We had traveled to the Dominican Republic’s Punta Cana last winter to break away from New York’s cold and gray and connect my daughter with the island of Mamá and Papá, where the air blows salty, the greens and blues amaze, and people treat you like they’ve known you their whole lives. For this trip, we were celebrating my husband’s birthday and getting our family and friends together all under one roof.
We stayed at a gorgeous villa in the Punta Cana Resort and Club where we greeted the day with generous cups of Café Santo Domingo, one of the island’s treasures and one of my favorite things on earth, on the poolside terrace and then fueled up with a royal breakfast spread of fresh fruit, eggs, toast, plantains, and batatas (sweet potatoes). Mornings went usually like this: We drove the golf cart to nearby Playa Serena which was an accurately named secluded spot with cool turquoise waters, sand as fine as flour, and a breezy beach front restaurant called The Grill perfect to grab a beer and snack after a dip in the ocean or some golf. more »
When it comes to oatmeal, I’m all peace and love. I welcome all kinds of oats into my pantry, I don’t discriminate. Sometimes it’s steel cut oats that grace my breakfast table with their texture and nuttiness, leaving their chewy remnants on my copper pot; other times instant is best (especially on dark mornings when my cool sheets hold me captive and I end up rushing out the door in a frenzy). One thing is for sure, though, when it comes to oatmeal, simple is best (none of that peaches and cream, maple and brown sugar stuff). Using plain oats lets me dress up my bowl in a different “outfit” every day. Because my oatmeal, like me, thrives on variety, one day it’ll be a conservative affair, with cinnamon, dollops of honey and a few scattered raisins; and another it’ll be a wild child, spiked with mango, coconut flakes, granola and drizzled with dulce de leche.
Whether you’re an oatmeal virgin or oatmeal pro, here’s a latin-ized interpretation to put a smile on your face and keep you going straight into Spring.
makes 2 servings
1 cup of oats (preferably quick cook)
2 cups of liquid (milk, water or a mixture of both)
dulce de leche
Heat liquid and oats in pot to a boil. Meanwhile, slice half of the banana into very thin slivers (this will give your oats a creamy consistency, I picked up this technique at a favorite blog I follow here), and add to pot once it starts to boil. Now, stir mixture briskly with a wooden spoon, until all of the fruit has dissolved into the oats. If you like your oatmeal thicker, cook a few more minutes or remove from heat now. Add your toppings.