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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Monster Cereals Get Comic Book Makeover

2014 Monster Cereal Boxes

I was very excited to open my mail this morning.  General Mills sent me this year’s boxes of Count Chocula, Franken Berry and Boo Berry Cereals.  The cereals themselves haven’t changed since last year, but the packaging is updated in a great way.

The cereals partnered with artists from DC Comics to give each monster a fresh look.

My favorite is Count Chocolate who is more expressive than in the past.  His huge nose and big buck teeth are less goofy and more menacing than past renditions.  The artists for that box were Terry and Rachel Dodson, a husband and wife pencil and ink team known for work on DC’s Wonder Woman and Marvel Comics’ Spider-Man.

2014 Count Chocula Box By Terry and Rachel Dodson

Franken Berry has his familiar look but is a bit rougher around the edges. If you’ve never noticed his fingernails which are polished to look like individual strawberries, they’re emphasized in this illustration.  Strawberry fingernails might feminize other men, but Franken Berry makes it look tough.  The artist for this rendition was Dave Johnson who some may know for Marvel’s Captain America and DC’s Detective Batman series.

2014 Franken Berry Box By Dave Johnson

Probably the most notable artist involved, Jim Lee (X-Men, Superman and many, many more) did the illustration of Boo Berry. While cool, it was my least favorite of the three because it looked so similar to Boo Berry boxes from previous years.

2014 Boo Berry Box by Jim Lee

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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 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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A Trip Down A 1984 Cereal Aisle With Mr. Rogers

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood grocery store!  In episode #1529 of PBS’s Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,  Mr. Rogers takes a trip to the supermarket.  We get a glimpse of what a cereal aisle looked like in 1984. Fans of cereal might appreciate seeing some long-gone, discontinued friends of the breakfast table from 30 years ago.

See if you can identify the cereals that Fred passes by.  After the screen shots, I’ll help you identify the discontinued and hard to find cereals you may not recognize or remember.

A Trip Down A 1984 Cereal Aisle With Mr. Rogers

A Trip Down A 1984 Cereal Aisle With Mr. Rogers

A Trip Down A 1984 Cereal Aisle With Mr. Rogers

A Trip Down A 1984 Cereal Aisle With Mr. Rogers

A Trip Down A 1984 Cereal Aisle With Mr. Rogers

A Trip Down A 1984 Cereal Aisle With Mr. Rogers

A Trip Down A 1984 Cereal Aisle With Mr. Rogers

I’ll bet you identified most of the cereals that have remained big sellers since the mid-80s (like Life, Total, Lucky Charms, Count Chocula, Golden Grahams and Fruit Loops).  Here’s 10 of the cereals that may have been less familiar:

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Strawberry Valentine’s Day Donuts

Strawberry Valentine's Day Donuts

This year’s featured Valentine’s Day recipe is for heart-shaped, yeast-raised donuts with strawberry buttercream filling and vanilla icing.  The secret ingredient is… as usual… love.  I decorated some with sprinkles and others with a decorative pink icing that I made by simply combining the leftover filling with the leftover icing.

I won’t sugar coat it.  Raised donuts take time.  All together, you’re into it for at least 3 hours, probably 4.  Much of that is just waiting for dough to rise, but you can’t really hurry the process.  Don’t be fooled by TV shows like “Donut Showdown” where gourmet filled donuts are made in under an hour.

If you have the time, these donuts are actually fun to make – especially during the decorating phase.  If you have someone special to make them with, all the better.  For as great as they are to make, they’re 1,000 times more fun to eat.  Let’s get to work…

Strawberry Buttercream Donut

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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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