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8 easy + delicious Mother’s Day brunch recipes

Plus, how to get kids involved so you can relax.

Mother’s Day brunch recipes

Mother's day is coming and it's your time to unwind and relax, mama. To help you out, we've rounded up a few recipes that will give your partner (if you have one) a major hint for what to do this weekend. And since they might need help, we asked Molly Birnbaum, America's Test Kitchen Kids' Editor in Chief, to give us a few tips to get kids involved, too.

According to Birnbaum, the best way to get younger kids to enjoy themselves in the kitchen is to include them in as much as possible—the menu planning, recipe picking, decision making, gardening. The key is to Include them in the little things that take place before you actually step into the kitchen.

"If they help pick out the ingredients (and know where they come from), they'll be more excited to cook them," says Molly Birnbaum. "And if they cook the food, they'll be more excited to eat it, too. I also recommend having your young chefs do as much scrunching, mixing, rolling, kneading—whatever hands on tasks, however messy, they can—in the kitchen. That's where they'll have the most fun!"


Here are our easy Mother's Day brunch recipes we're sure you'll love, too:

Carrot cake baked steel cut oatmeal

Carrot cake baked steel cut oatmeal

Serves: 6-8

Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 3 large carrots (1 1/2 cups grated)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups 2% milk (or almond milk)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup raw steel cut oats
  • 1/3 cup pecan pieces

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease a 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish.
  2. Peel and finely grate the carrots, enough for 1 1/2 cups.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the olive oil, egg, milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder and kosher salt. Pour into the bowl with the wet ingredients and whisk to combine. Stir in the steel cut oats.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish, then mix in carrots and spread them around evenly. Cover the pan loosely with foil.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil then sprinkle with pecans. Bake another 30 to 35 minutes until set. Serve warm, or refrigerate and eat leftovers for several days. (Note: This baked steel cut oatmeal is best warm or room temperature. Leftovers store well and can be reheated. To make it ahead, you could bake the entire pan and reheat: or prepare the wets and dries separately and refrigerate overnight, keeping the carrots in a separate container, and then mix them and bake the next morning.)

Recipe from A couple cooks

Avocado toast with fried eggs

Avocado toast with fried eggs

Serves: 6-8

Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, measured separately
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice, squeezed from ½ lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 (½-inch-thick) slices crusty bread
  • 2 large eggs

Instructions

  1. In small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon oil, lemon juice, pinch salt, and pinch pepper.
  2. Use butter knife to cut avocado in half (see photos, below). Separate halves, then remove and discard pit. Scoop avocado into a bowl with lemon dressing; discard skin. Use fork to break avocado into large pieces, then mash into dressing until mostly smooth.
  3. Place bread in the toaster and toast until golden on both sides, about 1 to 2 minutes. Spread avocado mixture evenly on toast.
  4. In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil over low heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, crack eggs into second small bowl and add pinch salt and pinch pepper.
  5. Increase heat to medium-high and heat oil for 1 minute (oil should be hot but not smoking). Working quickly, pour eggs into skillet, cover skillet, and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Turn off heat and slide skillet to cool burner. Let sit, covered, for about 1 minute for slightly runny yolks or about 2 minutes for set yolks.
  7. Use spatula to transfer 1 fried egg to each toast. Serve.

Recipe from America's Test Kitchen

Sausage and gravy pie with biscuit crust

Sausage and gravy pie with biscuit crust

Serves: 6-8

Total time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, plus extra for buttering the pie plate
  • 4 pieces prepared biscuit dough (about 8 ounces)
  • 8 oz breakfast sausage, casings removed
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 large whole egg plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 scallion, sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 oz white Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)

Instructions

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate, including the lip, with butter. Gently roll each piece of biscuit dough out to about two times its original size. Stretch and press the biscuit dough, one piece at a time, into the pie plate, until you have covered the bottom and sides, pinching together the seams where pieces meet. Fork the bottom many times. Bake, until the sides are lightly browned and the bottom forms a crust, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool. Leave the oven on.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add the sausage. Cook, stirring and breaking the sausage pieces up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Pour off any excess grease and add the half-and-half to the pan, scraping up any bits that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat.
  4. Whisk the egg and egg yolk together in a medium bowl and slowly add the half-and-half and sausage mix to the bowl in batches, whisking constantly, to incorporate. Stir in the scallions and season with salt and black pepper. Scatter the cheese over the biscuit crust, pressing the cheese over any holes that may have formed during baking. Pour the sausage custard over the cheese and bake until the custard is set, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Recipe from Food Network

Classic English muffins

Classic English muffins

Serves: 15

Total time: 11 hours

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cup bread flour
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
  • 1 (1.25-oz.) envelope instant yeast
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • Coarse cornmeal

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add flour, sugar and salt. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together milk and yeast. Add milk mixture, butter, and egg to dry ingredients. Mix on medium high speed until dough forms a ball and is shiny and elastic, about 15 minutes. Dough will still be slightly sticky.
  2. Grease a large bowl with cooking spray and scrape dough into bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.
  3. Remove dough from fridge and let sit at room temp for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°. Line two large baking sheets with parchment and spread a thin layer of cornmeal on top. Lightly flour a work surface and divide dough into 15 equal pieces. Pinch seams together and using a cupped hand, roll each piece on counter to create a smooth ball and place on prepared baking sheets. Top each ball with a little cornmeal. Loosely cover and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.
  5. Heat a medium skillet, preferably cast iron, over low heat. Lightly press each ball down to flatten to 1" thick. Working in batches of 3 to 4 at a time, cook until bottom is golden, about 7 minutes. Flip and press dough down again. Cook another 5 to 7 minutes or until golden. Repeat with remaining dough.
  6. Place muffins back on a large baking sheet and bake until cooked through, 10 minutes.
  7. Use a fork to cut open muffins and serve warm.

Recipe from Delish

Fluffy blueberry pancakes

Fluffy blueberry pancakes

Serves: 2

Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • Vegetable oil spray
  • ½ cup blueberries

Instructions

  1. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In small bowl, whisk milk, egg, oil, and vanilla until well combined.
  2. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir gently with rubber spatula until just combined (batter should remain lumpy). Let batter sit for 10 minutes before cooking.
  3. Spray 12-inch nonstick skillet with vegetable oil spray and heat over medium heat until hot, about 1 minute.
  4. Use ¼-cup dry measuring cup to scoop ¼ cup batter into skillet. Repeat 2 more times, leaving space between mounds of batter (you want 3 pancakes to cook up separate from one another).
  5. Sprinkle each pancake with 1 tablespoon blueberries. Cook until bubbles on surface begin to pop, 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Use spatula to flip pancakes and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer pancakes to plate. Repeat with remaining batter in 2 more batches. Turn off heat. Serve.

Recipe from America's Test Kitchen

Homemade acai bowl

Homemade acai bowl

Serves: 2

Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 handful coconut flakes
  • 1/2 mango, diced (or 1/2 cup frozen diced, thawed)
  • 4 sliced strawberries
  • 1 small handful blueberries
  • 1 small handful pepitas
  • Bee pollen, optional
  • Other toppings: Granola, almonds, pecans, walnuts, almond butter, peanut butter, chia seeds, a drizzle of honey or maple syrup

For the acai bowl

  • 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 large banana
  • 1/2 mango (or 1/2 cup frozen diced)
  • 7 ounces frozen unsweetened acai pulp (such as Sambazon)*
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cold water

Instructions

  1. Place your bowls in the freezer: this will help to keep the acai from melting while enjoying it.
  2. Prep the toppings (before making the bowl, again to minimize melting): In a small skillet, toast the coconut over low to medium low heat until golden brown, stirring often. Immediately remove to a bowl. Dice the mango and reserve half for the acai. Slice the strawberries.
  3. In a large high speed or regular blender, blend the pineapple, banana and mango until somewhat combined and chunky.
  4. Thaw the acai pulp under warm water until it can be broken into smaller chunks, then remove the packaging. Add the acai to the blender with the lime juice and 1/4 cup cold water. Blend until smooth, stopping and stirring as necessary. (If you need a bit more water you can add it; try not to add too much in order to keep the acai texture thick. A high speed blender will work well here; with a regular blender you'll have to stop and stir more.)
  5. Pour the acai mixture into the frozen bowls. Top with the fruit, coconut, pepitas and other toppings. Serve immediately.

Recipe from A couple cooks

Easy frittata

Easy frittata

Serves: 4- 6

Total time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs, enough to cover the ingredients
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 2 small Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, such as Gruyère, Fontina, or cheddar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F.
  2. Whisk the eggs and cream together. Whisk the eggs, heavy cream and 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a small bowl; set aside.
  3. Cook the bacon. Place the bacon in a cold 10- to 12-inch nonstick oven safe frying pan or cast iron skillet, then turn the heat to medium-high. Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. (If omitting the bacon, heat 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet, then proceed with adding the potatoes).
  4. Saute the potatoes in bacon fat. Return the pan to medium-heat, add the potatoes and sprinkle with the pepper and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, 4 to 6 minutes.
  5. Wilt the spinach with the garlic and thyme. Pile the spinach into the pan with the garlic and thyme, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until spinach wilts. Add the bacon back to the pan and stir to evenly distribute.
  6. Add the cheese. Spread the vegetables into an even layer, flattening with a spatula. Sprinkle the cheese on top and let it just start to melt.
  7. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and cheese. Tilt the pan to make sure the eggs settle evenly over all the vegetables. Cook for a minute or two until you see the eggs at the edges of the pan beginning to set.
  8. Bake the frittata for 8 to 10 minutes. Bake until the eggs are set, 8 to 10 minutes. To check, cut a small slit in the center of the frittata. If raw eggs run into the cut, bake for another few minutes; if the eggs are set, pull the frittata from the oven. For a browned, crispy top, run the frittata under the broiler for a minute or two at the end of cooking.
  9. Cool and serve. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then slice into wedges and serve.

Recipe from The Kitchn

Strawberry ricotta bruschetta

Strawberry ricotta bruschetta

Serves: 12 crostini

Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely diced strawberries
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Flakey sea salt
  • 12 toasted baguette slices
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • Balsamic vinegar (use an aged balsamic that is thick and syrupy), for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, toss the strawberries with the mint, olive oil and a pinch of flakey sea salt.
  2. Spread each slice of baguette with ricotta cheese. Top with a spoonful of strawberries, drizzle with balsamic and sprinkle with more flakey sea salt.
Recipe from Food Network

12 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$189

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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14 sweet 'just thinking of you' gifts for every mama

A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs.

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.

$70

Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.

$65

Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.

$45

Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!

$23

Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.

$30

Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.

$39

'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."

$35

Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.

$24

Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.

$22

Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!

$25

Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.

$32

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.

$105

Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.

$17

Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.

$68

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In Montessori schools, parents are periodically invited to observe their children at work in the classroom. I have heard many parents express shock to see their 3- or 4-year-old putting away their own work when they finish—without even being asked!

"You should see his room at home!" or, "I ask him to put his toys away every day, and it's a battle every single time" were frequent comments.

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