Ideas to get your day off to a fast start


Wake up: It's time for breakfast.

Too busy, you say. Never can eat in the morning. Got to get the kids up, dog walked, cat fed, coffee made, paper read, lunches packed, self washed and dressed and out the door. Who has time to eat breakfast, let alone cook it?

Rethink the day's first meal and try these easy breakfast ideas:

* Make fruit and cheese kabobs: Alternate cubes of cheese and fruit on small wooden skewers, wrap well and refrigerate overnight.

* Make your own trail mix and pack it into little plastic bags or containers to eat on the way to school or work.

Make your own frozen yogurt cups for yourself or kids:

Breakfast pops

Makes 2 small pops.

1 8-ounce container yogurt

1 small sliced banana

1/2 cup sliced strawberries or other fruit

Stir fruit into yogurt, then spoon into paper or plastic cups. Insert a Popsicle stick (or small plastic spoon) and freeze. When firm, wrap in foil.


This recipe, which goes together in about 5 minutes, is from an old Southern Living. Be careful not to over-mix the batter; it doesn't have to be smooth. A crack in the top of the loaf is normal; it's also normal for quick breads to look pretty flat, not domed like yeast breads. (Low-cholesterol cooks could substitute 2 egg whites for the beaten egg.)

Applesauce-pecan bread

2 cups all-purpose flour (I usually use 1 1/2 cups flour and 1/2 cup wheat germ)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup raisins

1 egg, beaten

1 cup applesauce (I have used 1 cup mashed ripe banana or 1 cup canned pumpkin puree instead)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Combine first seven ingredients in a large bowl; stir in raisins and pecans. Make a well in center of dry mixture. Combine egg, applesauce and oil; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened. Spoon mixture into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan, and let cool on a wire rack.


This recipe is from a cookbook called "Quick Breads" by Beatrice Ojakangas ($11, Clarkson Potter). The author likes to toast this bread and serve it with a slice of Monterey Jack cheese. I like that, too.

Carrot walnut bread

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups finely shredded fresh carrots

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 1 9 1/2 -by-5 1/2 -inch loaf pan or 3 small (5 3/4 -by-3 1/2 -inch) loaf pans.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, nuts, sugars, baking powder, cinnamon and salt until well blended. Stir in the remaining ingredients just until moistened. Spoon into pan or pans. Bake 50 to 60 minutes for a large loaf, 35 to 45 minutes for small loaves, or until they test done. (A toothpick inserted in the center will come out with no batter or crumbs clinging to it.) Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.

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