Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Before It's Too Late

Before it’s too far past Mother’s Day and we all start focusing on the next parental holiday, I wanted to share how I spent the day celebrating with my Mom -- and not because it was a super fabulous idea that's never been done, but simply because it involved a lot of yummy, easy recipes everyone should try!
Since I am no mother myself, I get to focus all my attention on making it an enjoyable day for my Mom.  I decided a couple weeks beforehand that I wanted to surprise her somehow. After spending a lot of time on foodnetwork.com, thekitchn.com and countless blogs, I knew breakfast would be the perfect opportunity -- it’d be a first-thing-in-the-morning surprise and give me a chance to try all the delicious brunch recipes I kept finding.  So, after I narrowed it down to the top three must try recipes, I bought all my groceries, and prepped as much as I could the day before. 
One thing to know about my mother is that she is up early. Every. Single. Day.  I suppose that’s what happens when you’ve spent countless years -- like how I didn’t give away her age? -- waking up early for work, children, and now puppies.  So, if I was going to surprise her with breakfast, I knew I’d have to get up even earlier so I could finish putting things together, load up the car, and make the 45 minute drive all before my early-rising mother ate her own breakfast.  So, I hesitantly happily set my alarm for 5:30am.
Unfortunately, when you’re not used to waking up that early, it is far too easy to simply reach over and unknowingly stop all annoying sounds -- which is what happened.  When I woke up on my own and saw the sun shining in, I immediately jumped out of bed in a panic and realized what had happened. By some small miracle, it was only 7:30, so the plan wasn’t totally lost.
I ran around like a mad woman finishing up cinnamon rolls which had to rise for 45 minutes before baking -- perfect for the car ride there -- and running to my car with all the things I needed to bring. Knowing my early rise would lead to a greater chance of forgetting things, I was wise enough to put almost everything in one large bag in the fridge the night before, along with wrapping her present, signing her card, and arranging her flowers.  I didn’t look nearly as glamorous as I had hoped for her big day, but I did finish the food prep and got the car loaded surprisingly fast considering the frantic wake up just 30 minutes earlier.
So, just an hour and a half later than planned, I was off to surprise my mother.  I got about 15 minutes into the drive when I realized I’d left the stuffed French toast!  It had to soak overnight and would not fit in the large bag with everything else, so it somehow got overlooked while I was gathering things.   Seeing as it was a third of the breakfast and pretty important to the meal, I frustratingly turned the car around to get it -- what’s another 30 minutes at this point, right?
I got back, ran up the stairs, grabbed the French toast, looked around to double check nothing else was being forgotten, and headed off once again.  Although I was late according to my own schedule, it was still early in the morning and the roads were clear allowing me to make excellent timing.  The best part of the whole morning was that despite my alarm mishap, my mother was completely surprised when I did show up and to my amazement, had not eaten breakfast yet -- at least that’s what she told me. 
After I arrived, we finished some of the baking and enjoyed this lovely feast Sunday morning.
Now, for the scoop on the delicious dishes -- we had Hazelnut Cinnamon Rolls and Mini Frittatas via the lovely and oh-so-talented Giada, along with Mixed Berry Stuffed French Toast from a blog I happened across last week.  Sadly, I cannot find the blog, so I've included the recipe below.

The French toast requires some advanced planning since it has to soak overnight and the cinnamon rolls require defrosted bread dough and need about 45 minutes of rising time. 
Other than a little pre-planning, all dishes were super easy and tasted amazing!  The mini frittatas are extremely versatile and you could add anything you have in the fridge. Ours followed the recipe, but bell peppers, onions, various cheeses or even bacon would all be great additions.  And although the recipe calls for mini muffin pans, I was feeling far too lazy to pour my egg mixture into 48 tiny spaces and opted for a regular muffin pan and just doubled the cooking time -- which did not seem to have any effect on how fast they disappeared.
So, the next time you want to surprise someone, throw a brunch, or just want to make a huge breakfast for your family, I encourage you to try all of these recipes!

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