This weekend was a hectic one; Friday, I packed Monkeybear, my mother, and myself into my rig, and drove 5 hours up to Ashland, OR. My mom and I have been going since 2004 (and what a fun first year that was. First time I ever saw streakers). I think that now with Monkeybear and Baby-to-be, this was probably my last year, which is sad, because I love Ashland.
I used this year as an opportunity to get in one last round of culinary exploration. Saturday morning, Monkeybear and I headed down a hill that would make Baxter Grade look like a speed bump (Baxter is a 6.8% pitch, and the hill I navigated was 15.3% pitch), and went to The Breadboard restaurant. I have never heard someone say they’d like to “lay their face” in a cinnamon roll, nor do I believe I will hear that again. The Oatmeal Pecan Muffin was out of this and any other world, though, so the climb back UP that God-forsaken hill was worth it. Pushing Monkeybear. Pregnant. Yes, that muffin was worth it.
On Sunday, we went to the Dragonfly Restaurant and Gardens, a favorite of mine. I usually get the Grilled Ahi Platter, but this time, I opted for the Double Happiness Lettuce Wraps. The food was awesome. But I have seriously had five year olds at stuffed animal tea parties who were more attentive hosts than the wait staff. And most five year olds have the attention span of a goldfish. Nevertheless, I have never been disappointed by the food.
I will, most likely, be making all of those things at some point in the future. What I am making today, though, was not something I ate. Rather, it was inspired by a flavor combination.
Sunday night, after our lackluster time at the Dragonfly, my mom, her friend “H”, and I made our way upstairs to where H’s husband “M” works building sets for the Oregon Cabaret Theater. Their newest production was Nunsensations, and I have to say, as a Catholic, it was pretty hilarious. Before the show, servers come around to ask for dessert and drink orders (It is actually a dinner theater, but you have the option to just come for the show and dessert), and while my mom and H got lemon blueberry cheesecake, I decided to get out of my comfort zone and order the panna cotta. I have never had panna cotta before, but all I knew was that it involved heavy cream and gelatin.
I damn near licked the plate clean.
I really liked the panna cotta itself, but I think my real love of the dessert came not from the cream, but the fact that it was a pistachio panna cotta with a cherry compote on top. I was so good I wanted to order another. I could pass it off as eating for two. I think people would buy that.
While I don’t have the time or energy to make panna cotta, I was reminded of a conversation I had with my sister-in-law C, who said that for breakfast, she has been having these pre-made pistachio-cherry oatmeal cups that Quaker© makes. So, I sat down to research. There are tons of reviews on the product, and lots of links to where you can purchase them online, which didn’t help me in the least.
I found one link to an oatmeal recipe that called for dried cherries and pistachios, but I have a bag of fresh cherries in the fridge, and a ton of frozen ones in the freezer, which means that this girl is NOT going to the grocery store for the second time today just to get one more cherry product.
Making this took almost no time at all, and was a hit. I really liked it with agave nectar, though you could certainly use honey, sugar (plain or brown), or Mr. This is not a Parade’s suggestion of maple syrup. He said the maple syrup was good, but I personally wouldn’t go for it. And I’m supposed to be the pregnant one.
This recipe is completely my own, no links from other sites to check out. If you have them, try this with dried cherries, and let me know how it tastes.
Pistachio Cherry Oatmeal
½ c. shelled pistachios, chopped
½ c. fresh cherries, pitted and chopped, or frozen cherries, thawed and chopped
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Pinch of allspice
Salt to taste
2 servings Old-fashioned oatmeal
Agave nectar or honey
1. Cook oatmeal per package instructions. Mine called for approximately 3 ½ c water for 2 c. oatmeal, but your brand may be different, so check that first.
2. Add the pistachios, cherries, nutmeg, and allspice, and stir. Season with salt to taste, drizzle with whichever sweetener you choose, and serve.