Cooking with Claire: Breakfast like a champion

Breakafast sandwiches are a quick and easy solution to the morning.  (Henrik Ström/Flickr Creative Commons)

I can't believe I haven't written about my favorite meal of the day since starting my column. When reports came out years ago that breakfast was the most important meal of the day, I was already convinced of its powers. While I don't often have time during the week to make breakfast, on the weekends I enjoy leisurely cooking myself breakfast. As a good friend of mine once said, breakfast is the only meal where it's acceptable to pour sugar over the entire plate. What could be better?

I'm sharing below two of my favorite breakfast recipes. One recipe is for a fool-proof breakfast sandwich. The second is my mom's favorite recipe, which she usually makes on holidays. Because it is assembled the night before and then cooked the next morning, it is perfect on busy days when we don't like to cook, like Christmas morning, New Year's Day and more. The second one is definitely more complex, but both are great breakfast recipes to please a variety of people. Try the sandwiches this week, and the casserole this weekend for the best of both worlds.

 

Easy Breakfast Sandwiches

Ingredients:

Makes two sandwiches

- Two eggs

- Two breakfast sausage patties

- Two slices of cheese (cheddar, Swiss or your preference)

- Two bagels, rolls or other breads

- Optional: avocado slices, onions, peppers or spinach

 

Directions:

1. Cook eggs on the stove to your preference. (Sunny-side up, over-hard, scrambled, etc).

2. In separate skillet, cook breakfast sausage according to package directions.

3. Layer eggs, cheese, sausage and extras between bread slices. Serve immediately with your favorite condiment!

 

Apple-Raisin French Toast Casserole

Ingredients:

- One cup of brown sugar

- One-half cup of butter, melted

- Three apples - peeled, cored and sliced

- One-half cup of raisins

- One (one pound) French baguette, cut into one-inch slices

- Six eggs, lightly beaten

- One and one-half cups of milk

- One tablespoon of vanilla extract

- Three teaspoons of ground cinnamon

- Optional: One package of pre-cooked, frozen breakfast sausage

 

Directions

1. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, mix together brown sugar and one of the teaspoon of cinnamon. Mix in melted butter. Stir in apples and raisins until evenly coated. Stir in sliced breakfast sausage if desired. Pour into prepared pan.

2. Arrange bread slices in an even layer over apples.

3. In the bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and the remaining two teaspoons of cinnamon. Pour over bread, making sure every slice is fully soaked.

4. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.

5. Preheat oven to 375˚ F. Remove dish from refrigerator while the oven is heating. Bake covered for 40 minutes. Remove cover and bake five minutes. Let stand five minutes before serving.

 

The breakfast casserole can be served with maple syrup, if desired. Letting it sit overnight is crucial for the bread to soak up the eggs. My favorite part of this recipe is the French baguette. Buying three feet of bread in the grocery store always pleases me for some reason. This recipe is also perfect for potlucks and office meetings. If your office or class is having a 9 a.m. meeting, why not bring some home cooked food to put the smiles back on your colleagues’ sleepy faces?


Claire Galvin is a senior staff writer for The Daily Campus.   She can be reached via email at claire.galvin@uconn.edu.