Mother's Day, this year on May 9, is the single busiest day of the year for restaurants.
Anyone wanting to dine out that day should make reservations significantly in advance.
Can't get into your favorite brunch spot? Here are three go-to ideas for a delectable spread.
SALMON AND ASPARAGUS STRATA
One thing to love about baked-egg dishes is the infinite possibilities to vary the ingredients based on guests' mood and tastes. They're also a great way to sneak vegetables onto the plates of picky pint-size eaters. Strata is especially convenient because it can be prepared the night before, and leftovers keep well refrigerated for at least a week. Recipe by Elana Jefferson, makes 6-8 servings.
3 to 4 tablespoons butter
1 to 2 cloves fresh minced garlic
1/2 cup chopped, fresh asparagus
1 to 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced day-old baguette
1/3 cup shredded onion
1/3 cup diced smoked salmon
2 cups shredded gouda
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as chives or dill
8 large eggs
1 to 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Melt butter. You will use some to coat a Dutch oven, most to brush over the bread slices and a small leftover reserve to quickly sauté minced garlic and asparagus, being careful not to overcook the asparagus. Layer the bread, garlic, asparagus, onions, salmon, gouda and fresh herbs in your pan like a lasagna. Whisk together eggs and cream, then pour the egg mixture over the layered goodies. Allow the strata to set in the refrigerator for at least a few hours; overnight is ideal. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour or until the top is golden brown.
DUTCH BABY, KID-STYLE
A dish in which fresh, seasonal fruit is the star is key to any great brunch spread. The recipe for this classic has been adapted for young chefs from "Southern Living Kids Cookbook." The instructions advise leaving the oven light on to watch the Dutch baby bake as the batter will puff up like a balloon and then turn golden brown. Don't open the oven door before the dish is done. If you do, the Dutch baby will deflate and become inedible. Makes 4 servings.
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 pint fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup bread flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Stir together the first three ingredients; set aside.
Combine flour, salt, milk and eggs in the container of an electric blender. Cover and process 1 minute. Set batter aside.
Place a 10-inch, oven-proof, nonstick skillet in the oven for 5 minutes to preheat. Remove the hot skillet from oven using mitts and place on a heat-proof surface. Add butter to hot skillet and carefully swirl to coat. Pour batter into skillet. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, and bake 10 more minute or until puffed and brown.
Remove skillet from the oven using oven mitts. Cool slightly. Fill with fruit mixture and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into wedges and serve.
A classic mimosa calls for one part champagne or other sparkling wine and one part thoroughly chilled orange juice. But dressing up this essential brunch beverage is a snap by offering guests a selection of juices or nectars and garnishes for their own customized sipping. Created by Tucker Shaw and Elana Jefferson, inspired by "The Bubbly Bar," by Maria C. Hunt.
Three fresh juices. In addition to orange, pink grapefruit, pomegranate, pineapple and blood orange all make for tasty champagne cocktails.
Bubbly. To cut costs, consider using prosecco or cava instead of bottom-shelf champagne. For a nonalcoholic option, offer sparkling grape juice.
Garnishes. A variety of fresh cut fruit and herbs work well here. Some to try include strawberries and other berries, peaches, nectarines, pineapple, basil and mint.
Neatly arrange the ingredients and glasses someplace where guests have room to mix and match. Then sip and enjoy.