Day 343: Brown Rice Muesli


Got off the phone at 5pm today with not a clue what to make for dinner. After three days away – what kind of mum am I? However. I was on the phone for 45 minutes, about as much time as it takes to cook brown rice. Or barley. Or steel cut oats. Or a combination of the three – which I put on as the phone was ringing. (W scooped them into the pot – quantities of each matter not at all, but he did get overexcited about the act of scooping/dumping, so I ended up with quite a large batch.) I had just begun to panic upon realizing that I have stuff booked every single day between now and Christmas, including taking over traffic reports on the Homestretch on December 22, 23 and 24th. That’s right, I have to work on Christmas eve! Until 6! Unheard of! (When they called and asked me to my instict was to say no, but I decided to get over myself and not be such a baby about it, particularly if it means the regular traffic reporter can go home for Christmas. I think I’ll survive.)

Any of you who have been hanging around this place for awhile knows that my blanket solution to any problem is to cook. If I can’t get a handle on my life, at least I’ll feed my family one good meal dammit. Having eaten some form of pastry for the past three mornings (this morning was the last of the bag of French pastries I brought home for Mike, which I then forced him to share. Again, what kind of wife am I?) I decided to make a big batch of something grainy and warm to carry us through breakfasts and snacks for awhile. W will always eat oatmeal, which is a Very Good Thing, but I decided to up the ante a little and cook up a blend of the aforementioned grains, boiled in lots of water then drained, into which I grated a pear and stirred some ground flax and handful of raisins. We drizzled a bit of golden syrup overtop, since it was already out on the counter for my little caramel making spree this afternoon.

Although you could cook the grains in a pot on the stovetop, apparently it’s doable in the slow cooker as well, making this a great make-ahead breakfast. (I would think if you could cook it on high for 2 1/2 hours, it should work on low for about 6 hours.) Most slow cookers will keep food on warm setting once it has finished cooking; otherwise it’s not going to turn funny if it’s finished before you’re finished sleeping. Just turn the slow cooker on again if you need to warm it up; or reheat in the microwave.

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19 comments on “Day 343: Brown Rice Muesli

  1. Barbara J
    December 9, 2008 at 8:39 am

    I used to work in radio and always always always worked on Christmas Eve – and frequently on Christmas too. That’s just the nature of the beast!

    My daughter lives in Montreal and I’ve noted the places you ate for trying the next time I visit. I may skip the high end restaurant but the chocolate place sounds worth the trek.

  2. Buddiegirl
    December 9, 2008 at 8:53 am

    I have got to find time to make those caramels, they look divine. I am a huge caramel fan, so I can only make one batch or else I will end up eating them all by myself.

    I really love mint so I was wondering if I could infuse the cream with some fresh mint? Do you think the flavour would be overpowering or would it be better to just use some peppermint extract.

    I am going to pass your recipe for the mincemeat cookies on to my sister. She loves it and I do not, and I know she will like the fact that these are lower in fat and only make a small batch.

  3. Melanie
    December 9, 2008 at 9:11 am

    Julie – you are my Christmas baking life-saver! Great, great ideas for edible gifts. So far I’ve made the turtle squares, skinny gingerbread cookies and your mom’s nut balls. Rave reviews! Plus, what I really loved about the recipes was that they called for ingredients that I already had in my cupboard and they were all so easy to throw together!
    I am also continually amazed at what you get done in 24 hours (especially for all of us out here in computer land!) – thank you, thank you, thank you! The effects go much farther than just cyberspace!
    Merry Christmas!

  4. elektra
    December 9, 2008 at 10:30 am

    i love the nude doll in the picture! a new food trend?

  5. DJ
    December 9, 2008 at 10:36 am

    LOVE! the caramel idea Julie. I am doing a big baking bonanza with my sister tomorrow and one of our favorites is your Peppermint Patty recipe from your “Grazing” cookbook. It is one of our favorite cookbooks, and I was surprised to see it is not advertised here on your blog, What’s up?

  6. Punam
    December 9, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    i friggin love your blog. it makes me want to do one myself. but i know i won’t. instead i’ll just live vicariously through you julie. congrats.

  7. Dana mccauley
    December 9, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    Yeah! YOu made the caramels! Love the idea of lemongrass. Let me know how that turns out.

  8. Lisa
    December 9, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    I’m sure Jenni is very grateful that you are taking over her duties so she can go home (SK, I presume?). I hope you can find some rest between Christmas and New Years!

    I finally got my copy of OSC from my sister and I just don’t know where to begin! One of your delectable treats will make my Christmas baking list for sure!

  9. Avery
    December 10, 2008 at 9:19 pm

    This makes me want more of those yummy PC sea salt caramels… which unfortunately (fortunately for my waistline) I had to share with company. One of my guests made a funny face as he bit into it and I was so taken by the feeling that I wasted one of my precious caramels on him that I almost yelled at him like the soup nazi… “NO CARAMELS FOR YOU!!!”

  10. Lana
    December 11, 2008 at 9:27 am

    Holy &*#!! those caramels look unbelievably good.
    SO, between cutting down and setting up the tree, decorating, wrapping gifts, attending a Christmas party and the usual weekend pile of housework labour, I am going to make these caramels as part of my Christmas baking extravaganza on Sunday afternoon.
    My kids will sooo love it. Guess I should pick up a candy thermometer on the way home…

  11. Kathy
    December 12, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    Julie, if you didn’t have wheat berries & steel cut oats, could you use regular oatmeal and eliminate the wheat berries? Or would regular oatmeal get too mushy? Thanks.

  12. JulieVR
    December 12, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    I think it would get too mushy.. steel cut oats aren’t flattened, so they require a lot more cooking than regular even large-flake oats. But maybe you like mushy? some people do when it comes to porridge! it just wouldn’t have that grainy texture.

  13. Kathy
    December 13, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Thanks Julie…I’ll give it a go, it’s just for me so I don’t think I’d mind it too terribly, I eat porridge of some nature (usually oatmeal) almost every day for breakfast…..

  14. Caroline
    December 16, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    Hi, I just made your caramels and I din’t think I could make them, but they are delicious!!! I must try to add melted chocolate to half of the batch and pour over the caramels.

  15. Ashley
    December 16, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    Those caramels are simply stunning. That deep, rich color dotted with white as snow salt – I’m in love.

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