I've discovered that taking an hour or two on an occasional weekend to prepare breakfast items for the freezer, takes much of the insanity out of the weekday morning rush.
Waffles, Pancakes, French Toast
To prepare waffles, pancakes and French toast for freezing, cook until lightly browned. Don't overcook. Then freeze individually in a single layer on a cookie sheet or flat pan.
When frozen solid, stack together in a freezer bag. By freezing these items separately, they won't stick together. You can remove only the amount needed for today's meal whether it's one waffle or a dozen.
To reheat, just pop them (still frozen) into the toaster on the pastry setting (low) just like you would do with the boxed frozen waffles from the store. Heating in a toaster keeps them firm, rather than limp and soggy which often happens when these breakfast items are reheated in the microwave.
Muffins and Quickbreads
Make muffins and quickbreads ahead of time to serve for easy breakfasts. Just bake your favorite recipes as usual, cool completely, wrap in foil, label, and freeze.
You can also wrap individual muffins in plastic wrap and then place the wrapped muffins into large zip-top freezer bags. Muffins can be easily reheated in the microwave. Serve with fresh fruit and juice for a delicious and easy breakfast.
Recipe: Breakfast Burritos
To get you started on the road toward simple breakfasts, here's a recipe for easy Breakfast Burritos ... definitely one my family's all-time favorite make-ahead meals. Recipe taken from Frozen Assets: How to cook for a day and eat for a month.
• 12 eggs, beaten
Scramble eggs in large skillet until done; stir in cooked sausage and salsa. Warm tortillas in microwave 20 - 30 seconds or until warm and flexible. Place 1/2 cup egg mixture into tortilla; roll burrito-style.
Freeze burritos in single layer on lightly greased cookie sheet. When fully frozen, wrap burritos individually; place wrapped burritos in large zip-top freezer bags; freeze. (makes 24 breakfast burritos)
To serve, unwrap burritos from foil or plastic wrap that you used for freezing. Wrap in a paper towel. Cook in microwave until heated through (about 2 minutes). Or thaw burritos (remove plastic wrap if used in freezing), wrap burritos in foil, and bake at 350 degrees for ten minutes.
• 1 green pepper, finely diced
I've even taken these frozen burritos with us when we've gone camping. I just place the bag of frozen burritos into the ice chest, and by the time we're ready for breakfast the first morning, the burritos are fully thawed. Then I simply reheat them in a large skillet over the campstove or fire grate.
Deborah Taylor-Hough (wife and full-time mother of three) is the author of "A Simple Choice: A practical guide for saving your time, money and sanity" and "Frozen Assets: How to cook for a day and eat for a month"
Debi also edits the free, twice-a-month Simple Times Email Newsletter firstname.lastname@example.org]. Visit Debi online at: http://hometown.aol.com/dsimple/
by Sandra Schneider
We all know how the kids like the little breakfast trays that are now in the freezer shelves. They certainly do save a lot of time when you want a balanced breakfast for the kids... but they also cost a lot of money.
An effective way to give the kids the breakfasts they like and still save money is to have the budget breakfast meet once a month cooking. In fact, just a couple of hours spent once a month can have your freezer full of little breakfasts for the kids.... and yourself too!
This will give you enough ingredients to make breakfast for at least 30 days for four people. If you have more, make more, if less, well, they will last longer.
You will end up with four varieties of choices; pancakes, French toast, breakfast sandwich and scrambled eggs.
You will need the following things from your supermarket:
• 5 lbs. of pancake flour (your preference, buckwheat, buttermilk or plain)
Lay the bacon out on cookie sheets and put in the oven at 350 degrees. This will let the bacon cook slowly so that you will be able to watch it. When done, set aside.
Take the five pounds of pancake mix and make according to package instructions. Use a well-greased griddle or even a large fry pan will work. Make as many pancakes as you can.... making some smaller for the little ones. They would rather have three little pancakes than one large one. Set them aside.
Next mix two dozen eggs, one quart of milk and add about 1/4 cup sugar and two teaspoons of nutmeg. Dip the bread in the mix and cook on the same griddle where you did the pancakes while the griddle or fry pan is still hot.
Make French toast until all of the egg mixture is used up. You may have bread left, but you can use it for sandwiches and lunches. Set the French toast aside.
Now take two dozen eggs and mix them with a small bit of water (about 1/4 cup) to the whole dozen. Make the scrambled eggs. Set aside.
Fry the last two dozen eggs, breaking the yoke in each and frying them completely. Set aside.
Now you are ready to start assembling the breakfasts. You can make the sandwiches by stacking on them whatever you think you will like. Fried egg, bacon, cheese on an English muffin.
You can substitute ham or sausage for the bacon. If you don't like the English muffins, you can use hamburger buns; whatever you like. Wrap in plastic wrap and mark them by writing on apiece of masking tape and tape it on each one.
Then, using the divided plates, assemble breakfasts such as:
If you don't want to go all the way with cooking for a whole month, you can save a lot of time by making extra pancakes or French toast while you have everything out and the griddle is hot. Put them in portions in zip lock bags and the kids can easily serve themselves a nice hot breakfast by popping them in the microwave.
Gramma (Sandra Schneider) is the President of Hitansa, Incorporated www.hitansa.com. Let Gramma Take Care of You!
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