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It's all about Mom!



Recipes to make this day ideal


Moms do so much for everyone else every day of the year that it's only natural to want to make her Mother's Day celebration extra nice.

But what do moms really want?

Perhaps the most challenging aspect is making something yummy for your Mommy to eat.

Relax! It's going to be fun and easy. The kids are going to take charge and love it, the mess is going to be minimized and your mom, grandma or any other mother figure in your life is going to be so pleased!

We've put together a few suggestions to help you create a mini-feast. Add mom's favorite beverage, put a pretty placemat on a tray, add flowers, cards or whatever else will make her smile and away you go!

The ideal day

Alicia Martin of Lagrangeville and her friend Jennifer Colucci are co-creators of a support network called the Mommy Dashers. The duo reaches out to other moms to provide connections for moms in a community where they feel comfortable celebrating and commiserating the joys and pains of motherhood.

Colucci has 3 kids: Isabella,11, Luca, 9, and Matteo, 4. She says, "My ideal Mother's Day is to start the day nice and early before everyone wakes up and go for a nice run with Alicia and our fellow running mamas. Then come home to a delicious breakfast cooked by my kiddos and husband - some challah bread French toast with fresh whipped cream and berries - and some coffee and maybe a mimosa!"

Martin is mom to Lilly Belle, 7, and Benjamin, 6. She muses that on her special day she might enjoy a barre class with Jennifer. "Not that we have done this as of yet but it sounds good. Then I'd like to enjoy some quality time with my kids and husband. Then either a barbecue or a nice dinner out where I do not have to do any planning, preparing or cleaning up!"

Plan the perfect meal
If you're the one in charge of planning the perfect Mother's Day, food experts at your local supermarket have tips on how to take your day up a notch.  

Jody Fitz, founder of Price Chopper's Kids Cooking Club has plenty of ideas to get kids excited about recipes that are easy and fun.

Fitz has brought her kid-friendly approach to food prep to schools, libraries, and summer camps throughout the state for more than a decade and offers plenty of simple meal ideas on her website JodieFitz.com.

"We want to help kids try new things and empower them," she says.  All the ingredients used in Fitz's Mother's Day delights can be found at Price Chopper sites in Middletown, Poughkeepsie, Warwick and other locales throughout the Hudson Valley.

She has whipped up some treats that mix a little bit of cooking with an arts and crafts approach.

The Bagel Bite Flower can be assembled in minutes and "it's perfect to deliver to Mom in bed," Fitz says.

  CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL RECIPE.

A mini bagel, stuffed with mascarpone cheese and fruit garnish, is designed as a flower. A few simple craft items, such as a candy stick, tissue paper, a piece of foam in a little pot, will make a big impression and is a project created with little hands in mind.

With some supervision, kids can create another treat that brings the wow factor.

Fitz's Flowery Fruit Fun turns a cantaloupe into a gorgeous flower filled with fruit salad. She explains how to mark the melon rind so it can be cut, with supervision, by an older child. There are also tasks for little helpers to safely keep them involved. This pretty fruit feast can be dressed up further with a side of blueberry fruit dip.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL RECIPE.


Fitz also provides a recipe for cinnamon and strawberry tortilla dippers just in case your plans include a brunch buffet and you need an extra offering. (Strongly consider this option as it involves chocolate!)  

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL RECIPE.

Make the day delicious

Ashley Shaw is a registered dietitian with ShopRite of Vails Gate and she suggests a classic breakfast-in-bed choice with prep instructions to make clean-up a little easier.

"This blender pancake recipe is great because there's not too much of a mess and it has a natural sweetness," Shaw says.

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL RECIPE

Made with oats and bananas, the hands-on and healthy aspects of this recipe make it manageable for almost all ages to produce a tempting breakfast with minimal muss and fuss.

To make this treat extra awesome, Shaw adds a fruit puree to a homemade piping bag made from a Ziplock bag. With this in hand, kids can personalize the breakfast they serve to mom with special messages, hearts and squiggles.

"They can decorate the pancakes and the plate as well. They'll be excited to give it to Mom and it makes the presentation beautiful," Shaw says.  

If you're short on time or not prepared for this level of cooking, just use multigrain frozen waffles, Shaw says. "This also works for kids who want to do it all themselves."

You also can add a fruit, yogurt and granola parfait on the side or as the main course. "It's very hands-on and very easy," Shaw says, describing a basic layering process of those ingredients.

At Shoprite.com you can contact a registered dietician who is available to help you with shopping and other meal planning needs and it's a free service.

Colucci passes along a suggestion that works for her household that comes with a twist and a challenge. "My kids have mastered the art of fondue. We do a simple recipe
together of chocolate chips and cream. We cut up strawberries, apples, bananas and pound cake and dip it in. If you drop your treat into the fondue, you have to kiss the person next to you - or give a high five."

Moms deserve pampering. The extra effort put into her day will make everyone feel great.
As Martin and Colucci explain in support of one of the hardest jobs on the planet, "Above all, we believe that as moms, we are here to do the best for our families and knowing we are not alone in our triumphs and breakdowns is worth its weight in gold...or Pinot."

Olivia L. Lawrence is a writer and editor for a news organization.