Mother's Day. The one day set aside out of the entire year dedicated to showing your mom how much you care about her and for her. Realistically, this day should be celebrated every single day - but one day is nice all the same. There are gifts that are tried and true - cards, flowers, jewelry - but foods are often a popular gift.
The top two contenders for Mother's Day treats are breakfast in bed and brunch. If you have young kids, it can be a challenge to get a good breakfast out of the deal; more often, you might be treated to burnt toast and soggy cereal. If your mom is local, why not plan a brunch for both of you? With a little advance planning, and kids in the kitchen, you can show your kids the best way to treat mom - and insure that you have a great brunch on Mother's Day - or maybe pass this column to your partner and get ready to be delighted on Mother's Day!
- Focus on the protein - One of the best parts of brunch is the main dish. Look for a recipe that you can make ahead - perhaps overnight French Toast bake, hash brown casserole or granola parfaits? Teach your child the need for protein in a balanced diet, in order to stave off the morning munchies and keep the belly full.
- Muffins make everything even more awesome - Everyone loves to eat muffins. Banana nut, blueberry, raisin bran or lemon poppyseed are all awesome choices. Let your kids get into the fun of it by allowing them to use small ice cream scoops to evenly distribute the batter into paper lined baking cups. Serve alongside yogurt parfaits.
- Fruit makes a great side dish - Even the youngest child loves skewers. Choose an assortment of sturdy fruits - cantaloupe and watermelon balls, pineapple wedges, mandarin oranges, sliced strawberries, blueberries and blackberries and kiwi slices. Most of these can be found already prepared in your grocery salad bar. The smallest children can help you skewer the fruits in a delicious pattern and even measure and mix a simple yogurt dip. One of my favorites is called Yogurt Cream. The night before, mix 1.5 cups plain Greek yogurt with 1.25 cups heavy cream in a bowl. Sprinkle the top of the mixture with .5 cup brown sugar and allow to sit overnight. In the morning, mix and enjoy.
- Beverages complete the meal - Fruit smoothies are a delicious and nutritious addition to any breakfast table. As an added bonus, you can sneak virtually any fruit (as well as a a handful of baby spinach!) into any smoothie with no noticeable change in flavor. I would never have believed it about the spinach, but it's true - I do it every morning. Is your mom a fan of mimosas, or does she love fresh squeezed orange juice? A fancy champagne goblet or new coffee mug can make even the most mundane of beverages fun. Let your child toss in the fruits and mix up the smoothie. The pride on his face will be an additional present!
- Table decorating is a valuable skill - Fresh flowers, new place mats, or a tablecloth can make a table bright and cheery. One of our family favorites is to line the table with butcher paper - sold in rolls at the arts and craft store. I give each kid marker and let them doodle pictures and add written sentiments sharing what makes Mom or Grandma special. We've even done this on a white fabric tablecloth and saved it from year to year - it's especially fun to pull this out and see it after several years.
What would you love to see at a Mother's Day brunch? What will you be cooking for your own mother, or helping your kids to make for you?