Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Eat Your Wheaties!

Ok, my kids have never had Wheaties and I rarely buy boxed cereal except for the oat rings that my baby eats and crunches on the floor and the occasional box of rice cereal that we mix with melted marshmallows for a delicious treat.  When I do buy any other boxed cereal it only lasts one day.  Seriously, they we scarf it down like there is no tomorrow!  So, if I rarely buy the boxed stuff what do we do for breakfast?

Well, on Mondays we have homemade muffins.  Generally we have our favorite applesauce muffins.  Our recipe makes a ton of muffins, so we have them for snacks for the next couple of days as well. Sometimes we have a maple crunch muffin or a blueberry muffin.   On Tuesdays we have bagels or English muffins, if I was nice and bought some on my Sam's run.  We might have some bacon or sausage, eggs and grits, if not.  Yesterday, we had crockpot oatmeal and baked oatmeal for those who won't eat the mushy stuff.  Wednesdays are homemade waffle days except for my egg allergic children who get Van's eggless waffles 'cause eggless homemade waffles don't work on my Belgian waffle maker.  Thursdays are generally a repeat of Tuesday, Fridays are pancakes and Saturdays we pull out all the stops and make a REAL breakfast of homemade buttermilk biscuits, bacon and/or sausage, eggs and grits.  Sundays are usually homemade cinnamon rolls.  I do make a granola that we keep in the freezer for quick breakfasts occasionally.

With the exception of bagels and English muffins and the eggless frozen waffles for my allergic children, everything else is homemade.  NO MIXES are used in the preparing of breakfast in our home.  It's just as quick and easy and much less expensive and better for you to make things from scratch.  Really!!  Oh, and did I mention I don't cook breakfast?  Devin  usually prepares breakfast for us, but Aaron and Kaelan are handling the pancakes on Fridays.   Jordan steps in once or twice a week to help with bacon and eggs and any other help that Devin needs.

Devin has been making the mornings a little easier for herself by preparing batter in the evenings and keeping it in the fridge until morning.  She also prepares the baked oatmeal this way and just puts it straight from the fridge to the oven.  Easy-peasy!!

A money-saving better-for-you idea that I have used for more than a dozen years is making our own syrup.  My granny used to make "hot syrup" for us when I was growing up.  She served it with biscuits. It was just plain sugar and water, but we loved it!  My version is pretty much the same, but we add maple and/or vanilla flavoring.  Jordan likes it with a touch of real molasses as well.   This is really easy and is so cheap to make.  Plus you don't have any guar gum and other yucky additives.

Homemade Syrup for Waffles, Pancakes and Biscuits

2 cups of sugar
1 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple flavoring or 1/4 cup of molasses

Heat on top of stove and let boil a few minutes.  Watch and don't let boil over.  Let simmer to keep warm.  If you boil too long it will get too thick.

I posted a new recipe for crockpot oatmeal, but thought I would post Jeff's favorite baked oatmeal today. It's not ooey-gooey and has a much firmer texture than stove-top oatmeal.  You can add chopped fruit or berries as well.  This recipe is from Beverly Lewis' Amish Heritage Cookbook.

1/4 cup cooking oil                                                  1 t. cinnamon
1/2 cup white or brown sugar                                  1 1/2 c. quick or rolled oats
1 egg                                                                        1 c. milk
1 t. baking powder                                                   1/2 t. salt

Beat together all ingredients with mixing spoon; pour into buttered 9 x 13 pan.

Bake at 275 degrees for 30 minutes or until done.

Now I'm off to eat delicious Belgian waffles topped with homemade strawberry topping.

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