January 20, 2013

Apple Baked Oatmeal & Quinoa

Me and the bestie went to see The Hobbit yesterday.

Can I tell you something that shouldn't really surprise you? I loved The Lord of the Rings. Books and movies. And I'm still mad at Peter Jackson for skipping the Cleansing of the Shire simply because he didn't like that part, even though I thought he did a fantabulous job otherwise.

Fast forward to the Hobbit. I read the book in sixth grade for class, and I didn't really like it. My mother, who also loves LotR, swore that it was because I read it for school with a teacher I didn't like. I tried reading it again, later. Still nope. So I wasn't too excited to for the movie.

And then Peter Jackson went and cast Martin Freeman as Bilbo. And then he cast Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug. It's like he planned it all out specifically to make me see it. I'm not sure I would have gone otherwise, but I love those two actors far too much to miss it. And maybe I was a tiny, tiny bit happy to see Middle Earth again.
But all that said, I wasn't thrilled with it. And I think my main problem was the length. 3 hours long, and not a whole lot happened. Plus, at times it seemed a bit confused. The Hobbit is a kid's book, and there are times when it seems that Peter Jackson tried to make it kid-friendly. Like the little-boy humor found in a few places, such as the troll accidentally using Bilbo as a handkerchief. Or when the dwarves start singing and kind of make it feel like a Disney movie. And if they had made it a kid's movie, that would have been fine, but these moments are immediately followed by epic battle scenes (which feel a bit tacked-on, to tell the truth) or terrifying moments with Gollum or the goblin king or the "pale orc" that I do not remember whatsoever from the book (I'm old). And no kid would be able to sit through the three-hour movie that was more exposition than anything else. Not to mention that a lot of the action scenes felt a bit recycled from LotR, and the CGI somehow doesn't look as good as it did in the other movies over a decade ago.

The fact is, they made the Lord of the Rings into 3 movies for 3 very lengthy, very involved books. Peter Jackson even originally pitched a two-movie script, thinking that he wouldn't be able to sell 3. So the fact that they're turning the shortest and simplest book of the series into 3 movies I think will make for a lot of tedious moments.

Will I go see the next one? Yes. Martin Freeman was a wonderful Bilbo, and I did adore the dwarves. And Benedict Cumberbatch as a dragon is just too delicious to miss. I just hope it moves a bit faster, and I'm a little bit sad that we won't be seeing Gollum again.
This recipe... has absolutely nothing to do with the Hobbit. Although I like to think that it's the sort of hearty fare Elrond might serve for breakfast in Rivendell. Or maybe it's too simple for elves. Hmm, in the Prancing Pony in Bree? That's from the Fellowship. But they didn't go to any taverns in the Hobbit, precious. Maybe the Bagginses eats it for breakfast, maybe it does. Gollum, gollum.

(Sorry. I'll stop with the impressions. Yes we will, precious.) (Last time, promise)(Gollum)

Since everyone in my house is sick, I decided we needed a warm, hearty, healthy breakfast. The kind that fills your tummy and makes you warm from head to toe. And since I have an awful lot of oats, and an awful lot of quinoa, I baked them both with some apples and dried cherries. Then served it nice and hot and drizzled with syrup. Yum. It's like a giant oatmeal cookie that you can eat for breakfast.

You probably could make this with old-fashioned oats instead of quick oats, and it would probably fall apart less, but quick oats was all I had. If you want to try, you should probably increase the liquid.
Apple Baked Oatmeal and Quinoa {Printable Version}
Yield: 8-10 servings

1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup quick oats
2 tbsp. sugar
1½ tsp. apple pie spice
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup peeled and chopped apples
1 cup dried cherries*
1 cup milk
¼ cup maple syrup
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9-inch deep dish pie tin with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together the quinoa, oats, sugar, apple pie spice, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the apples and dried cherries, and spread evenly into the prepared pie dish.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients until well blended. Pour evenly over the
oatmeal mixture. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until set. Serve warm, drizzled with maple syrup.

*Dried cranberries or raisins would also work well.

Recipe by Kim