Breakfast

Big Breakfast Bowls

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Ahh… Saturday mornings.

Most mornings growing up I ate cereal, but not on Saturdays.  On Saturdays, I’d wake to the sweet, salty smell of bacon wafting into my bedroom.  Wake upit would whisper to me.

Those words would spread through me, gradually lightening my sleepy limbs and opening my eyes.  I could almost taste the smokey, salty flavor, feel it on my tongue, crispy and crumbly all at once.  I’d stumble out of bed and down the stairs rubbing my bleary eyes and walk into the kitchen.  I’d see Mom cleaning up while Dad stood at the stove, turning pancakes and frying bacon.

I loved those breakfasts.  My siblings and I would sit at the table eating pancakes as they came out of the skillet and trying to save some bacon for my parents.  There is something special about sharing a big breakfast with your family.

Early in my marriage, my husband and I developed a rhythm on weekend mornings made up of fresh coffee, kitchen cleaning, and big breakfasts.  It’s a rhythm we still enjoy, but this season of our lives has brought some changes.  Sometimes he gets called into work, and the kids usually wake up before us, already hungry, so the big breakfast often gets overlooked.

But not today.

Today we fed the hungry kiddos oatmeal while we cleaned the kitchen.  Then we took our time and made these fabulous breakfast bowls (at which point the kids had “second breakfast” 🙂 ).

My husband makes an incredible breakfast.  It doesn’t even matter what he makes.  French toast with sausage, eggs and ham with sauteed peppers, biscuits and gravy, pancakes.  They are ALL good.  I used to be able to make these, but now I just brew the coffee and let him work his stove top magic.

These breakfast bowls are one of our new favorites.  I don’t recommend them for a busy morning, but for a quiet Saturday morning with the family, they are absolutely perfect.IMG_1373

Breakfast Bowl Components:
*hash browns
*ground sausage
*scrambled eggs
*sausage gravy
*cheese

DIRECTIONS

Hash Browns
First, pour an obscene amount of oil (or, if you have it, bacon grease!) into a skillet.  This is part of the reason I can never make them taste as good.  I put in about a tablespoon of grease.  In fact, I put about that much in the pan this morning.  Then, my sweet husband, in his breakfast wisdom, added about a quarter cup more.  It truly gives the potatoes a much more golden, crispy crust.  Mmmm…

Next, add and season your potatoes.  We usually use pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.  Experiment with spices you enjoy and see what you come up with.  We also added diced onion (yellow or sweet works well). Start cooking with the potatoes covered or partially covered to make sure they cook all the way through. When they are mostly soft, uncover them so they get nice and crispy on the outside.

*Note: If you are making hash browns from scratch, peel and dice the potatoes, then put some flour and your seasoning in a large lidded bowl or bag.  Add the potatoes, cover, and shake to coat.  Then pour into your gloriously greasy skillet and cook away!  🙂

Ground Sausage
Brown some ground sausage in a separate skillet (we used close to a pound of meat, but this amount is entirely negotiable).  We used Jimmy Dean sausage today, which had more spices in it than our regular pork sausage.  It added a nice kick to the finished dish.

Scrambled Eggs
Drain the grease from your sausage pan, then stir in some eggs (we used six eggs today, but there’s no magic number — use what works for you).  We like to whip ’em up a little first, but you can crack them straight into the pan if you like.

Sausage Gravy
We get a country gravy mix in a packet (whatever brand is cheapest) and follow the instructions on the packet.  You can do regular country gravy or sausage gravy.  They both taste excellent in the breakfast bowl.  Or, if you’re feeling up to it, make it from scratch.  🙂

Cheese
Yes.  Yes cheese.  Any cheese.  Okay, maybe not any cheese, but you do have lots of options here.  Shredded cheese (or even sliced cheese) works well.  If you go with sliced, you might need to layer it between the hash browns and eggs to get it to melt nicely.  Cheddar is probably my favorite flavor here.  This morning, we happened to have some beer cheese dip leftover from this recipe at The Merrythought (which was quite good with chunks of fresh French bread — I’ll have to try it with soft pretzels next time).  This cheese dip was fabulous in the breakfast bowls.  I highly recommend cheese dip/sauce/goo for this meal.  If you’ve got a different recipe you’re used to for cheese sauce, go for it.

Once you’ve got all your components, layer ’em up in your bowl, and enjoy!

I’d love to hear if you have other add-ins for breakfast bowls.  Leave me a comment and let me know!

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