Saturday, August 31, 2013

An Ambitious Morning

For some odd reason, I woke up this morning with a lot of energy. I was also starving. On the weekends, I usually make enough breakfast foods to last at least a week. Today I made oatmeal, whole-wheat banana pancakes, all the parts for egg sandwiches, and frozen pineapple/blueberry smoothies. I somehow managed to finish all of this cooking during the time it took Nick and Henry to watch Back to the Future. They ate some of my creations for breakfast and some for lunch!

I'm rather surprised at how much I was able to get accomplished during just one '80s movie.

First, I started with eggs. Thanks to Pinterest, I learned how to make a dozen eggs in my silicone muffin pan.

I simply put the whole tray into the oven at 350 degrees for 12-15 min. 

I added sliced tomatoes and fresh basil (which I had from my garden), and orange sweet pepper pieces, as well as a little pepper. I grew teeny tiny cherry tomatoes and yellow pear tomatoes this year. Both are yummy, but so very small.

This is what they looked like after they were baked. I leave them in a tupperware in the fridge for up to a week. They've never lasted that long.  We always eat them.  :)

I also made bacon in the oven at the same time. The key is to line the pan with parchment paper (preferably the kind with tinfoil on the back. The bacon goes in a 375 degree oven for 15+ minutes, depending on how crispy you like your bacon.

After I took these last strips off of the pan, I just wadded up the parchment paper and threw it away. Simple.

I store the bacon in a plastic bag between layers of paper towels. It keeps pretty well. I add the bacon and egg, plus some cheese, to a toasted English muffin. This is the result.

While the eggs and bacon were cooking, I whipped up some banana pancakes. I combined three or four different recipes (this one was my favorite) and came up with something I really like. Here's the recipe:

Whole-Wheat Banana Pancakes

Measure into a large bowl and stir together:
-1 1/2 cups of white whole wheat flour
-1/2 cup of all purpose flour
-2 T of ground flaxseed
-2 t of baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
-1/2 t salt

Make a hole in the center of the mixture and add:
-2 T honey
-2 large eggs, lightly beaten
-1 3/4 cup buttermilk (I added 2 T of lemon juice to the measuring cup, then filled it up to the 1 3/4 mark with 1% milk)
-2 T unsalted butter, melted

Mix it together until it's just barely combined. Then add 2 mashed ripe bananas, the riper the better.

This is what the batter looked like at the end. It's a little darker than traditional pancake batter, and you can see the flaxseed flecks. If you're not adding chocolate chips, I'd recommend adding 1 t of cinnamon to the recipe so that it masks the little flaxseed flecks. Cinnamon is also just delicious.

I melted a little butter onto my preheated skillet, then poured about 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake. I pressed chocolate chips into some of them, but I used a knife to push the chocolate chips down into the batter. Otherwise they stay on the outside and melt!

The boys kept trying to steal the pancakes from the counter while they were cooling. They were definitely a hit. Just because I'm a little nuts, I decided to make a pot of oatmeal while I was cooking the pancakes. I use my biggest soup pot and heat about 5 cups of milk , with just a dash of salt. When the milk is hot but not yet boiling, I add about 2 cups of oatmeal and turn the heat down to low. There's normally a 2:1 liquid/oatmeal ratio, but cooking with milk seems to soak up more liquid, so I add more. I also added 3 T of ground flaxseed, 3T of honey, and 1 T of cinnamon.

This is what it looks like when you first add the oatmeal.

After the oatmeal has simmered for about a half hour, this is what it looks like. It is the yummiest oatmeal I've ever tasted. I can't even stand oatmeal made with water anymore.

I pack it in these individual containers and heat it up as I leave for work. 30 seconds in the microwave and it's ready to eat.

Oh, so you thought I was done? Nope. I also made smoothies, mostly because I had some fruit that I had to use up before it went bad. I have a Ninja blender, and I added frozen pineapple, frozen blueberries, two scoops of protein powder, two containers of Chobani pineapple yogurt, and I poured in some milk as well.

I gave each boy one small smoothie and put the rest in the freezer. If I take them out the night before and set them in the fridge, they're about the right texture by morning. Nick and Henry give these smoothies two straws up!

By the time naptime rolled around, I was ready for a nap myself. However, this mess in the kitchen beckoned. . .

Great ambitions can create a great mess!

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