Friday, March 7, 2014

Food Friday: Most Important Meal of the Day

In honor of National School Breakfast Week, I thought I'd post about the breakfasts I've been eating recently. goes!

I suck at eating breakfast. It is definitely not one of my strengths. I recognize how important it is: when I do eat breakfast, I tend not to snack at my desk--Sour Patch Kids are my current nemesis because I can pretend I'm eating fruit--and I definitely feel more energized throughout the day. Which is really important when you're teaching creative drama to 4-7 year-olds.

But I just can't stand to eat when I'm not hungry. It makes me feel gross, even though I know it's going to make me feel great body, mind, and spirit in the long run. So, unless there's something super-delicious (which is usually saved for special occasions), or I'm eating later in the morning (which isn't always an inexpensive option on a workday), I just haven't ever been able to make breakfast a priority.

Jake is a breakfast-eater, and sends me gentle verbal messages reminding me that if I want to keep up my energy during the day, it would probably be best to eat something. And even The Kid has started to nag me (adorably), "Mama, you eat breakfast this morning?" So, recently I've started being mindful about eating in the morning, using the two methods that I know work for me: eating something delicious, and eating later in the morning.

This snowy Monday morning, I decided to make a treat for the family: Cheater Donuts with maple glaze (and donut holes covered in cinnamon-sugar). And when I came across this post from The Kitchn about make-ahead breakfasts, I knew I had found my eating-later-in-the-morning-for-cheap-and-easy soulmate. Neither of these breakfasts takes a long time at all to make, and they've been satisfying me this week. And at least one of them is good for you! (Guess which.)

Recipes after the jump.

Cheater Donuts with Maple Glaze

To make the glaze
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp milk (I used 1%)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a small, wide bowl. If making the glaze before making the donuts, stir occasionally to keep from solidifying.

To make the donuts
(recipe from Winter Cocktails by Maria Del Mar Sacasa)
1 can store-bought biscuit dough (I used Pillsbury Grands)
Vegetable oil

Open the can of dough and cut out the centers of each round with a small cookie cutter. (If not using the entire can--this recipe makes about 8 donuts and 8 donut holes, so I rarely do--keep some of the rounds in the can, and refrigerate in a Ziploc bag. They should keep for about a week.)

Fill a Dutch Oven or large skillet with oil to a depth of 1-1.5 inches. Heat over medium-high heat until oil reaches 350 degrees. Add half of the donuts and fry until the bottoms turn golden-brown, about 2 minutes. Turn over using chopsticks. Fry until golden-brown all over, about 2 more minutes. Remove and put on a paper towel-lined plate while you fry the other batch.

Repeat with the donut holes, keeping an eye on the oil's temperature, so they don't burn.

Let cool slightly, about 1-2 minutes, before dipping in the Maple Glaze. Serve warm and delicious.

Or for a more virtuous, take-it-on-the-go breakfast...


(Recipe from The Kitchn)
1 2/3 cups steel-cut oats
4 cups water
Large pinch salt

Wash 5-6 half-pint jars in hot, soapy water. Set aside.

Bring the oats, water, and salt to a boil. Simmer for about three minutes, then turn off the heat.

Ladle the oats and water into the jars. Tightly cover the jars, and leave on your counter overnight. The next day...a work-week's serving of oatmeal! Put the jars in the refrigerator to store.

When you're ready to make your oatmeal, remove the top of the jar and put in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the mix-ins of your choice; right now, I like a handful of raisins and two teaspoons of brown sugar, but I'm excited to experiment. The texture of the oatmeal is creamy with a toothsomeness I really like, and of course it's full of fiber, calcium, and protein.

Fruit-on-the-Bottom Yogurt

(Adapted from The Kitchn)
Jam or apple butter or...really, anything you like to mix into yogurt (I'm looking forward to mixing in granola, fresh berries, and nuts, and trying a honey-peanut butter mixture)
Yogurt (I used Fage 2%)

Wash as many half-pint jars as you're going to need in hot, soapy water.

Add a spoonful of each of your add-ins, and top with about 1/2 cup of yogurt. You can make a parfait, if you'd like to be fancy! This recipe is totally up to your taste, so have fun with your breakfast!

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