The Cowboy Boot Contessa Makes . . .


I am posting every day this week in hopes of expanding our menu of meals. We have reached a nadir in menu planning, variety and the culinary demands of a certain child who happens to be turning 8 this week. No names . . . wouldn’t want to expose the guilty party. (It’s Jude. And he’s driving me NUTS!!) So breakfast . . . what’s your favorite all-around? How about when you’re in a rush? Do you like it sweet? Savory? Tell me everything and anything you have to say about the most important meal of the day in the comments section. Leave a link or a recipe or join in on your blog. You can see what Mama and the girls are having for breakfast over here.

I had the idea a couple of weeks ago to start serving breakfast buffet-style on school days beginning in August. In the past, we have used menu planning to much success. (Look here and here.) Then Tom took over breakfast and began to channel the spirit of his grandfather who worked as a cook in a New Jersey diner. This was working out pretty well, but things were getting a little complicated. So one morning during pancakes-bacon-and-eggs-any-style, I had the idea to eliminate the element of choice and elaborate preparation on school days. My criteria are high protein, low sugar, minimal cooking and easy clean-up.

Here is a list of items I plan to have available for breakfast on weekdays. (Not all items will be available everyday. This is more of a list of options for me to pull from.) Fridays and weekends will have Tom returning to his role of impersonating Pop-Pop Larry.

  • Boiled eggs
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Nuts, dried fruit
  • Fresh fruit
  • Cereal
  • Milk
  • English muffins, breads
  • Quick breads, muffins
  • Cheese
  • Cold cuts
  • Yogurt, kefir
  • Peanut butter
  • Granola


Check out the breakfast recipes I have posted in the past.


14 thoughts on “The Cowboy Boot Contessa Makes . . .

  1. I know pancakes can be time consuming, but the Oatmeal-Banana Blender Pancakes over at Beauty That Moves are just so simple, they’re really worth checking out.

    We’re big smoothie drinkers, especially in the warm weather months. Our favorite powerhouse, truly delicious and filling!

    1 c spinach
    1 c Swiss chard or kale
    1 banana
    12’ish strawberries
    1 mango (or 1 c frozen chunks)
    1 apple
    Juice of 1 lemon
    2 to 3 c water

    Our kids love it, AND they’re getting loads of nutrients in every sip. :-)

      • A Vitamix has changed our lives. Okay, that might be a little dramatic, but really, I don’t know how we got along before “Vita” joined our ranks. It is indispensable for smoothies, making salad dressings, blending soups, and let me tell you about the mean milkshakes (Hint: tossing in some white chocolate chips is our little secret) we’re fixing over here! Definitely glad we sprung for the model that can fit under our kitchen cabinets so I can just leave it sitting on the counter all the time!

        • Ok, now I have to ask which model you purchased. My mom is debating getting a vita mix and we are all wondering if it is worth the price. I have never even owned a blender, so I am no help in this department. Although I am glad a friend of mine convinced me to buy an immersion blender a couple of years ago.

          And can I ask one more thing? How often do you use it?

          Thanks for all the information. Wondering if you get points or cash from the Vita Mix Master for convincing other people to buy a vita mix. LOL

          • I wish I did! Maybe that would offset the cost of ours a little. We went with this model:||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_-Feature_Recipe_Rule%7CTop_Marketing_Billboard-_-

            The two primary reasons we went that direction is because 1) as I mentioned, it can fit under our cabinets, and I truly believe I use it more because it’s so easily accessible, and 2) the pre-set dials are awesome.

            We use ours daily right now. That may slow down in the winter, but while we’re in smoothie mode, we use it once a day, if not more frequently. My favorite salad dressing uses cashews, and the Vitamix blends them up to liquid with no pre-soaking. We make a killer hummus in it from sesame seeds (no need to buy tahini). And soon, my husband will start making Soulemama’s tomato-carrot soup again, which he blends in the Vitamix. It makes the soup so creamy, we don’t even bother to add the heavy cream called for in the recipe anymore. I like to think we have pretty discriminating palates, and blending our soups in there means we get really rich, creamy soups that are also a smidge healthier.

            We held off on our purchase for quite awhile because we were skeptical. But now I can honestly say it has been money very well spent!

            • Just jumping in here to say we love our Vitamix at our house too (the 5000 model).Breakfasts this time of year are for sure smoothies most days (like today with a heat advisory!) My favorite is a frozen banana, blueberries, a handful of spinach, Tbsp or so of flax seeds and one of sesame seeds, a few dates, and some almond or coconut milk.

              And we use our Vitamix for so many things, it sits on the counter. Soups – both cold and hot, hummus, ice cream treats, pasta sauces…quite a game-changer for me.

              Love the New Jersey diner image, Shiela! My absolute favorite breakfast is two eggs easy over with toast (gluten free free me)!

              Thanks for the meal conversations.This time of year I always find myself at a loss, forgetting what I even usually DO for meals. Then I regroup and get a plan going again.

            • I feel the same way sometimes. Like I come in my kitchen and look around with a quizzical look on my face and think “What do I do in this room again?!”

              The vita mix . . . seems like it creates groupies. I’m excited to check out my mom’s. She strives to be gluten free and I wonder if this will make things easier for her? We’ll see.

              My favorite breakfast is a poached egg with toast (rye toast if I’m at a diner) – and I only seem to get that when we go out for breakfast. Might have to change that . . .

              Looking forward to seeing you SOON!!!


            • I know you have been on the edge of your seat . . . my mom purchased a vita mix. She went with your model. I am excited to see what she does with it. Thanks for all the information.

              Hope the move goes smoothly!!

  2. That is so funny you posted a link to my jump-the-gun-last-week post (: I’ll have to get it together This Week.

    I’m going to join the last couple of decades and make my first “smoothie” — thanks Trace (:

    • I’m not a big fruit person, so smoothies are usually frozen banana, yogurt and peanut butter in our house.

      I always say I’m the last person in the world who has never done acupuncture.

      I also missed the initial waves of aprons and blogs!

  3. I have been serving dinner for breakfast. Soup, fish, casseroles. They are so hungry in the morning they eat more than when it was served for dinner. Works well for my little kids.

    • Vincent and I can do dinner for breakfast. No way for Jude and Tom. I think it makes so much sense, considering you have the whole day ahead of you to use up all those calories.

  4. Don’t laugh. I’ve checked in here 3 times now. The first two I couldn’t remember what I wanted to write. As they say, third time’s a charm. Weekday breakfasts are pretty dull around our house. The boys get Bob’s Red Mill Creamy Wheat with butter, cinnamon, and milk. Gwyn gets an egg and toast with jam and butter. Friday morning we go crazy and have steel cut oats that have been soaked overnight. Jack usually gets hungry again around 9:30, so we have a 2nd breakfast of homemade yogurt. If Scott’s around, we have more variation on the weekends. That usually, I mean always includes bacon. Sometimes we have french toast, pancakes, or biscuits and sorghum. Yum! My new favorite breakfast treat is a breakfast grilled cheese. What, you may ask is that? Well, its made just like a normal grilled cheese, except you use cream cheese and possibly jam or fruit. Notice I’ve told you what everyone else in the family eats, but not what I eat. That’s because I hate eating at breakfast time. Just coffee for me please.

  5. Pingback: A Brand New Rhythm | Sure as the World

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