Megan wants to know: "What are your healthy, warm breakfast menus? You sound like an incredible "from scratch" cook!"
Ummmm. . .I don't know about the loose usage of 'incredible', but I am a big believer in breakfast, that's for sure, and I do cook mostly from scratch, saving pre-packaged anythings for dire emergencies.
I've talked about a few of my favorites here:
Toad-in-a-Hole, Fruit and Yogurt Waffles (not entirely from scratch, but it could be), Stuffed French Toast, and Smoothies.
But I will let you in on a secret. I have the best pancake and waffle recipes. Seriously, the best. I never make either from a mix because the difference is so obvious. I will share them with you, because you're so loyal, Megan, and because you asked. Ready? They're easy-peasy.
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 TBS. sugar
stir those all together. Add:
1 cup milk
2 TBS butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla
Now whisk that in quickly, but not for long. (I do it fast enough to get the lumps out, and that's it.) Pour it onto a 375 preheated griddle (Griddles are awesome. So much better than a pan.) Wait till the dry concave bubbles appear on top and then flip them. I'm sure you already know that part.
One recipe makes about 6 pancakes. I usually triple it for my family, and I love that the recipe is so easy to double or triple because everything is in quantities of 1 or 2. Also, I usually make it with King Arthur's white whole wheat flour, or I do half and half, and it works great.
We often top the pancakes with peanut butter and jam, for added protein, or I'll cook up sliced apples or peaches or strawberries for a topping.
2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
Sift that all together and add:
1/2 cup oil
1 3/4 cup milk
3 egg yolks, beaten (save the whites in a clean glass bowl)
Now, beat the 3 egg whites with an electric mixer until they are stiff. Fold them into the batter carefully and then pour onto preheated waffle iron. The egg whites are the secret to melt-in-your-mouth waffles.
Stuffed French Toast--this is our first day of school and special occasion breakfast
1 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup fresh or frozen berries (cut them up if they're big like strawberries)
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
1 loaf French bread
2 TBS. butter
Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Fold in the berries.
Whisk the eggs, milk and other tsp. of extract. Set aside. (I do this in a pie plate)
Cut the bread on the bias, about 2 inches thick and then cut a pocket into the bread from the crust top, but don't go all the way through. Open the pocket with your finger and carefully spoon 2-3 TBS. of filling into the pocket.
Dip the stuffed bread into the egg and milk mixture, on both sides, and then place on buttered skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, and serve with warm maple syrup. This makes about 4 servings, bread wise, but you'll have leftover filling. Darn. I can usually do 2 loaves of bread with one recipe of filling.
Other ideas? We do breakfast burritos, with just some scrambled eggs, cheese, sometimes veggie sausage, and salsa wrapped in a tortilla. Or I'll do breakfast pizzas on English Muffins if I have leftover red sauce from pasta I've made. I'll just toast the muffins on a cookie sheet under the broiler, then spread with sauce, cheese, and either ham or pineapple or veggies and put them back under to heat them through and melt the cheese. Sometimes I'll do a quick bread or muffins, and many, many mornings we have good ol' oatmeal. Steel cut is the best, but at least use regular oats (not quick oats). Top the oatmeal with real maple syrup, a pile of berries, and some milk, and you're talking good-to-go.
My main thing is getting protein and fiber into the kids before they leave for school. Cold cereal is basically a snack in our house, not a meal, and on the rare occasions we have it for breakfast, it's always something with high fiber, like Mini-Wheats and then they always have to have loads of fruit on it.
I'll try to post other ideas/recipes as they come up, as I'm sure I've given you nothing original or earth-shattering in this post. But keep it simple or you won't do it. Breakfast is important, and you'd be doing your family a great service if you give them a simple bowl of oatmeal and fruit each morning.
Question of the Week is the Monday column. You'd better leave me more questions, or it's gone, sistas. Or, I start making up my own questions AND answering them. Thanks, Megan!