Breakfast for me almost always means a glass of milk and a piece of raisin toast. I just don’t require that much to get going in the morning and also, I don’t like making a mess in the kitchen first thing. (There will be plenty of mess throughout the day to compensate.) The children, generally, follow suit by having the same or a simple bowl of cereal. Will is a different matter altogether. In his world toast does not qualify as a meal. Monday through Thursday this doesn’t matter because he purchases his morning sustenance on the way to work and on Saturdays he takes the children to a local diner where someone else cleans up the mess. That leaves Fridays and Sundays. (Friday = Co Op day and Sunday = church.) Which meant that either Will went without breakfast (Will = grumpy), Will cooked his own breakfast (Kitchen = disaster area), or I cooked breakfast along with doing everything else that has to be done to get 4 children out of the house on time, relatively clean and with all their stuff. (Me = stressed AND House = disaster area).
I knew that somehow I should be able to make something the night before, thus relieving the stress of cooking something before the caffeine started working but everything just seemed too complicated and even if I made a casserole ahead it was still another meal’s worth of ingredients that had to be gathered and prepped and stored until it was time to cook it.
Then angels descended from heaven bestowed this blog upon our little world. She has all sorts of yummy recipes but what saved us isn’t really a recipe at all. While perusing her blog I noted how many breakfast casseroles she had posted and in looking at them one after another after another a surprising and delightful lightbulb clicked on. I realized that, in fact, they were all. the. same. recipe. Not exactly of course but the premise for each followed roughly the same pattern. Egg. Cheese. Filler. Bake.
The answer was staring me in the face. Breakfast does not have to be a long, drawn out gourmet affair. It doesn’t have to follow a recipe. It can be made from what we have one hand. Simple can be appealing too.
Drawing from Kalyn’s Egg Bakes example, here’s how Friday/Sunday breakfast prep goes now. While I’m cooking dinner (either the night before or earlier in the week) I keep an eye out for veggies that might work well. One night I saved some asparagus. For the picture below I had chopped green peppers and onions. From a stirfry night, I saved broccoli. Whatever I happen to be chopping anyway, just set some aside. If I don’t have anything then I’ll use fresh spinach or canned mushrooms, olives, or green chilis (all of which I almost always have on hand).
On kitchen day (That’s Thursday around here.), I prep some kind of meat. Sausage, Italian sausage, ham, bacon … something. I’m already prepping all sorts of things and the kitchen is already messy, so why not?
Because we love cheese around here there is always something interesting available in addition to sharp cheddar (our standby). And, of course, eggs.
So after dinner, but before I’ve cleaned up, I pull out a square foil cake pan. I love the planet and all but I don’t want to have to scrub out a casserole dish after I’ve gone to so much effort to avoid mess. Also, these little cake pans are perfect size for my family right now.
Annnyway, into the cake pan goes the veggies, sprinkled with the meat, sprinkled with the cheese, sprinkled with salt and pepper. Cover it with the plastic lid that comes with the foil pan and stick it in the fridge.
Next morning, I crack 6 eggs in a bowl and, using a fork, whip them up with 6 splashes of milk. Add a bit more salt and pepper and pour over the all my prepped ingredients. (Remove the plastic lid first, duh! ) It never looks like enough egg but after 30 min or so in a 350 degree oven it puffs up beautifully.
And there was peace and contentment in the Simple house.
In as much as breakfast is concerned at least.