December 11, 2016

Winter Spiced Oatmeal with Persimmons

Black pepper and rosemary in oatmeal?!

Don't knock it until you try it - really.
I didn't know what to call this recipe, but the deep, earthy flavors of the black pepper, rosemary, and cinnamon screamed "winter" to me.

I've grown up eating persimmons, but I realized a few years ago that my dad always cut them up when they weren't ripe enough. Persimmons that haven't reached their peak ripeness (i.e. the point at which they're super mushy -- and sweet!) just aren't that good - they have a funny odor (not bad, but not good, either) and are crunchy (not in a good way).

If you take a look at my video (below!), you'll see how ripe and mushy my persimmon was. You might think it went bad, but trust me - it was perfect.
Speaking of videos, I'm returning to YouTube!

If you're a new reader, let me take you back a few years: 
when I was 11, I created my very first YouTube channel. It was a music channel, and it actually grew rather quickly. YouTube was the very first social media platform I engaged on! 

YouTube was rather new at the time, so "monetization" wasn't a thing. I didn't know what I was doing, but I really liked posting videos and making new friends. At one point, I received an email inviting me to become a YouTube partner and earn money making videos! Sometimes I look back at this with a tinge of regret; I could have grown so much through that opportunity (both personally and professionally), but at the age of 13, I wasn't very sure  about what "monetization" meant, and I committed myself to school to prepare myself for college applications. 

And to be really honest - those videos were really bad ;). I think several of them were filmed by my dear brother (about 10-11 years at the time); though he was so sweet to (grudgingly) help me, the shakiness of the video is cringe-worthy. On top of that, the music wasn't very good, either; 10 years of piano playing and that was the best I could do ;)?! You'd never guess that I've performed at Carnegie by watching those videos.

Moving forward, in the middle of high school, I started a new YouTube channel because I had branched into watching food, daily vlog, beauty, and fashion videos, and was so inspired. This channel grew much more slowly since YouTube had become more saturated. Nevertheless, I had a lot of fun with it, and even posted a few new videos on my music channel that had become semi-dormant. 

During my first year of college, I scrolled through my videos, and became really dissatisfied with them. They weren't of the quality that I wanted them to be, and I wanted to be proud of my work. I didn't want to post content for the sake of being consistent. I made most of the videos "private" because I liked the idea of being able to look back on how I've grown, but wasn't confident enough to keep poor-quality content up. The ones that I've kept "public" are ones that have significant value to others (my lifeguarding series), or, in the case of my Disney trip video, serve as a memento for me and my friends. 

Last year, my hiatus was interrupted with the posting of two videos that I filmed using a Canon t3i from my former school's library.  I had so much fun and fell back into this creative groove, this state of mind/workflow that felt exciting and fun. The videos aren't professional by any means, but they were a lot better than my older videos. I couldn't shake that contagious energy off, and after 1+ years of researching and saving up, I finally got a new camera - one that can record videos! 

So here I am, returning to the world of video making, and I can't be more excited. I've been learning how to film more creatively and edit with more professional software (ran into technical issues this past week, so this video was edited via the humble Movie Maker), and I can't wait to share my work with you! There are so many more resources to improve the quality of videos and channel (blog, too!) graphics, and I'm feeling a lot more confident about sharing what I create.

My promise to myself: to just have fun with it. No expectations, no worrying about analytics and numbers. 

Let me know what you think about this first video!
Interested in other oatmeal ideas? Take a look at some of my older posts:
Banana Coconut Cacao Oatmeal
Black Sesame Pumpkin Oatmeal
Green Eggs & Congee
Strawberry-Banana Shortcake

Recipe: Winter Spiced Oatmeal with Persimmons
By: Hannah Claudia

1/2 cup of oats, cooked in 1 cup of water (I added 1 tsp of cinnamon to mine)

pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of fresh rosemary, finely chopped

1 persimmon (the riper/softer, the sweeter!), cut into chunks
2 tablespoons of toasted pecans, chopped
1 tablespoon of dried cranberries, chopped


Mix the black pepper and rosemary into the oatmeal. Top with the persimmons,
toasted pecans, and dried cranberries.

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