Posts tagged breakfast
Tips For Connecting with Your Family Over Breakfast

Thank you Hilton Breakfast Alliance for sponsoring this post

All photography by @Ographr

All photography by @Ographr

If there’s anything you need to know about me (and if you follow me on Instagram you absolutely know this), I am crazy about eating breakfast together with my family. That’s why I’m so excited to team up with Hilton and its five brands that offer free, hot breakfast, on a mission to transform breakfast from an often overlooked meal to an opportunity to connect. 

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For us, eating together in the morning is pretty much a non-negotiable. Maybe its because when I was growing up my family always sat down together for breakfast or it could just be because Mr. A and I can’t start our day without a nice hot meal in the morning. I mean I neeeed my breakfast sandwich, you feel me? It’s also about connecting and spending quality time together.  Honestly- I still don’t understand how people go to work and function without having eaten breakfast. 

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A new nationwide survey reveals that despite their love for breakfast, Americans are sacrificing the morning meal due to their hectic schedules. And many wish they weren’t so busy so that they could enjoy breakfast with others. Here’s what really blew my mind: 80 percent of parents are willing to give something up to have more meaningful conversations with their children at the breakfast table. 

“80 percent of parents are willing to give something up to have more meaningful conversations with their children at the breakfast table.”

Here’s the thing: I get it. Between work, being a full-time mom and just the hustle and bustle of the day, it’s easy for the mornings to feel rushed. But for us, eating breakfast together each morning is the most powerful time to connect (as opposed to the end of the day when work might get in the way or extra-curricular activities). 

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For me, starting each morning with breakfast is really a mind, body and soul thing. When my mind is refreshed, body is fueled and my soul is filled by the emotional connection with my family is really when I can start my day!

This summer and everyday after that (for that matter) I’m joining Hilton to celebrate their mission to encourage everyone to take the pledge to Eat Breakfast Together and make breakfast the most connected meal of the day. 

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Here are some of my best tips for making time in the mornings to eat breakfast together:

WAKE UP BEFORE YOUR CHILDREN

Mr. A and I always wake up early, at least an hour or more before our daughter. This allows us to spend time together, get ready for work and not feel rushed before Milly, our toddler daughter needs us. We also allow her to play for about 30 minutes in her crib after she wakes up just so she has time to herself before we all sit down together for breakfast. 

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TAKE TURNS MAKING BREAKFAST

My husband and I take turns each morning making breakfast. He makes a killer scramble and breakfast sandwich and I love his Belgian waffles. I usually make eggs over medium and avocado toast.

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MAKE EVERYDAY A SPECIAL OCCASION

We always keep our favorite breakfast staples on hand but we will switch things up depending on what we have going on in our day! For example, we'll do Tuesday Breakfast Tacos or Waffle Wednesday (reminds me of staying at Hampton by Hilton)! 

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PLAN AHEAD

On the mornings we don't have time to make breakfast, we plan ahead. Sometimes I'll make a double batch of frittatas muffins or a quiche and keep them in the freezer for those busy mornings. We also love overnight oats that keep in the fridge for a couple days and my hashbrown casserole is pretty killer and SO easy to make! That way we aren’t spending our mornings cooking and instead-connecting!

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INVOLVE YOUR FAMILY 

Making breakfast is the first meal our daughter Milly learned how to make. Involving our child in this important meal has proved so powerful. She can crack eggs, scramble them and makes a fierce fruit oatmeal! Even when she was little, she would help by rinsing blueberries and putting them in the bowl.  When she is involved in the cooking process, she's more excited to sit down and enjoy breakfast together at the table.

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SLOW DOWN, SIT DOWN AND RESET

Sometimes we just need to slow down, sit down and reset. When we travel, we always prefer to stay somewhere that offers free, hot breakfast so that we can easily keep our morning ritual.  Our favorites are Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites Anytime I feel rushed in the mornings or overwhelmed by my to-do list for the day, I will take a moment to "reset." In our family, this could mean turning on the music and having a quick dance party together or going outside to our patio and just doing a few deep breathing exercises-focusing on the sounds and sensations of the morning (the chirping birds, the cool beach air and the warm sun).  I’ve found that also laying out our clothes for the next morning the night before is helpful too. I try to pack our lunches and snack bags at night as well. That way everything is ready to go and we aren't spending precious time together looking for last minute items. All it takes are small steps and a little intention to make time for your family. After all, the most precious gift of all is time.

I would love for you to join me in taking this pledge to eat breakfast together. Be sure to visit HiltonStateofBreakfast.com and share your tips and photos on social media using the hashtag #HiltonBreakfast.

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Mum's Amazing Hashbrown Casserole
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This is hands down the easiest way to serve my family breakfast! Prep everything the night before and then pop into the oven to bake in the morning. The comforting taste of cheesy hashbrowns, ham and sage is absolutely delicious! When we have family in town I’ll make a double batch and it’s one of those dishes everyone gets seconds of! This is really one of my favorite morning meals. Scroll down for the full recipe!

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Mum's Amazing Hashbrown Casserole Recipe

by Brandi Milloy

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded hashbrowns, thawed

  • 6 oz. ham, diced

  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 8 large eggs

  • 2 tbsp. half and half

  • Pinch seasoning salt

  • Pinch pepper

  • 1 tbsp. fresh sage, chopped

Directions

Tip: I usually assemble this the night before in the refrigerator so it’s ready to bake first thing in the morning. This dish serves 4 so if you need to serve more, double the batch and bake in a 9x13 dish.

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray 8 x 8 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Place hashbrowns in dish and spread to make even. Sprinkle ham and cheese on top.

  3. Into a bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, salt and pepper. Add sage. Pour egg mixture over hashbrowns and cover.

  4. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Remove cover the last 5-10 minutes for a crispier cheesy top if desired. Enjoy!

Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast Cups
Photography Credit: AshtonStan.com

Photography Credit: AshtonStan.com

These are one of my go to snacks for Milly. Obviously they are great for breakfast but she enjoys them anytime. It’s a great way to sneak in a ton of veggies and you can make a dozen at a time. I use whatever I have on hand and there’s something about food shaped like a cupcake that makes toddlers love them! It’s the perfect size for their little hands.

Photography Credit: AshtonStan.com

Photography Credit: AshtonStan.com

These are also great for when you’re hosting a ton of people or when family is in town staying over. They’re great brunch foods! To make them even more decadent, sometimes I’ll add a little pie crust to the bottom so it’s almost like mini quiches. I love quiche. People don’t give quiche enough love. Scroll down for the recipe and then let me know what other variations you come up with. If you post the photo on instagram, be sure to use the hashtag #BrandisBites.

Photography Credit: AshtonStan.com

Photography Credit: AshtonStan.com

Green Eggs & Ham Breakfast Cuppies

By Brandi Milloy

Ingredients:

  • 12 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1 heaping cup fresh spinach, chopped

  • 1 cup veggies or choice, chopped (like broccoli or mushroom)

  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

  • 1 1/2 cups ham, sliced and chopped

  • 1 cup swiss cheese, shredded

  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 2 teaspoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped (optional)


    Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F and spray muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, veggies, salt and pepper and nutmeg. Fill muffin tins equally with ham and cheese and then carefully cover each with the egg mixture, about ¾ of the way full.

  3. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until eggs are set cups are golden. Let cool for 5 minutes before enjoying! 

Photography Credit: AshtonStan.com

Photography Credit: AshtonStan.com




Behind the Scenes at Chick-fil-A Headquarters
Photo by: AshtonStan.com

Photo by: AshtonStan.com

What an honor it was to be invited to the Chick-fil-A (CFA) HQ in Atlanta, GA to come up with my very own recipe hacks using some of my favorite breakfast items from CFA.

Photo by: AshtonStan.com

Photo by: AshtonStan.com

From my Mini Muffin Frittatas to my Hashbrown Breakfast Lasagna and Lemony Tear and Share Bread, these are some of my favorite and easiest dishes to make for my family. You can watch all of my behind the scenes fun and get the full recipes here!