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Special Morning Celebrations #DeliciousPairings #CBias

We had a lot to celebrate this weekend! My husband is a veteran so we had to celebrate that. And we also celebrated two birthdays – my son who turned 7 today and my daughter who will turn 5 on December 26th. We chose to celebrate the two birthdays together because it’s so hard to fit everything in. Life gets so busy this time of the year. And our almost 5 year old has never had a dedicated family birthday party like the rest of our kids get.

We started the celebrations early with special breakfasts. I needed to find breakfast items for kids and adults so we hit Sam’s Club the other day. My kiddos bug me all the time to buy them bakery items but I usually refuse. I thought letting them actually choose a pre-made baked good would be a great way to celebrate.

Finding one they thought they would like was not hard – a box of Artisan Fresh Mini Cinnamon Rolls was the winner. And that smile warmed my heart. 🙂

The veteran in the family prefers coffee {and so do I}. So we looked for a nice coffee for him. The Starbucks Holiday Blend description appealed to me – “spicy & sweet with hints of comfort & joy.” Who can’t use more comfort and joy in their life? We normally buy whole coffee beans, but I guess it’s hard to get that comfort and joy in just beans…so the ground coffee won and into the cart it went. Since I am a pretty frugal shopper, I almost always buy coffee in bulk. The price really can’t be beat, and I’m not worried about keeping it fresh because we go through it so fast.

Until today I thought it was a good idea to store coffee in the freezer to keep it fresh. However, I just learned the freezer is NOT a good place to store coffee because as a porous item, it can easily absorb any odors that may linger in your freezer. Shrimp coffee, anyone? YUCK!! Instead, just make sure to store any coffee you won’t use in 2 weeks in an airtight container and keep it at room temperature in a cool, dry, dark place.

This weekend, we put all the deliciousness to the test.

First, we heated the cinnamon rolls in the oven. And as I suspected, they were a HUGE hit – a wonderful combination of sticky and sweet. I loved that they were small. Perfect for little hands {as well as smaller portions}.

The weather was so gorgeous this weekend {temperatures in the high 60s and low 70s} that we got to enjoy breakfast outside – UNHEARD of for November in Iowa.

Yummy!! The two year old gobbled the cinnamon rolls up like everyone else.

And the coffee? My husband is huge Starbucks fan. Since we live in the sticks, we don’t have a Starbucks location nearby, but every time we travel to a new big city, he always brings home one of their mugs for his collection and a bag of coffee for me. The mug he has in the below picture is his fav – he got it on a recent trip to the very first Starbucks in Seattle! We don’t always drink Starbucks coffee, but we do always drink our coffee out of their mugs! But I so love the treat of picking up a cup of Starbucks when we are out and about. I’m sooo happy that picking up a bag in bulk is a frugal way to drink more Starbucks.

And the veteran? Well, he thoroughly enjoyed everything, too. It really lived up to be #DeliciousPairings! He thought the coffee had just the right amount of comfort and joy in it – but pairing the coffee with the cinnamon rolls made his morning even more joyous. I normally put half and half in my coffee and I was surprised that eating a super sweet cinnamon roll while drinking the coffee make my coffee seem sweet without any additions. I could taste the pumpkin and cinnamon pairings in the coffee and I was really surprised about that! Everyone was thrilled with my decision to buy pre-made baked goods. {I really do need to master the art of sweet baking}. I can’t wait to try this coffee with a wonderful piece of pumpkin pie, though. I think it will be perfect for that.

My only regret? I should have bought two bags. This coffee isn’t going to last long. It’s just that good.

If you’d like to try this coffee too, Sam’s Club will open at 7am on Black Friday and will greet members with free Starbucks Holiday Blend coffee and Artisan Fresh pastries (while supplies last).

How do you make celebrations special? And did YOU know not to store coffee in the freezer?

Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™. #CBias #SocialFabric. All opinions are my own

Homemade Toaster Waffles & Grain Mill Wagon Challenge {plus 6 more breakfasts to make ahead of time}

I recently joined forces with the Grain Mill Wagon Challenge to help people experience freshly milled flours! I make all my own breads and use 95% freshly milled flour in my recipes. I’ve been grinding my own flour since 2005 and love it! I thought this Challenge would be a fabulous way to share wonderful recipes with you, my fabulous readers!

Since I’m gearing up for Back2School, the first recipe I’m sharing with the Grain Mill Wagon Challenge is for Homemade Toaster Waffles. I quadruple this recipe so we can eat some on cooking day and also freezer quite a few. When we’re ready to eat them after they’ve been frozen, I just pop them in the toaster and we enjoy!

If you’re looking for more breakfast recipes that can be frozen ahead of time for easy mornings, here are some of my favs!

Eggy Breakfast Muffins – these unique muffins combine flour, meat, cheese, and veg. They are delightful and a favorite of my 8 year old.

Homemade Monkey Bread -this is a fun treat. Normal people buy frozen bread dough at the store and make this recipe with pre-packaged bread. I’m not normal, though, and make my own. 😉

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread – this is another fabulous recipe and is my father-in-law’s favorite. I also quadruple this recipe so I have extras to freeze.

Mix & Match Muffin Packets – I learned this trick from LifeAsMom! Instead of just making one batch of muffins, I whip up 4 or 5 extra packets of the dried ingredients. When we want hot, fresh muffins, I take a packet out of my freezer, add oil, mix-ins, and milk, and we enjoy!

Buttermilk Pancakes – Another easy recipe to double and then freeze. These also heat up very nicely in the toaster.

Scone Packets – This is very similar to the muffin packets, except it’s scones! We love scones at my house and having the dry ingredients already mixed together saves me time on busy mornings.

Don’t forget to find the recipe for Toaster Waffles at the Grain Mill Challenge. Do you have a favorite breakfast recipe that can be made ahead of time and frozen? Please leave a link in the comments, if so! I’m always on the prowl for new ideas!


Apple Pancake Rings

Apple Pancake Rings


I found this idea for Apple Pancake Rings on Pinterest and decided to give it a try! The original recipe is here and it claimed to be easy so I was all for it…

Of course, in my typical style, I couldn’t use the original recipe because it calls for Bisquick which I don’t buy…so I improvised.

First, I made my own buttermilk pancake batter using freshly ground hard white wheat flour. Then, I cored the apples with the handy dandy Pampered Chef Apple Corer that I never use and cut them into slices:

Apple Pancake Rings

Then, using a toothpick as the recipe specifies, I dipped the pancakes into the batter and fried them in my cast iron skillet because I don’t have a griddle. I need a griddle. The first batch looked awful:

Apple Pancake Rings

I would NOT call this an easy process. Maybe I’m challenged as a cook, or perhaps you really DO have to use Bisquick, or maybe I just don’t have the right kitchen tools…anyhow, what I finally got to work (marginally), was to really lower the temperature and heavily grease my pan. When I put the dipped apple rings in the pan, the batter spread into the center. I let it cook for a few minutes and then cleaned out the center with a toothpick. The last few I made looked ok, but let me tell you, they are fabulous!! (But I think they would be better peeled as well as cored and sliced). Here’s what we finally got:

Apple Pancake Rings

I’m going to keep practicing and see if I can’t get some to look like Carla Hall’s (but without the Bisquick)!

I’m linking up to Ultimate Recipe Swap and Frugal Food Thursday.

German Pancakes ~ Quick & Easy Homemade Breakfast

Need a quick breakfast idea? This recipe for German Pancakes is one of my kids’ favorite recipes.

German Pancakes ~ Quick & Easy Homemade Breakfast

Honestly, I’m not sure why this recipe is called “German” pancakes. I lived in Germany for 9 years and I can tell you, I never had anything like this there. Still, this recipe is a family favorite. It’s quick and easy and delish!

It’s similar to a Dutch Baby – might even be identical, in all honesty. I haven’t been to the Netherlands in several years, so I don’t know if they eat this there or not! What I do know is that this recipe has been my kids’ favorite breakfast for a long time.

My friend Stacee gave me this recipe many years ago. I was drawn to it because it’s quick, easy, and frugal. You really only need eggs, milk, and flour to make these German Pancakes, though vanilla and salt make a nice addition too. If you’d like to try this quick poofy pancake, here’s the recipe!

German Pancakes

German Pancakes


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup flour {I use freshly ground hard white wheat}
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3-4 TBS butter


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Dot a 9x11 or a large, deep dish round baker with the 3-4 TBS butter.
  3. Crack and whisk eggs slightly.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and pour over the butter in the prepared pan.
  5. Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until the pancake is golden and puffy.
  6. Top with real maple syrup, homemade buttermilk syrup, and powdered sugar, if desired. Enjoy!

Want some more quick breakfast ideas? You might like these posts too:

Leftover Eggnogg Waffles

Almond Milk Pancakes

Egg casserole that’s not mushy