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Rice Pudding With Banana, Pomegranate Seeds, and Caramel

The warm, sticky bowls of rice piled high with fresh fruit could almost stand in for breakfast oatmeal. But the rice is just a bit too sweet for breakfast, thanks to 1 tablespoon of sugar per serving, and the caramel drizzle takes the dish into the realm of dessert. Still, it’s a lighter, more refreshing after dinner treat than most. It’s totally okay to sub in maple syrup or honey for the caramel, or switch up the fruit on top depending on the season. The recipe can be easily doubled if you’re entertaining; it’s fun to set out toppings and let them assemble their bowls themselves.

Grapefruit With Ginger Syrup and Ice Cream

This dessert is just a delicious as it’s delightfully simple. Because there are only 5 ingredients and 2 steps (read: the it’s super simple), every ingredient counts. So opt for a ruby red grapefruit, which will look gorgeously saturated against the vanilla ice cream. To remove the grapefruit peel neatly, first cut a slice off the top and bottom of the grapefruit using a sharp chef’s knife or serrated knife. Stand it upright on one of the cut ends. Working from top to bottom and following the curve of the grapefruit, remove strips of the peel, including the white pith, to reveal the red flesh.

Cider-Poached Apples

This recipe has so few ingredients because some of them do double duty. For example, while the apple cider is poaching the apples, it’s also reducing down into a syrupy sauce without the help of any added sugar. The toasted hazelnuts add texture and crunch, but also stand in for a streusel topping. If you think about it, the dish is like a healthier, deconstructed version of apple crisp. Serve it with yogurt, or whipped cream, or dare we say it—a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Make sure to budget in enough time to really reduce the apple cider (but don’t worry, it’s all hands-off).

Old Blighty Mustard Mix

Inspired by pub mixes (designed specifically to keep you drinking), this mix is an addictive blend of sweet and salty. The great thing about party mixes is that you can design them to suit your preferences. We like the sophisticated feel that the dried apples lend, but if you want to go purely savory, you can leave them out. Pretzel sticks would be a fine substitute for the potato sticks (but we’ve also just thrown a handful of potato chips in there with excellent results). Beer’s the thing for this one, so serve with a crisp pale ale.

Spicy Civil War Mix

This mix packs some of our favorite Southern-inspired flavors into one irresistible mix: Spiced pecans, meet Southern cheese straws. It’s a pretty spicy blend, and we like it that way, but if you’re heat sensitive you can always adjust the amount of Tabasco you use. Start with a tablespoon and increase from there. We like Duke’s Brand Shorty’s jerky for this, but thinly sliced dried chorizo would be delicious as well. Feel free to omit the meat for a vegetarian version, but we love its adult appeal.

Chocolate Overload Mix

We’ll take any excuse to eat cereal straight out of the box, especially when that means covering it with a sweet chocolate coating. You can use any combination of cereal as long as it equals 8 cups. Next time, we might try Corn Fakes, Rice Chex and maybe a handful of Wheat Chex to cut the richness. Studded with white chocolate chips, this mix would make a fine afternoon pick-me-up on a workday. For a real treat, enjoy this mix with a glass of protein-packed whole milk and your favorite kiddos.

Vanilla Caramel Kamikaze Corn

For the popcorn lovers in your life, this mix is a little like kettle corn with the volume turned up. Way up. The baking soda might seem unexpected, but it helps keep the corn from sticking in your teeth. Try it as an afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of unsweetened black tea. While there are many miso pastes available in most major supermarkets, we like to use white miso. It’s sweeter than red miso and it’s lighter in color so it won’t drown out the other ingredients in the mix. Look for it in the refrigerated section near the tofu and eggs.

Spicy Sesame Nut Mix

This mix is an explosive combination of flavors: sweet, sour, salty, spicy (but not too spicy), they’re all in here. It’s addictively crunchy, and pretty to boot. Just go ahead and make it. Gochugaru is the only ingredient that might be hard to come by. It’s available at Asian grocers and by mail order (but we can usually find it at Whole Foods). If you can’t find Gochugaru, or togarashi for that matter, just substitute a healthy teaspoon of crushed red pepper.

Back to Basics: Our Best Breakfast Recipes

You’ll be turning to these classics time and time again.

Zucchini-Parmesan Frittata

Though its peak season is summer, zucchini is available year-round—just be sure to pick out the best-looking squashes. They should be firm (not spongy), vibrant in color, and free of blemishes. Cooking the squash before stirring it into the egg mixture helps eliminate some of the moisture, and adds a nice crisp-tender texture to the creamy eggs and cheese. Though it bakes primarily in the oven, finishing the frittata under the broiler gives the top and outer edges a bit of crispness. Serve the dish with toast and fruit for breakfast, or with sautéed mushrooms for dinner.