Start Mother's Day right with a special brunch

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Just a Pinch Notebook by Janet Tharpe

Looking to pay tribute to the wonderful women in your life?  Well, how about starting with brunch? I’ve yet to meet anyone, especially a woman, who doesn’t just love it. There’s something so very special about the warmth and togetherness that comes with a well made mid-morning meal. You get all the homeyness of breakfast fare with the zip and panache of a cocktail party. Heck, if you want you can even have the cocktails, too.

In the Test Kitchen at www.justapinch.com, we love finding new recipes that have the heirloom quality of the treasured dishes we’ve had in our recipe boxes for generations. That’s just how we feel about Cassie Long’s Italian Homefries. This wonderful recipe takes delicious fried potatoes and dials them up to fabulous.

“My family loves these for breakfast,” said Long, a home cook from Pennsylvania.  “[They’re] so tasty, yet simple”

Start with sauteed peppers, onions, mushrooms and garlic, toss in some kicky Italian sausage, add potatoes, then finish it off with gooey cheese and ample seasoning. The result is a beauty of a dish fit for any meal of the day. Like Long, my family loves these as much for dinner as they do with their breakfast.

In addition to stunning starches, every brunch needs a show stopper recipe. I suggest giving the honors to Nicole Hood’s recipe for Red Velvet Waffles with Cream Cheese Glaze. My, oh my, they’re pretty and, yes, taste as good as they sound.

“I made this recipe for my Momma on Mother’s Day last year. She is my best friend and my cooking mentor so I know [she’d] love a Southern brunch,” Hood said.  “These chocolate waffles are rich and moist and the sweet cream cheese glaze and crunchy pecan topping makes them a decadent and delicious meal that any mother would love.”

I mean, who wouldn’t love to be served such a darling (and decadent) brunch treat? We’re obsessed with the glaze, the vibrant color, the flavor and, well, everything about this dish. Waffles are a great way to introduce savory flavors into a brunch as well, so feel free to get creative with your ingredients.  Hoold went for chocolate, how about you? Almond? Mocha? The possibilities are deliciously endless.

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking, “But Janet, what about the doughnuts?” Pack your sweet tooth and brew up some coffee, because I’ve got a Berry Cream Cheese Danish that is the perfect, brunch-ready alternative to traditional doughnuts.

“I created this recipe using a combination of recipes that have proven to be tried and true winners over the course of 30 years,” said Cheryl Mills, the home cook behind this wonderful sweet bread.  

In my experience, a great danish typically leads to a great day, so take no chances. Try this first thing tomorrow morning. Just imagine starting your day with homemade sweet bread filled with vanilla-infused cream cheese that has been laced with cinnamon coated strawberries & blueberries.

While no recipe can ever pay full tribute to the special women in our lives, it surely is a start. Many of these ladies – moms, grandmas, aunties, friends – have spent years making sure that we never went hungry or wanted for more. Why not  show them how loved a well-cooked meal can make you feel?  They deserve it, and so do you.

© 2011 Just A Pinch Recipe Club. Used by Permission. Brought to you by American Hometown Media.


Puddin Place Eggs

Warm, creamy and positively delicious, this impressive baked egg dish has a secret – it’s easy-as-pie to prepare!
Home cook Kimberly Kolligs learned this recipe from her mother-in-law. Tucked inside each cup is bacon, fresh mozzarella, a whole egg and a drizzle of cream, just the right combo to dazzle Mom on Mother’s Day, or any day.

4 slices bacon, cooked and cut in pieces
4 slices fresh mozzarella, cut in pieces
4 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
paprika, salt & pepper, to taste (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter four ramekins. Put bacon in a circle around edges and add mozzarella on top of bacon. Gently add egg to center without breaking yolks, then gently spoon about 1/4 cup cream over each. Salt and pepper lightly, and/or sprinkle with paprika.
  • Bake in oven about 10 minutes. Center should “shake” when done but not “swim.”