I’m totally a morning person. I enjoy the quiet and stillness. In summertime, I love seeing the dew on the grass and how everything is the most green early in the day. In the wintertime I get to see the sunrise and freshly fallen snow without any tracks in it yet, which is awesome. Big Man works nights currently and he sleeps later in the morning, so I enjoy relaxing with a cup of coffee and my iPad, checking email and the news, browsing new posts from the blogs I follow, planning my day, and generally enjoying some “me” time. Mornings are relaxing, peaceful, and home to the best meal of the day, breakfast.
Of course, Little Man and Little Lady don’t have the same appreciation for quiet, peaceful mornings as I do. While I do get a few days here and there to have my quiet “coffee by myself” routine, more often morning consists of waking up when the Little Ones decide it’s time. The baby monitor kicks on and I either hear Little Lady’s waking-up grunts or Little Man practicing all the words he knows, running through them in no particular order. And once the Little Ones are up, any hope of quiet morning time is gone.
Of course, mornings with the Little Ones have their own special charm. Both kids are all warm and snuggly, and love to give lots of hugs and kisses. Once Little Lady wakes up a little more, she starts her morning monologue, which consists of constant grunts, giggles, squeals, and wiggles. Little Man gets super excited for breakfast and gives me his “happy for food” smile when I set his plate on the table. And so our morning routine continues, with Little Man enthusiastically eating breakfast and Little Lady nursing, then continuing to “talk” and wiggle around (she’ll be crawling soon!). We get to hang out together, eating, snuggling, usually singing along to Snow White, and enjoying the morning. And then Big Man wakes up, and there is a whole new brand of excitement from the kids upon seeing Daddy. In short, mornings are good.
Since morning is such a special time here in our house, I usually try to cook or bake something for breakfast. I grew up with my mom making a hot breakfast every morning, so it is something I enjoy doing for my family as well. (And surprisingly, most of what I make for breakfast is actually more economical than if we ate cereal every day). I do enjoy making things like pancakes and eggs, but that adds another dimension to the morning activities and sometimes it is nice to have a ready-made breakfast that Little Man can eat on his own while I feed Little Lady. So I make things like coffeecake or sweet rolls the night before and then all I have to do in the morning is serve them up.
This recipe is a perfect make-ahead breakfast! It is really tasty and easy to make; it doesn’t even require a stand mixer. One bowl, a wooden spoon, and clean hands are all you need. I do have to say that the texture of this cake is very good, though unexpected. It is similar to a blondie or cookie bar, which I really like since it can be eaten as finger food and is filling. If you are looking for something with a more tender, cake-like texture, this isn’t your recipe. But I hope you’ll try this out and enjoy it as much as we do. And if you want to serve it as dessert instead of breakfast, I’m sure ice cream or whipped cream would be a perfect accompaniment.
Ozark Apple Pudding (directly from Tasty Kitchen)2 cups sugar 1 ¼ cup oil 2 eggs 3 cups flour 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp cinnamon 3 cups peeled, diced apples (I used Gala)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour (or spray with cooking spray) a 9×13 pan.
In a large bowl, stir together sugar, oil, and eggs with a wooden spoon. Add in the rest of the dry ingredients and stir to combine (the dough will be very stiff, like cookie dough). Mix in apples (I used my hands).
Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean.
Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream for dessert, or let cool and serve for breakfast.
Enjoy your morning routine, whatever it may be!