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A&E >  Food

Having Company Means No More Cookies And Coffee For Breakfast

Robin Benzle Los Angeles Times Service

Company’s coming! Company’s coming!

And you know what that means, don’t you?

It means that out-of-town visitors will descend upon your home like crows and stay for several days. Or, in some cases, several millenniums.

It also means that: a) you can no longer walk around the house in your underwear; b) you can no longer smack the kids, and c) you can no longer have Oreos and coffee for breakfast. You need to serve a halfway decent breakfast at least once before they leave.

There are three kinds of guests, with appropriate breakfast menus for each:

The kind that reminds you a lot of Nurse Rached in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and makes you think about tying chum around your waist and jumping into the Great Barrier Reef. Menu: Braunschweiger Pancakes With Chocolate-Okra Syrup.

The kind that tracks tar into the house the moment they arrive, takes 45-minute showers, wouldn’t know a dishwasher if they were sitting on one and has the personality of tumbleweed. Menu: Day-old Danish from the corner drugstore.

The kind that is so much fun to have around that, for a fleeting moment, you actually think about asking them to stay one more night (but quickly regain your sanity).

Here’s what they deserve:

Wake-Up Coffee Oatmeal Muffins

These extra-moist muffins, studded with dates, also freeze well.

3/4 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup quick-cooking (not instant) oatmeal

2 tablespoons instant coffee dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup chopped pitted dates

Grease 12-cup muffin tin.

Combine flour, baking powder, salt and oatmeal in medium bowl.

In separate bowl, combine coffee mixture, melted butter, sugar and egg. Slowly pour butter mixture into flour mixture, stirring constantly, just until blended. Do not overmix. Fold in dates.

Fill muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 400 degrees 15 minutes or until done.

Yield: 12 muffins.

Scrambled Egg Cupcakes With Cheddar Frosting

Eat these toasted bread “baskets,” filled with eggs and topped with melted cheese, with your fingers.


8 slices white bread, crusts removed

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened


2 tablespoons butter or margarine

7 eggs, beaten

3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or 1-1/2 teaspoons dried


8 (2- by 2-inch) squares sharp cheddar cheese

Flatten bread slices with rolling pin. Spread butter on 1 side of each slice. Press bread, buttered side down, into 8 muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Meanwhile, melt butter in large skillet. Add beaten eggs and chives and cook over medium-low heat until softly scrambled. Season with salt, if you like.

When bread baskets are done, increase oven temperature to 475 degrees. Fill baskets with scrambled eggs, top each with 1 square Cheddar cheese and return to oven about 2 minutes or until cheese melts.

Yield: 4 servings.

Apple-Knocker Sausage Balls

Your favorite houseguest will enjoy these savory, home-mixed pork sausage meatballs, glazed with apple juice.

4 slices bacon (frozen so it’s easier to chop)

1 teaspoon ground thyme

1/2 teaspoon ground sage

1/2 teaspoon mace

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound lean ground pork

2 cups apple juice

Process bacon in food processor until finely chopped. Mix in thyme, sage, mace, mustard, pepper, salt and garlic. Add pork and carefully mix without turning mixture mushy. Form into golf-ball-size balls.

Place balls in large skillet along with apple juice. Bring to boil. Cook over medium heat, uncovered, 25 minutes or until glazed and lightly browned.

Yield: 20 balls, enough for 4 to 6 servings.

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