Recipes

Simple and Wow! A breakfast kids can make for Mother’s Day

A breakfast menu that kids can help make for Mother's Day includes a bacon, egg and asparagus cup, drop biscuits and roasted strawberries.
A breakfast menu that kids can help make for Mother's Day includes a bacon, egg and asparagus cup, drop biscuits and roasted strawberries. pkitagaki@sacbee.com

Let’s be real: Celebrating Mother’s Day can be a challenge. Maybe it feels a little bit hard because you’re a kid, and you’re trying to balance burnt toast and sloshing orange juice on a tray. Maybe you’re a mom, and you know the day won’t be all that relaxing (hey, somebody is going to have to wash the sheets after that breakfast in bed) but you know your kids are trying. Maybe it’s because you’re an adult, but you’re never quite sure what to do on the day.

Whatever the reason the day might be slightly fraught, you know what? Breakfast – whether it’s for one or for a crowd of hungry relatives – can be easy. We devised a low-key morning menu that feels fancy and tastes special, but is low-effort enough that novice cooks or those nervous about Mom’s watchful eye can tackle it on their own. We’ve left out lots of chopping and complicated stove-top cookery in favor of a meal that cooks all at the same time in one oven, making putting it together a snap.

Our simple, seasonal breakfast menu is one kids or less-experienced grown-up cooks can make without much fuss.

For the main dish, pair eggs with bacon and asparagus in a ramekin for individual savory treats that take just a few minutes to get in the oven. From-scratch biscuits – one of the easiest and most versatile baked goods there is – are dropped from a spoon rather than rolled out, a fast shortcut that also creates more craggy, crunchy, toasty edges. Serve them with butter and honey to sweeten the pot, or stir in a spoonful of sugar to the biscuit dough to pair them with our sweet roasted strawberries and a dollop of Greek yogurt in a breakfast shortcake.

To round out the menu, roasting strawberries with a little sugar concentrates their flavor and makes them seem extra fancy, but to simplify this menu further, there’s nothing wrong with serving delicious plain berries, which are at the peak of their season now.

Even toddlers can get involved by mixing flour or cracking eggs, but teens and tweens should be able to tackle the whole menu with a minimum of supervision. For adult kids who are inviting their moms over, the menu’s ease will allow more time for hanging out with her, which (trust us) is what your mom really wants anyway. The menu also scales up or down without difficulty, a boon if relatives or multiple generations are coming over.

In this streamlined menu, everything bakes in the oven, keeping things easy for younger cooks. (Just make sure you have good oven mitts available – and bear in mind that shorter kids may need help taking baking sheets in and out of the oven.) To help with planning, we’ve included shopping and equipment lists, plus tips for young or inexperienced cooks.

By the way, unless you’re sure the particular mom or moms in your life would like to lounge and eat at the same time, our advice? Skip serving breakfast in bed, unless you’re also planning to change the sheets. Do let her sleep in, though, and whatever you do, don’t leave dishes in the sink or messy counters to wipe down. And above all, if you want almost any mom to be happy, it’s probably best not to forget the coffee.

Tips for New Cooks

Read the recipes all the way to the end before you start cooking

Be sure you have all the ingredients; check the cupboards before you go shopping to make sure you don’t buy duplicates.

  • Check how long each recipe takes. If you want everything ready at once, sometimes it helps to make a timeline or to-do list.
  • Gather all the ingredients you need and all the equipment you need before you start.
  • Do any essential preparations like buttering pans or grating cheese first.
  • Preheat the oven until it reaches the temperature it needs.
  • Wash your hands before you start and again after handling raw meat or eggs.
  • Rinse fruit or vegetables before using.
  • Set timers to keep track of baking times.
  • Clean up as you go (put away ingredients, wipe spills, rinse dirty dishes) to avoid a big mess at the end.
  • Set the table either before you start or while everything is baking in the oven.

Shopping List

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 dozen large eggs (check inside the carton to make sure they’re not cracked!)
  • 1 pound sliced bacon
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • butter
  • buttermilk
  • flour
  • baking powder
  • baking soda
  • 1 pound strawberries
  • sugar
  • balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • Greek yogurt or whipping cream (optional)
  • kitchen parchment paper
  • a bunch of flowers for decorating the table (optional, but really nice!)

Equipment You’ll Need

  • 3 baking pans
  • kitchen parchment paper
  • mixing bowl
  • 2 butter knives
  • measuring cups and teaspoons/tablespoons
  • small sharp knife for cutting strawberries
  • oven mitts
  • serving bowls (for strawberries and yogurt)
  • serving platter or basket (for biscuits)

Bacon, Egg, and Asparagus Cups

These savory little bites are like a whole brunch in a single cup. Microwaving the bacon is a safe, simple shortcut that prevents grease spatters and speeds cooking. Since these are made in individual cups, it’s easy to make more to serve a crowd – or just one as a special breakfast treat. Just scale up accordingly.

Makes 4 servings

Time: 20 minutes

8 strips bacon

Butter

4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

4 large eggs

8 asparagus spears, tough ends snapped off

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place bacon strips on a plate lined with a paper towel. Cover with a second paper towel. Microwave on high until bacon is translucent and partially cooked but not crisp, about 1 minute. Let cool for a few minutes.

2. Use one of the paper towels from cooking the bacon to grease the insides of 4 ramekins or oven-proof small bowls. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet. Sprinkle ½ tablespoon Parmesan over the bottom of each ramekin. Line the sides of each ramekin with 2 bacon strips (it’s OK if some of the bacon extends over the top of the cup).

3. Break an egg carefully into each ramekin. Place 2 asparagus spears over each egg and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the remaining ½ tablespoon Parmesan.

4. Place baking sheet in oven and bake until eggs are set, 12 minutes (for runny yolks) to 15 minutes (for firmer yolks). Serve hot.

Roasted Strawberries

Sweet-tart balsamic vinegar is a classic pairing with strawberries that enriches their flavor, but it’s also fine to leave it out. If you roast them, serve over a dollop of Greek yogurt or with sweetened biscuits (recipe included) and whipped cream to make breakfast strawberry shortcakes. They also make a great topping for ice cream or pound cake.

Makes 2 cups

Time: 20 minutes

1 pound strawberries, stems removed, berries cut in half if large

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

½ teaspoon balsamic vinegar (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place strawberries on baking sheet and top with sugar, oil, and balsamic vinegar (if using). Shake or stir gently to combine.

3. Place strawberries in oven and roast, stirring occasionally, until juicy and dark red, about 15 minutes. Carefully remove from oven and let cool. Spoon into a bowl with their juices and serve warm.

Easy Flaky Drop Biscuits

Simple from-scratch biscuits might be the easiest baked good there is to make, and the most flexible. They’re a great accompaniment to dinner or a speedy breakfast; making them from scratch is almost as fast as making them from a mix. If you don’t have any buttermilk, you can stir together a mixture of ½ milk and ½ plain (not sweetened!) yogurt and use that instead. By the way, you can lightly sweeten these and top with the roasted strawberries (recipe included) and whipped cream or Greek yogurt to make a breakfast strawberry shortcake; just add 1 tablespoon sugar to the flour mixture. Serve warm with butter and honey or jam.

Makes 10-12 biscuits

Time: 25 minutes

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces

1 cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and using 2 butter knives, cut through the butter in a criss-cross motion until it is blended with the flour and the mixture looks like crumbs with small lumps.

2. Pour in the buttermilk and stir until the mixture is shaggy and just combined. Drop 10 spoonsful of batter, each about the size of a ping-pong ball, onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them evenly. It’s okay if they are lumpy or look uneven.

3. Place baking sheet in oven and bake until biscuits are golden, 15-18 minutes. Serve warm.

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