Maple Bacon Stuffed Waffles

Thanks to Krusteaz for sponsoring this post.

One of our favorite themed dinner nights is breakfast for dinner. When I first started this tradition in our home it was because I needed something quick and easy to make, but the boys love it so much that we’ve made it a regular thing we do at least a few times a month. Some days we make egg dishes, sometimes pancakes or crepes, and sometimes it’s waffles.

In honor of February being National Hot Breakfast Month I thought I’d share a new recipe we tried recently- maple bacon stuffed waffles. I was thinking about different waffle add-ins or toppings and I thought it would be fun to put my favorite breakfast side dish into the main dish. I was originally just going to crumble up bacon and make a savory waffle but I thought adding the syrup right into the waffle mix before it cooked would make it sweet as well (and to be honest, I love dipping my bacon in syrup so that is a winning combo in my mind!)

This recipe is so simple that it doesn’t even require step-by-step photos. Just make the waffle mix (we used our favorite Krusteaz Belgian Waffle Mix) according to the package while your waffle maker preheats. Once the waffle maker is ready, spray it with PAM cooking spray, and add half the waffle mix you’d normally add for one waffle. Next, sprinkle cooked bacon pieces and drizzle some syrup on top before adding the rest of the waffle mix into the waffle maker and closing it. Once fully cooked you can top with even more syrup and bacon before serving. The sweet syrup pairs perfectly with the salty crunch of the bacon inside the waffle.

We also make apple pie waffles by adding in apple pie filling instead of bacon and syrup. It’s fun to try out different combinations of fillings and toppings! What kind of waffle would you make? Or do you prefer pancakes like my youngest? Whichever you enjoy, Krusteaz makes breakfast for dinner easy with their delicious brand of convenient, high quality baking mixes!

Christmas Morning Traditions And An Easy Breakfast Casserole Recipe

This post is written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc.. All opinions are entirely my own.

My favorite day of the year is Christmas Day. When I was a kid it was probably (mostly) because of the gifts but now, as an adult, it’s my favorite because of all of the uninterrupted time we have together as a family. The days leading up to Christmas may be chaotic with last minute wrapping, grocery shopping, holiday parties and everything else, but on Christmas Eve we start to slow down and then Christmas Day we really slow down.

Our day starts early with our boys, clad in matching Christmas jammies, coming in to wake us up. Daddy normally wants to snooze a bit but I sense their excitement so I hop out of bed to make sure everything, including my camera, is ready for the moment they come running out to see what special holiday surprises there are.

The boys head to the fireplace to see what Santa has brought them. They each get a gift or two from Santa and then a stocking full of candy, little trinkets and toiletries. After that they check to see if Santa ate his cookies and drank his milk and check our cat’s stockings to see what little toys Santa left for our fur babies.

After stockings, it’s time for breakfast. This is a tradition that my parents started when I was younger and I continue with my own kids. While my dad cooked a big family breakfast we’d get dressed for the day (and I’m pretty sure this was the one day a year that my three siblings and I got ready without having to be prodded to “hurry up”). Nowadays, we stay in our holiday pajamas all day but we do go and make ourselves a bit presentable for pictures while breakfast is cooking.

This tradition of breakfast before gifts is one of the most enjoyable parts of the day since we generally don’t get to sit down for family breakfasts. We have a variety of breakfast foods but the best part is the breakfast casserole that Sinisa makes. He usually prepares it the night before so it’s simple to pop in the oven Christmas morning. We are all about keeping it easy over here!

This year he is making a casserole with eggs, cheese, sausage, hash browns, peppers and onions. We made it for a quick dinner this past week, to test the recipe out, and the kids ate it, peppers and all. I’m sharing the recipe because if you are looking for an easy casserole idea for Christmas morning (or really any busy day this holiday season) this will be perfect!

Ingredients for the breakfast casserole:

  • 7 eggs whisked together
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese
  • One package of Jimmy Dean® Refrigerated Sausage
  • 1 1/2 cups of chopped peppers and onions
  • 10 ounces of hash browns

Directions:

1) Cook the sausage according to the package. We like using the Jimmy Dean® Refrigerated Sausage because the fresh, high quality pork sausage is made with a unique savory blend of Jimmy Dean® signature seasonings which really gives the casserole a great flavor and keeps the ingredient list low. NOTE: You can cook the peppers and onions with the sausage if you’d like to or you can add them to the recipe raw.

2) Add ingredients into a large casserole dish, layering them. We put uncooked hash browns on the bottom, added a layer of sausage and vegetables next, then poured the eggs evenly over the casserole before sprinkling the top with a generous layer of shredded cheese.

3) At this point you can either put it in the fridge if you are making it the night before or you can stick it in the oven. We cooked our casserole (in a covered dish) for 35 minutes at 400 degrees. Keep in mind that oven times vary so you’ll want to temp it and make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

That’s it. So easy but so delicious! We had “breakfast for dinner” the other night and served this casserole with a side of fresh fruit and doughnuts for dessert.

On Christmas morning, after we enjoy our breakfast as a family, we open gifts. The boys play with their new toys while we sit in front of the fire together. We play some of their new games they received and just relax in the glow of the twinkling lights on our Christmas tree. It’s the perfect day.

Want to recreate this recipe? Find all the ingredients you need for this breakfast casserole at Meijer. Tyson® products, like the Jimmy Dean® Refrigerated Sausage, are perfect for all cooking occasions and all holiday season long. Remember that the holidays mean many moments and many meals to share so make sure to stock up on things that will help you create easy meals so you are spending less time in the kitchen and more time with your family.

How do you spend Christmas morning? I’d love to hear about your family’s holiday traditions and any delicious meals you make!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Apple Pie Flavored Yogurt Parfaits

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #YogurtInspiration #BreakfastInspiration #CollectiveBias

One of my favorite things about the holidays is all the delicious food, from turkey to sweet potatoes to the dessert table at our family parties. One staple that is always available at Thanksgiving is apple pie and sometimes there are leftovers of it that I get to enjoy. Occasionally I even sneak a piece for a special holiday breakfast!

I’ve thought about how I can recreate this breakfast treat in a healthier (and more socially acceptable) way and decided to create an apple pie flavored yogurt parfait. Unlike the traditional slice of apple pie, this one has a lot less calories and actually passes for a sensible breakfast! Yogurt parfaits are a great way to start the day because I always feel full all morning long when I have yogurt. Just one cup of yogurt is packed with the protein, calcium and Vitamin D my body needs and gives me the energy to get through my morning routine. Yogurt also helps support healthy bones which is something all women need.

Dannon All Natural Yogurt, made with only natural ingredients, is a staple in my home and I always buy the largest container I can find because this plain yogurt is the base ingredient for all the fruit smoothies I make and I also use it as a cooking substitute in recipes sometimes.

The best part about this breakfast is that it’s quick and easy to create so it’s perfect for busy mornings during the holiday season. I love making my own cinnamon apples but decided to try canned apple pie filling for this to give the parfait more of an apple pie taste and to make the recipe even simpler. (If you want a healthier version go with homemade cinnamon apples instead of the apple pie filling.)

Here’s what you’ll need to make one apple pie yogurt parfait:

  • 6 Tablespoons of Yogurt (I used Dannon All Natural Yogurt)
  • 4 Tablespoons of Apple Pie Filling
  • 1 Tablespoon of Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Apple Pie Spice
  • A cup or bowl

Directions to make the parfait:

Mix the yogurt with the apple pie spice.

Put half of your yogurt into your bowl.

Add in two tablespoons of apple pie filling on top of the yogurt.

Add in another layer of yogurt followed by another label of apple pie filling.

Top with graham cracker crumbs and serve immediately.

I hope you enjoy this delicious breakfast treat! You can find Dannon All Natural Yogurt, and all the other ingredients you need to make this apple pie flavored breakfast parfait, at Meijer. While you are there grab a couple of my other favorites like Dannon’s Classic Coffee flavored yogurt and their delicious Fruit On The Bottom yogurt.

Do you like fruit and yogurt parfaits? What is your favorite?

PIN IT!

 

Making Breakfast A Habit

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

Today I jumped out of bed at 4:30am. Most of my mornings don’t start that early but even on the days I get an hour or two more of sleep, mornings are too hectic to sit down and eat breakfast. Luckily I have discovered belVita Bites. A delicious healthy and fulfilling breakfast for someone on the go like me.

A study by NPD Group Inc. found that Americans have an average of just 12 minutes a day for consuming breakfast. That is about half the time we spend on lunch (28 minutes) or dinner (24 minutes). This is the most important meal of the day and so many people don’t eat a quality breakfast like they should.

Eating breakfast sets the tone for the day because it gets our blood sugar up which makes our brain function better the rest of the day. It gets our metabolism going. It reduces cravings later in the day. And it puts us in a better mood.

belVita Bites, paired with fresh fruit and yogurt, are a great way to enjoy a quick breakfast on the go. Each pouch provides: 230 calories, 4g of fiber* and 20g of whole grain. Did you know that dietary fiber from whole grains, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease? That is a great reason to try them.

To encourage breakfast fans to trade in their spoons in favor of a balanced breakfast, belVita is taking over National Cereal Day (March 7). They have teamed up with Registered Dietitian Keri Gans, Life Coach Christine Hassler, and author of Eat It to Beat It David Zinczenko to provide a few tips for a healthy breakfast and a smooth morning routine. Last Wednesday belVita Breakfast Influencers had a breakfast panel to discuss the changing American breakfast and how nutritious, convenient solutions like belVita can help on-the-go families stay energized all morning long.

For someone like me who is always on the go at early hours of the day this is the obvious better choice of breakfast. It was simpler and tastier and healthier. Here are some of the great tips that they shared:

“Being that people today have no time to cook, they are looking for options with nutrition’s latest buzzwords – protein and fiber. belVita paired with a serving of non-fat yogurt and fruit hits on protein, fiber AND whole grains.”-David Zinczenko, New York Times best-selling author of Eat It to Beat It! and the Nutrition and Wellness Editor at ABC News

“Doing something 40 days in a row moves it from a change to a habit. Making a complete breakfast a habit starts today.” -Christine Hassler, life coach and Author

So lets make better choices and form great habits. Let Belvita be a start to a balanced breakfast and join me tomorrow as I trade in my spoon.

Improving Breakfast With BelVita

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.

As the rooster crows, my very hectic day starts (I actually woke up the rooster) and its time for breakfast. Let me tell you- breakfast is the most important meal of the day for me because its gets my energy flowing. It sets the mood and the tone for the day to come. When I do eat the most important thing I want from my breakfast is nutrition that will sustain me and replenish my energy long enough until lunch and sometimes dinner. But honestly, as a foodie I know that great taste is king. Early in the day I will not eat just anything. Great nutrition needs to be key and sometimes every smart person needs a bit of help every now and then, especially when we are on the go because of sports and school and work. I found both great nutrition and sustaining energy combined with great flavors with Belvita. Their breakfast biscuits have always provided great world taste and energized us for the whole day. BelVita Bites Breakfast Biscuits make breakfast easy and fun but also very healthy and nutritious, convenient and delicious.

The new size and packaging makes it fun and easy to have a great breakfast that combined with fresh fruit and some yogurt will make a complete and balanced breakfast. With all the best stuff in it like fiber and whole grain and no high fructose corn syrup, no partially hydrogenated oil and no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. Can we say awesome?

Besides being great, BelVita wants to revolutionize your breakfast. It still holds true that most breakfast meals are cereals even at an age everyone is looking for a healthier choice. March 7 is National Cereal Day and BelVita aims to take over and encourage breakfast fans to trade in their spoons in favor of a balanced breakfast.

On March 4th at 11am ET BelVita will be hosting a breakfast panel leading up to National Cereal Day entitled, “The Changing American Breakfast.” Here is all the information:

Twitter Party Details

Date: Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Time: 11:00 AM– 12:00 PM ET

Moderator: @MomCentral

belVita Breakfast Influencers: @ChristinHassler, @Kerigans, and @DaveZinczenko

Topic/Focus: Breakfast has always played an essential role in our diets but times have changed.  As today’s modern family has evolved, consumers’ morning routines and breakfast eating habits have changed as well. A panel of nationally renowned experts will discuss the changing American breakfast and how nutritious, convenient solutions like belVita can help on-the-go families stay energized all morning long

My family is set on trading in our spoons. As a foodie I am excited because I know my day will be better with the tasty BelVita breakfast biscuits and also a healthy nutritious breakfast.


 

Peachy Pancakes {Recipe}

This post is sponsored by Yoplait.

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Start to Finish: 20 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 container (6 oz) Yoplait® Fruitful™ peach yogurt (get a coupon here)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup real maple or maple-flavored syrup
  • 6 tablespoons chopped pecans, toasted
  • Whipped cream, if desired

Directions:

  • Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat or to 350ºF. Grease griddle if necessary. In large bowl, beat flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt with whisk. Stir in milk, yogurt and egg. To test griddle, sprinkle with a few drops of water. If bubbles jump around, heat is just right.
  • For each pancake, pour slightly less than 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle. Cook until pancakes are puffed and dry around edges. Turn, and cook other sides until golden brown.
  • Serve topped with syrup, pecans and whipped cream.

6 servings (3 pancakes each)

Note: To toast pecans, sprinkle in ungreased heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently until pecans begin to brown, then stirring constantly until pecans are light brown.

Recipe and image courtesy of Yoplait.

Breakfast: Thinking Inside And Outside The Box

The following excerpt is taken from the new edition of Food Fights: Winning the Nutritional Challenges of Parenthood Armed With Insight, Humor and a Bottle of Ketchup (American Academy of Pediatrics, March 2012) by Laura A. Jana, MD, FAAP and Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP. For more information about Food Fights, please visit www.HealthyChildren.org, the official American Academy of Pediatrics web site for parents.

It’s easy to see how breakfast has come to qualify as one of the nutritional challenges of parenthood. Whether it’s your own parental time constraints or your child’s busy schedule, getting the whole family ready to set off to child care and/or school in the morning, play dates, or any of a whole host of other common early-in-the-day commitments, breakfast is often neglected. If the words “slow” and “leisurely” don’t exactly describe your morning routine, we’d like to suggest that you commit a little extra time and effort to protecting the nutritional integrity of your child’s morning meal. Whether you opt for a simple breakfast or a more elaborate one, any effort to make it nutritious is better than no breakfast at all. Whether that means a glass of low-fat milk and a piece of wheat toast or an all-out feast, the following breakfast-made-easier tips will hopefully help you rise to the occasion and overcome some of the most common barriers to a healthy breakfast.

Schedule Accordingly. While we’d like to remind you that sitting down and sharing family meals is beneficial, we’re willing to bet that sitting down to a leisurely breakfast with your kids each morning simply isn’t realistic for most of you (or us, for that matter). What is realistic, however, is making sure you carve out enough time to allow your child to eat without pressure. Especially for infants and toddlers, this includes factoring in enough time in the morning’s schedule to allow for both assisted- and self-feeding.

Fix Breakfast Before Bedtime.In other words, plan ahead. As with just about all other aspects of feeding your child, a little advance planning can go a long way toward having a wider range of healthy foodson hand. Simple examples such as hard-boiling eggs ahead of time orhaving your child’s favorite cold cereal dished out the night before to pair with some presliced fresh fruit can mean the difference between time for a balanced breakfast and running out the door without it (or, as is often the case, with some commercially packaged and far less nutritious alternative in hand).

Grab-and-Go Breakfasts. If the reality of your schedule is such that you and your kids routinely run out the door with no time to spare in the morning, then try stocking up on a variety of nutritious foods that you can pre-prepare and prepackage for healthier grab-and-go convenience. In addition to hard-boiled eggs, consider other fast favorites like sliced apples, homemade muffins, or a bagel with low-fat cream cheese.

Make Sure Sleep Is on the Menu. Applying the age-old adage, make sure your child is early enough to bed that she rises early enough to allow time for breakfast. No matter what their age, tired kids tend to be cranky, and cranky kids are far less likely to sit down for a well-balanced breakfast. Not only that, but sleep has proven itself to be a crucial ingredient in children’s overall health.


Broaden Your Horizons. You’ll certainly want to keep safety in mind when figuring out what’s age-appropriate to offer your child for breakfast, but don’t let yourself be constrained by artificially imposed labels to determine what is good to serve for a morning meal. Think protein, think fruits and vegetables, and think outside the box when it comes to expanding your breakfast horizons beyond just breakfast cereals and milk.

Look for Child Care and School Support. Be sure to check out what breakfast options your child’s school or child care provider offers. With much-deserved attention now being paid to the food our children eat in out-of-home settings, you’re more likely to find balanced breakfast options on the menu, and your child may well be more receptive to eating them if all of his friends are eating alongside him.

(Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. This is a guest post and all thoughts and opinions belong to the author.)

Kix Review and Giveaway

“Kid tested, mother approved”… that’s the Kix slogan that comes to mind every time I hear the name of the cereal. The boys eat cereal 4-5 days a week for breakfast and they love Kix cereal.

There are two flavors of the cereal- Regular and honey. Since the boys like to eat both and can’t really tell me which one is their favorite I decided to do my own taste test. I love the extra sweetness of Honey Kix.

Would you like to try out the new flavor for yourself? Enter to win this prize pack from Kix and MyBlogSpark:

(Prize pack includes a 24-piece counting-themed floor puzzle, fun learn-to-count flashcards, a sippy cup, a portable snack container and a box each of Original Kix and Honey Kix cereals.)

How to enter:

Leave a comment below telling me your child’s favorite breakfast cereal.

Giveaway ends THIS SUNDAY, January 9, 2011 at 11:59pm.

(Disclosure: Kix and MyBlogSpark provided me Kix to try and the prize package will be sent out by them.)