With one last day of 2017 lingering, we’re taking our morning slow to reflect on the joys, the frustrations, the sadness and the good times this last year has brought while we graze over a bowl of these Creamy Spiced Oats with Cinnamon-Maple Whiskey Figs.
While many spend their day coming up with rules to abide by over the next year (er…month), we generally choose to forgo the resolutions in place of reflections and lessons learned, of which there were many. Years past, I followed the crowd and decided on how I’d change myself for the better in the upcoming year. How could I be the best me? The best friend, the most loving partner, the kindest parent, the most diligent worker… the pressure that brought into my life was all but soul-crushing. It leveled me and made me feel a deep sense of failure in just about every area in my life. I promised myself that I’d no longer give-in to the BE THE BEST YOU THIS YEAR hype.
Every day we all try to be the best us. I don’t know anyone who wakes up in the morning feeling like they want to fail, or at very least not try their best. Life is hard and it only seems to get harder as we get older and start to lose loved ones, battle illnesses, take on huge responsibilities and obligations and try to balance them all while feeling the pressure to also be kinder, be healthier, love more, eat less, try harder. Let’s choose to remove that burden and simply reflect on our year, remember where we fell short, celebrate the times we succeeded, and allow ourselves to start fresh and try again without the guilt and onus of strict resolutions.
May your last day of 2017 be reflective and calm and your 2018 a fresh start to be whoever you want to be, even if it’s not the best. Thank you as always for showing up, keeping in touch and visiting when you can. I have appreciated all your words and encouragement this past year as I came back around after having Ruthie and picked things back up in my little corner of the web. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
As mentioned, we spent today moving slowly, recovering from a bustling holiday season and noshing on a bowl of these extremely creamy steel cut oats speckled with warm spices like cinnamon and allspice and a deep and bitter hit of espresso powder. I topped this bowl of comfort with some maple-sweetened boozy Soft Dried Figs from the President’s Choice Black Label Collection. They add sweetness and texture and a hint of smokiness from the whiskey soak. All these flavours marry wonderfully together and make for a pretty special bowl of oats to linger over on a cold-as-heck morning.We topped ours with some Blueberry Syrup from PC Black Label as a final touch of oomph – I actually welcomed the change from maple syrup as it was already present in the figs and this gave it a little tartness to balance all the rich, warm flavours. If you’re only making it for one, the oats keep beautifully in the fridge for up to a week. Warm up on the stove with a drizzle of milk or cream in the morning to loosen them up.
- 1 cup steel cut oats
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp espresso powder
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp allspice
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg
- 2 heaping tbsp brown sugar
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 2 cups unsweetened milk
- 1 cup half and half
- PC Black Label Blueberry Syrup
- CINNAMON-MAPLE WHISKEY FIGS
- 1 stick of cinnamon, smashed
- 1 cup whiskey
- 1 cup warm water
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 250g bag PC Black Label Soft Dried Figs
- FOR THE OATS
- Place a heavy sauce pot on the stove over medium heat and melt the butter. Pour in the oats and let them toast, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. This gives the oats a nutty flavour.
- Add in the cinnamon, espresso powder, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, brown sugar and salt and stir for 1 minute.
- Add the milk and half and half and stir everything together carefully.
- Cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are tender with a slight bite (think al dente pasta) and the liquid has been absorbed but still creamy.
- Spoon into bowls while piping hot and top with a few of the figs sliced in half and a drizzle of your favourite syrup.
- FOR THE FIGS
- Place all the ingredients in an air-tight jar and shake gently to combine. Let sit at room temp overnight at room temperature or for up to 2 days in the fridge.
Disclaimer: I am part of the #PlayWithYourFood Campaign sponsored by Presidents Choice Black Label and receive compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. Regardless, I only work with brands I use personally and enjoy.