What’s on Your Menu for Mother’s Day? Tips From a Non-Mom

Mother’s Day—celebrated just about everywhere. From flowers and chocolates to a day at the spa or brunch at a favorite spot, mothers can take one day to marvel at their accomplishments, look with pride at their families and maybe even rest!

While I am not a mom, I’m thinking about all the moms I know. How would they like to honor this day? Are they craving a huge piece of chocolate cake? Do they long for a day of zero interruptions, no laundry and dinner out? Would they find breakfast-in-bed special? Or perhaps an entire day without having to fill and empty the dishwasher.

So many options to recognize moms. In the spirit of Third Coast’s food section, it seems only fitting that we highlight a few creative food ideas for Mother's Day, Sunday, May 8.

Breakfast: This honey butter biscuit recipe with strawberries and crème fraiche featured on NBC's Today looks amazing. And consider adding blueberries to the fruit mixture or substituting mangoes for the strawberries.  Mangoes and blueberries together are superb. NOTE: The chef who created this recipe actually eats it for dessert, but I’m going for breakfast.     

Mid-morning snack: After a breakfast of honey butter biscuits, do we really need a mid-morning snack? Perhaps a touch of protein? I like lightly salted rice crackers despite the fact that most people think they taste like cardboard.  (How they know this is baffling.) Spread a thin layer of almond or peanut butter and top with banana slices. Or if you prefer, cream cheese is a delicious foundation for avocado slices. Either way, mom gets crunch and a protein punch.

Lunch: After indulging in breakfast and our rice cracker snack, why not have an easy-to-make salad.  Here’s my recent go-to in an effort to increase my salmon intake.

  • Fresh arugula
  • Chopped scallions (green onions)
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Pitted kalamata olives (optional)
  • Salmon (smoked or any kind that suits)
  • Fresh lemon juice and EVOO (olive oil of the extra virgin kind)
  • S&P to taste

If you have quinoa, that will add texture. Or you can sprinkle slivered blanched almonds.

Midday: How about a handful of frozen grapes and pretzel sticks?  The sweetness of the grapes is ideal with salty pretzels. Frozen grapes are delicious; I especially like green, but you can easily choose red or purple.  (Simply wash them well; lay on a flat sheet pan and place in the freezer.  Once they are frozen, seal them into a plastic bag for later.) If you’re not inclined to eat frozen grapes, a tart juicy apple will do.

Pre-dinner cocktails: Craft cocktails are the rage lately. And my drink of choice, especially in the warmer months, is gin. So often people claim, “I don’t like gin,” opting for vodka when drinking clear spirits. I’ve discovered a lovely Japanese gin—Roku—with these official tasting notes, “Roku Gin has an ethereal top note of cherry blossom. Notes of green tea citron and pepper briefly emerge as it quickly quiets. The delicate aroma quickly passes and dissipates.”

While likely someone before me created this gin-based cocktail, I’m going to take credit for my own version. The result: a delightful sipper brightened with fresh lime juice and thyme sprigs.

Elderflower Gin Sipper

2 oz. Roku gin
1 oz. St-Germain or other elderflower liqueur
½ oz. fresh lime juice (must be fresh)
Thyme sprigs
Fever Tree—elderflower tonic (optional)
Ice cubes
Cocktail shaker

Shake up well and pour, sans ice, into a coupe glass. If you need to reduce the alcohol profile, top with a splash of elderflower tonic. Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme just for fun!

Dinner: Since we’re reasonably healthy with our Mother’s Day choices, let’s feature chicken for dinner. I’ve made Martha’s recipe a number of times over the years and whether you’re a fan of hers or not, she makes a darn tasty chicken dish. This one is loaded with fingerling potatoes, briny green olives and roasted garlic. I’ve even added cherry tomatoes from time to time.  

Photo Credit: Martha Stewart.

Braised Chicken with Potatoes, Olives and Lemon

  • 2 1/4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock
  • 12 oz. baby fingerling potatoes
  • 5 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1/2 cup green olives, e.g., Cerignola—pitted or unpitted
  • 1 small lemon, washed and cut into wedges
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch

Step 1

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Season chicken with salt. Heat a large, heavy ovenproof skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium-high heat. Swirl in oil. Cook chicken, skin side down, until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip chicken, and push to side of skillet. Add 1 cup stock and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add potatoes to liquid. Bring to a boil. Add garlic, olives, lemon wedges, and thyme to liquid. Return to a boil.

Step 2

Transfer skillet to oven. Roast, stirring potatoes halfway through, until potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Step 3

Return skillet to stove. Mix cornstarch with remaining 1/4 cup stock, and stir into pan. Bring to a boil to thicken sauce. Serve immediately.

Total: 40 mins Prep: 10 mins.  Servings: 4

Dessert: Time for dark chocolate. The Fudge Pot in Old Town is the place for dark chocolate lovers. Chocolate covered apricots, pretzels or strawberries are perfect for just that one bite—or two or three. Or indulge with their dark chocolate salted caramels. I doubt you’ll be able to eat just one.

Photo Credit: The Fudge Pot.

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Cynthia Kallile