AN INTERNATIONAL BREAKFAST COMPETITION and my Baked Cran-Walnut Oat Casserole from Kansas

      Our breakfast menu varied but it was almost always hot! I grew up on a farm in Kansas eating eggs, sausage, bacon, or fresh side, pancakes, waffles, French toast, sometimes a bowl of oatmeal.
     Oatmeal was one of those “stick to the ribs” dishes. My mom served it as a main dish with sugar and thick, heavy cream, skimmed from the top of our own pasteurized milk. However, it was merely an add-on, along with the standard fried eggs, bacon and toast, at my paternal grandparent’s table.
     I’ve “fancied” up this oatmeal dish, a tribute to my 1950s era childhood breakfasts, for an international contest -- “Breakfast around the world” at Very Good Recipes. This site is home to over 11,000 food blogs from all around the world; it is under the direction of Stéphane Gigandet.
    Very Good Recipes sponsors monthly competitions that are overseen by ten judges from around the world and, I am honored to be one of them. Other judges and links to their sites follow:

- Drina – Eaternal Zest
- Françoise – A French Cook Diary 
- Judy – Jude’s Juice 
- Leslie – Cooking Memoirs 
- Marie-Claire – Half a Century of Recipes 
- Mimi – Mimi Cooks 
- Simona – Briciole 

To participate in the Breakfasts of the World contest all you will have to do is publish a breakfast dish recipe; it can be sweet or savory. Please submit only one dish, not the whole breakfast buffet! To make it more a challenge, you can prepare a breakfast dish from a different country than your own, or you can add your twist to a traditional dish from your country. For more information on how to participate, go to the Breakfasts of the World Challenge page. Please take the challenge, be creative and have fun! 
·      There must be at least one picture in your recipe, and both the recipe and picture need to be your own. If your recipe is inspired by another, please mention it in your recipe.
·      You cannot use an already published recipe to participate in the challenge, you need to publish a new recipe (otherwise there's no challenge!)
·      We would love to have participations from all around the world, including from blogs in languages other than English. Please do include an English translation of your recipe in your post though. If you need help with the translation (proofreading etc.), we will be glad to help if we can.

Contest runs from Monday, January 9, 2012 through Monday, January 30, 2012.

Here’s my example . . .

Baked Cran-Walnut Oat Casserole    6 servings
2 cups half-and-half or milk or almond milk
¼ cup brown sugar, more or less to taste
1 tablespoon butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup regular or quick-cooking oats
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ to 3/4 cup chopped dried cranberries (or dried apricots, raisins or cherries, etc.)
¼ cup chopped walnuts (or other nuts) + additional nuts for sprinkling

1.     Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease or spray 6 individual casseroles or custard cups.
3 of the 6 individual casseroles have been misted with non-stick pan spray.
2.     Combine the half-and-half or milk, brown sugar, butter and salt in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Misture is heating.
3.     Remove from heat; stir in the oats, dried cranberries and walnuts. Ladle into prepared casseroles and sprinkle with additional chopped nuts. 
Mixture is ready to ladle into prepared casserole dishes.
It will be thin and runny at the point but will thicken as it bakes.
4.     Place casseroles on a baking sheet and put in oven. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.
Casseroles are ready to go into the oven.
U.S. Map

Kansas is located smack-dab in the United State’s Midwest region.

OATMEAL. According to a CBS news story,  “Americans didn't start growing oats in quantity until the 19th century. Quaker Oats was registered as a cereal trademark in 1877 and, by 1885 oats were being sold in boxes, not just in bulk. ‘Quick Oats’ were introduced in 1922, and ‘Instant’ Oatmeal in 1966. In the 1970s, flavored oatmeal arrived.
The Victorians used to cook their oatmeal forever. Marion Harland, whose massive cooking tome was published in 1903, commented, ‘Four hours of boiling makes oatmeal good; eight hours makes it better; twenty-four hours makes it best’ The original oatmeal was made with ‘groats,’ the hulled and crushed grain itself, cut into pieces and often soaked overnight before cooking.” 


  1. Thank you very much for this great recipe and this very instructive post!

  2. Wow, this sounds amazing! I've been wanting to try baked oatmeal for a while now, and I love your ramekin shapes :) Lovely recipe!

  3. I've been playing around with my breakfast recipe....hope to post by the oats...this sounds great!

  4. Yumm...sounds so comforting and warm!! Love that it's baked in the oven!!