Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches

Folks always talk about how patience is a virtue, well I think impatience is every bit the virtue patience is and then some, because impatience gets supper, or in this case breakfast, on the table a whole heck of a lot faster.

The holidays are upon us once again, and as usual, I’m struggling to keep up. While I love that the sons’ are so active, it’s been hard to keep up, and we’re just at the beginning. The hubs lost his job a month ago and, THANKFULLY, was back to work one week later, but for a staffing company. That means that, while after 480 hours, this job will probably become permanent, there’s no guarantee of 40 hours a week right now, or even a guarantee of what hours he’ll be working a week, or if it will even be locally. We had gotten comfy with the whole 9-5 thing. Now he’s stuck with calling a number each night and showing up on site at whatever time is told. Recently, that’s meant he’s had to get up at 4 am to drive for two hours to meet on the job. I just have to say that I’m so proud of him. Even if it’s meant he pulled a 12+ hour day, to turn around tomorrow and drive an hour to work on fumes of sleep to do it all again. When it comes to our family, he gets it done!

I know I’ve said it before, but I really don’t do breakfast. I am SO not a morning person. The sons know, don’t wake Mom up unless there’s a problem. The hubs learned that lesson the hard way. BUT, that doesn’t meant I always want them to be stuck in the land of cold cereal or a mushy bowl of unappetizing instant oatmeal. I don’t want to do that to the sons all the time, and I definitely don’t want to do that to him.

And that’s why we have these little breakfast stars. Just think of them as the healthy version of McDonalds McMuffins, except they taste 10000x better.

Perfectly portioned breakfast sandwiches, ready for a quick re-heat.

Aaaannnnd … let’s DO this!

Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches

 Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches

6 large eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
6 English muffins, split
12 slices deli-sliced ham
6 slices cheddar cheese

Directions 

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a cupcake pan, or coat it with nonstick spray.
2. Add one egg to 6 different ‘cups’, beating slightly. Season the eggs with salt and pepper. Place the pan into the oven and bake until the eggs are cooked through, about 12-14 minutes.
3. Place 2 slices ham and 1 slice cheese on the muffin bottom, top with one baked egg, and then cover with another muffin top to create a sandwich. Repeat with remaining English muffins to make 6 sandwiches. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and place in the freezer.
4. To reheat, remove plastic wrap from the frozen sandwich and wrap in a paper towel. Place into microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until heated through completely.
5. Serve immediately.

For those of you who either don’t have, or prefer not to use, a microwave, no worries. These re-heat just fine in a toaster oven 🙂

Caramel Apple Stuffed Waffles

Apple picking seems to be the quintessential start to all things fall. I just can’t help but think about it anytime I remotely think about the season. We’ve gone as a family every fall since Son # 4 was born (I’m big on traditions), and he gets more excited about participating each year. I love the fresh mountain air, the beautiful views, and snapping tons of pics of all the sons in all their boyish glory. The hubs is all about their fresh-from–the-fryer apple cider doughnuts, fresh pressed apple cider, and sitting among the rows of apple trees, and using his pocket knife to cut slices of apple for the kids to enjoy. We always end up with at least one bushel, at most two, of fresh picked fruit to take home. I set aside some fruit for the kids for snacks, and then it’s time to get down to business with what’s left. What better excuse could I have to be making messes and being up to no good in the kitchen? I can’t have perfectly good apples being ignored and going unused. While we all have our favorite ways to enjoy them, each year I love find new favorites and experimenting with different ways to use them all up. This year we discovered not only this recipe, but the stuffed waffle.

What if I told you that this year I took waffles to the next level and stuffed them with caramel coated, sauteed apples and then drizzled them with homemade caramel sauce before topping with another heaping spoonful of cooked apples? That’s right, a double caramel apple whammy! The sons topped there’s with a little bit of pancake syrup or a dollop of butter, and washed it down with a cold class of milk and you know what? They all managed to start the day with a smile!

Caramel Apple Stuffed Waffles

 Caramel Apple Stuffed Waffles

recipe originally from Happy Food, Healthy Life

1 envelope of active yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
3/4 cup of warm milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup of melted butter
3 cups of All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup raw sugar

For the Caramel Apple Filling

1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
8 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and diced

Directions

1. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the warm milk in a small bowl. Allow to sit for at least 5 minutes. The yeast should be foamy at this point.
2. Whisk together the eggs and butter.
3. Add in the milk.
4. In a large bowl combine the flour, cinnamon, and salt
5. Make a well in the center of the flour, and add the liquid ingredients.
6. Whisk until everything is well incorporated. The dough should form into a ball.
7. Cover and let rise until doubled, approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
8. Gently stir in the raw sugar.
9. Divide into 8 individual baseball sized balls and let rest about 15 minutes.
10. Prepare the filling: Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
11. In a medium bowl, combine diced apples and caramel sauce, leaving about 1/2-3/4 cup of caramel aside to pour over the waffles.
12. Heat waffle iron, and brush with oil or melted butter.
13. Stretch the ball of dough out a bit and place it on the waffle iron so it covers the majority of it. Quickly place about a large spoonful or two of apple filling in the middle of the dough. Top with a second ball of stretched out waffle dough.
14. Gently close the waffle iron and flip per the manufacturers instructions. All the toppings will meld into the dough.
15. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until your waffle is browned.
16. Very carefully, with a fork or two, remove the waffle from the iron. Continue with the remaining waffles.
17. To serve, top with a spoonful of apple filling and a drizzle of caramel sauce.
18. If you’re really in the mood for dessert, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!

Loaded Maple Bacon Doughnut Fries

Ohhhh, I’m going to be such a bad influence right now.  I mean, if you are trying to eat super healthy or stick to light salads for dinner you might want to look away.  Except don’t!  Because we all need a little cheat now and then, right?  And this one is totally (and I mean TOTALLY) worth the splurge.  Delicious, rich, doughnutty, sweet, and with just the right amount of crunchy bacon bits…. Loaded Maple Bacon Doughnut Fries.  On the stove top. In about 5 minutes.

This was our splurge breakfast to bid adieu to the boys summer break on the morning of their last day before the start of a new school year. I’m totally not a morning person, and with 3 babies getting dropped off in quick succession while trying to get the sons organized and out the door (not a single one of whom is a morning person either) there’s not much chance of a home-cooked, hot-meal. I keep make ahead’s on hand in the freezer, like breakfast biscuits, breakfast wraps, and even frozen omelet ‘cups’, but it’s not always the same as something Mom’s made fresh. Then there’s always the good ol’ fashioned bowl of cereal with milk. So, needless to say, we needed one last BIG hoo-rah before we’re all back in the land of re-heated breakfast bites. This was perfect. Full of decadence. Just a little bit naughty. Almost like sneaking dessert before the rest of the world had even had their first sip of coffee.

Thought you had to have a fancy doughnut pan to make homemade doughnuts? NOPE. Thought you’d have to make batter from scratch? NOPE. Thought it probably just had to be complicated to reach that level of pastry delight? NOPE.

One can of store-bought, refrigerated biscuits and 5 minutes and you’re in business.

Loaded Maple Bacon Doughnut Fries

Loaded Maple Bacon Doughnut Fries

recipe adapted from Beyond Frosting

vegetable oil, for frying
6-8 strips of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 large can of buttermilk or regular refrigerated biscuits (48oz)
 
For the glaze
 
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup unsalted butter, browned
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp milk
Hot Fudge sauce, or chocolate syrup, for drizzling
 
Directions
 
1. In a medium sized skillet, heat two inches of vegetable oil, over medium heat, to 350 degrees You can use a candy thermometer to monitor the temp. Turn your heat down slightly to prevent the oil from getting too hot.
2. While oil is heating, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove biscuits from container, press into flattened, wider circles and cut into strips lengthwise.  Now, using your hands, roll each cutting into a long string, about the thickness of a pencil. Cut in half if necessary.
3. Once the oil is ready, slowly drop biscuits into oil. Bake for about 20-30 second on each side until the dough has turned a golden brown. Using a pair of tongs, remove the ‘doughnut’ from the skillet and set on some paper towels to drain off the excess oil. When finished deep frying, leave your candy thermometer in the oil until it is completely cooled. When cooled it will be safe to dispose of the oil.
 
To make the glaze & Assembly

4. Sift the powered sugar (this will ensure a smoother glaze). It’s recommended, but not absolutely necessary. Set aside.
5. Melt the butter in a small pot. Once melted, stir continuously until it turns a golden brown. Immediately remove the pot from heat.
6. Pour the browned butter, maple syrup, and milk over the sifted powdered sugar.
7. Vigorously, whisk until smooth.
8. For a thicker glaze, add only 1 tablespoon of milk instead of two. Or add additional powered sugar. To make glaze thinner, add additional milk.
9. If using Hot Fudge sauce, heat it briefly in the microwave to make it easier to drizzle over the fries.
10. To assemble the fries, put a bottom layer of doughnut fries on a plate and drizzle maple glaze and chocolate syrup over-top of them. Sprinkle with some of the crumbled bacon. Repeat for as many layers, and/or plates as you want to make.

Healthy Applesauce & Oat Muffins

Despite what my blog full of decadent desserts and copious comfort food recipes might suggest, we’re actually pretty healthy eaters. I mean, sure, I love a good breakfast pastry, a dreamy creamy (I meant creamy) bowl of macaroni & cheese, or even a thick slice of loaded beer bread on occasion, but most of the time… we keep it pretty healthy. In order to keep breakfast a relatively healthy affair, and let’s be honest with our oldest out the door around 5:15 for JV football practice, we don’t have a whole lot of time to be cooking in the AM hours, I try to keep healthy, grab-and-go options on hand. That’s where these little beauties come into play.

A great wholesome applesauce oatmeal muffin that’s delicious, nutritious and low in fat. They’re perfect for breakfast on the go or as a lunch-time treat. The hubs & son # 1 take one of these (or another protein inclusive muffin) and 2 hard boiled eggs for breakfast on their ways to work/football practice. Even with son 1’s grueling practice regime it keeps him fueled. Seriously, these hearty muffins will fill you up with fiber and flavor instead of fat. Who wouldn’t want that?

We love these as is, but I have to be honest, warm out of the oven with a big ol’ pat of butter on em, these are pretty dang amazing. Everything in moderation, right? 😉

Healthy Applesauce & Oat Muffins

 Healthy Applesauce & Oat Muffins

1 3/4 cups all purpose, or whole wheat, flour
1 cup quick cooking oats*
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup coconut oil, melted
2 eggs
1/4 cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
1 cup chunky or home-style unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

*To make your own quick cooking oats from rolled outs, place rolled oats into the food processor and pulse 4-5 times until they are coarsely chopped but not powdery. Cutting them makes them faster to cook, but do only those few pulses or the oats will turn to mush when cooked.

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oats, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, cream together sugar and oil by hand.
3. Add in eggs one at a time and mix well. Stir in yogurt, applesauce and vanilla until well incorporated.
4. Gradually add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Do not over mix.
5. Drop muffin liners into muffin pan, and then fill 3/4 full with the batter. Bake at 425 for 3 minutes, and then turn the oven to 350 and bake for an additional 17-18 minutes. The muffins are done when a toothpick comes out with crumbs on it. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool.

Looking for more healthy recipes? 

4 Sons 'R' Us: Healthy Chocolate Fudge

Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge

4 Sons 'R' Us: chocolate peanut butter protein shake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Shake 

4 Sons 'R' Us: Healthy Peach 'Milkshakes'

Healthy Peach ‘Milkshakes’ 

Strawberry Bread with a Strawberry Cream Cheese Glaze

Umm banana bread what?!

Look out kids there is a new snack food on the block and its kicking that old fashioned banana bread to the curb!

Boom.

The old timer’s going down!

Seriously, this strawberry bread is beyond delicious.

We all know I’m not one to exaggerate (much) and although it may seem like I say that every new recipe I post is the newest bestest thing to hit your tastes buds this bread . . . ohmywordthisstrawberrybread!

You need it in your life!

Today!

See this spring I made my first strawberry bread and since then it’s quickly become a summer staple, which I’m sure we’ll see continue to return year after year. This time I thought I’d jazz it up a bit by adding a a little something extra. I ended up adding a sweet strawberry glaze (or if I’m being honest– icing), because go big or go home – amiright?

Fresh strawberries meet an almost cake-like bread. You could forgo the glaze and just spread each slice with butter or strawberry flavored cream cheese and it would be just as delicious!

Like I said, you need this in your life.

ASAP.

Glazed Strawberry Bread

 Glazed Strawberry Bread

recipe adapted from Cookies and Cups 

1 cup chopped strawberries
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup milk
1 3/4 cups flour

Glaze

1/4 cup strawberry jam or preserves
1/4 cup (2 oz) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions

1. Put the chopped strawberries in a small bowl. Add flour and stir/toss making sure they’re coated well. Set aside.
2. In a mixer, or by hand, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes of vigorous mixing. Next, add the eggs and vanilla mixing until fully incorporated, scraping the sides, as necessary.
3. Add in the baking powder and salt and mix to completely combine.
4. Turn the mixer to low and slowly begin adding in the flour and milk, beginning and ending with flour, but alternating between the two.
5. Continue mixing until batter is smooth and evenly combined.
6. Using a spatula, fold in the strawberries until they’re fully incorporated, evenly, into the batter. Pour the batter into a greased 9×5 in. pan.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until center is set and a toothpick or knife that’s inserted into your loaf comes out clean.
8. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan and allow it to finish cooling on a wire rack.

Glaze

Beat the strawberry jam/preserves, cream cheese, and powdered sugar together until smooth. Spread over the cooled bread, allowing it to drip down the sides. Wait about 10 minutes to allow the glaze to ‘set’ before slicing and serving.

Sous Chef Sunday: Teddy Bear Toast

I didn’t think anything could shift son # 4’s love of eggs for breakfast. But, one morning of helping me with these and he was hooked. He’s asked for it again every morning for a week straight. I’m so glad we found a way to put a little fun back into our breakfast routine. These adorable little teddies take less than two minutes to whip up, and make a perfect healthy and FUN breakfast option for the little ones. Don’t like peanut butter, or wanting more variety. Sub nutella!

Teddy Bear Toast

Teddy Bear Toast

a few slices of your favorite sandwich bread, toasted
banana, sliced
raisins
creamy peanut butter
 
Directions
 
1. Start by toasting the piece of bread in the toaster. Then spread the creamy peanut butter, or nutella, all over it.
2. Cut up the bananas into thin slices and put two at the top corners of the toast and one in the middle.  
3. Add three raisins making the bear’s eyes and nose.
4. Isn’t it just soooo cute?! This is a great way to sneak in some healthy options (bananas and raisins) without them complaining.

Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread

The gardening gods have seen to it that this summer I have more zucchini than I knew what to do with. Fortunately for me, that’s led to finding all these awesome new recipes, and I’m constantly, and pleasantly, being surprised by all the wonderful ways I’m discovering this summer that zucchini can be used. And for someone who does not particularly like surprises, that’s saying something. Flecks of zucchini give a delicious third dimension to the popular lemon and quick bread combination in this moist, breakfast/dessert hybrid. Seriously, lemon and zucchini are a match made in flavor heaven. Who knew?!  This little loaf is easy to make. Quick breads are a perfect starting point for non/new bakers and an easy, old faithful recipe for those who’re already in the ‘fold’.

Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread

4 Sons 'R' Us: Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread 2

recipe adapted from Lil Luna

2 cups cake flour*
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup buttermilk
zest of 1 lemon
1 cup grated zucchini
 
For The Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp milk
 
*To make your own cake flour: for each cup of all purpose flour, remove one tablespoon of flour and replace by adding one tablespoon of cornstarch

4 Sons 'R' Us: Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread

Directions

1. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir to equally incorporate and set aside.
2. Add eggs to the bowl of a mixer and beat well. Continue mixing and in the oil and sugar until evenly combined. Next add in the lemon juice, buttermilk, and zest to the batter and blend until combined completely.
3. Gently fold/blend in the zucchini until fully incorporated.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and blend together until evenly combined.
5. Add the batter into a greased 9×5 loaf pan.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until done.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool some. While still warm, make glaze and spoon over the bread. Allow the bread to stand for a bit so that the glaze ‘sets’ before serving.

Sous Chef Sunday: Snickerdoodle Crescent Rolls

While I could go on and on about these perfect little pastries, I’ll get straight to the point for you guys. Today the sons and I are bringing you peanut butter, cinnamon, and sugar wrapped up in crescent rolls for an easy breakfast, snack, or even dessert. Be sure to sit down with a glass of milk, then pile up a gorgeous Snickerdoodle mountain of them. Eat your way to the top one crescent at a time!

Snickerdoodle Crescent Rolls

 4 Sons 'R' Us: Snickerdoodle Crescent Rolls 2

1 tube Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
4 teaspoons peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

4 Sons 'R' Us: Snickerdoodle Crescents

1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl combine the cinnamon and sugar.
3. Unroll the crescent dough and carefully seperate into individual triangles along the perforated lines. Spread 1/2 teaspoon of peanut butter onto the top side of the crescents, starting at the wide end and leaving a little space along the edges. Sprinkle each with a pinch of cinnamon sugar. Roll into crescents.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, until golden brown. While still hot carefully roll them in the cinnamon and sugar.  Roll again after they’ve cooled.
5. These can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Can also be frozen for up to one month. Then you’ve got a quick, on-the-go breakfast or snack for busy days!

Cinnamon Roll Dippers

Growing up I remember my Grandma always having a pie or two cooling. Boy, did she make good pies. Peach, cherry, apple, rhubarb…you name it. And it wasn’t just the fillings that were delicious. The buttery, flaky crusts were pastry perfection. The real treat for us grand-kids wasn’t the pie we had to wait on dessert for though, it was what we knew she would do with the leftover pie crust. She would sprinkle them with cinammon and sugar and bake them into sweet little sticks. These are so similar to what she did, but the dip blew my mind. Sorry Grandma, but the dip is where it’s at.

A sweet start to the morning? These can be for breakfast or dessert. The sticks are soft and buttery and then dipped in that cinnamon sweet sauce makes it just right. And yes, I know they’re on the sweet side for breakfast, but you’ve got to treat yourself every once in a while, right?

Cinnamon Roll Dippers

4 Sons 'R' Us: Cinnamon Roll Dippers

recipe originally from Creme De La Crumb

1½ cups flour
4 tablespoons sugar (divided)
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, softened +1 tablespoon (divided)
3-6 tablespoons ice cold water
1 teaspoon cinnamon

for the glaze dip

2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1½ cups powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla
milk
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

1. Combine flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Cut in ½ cup butter with pastry cutter or two forks until crumbly. Add 3 tablespoons ice cold water and mix to combine. Add more water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed until mixture comes together. Flatten dough into a round disk, wrap with plastic wrap, and chill 15 minutes or overnight.
2. Preheat oven to 375 and grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.
3. When dough has chilled, unwrap it and use a pizza cutter to cut into 1-1/2 inch strips. Place wtrips on prepared baking sheet. Use a rubber spatula to spread 1 tablespoon butter over the tops of the strips. Combine cinnamon and 1 tablespoon sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle mixture on top of buttered strips. Bake uncovered 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned.
4. Prepare the glaze dip by combining softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a bowl. Use a hand mixer to mix well. Add milk 1 teaspoon at a time until a smooth consistency is reached. In a small sauce pan combine brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon and whisk until butter melts and mixture is smooth. Drizzle cinnamon mixture into prepared glaze dip. Serve

*These can be made ahead by making the dough and glaze up to two days beforehand and chilling until ready to eat. When ready, simply bake the sticks as the directions suggest (may need to increase time by 1-2 minutes) and warm the glaze in a microwave safe bowl before serving.

Cinnamon Roll lover? Try these recipes next…

4 Sons 'R' Us: Cinnamon Roll Popcorn

Cinnamon Roll Popcorn

4 Sons 'R' Us: Cinnamon Roll Waffles

Cinnamon Roll Waffles with Cream Cheese Glaze

Sausage & Grits Chowder

A bowl of steaming grits is a Southern wake-up call in many homes, mine included.

While I love grits, I’ve been a bit jaded with the same ol’, same ol’ breakfasty/brunchy blend. A lot of recipes for a pairing of grits and anything incorporate TONS of butter, cheese and eggs. My version is somewhat conservative when it comes to making a typical meal of it. For example, there’s no butter, or eggs, and the cheese was only a garnish. It’s going against the grain, but I’ll let you in on a little secret, Grandma’s grits aren’t only for breakfast or brunch anymore.

Move over shrimp & grits. We’ve upgraded. Sausage & Grits are an award winning combo, and while a chowder may not be a ‘typical’ use for grits in my neck of the woods, one bite and you might be calling it Southern Heaven.

Sausage & Grits Chowder

4 Sons 'R' Us: Sausage & Grits Chowder 2

recipe adapted from Plain Chicken

1 lb sausage
2 cans Cream of Potato soup
1 (14.75 oz) can cream corn
3 cups milk
1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
1/2 cup quick grits
1 1/2 cups chicken broth

4 Sons 'R' Us: sausage & grits chowder

Directions

1. In a small saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups of broth to a boil. Stir in 1/2 cup of quick grits. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 5 minutes, until grits are done, stirring often.
2. Brown sausage over medium-high heat in a 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven. Stir in Cream of Potato soup, cream corn, 2 1/2 cups milk and cajun seasoning. Stir in cooked grits. If soup is too thick, add more milk. Simmer over low heat until heated through, approximately 10 minutes.
3. Serve with toast & shredded cheddar cheese for garnishing.