What’s on your menu for Mother’s Day? Advice from a non-mom


Mother’s Day, celebrated everywhere. From flowers and chocolates to a day at the spa or brunch at a favorite spot, mothers can take a day to marvel at their accomplishments, look proudly at their family, and maybe even rest!

Although I’m not a mom, I think of all the moms I know. How would they like to honor this day? Do they crave a huge piece of chocolate cake? Do they yearn for an uninterrupted day, without laundry or dining out? Would they find a special breakfast in bed? Or maybe a whole 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’re highlighting some creative food ideas for Mother’s Day on Sunday, May 8th.

To eat lunch: This honey butter cookie recipe with Strawberries and Crème Fraîche featured on NBC’s Today looks amazing. And consider adding blueberries to the fruit mix or replacing the strawberries with mangoes. Mangoes and blueberries together are superb. NOTE: The chef who created this recipe actually eats it for dessert, but I go for breakfast.

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

To eat lunch: After breakfast and our snack of rice crackers, why not have an easy to make salad. Here is my recent go-to in an effort to increase my salmon intake.

  • Fresh arugula
  • Chopped shallots (green onions)
  • cherry tomatoes
  • Pitted Kalamata olives (optional)
  • Salmon (smoked or any type that works)
  • Fresh lemon juice and EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • Add salt and pepper to taste

If you have quinoa, it will add texture. Or you can sprinkle with slivered almonds.

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

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

Although someone before me probably created this gin-based cocktail, I’ll take credit for my own version. The result: a delicious sip brightened up with fresh lime juice and sprigs of thyme.

Elderflower Gin

2oz. Gin Roku
1 oz. Saint Germain or other elderflower liqueur
½ oz. fresh lime juice (must be fresh)
sprigs of thyme
Fever Tree – elderflower tonic (optional)
Ice cubes
cocktail shaker

Shake well and pour, without ice, into a coupe glass. If you need to lower the alcohol profile, add a splash of elderflower tonic. Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme just for fun!

Having dinner: Since we’re reasonably healthy with our choices for Mother’s Day, offer chicken for dinner. I did by Martha recipe a number of times over the years and whether you’re a fan of her or not, she makes a damn tasty chicken dish. This one is loaded with fingerling potatoes, brackish green olives and roasted garlic. I 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 and skin-on chicken thighs
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 12 oz. small fingerling potatoes
  • 5 garlic cloves crushed and peeled
  • 1/2 cup green olives, such as Cerignola, pitted or unpitted
  • 1 small lemon, washed and cut into wedges
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 C. cornstarch

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Season the 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 the chicken and push to the side of the skillet. Add 1 cup broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the potatoes to the liquid. Bring to a boil. Add the garlic, olives, lemon wedges and thyme to the liquid. Bring back to a boil.

2nd step

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

Step 3

Return the skillet to the stove. Combine cornstarch with remaining 1/4 cup broth and stir in pot. Bring to a boil to thicken the sauce. Serve immediately.

Total: 40 minutes Preparation: 10 minutes. Servings: 4

Dessert: Dark chocolate time. The fudge jar in the old town is the ideal place for lovers of dark chocolate. Chocolate-covered apricots, pretzels, or strawberries are great for a single bite, or two or three. Or treat yourself to their dark chocolate salted caramels. I doubt you could eat just one.

Photo credit: The pot of fudge.

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