Friday favorites 5/13
Strawberry season, a story told through farmers’ market adventures, and baking across an ocean (recipe included!)
Happy Friday, everyone! I don’t know about you guys, but it’s been a week over here. I’m nursing a mild ankle injury which has forced me to take a break from my usual running/workout routine and I’m just slightly exaggerating when I say it’s been killing me to take time off. I only got back into running again at the beginning of this year (I ran cross country in high school and had maybe run a total of 100 miles in the almost 20 years since) and my morning runs have turned into somewhat of a stress outlet for me. So to not be able to go me da rabia. Below, the things that have kept me sane this week.
Strawberry season is BACK! Since moving to Spain, I’ve leaned heavily in to eating seasonally, and I’m always excited to see my favorites start appearing in our fruteríasagain. One of our favorite shops brings strawberries from Aranjuez by the box (see the picture above) and it’s a little embarrassing how quickly the two of us fly through the approximately 2 kg of berries. We usually eat them tal cual, but occasionally I’ll break out a recipe for them. One of my favorites? Smitten Kitchen’s Strawberry Summer Cake. The recipe is straight-forward, makes your house smell incredible, and freezes like a dream. I freeze it in individual slices and recommend eating them only half-thawed, which gives the cake an almost custard-like texture.
I’m new to the Substack community both as a writer and a reader. After downloading the app a few days ago, I can say I’m already a huge fan of the format. My interests lie in a strange intersection of food, cultural commentary, personal anecdotes, music, and celebrity gossip, so I’m enjoying curating my own personal feed. One of my favorite pieces I came across this week is West Side Market by Kimberly at Culinary Chronicles. In it, she talks about her experience visiting various farmers’ markets over the years, starting from when she was a young child tagging along with her grandfather. The piece checks off several of my requirements (Fresh produce! Childhood memories! A brief mention of Chicago!), and I can’t wait to read more from her.
Living approximately 4000 miles from your parents forces you to get creative for celebrations. The first year of the pandemic my mom and I started a tradition of baking a distanciafor Mother’s Day. Past projects included Smitten Kitchen’s Cinnamon Brown Butter Breakfast Puffs (warning: do not make these or you will become unhealthily obsessed with them) and the somewhat divisive Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies from Sarah Kieffer. This year in an effort to make something slightly more healthy, we opted for a baked oatmeal. The idea was to chose an easy make-ahead breakfast that my mom could have on hand instead of reaching for a pastry (clearly, our previous recipes need not apply). My mom posted a picture of her version on Facebook and has had multiple inquiries on the recipe, so I’m typing it up below. It’s adapted from Sprouted Kitchen Cooking Club, which I was a member of for a while last year and thoroughly enjoyed.
Baked Berry Oats Recipe (lightly adapted from Sprouted Kitchen Cooking Club)
Yield: 9 servings
Ingredients (Note: I weighed all my ingredients in grams except for spoon measures. US cup conversions are approximate, including the butter.)
175 g (1 cup) steel-cut oats
40 g (1/3 cup) rolled oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
480 g (2 cups) oat milk, or you can use regular milk/a different non-dairy alternative
45g (3 tbsp) melted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
105 g (1/3 cup) maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
45 g each frozen blueberries and raspberries (this is flexible—my mom used sliced fresh strawberries and fresh blueberries, and I can guarantee you she didn’t measure them!)
60 g (1/4 cup) milk of choice
Fresh berries/other fruit
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (approximately 355 degrees F), with convection on if you have it.
Lightly grease an 8x8 glass baking dish with butter. Be sure to get the sides!
In a large bowl, lightly beat the egg. Mix in the oat milk, melted butter, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the cinnamon and salt and stir to combine.
Add remaining dry ingredients (both types of oats and the baking powder) and stir well.
Pour the mixture into the baking dish and scatter the blueberries and raspberries on top.
Bake the oatmeal for 35 minutes, or until it’s starting to brown on top. It should still be slightly moist so that it doesn’t dry out as it cools, particularly if you’re planning on having leftovers. Depending on your oven, this could take more or less time. I recommend checking it at 30 minutes if you’re using convection, but it may take a bit longer in a standard oven.
Let cool (if you can resist sneaking a bite—I couldn’t!), then cut into nine even squares. If the oatmeal is still slightly warm, it may feel a bit soft, but it will firm up if stored in the fridge.
To serve, place a slice of the oatmeal in a shallow bowl. Pour the milk over top (I like to warm mine first, especially to knock the chill off the leftover slices) and add your favorite fresh fruit. As you can see above, I chose strawberries, but I also think this could be great with sliced bananas, perhaps with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
I hope everyone has a great weekend! Let me know if you try the recipe, and I’d also love to hear what seasonal produce you’re excited about this month!
Hasta la próxima!
Thanks for reading Come como Kiki! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Is annoying/frustrates me
Literally fruit shop, but think of them as local produce stands
4.4 lb for my US friends
From a distance. In this case, over FaceTime.
Until next time
It was delicious! Even my husband liked it! He’s a gravy and biscuits kinds guy lol
Kim is a great writer isn't she, love all of her posts! Last night I had strawberries and whipped cream for dinner (I know), but I'm quite interested in anything strawberries really, thanks for sharing this recipe!