Play with Your Cereal

A lot of what I do involves working with brands on cool collaborations. It's one of my favorite things, not just because I get paid (though that part is awesome, obviously), but more so because the partnerships that I choose often allow me to think about classic ingredients in totally new ways.

It's an exciting creative exercise to take something that I've been using for years--like a hot sauce or a jar of peanut butter--and use it in a way that I might otherwise never have even thought to try.

My whole job here is to try to inspire you to have fun and get creative in the kitchen, but what you might not realize, is that along the way, I am also getting inspired and having fun.

I bring this up because thinking back over the partnerships I had over the last year, one that I found most inspiring of all was the one with Kellogg's.

The campaign in question is called #StirUpBreakfast, and the idea is to get people to think about using their favorite breakfast cereals in totally new ways.

If you're anything like me, your cereal experience probably amounts to you pouring it in a bowl and topping with milk. Maybe you add some sliced banana or a handful of nuts, or serve it over yogurt instead of milk, but on the whole--it's pretty straightforward, right?

But once I learned about this campaign I realized that there is SO much more that can be done with cereal.

Think Corn Flakes turned into Mexican-style chilaquiles topped with cheese, sour cream, and avocados.

Or Special K turned into a warm cherry cobbler bowl.

Or even a cereal "French Toast" zapped up in the microwave, then topped with melted butter and warm maple syrup.

And it gets cooler...

Last last month, I was invited to attend a special breakfast event hosted by Kellogg's at Mission Chinese--a very cool and quirky modern Chinese restaurant located here in New York City. Eugene and I woke up early on this particularly brisk morning, and hopped in an uber for the ride downtown.

We were handed the menu, and ordered three of the dishes. (One for him. One for me. And a third to share.)

My pick was the Corn Pops (always one of my favorites growing up!) which was served topped with a spiced fried egg, bacon-infused milk (SERIOUSLY!), and a side of the most amazing bacon ever. This was a killer dish--sweet, spicy, savory, salty, crunchy.

It hit every flavor note and totally satisfied. Just writing this makes me wish I could eat it again.

Eugene chose the Raisin Bran dish. (And this was when I learned that he loved Raisin Bran growing up, which totally surprised me since I'd always assumed only grown-ups--specifically, dads--loved Raisin Bran.)

Anyway, his dish was a warm porridge of braised Raisin Bran with almond milk and agave and a side of spicy tofu. (I didn't get a photo of this one because my dad-cereal-loving husband got his dish, and started eating right away.)

The third was my other favorite as a kid--Frosted Mini Wheats! When I was little, I used to eat these with a side cup of milk and then very carefully dip each one in before eating the frosted side first. I'd eat the entire bowl this way, then drink the milk which by then was sweet and filled with tiny bits of shredded wheat that had broken off during the process.

This grown-up version was served over almond butter, peanuts, seeds, and persimmon jam, topped with peanut milk. Oh...and beef jerky fried rice on the side. (What?! I know. Amazing!)

This has all left me majorly inspired to play around with some fun cereal recipes in the coming months, and has even made me rethink my occasional bowl of plain cereal. Now I'm adding spices, nuts, fruit, and flavored milk. It's a whole new world!

Do you ever add fun things to your cereal? I want more ideas! Share in the comments below.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Kellogg's. All opinions are strictly my own. Thank you for supporting great brands that make it possible for me to create fresh new content for you!

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