This Mother's Day may be extra special for families. For some moms and their children, it will be the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic that they can gather safely without masks.
With vaccinations rolling out and COVID-19 rates of infection dropping in most places, families may finally feel comfortable hugging and celebrating.
So this Mother's Day, usher moms and grandmothers out of the kitchen and treat them to a decadent brunch — one that looks impressive but isn't too difficult to make.
Four food professionals contributed meaningful Mother's Day brunch recipes to make the menu memorable. Choose a few of the recipes below or make them all.
Food for a crowd
Tacos top the list of Chef Arturo Franco-Camacho's favorite dishes, and he serves plenty at both of his Connecticut restaurants, the Geronimo Tequila Bar & Southwest Grill and the Camacho Garage.
For Mother's Day, this version of tacos is a crowd-pleaser and can easily serve a big group. This recipe is easy to adapt based on what you have in the fridge (and what you like!), and since guests assemble their own taco, it leaves time for the cook to socialize.
Prep time: 15-20 minutes (depends on ingredients)
Cook time: varies based on what you include
Serves: A big family — you can make as much or as little as you need
- 6 cups fresh scrambled eggs
- 6 cups fried potatoes
- 6 cups refried beans
- 6 cups chorizo or bacon, cooked
- 12 6-inch corn tortillas, heated
- 2 cups queso fresco, fresh cotija, cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- Salsa of your choice
1. Set out bowls containing the fillings, cheese, salsa and cilantro.
2. Each person builds their own taco by placing their favorite fillings in the center of the tortilla and topping with cheese, salsa and a little cilantro.
3. Fold the filled tortilla and spread some butter on the top half of the folded tortilla and place under the broiler a few minutes to crisp the top a bit and melt the cheese inside — or eat as is.
A sweet brunch treat
Chef Brian Jupiter spends most days whipping up dishes for his two Chicago restaurants, Ina Mae Tavern and Frontier, but on Mother's Day he spends it in the kitchen with his daughter making blueberry and almond bread pudding.
"My daughter Adriana and I make this dish for Mother's Day every year,” says Jupiter. “It's easy enough to whip up with your kids and doesn't take a lot of time so you can focus on other dishes for your meal."
Blueberry and Almond Bread Pudding
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Serves: 6 to 8
- 1 loaf stale French bread
- 1 quart heavy cream
- 6 eggs
- 2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
- 1 pound butter
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup slivered almonds
- 2 pints blueberries
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Break up stale bread into 1-inch pieces.
3. Spread bread pieces across a baking dish.
4. Mix all ingredients together.
5. Pour blueberry, almond, cream mixture over bread.
6. Bake for 1 hour, until fully set.
Cheers to Mom
Honor your mother with a delicious, light cocktail perfect for brunch.
"Motherhood is stressful but rewarding and worth the celebration,” says Erin Zupicich, chief marketing officer at Heirloom Hospitality, a Detroit hospitality group. “This drink rings in spring with its floral femininity. It's soft, but strong and beautiful, just like mom."
Garden Views Cocktail
- 3 ounces matcha-infused Sauvignon Blanc (instructions below)
- 1 ounce gin
- 1/2 ounce elderflower liqueur
- 1/2 ounce fresh kiwi purée
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice
- Optional: edible flowers
1. Drop four matcha teabags into one standard-sized, 750-milliliter bottle of wine. Recork and refrigerate overnight to infuse.
2. Shake all ingredients together over ice.
3. Serve in a wine glass garnished with edible wildflowers.
A parting gift
Kristen Tomlan, owner of edible cookie shop DŌ, credits much of her cooking inspiration to her mother, Karen, who is also a cookbook author and cooking instructor. For a fun takeaway gift for mom and other guests, make this caramel corn — perfect for snacking later while she watches her favorite show.
"On the rare occasion that my dad had a late meeting, my mom would skip cooking and make dinner-style popcorn. She'd pop it fresh, melt butter, sprinkle on lots of salt, and toss it all together with grated Parmesan,” Tomlan says. “But my number 1 way to eat it is caramel-coated, another Karen original. It's crunchy and salty and sweet and somehow still light and airy."
Karen's Killer Karamel Korn
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 1 hour
Makes: 8 cups
⅔ cup popcorn kernels
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Pop the popcorn according to the package instructions. Set aside in a large metal bowl.
2. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Line at least two baking sheets (more if your sheets are small) with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
3. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the corn syrup and brown sugar and continue to stir as you bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.
4. Reduce the heat and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
5. Add the baking soda, vanilla and salt. Stir vigorously to incorporate. The mixture will foam up.
6. Immediately pour the caramel mixture over the popcorn and stir to coat evenly.
7. Spread the popcorn in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
8. Stir the popcorn on the baking sheet and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
9. Remove from the oven and let the popcorn cool on the baking sheet.
10. Store the popcorn in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
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Samantha Lande is a contributing writer who covers food, health and human interest stories for several national publications. Her work has appeared in Real Simple and on Allrecipes, the Food Network and more.