Get Their Motors Running

Over our many years of home schooling, we've gone through periods when breakfast just isn't what it should be. I'm sure we are all guilty of sliding the bowl of dry breakfast cereal to our kids in the morning. Certainly, after these many years, I know better. A bowl of Cheerios just does not cut it for brain food. The problem is who wants to get up earlier than we already do and cook up a hot hearty breakfast every day? About once a week one of the children will get up early enough to stir up a batch of muffins for the family. I'm feeling pretty guilty about slacking and serving up cereal or toast the rest of the week.

What do you say to a quick and hearty breakfast recipe exchange? I'll post two new great recipes here today. You, my faithful readers, can post your idea or recipe in the combox or post a recipe on your blog and leave your link in the combox.

Dried Fruit and Nut Couscous courtesy of Giada De Laurentis
*note: I made this yesterday morning and it is really delicious, easy, quick, and hearty!

2 1/3 cup water
1/2 cup sugar (you can try using less sugar or even try using honey)
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/3 cup dried cherries, choppped
2 1/2 cups couscous
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup skinned hazelnuts (instead of almonds and hazelnuts I used what I had on hand--1 cup of cashews)

In a medium saucepan, combine water, sugar, and dried fruit. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Stir in the couscous and remove pan from heat. Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid until the couscous has absorbed all the cooking liquid, about 5 to 7 minutes.

While couscous rests, in a small skillet, toast the almonds and hazelnuts until fragrant, over medium heat, stirring often to be sure they do not burn. Cool and chop coarsely.

Using a fork, fluff the couscous. Add the nuts and toss. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil if desired.

Orange Spice Pumpkin Cake
*note: I make this the night before and serve it for breakfast. It's absolutely wonderful with a cup of coffee!

4 whole eggs
3 cups sugar
1 cup melted and cooled butter
1 1/4 cups pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin works great or you can bake pie pumpkins and make your own puree--even better!)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger root
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3 1/3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
2/3 cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a bundt pan with cooking spray.

Beat eggs and sugar. Add melted butter and pumpkin. Mix until smooth. Add cinnamon. nutmeg, vanilla, ginger, and orange zest. Mix well.

In a medium bowl stir together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add 1/3 of dry ingredients to pumpkin mix and stir until just combined. Add 1/2 orange juice and stir until just combined. Repeat with another 1/3 of dry ingredients and the rest of the orange juice. Add last 1/3 of dry ingredients and stir one last time until just combined. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan.

Bake for 60 minutes or until an inserted toothpick or skewer comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto serving platter. Cool completely and serve or cool overnight and serve for breakfast.


Tonya said…
Oh, I'm totally going to have to try the cake thing. Nice!

Making grits this morning. I don't like them, but the kids do. We stopped buying boxed cereal. When I make pancakes or waffles, I make a ton and just put them in a bag in the fridge. That way we can pull them out and eat them later in the week. I also make scrambled eggs w/ toast and bacon a couple times a week. If I'm thinking, I'll make granola, which is a great substitute for cereal on those mornings I don't want to cook. Oh, and my kids love oatmeal - another quick breakfast!

I think breakfast is easy. It's lunch I can't seem to get together!
YourBro said…
Hey Mau,

Here is one for you...

One egg + 1 piece of cheese + 3 strips of Turkey bacon + 1 toasted english muffin = a great protien breakfast even Sawyer will get up and make on his own (qeue the heavenly harps and angels singing). You can substitute 3 egg whites or a bagel or sausage or ham or real bacon or whole wheat toast or...I think you get the picture. The entire gang of 3 love this breakfast and it takes no more than 5 minutes to make. Sometimes it's okay to not over think it!

Love ya Mau,

Your Bro!
Maurisa said…

Must. over. think. it!

Sam said…
cereal works fo me...the older kids (7 and up) usually make eggs for everyone who wants them. +JMJ+
Anonymous said…
Oh we love breakfast! So much we even have breakfast for dinner sometimes. On Sundays after Mass, our family would have a yummy brunch of Bacon, Egg, and Tomato sandwhiches with fried potatoes. But, since I'm trying to loose weight now, I'm sticking to my yogurt during the week. But, I still try to make Sunday breakfastes special. We love biscuits and gravy. If we have leftover gravy, I'll make chicken fried steak with eggs for dinner that night. I also make banana or blueberry or banana-blueberry pancakes. So easy. Just chop up a banana or two in the regular mix and/or throw in a handful of blueberries and then presto, yummy pancakes. I posted a few more recipes at my blog page. The first one is great for Halloween, but we have it a lot here. Hope you enjoy! I can't wait to try that pumpkin cake. =)
Party of Eleven said…
Great suggestions. We do cereal, too. Most of my kids love it. I make eggs often (dip and fried), with english muffins and fried ham. That is my favorite. My 9 year old makes some mean pancakes. I also make oatmeal on occasion and the kids love hot rice in milk, too.

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