Friday, May 03, 2013


Been devoting myself to doing breakfasts ahead since I'm not really a morning person and I hate interacting with anyone, let alone small children, before nine in the morning. So I welcome any suggestions of do ahead interesting breakfast food. I generally cycle through cinnamon rolls, crock pot oatmeal and cream of wheat (not do ahead but fast) and I'm getting bored. This week I ventured out and made Nigella's Croque Mssr. Bake which was delicious but still approached with suspicion by my ungrateful hoard. And then I finally pulled off a really fine oatmeal bread from the rest of the crockpot oatmeal.

Crockpot Oatmeal my way consists of jamming one of those disposable turkey roasting pans into my Crockot to act as a double boiler and then doing three cups steel cut oats and six cups milk with cinnamon, brown sugar and a dash salt from 10pm to 2am on low. I wish I had a timer so that it would kick off in the middle of the night but I don't so never mind.

For bread I take the rest of the oatmeal after its been smeared around and ruined by the children and add two T yeast, 2c milk, 2 eggs, quarter cup oil, and then yogurt to bring it up to four cups liquid. Then however much flower to make it all not sticky as with regular bread, kneading of course. Oh, and more salt. And then I rolled it out and smeared jam in the middle.

But they ate that yesterday, blast it, so now I have to go make pancakes.


Teacher Mommy said...

We have a few variations on breakfast casseroles that involve bread slices, cooked pork sausage, eggs, mushrooms, some dried mustard, milk, and shredded cheese that soak overnight. Then you stumble out of bed and pour cream of mushroom soup mixed with more milk over top, shove it in the oven at 350 degrees, and flop back in bed for another 1.5 hours.

And then there's a baked creme brulee french toast which is done much the same way, only with brown sugar on the bottom and thick egg-and-milk soaked bread slices. Again, soak overnight and stumble out of bed to pop it in the oven. No soup on that one, though.

Kat said...

Yeah- there are endless breakfast casseroles, frittatas, etc that are made up the night before and then just need to bake in the morning. They can even be baked up and then reheated or served at room temperature. They all involve eggs and cream or milk, and then some with bread, some without, with cheeses, herbs,meats, and vegetables being switched around. Something like that was always my mother's solution for Christmas morning- it would bake while we opened presents, and be ready to eat when we were done.

Dr. Alice said...

I don't have any brilliant breakfast ideas, but do you have any sources for generic Cream of Wheat (farina)? I love Cream of Wheat but can only find the brand name here in Los Angeles. I refuse to pay giant sums of money for what is essentially a box of coarsely ground flour. I have even tried the Internet and, unless I am willing to buy a 25 lb. bag of farina, I can't find it.

Joyce Carlson said...

For penance, I've eaten oatmeal three times in the last two months.

Sarah Dylan Breuer said...

Make-ahead breakfast bakes are my go-to dish for company coming for brunch, and might serve you well.

I don't have a recipe, as I tend to ad-lib in my cooking, but basically you make a bread pudding with savory ingredients of your choice instead of sweet ones. The dish can be low-fat if made with egg whites/egg beaters instead of whole eggs as well. Depending on what you and your kids like, you could include such ingredients as:

bacon/turkey bacon
canadian bacon/ham
diced chicken
bell peppers (I prefer red ones)
cheese (any kind you like, though mozzarella doesn't work well for texture)
salsa (cooked in the bake or served on the side)

Just sauté the ingredients you want to include, season to taste (endless possibilities there, from just salt and pepper to Italian-style, curry, Mexican, etc.). Then let them cool.

Add the sauté to the bread pudding mix (i.e., bread -- preferably a bit stale or dried out a bit in the oven, plus eggs or egg whites, plus some milk or cream) in whatever way you like. It looks fancier (and some kids prefer the appearance) if you layer it, putting slices of egg-soaked bread down, then sautéed ingredients, then cheese, then back to bread, etc.

You can assemble it the night before and leave it covered in the fridge to be baked in the morning (by whomever gets up first), or you can bake it ahead of time; it leftovers and reheats wonderfully.

Oh, it bakes best if you put the casserole dish or custard dishes in water in the oven, as you would most custards. I use a roasting pan for this.

My nieces love to make this with me, and when they were younger they liked to decorate the top with bell peppers, diced tomatoes (I generally use canned), and so on.

Some kids like "weird" colors as well (e.g., some LOVE green eggs and ham, as in the book). A dash of turmeric can work well with eggs, IMO, and give them some color.

It's especially good when guests are over for brunch or for a small group breakfast because it's a one-dish meal that's very forgiving if folks are late. And for a mixed group, you can do some of them without meat and so on without much additional effort.

YMMV, of course. Hope that helps!

Sarah Dylan Breuer said...

Oh, one more funky breakfast idea:

Our nieces actually like eating quinoa, hot or cold, like breakfast cereal -- often with a little cinnamon, a little something sweet (they like agave syrup), and a little milk. Costco sells quinoa in large and reasonably-priced packages, so that's a good fallback that can be made in advance.

it's margaret said...

French toast?! Beat egg, vanilla, cinnamon and dash of water together and put dry or stale bread in it over night. Sourdough bread is my favorite.

Then in the morning --a quick fry in butter, served with fruit or syrup --fast, easy.

Kat said...

I saw this being made (watched via Hulu, so delayed a couple days) and thought of you. I do believe I'll try this recipe myself, once I have my kitchen returned to me and unpacked next week!

And as an aside, got a giggle that one of my capcha words is "vicar"

Anne Kennedy said...

Someone just left this comment and I accidentally deleted it, but here it is. Sorry!
Overnight French toast is really a good one, but may I respectfully suggest you get the family a breadmaker? A 2 lb. loaf would last you a day at least. They are not sacrilege; they were invented for Japanese housewives who didn't have large enough kitchens for regular breadmaking. With a reliable breadmaking machine you only need to heap in the ingredients (in the correct order!) at night, which might take 5-10 minutes, choose the settings, and leave it until the wee hours to start working. Then you wake to the smell of baking bread, which is the next best thing to when you eat it fresh and warm

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

My vote would go for overnight french toast which you can change up by adding sliced apples or peaches. Must be prepared overnight.

My favorite recipe:

10 cups cubed bread (make sure it's a good, sturdy bread that can stand up to being soaked overnight.)
8 oz cream softened cream cheese
8 eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup half and half
(or, you can use cream)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla

Place cubes in buttered 13x9x2 pan
Beat softened cream cream cheese; add eggs, one at a time; then milk, half and half, maple syrup and vanilla.

Pour this smooth mixture over the cubes. Cover and place in fridge overnight.

MORNING: Get out of bed. Preheat oven to 375. Go to the bathroom and/or stare out the window while the oven heats up. Take the casserole out of the fridge. Remove cover and bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes. Set snooze alarm. Go back to bed. When the alarm goes off, serve hot with lots butter and extra syrup.