Kitchen Stories: Cherry Almond Oatmeal

I've been trying to get Bianca to eat a proper breakfast at home before she leaves for an almost two hour trip to get to school everyday. But it's always impossible to make her sit down for a meal so early in the morning when she's in between being half asleep and rushing out the door. I've tried serving up her old favorites as well as new ones in the hopes of piquing her fancy but all I get is one bite or maybe two if I'm lucky, and that's it. I've tried sending her with a packed breakfast and lunch but she prefers hot food so it's a choice between the cafeteria or the fast food restaurants just outside her campus. Not really a good idea health and money wise.

I know she's 17 and all grown up now, but the mom in me will always see her as a baby. I always worry that she's not eating well or that she's not getting enough rest, I can almost hear her complaining and protesting as she reads this post. But I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who feels this way. Right, fellow moms?!? Could I have a show of hands, please? Just so I can prove my point. Hahaha.

I made Cherry Almond Oatmeal over the weekend and she liked it enough to ask if she could bring some for breakfast in school. Success! It could have been the cherries, but since it's not exactly the type of fruit you can have every day, we'll experiment with other fruits that are in season and not as costly.

Although this doesn't really count as a recipe since it is pretty basic, I'm sharing the how-to with you just so you can keep this in mind for when you feel like giving your oatmeal some extra lovin'.

Cherry Almond Oatmeal
(makes 1 serving)

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup almond milk
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/3 cup fresh cherries, pitted and quartered
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted

Combine oats, almond milk and a pinch of salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then stir in the brown sugar. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes until oats are thick and creamy. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add almond extract and a little splash of almond milk. Mix well.

Pour into a bowl and top with cherries and almonds. You may use as much or as little fruit, nuts and sugar as you like, according to your preference. Enjoy!