Those of you who follow me on Twitter might have wondered why I was conducting top secret oatmeal experiments last month. Wonder no more! As a part of the Quaker Oats Living Proof weekend I attended, Quaker challenged the attendees to come up with a new oatmeal recipe that met certain nutritional guidelines. The prize was an all-expense paid trip to Lafayette, Colorado for the 12th Annual Quaker Oatmeal Festival. That was great, but the part about free ski passes sounded more enticing. I love me some oatmeal, but the idea of the world’s largest topping bar isn’t quite enough motivation for me to conduct oatmeal experiments in my
kitchen top secret lab. I decided 1 in 16 odds were pretty damn good for winning anything, so I started doing unholy things to instant oats.
I remembered that Quaker Oats is owned by the same company that makes Diet Pepsi as well as other products like Tropicana and Lays Potato Chips, as illustrated in this photo of the lobby above. (This photo also makes me think “I need to lose 10 pounds” which is why I didn’t post it before. Oh, body image, how you toy with me!) I decided to suck up real good by cooking a bowl of quick oats in Diet Pepsi.
Please don’t try this at home. (No, really, don’t. You have been warned.)
After spitting out that hideous concoction into the trash, I remembered a commenter who told me mangoes and hot sauce tasted good together. Entries were going to be judged on creativity as well as convenience and taste. Intrigued, I bought some mangoes with the idea of naming my creation Tropical Spicy Delight. Then I actually ate mangoes and hot sauce together and decided that was a worse idea than Lays Potato Chip Oatmeal.
Out of inspiration, I looked in my cupboards and saw that I stored my oatmeal right next to the instant coffee. (Uh, yes, that’s Kroger brand oatmeal. Don’t tell the Quaker Oats people!)
Having recently become a coffee addict, I said, “What the hell! Let’s just mix a cup of coffee in with the oatmeal! It’ll save me time in the morning.” So I did and it didn’t taste half bad, at least after I added the sweetener and milk. It didn’t have many ingredients, though we could add up to 10, but I decided it was convenient and fairly tasty. My brother, who just graduated from business school, said coffee flavorings were hot. Thus, I named it Oatmeal Expresso and sent it in.
The deadline passed and I hadn’t heard anything, so I thought one of the food bloggers had kicked my ass by using real ingredients like fruit.
Then I got a voice mail saying Quaker had very exciting news for me and to call them back please. Unfortunately I got the message after office hours and had to wait a day to find out what they wanted. The optimistic part of me hoped I had won, but the pessimistic part made me think I was one of two finalists who would have to fly to New York for a sudden death round of oatmeal wrestling. The really pessimistic part of me imagined the other finalist would be Miz Fit, whose eyeballs are more in shape than my entire body.
I finally called them back the next day and guess what? Oh no, you already guessed? Well, you’re right! I won! And I didn’t have to force another blogger into a hammer lock to do so. It made me so happy I got off my ass and ran for 30 minutes, which is something I have not been doing enough of lately.
In many ways this has been both the best and worst year of my life. It’s been like eating an ice cream cake covered in fecal flavored frosting. There’s been a lot of creamy, vanilla, chocolate goodness, but there’s been a lot of shit too. It’s nice to know that good things can still happen.
So, I shall go to the oatmeal festival and I shall visit the world’s largest topping bar and I shall report back to you, assuming I do not go splat into a tree on the bunny slopes.
Here is my winning recipe, Oatmeal Expresso, which I also considered naming these titles, many of them inspired by Mo’s oat puns:
Morning Moch-oat Delight
Mocha Cup-of-oats Delight
Mocha Oats in the morning
Morning Moch-oat Surprise
Morning Mocha Express-oats
3/4 cup Quaker Quick Oats
2 teaspoons instant coffee
3 teaspoons Splenda
1/4 cup skim milk
1/2 cup water
Save time in the morning by combining your cup of coffee with a heart healthy breakfast. Quick and easy, this recipe will give you a shot of energy in the morning that also keeps you full until lunch time.
Combine the Quaker Quick Oats, instant coffee and Splenda. Mix in the skim milk and water. Microwave the mixture for one minute and 45 seconds. Enjoy!