Pear, Pecan & Brown Sugar Oatmeal with Coconut Milk

We spent our Memorial Day weekend in beautiful Savannah, Georgia watching a couple of dear friends get married (in Forsyth Park, no less). We drove down (just a short 15 hours each way) – and when I say “we,” I mean my husband and one of his friends who we carpooled with – overnight on Thursday and spent the weekend eating, exploring, and celebrating our friends. 

I was thrilled that we were able to visit my favorite restaurant stop from our honeymoon, the venerable Olde Pink House. I had she crab soup, a half-dozen oysters on the half shell, and the BLT salad. 

Husband had fried chicken breast topped with gravy and mashed potatoes, and he was in comfort-food heaven (i.e. a food coma). 

The BLT salad is one of those must-try dishes that defines a dining experience. It’s a fried green tomato, home-made ranch, thick-cut brown sugar bacon, and fresh greens. 

The flavor combination is unreal – every component of the salad is perfect. If you’re in Savannah, make a reservation for lunch (very budget-friendly) or dinner (the most romantic setting ever) in this beautiful, historic bastion of old Savannah. 

We also tried another restaurant that I have to recommend: Vic’s on the River. The restaurant is right on the beautiful Savannah River in a gorgeous old building (constructed in 1858). I had a great grilled salad (which I topped with fried oysters, because it seemed too healthy) and the crab, shrimp, and oyster stew, which is one of the best seafood soups I’ve ever tasted. Strongly recommended for the view, the ambiance, and the food. 

Finally, we stopped into a fantastic kitchen restaurant that one of my friends recommended – Kitchens on the Square. First, the store itself is a dream. The store has a slightly retro theme, with an aqua and red color scheme, but stays a bit away from full-on kitsch (pun completely intended). The sweet employees are helpful and seem to enjoy the store as much as the patrons. And, one of my favorite details is that they hand out colonders instead of shopping baskets to store your finds before you check out. Couldn’t even handle that cuteness. They had everything from sassy kitchen towels (I needed four) to great little gadgets, cookbooks, and much more – this nerd bought a food history book that she can’t wait to read. I may have gone a little overboard (much to Husband’s delight – let’s just say that Mops’ college fund is now lacking – no Harvard for her), but it was a great shopping experience for any kitchen lover. 

Before we left town for what I knew would be a weekend of pure indulgence, I felt obligated to serve one last homemade meal. This recipe is not austere by any means, but it is delicious, filling, and very easy. The sweet and mellow pear flavor is great with little bursts of raisin sweetness in a vanilla, brown sugar, and cinnamon based oatmeal. 

The ultimate creamy topping? Coconut milk. Scoop out a tablespoon of coconut milk on top of the hot oatmeal and watch it melt (meeeeelllllttttt) into the oatmeal mixture, adding serious decadence. I tried to do the raw food thing for about a year in college (before caffeine became a necessity instead of an indulgence – thanks real world!!!), and I would often occasionally indulge in plain old coconut milk (and I’m not talking about the light version) when my body needed calories. Once I ate half a can before I realized what I was doing. Fastest thousand calories I’ve ever enjoyed. Try to limit yourself to a tablespoon per serving, but honestly, I am on the “coconut everything” bandwagon and I think it’s healthy. So, no judgement from this side of the computer if you also find yourself with a half-empty can of coconut milk and a smile on your face. 

Pear, Pecan & Brown Sugar Oatmeal with Coconut Milk
Yields two large servings

You will need:
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 4 tbsp. coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. dried Valencia orange zest
  • dash salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 pear, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp. raisins
  • 2/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • Shredded coconut to sprinkle on top, optional

  • In a medium pot, stir together on medium heat skim milk, 2 tbsp. coconut milk, cinnamon, orange zest, salt, and vanilla for about three minutes. 
  • Add oats, pear, brown sugar, and raisins to the pot and cook, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat if the mixture begins to boil. 
  • When the oats have thickened, remove from heat and stir in toasted pecans. 
  • Divide oatmeal into two bowls. Top each bowl with 1 tbsp. of coconut milk and shredded coconut (if desired). 

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