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Cooking For a Family: Workshop and Recipe

May 11, 2012

Is it possible to get a satisfying meal on the table with a baby attached to you, a child clamoring for your attention and your own self begging for sleep? According to Brooklyn mom and chef Debbie Koenig; yes!

Debbie, author of Parents Need to Eat Too: Nap-Friendly Recipes, One-Handed Meals, and Time-Saving Kitchen Tricks for New Parents, has not only been there, done that, but she’s also done the research. Her cookbook features easy, grown-up recipes that also serve as baby food. Debbie has been on my radar for the past few years- and wrote for my blog here for a year too.

My favorite recipe:
Of course I got a copy of the book and I wanted to share my favorite recipe. I know you will think it’s simple- but I desperately needed this recipe and it has cut my breakfast preparation down by 2/3rds!

Her upcoming workshop!
If you want to learn Debbie’s secrets of feeding baby solids and cooking for everyone at once- attend her workshop next week in Park Slope. See the details after the recipe.


Overnight Steel-Cut Oatmeal by Debbie Koenig
Serves 2 to 3
Cooking time: 8 to 10 hours on LOW (5 minutes active)

Note: I make this in a 4-quart slow cooker and the largest container I’ve found that will work within it is a 4-cup measure. If your slow cooker is larger, by all means use a larger bowl and increase proportionately the amounts of water and oatmeal.  You’ll be able to serve more people or have leftovers, which reheat nicely with a little milk stirred in.

3 cups cold water
1 cup steel-cut oatmeal
pinch of salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a glass 4-cup measure (or a similar heat-safe bowl that can hold at least 4 cups). Put the measuring cup inside your slow cooker’s insert.

2. Carefully add cold water in the space between the cup and the wall of the insert (you’re making a water bath). You want the water level to come up just slightly higher than the level inside the cup; this will keep things creamy, not crusty.

3. Cover and turn cooker to LOW.

4. Head to bed and when you wake up in the morning, the oatmeal will be ready to serve. I’ve set this up as early as 9PM and as late as midnight, and it’s reliably creamy-not-crusty every time.

ETA: It’s an hour or two later, and we’ve just eaten our oatmeal. June may, in fact, be too warm for oatmeal after all. Sigh.

Debbie will be speaking this Wednesday, May 16th in Park Slope about:

  • Starting solids: How to know when your baby is ready; where to start; what you need; what to feed and what not to feed.
  • Cooking once for everyone: How to turn what you’re already cooking for yourself into baby food. Save money by skipping jarred food, and save time by not cooking separately for baby.
  • Spending your organics dollars wisely: Which foods you should always buy organic (budget permitting, of course) and which you can skip.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
at Da Nonna Rosa
140 7th Ave.
(between Garfield & Carroll)
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at door for parent and baby.
Full details are here.