Inspired Family Breakfasts with Rise and Shine (Book Review and Giveaway)

by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on September 14, 2016

Post image for Inspired Family Breakfasts with Rise and Shine (Book Review and Giveaway)

Compared to the Holy Grail of family dinners, breakfast is the forgotten meal. Maybe it’s because when kids are in school it needs to be fast and something that will fill them up. But it’s such a great opportunity to nourish and start the day on the right foot.

Since revamping my dinners with last year’s 30 meals in 30 days challenge (it was way more than 30 days but that’s okay), I’ve been focusing on breakfast. That’s why Katie Morford’s book, Rise and Shine: Better Breakfasts for Busy Mornings, came at the perfect time. If you don’t know Katie, she runs the popular site Mom’s Kitchen Handbook and is author of Best Lunch Box Ever.

Rise and Shine starts off with a brief overview of nutrition, meal planning and stocking up at the grocery. The cookbook’s 75 recipes are separated into the following categories:

Smoothies and Drinks: Includes smoothies like Blueberry Superfood, Strawberries and Cream Spoon Smoothie and a Green Smoothie (Even Kids Will Love).


Everyday Eggs: Plenty of egg inspiration with Egg-in-a Nest Pesto Pizza and Weekday Huevos.

Granola, Oats and Breakfast Grains: From My Girls’ Granola (see recipe) to Quinoa Bowl with Fall Fruits, you can’t go wrong here.


Sandwiches and wraps. Whether it’s BLTs made with avocado or Nutty Banana Bites, there’s plenty of breakfast sandwich inspiration.

Toast: Try a new twist on toast with Turkish Toast, Waldorf Toast or Teddy Bear Toast (all good stuff!)

Pancakes, Waffles and French toast: I personally can’t wait to try Rise and Shine Pancake Mix (contains whole wheat, almond and oat flour) and Strawberry Waffle Sandwiches.


Yogurt and Fruit: Branch out with Savory Yogurt Bowl, Pretty Pomegranate Sundaes and Breakfast Baked Apples.

Make-ahead Muffins, breads, and bars: Perfect for busy mornings and snacks. Kids are sure to love Milk and Cereal Bars, Double Pumpkin Pie Muffins, and Banana Chocolate Millet Bread ( can make in the slow cooker!).


Weekend Favorites: When you have more time on the weekend, try Joe’s Huevos Rancheros and Farmers’ Market Salad with Warm and Crispy Goat Cheese (I know I plan to).

I have to say, this book has gotten me excited about breakfast again. It’s provided much-needed inspiration for my own breakfast rotation. I changed my breakfast rotation over the summer, but am rethinking it for the school year. Here’s what I had going:

Mondays: Cold cereal and smoothies

Tuesday:  Yogurt parfaits (let kids add their own toppings)

Wednesday: Something and syrup (French toast, pancakes, waffles etc.)

Thursday: Oatmeal day with toppings

Friday: Something with eggs (Big A doesn’t like eggs so this one is tough)

Now, after reading this book, I’m thinking a toast day and sandwiches would be fun but need to do some taste-tests first. The two recipes I’ve tried from the book, My Girls’ Granola and the Strawberries and Cream Spoon Smoothie, are already in my rotation. I love Katie Morford’s recipes — and this book is a keeper. To prove it to you, I have a recipe for you to try yourself.

5.0 from 5 reviews
My Girls' Granola
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6½ cups
From Rise and Shine by Katie Sullivan Morford, © 2016 by Katie Sullivan Morford. Photographs © 2016 by Erin Scott. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO.
  • 3½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • ¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspon kosher salt
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 300F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together oats, walnuts, coconut, cardamom, and salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syup, olive oil, and melted butter.
  4. Pour the maple syurp mixture over the oats mixture and stir with a spoon or mix with your hands until combined.
  5. Distribute the mixture evenly over the baking sheet. Bake about 50 minutes, until deeply golden brown, rotating the baking sheet a half-turn halfway through (feel free to stir after 25 minutes if it looks like the granola isn't browning evenly). Remove from the oven and allow to cook completely on the baking sheet. Scatter the cranberries over the top and transfer the granola to an airtight container.
  6. Adapt it: Feel free to substitue another favorite nut and dried fruit for the walnuts and cranberries.
  7. Make ahead: Granola will keep well for several weeks at room temperature or for several months in the freezer ina reseablable bag with the air pressed out.

If any of this sounds good, enter the giveaway by leaving a comment about why you want this book. For an additional entry, share this post on any social media site like Facebook. Just be sure to leave an extra comment saying where you shared it. The giveaway ends next Wednesday September 21st at midnight. Good luck!

Full disclosure: I recieved a complementary copy of Rise & Shine.


Back to School Dinner Rotation

by Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD on August 30, 2016

Post image for Back to School Dinner Rotation

Yesterday was the first day of school. And for us it wasn’t just the first day of school, but the first day at a  new school. The kids did well but I know it will take them awhile to get in the swing of things (and me too).

This summer was long but fun. I didn’t get much work done, but I had lots of quality time with the kids. And I find that taking the time off makes me ultra-motivated once they return to school.

Although I used my summer rotation, we were really flexible on dinner meals. That’s what summer’s all about right? But now that school has started, having meals all planned out helps a lot. The fewer decisions I have to  make, the better. Typically, in San Diego it stays hot in September and October.  We will still grill on weekends but Thursdays Little D has soccer practice at 5:30 and the kids have Faith Formation (Sunday School on Thursday) from 4 to 5, so we’ll be having picnic dinners at the park and my husband will meet us there. I’ll be trying out Buddha bowls and a few other new dishes this rotation. click to continue


Trader Joe’s Easy Three-Bean Salad

August 23, 2016
Thumbnail image for Trader Joe’s Easy Three-Bean Salad

My husband and I went to a party this past Memorial Day. Everyone brought a dish and I immediately went for the bean salad. Later on, I discovered it was a Trader Joe’s creation. If you regularly shop at Trader Joe’s, you know they’re always featuring an easy recipe to taste. So the next morning […]

Read the full article →

This Simple Change Will Instantly Make Your Family Healthier and Happier

August 5, 2016
Thumbnail image for This Simple Change Will Instantly Make Your Family Healthier and Happier

I recently went to see Bad Moms, a movie about a stressed-out mom who gives up on both her jobs as a professional and a mom. I don’t want to give it away if you haven’t seen it, but it’s the movie’s message I want to talk about. There is a point in the movie […]

Read the full article →

5 Things I Frequently Say to My Children When They Eat

July 21, 2016
Thumbnail image for 5 Things I Frequently Say to My Children When They Eat

The other day I was saying something to my children about food when I realized I say it all the time. Then I made a list of the other things I frequently say during mealtime. In short, I try to teach important lessons using common sayings with a bit of humor. So here are the […]

Read the full article →

What Most Poeple Get Wrong About the Great Moderation Debate

July 8, 2016
Thumbnail image for What Most Poeple Get Wrong About the Great Moderation Debate

Over the past few years there’s been a growing number of articles against eating in moderation. “Like any overly simplistic attempt to reduce a complex aspect of human physiology to a simple rule, it just does not work for the majority of people.” “Don’t eat everything in moderation. Eat as much healthy food as […]

Read the full article →

How I Fall Back in Love with Health Again (and Again)

July 1, 2016
Thumbnail image for How I Fall Back in Love with Health Again (and Again)

I’ve been conscious about my health since I graduated high school. This was the time I realized how eating well, sleeping soundly and being active made me feel. This lifestyle gave me more energy to live life. I felt ten times better. It was a secret I couldn’t wait to share with others, which is […]

Read the full article →

Summer Dinner Rotation

June 23, 2016
Thumbnail image for Summer Dinner Rotation

I made it through my end-of-the-year busy time and now summer is here. After a quickie vacation, we are ready to go. I always find the kids whine a lot the first few days without a schedule. I found myself getting agitated when I realized this always happens the beginning of summer. Sure enough, things […]

Read the full article →

7 Ways I Maintain Health When Life Gets Crazy

June 9, 2016
Thumbnail image for 7 Ways I Maintain Health When Life Gets Crazy

Over the past month or so it’s been a bit hectic here. First, is the realization my kids are going to be out of school in early June and my next book is not even close to done yet. So I’ve been working extra hard, waking up before 5 and going all day. Then there’s […]

Read the full article →

5 Changes You Can Expect to See on the Nutrition Facts Label

May 24, 2016
Thumbnail image for 5 Changes You Can Expect to See on the Nutrition Facts Label

Have you heard? On May 20th, the FDA announced new changes coming to the nutrition label of food products. Why? Well, the current label is over 20 years old. On their website the FDA states that “The changes announced today are based on updated scientific information, new nutrition and public health research, more recent dietary […]

Read the full article →