School day breakfasts need to be quick

It doesn’t take a lot to make easy, homemade foods that will fuel your family for the day

    School’s back in session, and that means breakfast is more important than ever. After all, studies show that youngsters — and adults — perform better and remember more if they’ve had a morning meal.
    Even though breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day, it’s often difficult to manage more than a bowl of cereal while rushing to get a family dressed and out the door on time and with everything they need.
    There are a host of easy breakfast meals that don’t require a lot of time in the morning. Some can be prepared ahead of time, while others call for just a few minutes amid the morning chaos.
    And some call for you to partially cook the main dish ahead of time and finish it in the morning. Think homemade pancakes or waffles, cooled and refrigerated or frozen, then popped in the toaster in the morning. Or make an eggy strata for dinner and pop the leftovers in the microwave for a school-day breakfast.
    Here are a few ideas from Food Network:
    You can mix 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese with 1/8 teaspoon lemon zest, spread it on a piece of toasted country bread, drizzle with 1 to 2 teaspoons honey and then sprinkle with toasted pine nuts or pistachios. Top with another piece of toast for a healthy morning sandwich.
    Or you could sandwich one scrambled egg, a dash of hot sauce, 2 slices cooked bacon, salt, pepper and 1 slice American cheese on a toasted split buttermilk biscuit.
    Try spreading 1 tablespoon apple butter on a split almond croissant, then filling the sandwich with thin slices of pear and brie.
    Pay homage to Dr. Seuss’ famous green eggs and ham by topping one half of a split multigrain sandwich flatbread with 1 slice Swiss cheese and the other half with 1 slice ham. Toast them until the cheese melts. Whisk 2 egg whites with salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon pesto and microwave in a bowl for 50 seconds. Sandwich the eggs between the bread and enjoy it.
    An easy scone can be made by mixing 2 cups self-rising flour with 1/2 cup crumbled cooked bacon and 2 tablespoons each shredded cheddar cheese, chopped chives  and sugar. Work 4 tablespoons softened butter into the mixture by hand, then stir in 3/4 cup milk. Spoon into a buttered 6-cup muffin tin and bake in a 400-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
    Or core an apple with a melon baller or paring knife, then stuff it with a mixture made of a few tablespoons peanut butter and a handful of granola. Cut the apple into segments for a meal kids will love.
    Following are some other breakfast recipes from myrecipe.com.

 

    myrecipes.com

Prosciutto Egg Cups

1 6-ounce package prosciutto  
4 large eggs, whisked
1/4 cup cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Cut the prosciutto slices in half. Place slives around the cups of a mini muffin tins. Press prosciutto around the edges, making sure there are no gaps.
    In a small mixing bowl, combine eggs, cream, and pepper.
    Divide egg mixture evenly into the muffin cups.
    Bake in a 375-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until eggs are set and prosciutto is crisp.

 

Homemade Granola

6 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots

    Combine oats, almonds, pecans, brown sugar and kosher salt in a large bowl. Add syrup, honey, juice, and almond extract and toss well.
    Spread mixture evenly onto a jelly-roll pan that’s been coated with cooking spray. Bake in a 300-degree oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
    Stir in cranberries and apricots. Cool completely, then store in a zipper-top plastic bag.
    Prepare granola as long as two days ahead and store in an airtight container. Serve for breakfast with low-fat yogurt and fruit.

 

Orange Banana-Nut Bread

2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
1-1/2 tablespoons grated orange rind
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

    Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups and level with a knife. Combine with, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
    Place sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed about one minute, until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, rind and juice and beat until blended.
    Add flour mixture and beat at low speed just until moist. Stir in walnuts, then spoon batter into an 8-1/2-by-4-1/2-inch loaf pan that’s been coated with cooking spray. Bake in a 350-degree oven for one hour, five minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
    Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack, then remove from pan. Cool completely on the wire rack.

 

Quick Breakfast Cake

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
For streusel:
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped pecans, optional
For vanilla glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

    Beat butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
    Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition.
    Pour batter into a lightly greased nine-inch round cake pan.
    Combine streusel ingredients, then sprinkle on top of batter.
    Bake in a 400-degree oven for 20 to 22 minutes, until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
    To make glaze, stir together sugar, vanilla, and one tablespoon milk. Add one teaspoon of milk at a time, stirring after each addition, until mixture reaches desired consistency and is smooth.
    Drizzle cake with glaze.
    

Instant Pot Breakfast Burritos

8 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 ounces fresh chorizo
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped poblano chile
1/2 cup water
4 ounces pre-shredded Mexican cheese blend
4 large flour tortillas
1/2 cup pico de gallo
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
4 teaspoons hot sauce, optional

    Whisk together eggs and milk in a medium bowl until well combined. Stir in salt and pepper, then set aside.
    Set Instant Pot to “sauté.” Add oil and heat until oil shimmers. Add chorizo and cook about five minutes, stirring to crumble, until browned. Add onion and poblano and cook four to five minutes, stirring often, until vegetables are tender and onion is translucent. Remove sausage mixture from Instant Pot.
    Line the outside of an eight-inch springform pan with aluminum foil. Place sausage mixture in pan.
    Place grate insert, trivet or steamer basket inside Instant Pot. Add water to Instant Pot. Place pan with sausage on grate insert, then pour egg mixture over sausage  and sprinkle evenly with cheese. Cover  and set Instant Pot to 20 minutes on high pressure.
    Carefully release steam from Instant Pot and remove lid.
    Place tortillas on a clean work surface. Spoon about one cup egg mixture on bottom third of each tortilla. Top each with two tablespoons pico de gallo, two tablespoons cilantro and, if desired, one teaspoon hot sauce. Fold in sides of tortillas over filling and roll tortillas.

 

 

Banana-Berry Smoothie

1 large frozen banana, peeled and broken into pieces
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup orange juice
1 cup plain yogurt or milk
1 tablespoon wheat germ, optional

    Combine ingredients in a blender, cover and blend on low until coarsely chopped. Blend on high until smooth.

 

Cheesy Bacon and Tomato Strata

3 bacon slices
1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fat-free milk
3 large eggs
3 large egg whites
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon pepper
12 1-ounce slices reduced-carb multi-grain bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
4 plum tomatoes, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick slices

    Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove from pan, crumble and set aside. Add onion to drippings in pan and sauté four minutes. Add garlic and sauté one minute. Remove from heat.
    Combine milk, eggs, egg whites, basil, salt, thyme and pepper in a large bowl, then stir well with a whisk. Add bread cubes and toss to coat bread cubes with egg mixture.
    Arrange half the bread cubes in the bottom of an 11-by-7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with 2/3 cup cheese and half the onion mixture. Add remaining bread cubes, 2/3 cup cheese and remaining onion mixture. Top with tomato slices and crumbled bacon. Cover and chill at least eight hours.
    Bake, uncovered, in 325-degree oven for 55 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake an additional five minutes, until cheese melts. Let stand five minutes before serving.

 

Breakfast Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups coarsely chopped assorted mixed nuts and dried fruit
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon cranberry juice

    Beat butter, honey  and salt with electric mixure at medium-low speed until creamy. Add flour, vanilla  and baking soda and beat one minute, until blended. Stir in mixed nuts and dried fruit.
    Shape dough into a large log about three inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill between eight hours and one week.
    Cut dough into 1/2-inch-thick slices and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake in a 325-degree oven for 20 minutes.
    Stir together powdered sugar and cranberry juice. Drizzle glaze over cookies.

 

 

 

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