Are you wondering how to celebrate Mom this Sunday? Bouquets and cards are probably a given, but if there are youngsters in the house having them help with a breakfast for her to start the day can be a fun “together” project.

As meals for Mom go, this is probably the easiest, (and least stressful). Actually, fixing her breakfast in bed is a tradition in many households, with youngsters getting in on the preparation.

Does the idea of ​​cooking with kids give you gray hair? Not to worry, you’ve got this and you’ll be surprised at the end result, and likely Mom will be as well.


John Stender and his kids Daniel, 5, and Benjamin, 2, make banana cupcakes. Contributed / Sarah Stender

The kitchen has a lot of appeal to youngsters, whatever the ages. That’s where good things happen. Youngsters from the ages of 3 to 7 can be great helpers, under adult supervision (that’s you, Dad).

From ages 8 up into the early teens it’s somewhat easier, but there needs to be an adult to supervise. This is also an excellent time to educate them, especially the younger ones, about being in the kitchen. This includes kitchen safety (hot stove, sharp knives) and the basics of cooking like measuring, stirring, following the recipes. Less appealing is the clean-up, but that’s an important part of the process as well.

Whatever the ages of the cooks, it’s good to keep the menu simple. This is not the time to try eggs benedict. There are also a fair number of breakfast dishes that can be made ahead, baked and/or re-heated.

Yes, cooking with kids can be daunting but trust me, the rewards far exceed the stress and the mess. A hint: Take your time, don’t rush the process and — most important — be patient.

So you’ve had discussions on what they want to prepare and now it’s time for some organization. Get the recipes and go over them carefully. It’s a good idea to read the recipe through several times. Do you have everything you need in the way of ingredients? Make sure.

It’s a good idea to put everything you need out on the counter. Chefs call this mise en place, a French term, which is an important step to learn and practice.

Assign tasks. If baking something like muffins, the youngest can crack the eggs into the bowl, add the other ingredients, and stir.

Is the oven on? Are the hot pads nearby? Someone younger can also wash fruit. Older can cut it up and put in a bowl. Who’ll set the table, or get the breakfast tray ready?


Benjamin Stender, 2, and his brother Daniel, 5, make banana cupcakes. Contributed / Sarah Stender

If bacon or sausage are on the menu, they can both be prepared ahead and then reheated either in the oven or microwave. (A tip: cooking bacon at 375 on a sheet pan eliminates a mess on the stove.)

A good breakfast addition is a smoothie, even the youngest can help. Bring out the blender and add strawberries, blueberries, whatever fruit, add a banana, a container of yogurt, a splash or two of milk or orange juice, an ice cube or two and turn the blender on. (Don’t forget to replace the lid.) Pour into a tall glass and garnish with a mint sprig.

Ann Jarvis, who is responsible for Mother’s Day, celebrated the first at her church in Grafton, West Virginia, on May 10, 1908, in honor of her mother. She was very upset about how quickly this special day became commercialized and would be horrified at what is spent today.

According to figures from the National Retail Federation, $843 million is spent on cards and $2.6 billion on flowers. Did you know white carnations are the official flower?

Jarvis, however, would likely be pleased at celebrating Mom with a special breakfast and home-made cards.

Overnight coffee cake

18 frozen Rhodes dinner rolls
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 box regular butterscotch pudding mix
1 cup pecans, chopped

Grease a Bundt pan well using either butter or Pam. In a saucepan bring to a boil the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Cool 5 minutes or so. Place pecans in bottom of pan, then add the frozen rolls.

Sprinkle the pudding evenly over the rolls, then pour the brown sugar/butter mixture over. Set aside on the counter and leave out overnight.

In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 and bake the coffee cake for 35-45 minutes. Let set for 5 minutes, then carefully turn coffee cake out, upside down, onto a platter.

Knothole eggs

2 slices sandwich bread
A heart-shaped cookie cutter
1/4 stick of butter
2 eggs
Salt and pepper

Using the cookie cutter, cut a heart in the center of each slice of bread. Melt butter in a frying pan, and add the bread. Crack an egg into the heart and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Don’t worry, some of the whites will run over the bread.

Put the cut pieces of bread in the pan as well. Spread a little butter over this side. After 3 minutes, carefully flip the bread over to finish cooking the egg and to toast the other side of the bread.

After two minutes, place on a plate and serve. Add the cut pieces as well.

JB’s French toast

Cornflakes add crunch making this a favorite.
(The JB is James Beard.)

3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups cornflakes, crumbled
1/2 stick butter
6 slices dense white bread
6 tablespoons sugar

Mix eggs, milk, nutmeg and salt together. Spread crumbled corn flakes on a sheet of wax paper or a cookie sheet. Dip (don’t soak) both sides of each slice of bread into the milk batter, then press each slice on both sides into the cornflakes to coat the bread well.

Melt butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat and fry 3 slices until both sides are golden. When done, sprinkle a little sugar on top of each slice and keep warm in a 250 oven while you fry the other 3.

Post Bulletin food writer Holly Ebel knows what’s cookin’. Send comments or story tips to


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