Do days seem to start earlier in the summer? Something about bright sun and loud birds, right?
So what do we do? We begin breakfast with an eye to fueling warm weather fun by firing up the frying pan or oven for bacon, ham, eggs, home fries, waffles, pancakes…
These are all guaranteed to heat up the kitchen, and the cook, before the summer day is officially on. But there’s no need to heat up the room and then turn on the AC to cool it.
For hot-day breakfasts, you don’t need a stove. You need a refrigerator, some fresh fruit in season, and a little change in direction. Think cool and delightful, rather than cooked and warming.
I know what you’re thinking. “How is it breakfast without bacon?”, or whatever your favorite morning meat. I agree. Bacon is the best. And you can still have it if you must. Crispy cook meat like bacon, sausage, or ham the night before and place, covered, in the refrigerator.
When you make any of the recipes below, crumble your meat as a garnish or mix into the yogurt or cream cheese. You may want to do without added lemon or lime or other flavoring in the latter case.
BAGEL FRUIT PIZZA
Sure to become a breakfast favorite.
1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 Tbls part-skim ricotta cheese
1 Tbls lemon zest
1 tsp of vanilla extract
3 Tbls sugar
4 whole wheat or other bagels
Sliced fresh strawberries
Sliced kiwi fruit
Grapes cut in half
Fresh blueberries or other berries
1 can or jar of mandarin oranges
Chopped mint or basil leaves for garnish
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a wooden or plastic spoon, beat together the cream cheese, ricotta cheese, lemon zest, vanilla extract and sugar. Spread lemon cream cheese mixture on bagel halves. Arrange fruit on top of cheese base. Garnish with chopped fresh mint, if desired. Makes 8 half-a-bagel servings.
TIP: For extra crunch, lightly toast bagel halves before spreading the cream cheese on them.
FRUITY FRIDGE OATMEAL
A cool new way to start the day
1/2 C plus 2 Tbls quick-cooking oats
1/2 C milk
3 Tbls light brown sugar or 2 Tbls if garnishing with extra honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 C fresh fruit such as blueberries or other berries, chopped apple, peaches, etc.
walnuts or pecans, optional
In a medium bowl, stir together oats, milk, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Fold in blueberries. Divide evenly between 2 small bowls and cover to refrigerate. Leave in the fridge for at least 5 hours or overnight. Add a splash of milk if cereal is not dry enough to suit. Enjoy with a drizzle of honey and your favorite nuts, if desired. Makes two breakfast bowls.
Note: Oatmeal is best eaten within 24 hours.
YOGURT BERRY PARFAIT
So easy, children can put together their own breakfast.
yogurt, plain, enough to half fill the serving glass
1/4 to 1/2 C fresh, cut up fruit in season, one or a mix of several
1/4 C of a favorite, crispy breakfast cereal OR quick-cook oats
1/4 C chopped nuts
Reserve a tablespoon of cut fruit and chopped nuts to use as garnish for the parfait. Place some yogurt in the bottom of your serving glass and add some fruit and then some nuts. Repeat layers until glass is nearly full. Garnish with reserved fruit and nuts and serve.
Note: You can combine the breakfast cereal and oats and use together in layering if you wish.
Tip: Experiment with the yogurt by mixing in flavorings, such as lemon or lime juice to taste before making the parfait.
By Jean Redstone