Alright, ladies, if you're anything like me, the last thing you want to have to do on Mother's Day is cook. Whether you're a mom, grandmother, aunt or simply an all-around awesome woman who helps others, this is your day to kick back. If your partner is less than handy in the kitchen, leave this article in a place where he can find it (my suggestion would be the more obvious the better—taped to the steering wheel of the car, underwear drawer or over the toilet—you know, the high traffic areas). I chatted with The Chew's Carla Hall for her advice on the simplest ways to craft a delicious brunch, no matter what the cook's skill level.
The More Basic The Better
"One thing I think is really easy, with pancakes for instance, or you can do corn cakes, all of the dry ingredients can be measured out, all of the wet ingredients can be measured out in a jar, and then you have whatever fruit you want to put in it, so it makes it really easy (to throw together)," says Carla. "Everybody pretty much knows how to make pancakes but I think sometimes the proportions get away from them. Any kind of parfait where you have yogurt and granola or cereal or fruit—that’s easy and yummy."
The Perfect Pancake
"When you’re making pancakes, you should put oil into a non-stick skillet, then wipe it, and when you put the batter in the pancakes should start bubbling immediately, the edges should be dry, and then you flip it," explains Carla. "The first pancakes is just trash, you have to know that. The first pancake isn’t supposed to be good. That’s your test drive. That’s to test if you have enough oil in the pan, if your pan is hot enough. Your first pancake may have brown dots in it because you have too much oil until you wipe it away."
Jazz It Up
"Maple syrup is not my favorite," says the former Top Chef contestant. "I like reduced fruit juice with a little bit of sugar. I’ll take unsweetened blueberry juice and reduce it with a little bit of sugar in it. I love sour cherry—so that’s my go-to. I love peach syrup. I like fruit with my pancakes and it’s an easy thing to do. You don’t need fresh fruit because these juices are generally available in the grocery store. It makes it special."
Pile On a Parfait
"You can make a fruit compote which can be as simple as using frozen fruit and tossing it a little with sugar or agave and let it sit," says Carla. "Have a little bit of that at the bottom (of the parfait). Then you want to start with some kind of crunchy cereal or granola and then you need your yogurt. That yogurt can either be plain or you can flavor it with a spice like cinnamon or vanilla, and then another layer of granola and a little more fruit and keep layering."
"I know some moms may want a mimosa or something like that," says Carla. "I love herbs so I love any kind of simple syrup, like a basil simple syrup with some pureed strawberries and then you can actually put a little bit of that in champagne or sparkling water to give you this nice little juice."
What are your plans for this Mother's Day? Brunch at home or hitting the town? Tell us in the comments below or tweet @OKMagazine.