November 2, 2013 at 7:14 am

Maureen Tisdale

Let's Talk Food (& maybe win a cookbook): Baked Oatmeal, and what are your mother-in-law's recipes?

'Baking From the Heart' is this week's giveaway, but also a worthy investment if you don't win; a portion of sales go to fight childhood hunger. (Broadway Books)


Editor’s Note: Does anyone have a recipe for the fruitcake they used to serve at Greenfield Restaurant on Greenfield and Eight Mile Road across from Northland Shopping Center? A reader named Kay from Canton called to say she’s looking for it. An elderly neighbor had the recipe but it’s been lost; it was served in the 1950s, 1960s maybe 1970s, Kay said, adding that though she doesn’t like fruitcake generally, this one was quite good. Any help out there? Please share in the comments below or send an email to Eats&Drinks@detroitnews.com.

It’s the season for family food, yes? I told you about the Classic Tisdale Food in a recent Let’s Talk Food. By the way, my brother Bill reminded me he is the lone hater on tortellini: “It’s interesting how this tortellini propaganda masquerading as a fluff piece fails to mention that not everyone was a fan,” he emailed us all. Ha! Others rushed to its defense, though. Let’s call it Classic Tisdale-Minus-One Food.

Now it’s time for a classic from my husband’s family.

My mother-in-law arrives for a visit Monday. That fact, and because this week’s Saturday cookbook giveaway is called “Baking From the Heart” — which she definitely does — gave me the idea to share her Baked Oatmeal recipe and ask about your favorite mother-in-law recipes.

Despite the fact I can’t eat her Baked Oatmeal.

Don’t get me wrong, I have had the soft, crumbling lightly sweet breakfast that’s halfway between a chewy granola and a soft cookie; it doesn’t have any of the flour and sugar I avoid, and though it’s hard to make fit in the specific quantities I try to stick to, I gave it a shot.

And immediately realized I wanted it shot directly into my veins and might become willing to sell my soul for my next Baked Oatmeal hit. Long story short, this dish is how I discovered there are textures I’m better off treating as fond memories.

But I hold no prejudice against the baked goodness just because I can’t handle it; it’s a homey dish, a specialty of hers and something the rest of the family adores. Besides, my experience is after I haven’t had a too-tempting dish for a while, I get to appreciate it fondly from a distance without the tug of desire. (I know this differs; some of my closest foodie friends, including Dawn of the potato tacos and, more recently, apple-cheddar salad, have the opposite experience. Dawn says she finds deprivation leads to craving which leads to binging. To each her own, methinks.)

In any case, I’ll be happy to enjoy Baked Oatmeal (from a distance) if it gets made when my mother-in-law is here next week, or when she and the rest of my husband’s side of the family come at Christmas, and I’m delighted to share it with you below.

And of course I’m hoping to hear about your beloved mother-in-law recipes, so while commenting isn’t required to win, anyone who does gets double the chance at Michael J. Rosen’s book “Baking From the Heart” (Subtitle: “Our Nation’s Best Bakers Share Cherished Recipes for the Great American Bake Sale”). Share or tell me about the recipe in the comments below, then send an email to Eats&Drinks@detroitnews.com with “Baking From the Heart” in the subject line. Include your name and mailing address in the body. Enter only once by midnight Nov. 10. A winner will be chosen from among entries, with preference given to those who comment below. (If it’s Nov. 11, 2013, or later when you read this, the book winner will have been chosen — but feel free to add your comments.)

If you’re interested in the book regardless of whether you can win it, it’s a worthy investment; a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book benefit the anti-hunger agency Share Our Strength.

Good luck!

You need a Facebook account to add comments, but it’s easy to sign up, and it’s free. Detroit News Food Editor Maureen Tisdale will keep an eye out the next few days for your comments. You also can follow her on Twitter @reentiz . Join the discussion!

Baked Oatmeal

(Exactly as my sister-in-law Michelle typed it up for me)

3 cups Quick Oats

½ cup baking splenda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

(mix all dry ingredients together)

1 cup Milk (or soy milk)

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs beaten

½ cup oil

(mix wet ingredients together)

Add wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients. Mix and pour into a greased 9x9 inch baking dish. Bake for 30 min. at 350 deg. remove and let cool slightly. Dish up and top with yogurt & fruit of your choice.

'Baking From the Heart' is this week's giveaway, but also a worthy investment if you don't win; a portion of sales go to fight childhood hunger. (Broadway Books)