The ritual of breakfast in bed on Mother's Day is a classic one. In the Norman Rockwell version, Dad and the kids bring in a tray with a couple of pancakes, maybe some sausage, fresh fruit and what looks like a quart jug of mimosas, which Mom will need later when she sees the wreck they've left in the kitchen.
So, our first lesson this Mother's Day will be: Clean up after yourself! Whatever you make for Mom, be sure she doesn't have to clean up after your noble efforts. Nothing makes a meal taste better than knowing you won't have to lift a hand to clean up afterward. Being able to tuck into a tasty meal secure in the knowledge that when your plate reaches the kitchen it will rest upon a clean counter makes pancakes fluffier, bacon crisper and fruit sweeter.
To help you out with your Mother's Day plans, try these recipes:
Open-faced breakfast sandwich:
2 whole-grain English muffins, split horizontally
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
Preheat the broiler. Place the English muffins on a baking sheet. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat source for about 2 minutes per side, or until they are lightly toasted. Or toast in a toaster.
Combine the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Spread half of the butter mixture on the cut side of each of 2 English muffin halves; sprinkle each with half of the almonds.
Broil for about 2 minutes, or until the spread is bubbly and the almonds are lightly browned. Serve hot.
Makes 4 servings
This is a satisfying summer cooler and an ideal use for fruit on the verge of overripening, or you can use packaged frozen mixed fruit from the supermarket. Make this for a spur-of-the-moment dessert, snack -- or even breakfast -- that will please both kids and adults alike.
3 cups frozen mixed chopped fruit (cantaloupe, bananas, strawberries, peaches, or others of your choice); do not thaw
1 cup apple juice or orange juice
Kiwi slices, whole strawberries, or raspberries for garnish
Blend the fruit and juice in a food processor or blender until smooth, occasionally pushing down fruit chunks for uniform consistency. Serve immediately; the mixture melts quickly!
Scrambled eggs and beef burrito:
Makes 4 servings
This meaty burrito steps up to the plate for your family or guests as a one-dish meal for breakfast, lunch, or brunch. The orange-cilantro sauce offers a citrusy flavor dimension to complement the burritos spicy filling.
For the meat
16 ounces extra-lean ground beef
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder or ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
For the eggs and tortillas
2 tablespoons cold water
¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
4 (10-inch) spinach or tomato flour tortillas
For the cilantro cream
½ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
½ teaspoon grated orange rind
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
Combine all the beef ingredients in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for 8 minutes or until beef is cooked through and vegetables are very tender.
Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, water, and salt in a medium bowl just until blended. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the egg mixture; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes or until the eggs are scrambled and cooked, but still moist.
Add the eggs and cilantro to the beef mixture in the skillet; stir gently to combine.
Stack the tortillas between 2 paper towels. Microwave on HIGH for 1 minute or until moist and warm.
Meanwhile, stir together all the cilantro cream ingredients in a small bowl.
To assemble each burrito, spoon about 1 cup of the beef filling in a row across the center of a tortilla; spoon about 2 tablespoons of the cilantro cream over the beef filling. Fold the right and left sides of the tortilla over the filling. Fold the bottom edge up over the filling and roll up; slice diagonally in half.
Whatever you do for Mom, be sure your heart's in it. Anything you do, from the most elaborate spread to the simplest bowl of granola with fruit, it will mean the world if it comes with plenty of love and lots of care. Moms go for that kind of thing. It's the reason they didn't sell us all to the circus when we were bratty kids.