Team Breakfast The Official Blog Of Thu, 13 Aug 2015 08:00:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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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Cranberry Sauce For Breakfast Tue, 04 Nov 2014 17:12:08 +0000 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.

Cranberry Sauce In A Smoothie

#5. Use it to make a smoothie. (Recipe: Cranberry Sauce Smoothie)

Cranberry Sauce In A Crepe

#6. Fill a crepe with cranberry sauce.  For really good crepes, try combining it with either Nutella or Neufchâtel cheese.

Cranberry Sauce In A Muffin

#7. Chuck it in a muffin. (Recipe: Cranberry Thanksgiving Muffins)

Cranberry Sauce In A Coffee Cake

#8. Make a cranberry sauce coffee cake. (Recipe: Cranberry Sauce Coffee Cake)

Cranberry Sauce And Peanut Butter Pinwheels

#9. Use it like jam and have it with peanut butter.  Try a simple peanut butter and cranberry sauce sandwich.  Or get creative with a flour tortilla and make Cranberry Sauce And Peanut Butter Pinwheels.  (Related Recipe:  Peanut Butter Pinwheels)

#10. Mix it with chopped apple, orange segments and pineapple for a morning fruit bowl.  It doesn’t look pretty (thus the missing picture), but it sure tastes great.


If you have more ideas, please let me know. Happy Thanksgiving!

More cranberry recipes: Cranberries Recipes at


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Candy Corn For Breakfast? Thu, 30 Oct 2014 08:48:20 +0000 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

Candy Corn Pebbles In The Bowl


Elsewhere On The Web

Candy Corn Crepes at

Sandra Denneler at created this amazing Candy Corn Crepe.  The concept is the same as our waffles, except the crepe is folded into quarters instead of being separated into quarters.  Take a look at her instructions right here.  Instead of crepe mix, consider using a great made-from-scratch crepe batter.

Candy Corn Smoothie at Boulder Locavore

Over at the blog Boulder Locavore, they’re serving up a Tropical Candy Corn Smoothie with pineapple, papaya and coconut milk.  Beautiful!  Their entire recipe section is filled with great ideas and gorgeous photos.

National Candy Corn Day

Every year,  National Candy Corn Day occurs on the day before Halloween.

For more Halloween recipes and fun, check out’s Halloween Breakfast Headquarters.

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Monster Cereals Get Comic Book Makeover Sat, 25 Oct 2014 09:13:59 +0000 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

The boxes I received were all signed by the artists.  Bonus!  I’m checking with a comic enthusiast friend of mine to see what they might be worth in the future.  Depending on what he says, I’ll either be having sweepstakes to give them away or I’ll be retiring in Maui – in which case, this will be my last post.

Here’s a quick look at how the monsters have changed over the years:

Monster Cereals Over The Years

For more about these cereals and to see vintage boxes and commercials, check out the Monster Cereal Collection section of which also includes Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy.

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