I love when my brother and his wife visit for a weekend or holidays with their daughters, sons-in-law and dogs. My favorite part is when they straggle into the kitchen for breakfast. We all sit around the island on chairs and stools of different heights and, no worries, everyone pitches in to prepare the meal. I'd like to share with you some favorite alternatives to omelettes.
Granola with yogurt and fruit
Before getting to the higher-calorie dishes, here's a wonderful recipe for granola:
1 2/3 cups oatmeal (not quick cook)
1/2 cup chopped nuts, unsalted
1 Tbs canola oil
1/4 cup honey
Mix and then mix in a beaten egg. If you like, add around 1/4 cup of any of coconut, chocolate chips, dried fruit, etc.
Lightly spray a toaster oven pan with canola oil. Spread mix and press into the pan. Bake at 350 for 10 to 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it after 8 minutes. It may cook more slowly in a regular oven. Cool and break apart. It's good warm too! Serve with any of milk, yogurt, fresh fruit, etc.
Baked French Toast
Baked French toast is great for a crowd, especially because you can make it ahead of time. Try this recipe on Cooks.com. Some folks prefer their French toast without cinnamon, so I suggest offering it on the table for sprinkling after you serve. When possible, I use challah, and sometimes I like to tear the bread instead of laying it flat in neat layers. The tearing creates an uneven topography and crispy edges.
Deviled Egg Salad
Another dish you can prepare ahead of time is deviled egg salad, which is less labor-intensive than deviled eggs. If you don't make it ahead of time, it's even lovelier when the eggs are warm. I mash the eggs with red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard and sugar, all added gradually to taste. Be careful not to overdo the mustard. Sprinkle paprika on top and serve in a large bowl, family style. On the side, I serve sliced tomatoes and toast, which you can make a lot of at one time by using your broiler, but watch it every few seconds. It can burn really fast!
Viennese or Kaiser Pancakes
Viennese pancakes require a little more work and you wouldn't be able to prepare this dish ahead of time. However, this dish is so good that it's worth the trouble. The ingredients are pretty much the standard pancake ingredients of eggs, milk, flour, sugar, butter, but one main thing that sets apart this recipe for Kaiser pancakes from The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz is that you separate the eggs and beat the whites until stiff.
Giada's Italian Breakfast Skewers
One blissful Mother's Day morning, my middle daughter surprised me with Giada De Laurentis's breakfast skewers and breakfast pizza. On our skewers we used just sweet Italian sausage, red pepper and pineapple and cooked it on the grill, though you can also use a 375 degree oven as the recipe suggests.
Giada's Breakfast Pizza
Giada's breakfast pizza is a calorie splurge, but to my mind worth the sacrifice. The calorie culprits are store bought pizza dough and mascarpone cheese. Picture the dough brushed with melted butter and cinnamon sugar and baked until golden brown, then spread with a generous mixture of mascarpone, lemon juice, lemon zest, and a touch of heavy cream. You top the whole thing off with a bounty of berries.
Waffles and Ice Cream
If some of the aforementioned ideas sound like too much trouble, how about popping some frozen waffles into the oven. Surprise your family or guests by serving sides of assorted favorite ice cream flavors, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and strawberries. All ice cream is a blessed treat; however, if your budget allows for a splurge, try Graeter's ice cream, whose flavors for a limited time include pumpkin and cinnamon and which you can order online and have delivered.
Zhuzh up a cup of hot chocolate with a candy cane!
Allrecipes.com offers a simple hot chocolate recipe. My personal preference is to omit the crushed candy canes in the actual chocolate and just use one as a stirrer. If you're a more adventurous pleasure-seeker, you might want to check out allrecipes.com's top 20 hot chocolate recipes, some with ingredients like chili powder.
What are your favorite breakfast ideas? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!
CHECK OUT SOME OF THESE OTHER IDEAS FOR ENTERTAINING OVER THE HOLIDAYS: