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What are you making for Mother's Day brunch?

I am cooking Mother's Day brunch for my (picky) mother-in-law this weekend. As my father-in-law, husband and I are food people, I want to do something fun but also something that my MIL will enjoy.

My first thought was spicy eggs in purgatory with crusty bread and brulee'd grapefruit, but my MIL doesn't eat eggs or, for that matter, spicy food.

So here's my current menu idea: smoked salmon hash (via Chow), bacon, avocado & grapefruit salad and Chow's coffee-banana tart with coffee ice cream.

Alterations? Suggestions? What are you making?

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  1. I'm having quite a crowd. Several dozen bagels and cream cheese, 4 different kinds of quiche, bacon and sausage, fruit salad and bloody marys.

    1. Bittman's overnight waffles with strawberries, whipped cream, & maple syrup, and praline bacon. Not super-adventurous but mom & MIL love it.

      4 Replies
      1. re: stak

        I have been making Marion cunningham's waffles and I love them. Smitten kitchen has featured them this week. Make sure to cook them a long long time, they are delicious!

        1. re: Gloriaa

          What do you mean "cook them a long long time"? Longer than the waffle maker wants you to cook them?

          I'm going to make the batter on Saturday, leave a lot of post-its, go to bed, and hope for the best.

          1. re: sciencediet

            ..."leave lots of post its..."
            LOL. This is totally me pre party, too.

            I was also wondering about the long cook directive....is that to make them crispier or what?

            1. re: splatgirl

              Yes. I put it on the highest setting and usually keep them in a little longer. I check them. They are incredibly crisp, moist but quite fragile as they will soften up if you stack them. I also put the map,e syrup under or to the side because I don't want to do anything to make them soggy. These are not sturdy waffles that you pile a ton of fruit on. Play around with them and let me know what you think.

      2. Yum to your menu! Smoked salmon hash sounds amazing. My household would love it and our guests would turn their noses up. Picky eaters, argh. Egg haters, double argh, especially for brunch. I have one coming as well.

        My A plan is the perennial favorite DIY yeast waffle bar with fruit compote and whip.
        If the weather looks like it'll be nicer, plan B is breakfast pizzas from the wood-fired oven.
        homemade pastries--almond croissants, pastry cream filled brioche balls, cinnamon rolls and maybe poppy seed muffins.
        Fruit platter
        Green papaya salad if I can find any, otherwise maybe a layered cobb or those salad bites wrapped in prosciutto
        Crudite with a dip
        Goat cheese artichoke strata
        Emeril's mexican breakfast casserole

        Bloody Marys, mimosas, champagne

        1 Reply
        1. re: splatgirl

          Breakfast pizza sounds awesome! I am so jealous of your wood-fired oven! Did you build it yourself, or have it professionally built?

        2. splatgirl: Breakfast pizza sounds awesome! I am so jealous of your wood-fired oven! Did you build it yourself, or have it professionally built?

          6 Replies
          1. re: SpiceMomma

            Built it myself. Most loved cooking appliance ever :)

            1. re: splatgirl

              Did you get plans for the oven off the internet? And do you mind giving me an idea of what you spent on materials? My husband and I were just talking about building one the other night. He thinks that it would cost $1000!

              Also, are you handy? And was it difficult?

              After so many years of waiting, this is the year of the wood-fired oven! I can feel it!

              1. re: SpiceMomma

                Some of my comments on the subject

                I am handy, yes. Difficult, no. Cost varies widely depending on how you want the exterior/enclosure to look but it will be more than 1k unless you have magic/ free sources.

                My blog is moderninmn.blogspot.com if you want an idea of what "handy" means to me. If you search "wood fired oven" I basically show and tell my oven build.

                1. re: splatgirl

                  What a great oven! I am SO jealous!

                  1. re: splatgirl

                    Thanks Sandy!
                    It's looking like we could be a go for b'fast pizzas. WFO foolery+yummy eats+viable early afternoon cocktailing opportunity makes for a pretty darn good day :)

                    1. re: splatgirl

                      Weather forecast says sunny (yay!) and 58 (Ugh!)

            2. Mom does not like eggs, except for egg foo young, which my beloved brother-in-law will make for her. As he has on any special occasion for her.

              Love my brother-in-law.

              Oops. Forgot the southern comfort manhattan.

              1 Reply
              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                +1 to the Manhattan. You've just confirmed their appropriateness. Make mine Old Grandad please.

              2. I think you menu sounds wonderful!

                I am having so much angst over this very topic today. My original guest list would have allowed for more creativity and variety. Now, instead, I have 1 person who is allergic to shellfish, 1 person who eats NO fish whatsoever (or onions), 1 person who has celiac, 1 person who cannot eat any dairy. And 1 fussy 10 year old. My total guest list is 7 people, so that leaves two who have no dietary restrictions.


                I was thinking of herbed scrambled eggs, an overnight french toast casserole, maple-roasted bacon, fruit salad, waldorf chicken salad, roasted potatoes, banana bread and wolferman's english muffins (granted it was just an excuse to buy them. I love those things :).

                Oh, and Bellini. Lots of Bellinis.

                am I missing anything? there will only be 7 of us, so I am probably making WAY too much....

                6 Replies
                1. re: justme123

                  What overnight french toast casserole recipe are you using?

                  1. re: SpiceMomma

                    Mom's was eggs, heavy cream, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, sorghum or maple syrup. Poured over inch thick dense white bread Christmas Eve. The grand daughters loved it. With lots of butter and additional syrup.

                    Don't skimp on the salt. Or it will taste bland.

                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                      ohhh Indianriverfl that sounds great! I love any kind of thick dense bread. mmmmmm

                      1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                        I love overnight french toast! I dot mine with blueberries and small cubes of cream cheese.

                      2. re: SpiceMomma

                        I got mine from my mom- I have NO idea where she got it.
                        Here is the recipe:
                        1 cup brown sugar
                        1 stick butter (cut into quarters)
                        2 tbs Karo syrup
                        1 tsp vanilla
                        6 eggs
                        1 3/4 cup milk
                        16 slices cinnamon bread (I usually use cinnamon raisin)

                        Heat oven to 350
                        In a 13x9 pan, put butter, Karo and brown sugar (break it up a bit). Melt in oven (stir every once in a while to combine it).

                        Meanwhile, whisk eggs, milk and vanilla together. Cut crusts off bread and quarter the slices (stack half the loaf and cut into quarters-repeat).

                        Once the butter and sugar is melted and combined, place the bread cubes in the pan-like lasagna noodles (that note is from my mom-my note- we are Italian-American)

                        Pour egg mixture over, cover and refrigerate overnight.

                        Bake covered 45 minutes in a 325 oven. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.
                        The recipe says to serve it with syrup. We have never needed it!

                        1. re: justme123

                          Gilding the lily with cinnamon bread. I love decadense. On the menu this weekend.

                          Thank You!

                    2. I had great plans of delicious salads, wraps, quiches and cheese plates...then the family decided they weren't free for lunch- only dinner. Now re-vamping. Kinds sucks

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: MRS

                        Serve it anyway. Brunch for dinner. I've done it. Anything goes on Sunday.

                      2. Nothing at all. My mother is 3k miles away, sadly. My spouse and one kid will be away at a basketball tournament and I will be busy singing Sunday. I do plan to drag other kid to mother-in-law's retirement community for an afternoon visit. We'll take chocolates, flowers, and replenish her supply of white wine. The way to her heart is a pretty well-marked path.

                        1. A few of my favorites: Freshly baked croissants with raspberry and /or blueberry preserves, spinach & gruyere quiche, apple-smoked bacon, fresh fruit salad & "Cream sickles" (Blood orange gelato & vanilla bean ice cream) for dessert & Mimosas and good coffee!
                          Your meu sounds wonderful too, enjoy!

                          1. In order to keep things simple, I'm doing a pepper crusted beef tenderloin and roasted potatoes, both of which will be cooked in the oven. I've got my sister in-laws doing salads and quiches. I'll pick up some breads and jellies at the farmers market that morning as well. For drinks, I've got the ingredients on-hand for mimosas and french 75's.

                            1. We are having traditional hot browns and bloody Mary's!

                              1. We are having my grandmother over for brunch.

                                I figure maybe chickpea crepes filled with some sort of green and potato. And then dessert crepes with rhubarb and maybe some berries. It all depends what is available at the market tomorrow morning.