Baskets for Mom

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SipIndulgence #CollectiveBias

Baskets for Mom

It’s almost Mother’s Day…well, not exactly – but it will be here in no time.  I have shared with you how we often host brunch for Mother’s Day and invite some of the moms of the family.  I prefer to host an event, early in the day and that way I don’t have to spend the day visiting everyone and I also get the rest of the day to myself.

Every year I do something a little different (except for the menu, which is almost always the same thing) as far as the gifts that I give the moms.  Some years I have set a pretty table and I line the table with orchids and each orchid is the gift for the moms.  It’s a great idea because the orchids adorn your party and also serve as gifts.  This year I wanted to do something a little different so I was going to make baskets for each mom to gift them after the brunch.  Then I thought it would be fun to let everyone make their own basket.

Baskets for Mom

Most baskets this time of the year resemble Easter baskets but I was able to find these simple little crates that would also work for Mother’s Day.  They were only $3.00 each which was great!

Baskets for Mom

I added a little bag of paper shreds to each crate.  That way each person could line their basket before filling it up.

Baskets for Mom

The idea was that everyone can pick one item from all the groupings to add to their basket.  One of the items the moms could choose from were coffee mugs.  I loved the “mom” one which was perfect for this event.  It will probably be the first to go!

Also, inside each mug is a pack of instant coffee.

Naturally, to go with the coffee and the pretty mugs, some indulgent coffee creamer.  I chose a few of the NESTLÉ® COFFEE-MATE® Liquid Coffee Creamers.  I purchased quite a few flavors but the most popular were the chocolate boutique flavors – Salted Caramel, the Chocolate Toffee Truffle and the Cafe Mocha.

Baskets for Mom

Of course, nothing says pampering for mom like a candle.  These were so pretty in the rose gold tone which perfectly matched the tablescape.

Baskets for Mom

I thought it was a fun idea to add a jar full of nail polishes so that everyone could pick their own.  It was the area that everyone stood the longest, picking out their shade.

Baskets for Mom

Stationary and pencils.  Hello Spring!

Baskets for Mom

Here are a few pictures of everyone making their baskets or the kids making the baskets for the mom.

Baskets for Mom

Baskets for Mom

Every time that I host something like this in my home, my favorite thing to see is all the generations coming together.

Baskets for Mom

Baskets for Mom

Baskets for Mom

Every basket looked a little different and that was the idea!

Baskets for Mom

This little one needed some assistance making the basket, but no help was needed in making his mom feel special.  Love that little one!

Baskets for Mom

Like I mentioned, my Mother’s Day brunch menu rarely changes.  I served some cookies, a frittata and a salad.  I made the frittata that the Barefoot Contessa makes which was inspired by the owner of Loaves & Fishes in the Hamptons.  I love all of her recipes but this one is my favorite.  I do make some adaptations like the cooking time and the original recipe calls for basil, which the adults tend to love and the boys…not so much, so I omitted that.

Potato Frittata

Ingredients
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
2 cups peeled and 1/2-inch diced boiling potatoes (4 potatoes)
8 extra-large eggs
15 ounces ricotta cheese
3/4 pound Gruyere cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder

Directions

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a 10-inch (oven-proof) pan over medium-low heat. Add the potatoes and fry them until cooked through, turning often, about 20 minutes. Melt the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter in a small dish in the microwave.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, then stir in the ricotta, Gruyere, melted butter, salt, pepper.  Sprinkle on the flour and baking powder and stir into the egg mixture.

Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes and place the pan in the center of the oven. Bake the frittata for 1 hour, until it is browned and puffed.  It will be rounded and firm in the middle and a knife inserted in the frittata should come out clean.

Note: Sometimes I substitute swiss cheese for the gruyere.  Nothing quite substitutes the nuttiness of the gruyere, but it will do if you don’t have it available.

Baskets for Mom

Of course my mom said “don’t you dare post that picture of me eating.”  Haha.  There you go.  You still look good mom!

Baskets for Mom

Baskets for Mom

We clearly celebrated Mother’s Day early to be able to present you with this idea, but we enjoyed it so much that we are thinking of replicating it for the actual Mother’s Day brunch.

Baskets for Mom

The variety of creamers that were in my baskets were found in Walmart and you can find a $0.75 coupon HERE.  Actually, a lot of the little items that went into the baskets were also picked up at Walmart.

Baskets for Mom

 

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Easy Brunch to Host In The New Year

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SienteGlade #CollectiveBias

Easy Brunch to Host In The New Year

Traditions…they are woven into our holidays and are so much fun to create and continue with our families. Granted, December is a month full of traditions because of the holidays, but in our family, we squeeze one more little gathering in after the New Year. The Spanish start the new year with a bowl of lentils, (don’t ask me what it means because I have no idea) but I love lentils and I love family, so who am I to stop this awesome tradition? The New Year is a great time to reconnect with family and friends and here is an easy brunch to bring everyone together!

Sometime during the month of January (usually later than most), we put away all the Christmas decorations and it’s out with the red and in with my usual muted tones, which I miss after months of jewel tones and glitter everywhere. I actually end up finding glitter all over my home well into February! After I give the house a good cleaning, I will usually light a candle or in this case, use a candle melt.  Again, after all the peppermint scented items from Christmas, I long for clean scents. Here I am using one from Glade® called Clean Linen®.

Tradition - A New Year's Brunch

The trick with this brunch is to make it simple. After putting together so many holiday spreads in December, this needs to be really easy – hearty but minimal amount of food. We always accompany the lentils with a Tortilla Espanola (Spanish Omelette). Again, when you think of these two items, they are not exactly a perfect pairing, but it’s just what my Cuban family has done for years and I am just following along. While not the perfect pairing, they are both delicious!

Tradition - A New Year's Brunch

This omelette has lots of potatoes that are cooked in olive oil along with thinly sliced onions, before being incorporated into the egg – yielding a really thick and hearty omelette.

And delicious.

Tradition - A New Year's Brunch

I make the lentils in a large pressure cooker and I add onions, garlic, green pepper, squash, carrots, potatoes, Spanish chorizo and Spanish paprika. I also add the ham bone from the honey baked ham that I serve during Thanksgiving. Every year after Thanksgiving dinner, I freeze the ham bone (that still holds quite a bit of ham) to use for my lentils brunch.  This gives the soup a lot more flavor.  The pressure cooker makes everything very tender and when the soup is done, I simply shred the ham that is falling off the bone and I add it to the soup, discarding the bone.  We make lentil soup during the year, but none is as flavorful as this one.

Here is my mom serving my oldest a plate of lentils. Grandmas are always concerned about their grandkids getting enough to eat. I think that’s a universal sentiment.

Tradition - A New Year's Brunch

We all sit in the dining room and eat and talk and go back for seconds.

Tradition - A New Year's Brunch

Of course, the only thing missing is dessert. I added a little banner to this white cake to highlight what we are celebrating!

Tradition - A New Year's Brunch

Putting together a little party like this is easy, it just takes a little planning. Here are some of the things that I do to ensure a relaxed atmosphere for my guests and even for myself.

1 – Choose a few items that can be served cold or room temperature. While the lentils should be served hot or warm, the Spanish omelette can be served at room temperature. That is one less thing to fuss over. Other food options that do well at room temperature are, homemade granola with yogurt drizzle; also a quiche or a strata usually hold up well on a buffet table.

Tradition - A New Year's Brunch

2- Keep the decorations simple. Sometimes I just leave out the white and silver decorations from holidays and add some fresh flowers to the mix so it doesn’t look Christmas-ey. I love decorating, but the new year feels like a time to simplify.

3 – I purchase a store-bought cake. I think it’s a mistake to try to make everything yourself unless you feel like you have the time and desire to do so.  If you are already making the first course and the side, buy the dessert or have someone bring it.

Tip: If your cake is small like mine, just place it on a pretty stand and add some greenery around the base.

4 – Have your dishwasher empty and ready to load. For a small gathering, like this one, I use “real” plates but I always have the dishwasher empty so that I can quickly load them in there. Otherwise, I recommend paper plates.  Anything to keep it pretty and easy.  If you use paper plates, you will also have more garbage.  Make sure to have enough garbage bags under your trash bin so that you can quickly swap them out once full.

 

Tradition - A New Year's Brunch

5- Stock up on candles and scents for your party and so that you can kick back once everyone has left.  Candles and scents can transform your space.  I placed a Glade® Wax Melts on the warmer tray and within minutes it was dispersing a clean scent throughout my home. These melts provide up to 16 hours of fragrance.

Tradition - A New Year's Brunch

Here it is all melted.

Tradition - A New Year's Brunch

You know who else melted? Me! Into my pajamas once everyone left. It was fun, it was yummy and I need a nap!

If you need me I will be here, continuing to write the wrong year on my checks.

Have you hosted any get togethers so far this year? Have you attended any?

 

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Mother’s Day Table Setting

Mothers Day Cover

Mother’s Day is around the corner and I want to share with you how I celebrate the mothers in my life.  Before I was a mom, we would do a little visiting tour on Mother’s Day to all the mothers in our family.  After I had kids, I still wanted to visit my mom, my aunts and my husband’s mom, but it left little time to do something special with my boys.  So this conundrum started the Mother’s Day Brunch idea.  I haven’t hosted it every single year, but it really works so well that I do it almost every year.

Mother's Day Table Setting

 

One of my favorite parts about planning any event is setting the table.  As I have shared before, I collect all sorts of tableware so that I can set a pretty table.  This year I decided on a green, white and gold table setting.  I love that color combo!

Mother's Day Table Setting

 

I found these placemats at Homegoods and although I usually purchase solid-color placemats and I leave the prints for the napkins, these placemats were a bargain and I already had matching napkins.  I have had these goblets for almost 15 years and I rarely use them but they were perfect for this setting.   Pretty goblets can be expensive but I always check out sales/outlet items in stores like Crate and Barrel, Pottery Barn and Wayfair to find great deals.  Also, I always purchase an extra goblet or plate because should one break, my set would still be intact.

Mother's Day Table Setting

 

Same goes for napkin rings.  Napkin rings can run $6. a piece but on sale they can be a $1. a piece.  This makes a huge difference if you are buying multiples.

Mother's Day Table Setting

A great idea for setting a Mother’s Day Brunch table is to buy orchids as the centerpiece.  The orchids can double up as Mother’s Day gifts.

Tip:  Print out black and white pictures of the mothers with their child and use a ribbon to tie the picture to the orchid.  That way everyone knows which orchid is theirs.

Mother's Day Table Setting

 

These pretty orchids were not expensive but they looked beautiful inside these pots from IKEA.

Mother's Day Table Setting

 

 

Mother's Day Table Setting

 

Now all that I am missing is the food and our beautiful Mothers!

Mother's Day Table Setting

 

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