Giggles ensue when I recall those nights holding the phone in high school and college… talking for hours about what I wanted in a boyfriend/husband. My goodness, that list was blow-by-blow ridiculousness.
He should be atleast 6-feet tall, normal-sized head…not too big and not too small (same for his hands…small hands–and long-fingered hands…are creepy), his laugh can’t be too distracting, nice teeth, college graduate, reliable car, has a well-paying job, NOT a momma’s boy but respects his momma, can dress like an adult, has atleast two nice suits–dark suits, nothing light…this ain’t the 70’s, doesn’t stare at me while I sleep…and on and on and on.
Last week I was on the phone with my sis-friend, J, discussing how the simple things matter the most now… How clear age makes us now…
Me: I remember the thousand things I wanted in a man when I was a girl.
Me: Now I have a list of three: loves and respects me in front of my face and behind my back, is financially stable, and has a d! the size of the future.
J: Forty-year old plus women, I swear! We are something else!
Obviously…there’s much more I would add…believes in a higher power and prays daily, is kind, etc, but no parts of a new list would be as nitpicky as the girl list from long ago.
Oh, wait. Maybe I’m lying about that.
Anyway, these lists got me thinking about the simple food I like to make when no one is home. I cook differently when I do not have to cook for someone else…when I’m not trying to impress anyone. I can survive on fresh, warm, crusty bread dipped in first-class olive oil, with herbs and sea salt (and a glass of red wine) alone.
File that under Ways Reine is like Jesus.
Just this past weekend the kids were away with Papa Bear, and I was able to cook for one. In the remaining, crisp-cool nights, I love the simple pleasure of a bowl of oatmeal. My house would go on hunger strike if I made oatmeal for dinner (the baby boy wouldn’t though…he’s an oatmeal lover).
Unlike my girlhood days, I can’t do the tear-open, highly-sweetened, is-that-truly-apple-cinnamon, 60-second quick oats. I like it simple, real…and noteworthy.
Meet my new oatmeal of choice: it’s pretty effortless, and it has a little quinoa in it and recognizable fruit on top…and spice. I likes my spice.
Uncomplicated…yet remarkable. Perfect grown-woman oatmeal.
Til next time, Reine.
Chai-Spice Quinoa Oatmeal with Fried Apples
- 2 cups water
- 2 TBSP delicious chai tea (I use a loose-leaf Cafe Spice Chai from Octavia Tea)..see to your right, with that cute image from Cbabi Bayoc.
- 1/4 cup Inca red quinoa…or quinoa of choice
- 1 tsp chai-spice blend (see recipe below)
- 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/3 cup almond milk…or milk of choice
- sweetener of choice
- 2 TBSP cardamom, ground
- 2 TBSP cinnamon, ground
- 1 TBSP ground ginger
- 2 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated/ground…not pre-ground…for the love of God!)
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 1/2 tsp allspice
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 apples of choice, slice (about 1 1/4 cup sliced)
- 1/2 TBSP coconut oil
- 2 tsp sweetener of choice (honey, agave, brown sugar, etc)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp chai-spice blend
Directions for Chai-Spice Blend
- Whisk all your spices together and store in a ziploc bag or other container of your choice. Ta-Da!
Directions for the Chai-Spice Quinoa Oatmeal
- In a small pot, place 2 cups of water over medium heat. If using loose-leaf tea, bag and seal your tea, and place it in the water.
- Bring the water to a boil, add your quinoa and 1 tsp of your chai spice blend. Cook for 10 minutes, covered, over low-medium heat.
- After the ten minutes are up, add your oats, almond milk, and sweetener of choice…leave the chai tea bag inside the water…it had a purpose. Allow to cook…barely stirring…for 5-6 more minutes.
4. Remove the tea bag, stir, keep oats in pot over barely alive heat while you take 5 minutes to make your fried apples.
Directions for Fried Apples
- Add your 1/2 TBSP of coconut oil to a pan, and set over medium heat.
- Add your apple slices to the pan, and sprinkle with 1 tsp of chai-spice blend. Stir.
- Add your sweetener of choice, water, and stir. Cook uncovered for 5 minutes then top your oatmeal with this deliciousness. Add more almond milk, a dollop of Earth Balance or butter, agave or honey, whatever you fancy.