“Hey — want to stay for
breakfast?” Sure, it’s a pickup line used to entice
someone to spend the night. But with a little planning and a little
kitchen know-how, people will want to stay not just for a steamy
night, but for steaming breakfast.

Julie Pannuto

Pancakes are a quick and simple breakfast that you can almost
always whip up with ingredients on hand. You’ll need milk,
butter, eggs and pancake mix. Now you could make your own mix, but
as much as it pains me to say this, Bisquik will work just fine,
and best of all, the instructions are on the box. However, plain
pancakes are pretty boring. After you whip up the batter, try
adding banana slices. The banana will cook along with the pancake
and release an amazingly sweet creamyness that you won’t

For a richer pancake you can also add a handful of chocolate
chips along with the banana to the batter. If you are looking for a
little more healthy option, feel free to throw in some sunflower
seeds — without shells of course! When cooking pancakes, the
lower the temperature, the better. If the pan is too hot, the
outside will burn and the insides will still remain gooey.

Pancakes can fill you up, but sometimes they are a little too
filling for a light breakfast. Grapefruit has long been the symbol
of diet breakfasts and are somewhat derided for it. One way to
spice up a grapefruit is through the use of anise sugar —
keep reading, this is worth trying.

You’ll need to get some star anise. It’s a spice
that comes in a star shape and tastes like licorice. Crush one star
into a powder any way you can (preferably with a mortar and pestle
you stole from the chem lab) and mix it with four tablespoons of

Take two ruby red grapefruits and slice them in half
horizontally like you normally would. Use a knife to separate the
sections, cutting between each membrane to separate them a little
so it is easier to get out the sections, but leave them in the
peel. Arrange the four halves on a baking sheet and dump one
tablespoon of the anise sugar on each grapefruit half. Broil in the
oven for at least two to three minutes, until the sugar begins to
bubble. Remove from the oven and eat with a fork — the flavor
is truly unusual.

Also, I imagine a lot of you don’t have star anise or a
mortar and pestle, but I really think everyone should try this
recipe — so if you email me I’ll be happy to supply you
with some anise sugar.

No breakfast would be complete without eggs somewhere. I’m
going to assume everyone can fry and scramble eggs. Another good
and filling egg option is to first sauté up a bunch of
thinly sliced onions, then add some other chopped stuff, like
broccoli, mushroom, spinach, pepper or whatever else you have and
cook until everything is nearly done. Crack in about five or six
eggs and mix them up a bit to break the yolks. Cook covered, on low
heat until the eggs become mostly solid — try to flip the
whole mass over if you can to cook the runny eggs on top. You can
always add a big handful of shredded cheese. Some good seasonings
to add to the eggs include salt, pepper, basil, oregano, sage, red
pepper flakes, chili powder and ginger.

Okay, these ideas are great, but really, with a few exceptions,
how often do we really have time for breakfast anyway? What is
needed are quick and easy breakfasts that you can make on the

Smoothies are remarkably filling, nutritious, portable and
speedy. Grab a blender and throw whatever you’ve got fruit
wise into it — making sure to remove any peels or rinds or
anything. Oranges, bananas and canned pineapple or peaches are
always great starters and are usually around. To add a little more
flavor I keep a bag of frozen fruit in the freezer such as
blueberries or raspberries. These fruits add a nice flavor and good

Mix it up in the blender with some yogurt and some fruit juice
to keep it liquidy. If you want it colder, add some ice, and if you
really want a rich thick smoothie don’t shy away from adding
an extra big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Actually, pretty much
anything is good to add — jams and jellies add a concentrated

Breakfast is no doubt the most frequently skipped meal of the
day. It’s often a little boring, takes too much time and
might interfere with hangovers. However, there is nothing like a
pancake to settle a stomach or a broiled grapefruit to put a smile
on anyone’s face.


— Jess wants to supply you with anise sugar. Email him

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