I’m pleased to report that we finally got some snow here in Memphis last week. Unfortunately, we got a layer of ice under it, but it still looked pretty.
Because it rained (hard!) in the hours before the temps plummeted, the streets couldn’t be treated with brine which meant they were a mess. Memphis doesn’t currently have any snow removal equipment, so if the roads are a mess, they’re going to stay a mess for a while. Especially if the temps are in the teens and twenties. Brrrrr.
Yep, a MESS. On the bright side, I had a full choice of lanes in which to drive.
You’re wondering what was SO IMPORTANT that I had to get out on these messy roads, aren’t you? Well, I’ll tell you. Better yet, I’ll show you:
Target had this Ninja Express Chopper on sale for $19.99, and I just happen to have a fistful of Target giftcards. (It also helped that this Target is only a couple miles from my house.)
Now, I have a food processor and a Vitamix, but they’re both cumbersome to set up for small jobs. The processor has too many parts, and the Vitamix is heavy. I thought this little Ninja cutie would be perfect for chopping nuts or veggies. Or, more immediately, grinding oats. That’s what started all of this: a need to grind oats.
In my Coming Attractions post, I mentioned wanting to make Scottish Oatcakes. And I did, using the last of my steel cut oats to do so. (Yes, I know the recipe calls for Scottish oatmeal, but I didn’t have any so I made do.)
My oatcakes turned out pretty good, so I decided to try them using some of the three pounds of rolled oats I have in the pantry. Only I needed to grind up the oats which meant I was going to have to drag out the food processor and the blade and the top and hook it all up…just to grind up a measly little two cups of oats.
And then a miracle happened. I was flipping through the Target weekly ad and saw this mini-chopper ON SALE!! It was meant to be! Except then it snowed and iced. After about 10 minutes of serious internal debate, I decided that I had some sort of Divine Intervention going on, which meant I’d probably be safe driving the 2+ miles to Target.
Was it worth it?
This took about 15 seconds to assemble and another 15 seconds to grind. Definitely worth it to me.
Now I just have to decide which appliance on the shelf has to go so that I can be in compliance with my one-in, one-out rule. I’m thinking my old avocado green blender will go, considering I haven’t used it in…oh, 4 or 5 years.
But what about the oatcakes?
I don’t think my McKibben relatives would be disappointed in my efforts. The ones on the left are the steel cut version, with the ones on the right being the ninja version. I followed the Bob’s Red Mill recipe for ratios. Both are tasty, but the ninja oatcakes are softer and crumblier. Or maybe I didn’t bake them long enough. We’ll see what happens with the next batch.
I will definitely be keeping these on hand. On their own they’re kind of bland, but adding even the teensiest bit of topping to one makes it wonderful. So far, I’ve been using a schmear of orange marmalade or apple butter, but I think they’d be dee-lish with peanut butter or any other nut butter.
Oh and speaking of butter, in the near future I’ll be experimenting with replacing some of the butter called for in the recipe with applesauce. I like butter as much as the next person, but this seems like a lot of butter to me. It tastes a little heavy, if you know what I mean. (On the positive side, the fiber and the fat make it very filling!)
At some point, I’ll try subbing coconut oil for butter. Or maybe coconut or peanut flour for the whole wheat flour. Or any number of combinations. Tinkering with this recipe will keep me busy for quite some time. Better this than the Victoria Sponge Cake, I think.
Between the Ninja chopper and my new-to-me ice cream/fro-yo maker, I hope to have quite a few interesting culinary adventures this summer. More chopping than ice cream-making though. LOL