We have five children between us, and when Mother’s Day comes around, there’s always a lovely hint in the air that perhaps, perhaps, there will be a little brunch plan in the works down in the kitchen! Whether it’s a cup of Greek yogurt with slices of fresh mango and a sprinkling of homemade granola, or more fanciful presentations like French crepes with fruit from the farmers market or Italian frittatas with vegetables from our gardens, our children have picked up the idea that preparing a pretty and delicious meal for mom is always greeted with “awwws,” and sighs of appreciation! It doesn’t have to be complicated at all – we really mean it when we say it’s the thought that counts!
In past years, Joan’s daughters have whipped up creamy scrambled eggs with chives, and Rhona’s children have “adapted” Ina Garten’s juice of a few flowers (read: no vodka!). Simple and delicious! But the idea that “presentation is everything” has not been lost on our now-grown children: putting a flower on the breakfast tray or using pretty dishes adds a little drop of special to this particular Sunday which, hint, hint, is coming up this weekend!
What are some of your Mother’s Day traditions? Or what tradition would you like to start? Let us know; we’d love to hear from you!
Meanwhile, here are a few ideas for a quick and easy brunch – for mom, or for any time.
Rhona is an unabashed francophile and her kids know it… so making this crepe can be an easy menu option for her Mother’s Day, quicker than pancakes and a little more unique. You don’t need a special pan (but if you have one, great!) – any small skillet will do. Just make a simple batter, let it rest a bit, then, when it’s as thick as cream (but not as thick as pancake batter), continue. This will be a bit tricky for young children so be sure an adult is there to help. But we promise, after the second crepe, you’ll all feel like experts!
- 2 cups milk
- 4 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups flour
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted, plus a little more for coating the pan.
- You can whisk the batter together by hand, but it’s a cinch in a blender… Just toss in all the ingredients and blend until just combined. Let the batter sit for about 20 minutes (or up to overnight if you have the time).
- Heat an 8-inch nonstick skillet or crepe pan over medium heat until it’s hot enough to make a drop of water sizzle upon contact. Brush the pan with a little melted butter, then pour about ¼ cup of the batter in the pan, swirling the pan to evenly distribute the batter. When the crepe starts to brown and pull away from the sides (about 30 seconds to one minute), carefully flip the crepe using a butter knife, spatula, or your fingers (be careful!) and cook on the other side. Transfer to a plate and repeat until all the batter is used, adjusting the heat and wiping the pan with more butter as you go.
- You can stack them on a plate as they’re finished but if you’re going to store them in the freezer, lay pieces of parchment paper or waxed paper between them so they don’t stick together, wrap in plastic wrap, then store in a zip-lock freezer bag; to thaw, let the stack sit at room temperature for about an hour, then peel apart and use them in any recipe you have. To keep in the fridge, just stack them and wrap in plastic – no paper separators necessary.
- To serve, fold each crepe into quarters, then sprinkle powdered sugar on top; You can serve them as we do, with sliced strawberries that have been tossed with a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar… or be creative! Our friend Joy might try spreading Nutella on a crepe and adding a sliced banana, in order to bring back fond memories of Paris. We also like to add a splash of lemon to the crepes or a dash of liqueur like Grand Marnier or Framboise; use berries, apricots, peaches, blueberries… whatever is in season. Delicious and so pretty!
- 1-2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and diced
- 2 sweet Italian sausage links, diced
- 2 red potatoes, peeled and diced
- ½ cup fresh basil, torn into pieces
- 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 6 tablespoons grated Mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Cook the sausage in a 12-inch nonstick skillet with an ovenproof handle until brown. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Warm 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add the peppers and sauté until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside. Add the potatoes to the skillet and additional olive oil if needed and sauté for 5 minutes or until soft and lightly browned. Return the sausage and peppers to the skillet and add the basil leaves.
- Preheat the broiler on high.
- Mix the eggs and grated cheeses together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet, using a wooden spoon to distribute the ingredients evenly. Cook over low heat for a few minutes until the eggs start to set. To finish cooking, place the skillet under the broiler to brown lightly. Watch the frittata carefully so it does not burn. Slide the frittata on to a serving plate. Cut in wedges and serve.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there, and to all those nurturing souls with motherly instincts!