Along with every prom, senior and graduation party comes the after-party, be it the wee hours of the morning at McDonald's or Wendy's or even sunrise on the sundeck.
Whether it takes the form of a breakfast party in a private home or a community event complete with prizes and entertainment, the idea is to provide a fun way to extend a night no one wants to end and increase the chances that everyone has a safe time.
Some teens are taking a low-key approach.
AP Photo - - Cinnamon-Raisin Pancakes
"A lot of teens are deciding to stay closer to home, have something where it's just a bunch of friends hanging out at a friend's house," said Joanna Saltz, executive editor of Seventeen magazine.
"I think the (after-parties) are taking that lower-key tone," she added. "It's not about going to hotels and going out all night. It really is a much more relaxed attitude of, 'Let's just do something fun.' "
Jessica Roscoe, a freshman at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., and the Students Against Destructive Decisions Student of the Year for 2010-11, has been to a few after-parties.
"I think it's a great way for kids to dodge the stereotypical party scene," she said. Private post-prom and afterparties are fun, but events with institutional backing tend to have more going on, she said.
In her small hometown of New Rockford, students went to the city community center and hung out, playing games and competing for prizes like iPod Touches which weren't given away until the end of the night to make sure everyone stuck around.
This recipe will feed a crowd, but is easily cut in half. You also can cook the pancakes and freeze them between layers of waxed paper. It also makes a cream cheese glaze, but warm maple syrup is nice, too.
Start to finish: 20 minutes. Serves 12.
For the pancakes:
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup water
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
3-1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
For the glaze:
8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup maple syrup
In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine the raisins and water. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the water boils. Set aside to cool while you combine the rest of the ingredients.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon. Add the milk, eggs, and melted butter, then whisk just until smooth. Drain the raisins, then mix them into the batter.
To make the glaze, in a food processor combine the cream cheese, orange juice and maple syrup. Process until smooth. Set aside.
Coat a large skillet with cooking spray, then heat over medium. Working in batches, pour the pancake batter into the skillet using about 1/4 cup for each pancake. Cook the pancakes for 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, or golden brown. Arrange the pancakes on a platter and serve with the cream cheese glaze.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 325 calories; 114 calories from fat (35 percent of total calories); 13 g fat (8 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 71 mg cholesterol; 46 g carbohydrate; 8 g protein; 2 g fiber; 512 mg sodium.
French toast that's ready to go
Portability and appeal are equally important when cooking for kids, especially teenagers. French toast can be a wholesome, heart-warming breakfast, but the need to sit down with a plate and fork can sometimes hinder their too-cool-to-be-bothered attitude.
One solution: Cooking French toast in muffin cups.
This version includes a layer of maple breakfast sausage, but you can leave that out if you prefer, or substitute a few berries or thinly sliced apples.
French Toast Muffins
Start to finish: 45 minutes. Serves 12.
7-ounce package maple breakfast sausage
12 slices whole-wheat sandwich bread
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons maple sugar
Heat the oven to 350 F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large skillet over medium-high, cook the sausage until lightly browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Allow to cool slightly.
Using a round 2-inch cookie cutter, cut 4 rounds from each slice of bread.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt, cinnamon and maple syrup. Dip the rounds of bread in the egg mixture and place 2 rounds in the bottom of each muffin cup. Crumble about 1 tablespoon of the sausage into each cup. Add 2 more rounds of egg-dipped bread to each of the muffins. Sprinkle the tops with maple sugar.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Serve warm.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 140 calories; 45 calories from fat (32 percent of total calories); 5 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 83 mg cholesterol; 15 g carbohydrate; 9 g protein; 2 g fiber; 271 mg sodium.
Western Omelet Bake
Start to finish: 1 hour (15 minutes active). Serves 8.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, cored and chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 cup chopped ham
16 ounces cottage cheese
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1 cups shredded Monterey Jack or pepper jack cheese, divided
Heat the oven to 375. Coat a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
In a skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the onion, both bell peppers and the jalapeno. Saute until the onion is translucent and the peppers are tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Mix in the bacon and ham, then set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, process the cottage cheese, flour and baking powder until completely smooth. Add the eggs, salt and pepper, then process again.
With the processor running, add the butter. Add this egg mixture to the large bowl with the meat and vegetables. Add 1 cup of the shredded cheese and stir to combine. Pour into the prepared baking pan and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Bake for 45 minutes, or until puffed, set and golden around the edges.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 380 calories; 250 calories from fat (66 percent of total calories); 28 g fat (13 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 322 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrate; 23 g protein; 1 g fiber; 789 mg sodium.