Fran’s Favorites: Back-to-school breakfasts


It’s back to school time again — but this year in a very different way.

Many kids are going back as usual, some virtual, and some a combination. When I think of the kids going back, I think of breakfast. Mornings can be a little crazy, but we need to think of fun things to make for breakfast — just to make the day start right.

One of the things our kids like for breakfast is smoothies. During this COVID time, I don’t get to the grocery often, so when I do, I buy extra bananas. When they are ripe, but not overripe, I freeze the extra ones. I always peel them and put them loosely in a ziplock bag. They are so hard to peel once they are frozen! A frozen banana, a handful of fresh or frozen fruit and a little orange juice, or water, or milk makes a delicious smoothie!

Another breakfast I like to make is “Egg in a Hole.” This is a very old recipe but kids think it is fun to make and eat. Cut a hole in a slice of bread with a cookie cutter. It can be round or heart shaped to be fun. Put it in a buttered skillet and drop a raw egg into the hole. Cook for a minute and then turn over and cook the other side.

I also like to look for recipes that I can make ahead. One of the things I have been making recently is yeast waffles. I like the tasty yeast batter. They are light and crispy. The beauty of this recipe is that you mix it the day/night before and then make the waffles in the morning. It’s an easy recipe for the kids to help mix up the night before. And if you have leftover cooked waffles you can freeze them. Stack waxed paper in between and place in a ziplock bag. Reheat in the toaster or oven.

The beauty of waffles is all the wonderful toppings you can put on them. Maple syrup is good of course, but fresh fruit is delicious. If you have any extra fruit or frozen fruit, try mixing it with a little sugar and water and cook in microwave for a nice topping. Or sauté some chopped apples or banana slices in a little butter and brown sugar. Or just add a little jam or apple butter. And sometimes that little squirt of whipped cream on top just tells your child this is a special morning!

As we start this new school year, let’s try to think of special ways to make the kids’ day start right. It’s been a tough year. A fun breakfast will start their day with a smile!

Overnight Yeast Waffles

1 ¾ cup milk

4 Tablespoons butter (half stick)

2 cups flour

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 ½ teaspoon instant or rapid rise yeast

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat milk in microwave for about a minute and a half. Cut the butter into pieces and put into hot milk to melt. Cool to lukewarm. Combine flour, sugar, yeast and salt and mix into milk mixture in a large bowl. Whisk eggs with vanilla and then whisk into flour mixture. Scrape down bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

In morning, heat waffle iron. Remove batter from refrigerator and whisk to recombine. Use dry measuring cup to pour batter into middle of waffle iron (about 1/2 cup batter for 7 inch, 1 cup for 9 inch waffle). Cook until waffle is golden brown. Serve with maple syrup, jam, honey, cinnamon sugar, berries, whipped cream and/or softened butter.

Fran DeWine

Ohio First Lady Fran DeWine is a Cedarville resident, Yellow Springs native and guest columnist.

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