How To Make Your Own Popcorn Flavor Shakers (7 Varieties!)

Two Christmases ago, we surprised our boys with this Vintage Popcorn Machine. It’s been super fun for family movie nights – but especially fun to use when we invite friends over.

popcorn machine

I’ve had it on my to-do list since then to make fun flavor shakers to go with our popcorn. (Not that coconut oil and sea salt aren’t amazing in and of themselves.)

Finally, I got the shakers made for my kids to enjoy a year later – in time for Christmas this year. Then it took another three months to type this out to share with you. Time flies when you’re eating popcorn.

So if anyone understands that it might take you until 2019 to make these, it will be me. But if you happen to find a few minutes before then, do try to whip these up. It doesn’t take long, I promise. (Neither does washing windows, but do I ever get around to that? No. Let’s stop talking about that and eat some popcorn, want to?)

popcorn-shaker-collection2

The beauty of these Popcorn Flavor Shakers is that they taste just as good, if not better than, the commercial ones you can buy at the store. But of course, when we make our own we will save money and include only healthy ingredients.

You may find it helpful to blend these ingredients together to make a fine powder for easier sprinkling.

7 Popcorn Flavor Shaker Recipes

Taco

2 Tablespoon dried minced onion
1 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Ranch

2 Tablespoons dried minced onions
3 teaspoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

(These ingredients are the same as my Ranch Dressing Mix, so if you have that on hand, simply blend it and pour it into a shaker.)

Barbecue

3 teaspoons smoky paprika
1 teaspoon sucanat or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Hot Chocolate

2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
3 Tablespoons sucanat or brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Salted Caramel

3 Tablespoons sucanat or brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Cinnamon Sugar

3 Tablespoons sucanat or brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Pizza

1½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoon oregano
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon pepper

make-your-own-popcorn-flavor-shakers

Want a printable that includes the shaker labels and easy recipe reference? Join our free newsletter list (we have a lot of fun together!) and I’ll send it to you!

popcorn-shakers2

If you’re already on my Heavenly Homemaker’s Newsletter List, I sent you an email yesterday with these goodies attached. :)

The Easiest Mashed Potatoes in the World! (How the crock pot can make mashed potatoes great again)

Because I work from home and we school at home, my daily commute and our trek to school are as far as walking downstairs to the kitchen from our bedrooms (uphill both ways, mind you). This also means that my work attire is typically quite casual and sometimes involves pajama pants.

It all makes sense, then, that I would run out the door to a meeting a few evenings ago where I would join many professionals who had just left their offices. They were so dressed up and looked so nice! I took a seat, looked down, and that’s when I noticed that I was still wearing my slippers.

Nailed it. But at least I had on actual pants.

I’ve gotten to the point of laughing (most of the time) about the craziness of my days – mostly because I truly do love my life – even if it is sometimes questionably insane. The “day of the slippers” I had gone from one kid to the next to the next as we tried to crank out papers and assignments for school, along with a video that was due for a church event the minute we got back from a three day out-of-state basketball tournament. Try as I might, never once was I able to sit down to even answer a work email.

The day after that was no different (except that I was still wearing those same slippers). So I’m not sure what came over me when I decided that morning to try the Crock Pot Mashed Potatoes so many of you told me about after I’d lamented that my mashed tater making days had come to an end.

They take too much time, said I. They make too much of a mess. I’ve got to keep my meals simple!!

All of this is true. After all, I don’t even have time to remember to wear shoes when I go out in public. Therefore no one should expect me to make mashed potatoes for dinner.

But since the crock pot version seemed just as simple as making baked potatoes in the crock pot – and I’ve been doing that for years – I decided to give mashed potatoes one last chance.

The easiest mashed potatoes in the world!

You guys. My children are so happy that you are in my life. They had long since forgotten that mashed potatoes were an actual thing. Imagine their faces (and their full plates) when I presented them with a crock full of beautiful, fluffy, delicious mashed potatoes THAT HAD TAKEN ALL OF 2 MINUTES TO MAKE.

The crock pot has made mashed potatoes great again.

What’s the difference in the amount of work/time/dirty dishes compared to making mashed potatoes on the stove-top? The difference for me is enormous!

When I made potatoes on the stove-top, I’d dirty a pot, and I’d almost always allow the potato water to spill over and dirty the stove-top. Then I’d transfer the cooked potatoes to a bowl and use my beaters to mash them. This means I’d dirty my counter-tops because I’m a messy cook and potatoes would fling precariously from the beaters.

I can’t even handle the memory of making mashed potatoes this way. I just had to walk away.

But here’s how to make Simple Mashed Potatoes in the Crock Pot. I do warn you ahead of time and apologize because I no longer know how to cook in small quantity. If you aren’t feeding an army of teenage boys, feel free to cut this recipe in half.

The Easiest Mashed Potatoes in the World

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Mashed Potatoes (How the crock pot can make mashed potatoes great again)
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 5 pounds potatoes (I prefer yukon gold)
  • 1 cup whole milk, half-and-half, or cream
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • ¼-1/2 cup butter
  • sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Scrub, but don't peel the potatoes
  2. Cook them in a crock pot on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 5 hours.
  3. Mash soft potatoes directly in the crock with a potato masher.
  4. While mashing, dump in the milk, sour cream, butter, and salt.
  5. Continue mashing until potatoes have reached desired consistency.

How to make the easiest mashed potatoes in the worldA few extra tips: 

  • If you don’t like potato skins, peel them before baking them. Of course, this requires an extra step, takes away some nourishment, and I just can’t handle it. (The skin on yukon gold or red potatoes is much thinner and easier to eat, so I recommend sticking with those potatoes in this recipe!)
  • You don’t have to add sour cream and butter to these, but if you don’t, what even is the point of eating them??
  • These will cook faster if you cut the potatoes into chunks, but again, then we’ve added an extra step to the process which changes the name of these potatoes to “Almost the easiest mashed potatoes in the world.”

Much to my family’s delight, I have made mashed potatoes two weeks in a row after a very long mashed potato hiatus. A huge thank you to all who suggested this method!

Tell me if you’ve tried mashed potatoes this way? If you haven’t, promise me you’ll join this mashed potato party!

Simple Honey Mustard Chicken Legs

When people ask me if I have a Honey Mustard Dressing recipe, I feel kind of silly. How weird am I to answer, “Yes. I mix honey with mustard. I call it Honey Mustard.”

There’s probably a more detailed option for making Honey Mustard Dressing. But why go to the trouble to look that up when you can just mix the two ingredients together and call it a day?

Spreading my “special” honey-mustard concoction over chicken legs is ridiculously simple and tastes fantastic. So who’s up for another recipe that only takes 5-minutes to prepare?

honey-mustard-chicken1

Simple Honey Mustard Chicken Legs

Yum

Simple Honey Mustard Chicken Legs
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds (give or take) chicken legs (or any variety of chicken pieces you like)
  • 3 Tablespoons mustard
  • 2-3 teaspoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
  1. Place chicken pieces in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl and spread over the top of the chicken.
  3. Bake uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and juices run clear.

simple-honey-mustard-chicken-legs

 

Here’s a tip that works well for me: Watch for chicken pieces marked down in the meat section. I often get Smart Chicken legs for $1.49/pound as they reach their “sell by” date. I buy every package and freeze it to use in simple meals like this one. Talk about an inexpensive way to feed my family!

Here are more Simple Recipes you’ll love!

Truly, all of these recipes are ridiculously easy, good, and nourishing.

If you haven’t joined Simple Meals yet, you are missing out on SIMPLE becoming even MORE SIMPLE! (It’s actually possible. I do the work for you.) Check it out here (and get $10 off!). Get an full Simple Meals Planning Packet in your inbox every single week!

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Easy, Low Sugar, Mini Crustless Brownie Cheesecake Recipe

If you like cheesecake, and you like brownies, you will love these Mini Crustless Chocolate Cheesecakes. The combination of (only 6!) ingredients creates what becomes a Brownie Cheesecake!

Indeed, I’m sharing this now so you can make your weekend the best of the best. I’m always here for you. True friends offer recipes so you can make guilt-free Brownie Cheesecake. Oh yeah. Did I not mention you can eat these guilt-free?

chocolate-cheesecake2

Huge Perk: These cheesecakes are super low in sugar and use all real food ingredients.

The main sweetener in this recipe is Stevia (this is my favorite brand). But if you’re not a huge fan of stevia, you’ll love knowing that this recipe also includes a tiny bit of maple syrup. The maple syrup overshadows any of the bitterness stevia sometimes leaves behind. In my experience, the combination of these two sweeteners keeps this recipe very low in sugar but creates a perfect, delicious treat that is perfectly sweet!

easy-mini-crustless-baked-cheesecake

You might remember the sister recipe to this one: Easy, Low Sugar Mini Crustless Cheesecakes. I think I like those even better than this chocolate variety, and I think we all know how much I love chocolate. Now I’m thinking that I should make a batch of each, and pour them into the pan together to make a Chocolate Vanilla Cheesecake Combo. Hmmm….put that on your “can’t wait until Laura tells us about that” list.

Easy, Low Sugar, Mini Crustless Chocolate Cheesecakes

Easy, Low Sugar, Mini Crustless Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 full droppers of liquid stevia
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Pour into 12 muffin cups.
  3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat, open the oven door, and leave the cheesecakes in the oven for an additional 20 minutes. (Cheesecakes will puff up during baking but deflate while continuing to sit in the oven.)
  5. Transfer cheesecakes to the fridge and chill for at least two hours before serving.

 

 

 

low-sugar-mini-crustless-chocolate-cheesecakes

Make These Cheesecakes EASY!

I always blend the ingredients for these cheesecakes in my Blendtec. It takes about 20 seconds. So easy! Also, I have a Silicone Baking Pan similar to this one that makes baking and cleaning up after these cheesecakes super simple. They pop right out of the pan right after cooling. The pan is BPA free and is very easy to clean!

silicone muffin pan

If you want more low sugar treat recipes, you’ll definitely want to check out this Low Sugar Treats, the Real Food Way eBook. It’s full of our family’s favorites!

Low Sugar Treats cover5

Here are more great cheesecake recipe ideas:

Some of the links in this post are my affiliate links.

Who of you is a cheesecake lover? Do you prefer chocolate or vanilla? Are you loving that we can have GUILT FREE cheesecake because of these recipes?!

Simple Oven Fried Chicken

Oh look. It’s another post about chicken. It’s like we just can’t get enough.

fried-chicken2

My men-filled family loves fried chicken. Who doesn’t?

I used to stand at my electric skillet every couple of weeks frying a bunch of chicken legs, and I’d make a pot of mashed potatoes, use the chicken drippings to make gravy…oh I’d go all out. I did it because my family loved it and I love them.

It’s not that my family doesn’t still love fried chicken and it most certainly isn’t that I don’t still love my family. But at this point in my life, spending over an hour cooking one messy meal just isn’t something I can do. We’ve missed the fried chicken, for sure. But we all like it when Mama can use her nice words, so in a joint effort to keep me sane, no one has complained too much.

I finally decided to experiment with Oven Fried Chicken, though I didn’t see how it could possibly be as good as “actual” fried chicken. My family all agrees that it’s not...quite as good as actual fried chicken. But when the alternative is NO fried chicken, all six of us rally behind this and appreciate its simplicity and goodness.

Simple Oven Fried Chicken

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Oven Fried Chicken
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 8-10 bone-in chicken pieces
  • 1 cup flour (any grain you like)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon parsley flakes
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
Instructions
  1. Place butter in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Put dish in oven as it preheats to 400 degrees. The butter will melt as the oven preheats.
  3. In the meantime, mix flour, garlic powder, salt, parsley, and paprika in a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Shake to mix.
  4. Put chicken pieces into the bag, seal, and shake until the chicken is well coated.
  5. Place prepared chicken in the dish of melted butter, giving each piece plenty of space for more even cooking.
  6. Bake, uncovered, for 50 minutes, turning chicken after the first 25 minutes of bake time.

simple-oven-fried-chicken

You might be wondering, as you look at the pictures above, “WHERE are the mashed potatoes??!” Where, indeed. But we went through all this a few days ago when I admitted that I’d broken up with mashed potatoes after years of happiness. We’ve agreed to remain friends, but for now, when I make this Simple Oven Fried Chicken, I stick with simple sides that take no effort. (I mean, if I don’t have time to make fried chicken, I surely don’t have time to make mashed potatoes.)

I guess it could be said that now that I’ve discovered this Oven Fried Chicken recipe, I’ve also broken up with “real” Fried Chicken. (Don’t worry Fat Bombs. I’ll love you forever. XOXO.) But at least this Oven Fried Chicken is the next best thing so we can keep our kitchen life simple and eat our chicken too.

Here are more Simple Recipes you’ll love!

Truly, all of these recipes are ridiculously easy, good, and nourishing.

If you haven’t joined Simple Meals yet, you are missing out on SIMPLE becoming even MORE SIMPLE! (It’s actually possible. I do the work for you!) Check it out here. Get an full Simple Meals Planning Packet in your inbox every single week!

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Peanut Butter Muffins (Naturally Gluten, Grain, and Dairy Free!)

Once there was a girl who hadn’t eaten a sandwich in a very long time. Then she finally found a recipe for bread that met her low carb-high protein needs. So she tried making a sandwich with the special bread, and it worked. It made her very happy because chicken, mayo, and spinach inside a bun are so delicious and normal.

You, too, can be this girl. Check out the fancy sandwich!

pb muffin sandwich1

Be very impressed, even if you are still among the many who can eat a “real sandwich” with “real bread.” Those of us who are frequently sandwichless feel so excited about this bread-making breakthrough!

For the record, my natural doctor thinks she is getting to the bottom of why my body can’t handle many carbs without experiencing a major crash. It’s still going to take some time to heal my cells and clear out the bad bacteria, but she gives me hope that I will be normal again. Normal is relative, so let’s not even start making jokes about that. I’m very well aware of and heartily embrace my cRaZy.

peanut butter muffins21

Aren’t these the prettiest buns you’ve ever seen? (Many jokes. We could make so many jokes about that sentence.)

Hopefully you tried this Peanut Bread Recipe I shared a couple weeks ago. How fun that the batter that recipe creates also bakes into such light, fluffy, golden muffins.

peanut butter muffins11

I’m excited to share that my “real bread” eating family loves this bread right along with me. It’s a great way to feed us all protein! My boys really like loading these with butter and honey or jelly. It’s the greatest way to eat PB&J!

Peanut Butter Muffins (Naturally Gluten, Grain, and Dairy Free)

5.0 from 1 reviews
Peanut Butter Muffins (Naturally Gluten, Grain, and Dairy Free!)
 
Author:
Serves: 12-18
Ingredients
  • 2 cups natural, unsalted peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Pinch of sea salt (omit if your peanut butter is salted)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a blender or with a hand mixer.
  2. Pour batter into 12 prepared muffin tins (either well greased tins, paper-lined, or silicone).
  3. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean.

Peanut Butter Muffins - naturally gluten, grain, and dairy free

This is the peanut butter recipe I use for this bread.

If you’re more interested in making a loaf of bread with this recipe, you’ll find those instructions here.

pb bread12

Let me remind you that this recipe is not only for people who have dietary restrictions. I like feeding this to my family because of the high protein content. It’s a great way to start the day, and because it is so filling, it sticks with us the entire morning!

I’m very curious, when’s the last time you ate a sandwich? (I think it had been two years for me…unless you count the lettuce wraps I’ve enjoyed!) If you, too, have been sandwichless, you will so enjoy this recipe!

Simple 3-Cheese Crock Pot Pasta

I’m a big believer in this: If my kids are capable of doing it, I ask them do it.

How else will they learn to clean, cook, think, be responsible, work hard, and take care of me in my old age?

That’s why I asked Malachi, our 12-year old, to put this meal together one morning. Knowing it was as easy as “dump these ingredients into the crock pot, stir it up, turn it on, then run do your math lesson” it seemed like the right thing to do. He’s learning that cooking is simple, I’m getting help around the house, and it’s amazing how cooking a meal by himself makes him stand a few inches taller while everyone eats it up with many, “Wow, this is so good” compliments.

Or maybe the kid is literally growing taller. Well yeah. But we already knew that.

crock pot pasta2

Here’s my little issue with crock pot meals that include pasta: If I have to cook the pasta ahead of time before adding it to the crock pot, what even is the point in using the crock pot? How does that save any time? It certainly dirties up more dishes. I am not okay with this.

Therefore I never make pasta dishes in the crock pot. (Nor do I have my children make them.)

But recently I did a little looking online to see how it might work to dump uncooked pasta into a crock pot. Might it cook along with the other ingredients? A little experimenting turned out this Simple 3-Cheese Crock Pot Pasta recipe, which is as easy as can be.

Now, this is a meatless meal. You’re more than welcome to stir cooked hamburger or cooked chicken into your crock pot. But then, of course, you’d have to cook the meat first, which means dirtying up another dish, and I refuse to take responsibility for making you do that. Also, you should know that my family full of carnivores ate this and never once asked, “Hey. Where’s the meat?” I think the three cheeses in this recipe make this hearty enough to keep everyone happy.

Simple 3-Cheese Crock Pot Pasta

Simple 3-Cheese Crock Pot Pasta
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce (25-32 ounces each)
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella, cheddar, or Colby jack cheese
  • 1 pound UNCOOKED whole grain pasta, any shape
  • Sea salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Dump all ingredients into a crock pot and stir well.
  2. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours or until pasta is tender.

Simple 3-Cheese Crock Pot Pasta

Serve this easy crock pot dish with a quick salad and steamed veggie. It’s as simple as can be. I don’t think I need to tell you that it’s delicious. This is a given. And now we know that we can dump uncooked pasta into the crock pot and turn out a great meal in just a few of effortless hours.

Here are more Simple Recipes you’ll love!

We’d love more of you to join Simple Meals! There are some exciting plans coming up!

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Simple Overnight Melt-in-your-Mouth Beef Roast

Remember the Simple Overnight Saucy Crock Pot Chicken recipe I shared? That’s becoming one of my new go-to recipes to help me feed my family on busy days. This, of course, led me to experiment more with the idea. What else, I wondered, could be cooked in the crock pot overnight to make my day simpler tomorrow? Well. One result this Simple Overnight Melt-in-Your-Mouth Beef Roast.

Simple Overnight Beef Roast

Just like the chicken, you can put your roast into your crock pot directly from the freezer. It thaws and cooks overnight. The next day, the meat will fall apart and melt in your mouth!

Why would we want to cook meat in our crock pots overnight? Let me count the ways:

  • When we wake up to cooked meat, we have something good to pack for lunches if that is a need.
  • We can turn the crock pot to the “keep warm” setting and have meat waiting for us later at lunch time at home.
  • We can turn off the crock pot and cool the meat to eat in big chef salads at lunch time.
  • We can put the meat in the fridge to pull out any time we need it during the next few days.

The concept is so simple, and it presents so many easy meal options!

Simple Overnight Melt-in-Your-Mouth Beef Roast

Simple Overnight Melt-in-your-Mouth Beef Roast
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pound beef roast
  • 3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons Onion Soup Mix (recipe below)
  • ½ cup water
Instructions
  1. Put roast in the bottom of a crock pot. (Roast can be frozen or thawed.)
  2. Pour Worcestershire sauce, Onion Soup Mix, and water over the roast.
  3. Cook on low for 10-12 hours.

Here’s my Onion Soup Mix recipe.

Simple Overnight Melt in your Mouth Beef Roast

This roast is delicious no matter if you serve it with mashed potatoes and veggies or if you serve it in a chef salad. The flavor is incredible!!

Have you tried cooking meat in a crock pot overnight? What has your experience been like?

Here are more Simple Recipes you’ll love!

It’s recipes like this that makes Simple Meals such a life saver for families. We’ll provide the plans. We’ll provide the recipes. We’ll provide the grocery list. All you have to do is take a deep breath and enjoy how simple your life in the kitchen has become! Join Simple Meals!

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The Most Amazing Peanut Butter Bread! (Naturally grain/gluten and dairy free, with ingredients you already have!)

Once upon a time I came across a recipe and thought, “Really? Could it be?” So I blended together peanut butter, honey, eggs, baking soda, and vinegar and made actual bread. It looked like bread and tasted like bread and I was amazed that indeed, it was bread. I was very, very happy. The end.

pb bread4

So what if I already took a bite out of this piece before I took the picture.
Can you blame me?

Be very, very shocked and amazed with me. We can make actual bread that has no grain, no gluten, and no dairy. The bread tastes delicious and had a wonderful texture! It’s as simple as this Whole Wheat Stir-and-Pour Bread because just like that recipe, we simply stir together the ingredients and pour them into a baking pan. It’s ridiculously easy.

Plus, we add vinegar and baking soda to the mixture, so we get to make a volcano. Who says baking isn’t fun?

I originally saw a recipe like this here. I was skeptical because, well, I’ve made a few grain-free recipes with strange ingredients like this, and while everything would look delicious, it seemed to always taste like a soggy banana. (I’m looking at you so called “Amazing Grain Free, Sugar Free Brownies.”)

I decided to take a chance on this bread recipe though, because of this: I wanted to spread butter on something I could eat. (Regular bread isn’t cooperating with me right now.) I also loved the idea of this bread being chuck full of protein. Peanut butter and eggs? Maybe, just maybe, I could fill the hollow places in my sons’ legs.

Indeed.

pb bread21

Worried that the taste of peanut butter will overpower the bread? It has a surprisingly mild flavor. In fact, we were all wishing it tasted more peanut-buttery. Either way, just imagine how good this is with butter, jelly, or honey. I prefer it toasted with lots of butter. This probably doesn’t surprise you.

pb bread12

The Most Amazing Peanut Butter Bread

4.3 from 3 reviews
The Most Amazing Peanut Butter Bread! (Naturally grain/gluten and dairy free!)
 
Author:
Serves: 12-16 slices
Ingredients
  • 2 cups natural, unsalted peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Pinch of sea salt (omit if your peanut butter is salted)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a blender or with a hand mixer.
  2. Pour into a well-greased 9x5" loaf pan.
  3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean.
  4. Allow the bread to sit in the pan for about 10 minutes to cool.
  5. Remove bread from pan and cool on a rack.

Here’s my homemade peanut butter recipe.

Grain Free, High Protein Peanut Butter Bread

After seeing the ingredient list, you might be thinking, “Isn’t this bread kind of expensive?” Sure. It costs more than wheat flour bread. But I think it’s actually saving me money because on mornings I serve it for breakfast, my sons don’t ask for meat. They are full after two slices. Did we ever think we’d see the day?

No matter your diet restrictions or lack thereof, I’d love to convince you to make this Peanut Butter Bread. What do you have to lose? Five minutes?

Ever tried a recipe with weird ingredients that turned out…weird? Do share. I promise this one will pleasantly surprise you!

A Year of Simple Breakfasts

In case the title made you think I have 365 Simple Breakfast ideas to share with you, I have to apologize and let you know that while I do have many simple breakfast recipes, I do not have one for every day of the year. (After all, we do eat eggs pretty regularly at our house.) Rather, this post will share how I’m planning to keep our breakfasts as simple as possible this year! I bet the ideas shared here WILL get you through an entire year, with plenty of variety, and all kinds of simplicity!

Take, for example, the breakfast shown in this picture.

a-year-of-simple-breakfasts

One morning last week, I made and served Giant Breakfast Cookies, Bacon, and Strawberry Parfaits. Sounds involved right? Not at all simple! Complicated and time consuming, even!

But it wasn’t! It was so simple! Here’s how I did it:

  1. I had pre-made Breakfast Cookie dough balls in the freezer. (Read the details on how to do that here.) I simply pulled some out, put them on a baking sheet, and slid them into the oven to bake while I continued my morning Bible reading time.
  2. I had pre-made Bacon. (Read the details on how to do that here.) Just after I woke the boys, I threw some bacon in a skillet to reheat and crisp up. It took 30 seconds, no joke.
  3. I had already made the Cream Cheese Parfait filling for another meal a few days before. I pulled out what was left, washed and sliced some berries, and put them on the table.

The boys LOVED this breakfast (who wouldn’t?) and I loved having such a great meal to serve. What I loved more than anything is how simple it was to put on the table.

But what about taking all that time to prepare simple breakfasts ahead of time?

Sounds like the before-hand prep can negate the “simple” in all of this, huh? Sure, it’s easy to put it on the table if you’ve done all the work ahead of time – but who has time to do all that work ahead of time?

I get it. I don’t always have the time to get ahead either. But I’ve found that if take an hour or two in the kitchen sometime during the week – whenever I can find the spare hour or two – I can knock out quite a bit of cooking which saves me all kinds of time and energy later.

And…while I could fall back on boxed breakfast food if I really wanted to keep it simple, I don’t like doing that unless I’m desperate or especially over-scheduled. We love homemade food. We love a hot breakfast. There really are great ways to keep it simple!

How to Cook Bacon in the Oven, Freeze, and Warm Up Fast

oven-bacon-2

When to find a spare hour or two for cooking ahead?

It varies, and will be different for all of us depending on our work and family situation. Here are some time slots that sometimes (but not always) work for me:

  • In the morning after breakfast after I’ve gotten my kids going on their school work. This only works on mornings I don’t have any pressing blog work needs or deadlines. And it only works if my youngest is sitting at the kitchen table doing his work so I can bounce back and forth between cooking and helping to keep him on task.
  • In the late afternoon or early evening while I’m cooking dinner. After all, I’m in the kitchen then anyway. If the dinner meal is simple enough (and at this point, all my meals are kept simple) – I can sometimes stir up something for the freezer or put something into the oven to help me get ahead for another day.
  • Anytime I’m cooking something for today, I consider if I can double or triple up so I can have extra for another time. I do this with almost everything.

These “cooking ahead” methods work for any meal, but here are some specific breakfast ideas for getting ahead that help keep our morning meal times super simple!

1. Cook several pounds of Bacon Bits ahead of time.

I freeze these to pull out as needed. For a simple breakfast, pull out a scoop to quickly make Scrambled Bacon Cheesy Eggs.

How to Make Bacon Bits and Why You Should Make Them

2. Make 5-Minute Stove-Top Granola. 

Store it in a jar. Save it for a morning you have no time to cook. Serve it with a variety of your family’s favorite stir-in options.

5-Minute Stove-Top Granola

3. Make Dark Chocolate Almond Granola.

Use the 5-minute stove-top method if you like! This is our favorite granola and making it at home saves quite a bit of money compared to buying it at the store.

Dark Chocolate Almond Granola - A Great Make-Ahead Meal

4. Make Homemade Grape Nut Cereal.

This is super tasty and super easy! I typically double this recipe and keep it in big jars so we can have it on busy “no time to cook” mornings.

Homemade Grape Nuts

5. Make Homemade Cracklin’ Oat Bran.

This is our favorite of the homemade cereal options! It’s also super easy to make and stores great in jars in the pantry.

Make Your Own Cracklin' Oat Bran

Wait! Do I ever buy cereal at the store and serve cereal out of a box?!?

Of course. Remember this post? Just because I can, doesn’t mean I always do. Store bought cereal saves my neck some days. No guilt. ;) Now back to the Simple Homemade Breakfast ideas…

6. Make Breakfast Cookie Balls for the freezer.

As mentioned above, these are awesome to have in the freezer. I usually double the recipe, and freeze the dough in balls so I can pull out just enough for one meal. These can be frozen after you bake them too, but we like eating them fresh out of the oven!

Here’s our White Chocolate Cranberry Breakfast Cookie recipe too. :)

Breakfast Cookies for the Freezer

7. Make Homemade Poptarts for the Freezer.

Like the Breakfast Cookies, we like eating these right out of the oven. Again, I usually double the recipe, then freeze them and pull out just enough for one meal. They bake easily from their frozen state. I can throw them in the oven while I’m reading my Bible in the morning. So simple!

homemade-poptarts-for-the-freezer

8. Make muffins ahead of time and freeze them before baking.

This idea is my favorite. I often mix up several different batches of our favorite muffins, freeze the batter, then quickly bake them as needed!

silicone muffins 1

9. Make Stir-and-Pour Bread.

If I have this bread on hand (usually I make it the day before instead of the morning of) – we can make Peanut Butter Honey Toast or Scrambled Egg Sandwiches.

stir and pour bread loaf 5

10. Have cheese shredded to make it easy to make Scrambled Cheesy Eggs.

We love melted cheese on our eggs. If I have some shredded already, this makes breakfast so much simpler!

TIP: We use our Food Processor to shred cheese. I LOVE THIS!!! We can shred a huge 5-pound block of cheese in about two minutes. It’s worth owning a food processor just for the cheese shredding capability! (We have one like this.)

grated cheese

11. Make any of these 49 Breakfast Freezer Food ideas.

Frozen breakfasts are awesome to have on hand for simple meals!

49 Breakfast Freezer Foods

12. Make big batches of Turkey Sausage

I almost always make 12 pounds at once (the entire case of ground turkey I get in my Azure Standard order!). I bag it up in 1-pound bags. Since it’s precooked and crumbled, I can throw it in scrambled eggs or make a quick batch of Sausage Gravy.

Homemade Turkey Sausage

 

I would love to hear your ideas for Simple Breakfasts at your house!

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