The stars finally aligned that I would have all the ingredients in my house at the same time to make a delicious oatmeal bake I found on Pinterest. Usually that does not bode well for the recipe in question. The longer I have to mull a recipe over and build it up in my mind, the more I go back to the original source and look at their delicious food porn, the more disappointed I am in the final result. This time, I lucked out — or the recipe is really that amazing. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few things I’ll change the next time I do it, but overall, this was one of our best breakfasts in a long time.
First off, I want to apologize for not getting a decent picture. First, it’s been half-eaten because I didn’t think to get a picture before dishing any of it out. Secondly, the color balance is not very good on my phone. Regardless, I have to assume that since my baked oatmeal looked exactly like their pictures of baked oatmeal, I did it right.
The flavors were amazing. I loved how well everything went together. Strawberries and chocolate are a nobrainer, but I loved the addition of orange zest. I usually despise it (it’s the texture that gets me; if anyone knows of a good substitute for the flavor without the strings, please let me know in the comments!), so I tend to leave it out. This was definitely a good use of orange zest, though, and since I only had to zest one of them, it was worth it. I was a little concerned when I got the Chinese 5 spice home and opened the lid. I had forgotten in the store that anise smells like black licorice. Barf. I decided to use it anyway, and I’m glad I did. The anise was overpowering when I smelled it out of the bottle but had definitely mellowed by the time it got to my bowl. I prefer my oatmeal a bit gooier, this crumbled apart very easily. I was hoping the egg would bind it together better, so I might increase the eggs to two next time, or I may switch to a quicker oat.
There were a few things that I didn’t do exactly right, but I don’t think they affected the overall flavor. I didn’t measure some things (the strawberries or the chocolate chips, for example) — not worth dirtying a measuring cup. I can promise you that if no one had dishwashers, you’d see a lot more people spending $20 for a decent digital kitchen scale and writing recipes in weight instead of cups. A half a cup of sliced strawberries can vary by quite a bit depending on how big the berries are and how you slice them. How about just telling me to slice 3 ounces of berries? Put bowl on scale, zero it out, and slice strawberries directly into the bowl until 3 oz shows up on the display. No need to wash a measuring cup (and you better do it quick before it gets sticky!).
I’ll step off my soapbox now. Anyway, I probably should have let my milk come at least to room temperature before adding it to the melted butter, or heated it a tiny bit after doing so. The butter immediately rehardened and left tiny bits of solid butter throughout the milk mixture rather than having a nice smooth buttery milk mixture. The end result had butter throughout the bake, so it was probably fine, but it irritated me that I didn’t think of it. At least I added the milk to the hot butter BEFORE adding the egg. I could have just cooked the egg. That would have been much worse than letting the butter get hard.
I forgot to make bacon until the bake had only a few minutes left, so I decided to skip it. This breakfast definitely lacks in protein, so I recommend boiling an egg or remembering the bacon. Sausage would be delicious, too.
Overall, this was one of my favorite Pinterest finds. I’ll definitely be making it again, but I’ll need to speed up the process a bit. Since I’m won over by the flavors, but not the texture, I think I’ll try making this in my crockpot. I’m also going to try reheating this in the oven and testing to see if it crisps up better than it bakes.