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)


Editorís 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 sheís looking for it. An elderly neighbor had the recipe but itís been lost; it was served in the 1950s, 1960s maybe 1970s, Kay said, adding that though she doesnít 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.

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

Now itís time for a classic from my husbandís family.

My mother-in-law arrives for a visit Monday. That fact, and because this weekís Saturday cookbook giveaway is called ďBaking From the HeartĒ ó which she definitely does ó gave me the idea to share her Baked Oatmeal recipe and ask about your favorite mother-in-law recipes.

Despite the fact I canít eat her Baked Oatmeal.

Donít get me wrong, I have had the soft, crumbling lightly sweet breakfast thatís halfway between a chewy granola and a soft cookie; it doesnít have any of the flour and sugar I avoid, and though itís 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 Iím better off treating as fond memories.

But I hold no prejudice against the baked goodness just because I canít handle it; itís a homey dish, a specialty of hers and something the rest of the family adores. Besides, my experience is after I havenít 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, Iíll 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 husbandís side of the family come at Christmas, and Iím delighted to share it with you below.

And of course Iím hoping to hear about your beloved mother-in-law recipes, so while commenting isnít required to win, anyone who does gets double the chance at Michael J. Rosenís book ďBaking From the HeartĒ (Subtitle: ďOur Nationís Best Bakers Share Cherished Recipes for the Great American Bake SaleĒ). Share or tell me about the recipe in the comments below, then send an email to Eats&Drinks@detroitnews.com with ďBaking From the HeartĒ 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 itís Nov. 11, 2013, or later when you read this, the book winner will have been chosen ó but feel free to add your comments.)

If youíre interested in the book regardless of whether you can win it, itís 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 itís easy to sign up, and itís 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

Ĺ cup baking splenda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Ĺ teaspoon cinnamon

(mix all dry ingredients together)

1 cup Milk (or soy milk)

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs beaten

Ĺ 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)