Sunday, November 25, 2012

A naked egg

I actually slept in until 8:00 this morning! It was so nice, considering I've been getting up before 5:00 every day (not by choice). But I was SO warm and cozy underneath my electric blanket that I really didn't want to get up and run in the sub-30 degree temp outside!

I really did consider skipping my run today, but I didn't have a "real" reason to skip--just pure laziness--so I went ahead and did it anyway, of course. I was scheduled for 4.5 miles at an easy pace, so I did my latest favorite out-and-back route.

There was a little bit of snow on the ground in patches--I don't know if I'm ready to be running in snow yet! I feel like it went from summer to winter, completely skipping over fall. I listened to Jillian Michaels' podcast while I ran today--I've actually gotten behind on it, because I've been catching up on Half Size Me.

I have to say, I'm very excited that Jillian is going to be on The Biggest Loser again (at least for one season). I really disliked her when she was on the show before, but then after she quit, I somehow started listening to her podcast. And now I really like her!

The 4.5 miles actually went by pretty quickly, and I was back in the warm house in no time.
When I walked in, I could smell something kind of funky. It was (yet another) failed attempt at steel cut oats. I'm getting really good at this--trying a new method to cook them, and then finding out that it didn't work ;) This time, I tried this method for cooking them--you put them in a casserole dish, and place the whole dish inside of the crock pot, and then put water bath around the casserole dish. Cook on low overnight. So that's what I did, and this time, I skipped adding the sugar so it wouldn't burn.

Well, the sugar in the milk burned. So it turned a caramel-like color, which sounds really nice--but it tasted burnt. And the texture was very gummy, which I didn't like. Oh well, it was worth a try.
Water-bath-in-a-crock-pot fail

So far, the only successful attempts have been on the stove, really low heat for a long time. I don't mind cooking them this way, but I'm just frustrated that I can't cook them all the other ways that people seem to have luck! There is one more method I'm going to give a try, where you add boiling water and then cover it overnight, and finish cooking it in the morning.

This whole steel cut oats thing has become a game to me--see how many ways I can screw up the oats! ;)

Yesterday, Eli and I decided to try out an experiment that I came across on Pinterest to make a "naked egg". We put two raw eggs (still in the shell) in a glass full of vinegar. Then we let it set all night. And today, we took the eggs out. They felt very squishy, and then when we rubbed them gently, the shells rubbed right off--they had turned into a powdery substance. When we'd rubbed all the shell off, this is what we were left with:
It's still a totally raw egg--it's just being held together by the membrane part. Eli held the first one and squished it too hard, and it broke all over his shirt. It was an interesting experiment, but also kind of useless ;)

Jerry is off work tomorrow, and I'm super excited. We've been so busy lately that I feel like I haven't spent any quality time with him. While the boys are in school, we're going to do a little Christmas shopping. And we talked about possibly going to La Pita for lunch! Although I'm not sure if we'll end up doing that or not, since it's so far away.

I cannot believe that it's almost Christmas already. Everything is going so fast right now! We are going on a little three-day trip with my parents, sister and her husband, and my brothers in a few weeks. We decided to do this trip together instead of exchanging gifts this year, which I think is an awesome idea.

After our trip, we have Christmas, and then my best friend Sarah is coming to town from Arizona. Then New Year's, and THEN--The Ragnar Relay!! I won't remind you how excited I am for that ;)

48 comments:

  1. I love crock pot oats. I make them plain, then add the rest of the stuff in the morning when I'm ready to eat it.

    I miss Jillian too!

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    1. I cannot seem to get them to turn out in the crock pot! I've tried three separate times, and every time, they've burned. Maybe my crock pot just gets too hot or something.

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  2. I soak them on the counter overnight... one cup of water, one cup of oats, and a splash of whey or lemon juice. Then it only takes about 5 minutes on the stove in morning... I add another cup of water and some salt when I cook them... you could use milk then.

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    1. I actually just read on the package to soak them overnight before cooking! Haven't tried it yet, but I may do that soon. I've mastered the low-heat-for-a-long-time method now, I think ;)

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  3. I just soak my oats overnight in milk in the fridge. But then they're not warm! (They're also not steel cut).

    Good luck with your next attempt ;D

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    1. I've been eating oatmeal almost every day for about three years, and this is the first time I've really tried to switch to the steel cut oats--they're a nightmare to cook, but they're SO good when I get them right!

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  4. I find it works well to just cook steel cut oats on the stovetop. Add them to boiling water and stir over med/high heat until they are the desired consistency. The package says to cook them a longer time with lower heat, but I don't bother and it turns out fine.

    I do enjoy reading about your cooking adventures :p

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    1. I tried that--not sure if you saw the post a couple of days ago, but I get distracted when I cook them at a high temp, so I have to do reeeeally low temp and cook for over an hour, stirring every 10 minutes (I set a timer). Lots of work, but it's the only way that has worked out for me!

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  5. Have you thought about making 2-3 servings on the stove and just rewarm it when your ready to eat?

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    1. I've been making four servings at a time--I portion them out and keep them in the fridge for breakfasts. I would never go to all the trouble cooking them EVERY morning! ;)

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  6. I used to make this recipe a lot, before I started low-carb in February. Even if you don't like the recipe, maybe the method would work for you? (But the recipe is amazingly delicious. Maybe too delicious.)

    http://pinterest.com/pin/190066046743578939/

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  7. I soak them overnight and it really works well. Just use 1 cup of water for each serving of oats. Soak overnight - dump the oats and liquid into a pot the next day and cook. It cuts down the time to around 10 minutes or so and actually makes them creamier.

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    1. I'm going to give that a try soon. I'm just terrible at remembering to soak the night before! That's why I rarely use dried beans, because of the whole soaking overnight thing ;)

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  8. Are you buying quick cooking steel cut oats? Those should only take 15ish minutes on the stove, even on low heat.

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    1. No, just the regular steel cut oats. I've actually never seen quick cooking ones!

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  9. What is the difference in the steel cut oats and just regular oats?

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    1. The steel cut are as unprocessed as they get. They are like little pellets, rather than being flakey. I like them because of the texture--when I make them right, they remind me of rice pudding.

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  10. I have had luck with the overnight method. That's how Alton Brown said to make them. Boiling water, add oats, cook for one minute I think, then let them sit overnight. In the morning just finish cooking, takes another 5 minutes maybe. Hope it works!

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    1. I love Alton Brown! I've never had a problem when using one of his recipes, so I will have to check out his steel cut oats version.

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  11. Hey Katie!
    Just wanted to tell you that I have been reading your success with Weight Watchers lately so I decided to give it a shot. It has been a long time since I tried it because much to my surprise I only get 28 points. That doesn't seem like much but today I avoided binging for the first time in what seems like weeks by eating grapes! LOL! Thanks for your suggestion. I am heading to bed knowing I kept to my points and didn't binge. Guess changing things up from constant calorie counting is a good thing. I hope i can lose my last 25lbs this way.
    Thanks for your inspiration!

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    1. That's awesome Cat!! Grapes have helped me tremendously. Congrats on a binge free day, and keep it up! :)

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    2. binge free day #2! it all starts somewhere... i ended up at kroger last night stocking up on grapes and ended up buying 5 pounds! LOL! I'm set for the week i think. However, i wonder if there is such a thing as too many grapes!

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  12. It sounds like your crock pot is too hot for this recipe. I'm curious - I just put a pot on to try myself with my Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats. I followed the recipe and left out the sugar like you did. I'll let you know if mine are burnt or not.

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    1. Yes, let me know! I've used two different crock pots, and both have burned--so I'm skeptical of the method. But LOTS of people seem to have had success with it, so who knows?!

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  13. My son and I did that experiment with the egg/vinegar recently, too. He learned about it from his 8th grade science teacher. We left two eggs in the vinegar for 4 days/nights and when we took them out, they were bouncy, like a rubber ball. Egg #1 broke the first time we tried to bounce it, but egg #2 lasted a long time before it broke! We were actually able to hold it up over the sink about 2 feet without it breaking! We started out with it just an inch or so over the bowl and gradually got higher. We placed a large bowl in the sink and used it as a safe place to bounce the egg so that it would capture any mess. It was really fun! No pictures to share though because I didn't think about taking a picture until after the second egg broke! Doy!

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    1. It was a fun experiment! I had no idea that vinegar would dissolve the shell.

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  14. This is my favorite steel cut oatmeal recipe:

    http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=2270600

    I have made this by baking the fruit per the recipe, and with just regular old mashed banana and diced apple, raw. Both were lovely.

    -Bridget

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    1. Mmmm, sounds good! I'm not a huge banana fan, but even without it, the recipe sounds yummy :)

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  15. I've wanted to try a overnight crockpot apple/steel cut oat recipe, but I think you've convinced me otherwise!

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    1. Eh, it's worth a try! I'm starting to think that maybe it's just ME that has this steel cut oats problem ;)

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  16. I have tried to like oatmeal, but I just can't seem to like it. I am pretty sure it is my Love for Apple Crisp with all the brown sugar and butter that has turned me away from more healthy oatmeal. I have even tried to reduce the sugar and butter in my apple crisp recipe to see if that would work....NOPE.

    I wonder if Steel Cut would make a difference....

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    1. I used to hate oatmeal, and I'm not sure what changed my mind. But now I love it--I've been eating it almost every day for about three years! The steel cut oats have a different texture, and I'm loving them right now.

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  17. Hi Katie, Do you check your spark page on sparkpeople any? I can only post anonymous on this site because I don't know how to personalize it. I'm thinking you in advance for goiñg to sparkpeople and reading my note and being able to put a face to it

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    1. Hey there! I do read my comments and messages on SparkPeople, but I'm TERRIBLE about responding to them there. The best way to get a response is from e-mail, because I always respond (but sometimes it takes me a few days). The fastest way to get a response is on Twitter (I get a notification on my phone when I get a tweet, so I can usually respond within minutes). I'm usually pretty fast about responding to Facebook comments as well.

      What is your Spark name, so I can go check it out?

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    2. My spark page is niecya.I will email next time.

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  18. Try coach's oats! Steel-cut, quick cooking and perfect every time. I just cook on stovetop and they are done in 5 minutes.

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    1. I'd never heard of coach's oats until posting about the steel cut oat issues. I will definitely check them out!

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  19. Hi Katie!!! I am a science teacher- we used to make these eggs every year when we talked about how molecules pass through the cell membrane! If you put the shell-less egg in a hypertonic solution (we always used corn syrup), it will shrink. And if you put it in water, it grows- we did it to show how water moves in and our of our cells (which your boys might be a little young for?)

    Also- I went back to weight watchers too, after reading about your success. AND I have also been helped tremendously with grapes :) Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm for taking care of yourself!!!

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    1. That's an interesting anatomy lesson, and I bet Noah would love it! He's been "reading" anatomy textbooks since he was old enough to turn the pages--he LOVES anatomy :)

      Glad to hear the grapes have helped you out as well!

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  20. Hi - I'm new here - I've found the best way to cook steel cut oats is to cook them in a small pan at the stovetop and stay with them, patiently stir, stir, stir. They have to be cooked over low/medium heat and watched and stirred frequently. I don't drink cows milk, I alternate between rice milk and vanilla soy milk, I use either rather than water and I don't add anything else, but that's just me, I know they'd be good with raisins or cranberries or maybe a touch of brown sugar. They are yummy and worth the work.

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    1. That is the ONLY way I've had success with them so far, and I've tried lots of different methods. Stove top, low heat, and for a long time. They are perfect that way!

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  21. I like doing the egg experiment with my 7th grade science class when we study cells. We compared the egg membrane to that of cells. Another fun addition to the experiment is to add food coloring. The color will pass through the membrane and turn the egg fun colors!

    I love reading your blog.

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    1. I like the food coloring idea--Eli would be interested in that!

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  22. I've been eating steel cut oats almost everyday for 2 years. I love them. I use a large glass bowl (like 8 cups)I put in 1/4 cup of oats and 1 1/4 cups water. I microwave it uncovered for 5 minutes, stir it, then cook 5 more minutes. Then I do some of the same things you do w/ your oats. I really like peanut putter, maple sryup, and mini chocolate chips.
    Jennifer Bass

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    1. I think the large bowl is KEY when cooking in the microwave. Every time I've tried the microwave, they've boiled over! I probably need a giant bowl.

      Can't go wrong with peanut butter + chocolate chips! :)

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  23. Hi, Katie! Just found your blog recently and am so happy I did--I am trying to achieve what you have already done. :) Have you tried a recipe for oats like this one? This blogger is a friend of mine:

    mysisterspantry.wordpress.com/2012/04/07/breakfast-in-bed/

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    1. Hi there! Thanks for stopping by :) I've tried the crock pot oats a few times, but I think my crock pots are just too hot--the oats always burn and taste funky, unfortunately. I've discovered that the only way I can get them to turn out is low heat on the stove for a looong time. I just make a big batch and reheat for a few days.

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)