Saturday, February 21, 2009

Breakfast Solutions

Breakfast on a busy morning can be a nuisance but we shouldn't ignore this most important meal. It revs up our metabolism, gives us energy for our busy morning and gives us time to connect with our family and talk about our plans for the day ahead.

I've found the best way to handle breakfast is to have a set menu. Lists are the friend of a busy mom. While I have a monthly menu for supper, I have found that a weekly menu for breakfasts and lunch works just fine. I work in some choices to change it up a bit. I give myself permission to stray from the menu if we feel like it, but when I'm busy, I find that leaning on my menu is comforting.

BREAKFAST

MONDAY - Bagels or Hashbrowns
TUESDAY - Pancakes or Muffins
WEDNESDAY - Cereal, Grits, Oatmeal
THURSDAY - Yogurt Smoothie or Eggs & Bacon
FRIDAY - Frozen Fridays*
SATURDAY - Waffles or French Toast
SUNDAY - Biscuits or Cornbread

*Frozen Fridays - I freeze any leftovers from the breakfasts of week before. Kids can help themselves to what they want. (waffles, muffins, pancakes, biscuits, cornbread, french toast)

Of course, you should customize your menu for your family's tastes. It only takes a few minutes to pull together a quick menu and then post it so everyone can see it. Older children can even pitch in with some of the easier meals. Be sure and cook double batches of pancakes, waffles, biscuits, cornbread or french toast so you can put some in the freezer for Frozen Friday. Below are three of my favorite recipes:
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Hashbrowns are a good way to stretch your eggs. Here's how I fix them.

Hashbrowns
2 Tbl. Butter
2-3 cups of frozen loose hashbrowns (not the ones formed in a small loaf)
1/4 c. finely chopped onions
2-3 eggs
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 c. Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese (a little goes a long way so this is a good budget stretcher)
1/4 c. sour cream
Kosher Salt
Black pepper

Melt 2 Tbl. Butter in a pan
Cover the bottom of the pan with hashbrowns & add chopped onions
Let them brown a little and flip them over
Let this side brown a little and add 2-3 eggs, salt & pepper, garlic powder, cheese and sour cream. Mix well and break it up as it cooks.
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Another favorite is a smoothie. It is quick and delicious. Here's our current favorite:

Banana/Peach Smoothie

1 frozen banana (remove the peel from an over-ripe banana and stick in the freezer in a bag)
1 cup frozen peaches (you can find this in your frozen fruit section at your grocer)
4 Tbl. honey
2 tsp. vanilla
3-4 c. of plain yogurt
1/2 c. of milk

Mix all together in blender and enjoy. It tastes like melted ice cream! The frozen fruit make it possible to make a thick smoothie without adding ice. Extra smoothie can be kept in your fridge until the next day.
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I was on a mission a year ago to find a delicious biscuit recipe. This one fits the bill very nicely.
Biscuits

2 c. flour
1 Tbl. baking powder
1 Tbl. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. Crisco
3/4 c. Buttermilk (or regular milk)
1/8 tsp. baking soda

Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar & salt. Cut in the Crisco.
Make a well with your thumbs in the center of the mound. Dissolve 1/8 tsp. baking soda in 3/4 c. buttermilk and pour into the well. Mix all completely into a dough and knead till smooth and elastic. Kneading is the secret to these biscuits rising high. Pat out 1 inch thick, and cut out with round biscuit cutter. Push straight down on the cutter, don't twist as this will seal the edges and not allow the biscuit to rise properly. Prick each biscuit with a fork 2-3 times to allow it to rise evenly. Put on a greased sheet or use parchment paper (My favorite is my well-used Pampered Chef stone). Bake 450, 15-18 minutes or till golden.

Serves 8 Persons

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