A creative Mother’s Day brunch By Stacey Stein This Mother’s Day, why not skip the chaos of an over-packed restaurant and instead surprise mom with a creatively themed homestyle brunch? Guests will enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, mom is sure to be touched by your thoughtfulness and creativity, and no one has to stress about making reservations weeks in advance only to feel rushed during their meal. To help you get started, here are a few ideas for a fun and unique brunch that your guests – including the guest of honour – are sure to enjoy. The theme: High tea brunch The décor: For a high tea brunch, be sure to use tiered platters for serving your sandwiches and sweets. If you have vintage teacups and a teapot, this is the time to dust them off and bring them out of storage! The food: Scones are a must at any high tea party. Break away from more traditional fruity flavours by making these cheddar and apple buttermilk scones. Mini sandwiches are another feature of high tea – try making these ham with brie and apple sandwiches and then cut them into smaller pieces. High tea is all about small one-bite (or two-bite) foods, and these goat cheese canapés fit the bill (bonus: they’re also easy to make!) The drinks: Along with a variety of hot teas, offer guests iced tea (May can be very warm) and try something different with this tea-based smoothie. Cottage cheese lends this smoothie a protein boost, yet it’s still very light and refreshing – perfect for a spring time brunch. The theme: Garden party brunch The décor: If the weather is warm, guests will enjoy soaking up the sun at an outdoor garden party brunch. You can keep the party informal by arranging lounge chairs throughout the backyard and set up the food and drinks on buffet tables or decorated stands. If you prefer a more formal sit-down affair, set up a table outside and for the centrepieces, you can fill mason jars with seasonal flowers, like marigolds or hydrangea. The food: Think light nibbles for your garden party brunch. Appetizers and hors d’oeuvres that guests can easily walk around with outside are ideal for an outdoor Mother’s Day celebration. A fun menu can include these shrimp canapés and this savoury tomato tart (cut it up into small pieces). For dessert, these shortbread cookies, which have lavender sprinkled on top, are perfect for a garden party brunch. The drink: Sprinkle some edible flowers on top of this mango smoothie for a fun and colourful garden party drink – pansies or violas work well. The theme: Finger food-only brunch The décor: This idea is perfect for a Mother’s Day brunch that will include young children. Keep the décor fun and cheerful and even better, get the kids involved. Children will have fun making “berry basket bouquets” – gather some carton baskets (the kind that berries come in), ask the kids to decorate them (stickers, beads, glitter and crayons all work well), line each basket with parchment paper, then place a small mason jar filled with flowers and water inside each basket. This also makes a great takeaway gift for your guests at the end. The food: Kids tend to love finger food and adults do too – it’s easy and fun to eat, and you can fill your plate with a variety of different things. A few ideas that are sure to be a hit with both kids and adults alike include these broccoli cheddar bites (like a hand-held mini quiche) and these bacon squeaker bites. This maple chive sour cream dip pairs nicely with fresh veggies – the dip is sweet and savoury, perfect for crisp fresh veggies or cooked veggies like lightly steamed green beans, broccoli and mini potatoes. For dessert, kids can help out with these great make-ahead mini shortbread ice cream sandwiches, a sweet finish to a fun Mother’s Day brunch. The drinks: Lemonade is refreshing and complements the food nicely – for something different, try filling small mason jars with sparkling lemonade (sparkling water mixed with a splash of lemonade). You can also try making this simple berry smoothie, a crowd-pleaser that both kids and adults will enjoy. The theme: Diner-style brunch The décor: For a diner-themed Mother’s Day brunch, be sure to get a checkered tablecloth. You can write out your menu on a mini chalkboard (very diner-esque) and if you’re feeling especially creative, for the centrepieces you can fill glass soda bottles with colourful gumballs (stick to one colour of gumball for each soda bottle), then place a matching decorative straw in each bottle. The food: Diner food is made for brunch – for the main, try serving these steak and egg sandwiches or eggs benedict with hollandaise sauce. Both dishes are rich and heavy, so pair with a leafy green salad on the side. Pie is pretty much synonymous with diner-style dessert – you can go with a classic apple pie (served with vanilla ice cream, of course), these fun apple pie cookies, or these delicious mini butterscotch meringue shortbread pies – you can’t really go wrong with any of these treats, which are sure to please mom and the rest of your guests. The drink: Coffee pairs perfectly with diner food and this café latte steamer won’t disappoint. The final word Mother’s Day is about honouring mom (or any other mothers in your life that deserve some special treatment), and gathering together those people that matter most to mom. Any of these ideas will do nicely as a backdrop to a party that celebrates mom and provides an excuse for family and friends to get together.