September is National Better Breakfast Month, so it’s the perfect time to make an effort to begin your day with a complete breakfast, containing a balance of all the major food groups: protein, dairy, fat and carbs. And, just maybe … a side of fruit, too? To celebrate, we gathered breakfast recipes from members of the community to help you start your day the right way.
Jeannie Galanti, Woodstock
This is a favorite recipe with my family. If you read the ingredients, you’ll understand why. Potatoes, butter, cheese … what’s not to like?
• 2 pounds frozen hash brown potatoes
• 1 stick butter (reserve)
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon pepper
• 1 can cream of chicken soup
• ½ cup chopped onion
• 8 ounces sour cream
• 2 cups corn flake crumbs (reserve)
• 10 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together, except corn flake crumbs and butter, and place in a buttered, 13×9-inch casserole dish. Cover the mixture with the corn flake crumbs, and dot with the butter. Bake for 75 minutes.
Café con Leche (Cuban Coffee with Milk)
Christopher Markley, Ball Ground
Who doesn’t love coffee, milk and sugar? For this recipe, I use an aluminum stovetop 6-cup espresso coffee maker.
• ½ cup sugar
• Café Bustelo espresso, dark roast ground coffee
• whole milk
Unscrew the top of the coffee maker. Set aside. Remove the coffee compartment from the top of the boiler, and fill to the top (even, like you would in a measuring cup) with Café Bustelo. Set aside. Fill the boiler with water, up to the bottom of the water release valve (or to the fill line, if your coffee maker has one). Then, replace the coffee compartment on top of the boiler, and screw the top of the coffee maker back on, tightly, so water can’t escape. Place on a small burner on high heat.
Put the sugar into a large (at least a 4-cup), glass Pyrex measuring cup. Right when the coffee starts to brew (this means when it starts to flow up into the top section of the maker … you can open the lid every 30 seconds or so to check) pour around 1-2 tablespoons of coffee into the sugar. Replace coffee maker on burner. Whisk the sugar mixture with a spoon, quickly until combined; it will turn a light caramel color when mixed sufficiently (this will give you that espresso flavor). Then, when the coffee is done (it will sound like it’s boiling and start to steam), pour the rest of it into the sugar mixture. Mix well.
Microwave 4 coffee cups, filled ¾ full with milk (leave about 2 inches of room at the top of the mugs), for 2 ½ minutes or until warm to the touch. You want it to be at a good temperature to mix with the coffee, so you can drink immediately. If you want it warmer, microwave until it reaches your desired temperature. Pour the coffee mixture into the mugs of milk, until they are full. Serves 4 people.
Brown Sugar French Toast Bake
Dee Childers, Holly Springs
This recipe is so good, I’ve been making it for 20 years. It’s great to make ahead of time, because you refrigerate it overnight before baking.
• 1 cup brown sugar, packed
• ½ cup butter
• 2 tablespoons corn syrup
• 1 loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch slices
• 5 eggs
• 1 ½ cups of milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the brown sugar, butter and corn syrup into a medium-sized saucepan, and heat over medium heat. Stir until heated. Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, or lightly grease with vegetable oil. Pour the hot mixture into the baking dish. Place sliced bread over the mixture standing up, and push the bread slices close together. Beat the eggs; then add the milk and vanilla, mixing slightly. Pour the egg mixture over the bread, covering each slice well. Cover the baking dish with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, uncover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.
Good Morning Muffins
Janis Forrester, Canton
These muffins are full of flavor and protein. Although they might crumble a little, they are a quick and portable option for your kids to eat before school.
• ½ pound sausage
• ¼ melted butter (or less if you reserve sausage drippings)
• 2 cups all purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1 egg, slightly beaten
• 1 cup milk
• ½ cup grated cheese
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Use a medium pan to brown the sausage, stirring to crumble. Drain the sausage, and reserve the drippings in a glass measuring cup. Based on the measurement of the drippings, melt enough butter to make ¼ cup combined. Set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg, milk and butter/drippings. Add to dry ingredients, and stir to moisten. Fold in cheese and sausage. Spoon the mixture into a greased muffin pan, filling each tin ¾ full. Bake for 20 minutes. Makes one dozen muffins.
Baked Bacon, Grits and Eggs
Joy Owen, Holly Springs
A different take on your typical breakfast casserole, this breakfast bake is a great weekend breakfast, or a quick and easy dish to make for Christmas morning. I often like to tweak the recipe and add sharp cheddar to my grits.
• 1 cup of quick, white hominy grits
• 4 tablespoons butter
• 4 crisply cooked slices of bacon, crumbled
• 6 eggs
• salt and pepper to taste
• your favorite shredded cheese (optional)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare grits according to package directions. Stir in 2 tablespoons of butter and the bacon. (If you like cheesy grits, stir in your favorite shredded cheese to taste before pouring the grits in the baking dish.) Pour the grits mixture into an ungreased 11×7-inch baking dish. Make six depressions in the grits mixture with the back of a spoon, about 2 inches apart. Break one egg into each depression. Melt the remaining butter, and pour over the eggs. Sprinkle with pepper, if desired. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes, or until the eggs reach the desired doneness. (Sprinkle cheese on top of the eggs, if desired.) Serve hot.
Texas Coffee Cake
Samantha Humphreys, Woodstock
This cake pairs perfectly with coffee. And if you like to sleep in, this recipe will help motivate you to get out of bed in the morning!
• 4 eggs
• ¾ cup vegetable oil
• ½ cup sugar
• 8 ounces sour cream
• 1 teaspoon butter extract
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
• 2 teaspoons cinnamon
• 1 box yellow butter cake mix
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine eggs, cake mix, oil, sugar, sour cream, butter extract and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Mix well. Coat a bundt pan with baking spray. Pour 3/4 of the batter into the pan. Reserve remaining batter. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle this mixture into the bundt pan. Pour remaining batter on top. Bake for 45 minutes.