Preparation and presentation are important in any Mother’s Day brunch, so keep recipes simple to leave time for garnish and decoration. Any brunch benefits from having the hostess sit down with her guests to enjoy the meal, rather than having her slaving away in the kitchen. Do as much work ahead of time as possible so you can focus on those that require last-minute preparation.
Guests gobble up deviled eggs before other items. Hard-boil eggs in simmering water for about 12 minutes, and peel them. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise and put the yolks into a bowl. Add mayonnaise, mustard, minced sweet onion, minced celery, minced pickle, salt and pepper to taste, and smash together with a fork. Mound the mixture into the egg whites and top with slices of small black olives.
Eggs baked in the oven look and taste festive. Make individual servings in small single-serving ramekins. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Lightly saute asparagus spears in olive oil or butter. Set aside to cool. Beat together 4 whole eggs, 1 cup whole milk or light cream, salt, pepper and about 2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese. Fill the oven-proof containers two-thirds full with the egg mixture. Lay two pieces of asparagus crosswise over the egg mixture on each container. Bake just before serving for about 20 to 25 minutes until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean and the eggs are puffed and golden brown.
Crepes are work intensive, but you make them ahead of time. You need a large — at least 10-inch — nonstick saute pan with low sides. Wipe the pan with a small amount of melted butter. Blend 1 cup milk, 1 cup of flour and 2 eggs. Add a pinch of salt. Heat the pan and add a full ladle of the batter, swirling it to coat with the liquid. Cook briefly until the crepe sets, then flip it over and cook for a few moments. Turn the crepe onto an inverted plate, and repeat the process.
Make a filling by blending together ricotta cheese, grated lemon zest, granulated sugar and a small amount of finely minced mint. Heat cherry or blueberry preserves and add a small amount of brandy. Cook for five minutes.
Lay a cooked crepe on a flat surface and top it with of the cheese mixture. Cover the bottom third of the crepe, leaving about 1/4 inch uncovered along the edges. Turn the side edges of the pancake inward and then roll up the crepe.
Toss sliced fruit with a small amount of cornstarch, then top with pecans, brown sugar and sweet butter cut into small chunks. Bake until golden and hot.
Serve Greek yogurt parfaits in tall glasses. Drizzle honey on yogurt and alternate layers with fresh berries mixed with sugar and orange zest.