Cookbook Review: The Breakfast Book by Dorset Cereals
I love breakfast, it’s my absolute favorite meal. My 7-year loves breakfast too. This girl’s a weekday-butter toast and a Sunday-maple pancake girl. Easy does it. However my 9-year old, she’s a pure breakfast heretic. Sometimes she’ll argue she’s not hungry in the morning. She’ll push the envelope and say she doesn’t want to eat at all. (I’m not pointing fingers, but my husband doesn’t eat breakfast except on very rare occasions.) Oh cruel world! Now I ask you – can a mother watch her child refuse a plate of toast and jam or a ripe banana in the morning? Because you see, if my little girl doesn’t eat enough for breakfast, she’ll be starving by mid-morning, maybe go on a food rampage at her school cafeteria, trip over a drippy foamy mop and break her arms all over again! No, no, no – we gotta do something. In true Addams Family spirit, I vote to electrocute the issue and bury the breakfast conundrum. Let’s find a decent breakfast cookbook, shall we?
When the mailman delivered Dorset Cereals’ The Breakfast Book to my door, I practically ripped the package open. No I didn’t do it but I was close enough to doing it, so eager was I to find a breakfast gem. I flipped through the pages and was immediately taken by the beautifully-photographed section breaks on enjoying the outdoors, whether on the perfect campfire, building a den or skimming stones – the world record stands at 51, by the way. Mixing breakfast and the outdoors? Book, you have my attention.
Rather than the conventional savory/sweet food categories, the book is divided into chapters such as Mood Lifting, Power Breakfasts, Romantic Mornings, Outdoors or Takeaway.” In Big Brunch you will be inspired to invite friends over and make toasted coconut & spelt bread with berry compote. In Lazy Sundays, you will learn how to make the perfectly round danish puff pancakes (AEbleskivers) filled with lemon curd or Nutella. In Outdoors, you’ll know what to pack on your next camping trip to cook mushroom omelettes and granola fruit kebabs for breakfast.
As you can start to see, the food selection in the book is quite eclectic and you will like the variety. The recipes can be wonderfully fruity – blueberry and honey bruschetta, daringly fishy – kedgeree with smocked mackerel, simply veggy – spring eggs with peas, beans and mushrooms, or delightfully British – homemade scones with clementine and cinnamon butter. There’s even an odd category where alcohol features on the ingredients list – porridge with whisky and honey or cherry marys – but I’ll pass. I’m way more interested in the creative ways cereals are used in the book because let’s not forget the book is written by the wonderful Dorset Cereals (I totally heart their Classic Fruits Roasted Nuts and Seeds Muesli). And folks, they may suggest their own varieties of cereals but the recipes look tantalizing enough that you’ll find substitutes if you really want to eat. Think about the possibilities – muesli loaf, nutty cranberry cinnamon rolls, fantastically fruity twist bread or baked berry tortilla tortilla. Aren’t cereals wonderful?
Now you may think from my choices that the book is all sugar and flour but the truth is, there’s a strong savory department with an emphasis on eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms, fish, sausages and cheese. All good honest things on a breakfast plate.
However reading the book didn’t fix my breakfast problem so I got my girls involved when they came back from school. To each one I said, “Here’s the book. Pick two recipes you like and I’ll make them. No questions asked.”
In turns, they browsed through the book and started reading it, commenting on recipes that looked really good. My 7-year old selected 18 favorites and getting down to two was heart-breaking but she managed. For my 9-year old the list wasn’t that long but still, there were a dozen – mostly savory – recipes she really fancied. In the end, that’s what they selected:
– for my 7-year old: oeufs en cocotte (here is the recipe) and honey heart pancakes
– for my 9-year old: strawberry oatmeal smoothie and chocolate & sea salt bagel crisps
For the next couple days, we experimented in the morning. It was a wild success! The oeufs en cocotte ended up being favorites for my 9-year old and myself but not for my little one. However the 9-year old doesn’t like pancakes so the honey heart pancakes were only a success for her sister. Both girls adored the strawberry oatmeal smoothie – so much so that it’s become an afternoon snack too. And my 9-year old now happily gulps down toasted bagels with virgin olive oil (the wonderful olive oil we brought back from our trip to Malta) in the morning. My dad will think that’s heretic but I don’t care. Whatever it takes so she has a full stomach in the morning.
As for me, I know I’ll be able to corrupt my husband with smoked salmon eggs benedict and I’ll make breakfast kebabs next time we go camping. Or sweetcorn fritters with tomato salsa. I might even get naughty and try the cheese & bacon popcorn. Who knows? Now that breakfast has regained its luster and glam, the sky’s the limit!
For the second edition, I hope Dorset Cereals will be inspired to add more whole grains and brown sugar/agave syrup recipes, as well as possibly for the allergy-prone, some gluten-free, nut-free or dairy-free options. Other than that, do keep the spirit of the book lively and fun! I want to see more of these great and inspiring pages on enjoying the beautiful countryside. Love this book!
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy of the book. The opinions expressed in this piece are my own and my 9-year old now eats breakfast without a frown.