Happy June, oatmealers! This month’s Enthusiast, Kat, came to me through my “This Week in Oatmeal” series. This weekly tradition brings me joy every week because the designated themes allow me to see how many of you actually read my blog on a regular basis. I actually imagine people visiting TOA by accident after finding me on Pinterest or Google, and then never coming back. However, when I set weekly themes like “unique toppings,” and suddenly I find dozens of you throwing animal crackers on your morning porridge, it hits me that some of you actually read this thing.
Anyway, Kat is one of the many Instagrammers who regularly participates in my fun but arbitrary themes. I am so pleased to present her as the Oatmeal Enthusiast for June 2016!
I sat silent on the stage as a few hundred strangers tried to give me a nickname. They asked me my favorite food, most embarrassing moment, favorite color, and most memorable family vacation.
Suddenly, a boy jumped onto his chair and shouted, “I’ve got a name! Answer me this: what is her favorite food?”
Everyone yelled, “oatmeal!”
“That’s right!” The boy said, “Rolled oats. And what does she sometimes put on her oatmeal? Thai spices, so I say that we name her ‘Let the Good Thai’mes Roll!” The crowd erupted into applause, and the name stuck. For the rest of the summer, I was referred to as “Good Thai’mes” in honor of my love of oatmeal with Thai spices.
When I affirm that oatmeal is my favorite food, people stare at me in disbelief. They glance at the cafeteria serving line with its lumpy porridge and decide that the cafeteria staff must be slipping a little something extra into my oats. They aren’t—I truly love oatmeal that much. My friends just don’t realize that the cafeteria’s plain oatmeal is my canvas every morning. I paint it with yogurt, adorn it with bananas, and sprinkle it with nuts. Making oatmeal is truly an art.
I have not always been so fond of porridge. Before college, I rarely ate cereal at all—hot or cold. My breakfasts usually consisted of a few iced oatmeal cookies and a glass of chocolate milk. But one morning at the beginning of freshman year, I heard my mouth ask the cafeteria worker for oatmeal. I took a bite…and I was not impressed. Plain oats were a letdown to my ubiquitous sweet tooth. A few weeks later, I asked for a bowl of oats again, and I added some jelly to the steaming cereal. Slowly, I realized that oatmeal is made to be decorated. Later that year, I found The Oatmeal Artist’s blog, and I started creating my own works of art whenever I was home. Below you will find a week’s worth of breakfast creations; to see more, check out my blog.
Sunday: Cinnamon Microwave Oats with Strawberries and Peanut Butter
When I first started making oatmeal, I meticulously measured everything, and my bowl would overflow every time I tried to make microwave oats. Now I just eyeball the amount of water that I add to a scoop of oatmeal and microwave for one minute; it’s delicious every time!
Monday: Banana Ice Cream Breakfast Sandwich
Yesterday I prepped two banana cookies (½ banana + ½ cup of oatmeal + a sprinkle of cinnamon + a drop of vanilla extract) and used the leftover banana to make “nice cream.” I sandwiched it all together and stuck it in the freezer for this morning.
Tuesday: Baked Sweet Potato with Pumpkin Peanut Butter Granola
I love granola, and I could easily eat an entire batch/box in one day. I used Peanut Butter & Co.’s pumpkin spice peanut butter to make a single-serve batch of granola to top a delicious sweet potato.
Wednesday: Carrot, Coconut, and Vanilla Oatmeal
Today was the type of day where my stomach growled for breakfast three times. It all began when I awoke at 3:30 AM for no apparent reason other than a deep longing for oatmeal. I grated a few baby carrots into a bowl of oats, added drops of coconut extract and vanilla extract, and cooked it all in the microwave.
Key Lime Oatmeal Smoothie
Around 8 o’clock I was hungry again, so I ate the breakfast smoothie bowl that I had planned for today. (Personal tip: If you want to add oatmeal to a smoothie, soak the oatmeal overnight to make it a bit softer.)
Kitchen Sink Banana Oatmeal
At 10 o’clock, my belly was begging for more food. Inspired by Lauren’s Loaded Banana Oatmeal, I cooked some oats in mashed banana and topped it with basically everything that looked appealing.
Thursday: Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Oatmeal
When I was a freshman in college, I told my friends that I wanted to eat every food in cookie form. I honored my love of cookies this morning by trying Lauren’s Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough Oatmeal. I highly recommend it!
Thursday: Coconut Oatmeal Cookies and Coconut Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Earlier this week, our oven quit working, but I promised my parents that I would make all of our favorite cookies once it had been repaired. For my dad, I made triple chocolate cookies (not pictured). My mom asked for coconut oatmeal cookies, and I added raisins to the last pan because I am a dried-fruit lover. I inhaled more of those raisin cookies than I care to admit, and I deserve to get salmonella from all of the raw cookie dough I ate.
Friday: Black Bean Enchilada Oatmeal
Besides oatmeal, my favorite foods are sweet potatoes and black beans. I am glad that all three of my favorite foods made an appearance this week.
Saturday: Mango and Sticky Rice Overnight Oatmeal
I had to catch a plane at 6 o’clock AM, and the airport is over an hour away, so overnight oatmeal was the ideal breakfast. I put all the ingredients in a jar yesterday afternoon, and I enjoyed eating these sweet oats while I traveled.
Thanks, Lauren, for letting me share my week of oatmeal with your readers!