Well, I am officially on maternity leave.
What do people do on maternity leave? I’ve been so busy getting ready for this time that I forgot to figure out what to do with myself once it arrived.
I know I need to get rest, but since that can be a little difficult at 8 months pregnant I have to have some backup plans. One project I’ve decided to take on is knitting this sweater for our Little Man. I found it on Pinterest and am totally in love. By the way, is anyone else out there totally addicted to Pinterest? Yeah, me neither…
I managed to get out for a walk today and even take a trip to the grocery store. My grocery-shopping skills are a little rusty since hubs has taken over that responsibility lately. It was nice to meander around looking at everything and remembering why I love to shop here. There is never a shortage of curious food things in Tokyo grocery stores that get my creative juices flowing. Grocery shopping keeps me in touch with the fact that I live in Tokyo, Japan. Life gets set in its schedules, even here, and suddenly the appreciation for what surrounds me begins to dissipate. But the food. It doesn’t let me forget. OK, the people looking at me like I’m crazy when I’m the only gaijin around are an occasional reminder too.
The grocery store also reminded me of the season’s offerings. Did you know that it is persimmon season already? And chestnut season? Well, it is. And I almost missed it! That was a close one. Apparently hubs needs to work on his correspondence about his trips.
I’ve been enjoying leisurely breakfasts the last couple of days and so far my favorite option is this apple pie oatmeal. I’ve made it 4 times and have tried to make it better with each attempt. It hasn’t ever been bad, but I finally figured out how to get the apples to the exact taste and texture that I prefer. It’s a tough job, testing apple pie oatmeal recipes, but someone’s gotta do it!
The scent alone is reason enough to whip up this easy and fast breakfast during prime apple season. The entire apartment (or perhaps house in your case) will smell like autumn. I can’t get enough of that comforting scent this time of year. That plus the feeling of this baby growing and moving around inside of me keeps me pretty content.
What is your favorite apple recipe this time of year? I’d love for you to share your tastiest ideas!
Apple Pie Oatmeal
Makes 1 serving (easily doubled, tripled or even quadrupled- just make sure you use the correct pan size so the apple cook evenly)
1/2 cup apple, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, skin left on
1/4 cup roughly chopped pecans or walnuts (I used pecans)
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup water (a little less if you like denser oatmeal)
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
Additional brown sugar and cream for topping (optional)
In a sturdy saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the apple cubes and pecans and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg to the apples and butter. Stir together and cook for another 3 minutes until the apples are softened and the sugar and spices have created a nice coating on the apples. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Add the oats and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes, stirring constantly. The oats should soak up the water.
Transfer the oatmeal to a serving bowl and top with additional brown sugar and/or a drizzle of heavy cream or milk.