Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful...

I believe those words are the beginning of the lyrics. I never noticed the "frightful" in that song before. Though I don't know if we actually hit "frightful" today in Portland, we were pretty darn close. Most of us around the Rose City and it's metro areas have been snowed in for over a day now. The weathermen were finally spot-on and the arctic blast made its way to us this week, and particularly this weekend.

A snow-drenched bush outside my front door

Ice-covered branches outside the condo

I will admit, however, that I was a bit disappointed today when I discovered that the gorgeous white powder hindered the delivery of my Sunday New York Times. I adore a slow Sunday morning with a cup of coffee from my new French press, a breakfast that takes more than three minutes to put together, a nice fire and the hefty paper waiting for me to flip through it's special sections. The paper was not with me today, but that didn't mean the coffee, breakfast and fireplace had to abandon the final day of my weekend.

As I'm back to working in what I refer to as the "real world" I usually don't make a real breakfast in the morning during the weekday. So when the weekend comes, especially Sundays, I do like to take some time to put something together that I can enjoy with more than a little time to spare. And for a day like today, with eight inches of snow on the ground and the sky delivering even more showers from the sky, I got the hunkering for a bowl of slow-cooked steel cut oats, or Irish oatmeal, to go alongside my French press cup of Jo.

French press and steel-cut oats ready to go!

Though they take a little while to cook, I think making the slow-cooked oatmeal is well worth it, and it's so simple. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add about 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1 cup of dried oats.

Oats cooking away!

Once the oats are added to the boiling water, just turn the burner down to low and let the mixture simmer for about 20-25 minutes. As the oats absorb the boiling water, one thing I like to do is add about 1 tablespoon of good vanilla extract to the mixture to give it some flavor. This, in turn, gives the kitchen and the entire condo a cozy aroma as well.

Once my oats are ready to eat, I'll usually add some ground cinnamon, dried cranberries or dried, chopped dates sprinkled on top. For some reason I was out of dates and cranberries today, but found a few yummy substitues that I think brought the bowl of goods to a delicious surprise.

My final product: oats sprinkled with pecans, a little cinnamon and a dollop of rasberry preserves

My warm oats and fresh French press beverage kept me warm all day through the 21 degree weather in Portland today.

When the weather outside is frightful, what do you prefer to enjoy in your bowl to cozy up with? Whatever it may be, I hope it carries you through a marvelous holiday!


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