Oatmeal and Beauty for Dummies

Woowoo!! Tomorrow is Fridaaaay!!! I contemplated going home this weekend, but the weather is going to be nasty and I don’t want to take the bus. So next weekend it is. I have personal training material to study anyways!

Also loved reading your comments on my Single Lady post. Such a wide variety of people who are with their high school sweethearts, single and ready to settle down, married for decades, engaged, or in a brand new relationship. I definitely forgot to mention that a person’s happiness in or out of a relationship depends on the people in their lives. Duh. It takes two to tango!

So I fiiiinally get to answer another Q&A today. I’ve been waiting until I made oatmeal!

Susan –
I actually do have a question for you … do you think that at some point you could do an oatmeal for dummies post?  I see your oatmeal combinations and think they all look just stellar, but I don’t know the first thing about buying oats or cooking them.  I’m also really intrigued by these custard oats that you keep making, but since I don’t know about making regular oatmeal, I really don’t know when I’d mix the egg in!
Thanks – hope you’re doing well!

Thanks for the wonderful idea Amy!! Oatmeal does not actually have to be all that intimidating. First off, oats are just another grain, much like wheat, barley or buckwheat. Oatmeal is just the oat grain ground up for easier cooking and consumption.


The different kind of oatmeals you see on the shelves are all just different kinds of cuts. Steel cut for example is the least processed of the bunch. They’re the whole grain “groat” just cut up into a few pieces. Rolled oats are the groats rolled out into a “flake.” Instant oatmeal is the same kind, just smaller and thinner so it cooks quickly. Oat bran is the outer layer of the grain, known mostly for its fibre content. The nutrition info varies slightly with cut, but overall is generally the same. Especially when you compare the volume after cooking.

Since today was a well-deserved rest day from the gym, I had time to make stove-top oats before work. I obviously opted for my new favourite combination – custard oats.

First, I put a small pot on the stove and set the burner on slightly below high.


Yes, my oven is old. It’s got character ;)

I added 1/2 cup rolled oats to the pot. 

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Then dumped in 1 1/2 cups water.

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Once the water is in, I add one whole egg.

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And whisk!


I keep an eye on it, whisking frequently, as within a couple minutes it starts to show signs of bubbling. 

Then I immediately turn the heat down to medium/low.

Keep whisking!!!


You don’t want little clumps of egg whites popping up, so keep stirring, and keep the heat low so it doesn’t cook too quickly. The slow simmer is also necessary for optimal creaminess ;)

This is usually when I make my coffee or pack my lunch, or this morning I emptied my garbages :)   (Garbages is apparently not a word??)

After about 15 minutes, my oatmeal is looking good, but is missing a key ingredient – cinnamon!

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And depending on my toppings, I’ll add a little sweetener to the mix. Sometimes it’s brown sugar, maple syrup or molasses. Today’s was stevia.

You may have noticed I also traded my whisk in for a spatula. Or rubber scraper. What the heck are these things called?


It keeps it from sticking to the sides. Once the oatmeal starts to thicken, I start stirring with this puppy.

And just when it seems like it can’t get any thicker, I take the oatmeal off the heat and stir in a couple pours of unsweetened vanilla almond breeze.

Oatmeal will continue to absorb liquids even after you remove it from the heat. I find stirring a little extra liquid in after cooking ups the creaminess ;)

Then pour the mixture into a bowl and top with whatever you’re in the mood for!

Today I was in the mood for sliced banana, peanut butter and even more cinnamon (cause you can never have enough cinnamon).


If you can cook rice, you can cook oatmeal. You don’t have to do the slow-simmer method like I do. On the mornings I’m a little more rushed, I opt for oat bran which is a finer cut. Takes about 5 minutes for it to cook up on the stove!

In other news, I joined the world of the professionally groomed today.


New hair straightener!!! A Chi kind. I think it’s one inch? And the plates wobble. And it gets HOT. Everywhere I went told me it was a good one.


That’s my polka-dot ironing board by the way. I don’t have a working outlet in my bathroom, so I have to groom in the hallway.

I washed then blow-dried my hair. Here’s what the rats nest looks like brushed after blow-drying.


I think you may now see the problem here :P

I sprayed in some TRESemme no frizz mist before straightening. Not exactly the proper protector, but will do for now.


After straightening, I put in my essential product – serum. In this case, John Frieda Frizz-Ease.

IMG_4288 The “after”:

Hmmm…it was alright. My hair was still a little damp in places, and I didn’t have time to pin it up while ironing. So I didn’t quite get all the kinks out. Plus, my straight bangs were pissing me off, so further styling was required…


I tried to get a shot of the back for you guys…

And tried again…




Definitely think I need to work on my technique. But hey, baby steps! My co-worker almost died the other day when I told her I only recently bought my first bottle of nail polish. Make-up is the only girly thing I ever got into, and that was because thick black eye-liner was a must as a teenage punk rocker :P

I didn’t think about supper at all while at work today (rare!) and didn’t feel like cooking when I came home. Thus, I had the classy meal of a peanut butter sandwich.

PB+Protein to be exact, with one side of the bread spread with my protein powder/water goo. A gorgeous red delicious on the side, because apples and peanut butter sandwiches are made to be together.


Well that’s all folks! A pantry tour is coming soon, as well as my usual monthly wrap-up. Looking forward to writing posts over the next few days! Hope you all have a fabulous Friday and start to your weekend!! xoxo


Questions of the Day:

1. What’s your favourite cut of oatmeal? I’ll always be an old-fashioned rolled oats gal. I love the chewy creaminess of it :)

2. Beauty product you can’t live without? Mine’s concealer, mascara and that hair serum. I’ve even admitted to leaving my mascara on at night so it’s still on when I go to the gym in the morning!! :P

Posted on February 25, 2010, in Fun and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 40 Comments.

  1. YESSS! okay, you have officialy inspired me! i am going to try to make stovepot oats this weekend!! that was a VERY helpful tutorial :) im super PUMPED!!

    1. old fashioned oats for me girl!!
    2. CONCEALER and mascara..bc my eyelashes are super light!

    love the PB protein sammie!

  2. Yum for oats! Yay! I’ll have to try the whole egg some time. I am loving the puffiness of the whites, though :D
    Plus, I don’t have the problem with getting in enough fat that you do LOL!

    I love steel cut oats. Just love them, and I really love the quick cooking ones!

    The only truly *needed* beauty product for me is sunscreen.

    The only beauty product I really use is mascara. Although I do need my cleansers as well.

  3. I have naturally curly hair, so for the most part I’m set there. But I do have to color it since I’m completely gray and have been since my late 20s. It is the one thing I won’t live without.

  4. Thanks so much for the oat tutorial! I’ve been nervous about adding eggs to mine and now I feel much more confident. :)

    My must have beauty product is probably blush and mascara. I also wouldn’t want to be without my hair tamer for too long (I don’t think the people around me would like it very much either!). :)

  5. I’m an old fashioned oats girl myself.

    Eyebrow pencil is a MUST!

    I totally failed your workout today. I only did 1/2 an hour. I just like interval running better I guess.

  6. The Chi!!! I fully endorse the chi, it’s so worth the heafty price tag.
    Lame dinners are going to be all the rage sister, we’re starting a revolution.

    My must have beauty products are my chi, mascara, foundation, translucent powder, and deep conditioner. And q-tips! Oh, and chap stick too! haha

  7. Christina Guthrie

    The general rule of thumb is one part oatmeal to two parts water. But as you displayed in your post you can add what ever you want to the mix. I think it is important to experiment. I have a hand carved wood oatmeal spatula I bought in Nova Scotia that looks very much like your plastic one. The fact that you can buy an “oatmeal ” spatula speaks to the importance of oatmeal. I love all oatmeal but steel cut best…

  8. Wow, Susan!
    Thanks so much for the tutorial!
    Loved it :)
    And HOLY YUM for your PB sandwich!
    Have a great night!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,

  9. eh, I can’t be bothered with the stove top version. Microwaved oats all the way!

    Beauty items I couldn’t live without? deodorant, lotion, and a razor. Yeah, I don’t have much of a beauty regime.

  10. Madeline - Greens and Jeans

    I CAN’T believe you just bought your first bottle of nail polish! Amazing! I am a quick oats gal 99.9% of the time, but Irish Steel Oats are pretty fantastic when I have extra time! Beauty products I can’t live without are powder foundation, mascara, nail polish (my toes are always painted!), and Carmex! It’s entirely possible I might be addicted to this stuff…

  11. I love the tutorial! I always learn something by the end of your posts. =)

    I like regular rolled oats as well. And I could not live without my straightener. I straighten my hair every day (which is definitely TERRIBLE for it lol). I also love frizz-ease products. They work the best.

    Nicole G

  12. Yay for the Chi! It truly is the best around. Your hair looks awesomely healthy and shiny :)
    I am a fan of rolled oats, but I’ll have steel cut on occasion. I find that when I make custard oats, the rolled variety becomes fluffier (ie. more filling).
    I’m on the mascara bandwagon. If I don’t have time for anything else, that coat of mascara will make it to my lashes!

  13. from 2006 to 2009 i never wore makeup. i was pregnant or nursing or barefoot in the kitchen. and who cared. in the last year i have worn makeup a few times. i used to work in bars/clubs and wore POUNDS of it. Full circle i tell ya!

    i love the straightener, another thing i dont do anymore is spend thousdands of dollars or hours on hair and nails and makeup and all that girly stuff…but i admit, i do miss it sometimes. I am a free spirit and so the wavy hair is ok, but sometimes i do wish i could get my inner sleek bee-otch goin’ and would need to straighten my hair for that LOL

    love the oats/egg tutorial!

  14. Thanks for the oatmeal instructions, I’ve actually never made them on the stove, so now I know how!!

    I LOVE my Chi, it saves my thick, long hair, in a flash!

  15. Great oats tutorial!

    I love old fashioned rolled oats, as well as oat bran!

    I have that straightener and I love it! Although I don’t use it as much anymore! My must-have beauty products are Tigi Bedhead smoothing serum and bobby pins to tame my wavy hair. Aside from that, I wear mascara (Maybelline or Benefit Bad Gal) once in a blue moon… daily I wear nothing but cleaned, moisturized skin and lip balm ($1.99 from Whole Foods!). I have only recently begun embracing the more natural look, but I love it!


  16. I’m trying your infamous custard oats this weekend. Simple.

    I wear mascara, but other than that I got nada haha!

  17. Great tutorial! I love making your custard oats :)

    I’m definitely a rolled oats girl too – and I couldn’t live without mascara!

  18. I wear concealer, face powder, and masara basically everyday. Special occasions call for eyeliner and eye shadow. Maybe even gloss or blush.

  19. Mascara is so important if I want my eyes to show up. My lashes are as blond as my hair and invisible without.

    I’m with you on the rolled oats, they are the best. Thanks for the tutorial on the custard oats method, I will definitely have to try it.

  20. Your hair straightening technique reminds me mine. :-) Be careful not to burn your forehead (something I have managed quite recently! :-)) – I get distracted easily and keep on forgetting I have something hot and potentially dangerous in my hand. :-)
    1. I like steel cut oats, I seem to digest the rest of them very easily and these ones keep me going for a while longer.
    2. concealer and a mineral powder based make up (both from Mac). I carry those everywhere I go. :-)

  21. I use that frizz ease stuff too but I put it on while my hair is wet – I didn’t think you were supposed to use it after straightening!

    My beauty product is blush – otherwise I’m pale as a ghost!

  22. SCOTTISH OATMEAL (not to be confused with steel cut!) is the beeeeeest oatmeal ever!

    Have you tried it?

    I think you would look great if you let your hair dry naturally-would it go wavy or curly?I think that would look nice :)

  23. I don’t eat oats anymore because I only tolerated them in the first place and I’m not paying a million dollars for gluten free ones. :P

    As for beauty products. For work I’m lazy so I use Outlast lipstick and maybe some powder to even my skin tone. I also use a lot of Burt’s Bee’s lip balm during the day. For going out I must have eyeliner. No particular brand or color even. Just have to have it. Also a big fat curling iron.

  24. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!! I can’t wait to make it myself now. This was really helpful!!

  25. Thank you for doing this!!!!! I am going to try it- I always make mine in the microwave, but am intrigued by the egg!

    Yay for ceramic straighteners- worth the money, right? Are yours safe for damp hair? Mine aren’t and I ended up with some crazy scorched hair that way. Also worth getting the protector spray if you are using it daily because ceramic = burny.

    I have only ever had rolled oats and jumbo oats- LOVE the jumbo!

  26. Honestly, I dont l ike oats all that much and if I do, its the instant kind :)

  27. I LOVE my chi straightener! You will never use another hair straightener again, amazing!!!

  28. I think your hair looks great with your bangs pulled back! Love it! I haven’t really used a straightener before (have super straight hair naturally), but I’ve heard great things about Chi.

    Never tried steel cut oats. I guess I’m an old-fashioned rolled oats type of girl :) Appreciate the tutorial though. I love seeing how everyone makes oats differently.

    My can’t-live-without beauty product is my curling iron!

  29. So glad you posted this oatmeal for dummies! THANK YOU!!! I always look on in envy as I read your oatmeal recipes and look at your pictures. Now I think I might actually be able to reinvent them myself!

  30. I love old fashioned oats too. When I am pressed for time I cook egg white oats in the microwave. I do 1 minute 30 seconds first, and then add egg whites in for about 45 more seconds. Pretty quick overall and I still love it, less clean up!

  31. Here’s how I make my oats with minimum fuss – I make 4 days worth in 1 easy shot (I like the steel-cut but also like to mix those half/half with rolled and this): 1- I put my oats x 4 (1 cup steel cut equals 1/4 c. per portion) in a pot, 2- add boiling water (3 cups for steel cut), 3- bring to a roiling boil (watching like a hawk, the mess from the boil-over is no fun) 4- turn heat down to medium-low & simmer for about 5 minutes 5- Turn heat off, put lid on pot and let those puppies cook by absorption while they cool on the stove. 6- Once they’re cool enough I plop the lot in the fridge. They get very dense and you can just portion them out like a pie. And in the morning(s) I just take my portion, add a little water or almond milk, put in the microwave. It saves me considerable time & its pretty much foolproof.

  32. im reading your 5 posts in my reader now. im not going to comment on all of them, but it is nice to let you know i am here. i love you!

  33. 1. Steel cut oats – I use the PC Blue Label ones
    2. Flat Iron + Osis hair produts
    Mascara (yes, even when I work out!)

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