Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Guest Post - Thoughts on Cereal for Dinner and Sacrifice

I have been encouraged by many friends who have been following along in my blogging adventures since I started this blog on Jan 1.  Today I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Amy.  She's a mom to 3 kids (a 6th grader, 2nd grader, and preschooler) and a foodie like me.  I asked her to share some thoughts and a favorite recipe that is budget friendly, easy to fix, and a family favorite.  Here's what she has to share.  May you, too, be inspired with her wisdom of the value of eating a meal together as a family, even if it's a simple bowl of cereal. . . . . .

Thoughts on Cereal for Dinner and Sacrifice
By Amy

Years ago, I remember watching an episode of Oprah with Maria Shriver as a guest.  She mentioned that as a child, her mother (Eunice Kennedy Shriver) would serve oatmeal for dinner once a week.  The amount of money that would have been spent for that meal was given to charity.  During these “oatmeal dinners”, the family would talk about everything they had to be grateful for and the needs of those less fortunate. 

I remember nothing else from that episode, but the story Maria shared was very powerful to me.   At first, I was moved by the fact that such a privileged and prominent family would eat such a humble meal.  But, Mrs. Shriver clearly created this ritual to impart an important life lesson to her children.  It then occurred to me how brilliant an idea this is for any family to do.  Most importantly, it teaches thankfulness and humility while simultaneously setting aside a donation for those in need.  Lastly, it can be a quick AND nutritious meal for a busy school night (especially on a cold winter day).

This recipe is my go-to choice for our “oatmeal night”.  If you have never tried steel-cut oats before—you are in for a treat.  Steel-cut oats are different than rolled or “old-fashioned” oats, in that the whole oat grain is chopped rather than flattened like traditional oatmeal.  The cooking time is longer…but so worth it.  It has a nutty taste and chewiness all its own.  We like ours with brown sugar and a splash of half & half stirred in.  Trust me.  You may never go back to regular oatmeal again.

Perfect Steel Cut Oatmeal
Serves 2-4

4 Cups Water
1 cup steel-cut oats
Pinch of salt

In a heavy 2 qt saucepan, bring the water to a boil and stir in the oats and salt. Let the water and oats come back to a boil then reduce heat.

Let the oats simmer on low with the lid off, stirring occasionally until cooked through - 20 minutes for chewy oats or 30 minutes for softer oats.

Stir in extras such as milk, sweeteners, fruit, or nuts. Leftovers keep for one week in the fridge.

Steel cut oatmeal with blueberries and chopped walnuts

How convenient that you can find a $1 off coupon for steel cut oats right now on coupons.com!  Enjoy!


  1. Steel cut oatmeal is the only oatmeal my picky husband will eat...

    Love the "what are we thankful for dinner" idea!

  2. I make it in the slow cooker! I love to wake up to warm, creamy oatmeal!

  3. MMmmm. slow cooker is a great idea! How do you do it?