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Bring Your Pantry Alive With These Improvised Breakfast Recipes

Read for ideas, raid for ingredients, relieve yourself of the grocery store (hopefully)

fiddle through the pages of Stay for Breakfast for hacks and surprises to make working from home feel a little more like a gala.

food & beverages visual culture

Dine and shine this morning! Ditch the checkout and scout the storage cupboards, you might already have the ingredients needed for a spontaneous feast that treats both the eyes and tastebuds this morning. Through the appetizing recipes and photography of Simone Hawlisch, we fiddle through the pages of Stay for Breakfast for hacks and surprises to make working from home feel a little more like a gala.

Ordinarily, the ideas in your field of vision at the break of dawn consist of showering, a coffee, and to the replete tummy. Never skip breakfast, but also don’t make it dull or identical each passing day. “One usually tends to have the ingredients for quite a lot of dishes on hand,” explains Simone. Impromptu plans are often the most rewarding. From the infinitely variable and easily customizable crostini to making the simplest plate of eggs look more elegant, we’ve prepared four improvised ways to cook breakfast and perhaps receive unexpected reactions.

Stay for Breakfast, published by gestalten. Photography by Simone Hawlisch

Orange & Lime Crêpes Suzette

Serves 4

These classic crêpes are like the grown-up, sophisticated pancakes parents don’t let kids have. But adults can indulge without fearing they’ll spoil their appetite!

For the crêpes, mix the flour, salt and sugar together. Whisk together the milk, water, oil or butter, and eggs in a separate bowl. Keep whisking the batter, and gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and continue whisking until the batter reaches a slightly frothy texture.

Heat the frying pan over medium heat, and add the butter or oil. Add about 2 tablespoons of batter to the frying pan and swirl the pan in a circular motion, allowing the batter to spread evenly. Once the surface of the crêpe begins to bubble and set—this might take up to one minute—flip over and cook for another 30 seconds. When the crêpe is done, slide it onto a plate and repeat until the batter is finished. Keep the plated crêpes warm in a very low oven.

Heat the caster sugar in a saucepan over low heat for the orange sauce. Do not stir the sugar until it begins to bubble and turns golden brown. Add the butter or canola oil and stir gently until it is well combined. Allow simmering until it begins to bubble and caramelize. Add the orange juice, lime juice, and orange zest. Stir carefully until the sauce thickens slightly. Add the Grand Marnier now, if using. Add one crêpe to the saucepan at a time, cover it with 1 tablespoon of the sauce and fold into a triangle. Move the crêpes to the side of the pan and repeat with the remaining crêpes. Serve immediately while still warm.


Crêpes -1 cup (120 g) plain flour, 1 tbsp. raw sugar, a pinch of sea salt, 1 cup (250 ml) milk, 1⁄3 cup (80 ml) water, 1–2 tbsp. canola oil or butter plus some extra for the pan, 2 eggs

Sauce - 1⁄2 cup (50 g) caster sugar, 3 tbsp (45 g) butter or canola oil, zest and juice of 1 orange, juice of 1 lime, 2 tbsp. of Grand Marnier (optional)

Stay for Breakfast, published by gestalten. Photography by Simone Hawlisch

Roasted Crostini In Three Styles

Serves 2 – 4

Reliable crostini are the hors d’oeuvre to throw together to ensure no one will be left hungry. Of course, they end up the stars of the show, as does the chef.

Ricotta, roasted tomato and balsamic vinegar

Preheat the grill or oven to 400°F (200°C). Cut the tomatoes into slices, drizzle with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Roast the tomatoes until they start to brown, then set aside and let them cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, toast the bread in a dry frying pan (without oil) or underneath the grill. Rub the garlic on both sides of the bread, sprinkle with olive oil and spread one side with ricotta cheese. Arrange the roasted tomatoes on top of the ricotta. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar. Garnish with small basil leaves and serve immediately.

Smoked trout, cream cheese, and dill

Dry-toast the slices of bread (see above). Flake the trout fillet with a fork and gently stir in the cream cheese, season with salt, pepper, a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Drizzle the bread with olive oil and spread one side with the smoked trout. Squeeze a few drops of lemon juice onto each slice and garnish with fresh dill. Serve immediately while warm.

Blue cheese, pear, and thyme

Dry-toast the slices of bread (see above). Drizzle the bread with olive oil. Cut the cheese into three small wedges and place each wedge onto one slice of bread. Top with three pear slices and drizzle honey on top. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with thyme leaves and serve warm. The recipe also works with figs instead of pears.


Ricotta crostini - 2–3 ripe tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper, 3–4 slices sourdough bread, 1 garlic clove, 1⁄2 cup (100 g) ricotta, 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, small basil leaves for garnish

Smoked trout crostini - 3–4 slices sourdough bread, extra virgin olive oil 2 oz. (50 g), smoked trout fillet 3.5 oz. (100 g), cream cheese, lemon juice, flaky sea salt and pink pepper, fresh dill for garnish

Blue cheese crostini - 3–4 slices sourdough bread, extra virgin olive oil, 3.5 oz (100 g) blue cheese, 1–2 pears, honey sea salt, black pepper, fresh thyme for garnish

Stay for Breakfast, published by gestalten. Photography by Simone Hawlisch

Rhubarb & Strawberry Jam

1–2 jars

Two are twice as nice! Combine sweet strawberries and sour rhubarb into a well-balanced jam to spread on toast, mix into yogurt, or eat with a spoon straight from the jar.

Wash and clean the rhubarb and strawberries. Cut the rhubarb into 2 in. (5 cm) pieces and quarter the hulled strawberries. Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, vanilla, and sugar in a bowl and allow to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes so that the flavors blend together. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, add lemon juice and gently simmer for 12 minutes.

By this point, the fruit should have broken down. If not, use a fork to mash any solid fruit pieces. Transfer to a jar and seal tightly. Allow the jam to fully cool before serving. The jam is lovely served with thick Greek or Turkish yogurt and will keep for up to two weeks when stored in the fridge.

TIP Stock up on rhubarb stalks while they're still in season. They freeze well, and can then be saved for later use. Prepare them as you normally would (wash, remove tough ends, and chop into 2 in./5 cm pieces), then freeze in 5 oz. (150 g) freezer bags.


5.2 oz. (150 g) rhubarb stalks, 8.8 oz. (250 g) strawberries, 1 tbsp. vanilla powder, 3⁄4 cup (120 g) raw sugar, 1 tbsp. lemon juice

Bring Your Pantry Alive With These Improvised Breakfast Recipes

Eggs en Cocotte

Serves 2

Few dishes are quite as easy to make and as impressive to present to a tableful of guests. This simple cooked egg dish is the easiest way to make an improvised meal look planned. Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C). Slice and lightly fry the mushrooms in butter until they begin to brown but are still somewhat firm.

Lightly grease two mini cast iron skillets with oil. Layer the bottom with the mushrooms, retaining a few to scatter on top later. Cover with about 4–5 tablespoons of canned tomatoes for each skillet, season with half the cumin, and chili and then layer the chorizo or ham on top. Divide the remaining chopped or cherry tomatoes, cumin and chili between the two. Top each with the remaining mushroom slices and some of the fresh basil leaves and break one egg on top of each, making sure the yolks remain intact. Season with salt and pepper, place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until the egg whites are just set. Remove from the oven, garnish with the rest of the basil and serve immediately.

(TIP The mini cast iron skillets lend this relatively simple dish a special touch, however you can also use small ovenproof dishes.)


Olive oil for greasing, 1 can (14 oz./400 g) plain chopped or cherry tomatoes 1 tsp. cumin, 1–2 tsp. chili flakes, 4 slices of savory sausage (like chorizo) or ham, 5 oz. (150 g) button mushrooms, 1 tbsp. butter, 1 sprig fresh basil, 2 eggs, sea salt, ground black pepper

Rummage through the kitchen and find a new early morning ritual through Stay for Breakfast. Available in German and English. All photography by Simone Hawlisch.