With the weather hinting at cooler temperatures on the horizon, this mom’s focus turns to fall foods. As someone who cooks with the seasons, I look forward to the time of year when pumpkin and warm spices like nutmeg and cloves begin appearing in my recipes. I have a whole Pinterest board (find me at pinterest.com/suchdarcie/) devoted to cozy fall dinners and another that features apple desserts. But one meal that often gets overlooked in seasonal cooking is breakfast. Those of us with school-age children in the house tend to be in such a morning rush that we can consider ourselves lucky to get even a bowl of cereal on the table. Believe it or not, though, there are plenty of recipes out there for moms like us who want to serve a hearty and wholesome hot breakfast in a hurry. I thought I’d share two of my favorites today.
Overnight oatmeal - My son has been asking me to make this for weeks and now that the weather is letting up a bit, I think it's time I appease him. There are hundreds of recipes for overnight oatmeal available online, but my personal favorites are reminiscent of apple pie. Making it is easy: you simply peel and core two apples (I like Granny Smith) and then cut them into ½ inch pieces. Coat your slow cooker with a liberal amount of cooking spray. Add 3 cups of liquid (milk, water or a combination thereof), 1 cup of uncooked steel cut oats, 2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup, 2 tablespoons of butter, ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon of salt and the chopped apples to your slow cooker. Heat on low overnight and wake up to a house filled with the sweet scent of cinnamon. We like to top ours with chopped almonds and dried cranberries. Store leftovers in the fridge and eat them all week. *Tip: The first time you make this, it’s best to do it during the day so that you can keep an eye on it and check for doneness.
Egg Muffins – These are far from the egg sandwich you’ll find at that popular fast food chain. My egg muffins are more like mini frittatas. To make them, I’ve found it’s best to use silicone baking cups. These can be purchased inexpensively from the cake decorating department of local craft stores. You can customize your egg muffins to suit the tastes of your family, but basically you’ll want to gather ingredients you would use in an omelet. Mine typically include: bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, cheese and ham. Chop your ingredients and add them to the bottom of silicone baking cups that have been sprayed with cooking spray. In a separate bowl, whisk several eggs. Pour your egg mixture over the chopped veggies and bake at 375° for about 25 minutes. When they’re cool enough to handle, remove your egg muffins from the silicone baking cups and freeze. Reheat them on school day mornings for a quick, protein-packed start to the day.
Both of these make perfect meals for those fall mornings when you have to rise before the sun. Enjoy!