The aroma of bacon in the skillet or hot cakes on the griddle rouses anticipation that spontaneously lifts spirits. Served at the beginning, middle or end of the day, breakfast promotes a positive, cheerful atmosphere around the family table.

The Beauty of Breakfast

Suggest breakfast for supper and the response is likely a unanimous “yes.” Comforting, wholesome food that delights the senses and fuels the body while keeping costs to a minimum makes perfect sense at any meal. Rely on favorite recipes or those shown here for balanced menus that include grains, protein, fruit and vegetables. Heighten your family’s enthusiasm for breakfast even more with simple touches that direct their focus upward. Fresh cut flowers—from the garden or for a few dollars at the grocery checkout—declare the glory of God and invite edifying conversation over blooms. A no-fuss woven table runner and tableware that reflect the colors of spring add to the cheery scene, showing each person present that they are worthy of special treatment.

Denver Breakfast Skillet

Dishes that you might see at a breakfast buffet—crisp hash browns, smoky bacon, sautéed peppers and onions or scrambled eggs with cheese—combine their assets in one eye-opening entrée. This hearty spin on the Denver omelet, dating to the cowboy era and the railroad boom, delivers a bonanza of flavor in each bite. Hash browns add enough substance so each portion can be dished up attractively in easy-to-serve wedges. The recipe adapts easily to match personal tastes or what you have on hand. Toss in sliced mushrooms, add fresh herbs or substitute cheeses.

Recipe: Denver Breakfast Skillet

Blueberry Crumb Muffins

Laced with nutmeg and amply topped with brown sugar streusel, these muffins are a sweet accompaniment to savory egg dishes or steaming hot cereal. To simplify, bake muffins a day ahead and store them in an airtight container. For fresh-baked goodness, warm them briefly in the oven or microwave just before serving.

Recipe: Blueberry Crumb Muffins

Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

Use Valencia, Hamlin, Moro (blood) and Pineapple orange varieties for the best fresh-squeezed juice, which will naturally outshine bottled juices in flavor and nutritional value. Count on five to six oranges for each 8-ounce glass. For easy squeezing and to extract the most juice, warm refrigerated oranges by placing them in hot water for 30 seconds. Roll them on a hard surface with the palm of your hand to soften further. Cut the fruit in half and remove the seeds. Squeeze juice directly into a glass or place halves cut sides down on a juicer, twisting while applying pressure. Automated juicers speed the process and take it easy on wrists.

Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

The ingredient that contributes moistness and tenderness for these pancakes is buttermilk. Its viscosity and acidic nature produce thick, bubbly batter, for premium cakes that could almost go without butter and syrup. For a burst of fruity flavor in each bite of the pancakes, stir berries into the batter. Choose from fresh raspberries, blueberries or blackberries. For a simple fruit topping (before heating the griddle or skillet), toss 1 tablespoon sugar with 2 cups warm jam, preserves or flavored syrups. No buttermilk in the house? Make a substitution by mixing 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice with enough milk to equal 1 cup. Let it stand about 5 minutes to thicken slightly, then use as directed in the recipe.

Recipe: Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

Dear Lord, thank You that You delight in giving us good things to enjoy. Let this table’s bounty remind us of Your great faithfulness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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