Food For Thought: Breakfast Ideas For The Whole Family
Recently I took my little ones in for their well-child check ups, and one of the questions I was asked was how often the family sat down to eat a meal together. This got me to thinking because we are pretty consisted about eating dinner together, but during the week and on the weekends, breakfast tends to get overlooked. It’s been called the “most important meal” of the whole day, and there’s definitely some truth to that. So why doesn’t my family eat breakfast together on a more regular basis? It all comes down to time. During the week we are scrambling to get out the door on time, and on the weekends we are all on such different schedules that it just doesn’t happen.
Well, it’s time to change that! So here is some food for thought: breakfast every day, for the whole family. Simple and easy recipes that you can whip up the night before or don’t take a ton of time to put together. My goal is to use some of these recipes to make our mornings more family centered and a little less hectic. Hopefully something here helps you do the same!
Breakfast Ideas For The Whole Family
Recipe 01: Cinnamon Rolls
Okay, these are a breakfast classic so I had to start off with them. Not only can you make them on the weekend and eat them throughout the week, but you can sneak in raisins and nuts and add a little bit more protein. Regardless of what you add, these are sure to turn around those grumpy mornings with their cinnamon gooey goodness.
- 1/2 c. milk
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 3 c. all purpose flour
- 1/4 c. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 c. butter
- 1/4 c. butter
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- vegetable oil
- 1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 c. confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Begin by making your dough. To start, heat up 1/2 c. milk and 1/2 c. water in a saucepan. You want the temperature to be warm but not hot, otherwise you’ll kill your yeast. While that’s warming up, you need to combine your dry ingredients. Do this by whisking the yeast, 1 cup of your flour, and 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl (like this one!). When the milk mixture is warm, you’re going to stir it into the dry ingredients until combined before setting it aside and allowing the yeast to do its thing. You want to cover it for about 15 minutes and have a thick foamy mixture before going on to the next step.
When your flour mixture is nice and foamy, you’re going to add in your salt and 1/4 c. of melted butter. Next, slowly add in the remaining two cups of flour. Cover your bowl (use these!) and set aside for about an hour. You want the dough to double in size.
While your dough is rising, you’re going to coat a 9×13 pan (like this one) with vegetable oil or cooking spray. Lay down a layer of parchment with some excess along the long sides. Spray the parchment paper and set the whole thing aside. Next up, you’re going to make the filling! Do this by mixing the brown sugar, cinnamon, and the remaining sugar. Set this aside.
Now you’re ready to get to the fun part! Punch your dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. You’re going to knead the dough until it combines really nicely into a soft elastic dough. Then roll out into a 9×12″ rectangle before spreading 1/4 c. softened butter over the entire thing. Next, sprinkle your cinnamon-sugar mixture over the rectangle before you begin rolling.
Starting at the long side, you’re going to roll the dough into a nice tight swirl. If you need to pinch the ends to keep it closed, go for it. Now you need to cut your rolls. Remember the thinner you cut the rolls, the faster they will cook. The thicker the rolls, the longer they will need to cook and the more chance you’ll end up with some doughyness in the inside. I like to stick with about 1″ slices, which gives you a good rise and not too much dough. You can either cut your rolls by using unflavored dental floss (yes that does matter), or a really sharp knife. Either way, you should end up with about 12 rolls once you’ve cut your log.
Next transfer your cinnamon rolls to your pan and allow them to rise for about twenty minutes. You want them to be touching but not exploding out of the pan. While the rolls are rising, go ahead and heat your oven to 375F. When your cinnamon rolls are fully risen, toss them into the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. You want them to be golden brown but not crispy.
When you have about five minutes left of cooking time, whisk your confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, remaining butter, and milk in a small saucepan over low heat. You want to combine the ingredients and warm them up, so it should only take about two minutes or so. When your rolls are done remove them from the oven and drizzle the icing over the top. You can serve immediately or store in an airtight container. Before serving, try giving them a little trip in the microwave or oven to warm up the icing and cinnamon. Ta-da!
Recipe 02: Homemade Pop-Tarts
If you’re looking for something that has a little extra love in it, these are perfect! Not only can you feel a little better about what’s inside them since you’re making them from scratch, but they are super easy to change up flavors!
- 1 box pie crusts
- 1 c. filling: Nutella, peanut butter, jam, etc.
- 4 oz. icing: white bakers chocolate, cocoa bakers chocolate, icing of your choosing
Begin by heating your oven to 350 and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you haven’t already invested in these, you should. Seriously. While your oven is heating up, unroll both of your pie crusts. You’re going to be cutting out your pop-tart shapes, which can either be 3″x4″ rectangles, or get super fancy and use some of those cookie cutters! The only rule is that you need two of each shape.
Once you have your shapes, you’re going to spread your filling (in this case, nutella) evenly on each of the bases. You want to leave 1/2″ border all the way around the outside so you can crimp them closed. Next, top your shapes with the corresponding pie crust and use a fork to crimp the edges closed.
Transfer the tarts to your baking sheet and cut a few small slits along the top of each tart. This will allow them to cook more evenly. Bake them for about 20 minutes, you want a light golden brown color. Next, allow the tarts to cool before topping with the icing of your choice. You can melt the chocolate and drizzle over the tarts, or spread the icing you’ve chosen. Throw a few sprinkles on there for rainy days before the topping sets, and you’re done! You can save these in an airtight container and serve room temp, or warm them for a few seconds in the toaster.
Recipe 03: Bacon Egg Cups
If you need something for breakfast with a little more protein and less sugar, then this is it. These can be prepared in a big batch and only take about 20 minutes to finish up, making them ideal for a weekday breakfast.
- 6 slices bacon
- 6 eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Start by heating your oven to 400F. While it’s getting up to temp, place your bacon slices in a muffin tin by wrapping them around the outside in a circle. Put that baby in the oven for about 10 minutes to start cooking the bacon. Next, remove the muffin tin from the oven and pour out or soak up any excess grease before cracking 1 egg into each bacon cup. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper to taste before topping with shredded cheddar cheese.
Put the finished egg cups back in the oven for another 10 minutes. If you want the yolks a little softer, you can adjust the time. To release the eggs, run a knife around the outside of the bacon. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe 04: Breakfast Enchiladas
If you need to prep something the night before and you have a hungry crew, this is the recipe you need. Taking the traditional and swapping some ingredients is a total win in my book!
- 1/2 lb. ground sausage
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 c. diced onion
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 10 eggs
- 1/4 c. milk
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 can diced green chilies
- 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 can green enchilada sauce
- 1/2 c. cream
- 1/4 tsp. chili powder
- 8-1o flour tortillas
- 1 c. shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
- Toppings: salsa, sour cream, avocado, diced tomato
Begin by heating your oven to 350F and greasing a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. While it’s heating up, cook your sausage in a skillet over medium heat until browned and cooked through. Drain your excess fat and set aside. In the same skillet, heat your olive oil before adding in the onions and garlic and cooking until they are soft and start to brown. While the garlic and onions are doing their thing, whisk your eggs, milk, salt, and pepper together in a mixing bowl before pouring the egg mixture into the skillet. You want to stir until the eggs are mostly cooked but still moist.
Remove the skillet from the burner and add in the sausage, green chilies, and cheddar cheese before setting aside. In a medium mixing bowl, combine your green enchilada sauce with the cream and chili powder and whisk until well combined. Next, pour about 1/2 c. of the sauce on the bottom of the pan.
Now you are ready to assemble your enchiladas! Do this by spooning about 1/3 c. of your egg mixture in the middle of a tortilla, then rolling the tortilla up and tucking the ends in. Place the tortilla seam side down in your pan and repeat until you’ve used all of your filling.
To finish your enchiladas, pour the remaining sauce over the top and liberally sprinkle with Monterrey Jack cheese. Cover with foil (you can pause here and refrigerate if you need to) and bake for about 20 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted. Top with any additional toppings and serve!
Recipe 05: Perfect Breakfast Casserole
This is another one that you can prep beforehand and feed a large group with. It really is perfect with bacon, hash browns, and eggs all rolled into one yummy dish.
- 1 lb. diced and sliced bacon
- 1 chopped medium sweet onion
- 6 lightly beaten eggs
- 4 c. thawed frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
- 2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 c. cottage cheese
- 1 1/4 c. shredded Swiss cheese
Begin by heating your oven to 350F and greasing a 9×13 baking dish. Then cook your bacon and onion in a large skillet over medium heat until your bacon is nice and crispy. Next, drain your excess fat before tossing your bacon and onion into a medium mixing bowl. Add the eggs, hash browns, cheeses, and cottage cheese together and stir until just combined. If you need to pause here and refrigerate overnight, go for it. Otherwise, proceed on to the last step.
Last, pour the mixture into your greased baking dish and bake, uncovered, for about 35 minutes. You want the dish to be set and not runny, so you can poke the middle with a knife and if it comes out clean, you’re good to go. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for about 10 minutes so that it can firm up. Serve and enjoy!
And there you have it! Hopefully I’ve given you a little food for thought and helped you find some breakfast recipes to feed the whole family. Try making breakfast one of those meals where you can sit down for a few minutes and talk with your kids before heading into the craziness of the day. Happy Cooking!