As a mother to three children and a hungry husband, just sometimes the constant churning out of meals – breakfast, packed lunches and dinner, becomes a grind.
Mother’s Day is the perfect occasion to let the mother in your family off the hook. I promise, we really don’t mind which meal you choose to prepare, but huge bonus points will be given for all three!
You just never know in Canada what the weather will bring on Mother’s Day. Over the last few years, it has occasionally snowed, while at other times we’ve been basking in 25 degrees.
Here are a few meal ideas that cover all weathers, all bases.
Mother’s Day Breakfast
Thin, lady-like French crêpes are always a winner in our house as they can be dressed up with a couple of slices of bacon or a sausage on the side for the hungry meat-eaters, or served with piles of fresh fruit and a drizzle of maple syrup for vegetarians. They’re also easy to prepare and everyone except Mom can get involved.
- Serves 4
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 large eggs
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp. melted butter, plus more for the frying pan.
- To serve: fresh, chopped fruit and berries.
1. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and break them up with a fork.
2. Stir in half the flour, followed by half the milk. Finish with the remainder of flour and milk.
3. Add the vanilla. Finally, stir in the melted butter. Your batter should be smooth and about the consistency of maple syrup or even a little thinner. Let rest for at least five minutes.
4. Heat a frying pan over medium heat with a small amount of butter. Do not allow the butter to brown.
5. Drop in a large ladleful of batter and swirl it around until it covers the bottom of the frying pan thinly. Cook for about 30 seconds, or until lightly golden brown.
6. Flip, brown until golden, slide onto a plate and serve with a slice of butter, which will melt, drizzle of maple syrup and piles of chopped fresh fruit, or a squeeze of lemon juice. Bacon and sausages optional.
Mother’s Day Lunch
If the weather is lovely and the air is scented with lilac and chiming with the song of happy birds, there’s nothing better than lunch al fresco. A picnic perhaps? This is easy for children to prepare, however it requires a little forethought to get all the right ingredients into the house.
A Picnic for Four
- 1 large blanket
- Choose your mother’s favourite cheese
- A box of thin savory crackers
- Fresh baguette
- Baby tomatoes
- Mini cucumbers
- Red peppers, cut into strips
- Hummus and Baba Ganoush dips
- A salami sausage
- Sliced turkey, ham or Italian prosciutto
- Strawberries / blueberries
- Apple chutney
- Sparkling apple juice, Prosecco or a bottle of wine for celebration
- A large box of chocolates
I used to slave away making sandwiches for a picnic, only to find them soggy and no takers when we got to our destination. Now, I simply throw a variety of ingredients into a basket with a couple of plates, several knives for cutting and spreading, plenty of paper towels for cleaning up the spills and sticky fingers and let everyone make their own lunch choosing from good, simple ingredients: sandwiches, dips and fruit. The more simple it is, generally the more fun the picnic. But one thing is essential: a large box of chocolates to finish!
Mother’s Day Dinner
And so to dinner. If Mother’s Day is chilly and nobody feels quite like summer food yet, then a classic roast chicken is always a great choice. One way of preparing it that I find is a good balance between winter and summer food is to incorporate Mediterranean flavours. Serve with roast new potatoes and spring asparagus. This is one of the easy Mother’s day Meal recipes.
Roast Chicken and Potatoes
- 1 large chicken
- Olive oil
- Rosemary sprigs
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 lemons, quartered
- Salt and pepper
- 1.5 lbs. new potatoes
- Olive oil
- Herb salt
1. Pre-heat oven to 365 Fahrenheit
2. Gently slide your fingers between the skin and the breast of the chicken on both sides. Be careful not to tear the skin. Slide slivers of butter under the skin. This will keep the chicken moist. Drizzle olive oil over the skin and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Then, stuff the cavity with several sprigs of rosemary, the pieces of lemon, some salt, pepper and four whole garlic cloves. Scatter the remainder of the garlic cloves on the base of your roasting dish. Add more rosemary, and two cups of water or chicken stock.
4. Put the chicken in the oven to roast for 1.5 hours, or until the juices run clear when you pierce the thigh at the top where it joins the breast. The skin should be golden and crisp.
5. Remove the chicken from the roasting pan and set aside in a warm place. With the back of a spoon, crush the garlic cloves into the juice, add salt, pepper and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to improve the colour and to taste. Use this juice over the meat.
6. For the potatoes, toss them in plentiful olive oil and herb salt, chop fresh rosemary over them. Roast in a separate pan alongside the chicken.
7. Serve with fresh spring asparagus.
TIP: To cook them to perfection, here’s a simple method. Bring a large pot of water to a fast boil. Trim the ends of the asparagus. Drop them in. As soon as water returns to the boil, time for two minutes. Drain and set aside it you prefer them warm. In my house, we prefer them cold, so immediately refresh the asparagus under cold water. This stops the cooking and keeps them crisp. Drizzle with olive oil and sea salt flakes.
However, if Mother’s Day is a glorious 25 degrees and you feel more like summer, there’s nothing easier than steak. Dad can cook it on the barbecue or in a frying pan.
Here’s an idea for a simple salad:
Tagliata steak, red onion and Parmesan salad
- Serves 4
- Two large steaks
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar glaze
- Hunk of fresh Parmesan cheese (not ready grated)
- 1 large red onion, sliced into rings
- Baby spinach leaves, arugula
1. In a cast iron pan, bring a little oil to a medium heat. Then, add the red onion rings, fry until slightly browned. Set aside on a plate. Wipe out the frying pan.
2. Rub your steaks with salt and pepper. Drop them into a hot cast iron frying pan and cook to desired doneness. Remove and set aside to rest.
3. Meanwhile, cover four plates with salad leaves. Take a sharp knife or a carrot peeler and shave off large wafers of parmesan cheese. Slice the steaks thinly across the grain, scatter the steak pieces, red onion rings and parmesan wafers on the salad. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar glaze.
To finish, keep it simple. Whip up some cream, add a few drops of vanilla, buy some macarons or meringues and sprinkle with fresh berries. Mom will be happy.
Looking for more Mother’s Day Ideas, check out our Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea blog.