Save with These Make Ahead Breakfasts!

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Everyone loves something easy. And I like something healthy too. So when I can find food that’s easy to prep and healthy, I’m in! I love doing breakfast prep once a week. It keeps us out of the drive thru, and that helps our bottom line.

As part of the Pinterest Generation, I’ve seen and tried TONS of make ahead/batch cooked breakfasts. All with little success (not fails, really, but nothing that I’m super excited to try again or share). Here are two favorites at our house:

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-10-22-04-pmIt seriously doesn’t get any easier!

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of 8 count Sausage links (I used Farmer John)
  • 2 tubes 8 count biscuit dough (I scored a 2 pack at 99 Cents Only)

Directions:

  1. Cook and drain sausage links per package directions. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  3. Open biscuit dough package and roll out biscuits until flat.
  4. Place sausage on flattened biscuit, roll up dough, encasing sausage.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire baking rack.
  6. Once cool, store in zip top bag or container with a snap top lid. Can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, but really, they won’t last that long.

Makes 16 rolls.

Add a cuppa Joe and you’ve got a quick, filling breakfast.

And if you prefer to start your day with fruit and something rich and creamy, check out our parfait recipe (it’s seriously a no-brainer!)
screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-10-39-06-pm Inspired by my love of the McDonald’s parfaits.  I’m serious, since they changed over to Greek yogurt, my mouth waters every time I glance at the Golden Arches. You can make your own at home in just a few minutes!

I make a batch once a week! I use Ball canning jars (like these) that originally had home made jam in them (thanks Mom!), but you can use whatever jars or reusable containers you have on hand.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cups frozen fruit- I like berries, but feel free to use whatever is on sale or you have on hand. Skip melon, mango, banana, or pineapple- You may find them frozen, but they won’t taste very good or have a good texture in this recipe.
  • 1 large carton Vanilla Greek Yogurt (it’s about 4 cups)
  • Honey, if desired

Directions:

  1. In each container, pour in 1/4 cup yogurt.
  2. Top yogurt with 1/2 cup frozen fruit.
  3. Repeat layer of 1/4 cup yogurt. Drizzle with honey, if desired.
  4. place a few pieces of fruit on top, gently pressing down into the yogurt if needed.
  5. Screw on lid and refrigerate.

Makes 6-8, depending on sizes of jar and type of fruit used. If you need “crunchies” on your parfait, individually portion out 1 cup of cereal and stash them in the cupboard. I use the snack sized bags like these and portion out cereal, then put the portions in a tub like this one. It lives on the counter. No more cereal mysteriously being eaten in one sitting. Really, who is going to open a bunch of little bags into a big bowl and pig out?

Another tip I have for you is: Set up your coffee maker before you go to bed. For those with a classic coffee maker, it’ll just be a quick flip of the switch to get your coffee fix. We have two French Presses, I set them up at night, one I fill with cool water and steep over night to make iced coffee in the morning for myself. I prep the other with grounds and fill the Tea Kettle for a hot pot in the AM for the Mister.

I turn on the stove in the AM and in less than 10 minutes, he has a steaming cuppa Joe and I am already on my second iced coffee!

 

Talk back: What is your go-to frugal breakfast?

Making a better cup of coffee with the Francois et Mimi 50oz Glass French Press!

Zut Alors! I wrote a few weeks back about how you can save money by ditching the ‘Bux habit, but I wanted to share a few quick, easy coffee recipes with you using freshly brewed coffee. We ditched our Mr. Coffee a few years back and opted to embrace the French Press.

The great people over at L&Z and Tomoson recently gave me the opportunity to try out the the Francois et Mimi 50oz Glass French Press. For those unfamiliar with a French press, it looks like this:

IMG_2739It’s a glass pot held by a metal “cage” with a heat proof handle. The lid contains a plunger with a fine mesh to contain all of the grounds in the bottom of the pot (and not in your cup) once the plunger has been depressed all the way.

Making Coffee in A French Press is a cinch:

  1. Place 3 scoops of coffee grounds in the bottom of the glass pot.
  2. Heat water in a pot or tea kettle until it is VERY HOT, but not boiling (about 30 second from boil- if you are using a tea kettle to heat your water, you’ll get familiar with the “I’m almost boiling” gurgle. If you are heating water on the stove in a pot, you want the water to have tiny bubbles that have yet to “pop”).
  3. Pour hot water over grounds and put the lid on the pot, but do not depress the plunger.
  4. After about 4 minutes, depress the plunger and the coffee is ready to drink.

The Francois et Mimi French Press is awesome because it’s 50 ounces, while most French Presses are 12-20 ounces. 50 ounces is comparable to a standard drip coffee pot. That means the Mr. and I can actually share a pot of coffee without one of us sneaking back into the kitchen after the first cup and finishing the pot (Our former French Press was only 24 ounces, which makes about 2 1/2 coffee cups of coffee).

So now you know how to make coffee in the French press here are a few ways to fancy up your cuppa Joe.

Quick & Easy Misto (aka a Cafe au Lait)

Ingredients:

  • 20 ounces Hot Coffee (prepared however you like)
  • 1 cup milk (whatever kind you like, I prefer whole or 2%).
  • Sweetener, if desired
  • Ground Nutmeg or Cinnamon, if desired

Directions:

  1. In a heat proof cup, heat milk for approx. 30 seconds in the microwave.
  2. Froth milk in a Magic bullet, blender, or using an Milk Frother. This takes about 30 seconds. The more fat the milk contains, the foamer the milk gets. Fat free milk (either dairy or non-dairy) does not get too frothy.
  3. Pour Hot Coffee into your serving cup. Add your sweetener and stir. This is a great time to try a new sweetened syrup!
  4. Using a spoon, Push frothed milk to the side and pour milk over the coffee.
  5. Top with Foam if desired.
  6. Get extra fancy and sprinkle the top of the foam with nutmeg or cinnamon!
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Hot, frothy milk!
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The finished product, time for breakfast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quick & Easy Mocha: If you love a Cafe Mocha to start your day, simply add 2 T. of your favorite Chocolate milk mix to the milk before your heat and froth it. Follow the same directions as above.

If you like your coffee a little stronger, add an extra scoop of grounds into the French Press during the brewing process.

Because the French Press does not have a heat mechanism to keep the coffee hot throughout the day, you may want to pour the coffee into an insulated carafe.  Because there is no heating mechanism, if you make an iced coffee using the remaining coffee (if there is any!) later in the day, the coffee will not be thick, bitter, or tar like (think about the coffee in your work place break room about 3pm- EEK!).

Cooled/leftover French Press coffee makes GREAT iced coffee. Simply pour over ice, add any milk and sweetener/syrup you’d like and serve. YUM!

For an Iced Mocha, mix 2 T. of your favorite Chocolate milk mix to the milk before adding it to your ice and coffee.

I love the Torani Sugar Free syrups, they come in over 40 flavors and most of them are great in coffee. We like the following flavors:

  • Irish Coffee (it’s non-alcoholic)
  • Caramel
  • Hazelnut
  • French Vanilla
  • Brown Sugar Cinnamon (Takes just like a cinnamon Dulce Latte from Starbucks)
  • Almond
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Coconut (it’s good in a mocha)

 

I want to thank the great people over at L&Z and Tomoson for the chance to review this rad French Press. I was not financially compensated to review these products, however I received a 50 ounce French Press free to facilitate my review. I only recommend products and services that I feel may be a good fit for my readers.

I’d love to hear about your favorite coffee recipes. Leave a comment and share how you dress up your Cuppa Joe!