Mastering Your Mornings

>I don’t get morning people.  Never have, never will.

My daughter is a morning person.  I hope this will have no bearing on the future of our mother-daughter relationship.

I am willing to do almost anything that will cut down the amount of time I have to be up in the morning before my children turn into hungry, ravenous wolves.

Leaving out the milk and cereal is problematic.  Sure, you can sweep up cereal.  But have you tried cleaning up sour spilled milk?  Or the upchuck that is likely to result from the milk having sat out all night in the middle of the summer?

I knew a guy who used to go so far as to pour milk on his boxed cereal, cover it in plastic wrap and keep it in the fridge until morning, but that would test the limits of even Chex, I would think.

My grandparents used to entirely set the table the evening before to cut down on morning activities.

The authorities frown on allowing 5 year olds to use the stove unsupervised, so bacon and eggs are clearly out.

Ditto with sharp knives, even grapefruit knives.

They leave me no choice but to roll my sorry self out of bed in the morning and feed the little rascals.  At least the kitchen is also where the coffee maker is stored.

I am not a huge fan of toaster pastries, pre-fab pancakes, or frozen waffles.  Our budget is really, really not a fan.  Solution?  Make them myself. 

It takes almost no extra effort and very little extra time to make extra French toast, waffles, or pancakes, while you are already at it. 

You can even use your handy dandy panini press!

The one on the right may or may not be the victim of a child-based distraction.  Let them cool on a plate in as close to a single layer as is practical.

To keep them from sticking to one another inside the zip top bag, put them in one layer at a time and freeze them, before adding another layer.  This will actually give the other pieces more time to fully cool and even dry out a bit, since they may have steamed from being at the bottom of the pile.

I suppose you could use wax or parchment paper between the layers, but that’s a whole other step.

Then you’ll need one or both of these. 

In your toaster oven, preheat to 400 F and cook for 5-10 minutes, depending on how many you cram in there.
*Sidenote:  I keep my toaster oven tray covered in foil.  Cuts down on clean up.  That and I have never quite figured out how to adequately clean that little thing.

If you have a frozen pastry setting on your toaster, fantastic!  If you have a toaster that is not equipped with such advanced technology, set it to a higher than normal toast.

This trick works with pancakes as well.  For re-heating those, I would recommend sticking with a toaster oven, as the pancakes tend to flop over and get stuck in the regular toaster.

And that’s it.  My ultra-secret technique for making mornings a little easier.

What kinds of tips and tricks do you use?

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