Mother's Day Celebration Made Easy!
by Norene Gilletz

Motherís Day: Why not treat Mom to breakfast in bed, or maybe a family brunch with the whole family? Here are some simple suggestions for brunch or lunch. To minimize clean-up, use paper plates, cups, disposable cutlery and napkins. Buy fresh flowers and donít forget those Motherís Day cards! If youíre culinary-challenged, donít panic. Keep it simple and enjoy the celebration.

Fill a bread basket with muffins, rolls and bagels. Serve lox, cream cheese, sliced tomatoes and onions. Other ideas include smoked whitefish, carp, pickled salmon, herring, chopped egg, salmon and tuna, party sandwiches, or a cheese tray garnished with grapes. Buy ready-made spreads (e.g., hummous, tzadziki, eggplant, babaganoush, tofu spread) if youíre short on time. Serve a vegetable and/or grain-based salad, or veggies and dip. Quiches, kugels, blintzes and vegetarian lasagna are reliable standbys.

Some suggestions to sweeten up the day include a fresh fruit platter, assorted squares, brownies, cookies and a Motherís Day Cake with ice cream or frozen yogurt. Donít forget coffee, tea, orange juice - perhaps even a splash of champagne!

This calcium-packed casserole can be assembled in advance and popped into the oven before your guests arrive. Enjoy!

BAKED CHALLAH PUFF

12 slices challah

2 cups grated low-fat cheese (Cheddar or Swiss)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3 tomatoes, cored & cut up (optional)

4 eggs (or 2 eggs plus 4 whites)

3 1/2 cups milk (skim or 1%)

1 tsp. salt

Freshly ground pepper

1/4 tsp. each dried basil & oregano

Cut challah into 1" pieces. Layer half in a sprayed 13 x 9 inch casserole. Add half of cheese and tomatoes. Repeat once more. Blend eggs, milk and seasonings. Pour evenly over bread/cheese mixture. Cover with foil; refrigerate at least 1 hour or preferably overnight.

Remove casserole from refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350įF. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 30 minutes longer, until puffed and golden. Serve immediately.

TUNA CHEESE CASSEROLE: Place half of challah, cheese and tomatoes in casserole. Top with 4 chopped green onions and two 6 1/2 oz. cans drained tuna. Add remaining challah, cheese and tomatoes; pour egg/milk mixture over. Continue as directed.

Yield: 12 servings. Do not freeze.


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