The Breakfast Queen

Photo taken for the National Pro-Life T-Shirt Week  Photo Scavenger Hunt
I have trouble with mornings and mornings have trouble with me... so I've grabbed the bull by the horns and have become the Breakfast Queen. Being the Breakfast Queen is quite a responsibility and yet enormously rewarding.

I was formerly the Queen of I'm-lucky-if-I-manage-to-get-something-nutritious-on-the-table-by-lunchtime-go-have-a-bowl-of-cereal. With the start of our new school year, I was feeling a little concerned that this approach (low nutrition value) in our home just wasn't going to cut it. I'm always telling the Professor how his brain needs to be properly fed in order to work well... and I expect him to dive energetically into Sophocles on white flour and sugar?

I can just feel myself being judged by all you super kitchen mamas out there. You already know about being the Breakfast Queen... just smile and nod while I take my baby steps, okay? Here's what I've been doing...

Getting up before the kids get up. Some of you may be shocked to learn that I do not always do this. The truth is that I stay up until ridiculously late hours with my night owl husband (usually between 1 and 3am) and it takes a tremendous amount of grace to get me out of bed at a reasonable hour. So, I've been getting up before the kids get up (yay me!) but I've been dog tired.

The Proverbs 31 woman has been my inspiration. She stayed up late and got up early and sewed and spoke words of wisdom and made money and ministered to people outside her family. She was the ultimate breakfast queen (ie "a wife of noble character")... and probably never wore sweatpants to greet the mailman or her husband. Anyway...

Making breakfast on the stove. Not out of a box or the freezer. This means more nutritious ingredients. Yummy food. More dishes. And happy morning smells.

Getting protein into the morning meal. I wouldn't send the kids into an athletic tournament on a bowl of cereal. If I expect them to apply their brains prodigiously, I need to feed them in a way that sustains the work load and doesn't cause a total sugar crash mid-morning.

Before the start of my diet, cold cereal was my favorite food. I could eat it for all three meals and be happy, happy, happy. Here's to new beginnings!

One of the guidelines for my household breakfast prep is that it must take no longer than a total of 15 minutes to prepare in the morning OR no more than a combined 30 minutes between previous evening plus morning prep (special occasions or bulk cooking). These guidelines will hopefully help me avoid breakfast burnout.

My experiments in the kitchen:

French toast - We used to eat this for dinner. Now it is back in it's rightful place.
Scrambled eggs with sausage - another lunch and dinner favorite turned around.
Homemade Pudding - Yes, I know this is a dessert... but my recipe uses milk, cream, and eggs so I'm loving all the healthy fats and proteins.

Homemade Vanilla Pudding (Lynn'sKitchenAdventures)

Pancakes - Okay, this is a totally white bread/sugar thing but at least it's hot and yummy and isn't poured out of a box.
French toast muffins - This is cheating also a little but feels better on the conscience when paired with fruit or meat or eggs.

Bacon -Yum. I have nine pounds of bacon in my fridge. It goes terribly fast. Nitrate free, of course.
Potatoes and sausage - this recipe but I substitute breakfast sausage

Breakfast Casserole - Take your pick from all the lovely combinations. I'm going to try one in the slow cooker this week.

Apple Pie - Cookie made it... We couldn't possibly say no to her. :)
Ham and eggs
Egg Sandwiches - Usually on an english muffin
Smoothies - My comfort food of choice since I can no longer eat cereal. Pure coconut milk, whipping cream/half and half/etc., skim milk, bananas and any combination of frozen fruits, vanilla. Or any combination of anything that taste delicious and gets me through the first half of the day. Yum!

Fruit (cantaloupe, honeydew, etc.)
Orange Juice

I like to cook big and use leftovers to add to something the next morning. I also like to keep portions small to moderate since good food seems to invite face stuffing. I do not generally offer more than one or two items per meal.

After I had made hot breakfast for three consecutive days, we took a day off school and I declared it "Cereal Day" and that went over fine. That was a Friday. The next day was Saturday and I wanted to sleep in later than my children, so I declared (the night before) that Saturday would also be "Cereal Day." Cookie, who prior to my breakfast conversion happily ate nothing but cereal day after day, threw her hands in the air and declared in a whining, miserable kind of way: But I had cereal yesterday!!

Spoiled rotton, I tell you. However, nothing gets the kids out of bed faster than the smell of hot breakfast. Worth it. :)

Mini German Pancakes (RealMomKitchen)
These would be a wonderful feast day breakfast addition!

Pancake "muffins" with add-ins (fruit or meat)
Pour pancake mix over fully cooked meat or fruit, bake in mini tins for tiny pancakes.

Posted on September 13, 2012 and filed under "breakfast", "family life", "feeding a large family", "food".