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Enjoy the rest of fall with autumn foods

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Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

3 tbsp. unsalted butter

4 cups very hot water

2 medium bananas, sliced, or 1 medium apple, peeled and chopped

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed, divided

2 tbsp. banana brandy or gold rum

4 cups old-fashioned oats

1/4 cup frozen orange juice from concentrate, thawed but not diluted with water

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie)

1/2 cup milk

1 egg

2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.

Make the caramelized bananas and pecans by melting the 4 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bananas, pecans and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Toss gently and cook briefly, about 1 minute, being careful not to let nuts burn. Add the brandy or rum and cook for about 1 minute more or until the liquid is condensed into just a glaze. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the 1/2 cup of brown sugar, orange juice from concentrate, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir until blended. Add oatmeal and toss to coat In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the pumpkin, milk, egg and vanilla. Stir the pumpkin mixture into the oat mixture.

Spread the bananas and pecans over the bottom of a lightly greased 2 quart baking dish. Pour the oatmeal mixture on top of the bananas. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.

Updated: December 7, 2013 6:14AM



The process of sobering up from a Halloween sugar high doesn’t last long. It can’t. The winter holidays are immediately there to strong-arm you into the festive season.

Ribbons and wrapping paper, sparking lights and red stockings, carols and glitzy trees dominate almost every sight. And the competition for holiday foods is cut-throat. Even before the last of the trick-or-treating candy is tossed back, visions of turkeys, candy canes, pumpkin pies and, of course, sugar plums dance in our heads.

It sometimes seems a little excessive, especially when that large segment of autumn following Oct. 31 is forgotten and wintertime is instead hoisted upon our shoulders in early November. But you can ease the transition from autumn foods to holiday foods in a much more manageable way — and breakfast is the ideal place to start.

Winter comfort foods, much like autumn ones, should be hearty but not overwhelming. They must warm the warm the body and win over the soul.

Baked oatmeal does the trick, and this recipe prepared with pureed pumpkin and caramelized bananas and pecans samples in just a hint of holiday flavor without going overboard.

The ever-present holiday flavor of pumpkin spice is a little cliché, but this amalgamation of pumpkin is in a realm far from the flavor that lingers in lattes, cookies and cakes. Instead of dominating the dish, a barely-there wisp of cinnamon and nutmeg are merely present to facilitate the bolder flavors of pumpkin, banana and pecan.

One secret ingredient — frozen orange juice from concentrate — acts as a form of sweetener that doesn’t overwhelm the breakfast dish with an orange flavor, but complements the bright, sweet tastes of the pumpkin instead.

In just three steps, this tasty and seasonal baked oatmeal can be made, baked and satisfying your taste buds on a brisk autumn morning. Caramelize the bananas and pecans à la bananas foster and spread them on bottom of the pan for extra caramelization. This pumpkin and egg oatmeal mix will bake into a beautiful, fluffy breakfast dish with pumpkin pie taste and hearty autumn texture.



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