bowl full of happiness

Eat with me Wednesday #3

Bowl full of happiness

Cream of Wheat w/ Brown Sugar, Dried Cranberries and Toasted Almonds

There are just some foods that whenever I make them take me back to another time and place. Every time I make this dish, which by the way needs to be a lot more often, I’m suddenly transformed back to that tiny, long-haired little girl I used to be; sitting on my Daddy’s lap, scooping up heaping spoonfuls of warm cream of wheat, and biting in to sugary sweet cinnamon toast (not pictured). I can smell the deliciousness even as I type this.

I didn’t know my father very well when I was growing up, but I vividly remember him eating cream of wheat. I remember, because he always poured milk into his creating this odd souplike mixture and I could never understand why anyone would ever want to mess with the thick, just plain perfect texture that was cream of wheat (malt o meal for some of you, no?). Memories like this are important to me, those little moments we did share versus the oh so many moments we did not get to share.

Sharing moments isn’t a problem around here, but I would like to put on the record for my own children the way I like my cream of wheat. :)

Thick, but not too thick. Sweet, but not too sweet with a brown tint you can only get from lots and lot of cinnamon and just enough brown sugar. I’ve learned from my own children that dried cranberries are the perfect accessory for this meal and this time I thought I’d try some honey roasted almond slices because, well – why not!

It was delightful, my own little bowl of happiness. And one last tip about building the perfect bowl of cream of wheat – if it gets too thick for your taste, you could add a ton of milk like my Dad used to do, but I prefer a tablespoon or two of hot tea — the way my Momma used to do it.

Cooking Tips: Follow the instructions on the box to make the amount of Cream of Wheat you need. Do this on the stove, trust me, it is way better this way. The mixture will thicken the longer it sits (see previous paragraph). Sweeten your bowl to taste and don’t forget the cinnamon toast! Perfect for eating and dipping. Butter some bread and sprinkle generous amounts of cinnamon sugar on top. Broil or bake on the top rack until the face of the toast gets just a bit crusty. You still want some of it to be soggy (mmm, melted butter and cinnamon sugar). Be careful if broiling toast. It happens quick, so keep an eye on it.

Do you have any foods that remind you of your childhood?


Stacy is seeing the world in a whole new way – through the eyes of her children. She writes about the little things, the big things and all the “stuff” in between at Kids Stuff World.

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  1. heather at wordplayouse® says

    Apple pies. My father made them at Thanksgiving. From scratch. Homemade crust and everything. His cooking usually ranged from pancakes (out of a box) to a heated up mix of leftovers. So, these pies were AMAZING to have come from my father’s hands.

    Yep. Cream of Wheat was a childhood favorite of mine too. My mom used to pour a lot of milk over the top like your dad, but I liked mine warm and thick…with lots of brown sugar.-heather

  2. Mandi says

    I have a few! Chipped ham (this might be a “Pittsburgh thing”; it’s thinly sliced and crumpled deli ham), meatloaf, and it’s not a food but chocolate milk in small cartons. My dad used to bring one home for me every day when I was little.

    Your cream of wheat looks awesome! It’s been a long time since we’ve made Cream of Wheat here. I might pick some up when I go shopping this weekend.

    • says

      your Dad sounds sweet :) My grandfather used to sneak me out for a burger or corn dog before dinner some times … I love those memories but part of me wishes he hadn’t … I tend to eat burgers and corn dogs when I’m down or lonely now. I still miss him so :)

  3. says

    I’m more of a Malt-O-Meal or oatmeal fan, but it does look yummy! Wild rice soup makes me smile and reminds me of my childhood and great times with family!

    • says

      Hey Amanda, so happy you stopped by. Aren’t Malt-o-meal and cream of wheat the same thing? My husband is from the west coast and had never heard of cream of wheat, I’m from the east coast and had never heard of malt-o-meal

  4. says

    I have never wanted to try cream of wheat until I read your description, and you make it sound like a big, warm bear hug in the morning. I think I would want to add some cinnamon and white chocolate chips.

    My mother’s enchiladas remind me of my childhood. She didn’t make them often since they are sort of labor intensive, but she made them every year for my birthday per my request. =) Also, egg salad sandwiches remind me of my childhood. It was real treat when we got that packed for lunch. Now, that I talk about it, that must be one of the reasons I ate an egg salad sandwich almost every day for lunch when I was pregnant. Somehow it must have brought me happy childhood feelings without me realizing it at the time. =)

    • says

      Rebekah, wow that is exactly the way it feels to me – a giant, wonderful bear hugs and trust me I am HUGE on hugs.

      I love how foods affect us, I’m curious do your children love egg salad too? I’ve heard if you eat a lot of something while you are pregnant chances are your child will grow up liking it too.

      Thanks so much for commenting today :)

  5. says

    oh wow, apple pie! mmmmm, my grandfather wasn’t much of a cook either but he always made homemade sweet potato pies for thanksgiving and I just can’t get through Thanksgiving or Christmas without them. Thanks for sharing this memory with me today!

  6. says

    My mom’s homemade pizza which I can not duplicate! She must have added extra love or something?
    By the way, she did not do cream of wheat well. I remember it always had odd lumps in it. I’ve never tried it as an adult. Maybe I’ll get brave enough someday…

  7. says

    …oh, one more thing. The “I can tell we are right there with each other” you just left with the very beautiful comment on my site…I certainly guess so. I just joined Pinterest last night and pinned my first board. And…this post and your bowl of sunshine up there was one of my very, very first pins. How happily right you were. I loved this post and your photo so much. Happy you loved mine. -heather

  8. tricia says

    Stacy- I love this post- it’s more than a recipe- it sounds delicious and it’s a nice reminder that the simplest moments can be the most profound. Thank you-

  9. Tiaras & Tantrums says

    oh my – I never liked Creme of Wheat as a child – I would gag it down b/c I had too! (you know, you can’t leave the table until you eat every morsel) I have never purchased a box in my life. My kids just asked me the other day what it was – too funny – I told them they would hate it! haha – I’m terrible!

  10. says

    Yum- broiled cinnamon toast. We always had that on the weekend…crispy on top and all soaked in goodness in the middle. Thank you for the sweet reminder.

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