Incase you’re looking for last minute Mother’s Day ideas here’s a collection of our favorite Sunday Brunch dishes.
Happy Mother’s Day! To my Mom and Sisters and all the amazing Mom’s I am lucky to call friend. Being a Mom has been the most rewarding, difficult and complex job. Im so grateful that each new day is an opportunity to try again after making so many mistakes. I think as long as you truly love your kids you can’t fail as a Mom. That’s what I’m hoping anyway.
For years, Mother’s Day meant that I stayed in bed while my gang took over the kitchen preparing their version of the perfect breakfast. Truth, it took all I could muster to keep myself in bed and fight the urge to go down stairs and micro manage the kitchen, Often Mark helped but my favorite years were when the kids did it all on their own. Those runny eggs and pancakes were delicious. The best part was always the presentation. Little fists clenching a big tray while another throws open the door to announce the arrival of my feast. Their faces beaming with self pride and the beauty that comes with the love of giving. More truth, I think breakfast in bed is better on paper than in person. It is impossible to eat in bed. If you really score you’ll find a clean kitchen when you finally get up but I’m guessing most of us lucky Moms are faced with the aftermath of all that sweet effort. Now, my gang is grown and this year we find ourselves in different states. Mark and Mark, Yes I have two Marks.
Quick side story… My husband Mark wanted to name our oldest son after himself. I didn’t want the confusion of a Jr. so I vetoed his request. Pregnant women have a LOT of veto power. Then our second son came and Mark tried for his namesake again. Again I refused. When son number three came inside of 3 years I was too exhausted to resist so now we have a son named Mark! It’s incredibly confusing. I always have to explain which Mark I’m talking about. UGH! The funnies part is that when my 16 year old posts typical teen age boy stuff on social media it shows up in a search for my husband. I’m sure he’ll never admit it but I’m guessing he’s rethinking the whole name sake thing. MEN??!
Anyway, my Marks are driving to D.C. to pick up Paul from his Freshman year of college. They’ll be home late Sunday, Mother’s Day. So that is the gift I am most looking forward to this year. Joe will work all day Sunday so it’s just Mary Clare and I for the day. I’m thinking spa day! Or at least brunch and mani-pedi’s.
Over the years we have enjoyed perfecting our Sunday Brunch skills testing out brunch recipes. A few of our favorite dishes for family brunch include thick cut smoked bacon, cheese boards, fresh squeezed orange juice, mixed berry Pavlova, egg and cheese baguette sandwiches, Bananas Foster french toast with whipped cream cheese and fresh spring pea salad. I’m torn between the egg sandwiches with perfectly poached and a little runny eggs and the banana’s foster french toast. I think the whipped cream cheese topping puts it over the top!
Mixed Berry Pavlova
In France there are meringues in every bakery window. Big, giant, white pillows of egg and sugar with a crunchy shell and gooey, chewy center. Named after Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, they say that the billowy white cloud of egg looks like her tutu. If you’ve only served the prepackaged versions and never tried making a fresh one before, go for it! You won’t be sorry.
This recipe is a classic that can be changed up many ways. Today I substituted fresh strawberries for the raspberries in the triple raspberry sauce. This is actually a dessert but hey, its brunch so why not start with dessert!
This is a favorite. My daughter wants it instead of Birthday cake.
- 4 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
- Pinch kosher salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Sweetened Whipped Cream, recipe follows
- 1/2 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1/2 pint fresh blueberries
- 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
- Triple Raspberry Sauce, recipe follows
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 half-pint fresh raspberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup seedless raspberry jam (12-ounce jar)
- 1 tablespoon framboise liqueur or Chambord
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees F.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on a sheet pan. Draw a 9-inch circle on the paper, using a 9-inch plate as a guide, then turn the paper over so the circle is on the reverse side. (This way you won’t get a pencil mark on the meringue.)
- Place the egg whites and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat the egg whites on high speed until firm, about 1 minute. With the mixer still on high, slowly add the sugar and beat until it makes firm, shiny peaks, about 2 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer, sift the cornstarch onto the beaten egg whites, add the vinegar and vanilla, and fold in lightly with a rubber spatula. Pile the meringue into the middle of the circle on the parchment paper and smooth it within the circle, making a rough disk.
- Bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn off the oven, keep the door closed, and allow the meringue to cool completely in the oven, about 1 hour. It will be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
- Invert the meringue disk onto a plate and spread the top completely with sweetened whipped cream.
- Combine the strawberries, blueberries and raspberries in a bowl and toss with about 1/2 cup of raspberry sauce, or enough to coat the berries lightly.
- Spoon the berries carefully into the middle of the Pavlova, leaving a border of cream and meringue. Serve immediately in large scoops with extra raspberry sauce.
Sweetened Whipped Cream
Whip the cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (you can also use a hand mixer). When it starts to thicken, add the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat until firm. Don’t over beat!
Yield: 1 cup
Triple Raspberry Sauce
Place the raspberries, sugar and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 4 minutes. Pour the cooked raspberries, the jam, and framboise into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process until smooth. Chill.
Sometimes we use softened vanilla ice cream in place of the fresh whipped cream. either way and any time of day this is a huge hit.
Bananas Foster French Toast with whipped Cream Cheese
Another recipe our family loves for brunch? Brioche French Toast with Bananas Foster and whipped cream cheese… Enough said! Off the hook!!!
Whipped Cream Cheese
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 1 cup very cold heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Eight 1/2-inch-thick slices day-old brioche
left out overnight on a baking rack
Bananas Foster Topping
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed light brown muscovado sugar
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- 4 small ripe bananas, cut in half then in half length wise
- 1/2 cup dark rum
- 2 tablespoons banana liqueur
- Confectioners’ sugar, optional
- Mixed berries, for garnish
For the whipped cream cheese
Put the cream cheese, vanilla and orange zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment and whip until light and fluffy. Add the cold heavy cream and whip until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
For the french toast
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Whisk together the sugar and eggs until smooth. Whisk in the milk, cream, cinnamon and vanilla until combined.
- Make the French toast in 2 batches. Heat 2 tablespoons each of the butter and oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat until the butter is melted and the oil begins to shimmer.
- Place 4 slices of the bread in the custard mixture and let sit on both sides until soaked through. Remove with a slotted spatula to allow the excess custard to run off. Cook until the toast is golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side.
- Transfer the French toast to a baking rack set over a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you cook the second batch with the remaining butter, oil and bread. Keep French Toast warm until ready to serve.
For the banana foster topping
- Heat the butter in a large sauté pan over high heat until it begins to sizzle.
- Whisk in the brown sugar and cinnamon and cook until the sugar has melted and the mixture has thickened slightly.
- Add the bananas and cook until slightly softened. Remove from the heat and add the rum and banana liqueur.
- Return to the heat and cook until the alcohol has burned off.
- Serve 2 slices of toast per person, topped with some of the bananas and their syrup, a dollop of the whipped cream cheese, some fresh berries, and sprinkling of confectioners’ sugar, if using.
Classic Baguette Egg and Cheese Sandwich with Tarragon Goat Cheese
Brunch wouldn’t be complete without a dish with farm fresh eggs as the focus. Here’s a little secret about poaching eggs… Putting a tiny bit of vinegar in the water helps the white stay together. And if you take them out of the water with a slotted spoon and set eggs on a pile of paper towels to absorb some of the liquid before you add to your dish, they won’t be watery.
- 2 Baguettes, sliced lengthwise*
- Olive oil, to brush
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 thinly sliced heirloom tomatoes
- 8 large eggs poached
- 1 cup micro arugula
Mix the following for Goat Cheese spread
- 6 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
*Cook’s Note: Don’t use the super skinny kind of baguette. It needs to be wide enough to support the egg.
- Heat a grill pan.
- Brush the halved baguette with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Put the bread onto a hot grill pan and grill cut-side down over high heat. Remove the grilled bread and spread the top of the bread with the goat cheese spread.
- Top each slice of bread with a few slices of tomato and a poached egg.
- Top with micro greens. Season to taste.
Micro greens, by the way, make a great addition to any dish! They’re tender, sweet and add a little pop of vibrant color.
When Brunch is a bit later in the day and you want to add a salad or a bit more vegetables this fresh spring pea salad is one of our new favorites.
Fresh Spring Pea Salad
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups shelled fresh English peas or thawed frozen
- peas (about 10 ounces)
- 1 pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
- 1/4 pound snow peas, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 4 ounces pancetta, chopped
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup half and half
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Freshly ground pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
- Fill a large bowl with ice water. If using fresh English peas, add to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 1 minute.
- Add the snap peas and cook until bright green, about 2 minutes, then add the snow peas and cook 30 seconds. Drain the peas and plunge into the ice water to cool.
- Cook the pancetta in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon.
- Add the flour to the drippings in the skillet and cook, whisking, until toasted, about 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken broth and cream and cook until reduced by one-third, about 6 minutes.
- Drain the peas, shaking off the excess water, then add to the skillet (if using frozen peas, add them here). Cook, stirring, until heated through, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the pancetta.
I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we have. Check back to let me know how you liked it. Happy Mother’s Day!