Hash Browns: The Basics And Beyond

How To Make Hash Browns

There’s two major ways that people prefer basic hash browns: diner-style and extra-crispy.  Diner-style hash browns are golden brown and lightly crisp on the outside with a center that’s tender and warm.  Extra-crispy hash browns are just that… extra crispy with almost every shred of potato browned and crisp, even crunchy.  However you like them, I think we can agree that hash brown are delicious when done right.  As you’ll read here, they are also incredibly easy to make.

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Cranberry Sauce For Breakfast

Cranberry Sauce For Breakfast

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 10 best ways to use cranberry sauce for breakfast.

Cranberry Sauce In Oatmeal

#1. Swirl it into your oatmeal.

Cranberry Sauce On Pancakes

#2. Put it on pancakes. (Recipe: Cranberry Sauce Pancake Topping)

Cranberry Sauce In Pancakes

#3. Put it in pancakes. (Recipe: Cranberry Sauce Pancakes)

Cranberry Sauce On Toast

#4. Mix it with cream cheese to make a tasty topping for toast.

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Candy Corn For Breakfast?

Candy Corn For Breakfast?

In all good conscience, I can’t recommend actual candy corn for breakfast.  Instead, I’ve put together a collection of breakfast dishes that will hopefully bring the classic candy to mind.

The good news is that the “candy corn” you find here is a bit more healthy than actual candy corn which is made of sugar, corn syrup, confectioners wax, food coloring and binding agents.  You’ll find no confectioners wax in these breakfasts.  Sugar and food coloring?  Perhaps.

I’ve tested most of these recipes so I can attest that they also taste better than candy corn.


Candy Corn Waffles

Making Candy Corn Waffles

Candy Corn Waffles are pretty fun to make.  You can use any waffle batter.  You just divide it, color it and pour the batter on your waffle iron.  Get more detailed instructions here.  The whole waffle looks kind of funky, but when you separate it into quarters, you’ll see that each segment resembles candy corn.  Take note that you could use the same basic technique to make Candy Corn Pancakes.

Candy Corn Waffles

If you don’t want to mess with food coloring, an alternative way to make Candy Corn Waffles is to arrange toppings on each waffle piece.  For the waffles below, I dipped the end in whipped cream then spread some Pumpkin Maple Topping over the middle.  The yellow is just the natural waffle color.  For the orange, you could also use orange marmalade.

Candy Corn Waffle Toppings


Candy Corn Fruit Parfaits

Candy Corn Fruit Parfaits

This one isn’t just fun, it’s genuinely healthy.  I used pineapple pieces, mandarin oranges and vanilla yogurt to make my layers.  For other fruit suggestions, check out the recipe for Candy Corn Fruit Parfaits.


Candy Corn Pebbles

Candy Corn Pebbles

If you don’t feel like cooking, Post Cereals has a solution.  This year, they came out with Candy Corn Pebbles.  I’m happy to report that it tastes great.  The colorful pieces have notes of caramel. The flavor might not remind you of candy corn exactly, but that’s probably for the best.   For more about this cereal, check out it’s profile page in the Cereal Project at MrBreakfast.com.

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A Is For Apple Breakfast Ideas

A Is For Apple Breakfast Ideas

This article presents 34 of my favorite apple breakfast recipes.  Most use fresh apples with a handful that require applesauce.  We’ve got apple waffles, apple pancakes, apple oatmeal, apple cereal, apple crepes, apple muffins… think of a breakfast food and put “apple” in front of it and it’s probably here.

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, try these recipes and keep that pesky medic off your back for over a month.

34 Apple Breakfast Recipes

Apple Granola

Apple Granola -  This flavorful granola includes apples, walnuts, cinnamon, vanilla and maple.  Substitute chopped pecans in place of the walnuts for a different taste.

Apple Cinnamon Waffles

Apple Cinnamon Waffles – Diced apple in the batter makes every bite special.  For the best experience, top with real maple syrup and some chopped nuts.

Homemade Apple Bars

Homemade Apple Bars -  These bars are perfect for breakfast on the go.  They’re comprised of mostly oats and apple, but still somehow taste like an indulgent cookie.

Applesauce Oatmeal Pancakes

Applesauce Oatmeal Pancakes – The applesauce in the recipe make these pancakes more dense and filling than traditional pancakes.  Whole wheat flour and oats add bonus fiber.

Cinnamon & Honey Apple Breakfast Treat

Cinnamon & Honey Apple Breakfast Treat -  The simplest recipe on this list, it’s just apple, whipped cream, honey and cinnamon.  Serve it as slices or core the apple to make a cute apple bowl.

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Cuckoo For Coffee Cake: 32 Great Recipes

Cuckoo For Coffee Cake: 32 Great Recipes

When you want a baked good for breakfast or brunch, you can’t beat a nice coffee cake.  They’re easy to prepare and ready within an hour. As they bake, your kitchen smells like a bakery.  If you have guests over, someone will always ask, “What smells so good?” If you need a dish to take somewhere, a coffee cake is the perfect, portable, party pastry.

The recipes here are all “quick bread” coffee cakes. That is to say, they don’t use yeast (which takes more time), but are made from scratch using flour as a base and baking powder or baking soda as their leavening agent.  (A couple of the recipes call for a store bought-baking mix like Bisquick which is basically flour plus baking powder.)

In a later post, we’ll address yeast-risen coffee cakes and short-cut coffee cakes (those which use dinner rolls, biscuits in a tube or some other time-saving base).  But for now, grab a coffee, sit back, relax and get ready to be hungry.  I present to you…

32 Favorite Coffee Cake Recipes

Strawberry Jam Coffee Cake

1. Strawberry Jam Coffee Cake – You can use any flavor jam that you like.  I’ve tried this recipe with both strawberry and raspberry jam and loved the results.

Mud Pie Coffee Cake

2. Mud Pie Coffee Cake – A very unique coffee cake with a center that’s so soft, moist and tender… it might remind you of bread pudding.

Overnight Coffee Cake

3. Overnight Coffee Cake -  A good, solid standard coffee cake with a brown sugar and pecan crumb topping.  This one is especially good with… you guessed it… coffee.

Blueberry Coffee Cake

4. Blueberry Coffee Cake – The inside is fluffy and loaded to the max with blueberries.  The top is surprisingly crisp.  This is my personal favorite of the many kinds of blueberry coffee cakes I’ve tried.

Apple Coffee Cake

5. Apple Coffee Cake – By volume, this coffee cake has more apples than flour which makes it extremely flavorful and moist.

Pineapple Coffee Cake

6. Pineapple Coffee Cake – A very easy recipe.  Each bite has just the right amount of pineapple.  A simple sugar and walnut topping adds flare but keeps the focus on the tropical flavor inside.

Starbucks-Style Cinnamon Coffeecake

7. Starbucks-Style Cinnamon Coffeecake – I experimented with cakes, crumbles and fillings until I came up with a recipe that’s just as good, if not better, than the notable coffee cake from the famous chain.

Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Cake

8. Blueberry Oatmeal Breakfast Cake – An egg-free coffee cake that includes whole wheat flour, oats, applesauce and lots of delicious blueberries.

Cinnamon Flop (Coffee Cake)

9. Cinnamon Flop (Coffee Cake) – This easy-to-make coffee cake features soft fissures and cracks loaded with buttery brown sugar and cinnamon.

Butterscotch Coffee Cake

10. Butterscotch Coffee Cake – This coffee cake uses butterscotch chips and more butter than I’d like to admit to give it a sweet, indulgent flavor.  This one got 20 thumbs-ups from the 10 people I had try it.

Blitzkuchen (German Coffee Cake)

11. Blitzkuchen (German Coffee Cake) – A basic coffee cake with a delightful walnut crumble topping.  FYI… Kuchen is the German word for “cake” and Blitz is German for “lightning.”  Who’s in the mood for Lightning Cake?

Crunchy Kuchen (German Coffee Cake)

12. Crunchy Kuchen (German Coffee Cake) – Like a blitzkuchen (above), but with a crunchy topping thanks to crushed corn flakes.

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Vive la French Toast: 15 Favorite Recipes

Vive la French Toast: 15 Favorite Recipes

There’s nothing quite like a perfectly prepared piece of French toast.  The outside is ever so crisp and the inside is moist and tender.   Ordinary bread suddenly becomes a playground for maple syrup and other toppings. Use extraordinary bread and you’re in for a guaranteed breakfast bonanza.

Here’s 15 of the best French toast recipes on MrBreakfast.com:

Basic French Toast

#1.  Basic French Toast

Everybody needs a good go-to French toast recipe.  This is mine.  The custard that you dip the bread into is a simple combination of milk, beaten eggs, sugar and a hint of salt.  If you’re craving no-frills, classic diner-style French toast, this is a recipe you should try.  Get the recipe here.

Crunchy French Toast

#2. Crunchy French Toast

I can still remember the first time I tried Crunchy French Toast.  It was several years ago at a restaurant in Los Angeles called Fred 62.  I took a bite and was an immediate fan.  A crisp French toast exterior is great.  A crunchy exterior is even greater.  The trick is dragging your bread through crushed corn flakes after you dip it in an egg and milk mixture. Get the recipe here.

Cinnamon Crunch French Toast

#3. Cinnamon Crunch French Toast

Once you try Crunchy French Toast (#2), you might want to explore other ways to achieve a crunchy French Toast exterior.  In this recipe, the crushed corn flakes from the previous recipe are replaced with crushed Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal.  Get the recipe here.

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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 A Basic Breakfast Strata

Basic Breakfast Strata

A breakfast strata is just a breakfast casserole with layered ingredients.  It’s best when you assemble it the night before and refrigerate it overnight.  The next morning: pop it in the oven, take a shower, watch a little George Stephanopoulos* and then… wham, bam, thank you ma’am… breakfast is ready.

Think of a simple farmhouse breakfast of sausage, toast and cheesy eggs with onions and peppers.  Now, imagine what it would be like to have all those wonderful flavors mingled together in a single, delicious bite.  That’s a breakfast strata.

This recipe features one of the non-glamorous superstars of breakfast… day-old bread.  You probably already know that day-old bread makes the best French toast.  It’s a little dry so it retains its structure but it’s also thirsty to absorb the egg, milk and other good stuff that make up French toast.  It’s the key to French toast that’s firm but pleasantly moist inside.   The same principal works for a strata.  After we assemble our strata (which includes slices of bread), we drown it in a French toast-like egg and milk mixture.

This dish elicited enthusiastic comments from the people I tested it on.  My Italian friend Pete said, “Dude, this is great. Is it cool if I get some more?”  My fiance Kellie said, “Tell me about this.  What’s in here? I’m gonna have another piece.”

Nobody is 100% sure who coined the the phrase “leave ‘em wanting more.” It was likely either Walt Disney or P.T. Barnum.  Whoever it was, let’s just assume they were talking about a good Breakfast Strata.

Ingredients For Basic Breakfast Strata

Let’s assemble a strata…

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