November 30, 2022

Diamond Dishes: DIY breakfast kits save money, time and sanity

What? Didn’t summer just start? I just realized school is already starting in communities across the country.

Before you think I’m a goofball, my kids are adults, so I’m blissfully detached from the school-year schedule.

But I’m not detached from morning chaos. We all have that in common. The only way to mitigate the morning madness is to organize the chaos.

Here’s one trick I’ve found: If we make self-serve breakfasts, it frees us up to drink more coffee and search for matching socks.

So, let’s make a freezer full of homemade breakfast scrambled egg kits. You know, the kind you “just crack an egg” into — wink, wink.

Have you seen those scrambled eggs kits? Microwavable cups holding diced potatoes, sausage or bacon with veggies and cheese, ready to stir and microwave.

I love everything, but the price. So, I make them myself.

To compare prices, these ready-made kits sell for around $3 each and contain about 3 ounces of ingredients, and you supply the eggs. I made a bunch of kits in a variety of recipe combinations.

Mine weighed between 4 and 6 ounces and cost an average of 75 cents, including the cost of two eggs — frugal and fabulous.

The ready-made kits are refrigerated and thus perishable. So, I made freezable kits, so they last indefinitely.

You’ll need zip-top bags for this project. Snack-sized baggies are great, but if you find snack-sized “portion pack” bags, they’re perfect.

The bags are printed with measurements in quarter cup intervals up to one cup. How cool is that?

To make the kits described here, I purchased bags of frozen diced hash brown potatoes; frozen pepper and onion blend; frozen, fully cooked breakfast sausage links; diced ham; cooked real bacon crumbles; and a variety of shredded cheeses.

As a guideline, a 32-ounce bag of diced potatoes makes approximately 20 quarter-cup portions or serves as the base for 20 kits. A 16-ounce bag of peppers and onions makes approximately 16 — two tablespoons — servings.

These kits are totally customizable. Don’t want potatoes? Ditch them and add more veggies. Vegetarian? Swap the meat for more veggies. Like heat? Add chorizo and jalapeños.

Here’s the secret: If your kit contains between 1/2 cup and 3/4 cup of ingredients, it will combine with two eggs and cook according to the directions.

One benefit of these breakfast kits is kids can make breakfast themselves with adult supervision. Teach them how to use a timer and hot pads to protect against burning. You’ll be rewarded by knowing if they starve to death in college, it’s on them!

Make-Ahead Scrambled Egg Kits

Ingredients

For each kit:

1/4 cup frozen diced potatoes

2 tablespoons frozen 3 pepper and onion blend, chopped

2 tablespoons chopped ham or cooked sausage or cooked, crumbled bacon

2 tablespoons shredded cheese

Procedure

Place ingredients into a zip-top plastic bag and freeze until ready for use. Measurements don’t have to be exact. This is a great job for the kiddies.

When ready to serve, place the contents of bag into a microwave-safe coffee cup that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Heat on high for one minute.

Remove from microwave and stir. Add two eggs and stir well. Heat in microwave in 20 to 30 second increments, stirring each time, until fully cooked, about 2 minutes total time.

It’s best to err on the side of slightly undercooked as the carryover heat will continue to cook the eggs. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Use caution as the eggs and the cup will be hot.

Patti Diamond

Patti Diamond

Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the penny-pinching, party-planning, recipe developer and content creator of “Divas On A Dime — Where Frugal Meets Fabulous!” at www.divasonadime.com. © 2022 King Features Synd., Inc.