On Mother’s Day I think most moms would agree that time spent with their children is their ultimate gift, but let’s be honest here, a little pampering never hurts either. There’s nothing more special than honoring the women in our lives. After all, they not only raised us, they continue to hold us up every day. Spa treatments, flowers and fancy dinners are all lovely ways to show you care, but I much prefer celebrating at home with a delicious brunch. Since there are many moms in mine and my husbands family, it’s a great way to celebrate with all of them without having to split ourselves in two. Entertaining casually in my home is a great way for everyone to relax, enjoy each others company and eat delicious food.
I’m a mama too and as much as I love cooking, I don’t want to spend my special day slaving over a stove either. To keep things simple and fuss-free, I stick to easy and delicious make-ahead brunch treats so that no one really has to lift a finger come Mother’s Day. In fact, I do the prep work ahead of time so my husband and the other men in our family can handle the baking, pouring and serving while us ladies sit back and enjoy. Brunch is a great meal to entertain with for a few reasons: it has a late start time which means everyone can sleep in (MUCHO IMPORTANTO for a mama who never gets sleep!), the meal can be casual or fancy and the food can be eclectic so it’s easy to please everyone. Win. Win. Win.
Easy Make-ahead Brunch Ideas:
I love serving a signature cocktail or non-alcoholic beverage when I entertain because it makes everyone feel special and no one has to “man the bar” all day. Brunch isn’t the time to get bombed so one fruity alcoholic beverage should do. Mix up a large batch, pour it into a pretty pitcher and set it on the table alongside a few beautiful glasses. If you are so inclined, you can label it with an attractive little tag so that everyone knows what it is. This Clementine Spritzer is one of my Favorite drinks to serve to a brunch crowd. I make two batches: one with alcohol and one minus the champagne and swapping in seltzer. The kids just love this drink too and everyone agrees, this beverage is tops.
Pineapple and Clementine Sparkler (with a non-alcocholic option)
- 2 cups freshly squeezed clementine juice, blood orange juice or any sweet citrus juice will do
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 (750-milliliter) bottle Champagne or sparkling wine, chilled
Note: for non-alcoholic version, substitute an equal amount of seltzer for sparkling wine.
In an attractive large pitcher, stir together the first two ingredients and store in the refrigerator the night before. Right before you are ready to serve, top with chilled champagne. Set pitcher alongside six attractive glasses that have been garnished with a clementine slice.
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Berry Baked French Toast
- 6 slices of sturdy, thick-cut white bread (about 1-inch thick)
- 2 teaspoons butter, for pan
- 8 large eggs
- 3 cups milk
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- Butter a 9×13-inch baking dish. Arrange slices on the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish, overlapping the slices.
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Whisk until blended but not too bubbly. Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure to cover the bread evenly with the egg mixture. Gently press down bread to insure that bread is fully submerged. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over the top. Cover with foil and refrigerate for 5 hours or best overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.
Other Delicious Brunch Ideas:
Christina Stanley-Salerno is a mama, recipe developer, food stylist, photographer and blogger atTakeBackYourTable.com. She loves cooking for and with her family. Life is hectic, but Christina is passionate about mealtime because she believes that family meals are the glue that holds everyone together. Creating simple, quick and healthy meals is her specialty and her trick to keeping the family meal a reality, even on busy weeknights.
Follow her on Twitter @TakeBackTables