It’s widely regarded that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s the kick start to your day, your metabolism, and helps fuel you for the rest of your day. It’s the meal you had made for you as a child (whether that was a bowl of cereal, oatmeal, or a full out Full English) and the meal you always dream of having brought to you in bed.

I grew up in a house where breakfast was more of a “fend for yourself” type situation. Sure, there was the occasional morning where you’d get your bread toasted and smeared with peanut butter (extra toasty, and crunchy peanut butter if you’re ever thinking of making me toast) but for the most part, you’d pour yourself some cereal, or get the kettle going for some instant oatmeal. However, about once a month- and after some prodding for days before- you’d wake up to the smell of bacon. You’d come down the stairs and in the kitchen would be trays of bacon, sausages, hash browns, pancakes, and all the fixings. It was one of the best days because you’d be so full for the whole day (and probably had enough salt to keep you a little plump for 3 days).

Fast forward to life on your own and you realize that you won’t magically wake up to breakfast anymore. It was one of the things I genuinely missed when moving out, and even more when I started living by myself. I made a promise to myself that breakfast would be a meal I wouldn’t miss, and I would always take the time for. Some people wake up early to do their hair and makeup. Some people wake up early to go for a run. Some people don’t wake up early at all. Me? Well, it often means getting up a couple hours before I need to start my day, putting the kettle on, and putting something together for myself.

I’ve learned a lot waking up to make breakfast for myself (and on occasion, for others). I’ve learned that there is a beautiful quiet around 7am- no one is emailing you, no one is texting you, and if you choose to keep the television off and opt for a playlist, you can really appreciate the soft glow the world seems to have. I’ve also learned that having that extra time to yourself really helps you ground yourself for the day. I spent a period of about a year where I woke up stressed out over a job I hated. I would wake up and dread everything about to happen during my day. It was to the point where I’d feel nauseous on my commute. After leaving that job was when I started waking up early. It allowed me to reverse my mornings waking up with dread, to waking up with something to look forward to- calm, quiet, and a warm breakfast. It’s amazing what two hours can do for your well-being.

Here is a breakfast I’ve been making since I moved out- Savoury French Toast. Not a fan of overly sweet breakfasts with whipped creams and fruits and jams, I opt for something a little more savoury, salty, and with a bit of a punch of flavour you want to go back to all day.

Ingredients:
1 loaf (8 ounces) day-old French bread, cut into 1/2-inch slices
6 large eggs, beaten
2 cups 2% milk
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup minced chives, divided
1-½ Cup old Sharp Cheddar Cheese and ⅓ Cup Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Arrange half of the bread slices in a greased 13×9-in. baking dish. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, mustard, salt, pepper and 1/4 cup chives.
  2. Pour half of the egg mixture over bread; sprinkle with 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Layer with remaining bread and egg mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 60 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.
  4. Sprinkle with remaining chives and parmesan cheese.

I love when you try your hands at what I’ve put together! Feel free to share your comments, suggestions, and what you did below, and if you made it, tag me on Instagram at @JackDHarding

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