One of the truly lovely things about being on vacation at the cottage is having the time to make (and enjoy!) breakfasts that go beyond dry cereal and toast. These ten cottage breakfasts ideas are easy to make, use basic cottage pantry ingredients (with the occasional fancy extra) and, most importantly, taste delicious while also providing fuel for a day of outdoor adventures.

1. Classic Oatmeal

Step away from those packets of instant oatmeal loaded with overly-sweetened processed oats and fake flavouring! Making oatmeal from scratch on the stove takes hardly any time at all and tastes so much better. As Goldilocks would surely agree, hearty and warming oatmeal on a chilly fall cottage morning is “just right”.

How do you make it?
Bring 3 cups of milk (dairy or non-dairy) to a simmer in a large saucepan and then stir in 1 ½ cups whole rolled oats (not instant) and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer, stirring, for 5 minutes until oats have thickened. Top with your favourite fresh or dried fruit, chopped nuts, and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. For extra creamy oatmeal, thinly slice a ripe banana and add it with the oats when the milk comes to a simmer, stirring constantly so that the banana “dissolves” into the oatmeal. For a decadent oatmeal, top with peanut butter and chocolate chips! Serves 4.

2. Easy But Perfect Granola

Homemade granola is cheaper and tastier than storebought granola, and far easier to make than you think. Plus, when you make your own, the flavour possibilities are endless. Feel free to use the following recipe as a guideline, switching in your favourite fruits and nuts. And hey, if you want to throw in some chocolate chips too? We won’t tell if you don’t.

How do you make it?
Mix 1 ½ cups rolled oats (not instant), ½ cup wheatgerm, ½ cup desiccated coconut, ½ cup slivered almonds or sunflower seeds and ¼ cup sesame seeds in a large bowl. Stir together ¼ cup maple syrup, ¼ cup melted butter or coconut oil and 3 tablespoons brown sugar until sugar dissolves, then pour this over dry ingredients and mix well. Spread evenly onto a large baking tray and bake at 340°F for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Mix in ½ cup each cranberries and raisins, bake for another 5 minutes, then cool and serve with milk, yoghurt, and/or fresh fruit.

3. Roasted Stone Fruit

Make the most of late summer and early fall stone fruit (before winter snatches it away again) by roasting the last harvests of peaches, plums, apricots and nectarines to serve with granola, yoghurt, or pancakes. Maybe if we eat enough of them now, we won’t miss them as much in February?

How do you make it?
Using peaches, plums, apricots, or nectarines, halve and deseed your chosen fruits and lay them, cut side up, on a large baking tray. Dot with butter and drizzle with honey (you ccould also sprinkle over spices like cinnamon, cardamom, or vanilla bean). Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes, or until fruits are soft and a little browned. Serve warm, or store in fridge and serve cold. This also makes a lovely dessert!

4. Individual Cheesy Baked Eggs

There’s something delightful about serving up breakfast in individual ramekins, and these cheesy baked eggs are sure to make your family smile come morning. Serve with toast for dipping.

How do you make it?
Lightly butter four ramekins and sprinkle a little cheddar or parmesan cheese on the bottom. Carefully break one egg into each ramekin and then top with a little more cheese, some cooked crumbled bacon (optional), and herbs of your choosing (parsley and thyme work well). Drizzle one tablespoon of cream over each ramekin (if you don’t have cream on hand, you can skip this step, but it is nice) and then bake at 375°F for about 15 minutes, or until whites are set but yolk is still a little wobbly. (If you like your yolks fully cooked, leave in oven for 20 minutes).

5. Bacon and Eggs

We could hardly write a list of brilliant breakfast ideas without mentioning the classic bacon and eggs, could we? Infinitely adaptable yet always delicious, a hearty “fry-up” will bring everyone in the cottage rushing from their beds to the table. Moreover, this is one breakfast that taste even better when cooked over the fire while camping!

How do you make it?
Why, you make this any way you’d like! In a frying pan cook your bacon (Canadian bacon, turkey bacon, or even vegan bacon) until crispy, fry up or scramble some eggs, perhaps sauté some mushrooms and tomatoes in butter or leftover bacon grease, and serve with toast, biscuits, or home fries. The perfect hearty start to a fall or winter cottage morning.

6. Tofu Scramble

Vegetarians and vegans needn’t miss out on a hearty savoury breakfast at the cottage. Skip the bacon and eggs in favour of a tofu scramble cooked with bell peppers and spices. How about whizzing up a berry smoothie on the side, too?

How do you make it?
Roughly crumble a block of firm tofu. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté a red bell pepper, green bell pepper, and small onion, finely chopped, in olive oil until soft. Add a ½ teaspoon each ground coriander, cumin, salt and turmeric (the last gives the scramble a yellow “eggy” colour), stirring until fragrant. Add the tofu along with a few tablespoons of water and cook until the tofu is warm and the scramble is the consistency you desire. Season to taste and serve with sliced green onions, hot sauce, and your favourite breakfast sides.

7. Speedy Gonzalez Pancakes

These ridiculously easy pancakes are so quick to whip up that you’ll be sitting down to happy faces and happy bellies in no time. Which is perfect, really, because it’s your cottage vacation and the sooner breakfast is over, the sooner you can be outside again.

How do you make it?
Sift together 1 cup self-raising flour with ¼ cup of sugar, then gradually whisk in 2 eggs whisked with 1 cup of milk until the batter is smooth. Pour ¼ cup batter in an oiled heated medium frying pan and cook until bubbles appear on the surface of the batter. Turn pancake and cook until lightly browned. Remove and cover to keep warm; repeat with remain batter. Serve with maple syrup, lemon and sugar, thinly sliced bananas and chocolate sauce, or fresh berries and whipped cream.

8. Overnight Breakfast Casserole

Prep this breakfast casserole before you go to bed the night before, and then all you need to do in the morning is pop the dish in the oven. One early morning swim in the lake later, and breakfast is ready!

How do you make it?
Cook, drain, and crumble 1 pound of Italian or breakfast sausage (alternatively, use leftover sausages, hot dogs, or bacon from other cottage meals). Scatter 4 ½ cups of cubed day-old bread in a 9×13-inch baking pan, then sprinkle over 1 cup of shredded cheese. Mix together 10 eggs, 4 cups milk, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ cup chopped green onions, 1 teaspoon dry mustard (if you have it!), and pepper to taste. Pour this over the bread and cheese, then place the crumbled sausage evenly over the top. Cover and chill overnight, then bake uncovered at 325°F for an hour. Serves 6.

9. French Toast

Do you have leftover bread or brioche hanging around at the cottage, getting a little stale? Repurpose it into everyone’s favourite French Toast and you’ll be creating cottage breakfast memories to last a lifetime.

How do you make it?
Whisk together 4 eggs, 2/3 cup milk or cream and 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional). Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat and, working with 2 pieces at a time, dip 8 slices of thick day-old bread or brioche into the egg mixture. Shake off excess and fry until golden, about 2-3 minutes each side. Serve with syrup, fruit, bacon, eggs, and anything your heart desires.

10. Chocolate Croissant Breakfast Bake

For your last morning at the cottage, how about creating something delicious, decadent, and destined to be remembered? This Chocolate Croissant Breakfast Bake is all of those things and more. And you know what? You’re on vacation. Have that second serving. You deserve it.

How do you make it?
Cut six croissants into 1-inch pieces and roughly chop 4 ounces dark chocolate. Mix together 3 whole eggs and 3 extra egg yolks, 1 ½ cups each cream and milk, 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Stir in the croissants and chocolate, then pour into a buttered 8-inch square baking dish. Bake at 375°F for 40-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Can be served warm or at room temperature (but we love how the chocolate is all melty when warm).


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