When I was growing up, my dad never let me leave the house without breakfast. It was a point of constant contention between us at the time—I was an angsty, ridiculous teenager who thought it was just so unfair that I had to eat the delicious meals that were cooked for me every day—but now that I’m older, I look back on those mornings with an ever-growing sense of warmth and gratitude. Not because of the food, really (though I did secretly love my dad’s toasted sausage sandwiches), but because of the gesture and what it represented. Making someone breakfast is such a simple thing to do—but it shows how much you care and sets a tone for the rest of the day.
This Father’s Day, let your dad know what he means to you by giving him breakfast in bed. We’ve got 10 sweet and savory recipes to start his day right, from PBJ waffles to banana bread to buttermilk biscuits and more. If the way to his heart really is through his stomach, both will be full by the end of the meal.
Mama DJ’s Homemade Banana Bread
I am a mother of two grown sons. When they were young, there were tests they had to take in school called the FCAT, which was a scholastic test of ability and knowledge. These were very important tests, and one had to pass in order to proceed to the next grade level. I always baked a nice loaf of homemade banana bread the night before, because it was very important to eat breakfast before these tests. That way, in the morning, I could fix them some protein, like eggs, and be sure that they ate the banana bread and went off to school with a full belly and a positive attitude. The evening before, when the bread was finished cooking, we sat down and discussed how wonderful each son was and how proud I was of them, while having a nice, warm piece. I think it made a difference and they both scored amazingly high on the tests the next day. Ingredients: 1½ cup flour ½ tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda ½ cup sugar 1/8 cup oil or margarine ¼ cup nonfat sour cream ¼ cup egg beaters or an egg ¼ cup milk 2 ripe bananas 1 cup pecans crushed up 1 tsp vanilla
Directions: 1. In a large bowl, stir flour, salt, and soda together with a spoon. In a little bowl, stir sugar, oil or margarine, sour cream, and egg beaters together. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and slowly add milk, stirring until just incorporated. With a masher, mash bananas into batter and add vanilla and pecans until just mixed together. Pour into a greased pyrex glass bread pan. Place in a 325–350°F oven; bake 45 minutes. Makes 1 loaf.
Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
by Bobby Flay Serve this A.M. favorite family-style on a platter so everyone can help themselves. Then all you have to do is pour the coffee. Ingredients: 1½ cups all-purpose flour 2 Tbsp baking powder ¼ tsp ground nutmeg ½ tsp salt 2 cups ricotta cheese ¼ cup sugar 4 large eggs 1 1/3 cups milk Juice and grated rind of 2 lemons Butter, for griddle 1 jar prepared lemon curd 1 pint fresh raspberries Confectioners’ sugar Mint sprigs for garnish Thinly sliced fresh lemon
Directions: 1. Combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk together ricotta, sugar, eggs, milk, lemon juice, and zest in a large bowl. Whisk flour mixture into wet ingredients until just combined. Brush griddle with butter. Pour ¼ cup batter on griddle and cook on both sides until light-golden brown.
2. Empty jar of lemon curd into a small saucepan; warm over low heat. Drizzle a few tablespoons over pancakes, top with fresh raspberries, and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Yields: 12 pancakes. Per pair: 790 calories, 91g carbs, 30g protein, 355mg cholesterol, 36g fat
Make-Ahead French Toast
Ingredients: 1 (12½-oz) loaf of favorite bread (such as challah), cut into 1-inch-thick slices 3 cups whole milk 7 large eggs ½ cup light-brown sugar ¼ cup real maple syrup, plus more for serving 2 tsp pure vanilla extract 2 tsp cinnamon ¼ tsp nutmeg
Directions: 1. Generously butter a 13 x 9–inch casserole. Arrange bread slices in dish, staggering in rows.
2. In large bowl, beat together milk, eggs, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour over bread and press down, making sure slices absorb liquid. Cover with foil.
3. Refrigerate overnight. 4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove foil and bake casserole 55 minutes to 1 hour, until puffy and golden. Serve with more maple syrup, if desired.
Serves 6. Per serving: 450 calories, 62g carbs, 17g protein, 17g fat, 325mg cholesterol, 580mg sodium, 1g fiber
Serve warm with a pat of butter or jam for breakfast. Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 Tbsp baking powder ¼ tsp baking soda 1½ tsp sugar ½ tsp salt 6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces ¾ cup cold buttermilk
Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Whisk flour, baking powder, soda, sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Drop in butter and, with your fingers or a pastry blender, rub it into flour until you’ve got crumbs—some the size of flakes, some like baby peas. Add buttermilk and stir; mixture will be very sticky.
2. Reach into bowl and knead dough gently 3 or 4 times. Turn it onto a floured surface and roll or pat it into a circle about ½-inch thick. Use a 2-inch biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can; gather the scraps, re-roll, and cut out more biscuits. 3. Transfer biscuits to a foil-lined baking sheet and bake 15–18 minutes or until puffed and golden. Cool 5 minutes. Serve split. Serves 16. Per serving: 100 calories, 13g carbs, 2g protein, 4.5g fat, 10mg cholesterol
Easy Egg & Cheese Waffle Sandwich
Ingredients: 2 (4-inch) frozen round waffles 1 egg, beaten 1 slice Colby-Jack or American cheese
Directions 1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Generously coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Place waffles on baking sheet.
2. Spoon egg over waffles, spreading to fill cavities. Bake in 400ºF oven until egg is set and waffles are crisp, 10–12 minutes.
3. Top one waffle with cheese. Cover with remaining waffle and press together. Let stand 1 minute to allow cheese to melt.
Makes 1 sandwich. Per sandwich: 361 calories, 19g fat, 246mg cholesterol, 667mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate, 1g dietary fiber, 16g protein
Buttermilk Pancakes with Caramelized Bananas
A couple of years ago, Mom and I went on a safari in South Africa. To my surprise, in the middle of a game reserve in the African bushland, pancakes were on the menu. The chef served them with caramelized bananas and they were so good! I came home and recreated our safari breakfast with this recipe.
Ingredients: For the pancakes: 1½ cups all-purpose flour 2 Tbsp sugar 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp baking soda ¼ tsp kosher salt 2 cups buttermilk 2 Tbsp (¼ stick) butter, melted 1 large egg
For the caramelized bananas: 3 bananas, sliced horizontally and then cut into 1-inch chunks 1 cup pure maple syrup
Directions: 1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. In another medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, melted butter, and egg. Add dry ingredients to buttermilk mixture. Mix until just combined. The batter should be a bit lumpy.
3. Grease a nonstick skillet or a griddle and heat to medium-high. Pour about 1/3-cup batter per pancake onto the griddle. When small bubbles begin to form on the tops of the pancakes, they are ready to be flipped (cook 2–3 minutes on each side).
4. Meanwhile, heat maple syrup and bananas in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook until hot and bubbly, about 4 minutes.
5. Serve pancakes immediately with caramelized bananas on top or alongside.
PBJ French Toast Waffles
Ingredients: Mixed-Berry Sauce: 1 (16-oz) bag frozen mixed berries, thawed ¼ cup granulated sugar 2 Tbsp seedless raspberry preserves 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Waffles: 8 slices whole-wheat or white bread, crust removed 4 large eggs ¾ cup 2% milk 1 Tbsp sugar ½ tsp vanilla extract Pinch of salt 4 Tbsp smooth peanut butter Nonstick spray
Directions: 1. The night before: Put bread on a baking rack; let stale overnight.
2. The morning of: Combine fruit and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; stir occasionally until berries soften, 10 minutes.
3. Transfer berry mixture to a blender or food processor. Add raspberry preserves and lemon juice; blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl; cool to room temperature.
4. Crack eggs into a medium baking dish and whisk lightly. Add milk, sugar, vanilla, and salt; whisk.
5. Spread 1 Tbsp of peanut butter on 4 slices of bread. Top with remaining slices to make four sandwiches. Flatten slightly. Soak sandwiches in egg mixture, 4–5 minutes per side.
6. Heat a square 4-slot waffle maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Spray top and bottom grates with nonstick spray. Remove sandwiches from egg mixture using a slotted spatula, allowing excess liquid to drip off. Make two at a time on the diagonal of grates. Press down gently at first, then add a little pressure to cover and press until it is completely closed. Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Carefully remove each waffle to a plate. Drizzle with mixed-berry syrup.
Breakfast Biscuit Quiches
A delicious breakfast dish done in 30 minutes.
Ingredients: 2/3 cup shredded Swiss cheese 1/3 cup finely chopped ham ¼ cup finely chopped green onions 3 eggs 2 Tbsp milk ¼ tsp salt 1/8 tsp pepper 1 pkg (12 oz, 10 biscuits) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
Directions: 1. Heat oven to 350°F. Combine cheese, ham, and green onions in a small bowl; mix well. Beat eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl until blended.
2. Separate biscuits; press or roll each into a 5-inch round on lightly floured surface. Place 1 biscuit in each of 10 greased muffin cups, leaving 2 cups in center of pan empty. Press biscuits firmly against bottom and sides of cups and form rim at top.
3. Spoon 2 Tbsp cheese mixture into each cup. Pour in egg mixture, dividing evenly.
4. Bake in center of 350°F oven until filling is set and biscuits are deep golden brown, 20–25 minutes. Remove from pan; serve warm.
“While in San Diego recently, we stumbled upon Cafe 222, a great place for breakfast that serves the most incredible pumpkin waffles,” writes Debbie Weber of Loveland, Colorado. “We would love your help in getting this recipe.”
We found that these waffles work best when made in a Belgian waffle iron.
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Chocolate Banana Muffins
Don’t let over-ripe bananas go to waste! You’ll love the flavor they add to this moist chocolate muffin.
Ingredients: 3 very ripe bananas ½ cup vegetable oil 2 eggs ½ cup light-brown sugar 1½ cups all-purpose flour 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa, sifted 1 tsp baking soda
Directions 1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a muffin pan with paper cups. Mash bananas by hand or with a mixer.
2. While still mashing, add oil, then eggs and sugar.
3. Mix remaining ingredients together; beat gently into banana mixture, then spoon into cups.
4. Bake 15–20 mins. Cool slightly in pan before removing to wire rack.