Bless Your Spoon: A continental breakfast spread

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 31, 2023

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By Stephanie Williams Dean

Many folks would vote for breakfast as their favorite meal. A brunch buffet on Sunday, or any other day, ranks up there, as well. My favorite wake-up call is an early morning, continental-style meal — one that typically consists of coffee, fruits and an assortment of savory biscuits and sweet pastries.

Coming from the word continent, the word refers to the kind of breakfast you’d receive in places like England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Compared to an American-style breakfast that includes heavier foods such as eggs, meats and potatoes, a continental breakfast is much lighter fare.

However, the continental often touts a hefty bread bar with a wider choice of options — thick Belgian waffles, fluffy pancakes, tender popovers, crispy turnovers, sugary coffee cakes, fruit-filled pastries and sweet scones. In this case, I could truly live on bread alone. Well, maybe if washed down with a few cups of coffee.

But now we can enjoy making these delicious homemade biscuits and sweet breads at home. Baking is no longer the back-breaking chore it once was. And the creative, rewarding experience of family togetherness far outweighs any thoughts of being too much trouble. Your home will be filled with wonderful aromas. Throw in your favorite Southern egg casserole and you’ve just created another win-win family meal. But I get it, going out to hit a breakfast buffet is one invitation we’ll never turn down.

And let’s face it, in general, the bonus of delicious food has a lot to do with our choices. The truth is, very little goes down in the South without some yummy food to go along with it.

Recently I attended a two-day seminar at the Billy Graham Conference Center at The Cove in Asheville. It didn’t hurt one bit knowing I was going to sleep peacefully and wake up to the bonus of a delectable breakfast buffet with a spread of breads. As always, the food was an added benefit and didn’t disappoint. I’ve never been served a meal less than enjoyable when there. After our meal, we received the full compensation for the price we’d paid to attend.

Renowned Christian pastor and author, Tony Evans, took to the podium to talk about our rewards in heaven. Tony’s lecture focused on our eternal rewards and the discipleship that demonstrates our appreciation for salvation. Salvation is free and unearned by grace, but rewards are earned through discipleship. We will be called to respond to the grace of God with an accounting of our service to Him. The greater we appreciate the gift of God, the more motivated we are to serve the Lord. So let’s make sure we’ve built a life with things God can use.

Colossians 3: 23-24 reads, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”

Are we all in? Have we given His kingdom our best? Let us not leave any rewards behind so that we will be fully compensated in eternity. When it’s time to edit our work, there’ll be no rewards left on the table.

We all have what’s referred to as “remembrance stones” in our Christian walk. These are special moments where we’re moved by the Holy Spirit and changed, in response to a sermon, music or other event. Tony Evan’s seminar was one of those moments — so profound that it was life-changing.

These mornings weren’t just new days — they prompted new ways.

Cherry Coffee Cake

• 1 stick softened, salted butter

• 1 cup sugar

• 2 beaten eggs

• 2 cups all-purpose flour

• 2 tsp. baking powder

• ½ cup whole milk

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

• 1 can cherry pie filling

• Crumb topping


• 1 cup all-purpose flour

• ½ cup sugar

• 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

• 1 stick softened salted butter

In a mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in beaten eggs. Mix well. Add flour and baking powder while alternating with milk and vanilla. Mix well. Spread half the batter in a 13 x 9 baking dish. Evenly spread the pie filling over the top. Cover with remaining batter. Evenly sprinkle with crumb topping Bake in a 375-degree oven for 30 minutes or until tests done. For the topping, in a bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and soft butter with a fork until mixture resembles crumbs.

Breakfast Egg Tacos

• 1 pound cooked, crumbled sausage

• 12 beaten eggs

• 1 can chopped green chilies

• 1 bunch chopped green onions

• 8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese

• 10 flour tortillas

In a skillet, cook sausage, and crumble while cooking. Drain off all fat from sausage. Beat the eggs with the chilies and pour eggs over sausage. Sprinkle onions on top of eggs and stir to scramble all together. When eggs are done, sprinkle cheese evenly over the top and cover skillet until cheese melts. Spoon on a flour tortilla and roll up. Serve with picante sauce.

Twisted Lemon Bread

• ½ cup softened, salted butter

• 1 cup sugar

• 4 beaten eggs

• 3 cups all-purpose flour

• 3 tsp. baking powder

• ½ tsp. baking soda

• 1 ½ tsp. salt

• ¾ cup fresh lemon juice

• ½ zested lemon

In a mixer, cream butter and sugar. Stir in beaten eggs. Mix well. Add flour, baking powder, soda, and salt while alternating with lemon juice and add zest. Mix well. Bake in a well-greased and floured loaf pan in a preheated 350-degree oven for 1 hour or until tests done. Cover with foil to prevent overbrowning. Turn out on rack to cool 10 minutes before slicing.

Cheesy Biscuits

• 2 cups Bisquick

• ½ cup cold water

• ¾ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

• ½ cup softened, salted butter

• 1 tsp. parsley flakes

• ½ tsp. garlic salt

• ½ tsp. Italian seasoning

In a mixer bowl, combine Bisquick, water, cheese, parsley flakes, garlic salt and Italian seasonings. Mix well. With your hands, shape into square biscuits and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 450-degree oven for 10 minutes or until biscuits are toasted. In a bowl, melt butter. After baking and while biscuits are still hot, dip each biscuit in melted butter.

Crunchy Prune and Nut Loaf

• 3 beaten eggs

• 2 cups sugar

• 1 cup melted salted butter

• 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

• 3 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 tsp. baking soda

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 tsp. grated orange peel

• 1 ½ cups coarsely cut pitted prunes

• 1 cup grated carrots

• 1 cup nutty granola

In a mixer bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Add sugar, butter, and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour, soda, and salt. Mix well. Fold in orange peel, prunes, carrots and granola. Mix well. Bake in 2 greased and floured 8 x 4 loaf pans in a preheated 350-degree oven for 60-65 minutes or until center tests done. Cool for 15 minutes before turning out from pans. Yield: 2 loaves.

Fresh Coconut French Toast

• ½ cup water

• 1 cup sugar

• 1 coconut or 4 ½ cups, other fruits

• 1 loaf sliced egg bread

• 3 beaten eggs

• 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

• Crisco shortening

• 3 cups sugar

• 1 cinnamon stick

• 1 cup water

• 2 Tbsp. raisins

• ¼ cup chopped toasted almonds

In a saucepan, add water and sugar and stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes. Add fresh coconut and cook 15 minutes until moisture is absorbed and coconut is dry. Remove from heat and cool. Or use dry, flaked coconut from the grocery. Spread part of coconut mixture between 2 slices of bread. Repeat until all bread is used. In a bowl, beat eggs with flour, Dip both sides of sandwiches in the egg. In a skillet, melt shortening. Fry sandwiches for 1 minute on each side. Drain on paper towel. To the skillet, add sugar, cinnamon stick and water. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes or until like syrup. Add browned sandwiches and simmer for several minutes, turning once. Serve on serving dish garnished with raisins and almonds. Strain syrup and drizzle sandwiches with syrup. Also can be made substituting your favorite fruits, if desired.

Cheesy French Egg Bake

• 2 cans cream of chicken soup

• 1 cup whole milk

• 4 tsp. instant minced onion flakes

• 1 tsp. prepared mustard

• 8 ounces shredded Swiss cheese

• 12 beaten eggs

• 12 slices ½-inch cut buttered French bread

• Parsley sprigs

In a saucepan, combine soup, milk, onion flakes and mustard. Cook while stirring until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Pour 1 cup of sauce into two 10 x 6 baking dishes. Break 6 eggs into the sauce in each casserole. Spoon remaining sauce carefully around eggs. Stand up the bread slices around the edges of casseroles with crusts facing upward. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes or until eggs are set. Garnish with parsley and serve. Serves 12.

Iron Skillet Pancake Rollups

• 1 beaten egg

• 1 Tbsp. sugar

• ½ tsp. baking powder

• ¾ tsp. salt

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

• 2 cups all-purpose flour

• 2 cups whole milk

In a bowl, beat egg. Stir in sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in flour and milk and mix until it forms a thin, smooth batter. Pour into a hot iron skillet until it spreads out thin and just covers the bottom of the skillet. Brown on both sides. Remove from skillet and repeat until all batter has been used. Spread each pancake with butter and jam. Roll up and serve dusted with confectioners’ sugar and/or a drizzle of pancake or chocolate gravy.

Chocolate Gravy For Breakfast

• 2 Tbsp. self-rising flour

• 1 cup sugar

• 2 Tbsp. Hershey’s cocoa

• 3 cups whole milk

• 1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a saucepan, combine flour, sugar and cocoa. Pour in milk and vanilla while stirring. Continue to stir and bring to a boil while stirring until thickened. Sprinkle baked goods, French toast, pancakes, and waffles with confectioners sugar and drizzle with chocolate gravy.

Vegetable Eggs on Toast

• 3 thinly sliced medium onions

• 3 large yellow, green, red peppers

• 4 medium tomatoes

• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

• 2 mashed cloves garlic

• 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

• 8 beaten eggs

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Thinly slice onions and cut peppers in ½-inch strips lengthwise. Chop tomatoes into ½-inch cubes. In a skillet, heat oil. Add onions and cook until golden. Add peppers and cook 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, cover, and cook over low heat for 30 minutes while occasionally stirring. Add garlic and parsley and continue to cook for additional 15 minutes. Drain excess liquid from skillet. In a bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Season with salt and pepper. Stir eggs into vegetables. Cook over low heat while stirring until soft and scrambled. Remove and serve over buttered, toasted French bread slices.

Continental Baked Cheese Eggs

• 1 stick melted, salted butter

• ¼ cup all-purpose flour

• 1 tsp. baking powder

• 12 beaten eggs

• 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

• 2 cups cottage cheese

In a skillet, melt butter on low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in flour and baking powder until combined and thickened. In a mixer bowl, beat eggs. Beat in the butter mixture, cheese and cottage cheese. Mix well. Pour into a butter-greased baking dish. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and eggs are set in the middle.

Double Delight Peach Pancakes

• 3 eggs

• ¼ cup sugar

• 6 Tbsp. melted salted butter

• 3 cups all-purpose flour

• 2 Tbsp. baking powder

• 1 tsp. salt

• 1 ½ cups whole milk

• 3 sliced ripe peaches/other fruit


• 2 Tbsp. melted salted butter

• 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

• ¼ cup sugar

• 1 Tbsp. cornstarch

• 3 cups orange juice

• 3 sliced ripe peaches/other fruit

• ¼ cup finely chopped maraschino cherries

In a bowl, beat eggs with sugar. Mix well. Beat in melted butter. Mix well. Add flour, baking powder, sugar and salt while alternating with milk. Mix well. Fold diced peaches into pancake batter. Spoon about 1/3 cup onto a hot greased griddle. Brown on one side, turn and brown on other side. For the sauce, in a skillet, melt butter and stir in flour. Combine sugar with cornstarch and add to the butter mixture. Stir in orange juice gradually and cook over low heat while constantly stirring until sauce thickens. Fold in sliced peaches and cherries. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Serve sauce hot over pancakes. You can substitute your favorite fruits in this recipe.