My husband and I met in college. Just like many college students, I was living off of cereal, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and spaghetti. I was a lousy cook. My husband on the other hand ate really, really well. When we started dating I think he took pity on me and would invite me over to eat quite often. We ate ravioli, lasagna, enchiladas, turkey, broccoli, asparagus, salads, real cheesecake, homemade brownies, and anything else you could imagine. It was SO nice to eat good food! You see, he had a roommate who was an excellent cook (say hello to his awesome wife at http://www.kyinthekitchen.com :). Not just an excellent cook. If he weren’t an engineer I would imagine he could be a professional chef. He was THAT good. From the beginning I knew that he was the master chef of the apartment, but I suppose I just assumed that my soon-to-be-husband wasn’t so bad himself. Well, when we got married the truth came out. My husband was excellent at cutting up the broccoli. He could wash off the grapes like a pro or stir a pot with the best of ’em. Beyond being a really good helper, he was no more of a cook than I was. In some ways I’d say that our position was worse than most newlyweds. While we were both really bad cooks, we were used to good food thanks to his roommate. Burned casserole and love was just not going to cut it. I had to learn how to fix something… and FAST! I had some pretty epic failures that summer, but over time I got the hang of our closet-sized kitchen and successfully kept our little family happy.
When you think about country living one of the first things that comes to mind is good food, right? A hardy breakfast, a filling lunch, and a dinner fit for a cowboy. I certainly won’t brag about my amazing cooking skills that I wish I could say I’ve gained over the last seven years, but I will say that we don’t have to eat soggy spaghetti for dinner every night. Since we moved to the country, I have made an extra effort to make breakfasts to fit our new country life. We LOVE breakfast at our house, and I try hard to make sure that anyone walking out of our door in the morning leaves satisfied and ready to tackle the day. I am totally convinced that a good breakfast can make monumental differences in how you feel, act, and do. And country livin’ (and city livin’ I suppose too) means lots and lots to do! Breakfast is so very, very important.
So, without further ado, here’s a week’s worth of breakfast meals from our country kitchen. Just remember that I’m a novice at this country living and a little at cooking too. I admit I’m a copy-cat cook, so most of my recipes are from friends who are better chefs than me or from two of my favorite food sites:
One reason I love breakfast so much is probably because of our lovely little hens who so faithfully provide eggs for us every morning. The dog is a bit of a pain some of the time, the rooster is terrible most of the time, but the chickens are just plain AWESOME all the time. I absolutely love having chickens and would recommend it to anyone wanting pets. They are just great. Stinky, but great.
This is our favorite breakfast around here. My husband spent two years in Mexico and had enfrijoladas for breakfast, so this is a spin on what he loved so much there. Plain Enfrijoladas are another fav (though not one we ate this week). It’s just flour tortillas with refried beans, grated cheese, and salsa on top. I like this tortilla recipe:
Corn tortillas with cheese, ham, eggs, spinach and (if you want) refried beans and salsa on top.
If you’re feeling ambitious… Corn tortilla recipe:
Blender Batter Pancakes
This one is a huge hit here thanks to my sweet friend Suzanne. We have used this fantastic recipe hundreds of times since she gave it to me a year or so ago. She’s a great cook who has read tons of books on nutrition so I trust her kitchen expertise. This recipe is nutritious, easy and so versatile.
1 Cup plain yogurt
1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
1/2 Cup another grain (ex. quinoa, rice, millet, buckwheat…)
1 TBSP melted butter or oil
1 tsp vanilla (unless using buckwheat. Then omit)
Blend in blender and sit overnight (I think Suzanne said this makes it better for you, but sometimes I forget and just do it all in the morning) In the morning, add:
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Blend until all combined. Add oats or yogurt to make it the right consistency. Cook on hot greased skillet.
Probably the best waffle recipe I’ve ever tried.We like to add nuts to it too, cause we like those nuts!
French Brioche from allrecipes.com is the way to make these! I usually make a loaf of to have with pulled pork or soup the night before and use what’s left for French Toast. I’ve tweaked the recipe to as follows and have never had it fail me:
- 1/3 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3 1/3 cups Whole Wheat Flour*
- 1 TBSP Vital Wheat Gluten*
- 1/4 cup (heaping) honey*
- 1 TBSP* active dry yeast
- 1 egg white
- 2 tablespoons water
Italics and * are things I’ve changed.
- Place the first seven ingredients in bread machine in order suggested by your manufacturer. Select dough cycle.
- Turn finished dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead 5 to 10 times. Separate into 2 or 3 pieces. Roll with hands into strips. Braid or twist strips together. Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Set aside to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Whisk together 1 egg white and the water. Brush onto the top of the loaf.
- Bake in the preheated oven until deep golden brown, about 20 minutes.
The French Toast part is simple. So simple I don’t even measure. one egg, a bit of milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. Dip the bread in and fry it on a greased griddle.
We tried some hot cereal called Dee’s Cereal a few years ago and it was delicious. This is our home made attempt, using either cracked wheat or quinoa.
Cracked wheat or quinoa, cooked. Sunflower seeds, Pecans or Walnuts (or both), raisins or blueberries, maple syrup or honey.
Nothin’ beats good old oatmeal with brown sugar or honey, raisins or craisins, and walnuts!
I’ve tried many granola recipes and this one knocks the socks off of any other I’ve tried. It’s crunchy and just sweet enough. Plus, the chunks actually stick together!
This was actually our dinner one night, so here’s an extra breakfast idea! This is the most requested breakfast meal at our house. And it’s THE definition of country cookin’. Nothing says home on the range like poached eggs and ham on homemade english muffins smothered in homemade holindaise sauce sprinkled with parsley.
English Muffins: www.http://pinkrecipebox.com/whole-wheat-english-muffins/
Only thing I did different was to use all whole wheat (no all purpose) and add 1 TBSP vital wheat gluten. They turn out great!
hollandaise sauce: http://goodfood-lin.blogspot.com/2010/04/hollandiase-sauce-101.html