoughts (writing) with anyone other than what was required in a classroom. I believe your true passion is what you bring to the world. There will always be someone who disagrees with you. Let’s not be haters…live for yourself. I write!