As holidays go, Mother’s Day is the mother of all celebrations.
It’s a day for pampering the woman who takes care of everyone year-round. In many households, treating Mom to breakfast in bed is an annual tradition.
This year, whip up something chef-delicious without the pain of piles of pans. “Overnight” dishes make it easy. Nearly all the prep and cleanup are done the night before and you don’t need special skills. Soaking, refrigeration, freezing and time do the not-so-heavy lifting. Next day, garnish, finish in the oven or simply serve items such as:
Overnight oats. Old-fashioned rolled oats blended with seeds, seasonings, sweetener and dried fruit are soaked overnight in cow’s or dairy-free milk. Serve with fresh fruit and nuts for a chill version of porridge that’s refreshing in the warmer months. Dish up individual servings overnight oats into bowls or spoon them into attractive vintage or European-style jam jars.
Muesli. Sort of the OG of overnight-style oats. Rolled oats are soaked in milk, yogurt or juice along with grated apples or other fresh fruit and seeds. Serve with more fruit, seeds and nuts.
Stratas. This fancified breakfast casserole of cubed bread soaked overnight in a sweet or savory custard with herbs, spices and dried fruit, with or without meat and veggies, is baked up into a glorious pudding. An Italian breakfast strata had an unforgettable star turn in “The Family Stone.”
A recipe for Mother’s Day success
Whatever you choose to prepare, map out a game plan.
Be inclusive. Choose foods everyone likes so no one feels left out.
Get organized. Make a list of what you’ll need and what’s to be done. Set out all the ingredients before you begin food prep. In single-parent households, Mom may have to help as well as be the guest of honor if the kids say they want to do this for her. Sure, it’s more work for Mom, but swapping out the fun of surprise for the delight of anticipation and participation just makes more memories.
Keep things simple. The point isn’t showing off. Save yourself some work where you can. Use value-added, pre-prepped and/or frozen ingredients to reduce prep time and work.
“Choose recipes that kids will be able to create without too much assistance after they learn the recipe,” advises Nikki Lohmann, Bake! Instructor at Zingerman’s Bakehouse in Ann Arbor.
Determine who does what. Assign simple tasks — cracking eggs, stirring, arranging fruit toppings, etc. — to the youngest kids. Older kids or dads should handle measuring, slicing or chopping.
“Even 2-year-olds can get involved in the kitchen,” Lohmann says, “Let them dump ingredients into the mixing bowl. Let them taste ingredients.”
Keep things safe. Teach kids about basics such as handwashing, food-handling, using oven mitts, knife safety (when they’re old enough), etc. Always supervise your little helpers.
Keep it clean. In her book, “Kid in the Kitchen,” Melissa Clark, writes that it’s ok to let kids be messy, but insist they help with the cleanup. Leaving the kitchen a disaster will leave a bad taste in Mom’s mouth.
Have fun! Be patient. You’re bonding and celebrating.
Monte Cristo Swiss Strata
16 ounces Wisconsin Swiss cheese, shredded and divided (4 cups)
1 loaf (1 pound) day-old Italian bread, cut into 24 slices (½-inch each)
½ cup stone-ground mustard
1 pound thinly sliced deli or fully cooked ham
½ cup cherry or raspberry preserves
8 large eggs
3 cups milk
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon each salt and pepper
Set aside 1 cup Swiss for top. Spread 12 bread slices with mustard; layer each with ham and 1/4 cup Swiss. Spread cherry preserves on remaining bread. Top Swiss with bread slices preserves side down. Cut each sandwich diagonally into four triangles. Arrange sandwiches crusts up in a greased 3-quart or 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
Whisk the eggs, milk, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Pour egg mixture over sandwiches. Sprinkle with reserved Swiss. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove strata from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.
Heat oven to 350°F
Bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Uncover, bake for 15 minutes longer or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean and thermometer inserted in egg mixture reads 160°F. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve with maple syrup.
Recipe and photos courtesy of Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin.
Chocolate Tahini Overnight Oats
Yield: 5 to 6 servings
2 cups oatmilk
¼ cup date molasses/date syrup
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup tahini
2 ½ cups rolled oats
2 tablespoons chia seeds
To taste chopped pistachios
To taste fresh fruit for topping
Pour the oatmilk, salt, cocoa powder, molasses and tahini into a blender. Blend for 2 minutes until fully combined.
In a large bowl, mix the oats and seeds. Pour the milk mixture over the oat mixture. Stir until fully combined. Cover and let soak overnight in the fridge until it’s porridge-like in consistency.
Serve topped with chopped pistachios and fresh fruit.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Edouard Massih, Edy’s Grocer, Brooklyn.
Berry Frozen Yogurt Granola Bites
1 pint fresh raspberries*
1 pint fresh blueberries*
1 ½ cups FAGE Total 0% Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
1 cup granola or the seeds of your choice
*Or the berries of your choice.
Transfer half of the blueberries and raspberries to a large mixing bowl. Mash with a fork until broken down. Fold in the Greek yogurt, lemon juice and maple syrup or honey until well combined.
Evenly divide the granola among the cups of a 24 cup mini muffin tin (about 2 teaspoons per cup), followed by the yogurt mixture.
Top each cup with the remaining fresh berries.
Transfer to the freezer and freeze until frozen through, about 4 to 5 hours, or overnight. Remove from the molds and serve.
Recipe courtesy of FAGE USA.
Our special thanks to:detroitnews.com