Score brownie points early on Mother’s Day by bringing her breakfast in bed. It’s easy to get the kids involved too.
It may be the one time of year when mothers get to be waited on by their offspring, so why not start Mothering Sunday as you mean to go on with a lovingly prepared brunch or breakfast in bed?
With Dad taking charge in the kitchen, there are plenty of easy chores the little ones can tackle while Mum gets a well-deserved lie-in. And learning how to cook could have a positive impact on fussy young eaters as well.
Children’s cookery expert Annabel Karmel says: “Tasks such as cracking eggs and stirring are well within the capabilities of a young child and it is amazing how being involved in the planning and preparation of a meal can stimulate a child’s appetite.”
When it comes to cooking with your kids, Karmel recommends picking recipes that lead to quick results as children have short attention spans.
“To start with, choose recipes that are simple enough for your child to make without too much help from you, then you can build up a repertoire of recipes they feel confident doing by themselves,” she says.
KARMEL’S SAFETY TIPS FOR COOKING WITH KIDS
:: Always make sure children wash their hands before doing any cooking.
:: Never use wet hands to turn on a switch or pull out a plug.
:: If they need to stand on a chair to reach the work surface, make sure it’s very stable.
:: Explain about heat and the dangers of steam, hot pans and hobs.
Now try these yummy brunch recipes to make mum smile...
BREAKFAST BEAR PANCAKES
125g self-raising flour
4tbsp creme fraiche
1tsp vanilla extract
3tbsp maple syrup
2tbsp vegetable oil
Fresh fruit, to serve (optional)
Chop up your fruit - thinking about what might work for your pancake bear’s ears (banana), eyes (blueberries), arms (strawberries) and feet (kiwi) - be as creative as you like!
Put the flour in a large bowl. Whisk together the egg, milk, creme fraiche, vanilla, maple syrup and a pinch of salt.
Add this mixture to the flour and whisk to make a batter (there may be a few small lumps, but don’t worry).
Melt the butter in a large non-stick frying pan and tip it into a small bowl.
Mix 1 tablespoon of the melted butter into the batter. Use the rest to grease the pan. Drop 2 tablespoons of batter into the frying pan and cook the pancake for 2 minutes until brown underneath and just set on top (with small bubbles).
Flip over and cook for a further 1-2 minutes until golden and cooked through.
Lay one pancake slightly over the other - decide which will be the head and which will make the body and decorate with your fruit.
150g chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced
2-3 drops Worcestershire sauce
¼tsp Dijon mustard
3tbsp creme fraiche (low fat is fine)
1 muffin, split and toasted
1tsp fresh chopped parsley (optional)
Melt half the butter in a medium frying pan. Add the mushrooms and saute over a high heat for 6-8 minutes until the mushrooms are golden.
Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Remove from the heat and stir in the creme fraiche.
Sit the muffin on a plate, spread with the remaining butter toasted side up, and spoon over the mushrooms. You can sprinkle with a little chopped parsley if you like.
MINI SWEETCORN FRITTERS
(Makes 10 fritters)
30g plain flour
½tsp baking powder
1 large egg
1 x 200g can sweetcorn, drained
1 large or 2 small spring onions, finely sliced
2 tbsp sunflower or canola oil, for frying
Whizz together all the ingredients except the oil in the bowl of a food processor for 1 minute to make a batter.
Heat a little of the oil in a large frying pan and drop in tablespoonfuls of the batter.
Cook for 1-1 ½ minutes in two batches of 5 until golden on the underside, then carefully turn and cook for a further minute. You can use the back of a spoon to help push the fritter on to a spatula to make turning easier.
Drain briefly on kitchen paper before serving.
Salt and pepper
A knob of butter
Omelette filling suggestions:
30g ham, cut into strips with slices of tomato
30g grated hard cheese such as Cheddar or Gruyere
30g smoked salmon, cut into thin strips
1tsp chopped soft herbs - try parsley with dill, chervil or chives
1tbsp each sweetcorn and diced red pepper, plus one thinly sliced spring onion
A handful of button mushrooms sauteed in a knob of butter
Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk them until they’re slightly frothy. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat a small frying pan - about 14cm - over a medium heat. Melt the butter and when it starts to foam, tip in the eggs.
Stir the eggs once or twice, then leave them to cook undisturbed for about 30 seconds.
When the eggs start to set at the edge of the pan, lift the cooked edge towards the centre. At the same time, tip the pan so that the uncooked egg runs into the space that’s left. Do this 3 or 4 times until there is no runny egg left on the surface of the omelette.
Now add your filling. Turn off the heat and fold the omelette over. Transfer it to a plate and serve immediately.
TALEGGIO AND NEW POTATO FRITTATA
(Serves 6 or 4 for brunch with a salad)
225g new potatoes, scrubbed and halved if large
2tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into 1cm squares
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
4tbsp creme fraiche
6 large basil leaves, shredded (optional)
185g Taleggio cheese, rind removed and diced
55g Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the potatoes in a pan of cold, salted water and bring to the boil. Cook for 12-15 minutes until tender when pierced with the tip of a table knife. Drain and leave to cool.
When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut into 1cm cubes, discarding any bits of loose skin.
Heat the oil in a deep 20-23cm non-stick frying pan. Add the onion, peppers garlic (if using) and saute for 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
Meanwhile, beat together the eggs and creme fraiche with plenty of salt and pepper. Stir in the basil leaves (if using) and half of the cheeses.
Preheat the grill to high.
Stir the cooked potato into the vegetables. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook, stirring, for one to two minutes, until the eggs are starting to thicken, then lower the heat and cook the frittata (without stirring) for 8-10 minutes until brown underneath and just set.
Scatter the remaining cheese over the top of the frittata and grill for two minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and golden.
Leave the frittata to stand for 15 minutes, then carefully loosen with a non-metallic spatula, slide onto a large plate and refrigerate as soon as possible, but do not cover until thoroughly cold (otherwise condensation builds up on the clingfilm).
If the frittata is too soft to slide out of the pan then cool the pan quickly by dipping the base into cold water then refrigerate until the frittata is firm. Cut the frittata into 6 wedges to serve.