Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches

My husband and I have been cracking down on our spending recently. We’ve desperately needed to find ways to cut costs! A couple of things we’ve found that help tremendously are meal prepping and making more meals from scratch rather than buying pre-made and/or frozen items.

Oftentimes we would buy those frozen breakfast sandwiches offered at grocery stores. They’re great when you’re in a rush during the work week. But, the calories and the cost can add up. So, I’ve started making these same sandwiches at home and freezing them. Not only are we saving money by doing this, we’re cutting out calories and additives that make up those frozen sandwiches. And my homemade ones taste even better!

By taking just an hour or two on the weekend to prep these sandwiches, you can have a quick breakfast in the mornings and feel good about what you’re eating.

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You could prep these Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches with any of your favorite things: mini bagels, English muffins, croissants, bacon, sausage, etc. Our go-to are English muffins with bacon or sausage patties, egg, and cheese. Delish I’m telling you!

We make our eggs the Pioneer Woman way. But simple fried eggs would work too! Also, when I use bacon I like to cook it in the oven to save time. Its cooking along while I’m making the eggs.

We usually prep about 10 at a time so that we both can have one each morning of the week. Feel free to change that amount based on what your family needs. These keep in the freezer for a whole month. Try them out this weekend!

 

Make Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 10 English Muffins, or bread base of choice
  • 10 sausage patties or 20 strips of bacon (1 lb. is fine)
  • 10-12 eggs
  • 10 slices cheddar cheese
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Plastic wrap + Freezer bags

 

Directions

**Again, we make our eggs the Pioneer Woman way, so check out her site for details or follow along below.

For the eggs:

  1. Melt a tbsp of butter in a small skillet on medium heat.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, add your eggs, a splash of water and a few sprinkles of salt and pepper. Beat until well combined.
  3. Pour just enough egg to cover the bottom of your pan and cook for about 1 minute.
  4. Flip egg over and cook the other side for 10-30 seconds (depends how hot your skillet gets; you want the eggs to be firm but not overcooked).
  5. Fold your egg in half then quarters and set aside.
  6. Repeat until you have 10 folded eggs.

If using sausage, follow instructions on package.

If using bacon:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Line a large cookie sheet with foil.
  3. Lay strips of bacon on foil. They can overlap a little if needed.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until bacon reaches desired crispness.
  5. Drain on paper towel-lined plate.

To assemble:

  1. Split English muffins, bagels, or whatever you’re using in half.
  2. Add a folded egg.
  3. Top with a slice of cheddar cheese (I buy the blocks of cheddar when they’re on sale and slice that up, but pre-sliced cheese would work too).
  4. Top with a sausage patty or two strips of bacon.
  5. Let sandwiches cool on counter for about 30 minutes.*
  6. Wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap and store in freezer bags.
  7. Freeze for up to 1 month.
  8. To reheat, line a microwave-safe plate with a paper towel and heat on high for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes (The egg takes the longest to warm up. I check mine after 1 1/2 minutes and add additional time as needed).

*You want the sandwiches to cool completely before freezing. Otherwise, when you wrap them up the steam will cause condensation on the plastic wrap, which will then cause ice to form on the sandwiches. This will make the sandwiches soggy when re-heated.

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What We’ve Been Up To + A New Recipe

Hey guys! Happy Friday!!!

Just wanted to pop in today and post a little about what my family and I have been up to, as well as a new recipe I tried from Little Sweet Baker (which was a HUGE hit!).

First off, our little darling girl Emma is growing like a weed! She will be 2 this year and I am too emotional to even think about it. How did this happen so fast?!?! I know that’s the question all moms ask. We’re trying to savor each day and have as much fun as we can in our free time.

This summer, that has included eating lots of ICE CREAM!

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Could you not just kiss all over that sweet face?!?!

Emma LOVES ice cream, and I can’t imagine where she gets it from (…her daddy) hehe.

My birthday was last month and so we had a little shopping day with my mama. Clothes, Italian food, and ice cream – a perfect birthday celebration!

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Not long after my birthday, poor baby girl came down with a horrible case of hand, foot and mouth disease! If you don’t know what that is, and you have babies, I encourage you to look it up. Its highly contagious and is very common in the summer.

(The above picture is her first time back to church after she was no longer contagious. You can see the remainder of the rash on her face, but it looked great comparatively!)

It started as just a fever on a Tuesday night. She hadn’t had an appetite for a couple days, and hadn’t slept well either, so we knew she may be coming down with something. She didn’t have the fever Wednesday morning, so I took her on to daycare. Once I got home from work, I saw a bad rash/blisters had started forming around her mouth, and I knew it was hand, foot and mouth (I have a younger brother who had it as a baby). We went to the doctor the next morning and they confirmed it.

The worst part about this disease is just the pain it causes. Emma couldn’t eat or drink without crying – it causes blisters around and in your mouth – and she was so itchy from the rash spreading to her feet and hands. It was just so heart breaking to watch her suffer. We fed her soft foods, tried to make her drink as much as possible – they have to stay hydrated – and gave her pain meds and oatmeal baths.

We prayed Jesus would heal her quickly, and after Thursday her rash got worse but she started eating and drinking better fairly quickly. We give all the glory to God! We know He touched her.

The sickness ended about 2 weeks ago. Little girl is doing much much better now and is back to her old, joyful self!

{Insert segway from family to food}

So, this recipe I mentioned, it is quick, easy, and delicious for breakfast or a snack! It’s Little Sweet Baker’s Bakery-Style Chocolate Chip Muffins.

The reason I found this recipe is from scrolling through my Pinterest boards. I was going to be baking something for the Harvest Showcase that the ladies from my church are involved with. The Harvest Showcase is a county-wide event where multiple booths are setup, selling anything from fresh produce to handmade baskets. There is also singing and entertainment through-out the day. We have a booth filled with baked goods each year to try and raise money for our Ladies Dept.

Anyway, I was looking for something to bake that would be easy and hopefully a good seller. Everyone does brownies and cookies, so when I came across some muffin recipes  I had saved I thought that would be perfect. And these muffins were! I made two batches (2 dozen) and they sold out of them! I even had my mom and husband begging me to make more for just them, which I actually did last night. “Mmmmm” is all I can say about them!

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There’s a whole stick of butter in one batch, so if that doesn’t convince you that these are good, you should talk to Paula Deen – “butter makes it better” baby! haha

These are the pictures I took of the ones I made, but Little Sweet Baker has much better pics if you want to hop over to her blog!

Here is her recipe. I hope you guys enjoy and have a GREAT weekend!

Bakery-Style Chocolate Chips Muffins

*by Little Sweet Baker*

Makes a dozen (12) muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 & ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tspbaking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk (whole or buttermilk is preferred)*
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 & ½ cups mini chocolate chips (you could use regular-sized ones)

*I used 2% because that’s what I had on hand. They turned out perfect for us.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and spray a 12 cup muffin tray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and chocolate chips. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, eggs, milk and vanilla. Slowly add to the dry ingredients. Gently fold together until JUST combined.
  4. Divide the batter into the 12 muffin cups and bake at 425°F for 5 minutes, then turn the oven heat down to 375°F and bake for another 13-15 minutes. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes and enjoy warm.

 

Thanks for the recipe Little Sweet Baker!

Tips & Tricks For Weekly Lunches

Good morning everyone!

I hope you all are having a nice week. I’m just “working for the weekend” as the song says (lol). Although funny, it is the truth sometimes! I’m thankful for my job, and the income and benefits it provides, but sometimes I really just want to get through the week and have another weekend with my family. If only there were a way to extend our weekends without giving up money…

Anyway, today I have a fun post for you (at least I consider it fun!) that involves something my family and I struggle with often – weekly lunches.

Sometimes, it is so difficult for my husband and I to take lunch to work every week day. We know we should to help save money (and probably some calories), but it doesn’t always work out. Through my Pinterest and blog perusing, I have come across a lot of ideas to help make weekly lunches easier to prepare and a little more interesting. I wanted to share some of my favorite tips and tricks to hopefully help you make your weekly lunch break more enjoyable!

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Put In Some Prep Work

I’m sure many of you have thought of this one, so it goes without saying that prepping your lunch the night before is a great idea! It helps save you time in the morning rush of getting yourself (and maybe kiddos) together for work, school, or your daily tasks. Cut up those fruits and veggies, put that dressing in a to-go container, and make your sandwiches or main dish before you go to bed. Pack your lunch, drinks, and snacks for the day in a sturdy lunch bag, and you can just grab it and go when its time to leave.

 

Leftovers Are Your Friend

When my husband and I got married, he was not a big fan of having leftovers of dinner for lunch the next day. The idea of food sitting in the fridge and having to be reheated somehow made him think leftovers were time-consuming and not very tasty. He has since realized that re-heating food in the microwave is quite speedy, and it still tastes yummy if you do it right. Also, using leftovers for lunch the next day is a great way to save some money! The things I have found that re-heat the best are: pizza, pasta, rice, vegetables, beef, and pork (to name a few). Chicken is very finicky when trying to re-heat it in the microwave. However, I have found that if you’ve cooked your chicken in the Crockpot, it tastes much better re-heated the next day than if it were cooked in the oven or another vessel. So, the moral of the story: Leftovers are your friend!

 

Frozen Meals: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

We all know that frozen meals are not the healthiest thing to eat for lunch. However, they are easy to grab in the morning before walking out the door. Although my husband and I don’t do frozen meals as our first choice for lunch, it is still an option. I like to wait until our favorite meal brands go on sale and then stock up with about a week’s worth. Some of our favorite brands are: Healthy Choice, SmartOnes, Lean Cuisine, and Chili’s (<<< my personal fave! Very satisfying). Another issue with frozen meals is often there isn’t enough food to keep you full. We try to combat this by taking fresh fruit or veggies to eat with it. That way, there is a little balance in what we’re eating and we’re also filling up with good stuff too. When I do stock up, we usually will alternate between the frozen meals, leftovers, and prepped lunches, so we’re not doing frozen meals for lunch 5 days a week!

 

Freezer Friendly Meals

If you follow foodies on Pinterest, you will normally come across a post every now and then about freezer meals. I love freezer meals because they make dinner time so much easier! But, did you know you can use this same idea for lunch? I’m sure you did, but just by chance that it hasn’t crossed your mind, try it out! Make a couple of sandwiches or wraps – PB&J, Turkey & Cheese, etc. – each week and stash them in the freezer. Leave them on your desk when you get to work and they will defrost in time for lunch. You could also do this with fresh fruit and veggies if you wanted to prep them a few days before you actually take them for lunch. Soups and chilis freeze well too. Use air-tight containers, and once you remove them from the freezer, keep them refrigerated until ready to re-heat in the microwave.

 

Breakfast For Lunch

We’ve heard of breakfast for dinner, so why not breakfast for lunch?! Going along with the previous idea, here are two recipes for breakfast freezer meals you could also try for lunch. They sound scrumptious!

Freezer Breakfast Burritos Recipe from Gimme Some Oven

Make Ahead & Freeze: Breakfast Sandwiches from The Pioneer Woman

 

Lunch Box Tips

Aside from what you may take for lunch during the week, there are also some little tips I would like to share on convenient ways to pack those lunches:

  1. Use ketchup, mustard, mayo and salad dressing packets you have in your kitchen drawer for condiments in your lunch box. A great way to use those up, and you’re also not dirtying more dishes than necessary.
  2. Use plastic utensils for your cutlery to, once again, use up what you have left from parties or other things, and also keep from dirtying dishes.
  3. If you don’t have fridge in your office, pack your cold lunch items with an ice pack.
  4. If you don’t have a microwave in your office, heat up warm items in your microwave and pack them in a thermos. Great for soups, leftover chicken nuggets, pizza rolls (that’s right, I’m talking real life people!), and whatever else you can fit in there!

 

That’s all the tips I have for you today! What are some tips and tricks you use for your weekly lunch box? Comment below; I’d love to know!