Day 291: Steel-Cut Oats & Barley

Stick a fork in me, I’m done. I might be overdone, in fact; I think I’m getting tough and bitter.

Is that even funny? I can’t tell… it’s after midnight and I just got home from teaching a cooking class in Red Deer – a class based on this blog, actually. We (I) made spaghetti carbonara with caramelized onions, blueberry bison meatballs, roasted veg with couscous and feta, lemon-Parmesan risotto with spinach and shrimp, pulled pork in the slow cooker, and sunken chocolate Black Forest cupcakes. For 26. Far too much of everything. All courtesy of the past 290 days. I’m bagged. And I have to get up in less than 6 hours to make 4 banana breads, spackle the bags under my eyes and get to an all-day event by 8.

This morning I made four pumpkin loaves using this recipe (I would have used a 14 oz can of pumpkin, but instead made two batches using half of a 28 oz can for each) and they seem to have turned out very well – of course they should really  be classified as cakes, considering their sugar-flour ratio (3 cups of each!) – but at least they were made with canola oil.

I think M and W had a spinach pizza for dinner. Before I left I ate a big bowl of the steel-cut oats and barley I made for CBC on Tuesday and no one ate (fine – more for me). Barley cooks in the same time that steel-cut oats require, so I soaked them in a pot of water overnight and then turned the heat on in the morning for about 15 minutes; at the end I decided to add a shake of SunnyBoy (wheat, rye and flax) too, just to thicken it up and be insteresting. The result was a wonderfully chewy, grainy cereal that makes a perfect dinner drizzled with maple syrup and sprinkled with toasted almonds and sesame seeds. Then I cooked through the dinner hours and had a few forkfuls of pork, a couple broken cupcakes and the last of the cherry pie filling and whipped cream before climbing back into the car. (I have a secret love for cherry pie filling ever since the Hostess Fruit Pie ads in the backs of Archie Comics – they were only available in the states and I wanted them so bad.)


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32 comments on “Day 291: Steel-Cut Oats & Barley

  1. sally
    October 18, 2008 at 12:15 am

    Ooooh! Crockpot fairy! Come visit my house.

  2. Donna
    October 18, 2008 at 12:52 am

    What a frantic couple of days!
    Keep well and slow down to take a few deep breaths.
    I should talk – here it is almost 2 a.m. and I am waiting for the washer to finish.
    Supper was more leftover turkey, potatoes and fresh tiny garden carrots.

  3. Theresa
    October 18, 2008 at 7:22 am

    I had a blast yesterday Julie! Excellent show. I tell everyone I’m going to dinner theater when you’re cooking! I’m having spaghetti carbonara tonight! 🙂 Could use a crockpot to keep it warm…..

  4. Carol
    October 18, 2008 at 8:48 am

    Would love a crock pot. Pick me, Pick me! I enjoyed your episode on CBC on oatmeal. brought back fond memories of frying leftover breakfast porridge for lunch covered with maple syrup. It’s just the best!

  5. Anonymous
    October 18, 2008 at 9:06 am

    A warmer crock…how lovely for Halloween parties and Christmas feasts!! Would love this!

  6. Carol SB
    October 18, 2008 at 9:50 am

    Hey there sweetie pie– never tough or bitter, lady! (OK, you may be excused for FEELING that way, especially this week. But you never project that FLAVOUR).
    Supper last night (Same rules, no?) was leftover soup– veg and farmer sausage, plus fresh bread that didn’t rise very well. I meant to say, plus a dense, chewy whole grain (at least partially, I always use ~ 1/2 enriched flour to avoid the problem of it not rising at all!) bread made with added sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
    -Carol SB

  7. charlo
    October 18, 2008 at 11:01 am

    OHHHHHHH I would love that, I’m planning a pot-luck lunch for over 60 seniors and need something to keep things warm>pick me, pick me!!!!!!!

  8. maplesugar
    October 18, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Hang in there Julie! (and since you don’t seem to have a genie living in a bottle in your living room hire a prep cook/assistant or start turning down gigs) Success really is a double edged sword.

  9. Colleen
    October 18, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Julie,Julie, Julie, you need to slow down girl. I am eating a lot of vegies these days as I am on the Core WW program so no dips for me. I think Charlo needs that warmer crock pot more than anyone maybe. I just finished filling my cooker crock pot with the makings of hamburger soup for tonight. Yum.

  10. StudentHil
    October 18, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    I love your on-the-fly substitutions! As a new grad student, living in a new city (!) I don’t always have the time/knowledge/money to get ingredients I need. Its nice to know that someone else is adventurous/foolish as I am 🙂 Just ask me about my tofu-manwich pie!

  11. margaret
    October 18, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Inspired! Tomorrow we’re having sunken black forest cupcakes and pumpkin loaf (I’ve been meaning to find a recipe for this for weeks and now I have one-thanks).

  12. Barb in Red Deer
    October 18, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Hi Julie,
    I had the pleasure of attending your “cooking with Julie” in Red Deer last night. I wanted to share how much I loved the couscous recipe!!! You were very entertaining and reading through your blog and reading how busy your day is – I have no excuse for not getting dinner on the table. Again, thanks for a great evening.

  13. robyn
    October 18, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    I agree with Colleen – Charlo needs that crockpot!!

    So funny that we’ve known each other this long and chat almost everyday, yet we’ve never discussed the Hostess cherry pies!! We used to go camping just across the border every summer, so I would buy a pie everyday. They were scrumptious. And I think they were 35 cents. Mmmmmmm. We’ll have to do a cross border shopping spree next time you’re here!!!

  14. maplesugar
    October 18, 2008 at 4:33 pm

    charlo if Julie doesn’t pick you (add me to the people who vote that she should)I can lend you our seldom used electric chafing dish (Bravetti) 😀

  15. sue d.
    October 18, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    I too vote for Charlo! Sounds like a blast.

    I love the grainy breakfast concoction. Just before it exits the pot I like to add a raw egg and then stir like mad; the egg turns it all into a kind of rice pudding-like consistency, then add a bit of vanilla and cinnamon plus a dollop of milk (okay, cream if I have it. But just a very small bit. I mean hey, most of us have butter on our toast, no?). It’s like dessert for breakfast, but actually really healthy.

  16. Mary Ann
    October 18, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    I think that crock pot would be great for a cheese fondue as well! Last night’s dinner was meat ball subs, my partner had a buddy over to play video games so a suitable “kid meal” was in order 🙂 I made oversize meatballs using ground beef, garlic and onion, asiago, bread crumbs and egg, which I baked in the oven before adding them to the slow cooker. I made a sauce of tomato sauce, mustard, soy sauce, honey, tomato paste and lots of garlic and onion. So good!

  17. Nicole
    October 18, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    WELL I just feel guilty even trying to compete cause Charlo seems to get the popular vote (and I concede she should -feeding seniors and all!). However, I love to keep things warm, especially since Thanksgiving when I kept my mashed potatoes warm in my regular crockpot which I made ahead. I had read this suggestion in Fine Cooking or somewhere, I found they were getting a bit crispy around the edges….I bet this one wouldn’t do that…

  18. Biz
    October 18, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    I just made my second batch today to send to my parents in law for their birthdays this week – so good!

    Thanks for the other ideas!

  19. Jenn
    October 18, 2008 at 7:40 pm

    Hey Julie!

    Hopefully in a few days you will get to relax:D

    This doesn’t count as a “dinner” persay, but I was craving chocolate- and so for dinner I had a quick spinanch salad and chocolate pumpkin pie with ice cream and whipped topping…not the healthiest, but I figure I deserve it!

  20. Cory
    October 18, 2008 at 10:31 pm

    Mmm, looks yummy. Another great pic too. 😀

  21. carla
    October 19, 2008 at 1:18 am

    Up at 2 a.m with a sick toddler – please send some of those cupcakes!!!!!!

  22. Nancy
    October 19, 2008 at 3:34 am

    I vote for Char, don’t know you but 60 seniors are a bunch.
    Good luck girl, I think you might need it.

  23. Cheryl
    October 19, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    Sweets, you need to stop working so much! I’m looking forward to taking you out for tea when you come up for air.

  24. Barb
    October 20, 2008 at 7:18 am

    You poor girl! I don’t know how you keep up. I love give-aways and I forgot about it last Friday. With all you had to do I can’t believe you didn’t forget about it too. How do you keep it all together? I am even amazed that you blogged after the day you had. You are truly amazing! Good going!

  25. Lana
    October 20, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Hi Julie!
    Supper last night was takeout pizza! Truck broke down on the way home from a weekend in the bush so we put-putted home and arrived 3 hours later than originally planned! Not what I had planned to have but so handy and so good anyway.
    Slow down, girl! Do I need to come out there and whisk you away to a spa? (I’ll get right on that!)

  26. colleen
    October 20, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    oh i would love that. so many uses. so pick my pick me i will give it a lovely home. love you blog. keep up the good work.

  27. Gerardo
    October 20, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    Just got back from a few days away and I missed your blog! Trying to catch up and saw the contest, would love to win the pot!! Keep up the good work and blogging.

  28. ASL
    October 21, 2008 at 5:42 pm

    ooh ooh pick me pick me!

  29. Karsten
    October 22, 2008 at 10:14 am

    I’m reading through a bunch of slow-cooker recipe books from the library, trying to be inspired. So far, it’s pretty disappointing: they mostly use the slow cooker like an oven–not really taking advantage of the fact that a slow cooker is different from an oven.

    Anyways, oven-roasted pork tenderloin tonight. It’s inexpensive, tender, and you can flavour it a hunder different ways. Mustard glaze? Maple? Maybe some apricot jam…

  30. Suzanne
    October 22, 2008 at 3:33 pm

    Me too please!

  31. Margaret
    October 22, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Can always use another slow cooker.
    Son coming for supper tomorrow and making chicken cacciatore…yummers. Showed hubby the pic of pulled rib and grilled cheese… so must make for him.
    Love reading your blog Julie… so much fun.

    ps met your mom during a calligraphy show in calgary, awhile back. Say hi to her from Margaret Lammerts (Edmonton guild)

  32. Cheryl
    October 23, 2008 at 12:34 pm

    Hi Julie, I don’t need another crock pot, but I am happy to see your steel cut oats/ barley combo. I just made a wheat berry / oatmeal porridge for my blog and Dana of Dana’s Top Ten Table pointed me to your post. Nice blog!

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