Red, White And Blue Breakfast Ideas

Red, White And Blue Waffle

Happy Independence Day!  Today’s ideas are all about adding some red, white and blue flare to your morning meal.  If you have some berries and bananas, you have the power to transform an ordinary breakfast into an All-American Fourth of July Spectacular Breakfast.  Add some whipped cream or yogurt and the patriotic possibilities are endless.

The easiest (and maybe most fun) thing you can do is arrange berries to make an American flag pattern on waffles, pancakes or French toast.

4th of July Waffles

Here, you can see combinations of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, banana slices and whipped cream.  Those are Apple Cinnamon Waffles in the pictures.  The warm apple pieces in the waffles tasted amazing with the fresh berries on top.  For standard waffles, I’d recommend the following recipes: Best Waffles Ever (quick waffles without yeast) or Overnight Waffle Batter (yeast waffles from a batter that needs to rest at least 7 hours).

American Flag Toast

In a matter of seconds, you can turn ordinary toast into USA-mazing toast.  A spread of cream cheese gives you a white canvas to work with.  Strawberry jam is used to make the red stripes of the flag which are offset by banana pieces to make the white stripes.  I especially love this idea because it’s so kid-friendly. Wee ones will have a blast making a flag out of a piece of toast.  You don’t really need a recipe for this, but here’s one anyway:  American Flag Fruit Toast.

Fourth of July Berry Bites

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How To Make Donuts In The Microwave

How To Make Donuts In The Microwave

If you’ve been on social media in the last year, you’ve probably encountered enticing, single-serving, microwave recipes for brownies, cakes and other desserts. They usually look amazing and always promise to be fast and easy.  I went to baking school, but I still became temporarily obsessed with the idea of making my favorite desserts in minutes in the microwave.  I tried several of the recipes and they we’re mostly satisfactory, if not stellar.

Throughout this quick-fix phase, I pondered how I could make a satisfying donut in the microwave.  I tweaked and tested recipes until I came up with a microwave cake that tasted similar to a chocolate cake donut.  Coming up with the recipe was the easy part.  Making a donut out of it was another matter.

I played with thicker batters piped in the shape of donuts.  That didn’t work.  The batter fused together in what was supposed to be the hole.  Plus, the cake was too dry from having to add extra flour.  I knew I had to find a way to stick to the recipe I liked, yet still create a donut shape.

Having no luck, I decided to drink my troubles away.  I was pouring bourbon into a shot glass to make a Manhattan.  The answer was in my hand.  I took the shot glass and rested it in a glass cereal bowl.   There it was… a donut mold.

I whipped up another batch of the cake batter, greased my makeshift mold and gave it a try.  It worked!  I realized on subsequent attempts that works best if the shot glass is right-side-up in the bowl with the smallest part of the glass touching the bowl.

Holding A Microwave Donut

In a reality, these donuts are just cakes in funny shapes.  But isn’t that what donuts are?  They need icing to make them really feel like donuts.  Without icing, they look kind of like sad, little, porous Bundt cakes.  But once you add icing, you get the donut experience.  At least, you get the best donut experience you can get in a couple of minutes from your microwave.

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Celebrating The Birth Of Elvis… With Grits

Sweet Breakfast Grits

Happy Birthday Elvis Presley!  Born in 1935, this year he would have been 79 years old.  Every January 8th, I like to make one of Elvis’ favorite foods to celebrate.  Last year, I made his famous fried breakfast sandwich with peanut butter, bacon and banana.  To celebrate this year, I decided to make Sweet Breakfast Grits.

Happy Birthday Elvis Presley!

I found a really fun book in the bargain section of Barnes & Noble called Are You Hungry Tonight? compiled by Brenda Arlene Butler. It’s an eclectic mix of Elvis’ favorite foods – everything from Sausage Spoon Bread to Chicken ala King.  There’s only 7 breakfast recipes in the book, but it’s a great read for Elvis fans who love to cook.

Are You Hungry Tonight?

The book claims that Elvis’ mother used to make him grits and speculates that grits were probably included in his earliest memories of solid food.  Another book, The Life And Cuisine Of Elvis Presley by David Adler, reveals that Elvis enjoyed grits for breakfast in his later years along with 6-egg omelets and burnt bacon by the pound.  Today, we’ll just concentrate on the grits.

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Christmas Cake Donuts: Reindeer, Snowmen & Wreaths

Christmas Cake Donuts: Reindeer, Snowmen And Wreaths

Yikes! Christmas is coming too soon!  Where did the time go?  Eek!  No time for a flowery introduction.  Gotta make the donuts!  Let’s jump right in.

The decorating techniques shown here can be applied to any donut with a hole… baked, raised or cake.  I went with cake donuts.  Here’s the recipe:

Donuts Ready To Be Decorated

Basic Cake Donuts

  • 2 and 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons shortening
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup mashed potato
  • canola oil for frying

This recipe makes about 20 donuts.

Sift the flours, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon together into a medium bowl.

In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the shortening and the sugar.  Mix on slow until the mixture resembles coarse sand.  Add the egg and mix on slow until well combined and uniform in color.

Add the potato, a third of the flour mixture and a third of the milk.  Mix on slow until just combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.   Continue adding the flour and milk in intervals.  Stop when just combined. Try not to over-mix.

Transfer to a shallow casserole dish that’s been coated with cooking spray.  Press the batter down to an even layer.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.

Heat 3 inches of canola oil to 360 degrees in a fryer or a heavy pot.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.  Sprinkle the top lightly with flour.   Pat the dough down to a ½-inch thickness.  Cut out donuts and donut holes.  Gather dough remnants into a ball and pat down again to make more donuts.

Carefully slide 2 or 3 donuts at a time into the oil.  As soon as the donuts float, flip them over using two chopsticks.  Cook until the underside is lightly browned (about 40 seconds).  Flip and cook the other side to golden brown (about 30 seconds).

Transfer completed donuts to stacked paper towels.

Be sure the oil is at 360 degrees again before frying another batch.

Make sure all donuts have cooled to room temperature before icing.

This recipe explains the homemade donut making process in rather simple terms.  Refer to the end of this article for more detailed instructions.

Snowman Cake Donuts

Snowmen Donuts

For these snowmen donuts, I used a simple vanilla icing.  You can get the recipe for that (and some icing tips) from a post I did a couple weeks ago called Christmas Cake Donuts: Chocolate With Crushed Candy Canes.

The mouth and eyes are chocolate chips and the nose is a Reese’s Pieces candy.

I made snowman faces.  If you wanted to make a full snowman body, just ice 2 donuts with no other decoration and use those to make a body for your snowman face.

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Eggnog For Breakfast: 7 Holiday Recipes

Eggnog For Breakfast

In this era of extreme political correctness, one is never sure when it’s okay to say “Merry Christmas” versus “Happy Holidays”.  Thankfully, there is one holiday greeting we can all agree on… Joyous Eggnog Season! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

I always get excited when my local grocery stores start stocking eggnog in late fall.  That first swig of the year is liquid magic.  The creamy, rich taste of the holidays puts a smile on my face.  And you should see how happy I look when I add brandy.

When it comes to cooking with eggnog, we become like Santa Claus in the the kitchen.  You know those cartoons where he wrinkles his nose and a regular space becomes a holiday wonderland?  That’s what eggnog does to ordinary recipes.  It’s like adding a pinch of Christmas to whatever you’re making.  In most cases, all you need to do is replace the milk in a recipe with eggnog.

These are some of my favorite breakfast recipes that use eggnog as a key component.

Have a very Joyous Eggnog Season!

Eggnog Panccakes

Eggnog Pancakes – This is a recipe is for making pancakes from scratch. They come out very flavorful and surprisingly fluffy considering eggnog’s thicker-than-milk consistency.

Here’s a quick tip: You can take commercial pancake mixes and replace the milk or water in the instructions with eggnog…. Easy Eggnog Pancakes!

Eggnog Smoothe

Eggnog Smoothie – Blending eggnog with a banana (or other fruit of choice)  is a fun way to turn an indulgent holiday treat into a (mostly) healthy holiday treat.  Add a shot of rum or brandy and it’s even more fun!

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A Taste Of The Holidays In Puerto Vallarta

Mr Breakfast In Puerto Vallarta

Last month, I had the great pleasure to conduct a cooking demo at a resort called Villa La Estancia just north of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in Nuevo Vallarta. On the breakfast menu that morning: Pumpkin Waffle Maker French Toast, Spicy Pecan-Encrusted Bacon and a healthy Pumpkin Pie Smoothie.  In this post, I’ll show you the seasonal dishes I made and share a little about my trip to one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.

Mr Breakfast Cooking Demo

I started the demo with my Pumpkin French Toast.  You can get the recipe here.  Since we were just coming off of Halloween and it was the official start of the holiday cooking season, it felt appropriate to share this fantastic dish.

Pumpkin French Toast

I was excited to show the guests, staff and a handful of reporters that you can take almost any French toast recipe and cook it in a waffle iron.  This is one of my favorite breakfast tricks.

French Toast In A Waffle Iron

We needed something to go on the side of the French toast so I opted to demonstrate Sweet & Spicy Pecan Bacon.  You can get the recipe here.  It’s very easy to do.  The amazing chef at Villa La Estancia, Sergio, liked it so much he’s considering adding it to their permanent breakfast menu.

Sweet & Spicy Pecan Bacon

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Thanksgiving Breakfast Fun

Thanksgiving Breakfast Fun

A couple Thanksgivings ago, I introduced you to the Pancake Turkey.  This year, I’d like you to meet Pancake Turkey II, a variation on the concept of pancake turkeys.  I’ll also introduce you to a special, new Thanksgiving friend… the Fruit Turkey.

This post marks the first time I’m using Vine – the hip social platform where you share 6 second looping videos.  As it happens, that just enough time to make breakfast turkeys come to life.

Original Pancake Turkey

This (above) is the first pancake turkey I ever made. For this gobbler, you need a pancake mix (or homemade pancake batter), a banana, candy corn, a chocolate chip or a raisin and a maraschino cherry or a small dollop of red jam.  You can get complete instructions right here.

New Pancake Turkey

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Five Frighteningly Fun Halloween Breakfast Ideas

Halloween Breakfast Ideas

Here’s a few frighteningly fun and fascinatingly freaky ideas to turn your October morning meals into Halloween Breakfast Extravaganzas. From kid-friendly fare as easy as making faces with fruit to more intricate recipes for pumpkin quick breads and baked goods, you’re sure to find something here to make your breakfast spooky, kookie and delicious.


#1. Pumpkin Pancakes, Waffles And French Toast

Add some pumpkin puree and a few pinches of pumpkin pie spice to regular breakfast batters and you’re in for a Halloween treat (this is not a trick).  Here’s some recipes to try:

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Waffles

Pumpkin Waffles

Pumpkin French Toast

Pumpkin French Toast


#2. Make Your Breakfast Look So Scary, It’s Adorable

There’s a ton of ways you can make your morning meal more monstrous.  A couple chocolate chips in misshapen pancakes make great ghosts.  Banana eyes and teeth made from apples can make your oatmeal a real scream.  Carve a grapefruit into a Jack O’ Lantern and fill it with fruit… it’s bewitchingly cute.  Here’s a few ideas you might want to try:

Pancake Ghosts

Pancake Ghosts

Oatmeal Monster

Oatmeal Monsters

Jack O' Lantern Orange

Jack O’ Lantern Fruit Cups

Breakfast Sausage Mummies


#3. Scare Away Doctors And Disease By Eating Healthy Pumpkin Hot Cereals

Did you know there’s over 40 studies that indicate eating oatmeal can help reduce your risk of heat disease.  Oatmeal may also reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.  It’s as if hot cereals are saying, “I vant to suck your blood… pressure down to healthy levels.”  Here’s some healthy hot cereals with the added benefit of tasty pumpkin:

Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Polenta

Pumpkin Pie Breakfast Polenta

Pumpkin Pecan Oatmeal

Pumpkin Pecan Oatmeal

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Brown Rice & Pumpkin Porridge

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