I am not really a morning person, nor am I a night owl.  Depending on my schedule, I can be one or the other, but I don’t do well if I have to “burn the candle at both ends.”  The older I get, the more I would rather get up early than stay up late.  I manage to do more in the morning than I do at night.

Just because I get up and start my morning routine doesn’t mean that I am fully awake.  I manage to feed my pets (they pester me until I do) and let the dog out, but my mind still feels muzzy.  For some reason, it takes me a while to become alert and thinking clearly.  There are times, however, that the Lord speaks into the early part of my day and manages to teach me about Himself, no matter how out of focus I am.

Not so very long ago, I was feeling more out of sync than usual.  I kept trying to get fully awake, but nothing was working.  I said to myself, “Maybe I should welcome the Lord into my morning.”   Then I looked out my kitchen window, intending to do so.  A pink glow was starting up from the horizon, emanating from the newly-rising sun.  My heart filled with awe at the majesty of my Creator.  Just then He whispered into my thoughts, “Welcome to MY morning!”

I stood there humbled, yet feeling so profoundly loved.  To be welcomed into the morning by the One who spoke things into existence was far superior than the idea that I was accepting Him into mine.  No longer feeling fuzzy brained, I watched the sunrise develop and then fade into a bright new day.  I pondered the blessing the Lord gave me.  Releasing the ownership of the morning into the hands in which it truly belonged provided such a sense of freedom and a deep awareness of His tender care.

All this talk about morning leads up to the fact that February is National Hot Breakfast Month.  I looked back through my recipes to find some that fit the theme but had not been repeated in Cooks’ Corner since their first appearance.

Bacon-and-Egg Casserole

1 (16-ounce) Hawaiian bread loaf, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 cups (8 ounces) finely shredded Mexican four-cheese blend
1/2 pound bacon, cooked and crumbled (8 slices)
8 large eggs
2-1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dried mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salsa or sliced fresh tomatoes

Arrange bread cubes in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with shredded cheese and crumbled bacon.

Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over prepared dish; press down bread cubes with a spoon to allow bread to soak up liquid. Cover and chill 8 hours. Let stand 30 minutes before baking.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until set and golden. Serve with salsa or sliced fresh tomatoes.

Note: Hawaiian bread may be found in the deli section of supermarket. Ten to 12 white bread slices, cubed, may be substituted for Hawaiian bread.  Makes 8 to 10 servings.


Maple-Bacon Oven Pancake

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1-1/2 cups biscuit mix

1 tablespoon sugar

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup maple-flavored syrup

1-1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (6 ounces), divided

12 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (1 cup real bacon bits)

Maple-flavored syrup

Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until smooth.  Stir in 1/2 cup of cheese.  Pour into a greased and floured 13-by-9-inch baking dish.

Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes.  Sprinkle pancake with remaining cheese and bacon; bake 3 to 5 minutes longer or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cut into squares and serve with maple syrup.


Stickie-Quickie Rolls

Heat until warm:

3/4 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

Mix together:

1-1/2 cups flour

3 packages dry yeast (2 tablespoons + 3/4 teaspoon)

Add warm mixture and then add:

1 egg

Beat at high speed of mixer for 3 minutes.

Stir in by hand:

1-3/4 cups flour

Cover and let rise 1/2 hour.

While dough is rising, mix topping.

Heat until melted:

3/4 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 cup nuts (optional)

1 tablespoon maple syrup or corn syrup

1 tablespoon water

Pour topping into lightly greased 9-by-13-inch pan.

Stir dough down and spoon by tablespoonfuls onto topping (24 rolls).  Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until done.  Cool 1 minute, cover with cookie sheet and carefully invert pan.