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.
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).
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.
One of America’s most loved baked goods is also one of the easiest to make. Today, we’re focusing on a basic, reliable blueberry muffin recipe. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to bake. That’s right. We’re talking about oven-fresh blueberry muffins in a half hour.
After we examine the basic recipe, I have a few tips and simple adjustments to make this good thing even better.
As shown in the recipe card above, the ingredients are:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup butter – melted
- 1 cup blueberries
The trick to making these muffins tender is mixing the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately. When you combine the two mixtures, use a gentle touch and mix only until the dry ingredients are moistened. Over-mixing will make the muffins slightly tough. (Although in truth, you can beat the bejesus out the batter and still get decent muffins.)
The same gentle technique goes for folding in the blueberries. Take your time and mix just until the berries are evenly distributed in the batter.
For dolloping batter in muffin cups, I swear by my trusty ice cream scoop. It fills the muffin cups almost exactly 3/4 full, which is ideal for this recipe.
Always test for doneness. After 20 minutes, insert a toothpick in the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean (no batter), the muffins are done. If they need a few more minutes, consider covering the tops of the muffins with foil so they don’t get overly browned.
Now that you know the most rudimentary, reliable recipe, here’s few ways to make it even better:
Here’s a fun project to brighten your morning. Kids of any age will love helping to make their own personal waffle butterfly. If you use frozen waffles, the whole thing takes about 3 minutes. Best of all, your kids will be having such a good time decorating, they won’t realize that they’re inadvertently getting a serving of fruit.
When it comes to making pictures and characters out of food, it’s important that the dish be prepared quickly. There’s a guy at a site called Jim’s Pancakes who is making incredible, intricate sculptures out of pancakes. I love what he’s doing, but there’s a problem with making complex, edible spaceships and football stadiums for breakfast. If you play with your food for too long, your breakfast might look cool… but hot? It is not.
That’s what I like about these waffle butterflies. Once the components are prepped, the butterflies take just seconds to make and your waffles are still warm and crisp.
You’ll need 2 waffles – frozen or homemade. Besides a banana, you’ll need a small selection of other fruits or berries. I decided to decorate my butterfly with a kiwi and some strawberries. You might also try blueberries, raspberries, cherries or dried cranberries. The more colorful the fruit, the more lovely your butterfly.
I like to think of the ingredients as a cocoon – ready to release a breakfast of unmatched glory. Or if I’m in a bad mood, I just think of them as 2 waffles and some fruit. But then, everything comes together and my bad mood flies away like some kind of winged insect.
Now, let’s transform these simple ingredients into a beautiful butterfly.
It’s there for every Thanksgiving dinner and it’s there after every Thanksgiving dinner. It’s the one holiday staple you can count on being in your refrigerator the next day. The concept of having cranberry sauce with meat and potatoes is cemented in our holiday traditions. It’s on the table. It’s pretty. But, it’s often unused. Maybe it’s a matter of tradition not keeping up with tastes. I’ll have gravy on my turkey and potatoes for Thanksgiving. If I want a berry compote with my meat, I’ll go to IKEA later.
You know what I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving? Leftover cranberry sauce! I’ve begun watching it during holiday dinners – eyeing it like the last piece of of chocolate in the box – hoping that nobody takes too much. Because I know… cranberry sauce is better for breakfast than it is for dinner. There are few hard truths you can rely on in this life. That’s one of them.
So whether you’re reading this the day after a holiday or you’re finally ready to use that can that’s been in your cupboard for two years… get ready. These are the 9 best ways to use cranberry sauce for breakfast.
#1. Swirl it into your oatmeal.
#2. Put it on pancakes. (Recipe: Cranberry Sauce Pancake Topping)
#3. Put it in pancakes. (Recipe: Cranberry Sauce Pancakes)
#4. Mix it with cream cheese to make a tasty topping for toast.
Raspberries and chocolate make a great team, especially white chocolate with its creamy, delicate flavor. These Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins are incredibly easy to make. Preparation takes about 10 minutes and baking time is 20 minutes. Follow along as I take you step-by-step through the recipe.
Every Independence Day, I like to give my breakfast the red white and blue treatment. It’s easy, fun and always beautiful. All you need are some berries and yogurt or whipped cream. For the red berries, I usually go for a combination of raspberries and strawberries. For the blue berries, I use rare Japanese Sakuranbo berries. Just kidding. I use blueberries.
The great thing about these ingredients is that you can use them to turn many breakfast staples into patriotic masterpieces. Use them in layers to make yogurt breakfast parfaits. Use oatmeal for your white ingredient (although it’s more tan) to make oatmeal parfaits. Pancakes and waffles are like a painter’s canvas just waiting to became red white and blue works of art. Continue reading