Team Breakfast The Official Blog Of Sat, 21 Nov 2015 11:00:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 10 Diabetes-Friendly Breakfasts Sat, 21 Nov 2015 10:54:53 +0000 Diabetes Friendly Recipes

Studies indicate that enjoying a healthy breakfast every morning suppresses hormones associated with elevated blood sugar and improves insulin production.  Skipping breakfast (or any meal) is a bad idea for diabetics as it usually leads to an increase in blood sugar levels.  Portion control is particularly important as overeating and fasting both lead to significant fluctuations in glucose levels.

Ideal breakfast for diabetics include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats and eggs in moderation.  Low-fat cheeses, yogurt and milk can be included in reasonable amounts.

Here’s 10 ideas for the discerning diabetic to get the most out of breakfast.


Low-Fat Whole Wheat Pancakes

Low-Fat Whole Wheat Pancakes – This recipe is egg-free and dairy-free, but it’s anything but flavor-free.  Be sure to use a sugar-free syrup and consider replacing the 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar in the recipe with a sugar substitute.  A garnish of nuts and dried fruit provides additional taste and energy.  While a stack of 5 pancakes is attractive, it’s advised that you keep your portion to just 1 or 2.


Microwave Farmers Omelet (In A Cup)

Microwave Farmers Omelet (In A Cup) – This quick recipe provides all the satisfaction of a diner-style breakfast in a matter of minutes… in a mug.  As long as your ham isn’t glazed, it won’t affect glucose levels.  The American Diabetes Association recommends having 2 to 5 ounces of protein-rich foods daily.  The cheese can be omitted or you could use your favorite low-fat variety.


Strawberry Banana Smoothies

Strawberry Banana Smoothies – When it comes to smoothies, avoid using fruit juices (which can be deceptively high in sugar) and always taste before adding any sweeteners.  Most of the time, the fruits you use are plenty sweet on their own.  If a recipe specifies yogurt, choose a low-fat or non-fat option.


Honey-Nut Oatmeal

Basic Oatmeal With Nuts – For this recipe, replace the honey with a sugar substitute.  Honey and sugar have similar effects on blood sugar. 1% or skim milk are the best milk options for diabetics.


Afghani Eggs

Afghani Eggs – This simple baked egg dish has only 4 ingredients minus an optional sprinkle of salt and cilantro.  Tomato provides some vitamin C, vitamin E and iron.


Iced Fruit Smoothie

Iced Fruit Smoothie – This recipe is so simple, you might think it’s fake.  Basically, you throw any frozen fruit you have in blender with skim milk.  The combinations are endless.  I tested the recipe with bananas, raspberries, blueberries and pineapple and I loved it.


Low Carb Spinach Scramble

Low Carb Spinach Scramble – Next time you’re ‘scrambling’ to find a healthy breakfast, try these scrambled eggs with onions and peppers served over a bed of sautéed spinach.


Low Carb Pumpkin Pancakes

Low Carb Pumpkin Pancakes –  During the holiday season when everywhere you look is sugar and more sugar, these pancakes can provide holiday flavors and make you hyper-happy instead of hyperglycemic.


Banana Nut Oatmeal

Banana Nut Oatmeal – The beauty of this recipe… if your banana is ripe, you won’t feel the need to add additional sweeteners.  This is a microwave recipe that takes about 5 minutes from start to finish.


Poached Haddock (U.K.)

Poached Haddock (U.K.) – The American Diabetes Association recommends having fish at least two times per week.  Don’t rule out getting one of those servings at breakfast.  Smoked haddock is hugely popular for breakfast in the U.K.  Here, it is served with poached eggs.


Studies about Breakfast & Diabetes:

University of Missouri: People with type 2 diabetes can reduce blood sugar spikes later in the day by starting the day with a protein-rich breakfast.

Tel Aviv University : Diabetics who eat big breakfasts and small dinners have fewer episodes of high blood sugar than those who eat small breakfasts and large dinners.

Hebrew University of Jerusalem : A big breakfast may help people with type 2 diabetes better control their hunger and their blood sugar levels.

Harvard University School of Public Health: Women who skip breakfast have a 20% higher risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes than those who eat breakfast daily.

University of Minnesota: People who eat breakfast regularly have a significantly lower risk of obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Harvard University: Men who skip breakfast are 21% more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who eat breakfast daily.

Georgia Centenarian Study: People who regularly eat breakfast have lower rates of Type 2 diabetes and are less likely to develop heart failure.

American Heart Association: Those who eat breakfast are less likely to become obese and develop type 2 diabetes than those who do not eat breakfast.

November is American Diabetes Month

For more about Diabetic-Friendly Meals:  Visit the American Diabetes Association or Diabetes Forecast (The Healthy Living Magazine).

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Battle Of The Fall 2015 Limited Edition Cereals Sat, 24 Oct 2015 00:04:06 +0000 Battle Of The Fall 2015 Limited Edition Cereals

This is the year that everything became pumpkin spiced.  Here’s a partial list of grocery items that came in pumpkin spice varieties this fall: bread, ice cream, yogurt, cream cheese, coffee, coffee creamer, beer, vodka, almonds, potato chips and corn chips.

Many breakfast items also received the autumn treatment.  You could get Thomas Pumpkin Spice Bagels and English Muffins, Quaker Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal, Eggo Pumpkin Spice Waffles and Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts.

As for breakfast cereals, there were 3 major brand cereals introduced this year capitalizing on the flavors of fall.   Here they are listed from worst to best:

Pumpkin Puffins

Pumpkin Puffins (Barbara’s)

Have you tasted pure pumpkin to see what it’s like before it’s sweetened and spiced for a pie?  I have and it tastes dull.  It’s a miracle that something so bland can become so marvelous.  Well, the good folks at Barbara’s have captured what pumpkin tastes like before it tastes good.  This cereal gets props for being relatively low in sugar, but that’s where the compliments end.  It’s annoyingly crunchy as milk doesn’t penetrate the pieces.  As a dry snack, it’s acceptable.  As a cereal, it’s (to quote Donald Trump) a real loser.

Pumpkin Spice Frosted Mini-Wheats

Pumpkin Spice Frosted Mini-Wheats (Kellogg’s)

This cereal is good because Frosted-Mini Wheats are good.  The flavor is exactly what you would expect: traditional Mini-Wheats with a healthy pinch of holiday flavor.  The new flavor is impressive in the first few spoonfuls, but midway through a bowl, the pumpkin spice aspect becomes less apparent… leaving you with the taste and texture of a cereal you already know.  This one is very sweet with the highest amount of sugar of the cereals featured here.

Apple Cinnamon Crunch Special K

Apple Cinnamon Crunch Special K (Kellogg’s)

The best fall-themed breakfast cereal isn’t pumpkin flavored.  Instead of pumpkin pies and pumpkin patches, this cereal brings to mind apple pies and apple orchards on crisp autumn afternoons.  The flakes are crispy and light. Small apple cinnamon clusters make each spoonful sparkle with a flavor that’s familiar in pies and oatmeal but new and exciting in a breakfast cereal.  The milk at the bottom of the bowl takes on some of that flavor for a final slurp of cinnamon apple goodness.   Of the 3 cereals, this one has the best chance of jumping from a limited edition product to a full time offering. The next time you’re in the grocery store being pummeled by pumpkin products, look for this cereal.  It’s a winner.

Additional Reading:

Breakfast Product Reviews at

The Cereal Project at (Encyclopedia of over 1,500 Cereals)

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A Is For Apple Breakfast Ideas Sun, 18 Oct 2015 17:42:30 +0000 A Is For Apple Breakfast Ideas

This article presents 35 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.

35 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.

Apple Bran Muffins

Apple Bran Muffins – Step aside boring bran muffins!  An apple, some honey and select spices make these bran muffins tasty and interesting.

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.

Apple Crunch Muffins

Apple Crunch Muffins – The cake part of these muffins is tender and buttery with small apple pieces and noticeable cinnamon.  The crumble topping is made of brown sugar, crunchy chopped nuts and cinnamon.

Apple Coffee Cake

Apple Coffee Cake – The cool thing about this coffee cake is that it uses twice as much apple than flour resulting in an extremely moist texture.

Honey Apple Pancakes

Honey Apple Pancakes – Honey and apple are two flavors that are meant to be together.  These fluffy pancakes are proof of that.  This recipe requires an apple and apple juice.

Apple Walnut Oatmeal

Apple Walnut Oatmeal – Forget about packets of oatmeal with dehydrated apple pieces.  Everything here is fresh and made from scratch.

Fruit Turkey

Fruit Turkey – This adorable fellow makes a fun breakfast for kids.  I first made it for Thanksgiving, but it’s great for any day you want breakfast served with a side of whimsy.

Applesauce Pancakes

Applesauce Pancakes –  These pancakes are so moist you might consider them gooey.  They’re not for everyone.  I found them to be a nice change from ordinary pancakes.

Homemade Apple Bread

Homemade Apple Bread – You’d be hard pressed to find a better apple bread in any fancy bakery.  It’s moist and loaded with apple flavor.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal –  I’d put this homemade concoction up against name brand oatmeal packets any day of the week.  A drizzle of pure maple syrup adds a delightful finishing touch.

Apple Pancake Topping

Apple Pancake Topping –  You can enjoy this topping on a million things.  Pancakes, waffles and French toast are the obvious recipients.  But you could also have it in oatmeal, on ice cream, or stirred into yogurt for a breakfast parfait.

Cinnamon Maple Apple Pancake Topping (Microwave)

Cinnamon Maple Apple Pancake Topping (Microwave) –  This topping isn’t as fancy as the one above.  It’s apples in a very basic form with sugar, cinnamon and maple syrup.  It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare.

Apple Muffins

Apple Muffins – If you like a moist muffin, don’t miss these muffins.  Buttermilk and a healthy dose of cinnamon give it a flavor that’s vaguely reminiscent of an apple fritter doughnut.

Baked Apple Pancake Skewers

Baked Apple Pancake Skewers – Next time you make pancakes, make them small and fill them with warm, cooked apple slices.  Poke a toothpick or a skewer in the middle and you have a unique pancake treat.

Microwave Apple Oatmeal

Microwave Apple Oatmeal –  If you like apple pie, you’re going to like this oatmeal.  Add a dab of whipped cream to enhance the pie sensation.

Apple Buttermilk Muffins

Apple Buttermilk Muffins –  Friends will ask, “What amazing bakery did you get these muffins from?”  The secret is using fresh Golden Delicious apples and topping them with a playful vanilla icing.

Steel Cut Apple Oatmeal (Crockpot)

Steel Cut Apple Oatmeal (Crockpot) – Have you heard the expression “as easy as apple pie”? It should be “as easy as apple oatmeal.”  For this recipe, you throw ingredients in a crock-pot, go to sleep and wake up to a healthy, super tasty breakfast.


More Apple Breakfast Ideas:

Applesauce French Toast

Applesauce French Toast

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes (Egg-Free And Dairy-Free)

Apple Cinnamon Pancakes (Egg-Free And Dairy-Free)

Apple Blender Pancakes

Apple Blender Pancakes

Old Fashioned Apple Fritters

Old Fashioned Apple Fritters

Maple Apple Raisin Oatmeal

Maple Apple Raisin Oatmeal

Apple Allspice Muffins

Apple Allspice Muffins

Spicy Apple Pancakes

Spicy Apple Pancakes

Apple Raisin Crepes

Apple Raisin Crepes

Apple Raisin Kugel

Apple Raisin Kugel

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Cinnamon Apple Raisin Oatmeal

Cinnamon Apple Raisin Oatmeal

Whole Wheat Apple Scones

Whole Wheat Apple Scones

Homemade Applesauce (Pancake Topping)

Homemade Applesauce (Topping)

Apple Snapple Oatmeal

Apple Snapple Oatmeal

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Breakfast Options For The Caveman Diet Thu, 30 Jul 2015 23:35:11 +0000 Breakfast Options For The Caveman Diet

The Caveman Diet (aka The Stone Age diet; aka The Paleo Diet; aka The Paleontology Diet) is based on an understanding of foods that were consumed during the Paleolithic era.  During that time some 2.6 million years ago, our ancestors relied on hunting and gathering to provide 100% of their nourishment.  It’s a common belief among those on the diet that consumption of grains and any processed foods runs counter to the nutritional needs of man (prehistoric or modern).  They tend to lay blame for modern ailments on ‘unnecessary’ advances in food technology.

The simple rules of a Paleo diet are this: If you can’t pick it or kill it, you can’t eat it.

Disclaimer:  I don’t endorse this or any particular diet.  However, I do endorse that everyone on any kind of diet should be entitled to have a tasty breakfast every morning.

Foods To Avoid: All grains and foods made of grains, all dairy products, sugar, potatoes and all processed foods.

Foods Allowed:  Vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, eggs and nuts.

At first glance, you might assume that the Paleo Diet is no friend of breakfast.  Common recipes for pancakes, waffles, French toast, muffins, coffee cakes and hash browns are off-limits.  But a look through the treasury of recipes turned up a number of very satisfying recipes that adhere to Caveman standards. Plus, there’s a bunch of recipes that can be made Paleo compliant with slight ingredient substitutions. Here are a few of our favorites. Ugga-booga.  Ugga-bogga.


Bacon Breakfast Cups

Bacon Breakfast Cups – Follow directions for the recipe but skip the layer of bread at the bottom of each cup.  Bacon should be eaten in moderation on The Caveman Diet as it is considered too salty.


Stone Age Biscuits And Gravy

Stone Age Biscuits And Gravy – The biscuits are made with a combination of almond flour and coconut flour.  The gravy is rich, nicely seasoned and loaded with sausage.


Ham-Wrapped Breakfast Burritos

Ham-Wrapped Breakfast Burritos – It’s a breakfast burrito but the tortilla is replaced by a hearty piece of ham.  This one has eggs, bacon, peppers and onion.


Bacon-Wrapped Breakfast Links

Bacon-Wrapped Breakfast Links – What’s better than sausage? How about sausage wrapped with bacon.  Traditionally, this is a breakfast side dish.  But on the Paleo diet, it can be a fun main course.


Broccoli And Bell Pepper Frittata

Broccoli And Bell Pepper Frittata – To make this recipe Caveman Diet appropriate, replace the milk with water and omit the cheese.  It will still be quite flavorful if you use fresh vegetables.


Simple Bacon Omelet

Simple Bacon Omelet – No adjustments are necessary.   Just be sure to limit your salty bacon intake to only once or twice per week.


Green Eggs and Ham Omelette

Green Eggs and Ham Omelette – To make this recipe Paleo proper, just replace the butter with olive oil and skip the optional cheese and salsa (unless you know your salsa is paleontology-approved).


Scrambled Eggs In A Green Pepper

Scrambled Eggs In A Green Pepper – Roast a green pepper in the oven at 375 degrees until somewhat tender – about 12 minutes.  Then cut it and fill the halves with scrambled eggs.


Low Carb Spinach Scramble

Low Carb Spinach Scramble – To make this scramble Stone Age appropriate, put a dab of olive oil on a paper towel and wipe the inside of your pan instead of using cooking spray.


Afghani Eggs

Afghani Eggs – Use the recipe as directed, but make sure to use olive oil instead of canola oil.  Canola and vegetable oil are must-avoid items on The Caveman Diet.  Olive oil and certain other un-pressed oils can be used.


Onion And Tomato Scramble

Onion And Tomato Scramble – You’ll want to skip the toast that’s shown in the picture.  Besides that, this recipe is stone cold stone age appropriate.  Be sure to use olive oil where the instructions mention oil.


Eggs And Corn Scramble

Eggs And Corn Scramble – For this one, omit the cheese and milk and replace the butter with olive oil.  If possible, replace the canned corn with 11 ounces of fresh corn kernels. Unfortunately, you must also skip the toasted English muffins shown in the picture.


Kentucky Scramble

Kentucky Scramble – To make this scramble applicable to the Stone Age Diet, use bacon dripping and not butter where that option is offered.


Mushroom And Herb Omelet

Mushroom And Herb Omelet – Replace the butter with olive oil and this omelet is Paleozoic perfection! Replace the toast in the photo with an apple or a carrot.


Fruit Smoothies

Fruit Smoothies – To wash down your Paleontology breakfast, consider blending together any combination of fresh fruit, fresh squeezed juice or berries (with a couple of ice cubes).  If a smoothie recipe calls for yogurt, replace it with a banana to achieve the creamy smoothness that yogurt provides.  If you throw enough good stuff in a blender, it can act as breakfast all on its own.  Visit our Breakfast Drinks section to get more ideas.


Microwave Farmers Omelet (In A Cup) Recipe

Other Omelets And Scrambles:  If you take a look through our Omelets, Scrambles and Egg Dishes recipe collections, you’ll find hundreds of other recipes you can easily modify. Just remember to skip any cheese, replace milk with water and opt for olive oil or bacon drippings instead of butter or canola oil.


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How To Make Great Zucchini Bread Mon, 27 Jul 2015 09:30:20 +0000 Zucchini Bread Cheat Sheet

It’s hard to explain why zucchini bread is so good.  The zucchini doesn’t add significant flavor.  You never take a bite of zucchini bread and say, “That’s some quality zucchini.”  The vegetable flavor seems to disappear completely during cooking. The bread is not as distinctive as banana bread and not as decadent and dessert-like as carrot bread (which is essential carrot cake).  But a slice of warm zucchini bread with a pat of butter and cup of coffee is the essence of homespun goodness.   It’s playfully sweet, incredibly moist and completely satisfying.

I may not know exactly why I love it, but I do.  I think you will too.  This article presents a reliable, easy recipe for zucchini bread.  I’ve made it many times and it comes out fantastic every time.  Above, you’ll find a zucchini bread cheat sheet with the recipe in its most basic form.  Directly below is a video showing the recipe in action.  That’s followed with tips to make the most of the recipe and link to the printable recipe.


Video: How To Make Zucchini Bread w/ Baby Breakfast


Homemade Zucchini Bread


Tips To Make Great Zucchini Bread


Cooking Time Changes Based On The Amount Of Zucchini – This recipe specifies two medium zucchini.  That should yield between 2 and 1/4 cups and 3 cups when grated.  If your amount is at the low end, the cooking time is likely to be 55 minutes.  If you get a full 3 cups, expect the cooking time to exceed an hour by 5 or 10 minutes.  The reason is that grated zucchini is treated like a wet ingredient.  The wetter your batter, the long it takes to bake.

Cover Loaves With Aluminum Foil Toward End Of Baking – To prevent the tops and edges of your bread from over-browning, cover the loaves loosely with aluminum foil at about 45 minutes.  Don’t do it earlier or the tops will stick to the foil.  I usually prep some foil before baking so that it is molded to the size of the loaf pans.

Test With A Toothpick – At 50 minutes, start testing your bread for doneness.  Stick a toothpick in the center of the bread.  If it comes out clean, the bread is done.  If batter sticks to the toothpick, you’re looking at more cooking time.

Don’t Get Bummed Out During Baking – I once had my loaves take an hour and 15 minutes.  I thought for sure the edges would be dry and over-done.  I was worried for no reason.  The bread was perfect.  This recipe is hard to mess up.

Try Adding More Stuff – As long as you don’t over do it, you can add more ingredients and flavor to this bread.  In place of or in addition to the nuts, try mini chocolate chips, shredded coconut, raisins or dried cranberries.  As long as the total amount of add-ins doesn’t exceed 1 and 1/4 cup, the bread should turn out fine.

Try Making It Healthier – If you want, you can replace up to 1 cup of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour.  You’ll notice a hint of wheat flavor in the final product, but the bread will still taste great.  You can also replace half of the canola oil with apple sauce.  You won’t notice any apple flavor.  The bread will be a bit more soft and crumbly.

Mini Loaves – I’ve used this recipe to make four 6×3-inch loaves.  The cooking time was 48 minutes.

Storing The Bread – I’ve found that a loaf covered in plastic wrap at room temperature is great for 5 days.  In the refrigerator, it’ll be fine for 8 or 9 days.  When frozen, I’ve had loaves taste terrific 3 months after I’ve made them.  I always wrap the loaves tightly with plastic wrap and then wrap them a second time before I freeze them.


Making Homemade Zucchini Bread


This article is a companion piece to following recipe on

Zucchini Bread


Serving Zucchini Bread

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Homemade Frozen Breakfast Burrito Assembly Line Thu, 30 Apr 2015 20:02:24 +0000 Store-Bought Frozen Breakfast Burritos Versus Homemade Frozen Breakfast Burritos

Store-bought frozen breakfast burritos are disgusting. Often times, you wouldn’t know what you were putting in your mouth if the package didn’t tell you.  If I asked you to describe most store-bought burritos, you would probably say, “Oh… it’s some vaguely breakfast-flavored amalgamous gloop plopped into too much tortilla.”  Your words.  Not mine.

This phenomenon baffles me.  The majority of non-supermarket breakfast burritos are excellent.  To recreate the store-bought experience, you’d need a blender and some kind of solvent that removes color.

Luckily, fantastic homemade breakfast burritos are exceptionally easy to make and they freeze amazingly well.  They taste and look 1,000 times better than their store-bought equivalent.  In this post, I’ll show you how I make 10 days worth of frozen breakfast burritos in less than 2 hours.  You may never buy a frozen breakfast burrito again.

Ingredients For Homemade Frozen Breakfast Burritos

When making a bunch of frozen burritos, most of the ingredients can be prepared hours before assembly.  The exception is the eggs.  If you let them set out too long, they get dry and lose their tenderness.  For my burritos, I fried up 2/3 pound of sausage, 10 strips of bacon and two big handfuls of tater tots.  Then, I grated 1 cup of Cheddar cheese and 3/4 cup Pepper Jack cheese and a diced one red bell pepper.  I used 14 eggs to make 10 burritos.  I like to mix my eggs and meats so the main ingredients are uniformly distributed in the burritos.

Homemade Frozen Breakfast Burrito Assembly Line

Lay out as many tortillas as you can on a table or on the counter and fill the burritos as you please.  I use large or burrito-size flour tortillas.  If you offset the mound of fillings to one side, you’ll find it easier to fold the burritos.

Fillings For Homemade Frozen Breakfast Burritos

I filled some with bacon, some with sausage and some with both meats.  Same with the cheeses.  Anything goes.  It’s a free-for-all of variety!

How To Fold A Breakfast Burrito

Once filled, just fold, fold, fold and roll.  Wrapping a burrito is much like wrapping a present.  The image above shows the technique that I use.

Various Homemade Frozen Breakfast Burritos

To prevent freezer burn, I double wrap each burrito in plastic wrap.  If you create a wide variety, it’s a good idea to label each one.

How To Microwave Homemade Frozen Breakfast Burritos:

Do you remember 2012 presidential candidate Herman Cain?  He had a 9-9-9 plan to reform the U.S. tax code.  I have a 2-2-2 plan for heating frozen breakfast burritos.

Defrost for two minutes at 40% microwave power.

Flip the burrito and microwave on high for two minutes.

Let set two minutes.  2-2-2!

Here’s a sampling of how the burritos turned out.  Each one was heated days after they were frozen.

Sausage Potato Pepper Jack Breakfast Burrito

Sausage Potato Pepper Jack

Double Meat & Double Cheese Breakfast Burrito

Double Meat & Double Cheese

Bacon Potato Cheddar Breakfast Burrito

Bacon Potato Cheddar – For this one, I defrosted for 2 minutes, microwaved on high for 90 seconds and then topped with cheese and threw it under the broiler for 2 minutes.

Sausage Potato Cheddar Breakfast Burrito

Sausage Potato Cheddar

Bacon Potato Pepper Jack Breakfast Burrito

Bacon Potato Pepper Jack


More Homemade Frozen Breakfast Burrito Tips:

When preparing a lot of bacon at once, consider using the oven.  Just lay the strips out on a baking pan and bake at 425 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until well-browned.  Place cooked bacon on stacked paper towels to remove excess grease.

I find that frozen tater tots work better than shredded hash browns.  Strangely, the tots taste more like hash browns that the hash browns do when everything is reheated. I think it’s because the tots have such a defined fried exterior. Each piece is like a wee-small serving of hash browns – crisp and tender in each bite.

I recommend NOT putting salsa in the burritos before freezing.  I find that it can make parts of the tortilla soggy after heating. However, I do keep a lot of salsa handy for serving.

Check out these recipes for breakfast burritos:

Basic Sausage Breakfast Burritos

Breakfast Tortilla Wraps

Low-Fat Breakfast Burrito

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Recreating The World’s First Omelette Recipe Sun, 01 Mar 2015 17:19:42 +0000 Honey And Black Pepper Omelette

The first omelette recipe ever recorded comes from an ancient Roman collection of recipes called the Apicius.  Dating back to the 4th Century AD, the recipe called Ova Spongia Ex Lacte can be translated to “Honey Omelette”.  I like to call it a Honey & Black Pepper Omelette because it sounds hipper and I can pronounce it better.

The Roman Apicius

Here’s how the recipe appeared in the ancient text:

Ova quattuor, lactis heminam, olei unciam in se dissolvis, ita ut unum corpus facias. in patellam subtilem adicies olei modicum, facies ut bulliat, et adicies impensam quam parasti. una parte cum fuerit coctum, in disco vertes, melle perfundis, piper adspargis et inferes.

That roughly translates to:

Four eggs in half a pint of milk and an ounce of oil well beaten to make a fluffy mixture. In a pan, put a little oil and add the egg preparation without letting it boil. When one side is done, turn it out to a platter. Fold it, pour on honey and sprinkle with pepper.

Pouring The Eggs

For my version, I tried to stay true to the original but the milk to egg ratio was too high for my tastes.  I also eliminated oil within the egg mixture and modernized the cooking technique.  Here’s my recipe for the world’s first known omelette:

Honey & Black Pepper Omelette (Ova Spongia Ex Lacte)

3 Tablespoons honey
4 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
2 Tablespoons butter
black pepper – to taste

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the milk until well combined.

Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. As the last bit of butter is melting, pour in the egg mixture.  Let it set for 20 seconds and then start lifting the edges with a spatula so uncooked egg flows to the cooking surface.  When the egg is nearly set but still glossy on top, flip the omelette in the pan and cook the other side for 15 seconds.

Turn the omelette onto a platter, folding it in half with the lip of the pan as you slide it out.  Drizzle honey over the top and fold the omelette in half again.  Top with more honey and a generous amount of black pepper.  Slice and serve.

Makes 2 servings.

Making The Omelette

It might sound weird having honey on an omelette, but it actually tasted great.  The honey contrasts with the warmth of the pepper to create a unique flavor.  It’s sort of like how every chocolatier is adding sea salt to their truffles lately.

The World's First Omelette

So, that’s our omelette lesson for the day.  If you’d like to learn more about omelettes, check out The Omelette Collection at

Have a great breakfast tomorrow!

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Baked, Not Fried… Salted Caramel Donuts Thu, 29 Jan 2015 10:52:54 +0000 Baked Salted Caramel Donuts

These baked donuts have a tasty vanilla and nutmeg base that will remind you of fried cake donuts.  The icing has an authentic caramel flavor, because it is actual authentic homemade caramel (plus a little powdered sugar).  The garnish of salt creates a great contrast with all the sweetness, but also helps emphasize the beauty of the caramel.

Inside a Baked Salted Caramel Donut

I was inspired to develop this recipe by a recent trip to Atlanta, GA.  My sister (aka Sister Breakfast) brought me a selection of donuts from Revolution Donuts of Decatur, GA.  All the donuts I tried were spectacular, but their Salted Caramel creation was the hands-down winner.  I make and eat a lot of donuts, so I was blown away that I had to check their website to confirm that the donut in my hand was baked and not fried.  It was possibly the best baked donut I’ve ever tried.  So I set out to recreate it and I’ve come very close.

Ingredients For Baked Donuts

The ingredients for the unglazed donut are very similar to those of muffin.  For the exact ingredients and printable recipe, click here.

Greased Donut Pan

A baked donut pan is required (although you can use the same recipe to make muffins).  If you don’t have one of these pans I recommend it.  They’re cheap.  If you only use it three times a year, you’ll still be glad you have it.

Mixing Baked Donut Dry Ingredients

Like most baked goods, you work the dry and wet ingredients separately to start.  Similar to biscuit recipes, butter is cut into the dry ingredients which produces more of a fluffy cake texture within the donuts.

Donut Batter And Donut Molds

After the wet ingredients are mixed, they are added to the dry ingredients and gently mixed together.  A piping bag is the best way to fill the donut molds.  Baking time for me was between 12 and 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

As the donuts were baking, I started working on my caramel icing…

Caramel Icing Ingredients

Making caramel can be frustrating for first-timers.  The trick is to keep everything moving and not letting your temperature get too high. You start by melting butter and golden brown sugar together over medium-low heat. Once the brown sugar is completely dissolved (no longer appears granular), increase the heat to medium.

Making Caramel Icing

Add milk or heavy cream (in the case of this icing milk worked better).  The mixture will soon boil rapidly.  Cut the heat to low and continue cooking and stirring for 5 or 6 minutes.  Let the caramel cool for at least 5 minutes before stirring in the vanilla and powdered sugar which will turn the caramel into an icing.

Frosting Salted Caramel Donuts

At some point while making the icing, the donuts had finished baking.  The timing is good because you want your donuts cooled to near room temperature before applying the icing.  Save yourself a headache and transfer the icing to a shallow bowl.  If you try to dip donuts directly into the pan of caramel, you’ll find the pan is too hot to work and you might drop a donut into the icing.  I did.  That’s why I don’t recommend that shortcut.

Baked Salted Caramel Donuts Finished

After you dip the top of each donut into the icing, immediately sprinkle each donut with a flaked or large granule salt.  Table salt doesn’t work nearly as well.

Baked Salted Caramel Donut

All that’s left now is to eat your creations.  I loved these donuts.  They were super close to the donuts that inspired them from Revolution Donuts.  Close… but I still have to give the better donut award to those guys.  If you’re ever near Decatur, GA, be sure to check them out.  If I surpass them on subsequent recipe tests, I’ll post about here to save you the trip to Georgia.

Two Baked Salted Caramel Donuts

This post is companion piece to the following recipe on

Salted Caramel Baked Donuts

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Hash Browns: The Basics And Beyond Mon, 05 Jan 2015 22:17:40 +0000 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.

When it comes to ingredients, the only breakfast food that’s simpler might be toast.  For basic hash browns, all you need are potatoes, butter or oil, salt and pepper.  Here’s an ingredient list for 4 servings:

  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, canola oil or peanut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Ingredients For Hash Browns

The best potatoes for hash browns are baking potatoes like Russet, Idaho or Yukon Gold.

Peeling your potatoes is an optional first step.  With the skin removed, you get hash browns that are uniform in color and probably what you’re used to from most restaurants.  If you leave the skin, the hash browns are called rustic.  Just be sure to wash your potatoes before shredding.

Peeling And Shredding Potatoes For Hash Browns

To shred the potatoes, I like to use the largest holes of a standard, upright box grater.  You could use a food processor or mandolin if you prefer.

The most important step I find is to remove as much moisture as possible from the grated potatoes.  To do this, I shred my potatoes directly over a clean kitchen towel or three stacked paper towels.  Once grated, gather the potatoes together in the towel – like a hobo fills his large handkerchief to carry his belongings.  Now, squeeze the bejesus out the potatoes.   Treat it like a test of strength.  Get the family involved.  Squeeze everybody… squeeze!  If your potatoes are wet and full of moisture, they’ll spend their time in the pan steaming instead of frying.  Simply stated, soggy potatoes yield soggy, limp hash browns.  Removing liquid will also prevent splattering when the potatoes are added to the hot oil or butter.

Squeezing Potoatoes For Hash Browns

The way you fry the potatoes will determine if you get diner-style or extra-crispy hash browns.  For either type, use a large frying pan or skillet – at least 10-inches in diameter.


For diner-style hash browns:  I prefer using butter.  It gives the hash browns – for lack of a better term – a buttery flavor.  Set the frying pan over medium-high heat and melt the butter.  Add the potatoes.  Season with salt and pepper to your liking.  Flatten the potatoes in the pan using a spatula so you get a uniform layer about a 1/2-inch thick.  Now wait for 4 minutes.  Check the underside.  It may need a minute or 2 more, but when the bottom is browned to your liking, flip the hash browns over.  They’ll probably break apart as you flip.  Just flip in sections so the uncooked potatoes are on the bottom.  Cook the other side for about 4 minutes or until nicely browned.

Making Diner-Style Hash Browns


For extra-crispy hash browns:  Peanut or canola oil seems to work best for crisping the potatoes.  Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it gently ripples and shimmers.  As a test, drop a single shred of potato into the oil.  If it starts to sizzle and fry, you’re good to go.  If it just lays there doing nothing, your oil needs to be hotter.  Work in two batches.  Take half of your potatoes and place them in the hot oil.  Season with salt and pepper. Press down on the potatoes with a spatula.  A thinner layer (about 1/4-inch thick) will provide more crispness.  I’ve had good luck frying both sides for exactly 5 minutes, but look for the amount of browning you prefer.  Add a little more oil to the pan between batches.  When the hash browns are cooked to your liking, transfer them to stacked paper towels to remove excess oil.  This also helps assure maximum crispness as the hash browns cool to eating-temperature.

Making Extra Crispy Hash Browns


To keep cooked hash browns warm as you make more or work on other components of your breakfast, place them on a cookie sheet in an oven set to 225 degrees.

Note:  There’s two steps mentioned in many recipes that I find unnecessary.   The first is par boiling (partially cooking) the potatoes before you shred them.  The second is soaking your shredded potatoes in water to remove excess starch.  I’ve done numerous kitchen tests and didn’t find either of these steps to improve the overall result.


Adding Onions, Peppers, Etc.

Chopped Vegetables For Hash Browns

The most common extra ingredient added to basic hash browns is onion.  It adds a depth of flavor to the potatoes and a slight sweetness.  For two potatoes, I’ll add about 1/4 of a medium onion – chopped into fairly small pieces.

Whenever I’m adding vegetables to the potatoes, I like to put everything in a bowl and toss it like a salad so the ingredients are evenly distributed.  Then, fry as normal.  Cooking time, heat and amount of oil or butter doesn’t change.

As a general rule, I try not to overload my hash browns with too much extra stuff.  As long as the volume of extras doesn’t exceed 1/4 of the volume of potatoes, you usually end up with a flavorful and often colorful mix that still lets the basic fried potato flavor shine.  Avoid overloading your pan.  Since you’ve added more stuff, the layer you’re frying will be thicker.  Fry in batches to assure crispness.

The hash browns you see directly below have a Southwestern flavor thanks to multiple kinds of pepper, including Jalapeno.

Chopped Vegetables And Shredded Potatoes For Hash Browns

Hash Browns With Chopped Peppers And Onion


Hash Brown Patties

Hash Brown Patties

To make hash brown patties, you need to introduce some egg into the mix.  The egg will act as a binder so that the patties hold their shape.

Place your shredded potatoes in a mixing bowl.  Beat one egg.  Add the egg to the potatoes and mix well with a fork to coat all of the potato pieces.  For frying, oil and butter work equally well.  The heat is still medium-high.  Dollop a scoop of potato mixture into the pan – about 3 Tablespoons worth.  Form patties directly in the pan by pressing down with a wide spatula.   Cook each side for about about 5 minutes or as browned to your liking.  Avoid overloading your pan.  I usually fry two at a time.

Making Hash Brown Patties


Other Ways To Enhance Basic Hash Browns:

Hash Browns With Cheese And Peppers

Meat:  You can add breakfast meats to hash browns with or in place of peppers, onions, etc.  For bacon, cook and crumble 2 or 3 slices and mix it in with the potatoes before frying.  For sausage, cook and crumble until no longer pink before mixing into the potatoes.  Ham can be diced and added directly with no pre-cooking necessary.

Cheese:  Back in Michigan where I’m from, some diners call hash browns topped with cheese “monster-stye” hash browns.  Just take about 1/3 cup grated cheese and sprinkle it over the hash browns about 1 minute before they’re done.  I like a nice sharp Cheddar or a zesty Pepper Jack.

Garnishes And Condiments:  A Tablespoon (split among 4 servings) of chopped chives or parsley is a nice final touch.  Sprinkle over the hash browns for a little pop of color and a hint of extra flavor.  Have ketchup standing by.  It’s the preferred condiment of most hash brown lovers.  Salsa pairs well with hash browns, adding a fresh, vibrant flare to the end result.  For what it’s worth, I have one friend who tops his hash browns with A1 Steak Sauce and another who has to have sour cream on top.

I think it was the 70’s rock band Journey who said, “Any way you want it… that’s the way you need it.”  This is nowhere more true than in the case of hash browns.  People know what they like and they know what they like on top of what they like.  Hopefully, you can now make hash browns any way you want.

Hash Browns With Cheese, Onion And Peppers


More About Hash Browns at

Extra Crispy Hash Browns Recipe

Hash Brown Patties Recipe

20 More Hash Brown Recipes

Homemade Hash Browns

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Homemade Bread Recipes For The Holidays Mon, 17 Nov 2014 10:47:12 +0000 Homemade Bread Day Is November 17

November 17th is National Homemade Bread Day.  So, I thought I’d share with you some of my very favorite holiday bread recipes.  These are all quick breads – meaning they don’t require yeast or hours of waiting for dough to proof.  In every instance, the batters can be used to make mini-loaves (or even muffins) to give out a gifts.

Every bread here has been tested by me personally.  If you click through to see a recipe, please be sure to read the notes so you know exactly what to expect.  Happy holiday baking!

Homemade Apple Bread

Apple Bread –  This quick bread is exceedingly moist.  I suggest drizzling each loaf with vanilla icing for added beauty and to bring out the sweetness of the apple.

Carrot Cake Breakfast Bread

Carrot Cake Breakfast Bread – If you’ve ever wanted to indulge by eating carrot cake for breakfast, this is the bread for you.  Top with cream cheese icing for the ultimate carrot cake breakfast experience.

Easy Banana Bread

Easy Banana Bread – You won’t believe how easy this bread is to make.  Chopped walnuts are optional but recommended.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread – If you held a bread knife to my neck and made me choose my favorite bread on this page, it would be this one.  The combination of pumpkin and chocolate is a perfect holiday treat.

Pineapple Bread

Pineapple Bread – Did you ever wish you had a Hawaiian grandma to bake you holiday bread?  Close your eyes and take a bite of this bread. It’s the next best thing.

Holiday Pumpkin Bread

Holiday Pumpkin Bread –  This pumpkin bread features raisins and pecans.  For optimal moistness, replace the orange juice in the recipe with vanilla yogurt.

Low-Fat Date Nut Bread

Low-Fat Date Nut Bread – Is it possible that lower fat can mean more flavor?  Yes.  This bread is best if you let it set for one day and then warm individual servings.

Banana Pineapple Bread

Banana Pineapple Bread – These are actual mini-loaves I gave to friends last Christmas.  Everyone who tried them said they were great.

Banana Coconut Bread

Banana Coconut Bread – Another tropical play on old-fashioned banana bread, this one is even better if you sneak a handful of mini chocolate chips into the batter.

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread

Cranberry Pumpkin Bread – This recipe comes from a 1987 magazine advertisement for Libby’s Solid Pack Pumpkin.  Make sure you chop the cranberries before using them to get the best texture.

Raspberry Grapefruit Mini Breads

Raspberry Grapefruit Mini Breads – This is a sweet bread with a little tang to it.  Citrus from the grapefruit and little lemon makes the raspberry flavor really pop.


Bacon Spider Bread

Bacon Spider Bread – This recipe is from a 1974 issue of Ebony Magazine.  It’s a cornbread that’s made in a skillet. It’s the only recipe on this page that I have not personally tested.  So if you try it, please be sure to leave a comment here or on the recipe page to let me know how it goes.

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