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May 7, 2007 09:13 AM

Mother's Day Brunch and THE MEETING OF THE MOMS.

Hey ya'll.
I need some help preparing for a brunch to take place this weekend at my new pad.
Another side note, we just got engaged and this will be the first meeting of the families...

My current ideas include but are not limited to the wonderful ideas of you Chowhounders....

fruit water

spinach quiche
fruit salad (need help with a non-typical one -(read: no mini marshmallows, canned fruit)

other ideas to go with this...

things to keep in mind - i'm a vegetarian along with my mother....


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  1. cantaloupe with mint, almonds and lime juice is nice and different. black pepper biscuits or gougeres, to accompany the quiche.

    for dessert a tart of lemon curd with kiwi and strawberries on top? or something really over the top like strawberry shortcake.

    to drink, maybe white sangria, bellinis or champagne with a splash of cranberry juice?

    1 Reply
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      yum, the cantaloupe sounds amazing...

    2. I am planning a brunch for my boyfriend's family myself. I don't have specific recipes, but I was thinking of making a strata and a baked french toast. Both are completely customizable to the ingredients you like. Also it's nice that they can be prepared in advance and baked that morning. Less stressful than flipping pancakes at the last minute! Do a recipe search and I'm sure you'll find lots of great options for these two dishes.
      Good luck!

      10 Replies
      1. re: GAT

        Baked french toast is even better (in my opinion) when stuffed and served with fresh berries. I've done it with strawberries and a cream cheese mixture and it was amazing.

        For a fruit salad, mixed berries with sparkling white wine and mint is always a hit at our house. We serve with barely sweetened whipped cream.

        What about a roasted veggie breakfast "lasagna" with layers of shredded potatoes taking place of the noodles?

        Or ratatouille. My dad loves it over eggs.

        1. re: QueenB

          3rd the baked french toast for a brunch entree--lo work= lo stress so you can deal with the other details & spend more time w your family!

          i like strawberries macerated in good-quality balsamic vinegar and served with a little chevre or a brie-style goat's cheese-- so pretty

          cut up apples (try 2 different types of cooking apples), add dried fruit such as cranberries, & slow-cook over low heat with a couple tbs butter. add baking spices such as nutmeg, mace, cinnamon, allspice to taste & serve warm or at room temp. can also be done night before so less work on mother's day.

          or you could do a fruit salad with melons, fresh pineapple, & berries with a dressing of fresh lime juice & crushed mint

          a simple dressed mixed greens salad is often welcome at brunch-- plan on everyone taking just a cup or less of greens with the other brunch items. you could buy or make a raspberry vinaigrette or walnut vinaigrette & make it really pretty by using fresh blossoms like (organic, unsprayed) nasturtiums or marigolds, johnny-jump-ups, or chive blossoms to garnish.

          agree that you should have a pretty dessert. if you are good at baking make one of your faves, but you are doing all the rest of the work so it's no crime to order a beautiful tart, cake, or beautiful pastries from a local bakery

          1. re: QueenB

            I also have a recipe for a leek-camembert tart that is really good, if you're interested.

            1. re: QueenB

              that sounds delicious, can you post it for me? (even if the OP doesn't want it!)

              1. re: pigtowner

                Sure, it's from Bon Appetit

                The only differences that I found were that I ended up having to cook it longer than stated. I believe mine cooked for about 35 min until it was golden on the bottom and the eggs had just set. I also cut the rind off of the camembert, because otherwise, it left chunky pieces of unmelted rind in the mixture. It is wonderful though!

                1. re: QueenB

                  Hey QueenB (or anyone) - So I accidently bought phyllo dough instead of puff pastry. Do you think I can use it instead? Brushing some butter in between the layers and fitting it in the tart pan? I think I've only cooked with phyllo once before, so I could use some advice! TIA

                  1. re: pigtowner

                    Yes, I imagine you could make it with phyllo instead.
                    You'll want to definitely brush butter or oil in between the layers. You can cut the phyllo to fit your pan, or can let the edges flare over the sides.
                    Anyway, do your dough in the tart pan, no need to freeze it up. Add parmesan, leeks and custard and bake. Probably it will take the same amount of time, but you want to make sure your phyllo is nice and crispy.
                    Go for it! And let me know how it comes out!

                    1. re: pigtowner

                      if you are working with phyllo for the first time-- it can dry out shockingly fast, til you get used to it. keep the sheets you are not working directly on covered with damp clean towels AT ALL TIMES. once you get good at it you can do some real "impress your friends" cooking, so maybe you really had a lucky mistake :)

                      1. re: soupkitten

                        Thanks for the help and encouragement!

                        I had some extra bacon, so I cooked that first until crispy and then used the fat to brush the phyllo layers and sprinkled with parm in between too. And then added the bacon to the leeks.

                        I only used 6 layers, I think I could have used more for a more substantial crust. And with all that bacon fat it was pretty greasy, but seriously delicious! It's a great recipe, next time I might try to the puff pastry, or try individual phyllo dough triangles or something.

                        I'm glad I tried the phyllo! I'll definitely try again!

                        1. re: pigtowner

                          the recipe does look really good w either puff pastry or phyllo. happy cooking!

          2. Possibly add cold asparagus vinegrette with the quiche?

            1. I just got married and this is the exact way that our families met!

              A veggie side dish that is great: orzo with spinach and lemon

              I can't remember the exact recipe, but basically boil a box of orzo, when it's ready stir in a whole bag of baby spinach, some lemon zest, some minced garlic and shredded parmesean. Everyone loves it. You could have some grilled chicken on the side too for the meat-eaters.

              1. Are you only serving vegetarian? Just curious,
                You mentioned that you and your Mom are vegetarian, is the new Mom-in-law & Dad-in-law vegetarian? Might want to include another dish for the non veggies...
                My Brunches usually are at around 11 am and are substantial, combing breakfast and lunch.
                To open things up:
                Drinks - Bloody Marys with a dilly green bean or pickled veggie, a Raymus Fizz. or Pomegranate Champage cocktail -None alcholic would be in small carafes of fruit juices & tomato juice and sparkling waters and milk sitting in ice.
                Baked French Toast with Grand Marnier with toppings and syrups
                An overnight Mushroom Soufflee served with mushroom sherrry sauce or make two, one for each to accommodate the meat eaters with sausage, cheese and mushrooms
                Salinas Valley Special (with artichokes) Chilies Rellenos Casserole
                Joe's Special - Spinach eggs, cheese, ground round, and cheese - prepare and keep warm
                All of these can be done on a small scale, not a huge casserole dish.
                Fruit can be a gorgeous display of beautiful in season fresh fruit to eat alone or with a carmel and honey, yogurt dip and granola.
                And several types of bread, bran muffins, or banana nut, blueberry, cranberry with good butter and cream cheese.

                5 Replies
                1. re: chef chicklet

                  holy moly you do it up right...

                  how does this meal sound

                  fruit water

                  spinach quiche
                  asparagus quiche / leek camembert tart (per Queen)
                  baked french toast
                  sweet & spicy bacon

                  popovers with jam
                  fresh fruit with vanilla yogurt and mint

                  1. re: lollya

                    Looks good, only one thing if it were me would I change.
                    Two green quiches, I would only make one of them. and the other one with say 4 cheeses only or with mushroom and or tomato quiche,just for the sake of color and variety.

                    When I make quiche rather than saute the veggies I grill them (on cast iron griddle) so they brown and mark, and then for loads of flavor I add onion (grilled scallion) AND grilled garlic cloves, grill the tomato so its almost roasted. This will reduce the moisture.
                    I wish I had a picture of my quiches, they look so pretty when you bake the quiche in a releasable cake pan bringing the crust up high, when you release the sides, the quiche is tall and beautiful almost level with the pastry, (not sitting in a pie pan) and then I place them on cake pedestals. They turn out to be about 4 -5 inches high. It makes such a pretty presentation.

                    1. re: chef chicklet

                      those sound beautiful.
                      the addition of tomato sounds delightful

                      i actually make a crust-less quiche, otherwise I would use my releasable pan...
                      maybe i'll use it for the tart...

                      i typically use fresh herbs and shallots/garlic, hmm, now which cheeses? gruyere seems a natural..

                      1. re: lollya

                        three of my faves are fontina, monterey, provolone and a little cheddar. Fontina has a creamy great melting ability. Add a little flour to the egg mix, that will take care of any extra moisture given off from the toatoes or mushrooms. But please do try pan roasting whole garlic cloves and then mash or chop, the flavor goes off the chart!

                        1. re: chef chicklet

                          GREAT TIP chicklet! thanks....i love roasted garlic!