Whip up breakfast in bed for Mom (or your sweetie) with these indulgent yet easy recipes.
When it's a special day for someone in our family—Mother's Day, for example, or a birthday—the rest of us get up early and prepare breakfast. After a few tense moments attempting to stay quiet while banging around in the kitchen, we all parade upstairs. The person on the receiving end graciously pretends to be asleep, stifling a giggle while we enter the bedroom with a tray of treats and a handful of butter-stained greeting cards. Sometimes school schedules and work demands cut short our tasty wake-up calls, but the honoree always starts the day feeling loved and appreciated.
Mother's Day offers the perfect excuse to put a little extra effort into breakfast. But if you're daunted by the thought of anything trickier than cold cereal, relax. Breakfast in bed doesn't have to be a production that requires you to wake before sunrise. With a little planning, you can do most of the preparation the night before with excellent results. (The flavor of a finely diced fruit salad, for example, actually improves when it sits overnight.) And by using the freshest ingredients you can find, you get maximum flavor and effect—witness an ordinary omelet turned elegant when paired with slender asparagus and Brie cheese.
Finally, simple touches can spruce up the tray for added impact. Sprigs of fresh herbs or flowers add a finished look, or for a memorable centerpiece, tape bamboo skewers or chopsticks to the backs of family photos and place in a vase. And although no studies have yet proved it, china plates and stemware do make the food taste better. Round out the healthy recipes here with a glass of juice or an unusual hot drink (see "Cups of Kindness"), and you'll be a room-service hero—a great way to start any day.
Stuffed Green Chilies with Red-Pepper Sauce
Serves 4 / Most of this recipe can be made ahead, but you might want to try it on a morning when you have plenty of time. Serve with warm flour tortillas and spicy tomato juice.
Apple-Butter Raised Waffles
Serves 8 / This is a lighter adaptation of the famous raised-waffle recipe from Fannie Farmer's original cookbook, written in the 1800s. To simplify your morning, make the batter the night before. Top waffles with warm applesauce or maple syrup.
Vegan Mocha-Almond Muffins
Makes 10 / With a candle on top, these make a great birthday-morning mini-cake. For extra flavor and fiber, add a cup of grated carrots, mashed banana, or whole raspberries.