When you think about cooking oatmeal, the last thing that comes to mind is a rice cooker, right? Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret, it’s actually my favorite way to prepare steel cut oats. Start by adding 1 cup of oats to 3 cups water. Cover the pot, set the rice cooker to the oatmeal “porridge” setting if possible and press start. Throw in a few dates to your oatmeal for a natural boost of sweetness or cook with a dash of coconut oil for a nice, velvety texture. Cook with ½ water and ½ milk for a creamy texture.

Fun Facts About OatMeals

  1. I started collecting vintage oatmeal canisters, advertisements and memorabilia that decorate my shop 12 years ago from eBay and had them in storage for years! I had a vision for the store and it was so special unpacking my collection and giving all the unique pieces a real home on the shelves and walls in my shop!
  2. Naming the shop, “OatMeals,” was my mom’s idea!
  3. The beautiful OatMeals logo was designed in 2008 by the renowned graphic designer Louise Fili, who specializes in food packaging and restaurant identities. 
  4. We offer both water-based and skim milk-based steel cut oatmeal in the shop. We are happy to cater to our Vegan and Lactose intolerant customers. You can also top your oatmeal with a splash of almond, soy, coconut or various dairy milks to add a unique flavor.
  5. The OatMeals location was formerly a waffle shop and required a major decorative overhaul. Construction took more than four months!
  6. Finding the right location for OatMeals was quite a feat. I looked at commercial retail spots around the city for more than five years before all the pieces finally fell into place at 120 W. 3rd St. in Greenwich Village.
  7. I’m lucky to have a basement storage space to house all of my extra oats, dry toppings, and paper goods (as well as a few extra collectible oatmeal canisters and crates!) I like to think of it as a very unglamorous version of my childhood playhouse. 
  8. My employees and I have lots of fun coming up with witty chalkboard signs to place outside the store. Oat puns are the best puns! 
  9. We bake all of our oatmeal pastries fresh in the store every day in small batches! Our cinnamon oatmeal scones have a cult following.
  10. The shop is sandwiched between a Chinese massage parlor and a Tarot Card/Psychic shop. It’s definitely a quirky location with a lot of character, almost a hidden oasis on an interesting NYC block! 

Quaker and I go way back, so when they asked if I would serve as a judge for an employee oatmeal cook-off I jumped at the opportunity! I’m excited to make the big reveal and feature Sarah Mountcastle with her “Thailand Smiles” recipe!

 

Summer is finally here, which means I can make regular trips to my local farmer’s market! This week I picked up carrots, apricots and Moroccan spices. Cooking experiments are my favorite experiments. :)

Sometimes all I have time for is a quick bowl of Instant oatmeal before I’m out the door. I like to use a coffee mug instead of a bowl for easier microwaving and portability on-the-go. Keep some nuts, seeds, and dried fruits handy to jazz up your instant flavor combos!

One of my passions is trying new and different ingredients when creating my oatmeal recipes. This time, I experimented with extracts in my oatmeal. Inspired by Katrina Parris Flower Shop, I steeped lavender in cream, which give a floral note to my Lavender Honey Oatmeal. Try this recipe for a refreshing twist. 

Finding a work/life balance is a constant struggle — I know first-hand since I spend seven days a week at my OatMeals NY shop. Jessica from Stella & Dot challenges us to take back that balance and found not only the secret sauce for herself but also her employees! 

For busier mornings, try my quick and easy pre-soaked oats method. Just reheat and add a handful of your favorite fruit and breakfast is served!

Overnight Method:
1. In a small saucepan or bowl, combine 1 ¾ cups boiling water, 1 cup steel cut oats, 1/8 teaspoon salt (optional); stir.
2. Cover; let stand overnight (6-8 hours) either at room temperature or in refrigerator.
3. In saucepan, bring oats and water to boil over medium heat.
4. Cook for about 3 minutes or until desired consistency; stirring occasionally.
5. Stir before serving.

A Handful of Days of Happy, Day 5

Pay it forward. Helping others always makes me happy. When I see someone help out a homeless person, it warms my hearth and encourages me to follow suit. Sometimes I give away a hot bowl of oatmeal to a person in need, sometimes it’s the change in my pocket. We’ve all been down on our luck at one point or another and I’m a firm believer in helping those less fortunate. Life can change in an instant and we never know where we’ll end up. I encourage everyone to pay it forward, if able. 

A Handful of Days of Happy, Day 4

Does anyone know what a bodega cat is?! For those non-city dwellers, a bodega is like a small convenience store or deli, often situated on a corner. There are at least three in my immediate neighborhood that I frequent, and two have resident cats that I’m guessing are to keep the mice at bay. (Yikes!) I get to say hello to these kitties almost every day. How cool is it that a cat just gets to wander or lay around a store?! Sometimes they even sit out front, greeting me as I enter. It makes a quick trip the convenience store a much happier experience!