One of my husband's favorite breakfasts - and yet one that I rarely make - is quiche. But if you, like me, have a hard time finding time in the morning to make this dish, try making it for supper! Or you can make the pie crust the night before. You can even make the crust and put it in the freezer for later! To do this, roll the crust out on a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper. Cover the entire top with another piece of plastic/wax paper. Now you can gently fold it to put in a ziploc bag for freezing. When you're ready to use it, thaw completely before unfolding!

Quiche, like most "casseroles", is quite versitile. You can make a very simple quiche with just eggs, milk and cheese. If you don't have cheese, add lots of meat and vegetables and you'll hardly miss it. As you mix and match ingredients, just be sure your total (of meat & vegetables combined) doesn't add up to more than about a cup.

Most quiche recipes call for cream (or for sour cream, cottage cheese, etc). However, I've used my trusty cream substitue of rich powdered milk quite successfully. :-) Just mix powdered milk using a 3-to-1 ratio instead of the normal 4-to-1.

Simple Quiche Recipe

One pie crust

6 eggs
1/2 c rich milk
1/2 c Cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Optional Add-ins:

Meat (1/4c to 3/4c) - ham, bacon, sausage,

Veggies (1/4c to 3/4c) - mushrooms, broccoli, spinach, onions, peppers, tomatoes,

Seasonings (don't use more than one of these at a time) - basil, rosemary, nutmeg, cayenne pepper

Bake crust 10-15 min at 375. Then fill with egg mixture and bake 35-40 minutes. For best results, let cool 10-15 minutes before serving. Serve with ketchup, salsa, or for a special treat, serve with maple syrup!

Do you make quiche? Anything you add that I didn't mention here?

Every Saturday morning, we have pancakes for breakfast. We started this tradition in Ghana, where there were not so many other breakfast options. Now it's a habit that is here to stay. When my husband and I got married, I asked my mother-in-law for her pancake recipe. She rarely makes them, but when she does, nobody wants to miss out! These are seriously the best pancakes ever. My whole family loves them, but sometimes I do make a healthier variation, to make me feel better about having pancakes every week. :-)

 

Besides my two favorite pancake recipes, I'm also including my three favorite syrup recipes. (It's your lucky day - five recipes in one blog post!!) My husband loves carmel syrup on his pancakes. The chocolate syrup we more often put on other things . . . but it's great on pancakes too.

 

When you're making the pancakes, you can mix in one of our favorite add-ins:

chocolate chips

blueberries

strawberries

mangoes (diced)

cinnamon & raisins

 

Or set out a variety of toppings. In addition to the three types of syrup, you could try

peanut butter

bananas

jelly, especially orange marmalade

Nutella or similar chocolate spread

cream cheese

cherry pie filling

 

Combine toppings to make a really special treat . . . for example, spread a pancake with peanut butter, cover with sliced bananas, and drizzle with chocolate syrup. Or spread with cream cheese and top with jelly. Or use your own imagination for endless possibliites! For a special occasion (New Year's Day is this weekend!), make a pancake breakfast bar, and let people build their own yummy treat. Of course you can always get creative and make heart-shaped pancakes for Valentines Day or use toppings to make a face pancake for a child's birthday. Have fun!

 

 

Mom's Greatest Pancakes

1 egg

2 Tbsp oil

2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 c. milk

1 c. flour

2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients. Do not overmix. Bake on hot griddle or skillet about 3 minutes on each side.

 

Healthy Multigrain Pancakes

2 eggs

1 3/4 c. milk

1/4 c. oil

1/4 c. sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1 c. white flour

1/2 c. whole wheat flour

1/2 c. cornmeal

1/2 c. quick-cooking oats

1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients. Do not overmix. Bake on hot griddle or skillet about 3 minutes on each side.

 

Maple Syrup

3 c. sugar

1 1/2 c. water

1 tsp maple flavoring

Combine sugar and water. Bring ot a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Be careful not to boil over. Remove from heat and add maple flavoring.

 

Chocolate Syrup

3/4 c. brown sugar

3/4 c. white sugar

1 c. cocoa

1 c. water

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

Combine all ingredients. Simmer on low heat until slightly reduced, stirring constantly to avoid scorching.

 

Carmel Syrup

1 small can (2/3 c.) evaporated milk

2/3 c. brown sugar (white sugar will not work)

1/2 tsp vanilla

pinch of saltCombine milk, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer on low heat 5-10 minutes, until mixture darkens, looking more like carmel, and less milky. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

 

Do you have a favorite pancake recipe? What toppings does your family like on their pancakes?

As a mommy of littles, mornings are a challenge. Gone are the days of sipping hot tea as I have a leisurely devotion time, while the smell of a baking breakfast casserole (prepared the night before) fills the house. Now there are diapers to change, trips to the potty, wet pajamas and bedsheets to deal with, children fussing for drinks, and a hundred other things to do before breakfast hits the table. If that isn't enough, early morning (as in 6-8am) is also the time we get all the door-to-door vendors selling the days' supply of fruits, vegetables, bread, etc. So it's not unusual to get 3 or 4 knocks on the door in the midst of getting children out of bed and breakfast on the table. And preparing something the night before? If I'm still standing by the time both boys are asleep, it's a miracle!

Where we live, breakfast cereal is non-existent or VERY expensive. So just throwing Cheerios on the table isn't an option. The most common breakfast eaten by our local friends is a watery corn or millet porridge which really doesn't do much for hungry tummies in my opinion. So what are my options? Eggs are fast, and we eat them with toast most days. But I get tired of serving the same thing over and over . . . and without cheese, bacon, sausage, and other "normal" breakfast foods, I feel at a loss to know how to put variety in our diet.

So this post is asking you for help, rather than giving you a lot of ideas. What are your favorite breakfast menus? How do you handle the morning rush and still put decent food on the table for your family? Please share ideas, suggestions and recipes!

Yogurt is one of my favorite foods to make from scratch. It's actually incredibly easy, and such a versatile food! It makes great breakfasts, snacks, deserts, and of course is the perfect baby food. It can easily be made from powdered milk - I actually prefer to use powdered milk because you can make it "richer" (I often use a ration of 3:1 for yogurt instead of the normal 4:1) and therefore a higher-protein food.

All you need are two ingredients - milk, and a yogurt starter. Yogurt starter can be a small amount of already-made yogurt, or it can be a powdered yogurt starter (which may not be available in your area, but can easily be mailed from the States). In our area, there are a few locally-made yogurt drinks available, and also a frozen yogurt snack, all of which I've used for yogurt starter. I've also bought a small amount of Labneh, a middle-eastern yogurt available in our bigger supermarkets, for starter. Of course a plain yogurt works best, but you can use flavored yogurt because you use such a small amount that it won't make a much difference. After the first batch, use a bit of your own yogurt (as long as it turns out well!) as starter for your next batch. This way you don't have to continually buy more starter.

Yogurt Recipe:

4 cups of milk

1/4 c. yogurt or yogurt starter

The simple instructions: all you have to do is heat up the milk to about 115 degrees, add the yogurt starter, and keep the mixture at that temperature for 4-6 hours. Not hard, right?

If I'm using powdered milk, I make a teapot of hot water, dilute it with cold water until it's the right temp, add the powdered milk, add the yogurt starter, and whisk it all together. If you are using fresh milk, you will have to be more careful as you heat up the milk, so that you don't scorch it and don't go above the desired temperature. If your yogurt starter is pretty thick, dilute it with a bit of the hot milk first before adding it to the whole batch, so that it mixes in better.

So the trick is figuring out how to keep your yogurt "cooking" at 115 degrees for 4-6 hours. In the hot season, our house is warm enough I just wrap the jar in a towel and set it in a warm place in the kitchen! In "cooler weather" I wait for a sunny day to make yogurt, then wrap it in a towel and set it outside in the sunshine. You do have to keep an eye on it and be sure to move it to keep it in the sun the whole 4-6 hours. If your oven has a "low" setting, you can set the jar in your oven. If your oven is well-insulated, it may also work to turn the oven on while you're making the yogurt, then turn it off and it will hold it's heat. Just be sure it doesn't cool off too much. The method that I've used in the States (no hot African sunshine here!) is to fill an ice chest with hot water and set the jar(s) down into the water to stay warm. You can check the temperature every couple hours and add more hot water as needed.

After 4 hours, check your yogurt. Tip the jar to see if it is still liquid or has begun to thicken. I have found that my homemade yogurt usually does not get as thick as American store-bought yogurt, but it should be somewhat thickened. It may be slightly separated, with a little yellow whey at the top of the jar. If it doesn't seem to be thick after 4 hours, let it go a couple more hours. Just remember that the longer you leave your yogurt, the more sour-tasting it will be. When it is done to your satisfaction, put the jar in the fridge, and you've got yogurt!

The big key to making yogurt successfully is the temperature. If the temperature drops too low, the yogurt culture will not do its thing. If the temperature is too high, it will actually kill the culture and nothing will happen no matter how long you let it set! It's best if you have a thermometer to measure the temperature of your milk when you start, and the temperature of whatever environment you are "cooking" your yogurt in. However, most of my yogurt-making days I had no such helpful device, so I only guessed. If the milk is quite warm but you can hold your hand in it without discomfort, it's probably about right. If it's hot enough to burn your hand, it's too hot, or if it's close to your body temperature (doesn't feel hot to the touch), it's not hot enough.

So that's how to make yogurt! Now what do you do with it? A few ideas -

 **I often flavor my yogurt with a tiny bit of a "Kool-aid" type drink powder. You can also use honey or fresh fruit.

**If you want a thicker (Greek yogurt) consistency, you can strain the yogurt. Line a colander or a strainer with a loosely-woven (clean!) dish towel, and slowly pour the yogurt into it. Let it set for a few minutes, then scoop it out of the towel back into your container. The "whey" that is strained off can be used in place of water or milk in bread recipes, or used for cooking rice or oatmeal.

**If you want to make a cream cheese substitute, strain the yogurt as above, but let it set in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. You can use this as a spread (sweet or savory, depending on how you season it) or use for making deserts. Not quite the same as cream cheese, but it's great if you can't get dairy products in your location.

Do you make yogurt? Any tips for a beginner? How do you flavor plain yogurt so that your children will eat it? Share your ideas below!

Also, don't stop asking questions, ladies! If there is a topic you would like to see discussed, or a question you would like to get our readers' input on, please drop me an email!