31 August 2011

Weekday Breakfast Part I

Bird Seed? Gerbal food? Nope.
Can you believe school is almost here? For some of you it is here. No more lazy mornings. Time to start thinking about your morning routine and how you can send the kids to school with tummies full of healthy food and not have to wake up at the crack of dawn to do it.
During the school year I make 2 things for breakfast Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I know.... I'm not pushing any foodie boundaries here but what I do works for us. It is a routine, it is healthy, it is comforting and the kids love it. I can expand the boys paletes after I've had my coffee. Breakfast is about starting the day right for us.
Today I'll tell you about 1 of the 2 things I make each morning. Porridge. I grew up calling the hot grain cooked stuff oatmeal... which btw my mom also cooked for us each morning before school. But I married a Canadian and now we call it porridge. I've changed it up a tad from my childhood quaker oats version.
I pre-make a huge batch of dry mix. I used to order each individual grain from Bob's Red Mill and mix them myself... now I'm lazy....ier. I buy the 9 grain hot cereal mix (Bob's has one, Winco has one, most places have one now in the bulk area), steel cut oats, and thick cut rolled oats. The ratio I use is 2 parts steel cut oats, 1 part thick cut rolled oats, 1 part 9 grain hot cereal mix.

One of the lovely things about this is that it is totally customizable depending on what you have or like. Then I store it in this......
The night before I put my trusty little bright yellow Le Creuset pot on the stove (I need all the help I can get in the morning and a little night before prep goes a LONG way). In the pot I put.... 2 1/2 C water, a big dash of cinnamon and a decent size pinch of salt. I also pre set the table but that might be a little OCD for you all.... then off to bed w/ you. In the morning, turn on the stove. Immediately make yourself a french press.
Once it is boiling add 1 C of the dry mix you made up and about 1/4 cup of dried fruit. My boys like cranberries best but whatever. Turn down to low. Cook for 5m or so stirring the entire time.
This will bring it to sort of a risotto like texture where the starches in the grains are starting to look creamy. Take off heat, cover, set on trivet on (pre-set) table.
At this point it needs to sit for another 10minutes or so to finish cooking. But the beauty of this technique is you are FREE. You can shower, drink that coffee, sit in peace and quiet or check Facebook.
The kids will wake up to the heavely smell of breakfast (which is mostly due to that big dash of cinnamon... don't forget that)! And you will have your hands free to welcome them to their day w/ lots of hugs...
We serve ours w/ a TINY sprinkle of brown sugar. Our oldest mixes peanut butter in which my husband agrees is the best way. I'm a purist though... only brown sugar and maybe a splash of milk for me.
This will serve 3 kids. Adjust accordingly.....

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