What did you celebrate recently? Did you get elected to Parliament? Did you get married and drive away in an Aston Martin? Or did you finally get the basement cleaned out and felt like you deserved a couple of beer?
Whatever the excuse, we love to celebrate … sometimes a little too much.
I recall younger years when too much had a different definition, of course. Now, one extra glass of wine takes its toll on my morning-after routine.
Whether you overindulged in alcohol, bad food, too much dancing, or studying too hard for that exam, today is all about rejuvenation and taking care of our poor, abused bodies and psyches.
Rehydration is critical after all kinds of overindulgence, so drinking makes sense. But that old hair-of-the-dog myth is definitely not the way to go. Whether you are recovering from a hangover or the flu, this smoothie will make you feel good all over. You’ve got the nutrient-packed blueberries and yogurt, oats for texture, and a spoonful of honey to sweeten your disposition. This makes two smoothies, but doubles easily.
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup fat-free (or regular) plain yogurt
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 tbsp. rolled oats
1 tbsp. honey or maple syrup (sugar substitute works, too)
Put everything in the blender and whiz until smooth. If it’s too thick for your taste, add more milk to thin it out.
If you are honeymooning, then a traditional champagne mimosa would make a perfect way to begin a sunny day on a cruise ship, but if you’re just bearing up under the strain of an early Saturday morning, then this alcohol-free version is for you. This amount serves 2.
1/2 cup each soda water, orange and pineapple juice
Combine soda water and juices and stir gently. Pour over ice and serve at once.
Smoked salmon breakfast sandwich
Nothing hits the spot after a night out like a plateful of greasy fried food. Unfortunately, it’s just about the worst thing you can do for yourself. So, how about a compromise that gets you the protein you’re craving? Instead of a fast food version with sausage and cheese and egg all fried on a griddle, try this flavour-packed, satisfying homemade breakfast. If you don’t care for smoked salmon, then try prosciutto ham for an equally powerful taste punch. Make this sandwich for yourself or double it if you didn’t party alone. The hot sauce is optional, but you know it will kick start that sluggish circulation.
1 tbsp. diced smoked salmon
1 tbsp. chopped red onion
1 tbsp. goat cheese, crumbled
1 tsp. capers, rinsed, dried and chopped (if large)
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
4 or 5 drops hot pepper sauce (optional)
1 English muffin, split and toasted
Whisk egg with a fork, then stir in salmon, onion, goat cheese, capers, black pepper and hot sauce. Pour into a lightly greased non-stick frying pan and cook over medium heat, folding the mixture in on itself as it cooks to form a patty-sized mini-omelette. Don’t brown it on the outside — you want it creamy and tender. Serve on the English muffin — buttered if you must.
Slow cooker oatmeal
It’s hard to contemplate breakfast as you fall into bed after a rough night, but if you think of this before you go out, you will be rewarded with the best ever morning pick-me-up.
5 cups cold water
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, preferably large cut
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cinnamon stick (optional)
milk, brown sugar, nuts, and dried fruit for serving
Place cold water in slow cooker and stir in rolled oats and salt. Add cinnamon stick and cook on low 4 to 6 hours. Serve with milk, sugar and any fruit or nuts you like.
Puttering in my kitchen when I’m under the weather is not only comforting but also makes me feel competent when I need that feeling the most.
That doesn’t mean I want to attempt anything too complicated, so muffins are the perfect solution. Serve these up to friends for breakfast or at supper with a pot of smoking hot chili, or just pamper yourself with a warm, buttery morsel and a great big cup of hangover coffee. This amount makes a lot of batter, but it doesn’t halve easily. If you really don’t want the big batch, one-third of the recipe is a better option, but before you attempt it, think about your mental status because there will be a little math involved.
3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup butter, melted and cooed
1-1/3 cups milk
2 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. molasses
Whisk together flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder and baking soda. If you are using unsalted butter, add 1 tsp. salt to the dry ingredients. Whisk together butter, milk, lemon juice, eggs and molasses, and stir all at once into dry ingredients. Mix only until moistened — don’t worry about a few small lumps. Pour into 12 paper-lined and non-stick spray coated extra-large muffin cups (or 18 regular sized) and baked at 350 F for 25 minutes (for extra-large) or 20 minutes (for regular), or until a tester in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then cool completely on a rack — or serve warm, of course.
Cynthia Stone is a writer, editor and teacher in St. John’s. Questions may be sent to her c-o The Telegram, P.O. Box 86, St. John’s, NL, A1E 4N1.