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Quick Handy Breakfast: Homemade Oatmeal Packets

Posted on 18 October 2011 by noelskitchen

I’ve been  making my own Freezer Baking Mixes and Dinner Mixes (still working on those) for a while and have come to the conclusion that it is so much easier and frugal for my family to make my own. Yes, I know box mixes are more convienent for some, however you’ll be much happier making your own. You can make packets significantly cheaper and far tastier over the long run. I was able to purchase snack size zip-loc bags at the $1 store that hold the perfect individual serving size.

My family loves oatmeal. It’s on my weekly menu for breakfast quite often. It’s a very healthy way to get your body running for the day, plus it’s very good for you.

Homemade Oatmeal Packets~The Simple Recipe

 Each snack bag includes:

1/4 cup instant oatmeal
1 Tablespoon dry milk powder(can also use non-dairy creamer)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon raisins or dried cranberries
1 teaspoon nuts (optional)

When ready to make: Add 1/4 cup water or a little less depending on how creamy or think you like your oatmeal.

It’s the perfect way to start a busy school morning or when you’re in a hurry and need a quick handy breakfast.

Optional Ingredients: Dried fruit like apples, bananas, pears, peaches, strawberries or blueberries. Dry soy or rice milk can be used in place of regular dried milk or creamer.

Storage Tip: I’ve been storing my extra packets in the freezer with no problems. Each box of snack bags includes 25 baggies.

Money Saving Tip: Don’t throw away snack baggies. You can reuse them to make more.

These are some of our favorite ways to eat oatmeal. What are some of yours?

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Breakfast Basket Recipe:Eggs In A Basket

Posted on 02 October 2011 by noelskitchen

Rise and Shine! Nothing gets kids moving in the morning like a hearty breakfast. This is a fun twist to the Breakfast Burritos I make for the kids. I left off the handles on the baskets since I used my extra large muffin pan to bake the tortillas and they were easier to handle for the kids.

 

Breakfast Basket Recipe-Eggs In A Basket
 
Recipe Type: Breakfast and Brunch
Author: Noel’s Kitchen Tips
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins
Serves: 6
This is a quick breakfast twist to the classic breakfast burrito.
Ingredients
  • 6 (6-inch) flour tortillas, divided
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted and divided
  • 4 bacon slices, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup potato fries, chopped (they were leftovers from previous night)
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped onion
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • Chives for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Brush 6 tortillas with melted butter; let stand until pliable, about 5 minutes. Gently ease buttered tortillas into a large muffin pan. (Custard cups will work too.)
  3. Bake tortilla cups 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove muffin pan from oven to wire rack; cool.
  4. Meanwhile, cook bacon in medium skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from skillet; set aside. Pour off all but 1 Tablespoon bacon fat from skillet. Add bell pepper and onion to skillet; cook and stir until crisp-tender. Add leftover chopped potato fries. Cook until heated through.
  5. Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, hot pepper sauce and pepper, add to vegetable mixture in skillet; cook and stir until eggs are set. stir in bacon. Divide egg mixture evenly among prepared tortilla baskets. Garnish with chives. Serve warm.
 
Notes

Green bell pepper can be used in place of red or both types of peppers would be delicious.
Salsa, sour cream or shredded cheese could also be used as a topping.

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Tags: , Cappuccino, Creme Brulee, , Oatmeal

Fall Features Great Traditional Comfort Recipes

Posted on 25 September 2011 by noelskitchen

My family enjoys waking up in the morning to a hearty breakfast. They favor sitting down to oatmeal bubbling like a Crème brûlée with a carmelized brown sugar topping. To accompany this deliciousbreakfast treat, I serve bacon sizzled sizzled and popped in between thin slices of crunchy whole-grain toast, along with a fresh fruit arrangement; and for the hubby and I, a steamy cappuccino dusted with lots of cinnamon. This is a good breakfast menu on a glorious Fall morning.

 Fall features some of the best comfort recipes around: oatmeal brulee, macaroni and cheese, soups, stews, chilis, hot cocoa, and flavored coffees such as cappuccino’s and lattes. There’s no end to the good recipes to be had. And when you enjoy them with friends and family, it’s so much better.

Here’s the start of what’s cooking in our house this Fall:

Quick Cappuccino

You don’t need a fancy espresso machine to make a delicious cappuccino. This fool-proof blender method ensures a frothy, steamy cup of cappuccino in just minutes and you no longer have to make a Starbuck’s run.

Ingredients: (4-6 servings)

  • 2 cups hot strong brewed coffee
  • 4 cups milk
  • Cinnamon

Directions:

  • Heat the container of a blender by running it under hot water.
  • Add the coffee and milk and blend until foamy, 1 to 2 seconds.
  • Pour the cappuccino into large cappuccino cups or mugs.
  • Dust with cinnamon

Oatmeal  Brûlée

Ingredients: (4 servings)

  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 Tablespoons packed brown sugar

Directions:

  • Preheat the broiler. In a large saucepan, combine the milk and salt. Bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Slowly sprinkle the oatmeal into the milk and boil over moderate heat, stirring until the oats are tender but still slightly chewy., about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and stir.
  • Spoon the oatmeal into 4 heatproof bowls or ramekins. Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of the heavy cream around the edge of each bowl and sprinkle the center with 1 1/2 Tablespoons of brown sugar.
  • Place the bowls under the broiler and broil until the sugar melts and begins to bubble, about 1 minute. Serve hot.

What fall traditional comfort recipes does your family enjoy?

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Puffed Skillet Pancake Souffle

Posted on 19 September 2011 by noelskitchen

Making pancakes from scratch is one of the simpliest recipes I’ve ever made. It’s always a hit with the family and their not just for breakfast. I find it easier with my schedule to make alot of my breakfast mixes ahead of time and freezing them. When I’m ready to make, I pull the bag from the freezer and add the wet ingredients. It may only save 10 or 15 minutes, but it allows me to work on another project.

 I did a lot of recipe testing over the weekend and came up with this easy recipe for Puffed Skillet Pancake Souffle. Although once you eat it, you might say it’s more like french toast or a dessert. Either way, it’s delicious.

Normally, you see this dish made in a round skillet. But I found these individual cast iron oval skillets brand new at a thrift store in town and I thought individual souffle’s might be nice and they puffed perfectly so my plan to add sautéed apples settled right in the middle.

Puffed Skillet Pancake Souffle

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients: (serves 4)

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 medium-sized apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon butter to sauté apples
  • Jam, syrup, or honey, for serving (optional)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • In a blende ron medium speed, mix together the eggs, flour, granulated sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon, until just combined, about 15 seconds. The batter should be slightly bumpy.
  • Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in a 12-inch skillet or 4 individual oval baking skillets (if using individual skillets, divide  2 Tablespoons of the butter into equal portions in each one) by putting them in the hot oven for about 30 seconds.
  • Remove the skillet(s) from the oven, spread the remaining butter to coat the bottom and sides of the skillet(s), and pour the batter in the skillet(s) (1/2 cup batter for each individual skillet).
  • Return skillet(s) to the center oven rack and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the pancake is puffed and lightly brown. (Do not check before 17 minutes have passed, and close the oven door slowly and carefully after checking.)
  • While the pancake souffle is baking, sauté sliced apples in 1 Tablespoon butter, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon for about 3-5 minutes (or until desired tenderness). You will have somewhat of a syrup made from the juice of the apples and sugar.
  • Once pancake souffles are done, remove from oven and place on a cooling rack. Spread apple mixture evenly over pancake souffle(s).

Variations: This Puffed Skillet Pancake Souffle is nice accompanied by fresh fruit slices, such as apples, bananas, berries or peaches.

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School’s Free Breakfast Program-Should It Be an Option to Our Kids?

Posted on 06 September 2011 by noelskitchen

I read an interesting article online this morning. It was an article about local moms with children in a Chicago Public School responding to School Breakfast in Classrooms.

One mom was completely against the program even though her first grade daughter’s school hasn’t implemented the program yet. Her daughter’s school has a breakfast program in the cafeteria already and she doesn’t see why it has to be implemented in a classroom setting. The mother stated “I feel like I should have the choice to feed my child what I want to feed her for breakfast, she should be in the classroom to learn, not to eat.”

According to this mom, Chicago has one of the lowest school hours in the country.  She continued stating “We need to educate our kids; we don’t need to feed them.”

Last year, our kid’s elementary school introduced the School’s Free Breakfast Program. I find this to be a great program, not just for our kids but the entire school. The breakfast they serve our kids range from pancakes, cereal and milk, with a piece of fruit, to bagels and cream cheese. It’s not a full sit-down meal but it’s something in their stomachs that’s healthy and lets them get a jumpstart on their day. What’s on the menu is the same type of breakfast you would serve in the home.
Why Serve Breakfast At School?

There are many children out there who don’t have the opportunity to eat a nutritious breakfast each morning. There are those families out there that are living on an extremely tight budget and can’t provide the nutritious breakfast at home and can’t afford to buy it at school. Regardless of those families income, with today’s busy families and their busy lives, it’s often difficult for some families to sit down each morning to eat a nutritious breakfast.
How Children Benefit From Breakfast at School

 Even though, I meal plan and will have quick breakfast ready for my kids in the morning, sometimes our kids are not physically capable of eating breakfast when they first wake up. I know that I’m not quite as hungry first thing in the morning until around 9 a.m.  Being a mom who works outside the home, I have to be out that door by 7:45 a.m. each morning.  Needless to say, there are times where we are in a hurry in the morning and don’t always eat a sit-down meal in the morning. On those rare occasions, I’ll pull breakfast burritos out of the freezer or muffins that I’ve made ahead of time along with a piece of fresh fruit.
According to the FRAC (Food Research and Action Center), studies conclude that students who eat school breakfast increase their math and reading scores as well as improve their speed and memory in cognitive tests.  Research also shows that children who eat breakfast at school – closer to class and test-taking time – perform better on standardized tests than those who skip breakfast or eat breakfast at home. Evidence has grown that children who eat school breakfast are less likely to be overweight, and have improved nutrition – they eat more fruits, drink more milk, and consume a wider variety of foods than those who don’t eat breakfast or have breakfast at home. Schools that provide universal breakfast in the classroom report decreases in discipline and psychological problems, visits to school nurses and tardiness; increases in student attentiveness and attendance; and generally improved learning environments. Universal school breakfast refers to any school program that offers breakfast at no charge to all students, regardless of income.
Yes, I agree that it’s vital that students aren’t hungry when they go to school. It’s important that kids go to school with something in their stomachs. When kids don’t have a healthy breakfast, it’s reflected in behavior and learning. I’m sure that most teachers will agree.  I do agree that breakfast should be available to those kids who need it, especially kids that don’t have food options available to them at home in the morning, whether their parents are busy, or working early, or don’t have the income.  One other issue would be allergies or a restriction in your kid’s diet.  I think if any child has any allergy issues of concern; they can be addressed with the school and accommodations should be made.
Do you approve of school breakfasts in the classroom? Post your comments below.

 

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