Kitchen Shrink: A breakfast in bed primer for Mother's Day

Breakfast in bed is the ultimate nirvana for mom on her special day so long as she is not involved in kitchen patrol or post clean-up duties.

Dad and the kids can prepare simple yet scrumptious dishes from a Rocky Mountain toast and a fresh fruit cocktail, or they can go gourmet wild with an exotic and elaborate spread including a pomegranate mimosa, blueberry crème brûlee French toast, a goat cheese and arugula omelet and heart-shaped watermelon slices drizzled with melted bittersweet chocolate.

It beats making reservations for brunch and there is no waiting in line. And on Mother's Day, you can break the rules as celebratory calories including alcohol are allowed.

Here's a list of bed in breakfast rules to be followed by dutiful and devoted husbands and children:

-Plan ahead--baked goods can be prepared the day before, along with vegetable and fruit prep.

-Paper plates and napkins, Styrofoam cups and plastic cutlery that snap in half with a sharp glance are definite no-nos. At minimal, use stainless steel flatware, real plates along with a cup and saucer, sugar bowl, cream pitcher and a linen or cloth napkin.

-No culinary short-cuts allowed--mom's caffeine-infused drink of choice should be freshly brewed or steeped, and juice should be fresh squeezed (or at least the juice of one orange squeezed into a glass of bought juice).

-A homemade "love" note and afresh flower should accompany the tray of goodies.

-The person assigned to the breakfast in bed tray delivery service must have a steady hand.

-Buster or Snowflake should be confined until after breakfast is served.

Here is a trio of scrumptious recipes that dad can make with his little helpers for mom on her day. Whether you choose to whip up gourmet or down-home recipes, to paraphrase Marie Barone from "Everybody Loves Raymond," the secret ingredient to every delicious dish is love.

Fresh Fruit "Cocktail"

  • 1 ripe, chilled cantaloupe, cut in half
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • 3 large strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of port wine or 1 tablespoon of Grand Marnier or mom's favorite liquor
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Mint leaves for garnish

Scoop out the seeds from the cantaloupe and add the bananas. Splash the lemon juice on the bananas, and add the remaining fruit. Pour the port or liquor over the fruit, and gently toss. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Blueberry Crème Brûlee French Toast

  • One egg bread or challah
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups of hazelnut or almond milk
  • 1 cup of cream
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of fresh blueberries

Cut the challah bread into 1-inch slices. Grease a 13-by-9-inch Pyrex or other baking dish with butter. Layer the dish with the bread slices.

In a mixing bowl, combine the milk, cream, eggs, vanilla and 3/4 cup of brown sugar and beat well. Pour this mixture over the bread and let sit in the refrigerator overnight or for 6 hours.

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small frying pan, melt the butter with the 1/4 cup of remaining brown sugar. If you prefer a crunchy topping, bring to a boil and let bubble for a minute or two. Pour the blueberries over the bread and top with the brown sugar-butter mixture. Bake for 20 minutes or until the topping is bubbly and golden. A dollop of fresh whipped cream on top is allowed.

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