Baked Oatmeal

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If we don’t get some warm weather soon I’m going to weigh 200 lbs!! On Saturday and Sunday mornings one of my
indulgences is to watch episodes of Unique Sweets on demand. I’m in bed with my electronic devices nearby and a spiral notebook. First thing in the morning I’m ravenous and most everything I see on TV I want to eat/make or buy. Danger Will Robinson!!!

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My weekend delights have sparked so many ideas that it would take me three or four more lifetimes to bring all of them to fruition. Baked Oatmeal was one of those ideas and I don’t know why it took me so long to make it. Let me take that back, I know why. This oatmeal is filled with dates, cranberries, pears, walnuts and brown sugar. I swear it is more like a dessert but I fool myself into thinking that it’s a little healthy because it contains oatmeal and fruit. This morning I had the nerve to add a drizzle of real live, authentic maple syrup on top. YOLO!!!!

Thank you Better Homes and Garden for the inspiration and the weight gain, (snark)!

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Fruit and Nut Baked Oatmeal – Adapted from Better Homes and Garden
1 ¾ cups soy vanilla milk
2 TBS butter
1 cup regular rolled oats
1/3 cup chopped dates
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup diced pear
5 TBS packed brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 1 ½ quart casserole and set aside. In a medium saucepan combine milk and butter. Bring to a boil and gradually stir in oats. Next stir in dates, cranberries and the pears. Followed by 3 TBS of the brown sugar and vanilla and salt. Cook and stir for one minute. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.
Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining brown sugar and walnuts. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes more or until bubbly. Cool slightly and serve with milk and a drizzle of maple syrup. Do your best to save some for the next day. It’s that good, trust me.