Personalizing Mother’s Day

  • 05/03/2013
  • Terelle Jerricks

By Lori Lynn Hirsch Stokoe, Guest Columnist

It’s no secret that Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year for U.S. restaurants.

Take mom out for a nice meal, give her the day off from cooking and cleaning, what a treat! But if you would like to make the day festive and personal, try these tips for “Making Mother’s Day Special,” starting her day by fixing breakfast or brunch. And {hint} you can still take her out for dinner.

Prepare a fresh and easy brunch that is on the healthier side. The menu includes a light egg and cheese strata, fresh fruit parfait, with juice, and coffee or tea. The strata provides a delightful savory element, while the parfait adds a sweet note.

Dads and children can pull this lovely menu together without too much effort. The strata (aka overnight egg casserole) is prepped the night before then easily baked in the morning. Children can help layer fresh fruit and yogurt for a colorful presentation. Serve juice with a strawberry perched on the rim of the glass for an elegant touch.

Make it personal by adding mom’s favorite ingredients to the strata. Does she like ham, asparagus, mushrooms, broccoli? If she likes spicy, serve the strata with salsa on the side. Make the fresh fruit parfaits with the fruits mom likes best.

She will feel special when you pay attention to detail. Set a pretty table with her favorite theme or colors and flowers. Carnations have been the symbol of Mother’s Day for over a century. Why not mix carnations with her favorite? In addition to one arrangement, add a bud vase with a single flower at each place setting. She will be charmed!

Pull on her heartstrings by placing small, framed pictures of your family around the table.  Set the mood by playing mom’s favorite music in the background. And, don’t forget to tell her how much you love and appreciate her. Be sure to write your own special message to her in a card.

Lastly, make sure mom relaxes while the whole family pitches in to clean up…leaving her very proud and the kitchen — spotless!

Light Egg & Cheese Strata Recipe (serves 4 – 6)
·      3 cups cubed dense crusty white bread
·      5 large eggs
·      2 cups low-fat milk
·      1 teaspoon dry mustard
·      3/4  teaspoon salt
·      fresh ground pepper, a few grinds
·      1 cup grated reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, or mom’s favorite cheese

Whisk eggs, milk, mustard, salt & pepper together in a large bowl. Place bread in a greased medium-sized baking dish, top with cheese. Pour egg mixture over the bread. If using, add mom’s favorite ingredients (see below). Gently mix it all together, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Additional Ingredient Ideas:
·      2 c. cubed ham
·      2 c. blanched asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2” pieces
·      2 c. sautéed sliced mushrooms
·      2 c. steamed small broccoli florets

Use a single ingredient, or a combination adding up to 2 cups.

Cook the strata, uncovered, in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes so that the top is a nice golden brown and the custard is set. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Light Fresh Fruit Parfait Recipe

·      fresh fruit
·      jam, preserves, or marmalade
·      lemon or lime
·      non-fat Greek yogurt (vanilla or plain)
·      mint sprig for garnish

Slice mom’s favorite fresh fruit into bite sized-pieces. In a medium pan, heat enough jam to generously coat the fruit, stirring frequently. When the jam has melted, stir in fruit plus a hearty squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice, then chill slightly. Using clear glasses, alternate yogurt with fruit in layers to make a parfait. Garnish with a mint sprig. (Our favorite fruit combination is fresh strawberries with orange marmalade and lime juice).

Love You Ma! Happy Mother’s Day!
Lori Lynn Hirsch Stokoe blogs about food and entertaining at “Taste With The Eyes.”

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