Yes You Do Have Time for Breakfast: Peanut Butter-Banana Smoothie

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Yummy Peanut Butter-Banana Smoothie!

Breakfast, according to the popular saying, is the most important meal of the day. I ask: why does it have to be so early? When I am sleepy? While I used to take that extra 20 minutes for sleep, with two kids and a husband to feed, I no longer have that option. So I try to find quick, healthy (ish), filling breakfasts like this Peanut Butter-Banana Smoothie!

I had to make this smoothie a few times. My first couple of efforts weren’t banana-y enough, and I like a really thick smoothie (thin ones kind of gross me out). But I made this for my husband and I this week and . . . I finally got it!

Packed full of protein, fiber, calcium, multiple vitamins and nutrients and (let’s not hide from this) fat, this is a full, satisfying meal that is absolutely delicious! And it takes about 60 seconds to make. So without further ado:

Peanut Butter-Banana Smoothie

Serves 2
You Need:

3 frozen bananas, cut into chunks
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky, your choice)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup ice cubes

Place everything in a blender and blend! Pour into two pint glasses and garnish with additional cinnamon, if desired. Drink!

You can, of course, omit the cow’s milk and yogurt and replace them with almond or soy milk; leave out the honey if your milk is sweetened.

Who’s going to try it? Do you have a quick, tasty breakfast to recommend? Post below!

Yes You Have Time for Breakfast: Greek Yogurt With Granola

GreekYogurt

Greek yogurt with honey and granola: breakfast in less than two minutes.

Hey everybody! You know the drill: breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yadda yadda. You know what I like to do in the morning? Sleep. I never used to eat breakfast, until I moved in with my husband and now stepson, and quickly realized I needed to feed us fast, every day. So now I’ll share my secrets with you! At least the ones about breakfast.

Greek yogurt with honey and granola is my go-to at least once a week. It literally takes less than two minutes to get it together for all four of us (although I just use jam for Sid and Sarah). Plain, full-fat Greek yogurt is packed full of protein and calcium, plus the live cultures are great for your gut. In fact, yogurt is one of the few “live” foods we commonly eat in our processed food culture.

Granola can be more of a mixed bag: it can be as sugary as a candy bar. I use Pamela Salzman’s excellent granola recipe. Not only is it delicious, but it uses maple syrup and honey as sweeteners (which at least sounds better to me) and includes nuts, seeds, and dried fruit for fiber and nutrients.

Now you do not need to make your own granola. Don’t stress out! There are plenty of excellent options at the grocery store–you can even find it in the bulk section in many stores.

This is so simple I feel silly posting a recipe, but here’s my method and proportions, at least:

Greek Yogurt With Honey and Granola

Serves 1
You need:

1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt (don’t be afraid–you need enough calories to get you going, plus, the whole low-fat diet is probably a crock)
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup granola of your choice

I use a 2 oz spring-loaded scoop (two scoops per bowl)–it’s fast, makes the plate look good, and makes portioning out the yogurt easy. Drizzle with honey, top with granola. Done! It took you longer to read this recipe than it will to make. I substitute my own jam for the granola and honey for the kids.

Serve with a piece of fruit!

What’s your favorite go-to breakfast? Post below!

Easy French Toast

Yes You Have Time for Breakfast: French Toast

Easy French Toast

Yes you can eat French toast for breakfast!

Breakfast is not my strong point. When my then-boyfriend (and now husband) and I moved in together with his son (now our son), I despaired at the idea of making breakfast for a family. I didn’t have time for breakfast! I didn’t like breakfast (although I am amazing at brunch). But. I also couldn’t send a kid to school without a good meal. So I have learned that there are lots of quick, tasty ways to eat a good breakfast, and I’ll share them with you.

French toast! It sounds and looks fancy (ooh, la la), but it’s not only a super-easy dish to make in the morning, it’s also a problem solver that answers the question, “What do I do with this leftover stale bread?” Slice it, dunk it, butter it, drench it in syrup–boom! You can have this on the table in 15 minutes or less.

This recipe is based on the Pioneer Woman’s French Toast With Berry Butter, but halved, and with cinnamon and no fancy berry butter. I will make her recipe some day, because it sounds fantastic, but this is my delicious, fast, easy, go-to version:

Cinnamon French Toast

You need:

1 cup half-and-half (or milk, or egg nog*)
1 large egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 Tablespoon sugar
Dash cinnamon
Dash vanilla
Stale bread: I usually use one-inch slices of leftover baguettes, artisan bread, etc. This recipe works best with slightly stale, crusty bread.

Heat an electric grill or large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Whisk half-and-half, egg and yolk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla together in a small shallow bowl. (*If using egg nog, omit sugar and vanilla.)

Dip your bread in the egg batter, letting it absorb the mixture and turning as needed. Place on your hot electric grill or pan and let brown for 3-5 minutes per side, until nicely colored.

Top with butter and warm maple syrup, and eat! Serves 4-6.

What’s your favorite quick breakfast recipe? I need them!

Happy Monday! Easy Dinners & What Do You Do With an Elf on the Shelf

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Glitter houses!

Happy Monday! Sarah is napping and I’m toasting panko in the oven, so I have a few minutes to chat. Yay! Hope your holiday season is going well. I’m less stressed compared to last week: my folks are coming to help with the back yard, I was able to put our community garden to bed yesterday, and we got our Christmas tree! Sid wants to help put the lights on, so I will try my best not to swear.

Links!

Easy Dinners

These last couple weeks leading up to Christmas are jam-packed: shopping, meetups with friends, some new work responsibilities (I’ll announce that shortly), getting ready for a holiday party–the works!

I thought you guys might be busy, too, so I thought I’d share my secret weapon: Martha Stewart’s Breaded Chicken Cutlets. These are delicious: crispy, quick to bake, and good either by themselves or tossed into chicken parm. I actually call these “Sid’s Chicken” in our house because they’re my son’s favorite. It takes about an hour to put four pounds of cutlets together–freeze them uncooked, and it takes about 15 minutes to get them ready. They’re coated in toasted panko (so you can guess what I’m doing between keystrokes), which gives them a great crunch.

Here’s my other go-to, a one-pan meal which is more of a rule of thumb than anything: Kielbasa with Roasted Vegetables. One 12-ounce package of kielbasa and an equal amount of red potatoes feeds three:

Preheat your oven to 425. Cut your potatoes into quarters or sixths, depending on size and personal taste. Spread on a cookie sheet, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast for 15 minutes. While the potatoes roast, cut your kielbasa into six pieces and chop or slice vegetables of your choice into strips or chunks. Popular at our house: peppers and onions, zucchini, or broccoli. When 15 minutes are up, spread the kielbasa and vegetables on top of the potatoes; stir, and add a little more salt and pepper, as well as any fresh or dried herbs you may desire (rosemary, basil, oregano). Roast another 15 minutes, then remove and serve!

Crafting

I giveth, and then I taketh away: I gave you a time saver, above, and now I’m introducing you to a time waster. Ha! I finally glittered some paper houses I made ten-plus years ago (from a Martha by Mail kit–sigh, remember Martha by Mail?) and now I’m obsessed. The kits are no more, but she has a Winter Village template and instructions online.

Do you love making geeky crafts? Or buying geeky crafts? I’d like to introduce you to GeekCraft Expo, a curated craft market created by comics writer Daniel Way (Deadpool, Gun Theory) specializing in handmade, “geek”-themed crafts like clothing, accessories, toys, home decoration, furniture, art, and more! There are sixteen Expos taking place across the US and Canada, including (drum roll please) a new Portland show June 11-12! This might be connected to my upcoming announcement. Ahem.

Finally, not exactly crafty, but . . . my lovely, thoughtful mother-in-law sent us an Elf on the Shelf. I’m not sure what to do with it, but I did enjoy The Best Time I Got That Goddamn Elf Off My Goddamn Shelf over on Jezebel. Ha!

That’s what I’ve got, and now I need advice: after several months of sleeping through the night, 14-month-old Sarah has started waking up to nurse once a night. I thought it was a temporary phase, but it’s been a few months now, and I’m worried it’s a habit. How do I put a stop to this?!? Wahhh.

Quick breakfast pumpkin smoothie

Yes You Have Time for Breakfast: Pumpkin Smoothie

Hey folks! This is a new feature I’ll be doing periodically, introducing quick, tasty, at least semi-healthy breakfasts you can make and enjoy! This one is one of my favorites: the Pumpkin Smoothie. My version combines the Pioneer Woman’s stellar recipe with the Pie and Pastry Bible‘s Great Pumpkin Pie recipe and it. Is. So good. I also sized it so it’s a full pint–a full meal deal!

Breakfast. You know you should eat it. You’ll feel better! Like a real grownup! But wait–you don’t have time? I say balderdash (yes, I really actually used that word). You do have time for breakfast, and I will show you how.

I loooove the Pioneer Woman. I used to fantasize about quitting my job and writing a blog that thousands of people love, too, and then getting to visit Ree Drummond’s ranch and cook with her in her epic kitchen. Well. Baby steps.

Anyway, when I first read her Pumpkin Smoothie recipe, I didn’t have canned pumpkin pie filling on hand–but I had plain canned pumpkin. So I just cooked and flavored it according to my Pie and Pastry Bible‘s Great Pumpkin Pie recipe, and my husband and I loved it. It’s so good.

And quick–I timed myself this morning and it took less than three minutes to make. You just need to freeze your pumpkin ahead of time, and you need a blender. So let’s get to it!

Pumpkin Smoothie


You need:

1 29-oz. can pumpkin (or equivalent homemade pureed pumpkin)
1 cup light-brown sugar, packed
4 teaspoons ground ginger
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

Quick breakfast pumpkin smoothie

Pumpkin mixture ready for the freezer!

Place your pumpkin in a medium saucepan and add sugar, spices, and salt. Stir and cook over medium heat until dark and shiny, about five minutes. Then divide into six equal portions and freeze. (I’ve plopped it into plastic wrap-lined cupcake tins, but using small plastic containers actually works best–easier to pry out).

Per smoothie:

1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
Splash vanilla
Healthy dash of cinnamon

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Blend, baby, blend!

To make your smoothie, take out as many portions as you need (one per smoothie) and cut each into four to six pieces. Place them in your blender with the remaining ingredients, and blend! Pour into a pint glass and applaud yourself for your life choices.

Quick breakfast pumpkin smoothie

Cheers! You made breakfast! (Warning: decorative cinnamon sprinkle will add at least ten seconds.)

Yum yum yum! This smoothie is packed full of fiber and nutrients from the pumpkin, calcium from the milk and yogurt, and . . . yes, a fair amount of sugar. But it’s delicious and perfect for fall and winter!

What are your quick breakfast go-tos? Post them below!