Breakfast can be a tough time of day. When I worked, it was always a mad-dash to get to work on time, and I had neither the time nor inclination to make myself bacon and eggs or anything like that. Most mornings I didn’t even have time to sit down to a bowl of Lucky Charms. So it was sometimes toast and/or a piece of fruit on the go. More often it was the drive-thru or nothing. I’m particularly fond of a Starbucks about two miles from my house with a drive-thru. Drive-thru Starbucks is both wonderful and evil.

I now have theoretically more time to make and eat breakfast, but some mornings it’s just beyond my capacity to make and consume a proper meal with only one free hand. To help on those days when Zooey demands constant attention, I made myself some breakfast pastry:

These are carrot walnut muffins with a caramelized cream cheese topping. All I need to do to these is grab one and pour myself a glass of milk. It’s totally possible to do all that while holding a baby.

It’s just a basic carrot muffin recipe, and normally I put a little dab of cream cheese frosting on top. But this time, I heated a little butter & sugar until it just started to caramelize and added cream cheese. Then I put a spoonful of this mixture in the muffin tin with the batter before it bakes. Since it’s on top, it caramelizes even more and gets a kind of crispy brulee consistency. Mmm.

My husband does not really do sweet for breakfast, and so for him I make these:

These are garlic bagels, which I have never seen in a store, and are only found in one bagel shop in our area. Since it is neither cost-effective nor convenient for him to go to this one shop all the time, I make these bagels about two dozen at a time, and put them in our deep freeze in bags of 3-4 bagels. Whenever he’s out, he brings a bag in from the freezer and in the morning he makes a little sandwich out of them with a piece of cheese and a turkey-sausage patty. Not quite as good as the giant bagel, egg, sausage, bacon, and cheese sandwich at the breakfast place, but rather less likely to make your heart explode.

I don’t usually like bagels; usually they’re huge and much too dense. The homemade version, however, is much better, and they keep well in the freezer. They’re a little labor intensive–as yeast breads sometimes are–but very much worth it, particularly if you do a double-batch on a Sunday afternoon.

So that’s how we do breakfast around here.