This morning, there was a cool breath of fall in the air that came and went probably before my sister even woke up, but I felt it. I can always sense fall coming, even when it says 95 degrees on the thermometer, by a certain feeling that can’t really be put into words. I guess for a Florida girl like myself, anything under 90 degrees in the morning feels like fall:) For some reason this made me think of the movie Mary Poppins, which I was completely obsessed with when I was little, and how Bert always seemed to know she was on her way by a mysterious “change in the winds.” The strangest, most random lines and snippets of movies and books seem to stick with me, and for whatever reason that’s one of them.

Lately I’ve had a terrible craving for all things fall – possibly because this summer was not exactly the relaxing success I had hoped it to be, but mainly I’ve just been craving fall foods. Summer’s great, but nothing beats homemade chili, shepard’s pie, broccoli casseroles, and pumpkin pies made with homegrown pumpkins that grow every year, planted or not.

*photo from my picture kinda sucked..

I made this baked oatmeal in the heat of the dog days of summer, which makes no sense, but it was so good and filling that I ate it everyday and had to stop myself from making it again so that I’ll have a breakfast to look forward to once it’s actually fall. I fully plan on making it a lot once school gets going; this is perfect to make ahead and then keep and eat all week. It lasts a good while and is great warmed up.

Baked Oatmeal: (or as I like to call it, oatmeal for people who usually think eating oatmeal is similar to eating gluey paper mache. anyone will like this i’m certain!)

Adapted slightly from Two Peas and Their Pod

2 cups uncooked old fashioned oats

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon (I like a lot)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup raisins

2 tablespoons dried cranberries

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/4 cups milk

1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 large egg, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cinnamon and nutmeg for flavoring

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a pyrex baking dish. Combine the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the milk, egg, butter and vanilla in a seperate bowl.  Add the wet to the dry and stir well to combine. Pour into dish, and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Note: I halved the recipe and it lasted me all week, and then some. I actually ended up throwing out some, so seriously, half it! It’s also easy to customize, add any toppings you like.