A Crazy-Simple Breakfast (or Brunch) Worth Waking Up For

20140411-french-toast-recipe-09-edit.jpg
J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

I'm not much of a morning person, which tends to mean that I'm not really a breakfast person, either—on weekdays, I'd rather laze in bed than make myself oatmeal, eggs, or even cereal. But something about skipping breakfast for so long has me a little nostalgic for the hearty seasonal breakfasts of my childhood.

Sometimes the most special food is just a tried-and-true classic done right. This is a menu that celebrates simplicity: it's about using the right ingredients in the right combination to take ordinary, commonplaces dishes and make them profoundly flavorful, memorable, and, above all, delicious. That also means that it's a pretty darn easy breakfast to throw together, but collectively makes the kind of beautiful, satisfying fare that you'd be proud to serve to even the most discerning of guests.

Sweet-Sour Macerated Cherries With Marcona Almonds, Mint, and Ricotta

Vicky Wasik

There's almost no work to be done here beyond basic assembly, yet it's the kind of dish that's so much greater than the sum of its parts. Fresh cherries are halved and macerated in a mixture of honey, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Then the cherries and the liquid are poured over a bowl of ricotta along with crushed Marcona almonds and bright mint leaves. That's it: a creamy-tangy-minty-crunchy-nutty-sweet-sour-fruity dish that's completely, 100% ready to serve (though if you're more of a savory breakfast person, we recommend a sprinkle of flaky sea salt to finish). While this recipe was designed to be a light breakfast all on its own, I like the idea of serving smaller portions as an appetizer in a multi-course brunchy feast.

Get the recipe for Sweet-Sour Macerated Cherries With Marcona Almonds, Mint, and Ricotta »

Perfect Quick-and-Easy French Toast

20140411-french-toast-recipe-09-edit.jpg
J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

French toast is too easy to require a recipe, right? Wrong. After dozens of batches of testing, we found that changing the ratio of eggs to milk can yield some significantly different results. Then there's the question of how much sugar to use; whether to use skim milk, whole milk, or cream; and picking out a type of bread that's just right for the job. We also like to add a little cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla to the mix for some subtle spice.

Our final recipe is as straightforward as it gets, with the kind of tried-and-true precision that'll guarantee perfect results every time: not too soggy, not too dry, and just caramel-sweet enough to go down nice and easy.

Get the recipe for Perfect Quick-and-Easy French Toast »

Scrambled Eggs

Vicky Wasik

Do you need a recipe for French toast? How about scrambled eggs? Even if you're an experienced cook, I'll bet you can still learn a thing or two about making the perfect plate of eggs, just the way you like them. Don't believe me? Let's take a little quiz:

What's the effect of salting your eggs before cooking them versus after? How about adding milk, cream, or water? And how much? Should you stir continuously, and with what sort of tool? And how do each of those variables change depending on what kind of eggs you like?

We put all these factors to the test to get you carefully honed recipes for the best fluffy, soft-scrambled, and French-style soft, spoonable scrambled eggs you can possibly imagine. So long guesswork, hello breakfast.

Tips and Tricks for the Best Scrambled Eggs, Your Way »

Strawberry-Mint Sparkler

20150408-vodka-cocktails-strawberry-mint-vicky-wasik-edit-1.jpg
Vicky Wasik

It's hardly an over-the-top breakfast without a cocktail or two to wash it all down. And I can't get enough of jammy-sweet strawberries in summer. Here, lime juice and fresh mint cut some of that sweetness; combined with vodka and club soda, the drink transforms from joltingly sweet and sour to light, effervescent, and pleasantly tart. Just keep in mind that you may want to adjust your volume of simple syrup depending on how sweet your strawberries are.

Get the recipe for Strawberry-Mint Sparkler »