What to Cook for Your Mom This Mother's Day



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Most people love to be cooked for, and that’s especially true for the person who does most of the day-to-day cooking for their family. If that’s your mom (or another mother you know and love), you can give her a real treat this Mother’s Day by making one or more of these heirloom recipes that I’ve gathered from grandmothers around the world.

Whether it’s breakfast in bed, a basket of sweets, a relaxing afternoon snack or a full-blown dinner, cooking for the mothers in your life can be a great way of showing your appreciation for everything they do.

Some of my recipes below are simple enough that young children can do some or all of the work, while others are geared more toward seasoned cooks, but there’s something here for everyone. And be sure to check out my recipe archive for even more delicious ideas!


Breakfast & Brunch

Breakfast in bed is a wonderful Mother’s Day tradition. But whether you serve them up in bed, on the patio or right at the kitchen counter, the following recipes can help you up your breakfast game, and are sure to impress mom.

Chicken & Waffles


Is there anything better than sleeping in on a Sunday, rolling out of bed and heading out for Mimosas or maybe a Bloody Mary with some breakfast and lunch all rolled into one? If there is, it's staying in bed and getting it all delivered to you in the comfort of your pajamas! And a dish like chicken and waffles from San Francisco's Farmer Brown's restaurant just makes it that much better.

This is a dish that's sure to make your mom say "wow!"




Chocolate Cherry Muffins


Sure, kids love muffins, but so do a lot of moms. If your mom likes a little something sweet to get her day started, a basket of these moist, chocolatey muffins with a little hint of tangy cherry in them are sure to be a big hit!








Beignets are little squares of fried dough covered in powdered sugar and made famous by Cafe DuMonde in New Orleans' French Quarter district. They pair perfectly with a cup of your mom's favorite coffee.

With this recipe, you can bring the flavors of New Orleans right to your mom. And they're pretty simple to make, too!





Dutch Baby


If your favorite mom loves pancakes, why not dress it up a bit this Mother's Day with a Dutch Baby.

Essentially a giant pancake covered in syrup and fruit, the Dutch Baby bakes in the oven, so it's easier and less time consuming than standing at the stove flipping hot cakes.






Maybe your mom would like a few quiet hours to herself this Mother's Day. Why not set up some quality "me" time for your mom this year, with a good book, a couple of glasses of wine and some delicious nibbles. These recipes will have her relaxing (and eating!) in no time.

Antipasto Platter

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If your favorite mom loves some quality cheese and salumi, building an antipasto platter may be the perfect afternoon repast. Best of all, it's easily customizable, so you can include all her favorites on a beautifully assembled tray.






Brie en Croute


If your mom loves cheese – like really, really loves cheese – this wheel of brie covered in puff pastry is so good it may get you a pass on being in trouble with her for the next year.









If light and tangy is more your mom's style than a big wheel of cheese, whip up some of this delicious bruschetta. It pairs beautifully with a glass of white wine.







Rice Balls


This is my mom’s rice ball recipe, and they have a bit of a following.  Whenever I throw a party, she makes about 50 mini rice balls and I have to hide a few before people show up or else I don’t get to have one. They are so good. Golden brown and crispy on the outside, they're also creamy and cheesy on the inside, which makes for a killer combination your mom is sure to love!






Lunch or Dinner

These recipes are a feast in themselves, but by all means, add a side like a simple, green salad to round them out.

Pro tip: Use the good tableware and add some candles or flowers to the table to make it extra special.


Cast Iron Skillet Pizza


If you're not a whiz in the kitchen, this recipe is for you. The whole process won’t take you more then a half hour and I’m letting you off the hook with the dough. Go to the dairy section of your grocery store, grab the pre-shredded mozzarella and a dough the store makes in the morning and bags up. Just be sure to top it with your favorite mom's favorite toppings!




Quinoa Salad


Quinoa is such a celebrity food nowadays. That's probably because it's super high in protein, vitamins and minerals, plus it tastes so nutty and yummy. So if your mom is into being healthy, she'll appreciate your focus on nutrition with this dish. And if she doesn't like some of the ingredients, you can always mix it up. Quinoa tastes great with all sorts of veggies, fruits, nuts and even meat.





Eggplant Parmigiana

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Eggplant parmigiana is one of my favorite things to eat. And, if you know me well, you know I make/eat a lot of different things. So, when I say I LOVE eggplant parmigiana, it means something.

This is a dish where my Nonna would stand over the stove for hours making it for us; classic and timeless.  It's a labor of love dish, with a number of steps that takes some time. So, if you're going to make this for the special mom in your life, set aside plenty of time.



Goat Cheese & Asparagus Quiche

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Are you crunched for time? You can make this quiche days in advance, and simply heat it up in the oven just a short while before you're ready to serve it. Even better, it can be served for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner.






Making some delicious sweet treats for your mom is a great way to thank her for all the things she does for you throughout the year. Here are some simple things you can whip up to show mom you care.

Make Your Mamma Proud Chocolate Chip Cookies

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When I was in cooking school, a fellow student made chocolate chip cookies that would make Cookie Monster drool, so I asked her how she became such a cookie whisperer. Her trick was melting the butter first. She said it created a really soft dough with a nutty, toasted flavor.

I was sold. So, I went home and used her method along with Guittard chocolate chunk pieces (thank you King Arthur Flour website) and I was in heaven. I’ve been making them like this ever since.




Super Mom Strawberry Shortcakes


I made these as snacks for my son's preschool class and they were a big hit. It's not just the little ones who love these, though. Sweet biscuits, strawberry puree and fresh whipped cream keep everyone coming back for more. I felt like a super mom making them, but especially eating them!


Anna Gass