Planning to fête Mom with breakfast in bed or a leisurely brunch this Mother’s Day? Here’s a hot tip: Do as much as you can ahead of time. This has a lot of advantages, particularly when it comes to letting mom relax and enjoy; if she hears a lot of commotion, or thinks the family isn’t finding things, I can tell you first-hand she’s liable to get up and start helping. That’s just what mothers do.
An added bonus? Doing some tasks in advance means the kitchen will probably stay a lot neater on Sunday morning — she’ll love that!
Get the lay of the land at least the day before. Make a list of what you’ll need in terms of food, cookware and serving ware; take care of any shopping; and consider a few nice extras to delight her.
Here are my top suggestions for special touches mother’s universally appreciate, and then a rundown of some foolproof recipes you can pull off easily with a little planning.
Nice Extras for Mom
- Some cut up fruit or a fruit salad is very popular. Berries are a seasonal favorite, and mixing a few kinds with a bright-green kiwifruit for a color and flavor contrast is an easy winner.
- A single blossom on her tray or by her seat is a nice way to greet her. If you can’t find a vase small enough, simply cut the stem low and put the flower in a shot glass — it will look adorable!
- If you’re serving her breakfast on a tray, make sure you locate the tray the day before. Line it with an attractive linen napkin or clean tea towel or dish towel; this will make it look special, but will also help keep the china from sliding around.
- If Mom likes coffee or tea in the morning, think about serving this to her first so you’re not overwhelmed with tasks or carrying too many things at once. It’ll also occupy her if you have any setbacks with the food.
- Would she appreciate something else to sip? Juice or sparkling wine? Or a combination of the two in a mimosa or Bellini? Or maybe just mineral water with a slice of lime or cucumber in it. Give it some thought!
Spend a little time thinking about or discussing with the family what kind of breakfasts Mom likes most. Does she crave a savory breakfast, or does she like a sweet start to the day? Does she love eggs, or is she more of a pancake gal?
Here are some recipes notable for their ease and elegance, plus make-ahead tips and suggestions for letting kids help out.
This is my all-time favorite, simple recipe for breakfast in bed: Heart-Shaped Egg-in-Hole. Set out the skillet, spatula and heart-shaped cutter the night before, check for your ingredients, and you should be able to have this hot and ready in about 10 minutes. Task kids with cutting out the centers of the bread and snipping the chives with kid-friendly scissors. The recipe suggests rich and tender brioche, but you can substitute Mom’s favorite bread: Whole-grain, sourdough or even a gluten-free choice.
Making mom an omelet is also easy: sauté her favorite veggies up the day before, choose a cheese she likes and prepare that, and whisk together two eggs (or four egg whites if she prefers an egg white omelet) with a little salt and pepper. Store all in the fridge, and you’ll have super-speedy morning assembly and cooking.
For inspiration you can check out this recipe for Shrimp and Avocado Omelet.; it’s nicely inventive and a little decadent, but you can customize your fillings as needed.
To many of us “relaxing breakfast” is synonymous with pancakes. Most measuring and mixing (kid-friendly jobs!) can be done ahead, leaving just last-minute stirring and cooking for the morning.
If Mom loves chocolate you can bet that Double Chocolate Pancakes will be a hit. You can prepare the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately, cover and refrigerate both, and mix them together the next morning. You can measure out the chocolate chips too, but wait to hull and quarter the berries no more than an hour before serving so they’re at their freshest.
If whole grains and seeds are more her style, you can’t beat these Whole Grain Pancakes with Chia and Flaxseeds for terrific taste and nutrition. The recipe is surprisingly simple: Mix and refrigerate the dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately and combine them just before cooking. You can even make these as waffles if your family prefers.
A casserole assembled the day before is the ultimate make-ahead brunch dish. Kids can do simple prep tasks and almost all the layering of the ingredients in the baking dish.
If Mom likes sweet breakfasts, try this easy Baked Cranberry-Walnut French Toast. Serve it with a little maple syrup or with a dollop of mascarpone and her favorite preserves.
Or check out Savory Sausage and Cheddar Breakfast Casserole for a craveable combination of eggs, spinach, sausage and cheese; you can even make it vegetarian by using a meatless sausage instead of a pork-based one. Serve it with a side of tender lettuces tossed with a light vinaigrette and you have a very memorable meal!
What dishes do you like to make mom for Mother’s Day?