Baked Oatmeal By Let’s Meet for Lunch

Here is the first guest blog post by Dana from Let’s Meet for Lunch. Find out more about this new partnership on this post.  Without further ado, here’s Dana:


I hated oatmeal for a solid 16 years of my life. For those same 16 years, my mother pushed me constantly to eat it. On cold, wintry mornings before school when I came downstairs sleepy-eyed asking, “What’s for breakfast?” she would reply, “How about oatmeal?” “But Moooooooooooooommmmmm!! I don’t like oatmeal!” Every time I tried it, it tasted like mushed up gooey nastiness with little flavor.

It wasn’t until sometime in my 16th year of life that I decided to give instant oatmeal a shot, and only because a friend of mine had said that it was good. (Isn’t that so typical of teenagers? Sorry, mom!) Cinnamon bun flavored? I like that. Maple Brown Sugar? I like that, too. And Strawberries & Cream?

OoOoOo… yum. After a while, it was my go-to breakfast choice, and I can still picture my mom snickering at the idea of me finally caving in to a bowl of hot cereal. Now I’ve moved on to finer oats, meaning I prefer to make my own rather than eat the instant. But don’t get me wrong, I’ll take oatmeal in pretty much any form!

This particular recipe is taken from a church cookbook. The church is one that I attended with my family when I lived in Pennsylvania before moving away 9 years ago. This recipe is one that I still love and make for myself to keep in the fridge, easily warmed up or eaten cold. It really makes my weekday mornings easier to bake this off on Sunday and enjoy throughout the week.


Baked Oatmeal

Recipe adapted from the Mt. Zion UCC Church Cookbook

1/2 c. oil or softened butter (I used oil. Neither is great for you, so feel free to sub 1/4 c. of that with applesauce)

2 eggs

1 c. brown sugar

3 c. oats

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. baking powder


One note before we begin. I know the ingredient list says cinnamon, but 99.9% of the time, I use pumpkin pie spice instead. Nothing against plain ‘ol cinnamon, but there’s something about the combo of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice that is just…. better. Anyway, beat those 2 eggs up.


You could just do this with a fork, but since I’m going to blend everything in my Kitchenaid, I started right there in the bowl.


Beat everything until it’s smooth and resembles caramel. Mmmm, wouldn’t that be good? Maybe another time.


Add all of those oats and gently combine.


Pour into an 8×8 glass dish and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until browned.



Slice, and serve! FYI: If divided into 8 servings, each will be around 350 calories… for those of you watching that, especially this time of year. If you substituted 1/4 c. applesauce for 1/4 c. oil/butter, that would take it to 300.


Thanks for hosting me Marah, and thank you to all the Red Velvet Blog readers for checking out #! I look forward to seeing you all again soon!

Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips

Last night I made mashed potatoes and parsnips and they were delicious! I had no intention of making them but a recipe that started with maple apple sausage ended with an inventive meal that I had no intentions of making. It all started last week when I picked up some maple apple sausage at Lancaster’s Central Market. I was planning to use it for breakfast last weekend but things got busy and breakfast never happened.

I was left with maple apple sausage and dinner to make. Initially, my plan was to make regular mashed potatoes and caramelized onions to go with the sausage. I asked Eric to look up a recipe on Epicurious for caramelized onions and he stumbled upon one that included mashed potatoes and parsnips. I had all the ingredients so I changed course and started peeling the parsnips. In the end, everything was delicious and I can’t wait to make this dish again, it also complimented the sausage very nicely.

Start the recipe by peeling and chopping up the potatoes and the parsnips. Put them into a medium saucepan and fill with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes and parsnips are fork tender.

While the potatoes are cooking, throw the thinly sliced onions into a hot pan, add the brown sugar and salt. Reduce the heat and cook on medium until the onions brown and caramelize. Be sure and stir the onions to prevent sticking and reduce the heat if the onions begin to brown too fast. Add a tablespoon of water if they begin to burn. You want them to cook slowly over the heat; this will take 20-25 minutes.

During this part of the process I braised my sausage in chicken broth and then I used that broth to mash up the potatoes and parsnips.

Once the potatoes and parsnips are tender, put them in the bowl of a stand mixer and add about a 1/4 cup of the chicken broth.

Mix up well and then add more broth if the mixture looks dry. Add salt to taste along with the fresh thyme.

Finally, mix in cheese. The recipe calls for blue cheese but I only had gruyere so  that’s what I used.

When the onions are ready, take them out of the pan and then fry up the rest of the sausage in the pan until brown and crispy.

Serve the dish with caramelized onions on top and sliced sausage.

The flavor of the parsnips mashed with the potatoes was really nice and the thyme was a wonderful combination; could be a good idea for a Thanksgiving side dish…


Here’s the recipe from

Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips
Author: Red Velvet
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Serves: 8
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 baking potatoes (such as Yukon gold, about 2 pounds), peeled and cubed
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, heated
  • 1/4 cup grated Gruyere
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat; reduce to medium. Cook onions with sugar and salt, stirring occasionally, until onions brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Add a few tablespoons water as you cook to keep onions from sticking or burning. Fill a medium stockpot ¾ full with cold water. Add potatoes and parsnips; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes and parsnips are fork-tender, 20 to 25 minutes, then drain. Beat 1/4 of potato parsnip mixture and 3 ounces broth in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Repeat, alternating between potato-parsnip mixture and broth, until you’ve incorporated all. Fold in onions, cheese and thyme, and serve.

PS – Bailey is home and doing well! It will be a hard few weeks but she’s already seeming better than ever!