Make breakfast special this New Year’s Day

You can set the tone for the coming year with a morning meal that’s simple to make but varies from the norm

    New Year’s Eve dinner gets plenty of attention, but what about breakfast the next day.
    After all, starting the new year with a good meal can set the tone for the coming weeks and months.
    So why not make something special. Even a cold breakfast can qualify if you take a few minutes to prepare something your family doesn’t usually have.
    You could make something that celebrates your heritage, such as stollen or a strata.
    Give traditional breakfast foods a touch of holiday flavor, perhaps making a gingerbread cake, pumpkin spice muffins or cranberry nut bread.
    Or just add a holiday twist to breakfast. Instead of plain butter for your biscuits, create orange butter by blending orange marmalade with softened or whipped butter.
    Make holiday cream cheese by blending light cream cheese with cranberry-orange or cranberry-raspberry sauce. French toast is festive when made with slices of pannetone, an Italian bread baked in a round, tall-sided pan and made with pieces of dried or candied fruit.
    Whatever you make doesn’t have to be elaborate. Make pancakes or waffles and throw some chopped fruit in with the batter. Create an omelet filled with cheese and meat left over from your holiday meal. Bake a coffee cake or muffins with nuts, chips or fruit. Or how about some homemade granola?
    There are even breakfast casseroles that can be put together the night before, refrigerated and then put into the oven as your family awakens.
    Following are some holiday breakfast ideas from

Breakfast Quesadillas

2 eggs, beaten
2 flour tortilla shells
2 slices bacon, crumbled, and/or cooked, crumbled sausage
1/2 cup Mexican blend or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Sour cream

    In a large skillet, scramble the eggs. Salt and pepper to taste.
    Spray skillet or griddle with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Place one tortilla on the skillet or griddle and heat on one side. When tortilla is hot, flip and add half of the cheese. Add scrambled egg and distribute evenly. Top with bacon. Sprinkle on remaining cheese and top with second tortilla.
    Cook about one minute, until cheese starts to melt, then carefully flip.
    When the cheese is melted and the tortilla is golden brown, remove from pan. Cut into quarters with a pizza cutter and serve with sour cream and/or salsa.
    Makes two servings.


Make Ahead Breakfast Parfaits

32 ounces plain or vanilla yogurt or Greek yogurt
1-1/2 cups strawberries
1-1/2 cups raspberries
1-1/2 cups blueberries
4 to 5 cups granola

    Layer 1/4 to 1/3 cup mixed berries in the bottom of each of six cups. Spoon 1/4 to 1/3 cup yogurt on top of the berries. Continue layering until the cup is as full as you would like, ending with a layer of yogurt.
    Fill six snack-sized zipper-lock bags with granola and seal.
    Cover each cup tightly with plastic wrap and seal with rubber band. Place or tie a granola bag on each cup along with a spoon.
    Store in refrigerator for as long as five days.
    Makes six servings.


Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons quick-rise yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs
7-1/2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons oil
For filling:
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional
For cream cheese frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 pounds powdered sugar

    In a small bowl, combine water, yeast and sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes.
    Heat milk in microwave for two minutes. Set aside.
    In a large bowl or heavy mixer, combine milk, softened butter, salt and sugar. Mix together until butter is melted.  Add eggs, one at a time, and three cups flour. Mix for two minutes. Add yeast mixture and two cups flour. Mix well.
    Let dough sit for 10 minutes.
    If using a standing mixer, change to dough hook. Then slowly add remaining flour. Dough will start pulling away from the sides of the bowl, but remain quite sticky. Beat three more minutes.
    Coat another large bowl with two tablespoons oil. Place dough in oiled bowl, turning once to coat each side. Place clean towel over bowl and let dough rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes.
    Place dough on a floured surface and knead by hand, adding a little flour if needed. With rolling pin, roll dough into a rectangle about 11 by 15 inches and 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
    Melt 1/3 cup butter in microwave for 30 seconds or until just melted. Spread over dough.
    Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar and 3/4 cup brown sugar over butter. Sprinkle cinnamon on top of sugars. Top with nuts, if desired.
    Roll dough starting with the long side, then pinch seam to seal. Cut into one-inch rolls and place on a greased cookie sheet or in two 9-by-13-inch glass baking pans. Cover and let rise 45 minutes.
    Bake in a 325-degree oven for 16 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool 10 minutes before frosting.
    To make frosting, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing constantly, until desired consistency is reached. You may not need all the powdered sugar. Spread over warm cinnamon rolls.


Breakfast Hand Pies

7 eggs
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup diced green chilies
4 slices thick-cut ham
1 tomato, sliced thin
1 pound puff pastry sheets
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

    Thaw puff pastry in the fridge overnight or on the counter for about 30 minutes.
    In a medium bowl, whisk together six eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper. Cook in a skillet over medium high heat, stirring frequently, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan.
    Add green chiles and stir to combine.
    Cut each pastry sheet into four squares. Place on a greased baking sheet.
    Cut pieces of ham to fit on one half of each pastry square. Place one piece ham on each pastry square, making sure to leave a margin on the edges. Top each slice of ham with a tomato slice, then scoop a small spoonful of egg mixture on top of tomato. Add a pinch of shredded cheese.
    Fold the top piece of the pastry over the fillings and crimp the edges with a fork.
    In a small bowl, whisk remaining egg. Brush a small amount of egg wash onto the top of each pastry, then top each pastry with a pinch of cheddar cheese.
    Bake in a 400-degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until pastry is puffed and golden brown.
    Makes eight pies.


Cinnamon Peanut Butter Granola Bars

1 cup dates or raisins
1/4 cup cinnamon peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup almonds, whole and sliced
1/2 cup dried apples
1-1/2 cups quick rolled oats
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    Place dates in a food processor or blender and process until it resembles an extra thick, sticky jam.
    Place peanut butter and honey in a medium, microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. Add date mixture to the melted peanut butter mixture and stir. Add remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.
    Place foil or wax paper in an 8-inch square glass baking dish and press firmly and evenly with hands. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 20 minutes.
    Remove from fridge and cut evenly into rectangles.
    To store, wrap individually in wax paper or plastic wrap or store together in an air-tight container.
    Makes 10 servings.


Easy Crepes With Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling

For crepes:
4 eggs
2 cups milk
1-1/3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
For filling:
2 cups strawberries, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

    In a blender or food processor, combine crepe ingredients. Cover and refrigerate about an hour.
    Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and spray with cooking spray or oil. Pour 1/4 cup batter into pan, tilting to coat the surface of the pan. Cook three to four minutes, flipping once, until golden.
    For filling, combine strawberries and sugar and set aside.
    In a bowl, mix cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Fold in strawberry mixture until well combined. Put one to two tablespoons berry mixture in each crepe. Roll and serve with sliced strawberries and whipped cream.
    Makes eight servings.




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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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