Mother’s Day Brunch Inspiration

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Break bread (and toast!) with family and friends with this Spring-Has-Sprung Celebration.

While you can throw this brunch bash simply because the birds are chirping, it’s also a floral and festive way to bring everyone together for everything the family has to fete at this time of year, from Mother’s Day to everyday affairs such as birthdays or baby and wedding showers.

Whatever the occasion, this brunch is a perfect weekend way to gather together the young – for a late breakfast – and those of us of a certain vintage –for an early lunch.

The Dollar-Store Essentials
We love to use faux grass tiles as plate chargers and as a table runner.
Mini white garden gating helps create the perfect picket fence on the table.
Fabric flowers (we used faux lilac hydrangeas) are the best ever-blooming way to perk up the party.
Make this an Easter brunch with ceramic bunnies and other festive decorations from the Easter aisle.
Grab dollar-store garden gloves, garden tools, terracotta pots and seed packets as take-home party favours.

RELATED POST: A Blooming Spring Brunch

The Brunch Prep
Include brunch staples such as bacon and sausage, perfectly tasty and simple sides to all your special dishes.
Deliver invitations on seed packets or along with a spring flowering bulb.
Have The Breakfast Club or Breakfast at Tiffany’s on the TV.
Set brunch out as a buffet – it’s a more relaxed and informal way to entertain.
To add an Easter dimension, dye eggs in pastel colours and host an egg hunt.
Look around your home for other garden items you might be able to use at this party such as gnomes, stones, watering cans and hoses.
Create a themed Spring Fling playlist with songs such as “Walking on Sunshine,” “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” “Here Comes the Sun” and “Spring Fever.”
Serve up a signature cocktail for adults and a special milkshake for the kids.
If you’ve got an adventurous crowd coming, consider making this a pajama party.
Have an area where kids can make tissue paper flowers that they can take home along with dollar store vases.

Time-Saving Kitchen Tips
In addition to being delicious, a great thing about the Strawberry French Toast Soufflé is that it is prepared a day in advance and baked just before guests arrive.
The salmon can also be made a day in advance and refrigerated in a ceramic or glass container. Once you have poached the salmon, remove the skin from the bottom and strain a small amount of the poaching liquid over the salmon to keep it moist overnight. For the best flavour, remove the salmon from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.
For quick drink service, set up a juice bar and have all cocktails premixed. As well, brunch is a casual affair – don’t be shy to ask guests to help get coffee ready.

The Menu
Strawberry-Stuffed French Toast Soufflé
Cinnamon Coffee Scones
Poached Eggs over Polenta Toast
Chilled Poached Salmon with Lemon Dill Sauce
Lemon Kale Salad in Parmesan Cups**
Fruity Champagne Punch
Maple Syrup Milkshake


2    egg breads (challah),
crusts removed and cut
into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 cup    cream cheese
1 cup    strawberry jam
3    large eggs
4    large egg whites
1½ cups    milk
2 tbsp    melted butter
2 tbsp    sugar
1 tsp    vanilla extract
½ tsp    kosher salt
Berry Sauce
1 cup    sugar
1 tbsp    cornstarch
¼ cup    orange juice
3 cups    frozen unsweetened
berries, either mixed,
blueberries or raspberries
3 cups    strawberries, quartered

Coat a 13- by 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Lay a single layer of bread slices in the bottom of the dish. Spread cream cheese on each piece. Spread strawberry jam on the remaining slices and lay to face cream cheese, creating sandwiches in the baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, egg whites, milk, butter, sugar, vanilla and salt. Pour over sandwiches and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or, for best results, overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking.
Bake, uncovered, in a 350 F oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
Berry Sauce In a medium saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in orange juice until smooth. Add frozen berries and heat to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in fresh strawberries. Let cool and serve over individual portions.
Serves 8 to 10



Poached Salmon
1½ cups    dry white wine
1½ cups    water
1    lemon, sliced
2    sprigs dill
1    dried bay leaf
½ tbsp    whole black peppercorns
6    salmon fillets (6 oz each), skin removed
1 tsp    kosher salt
½ tsp    freshly ground black pepper
Lemon Dill Sauce
1 cup    mayonnaise
¼ cup    buttermilk
1 tbsp    chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp    fresh lemon juice
1 tsp    grainy mustard
½ tsp    lemon zest

Poached Salmon In a large skillet, combine wine, water, lemon, dill, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper. Once the water comes to a boil, add salmon to skillet, cover and turn the heat off, letting fish poach for 10 minutes or until flaky. Remove salmon from liquid and transfer to plate, refrigerating for at least 2 hours before serving.
Lemon Dill Sauce In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, buttermilk, dill, lemon juice, mustard and lemon zest. Chill and serve with poached salmon.
Serves 6


LEMON KALE SALAD in parmesan cups
8 cups    baby kale leaves
¼ cup    dried black currants
¼ cup    dried cherries
1    Granny Smith apple, cored and diced
¼ cup    pine nuts, toasted
Lemon Vinaigrette
3 tbsp    fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp    rice vinegar
1 tsp    honey
1 tsp    soy sauce
¼ tsp    lemon zest
¼ tsp    kosher salt
¼ tsp    freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp    olive oil
Parmesan Cups
2 cups    freshly grated
Parmesan cheese

Parmesan Cups

On a piece of parchment paper, draw 6 ½-inchcircles. Flip parchment paper over and place on baking sheet so the ink side is facing down. Place 5 tbsp of Parmesan cheese in each circle and gently spread out to cover the outlined circle. Bake in 350 F oven until golden brown, 9 to 10 minutes. Watch carefully to avoid burning. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 1 minute. Immediately drape cheese round over a small bowl or glass to get a basket shape. Let cool for a few minutes. Remove from bowl and store Parmesan cups in an airtight container at room temperature.

Lemon Vinaigrette

In a medium bowl, combine lemon juice, rice vinegar, honey, soy sauce, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Whisk until blended. Slowly drizzle olive oil into the bowl while constantly whisking, until incorporated.

For the salad, in a large bowl, combine kale, currants, cherries and apple. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. To serve, pile salad in Parmesan cups and top with toasted pine nuts.
Serves 6 to 8