This month, I've been traveling in the south, staying one or two nights in one place and weeks at another.
Some mornings, I don't feel like encountering the breakfast rush, so I eat in, having something simple and fast. But, that doesn't mean it has to be bland.
Some of the following spreads I made before leaving home, or did the prep-work, and I keep them in a small cooler while traveling.
The spreads are great on toast, wraps or crackers, and can be thinned a bit to use as a dip.
I don't use exact measurements, but adjust amounts to my taste. You can start with small amounts and add more of the ingredients. I like my spreads chunky with nuts and berries, but don't worry, these recipes can't be ruined.
•Peanut Butter-Cranberry-Almond Spread: Toast sliced (preferably blanched) almonds lightly. Mix nuts and dried cranberries into any type of peanut butter. Sometimes, I'll make a 40-ounce jar of this peanut butter mixture because it keeps a long time.
•Cranberry-Walnut Spread: You can make this at home, or do the prep-work, if you don't have a travel size food processor. Process walnuts and dried cranberries together until they have the consistency of meal. (Process them together to keep the cranberries from becoming a sticky ball.). Add the processed nuts and berries to an eight-ounce package of softened cream cheese. For a different taste, add a pinch of cinnamon or cinnamon and sugar mix.
This is delicious on wraps, toast, bagels or crackers, but I don't add the cinnamon/sugar. It can also be spread on grahams or cookies, or made into "sandwiches."
•Walnut Yogurt: I process walnuts to the consistency of meal and put them in large, disposable cottage cheese containers for travel. Add a couple of teaspoons to a couple of tablespoons of ground walnuts to the yogurt of your choice. You can also add a pinch of your favorite spice(s), such as cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg.
•Peanut Butter/Honey Spread or Dip: Start with about two tablespoons or more of any type of peanut butter (I like chunky) in a small microwaveable bowl and add any type of honey. Start with a teaspoon of honey and add more, depending on whether you want a spread or a dip. Microwave it for about 10 to 20 seconds, just long enough to heat the honey and slightly soften the peanut butter.
Stir to blend. This can be used as a dip for fruit or graham crackers if thinned with a little more honey.
Karen Silverman lives in Eldersburg and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.