In case you’re stuck on how to get Mother’s Day off to a great start for your mom, here’s a breakfast/brunch menu that will make her realize how precious she is to you.

These recipes are a bit on the fidgety side, as my daughter describes them, but hey, I think they are worth spending a few extra minutes on. It’s for Mom, after all.

Here we have a grown-up version of “eggs in a frame,” a breakfast dish I loved as a kid and still make for my grandchildren. What can be better than a baked egg with a soft center surrounded by crunchy, cheesy toast for dipping? Add a little olive oil, sea salt and fresh herbs and you have something truly special.

These egg toasts can be paired with Zucchini-Carrot Cakes, a tasty, unique accompaniment that’s a nice change from something potato-y. I recommend that you shred the vegetables yourself rather than buy the packaged pre-shredded variety. Those shreds have a tendency to be too big and too dried-out. The fresh vegetable juice, mixed with the egg, helps keep the components of the cakes together so they fry up just right.

When forming the edible cups for the yogurt and fruit, be sure to make the bottom and sides thick enough so they aren’t too fragile for getting out of the very well-greased muffin tin. But if you break a few, all is not lost! Just put the yogurt and fruit in a pretty dish, sprinkle those bits on top of the yogurt and fruit, and serve with a smile.

As Julia Child always said, “No excuses, no apologies!” Just carry on like you mean it. The cups can be made ahead and stored in a wax paper or brown paper bag. Refrain from storing them in plastic as it makes them soggy, and we don’t want that!

These yogurt-filled cups are not a sweet treat, but more of a healthy breakfast appetizer that can be devoured while waiting for the eggs to bake. If you want to make the cups more “desserty” though, add a dollop of maple syrup, honey, or jam. And if there are nut allergies at your house, use Sun Butter and sunflower seeds.

So get yourself out of bed early on Sunday. Start the coffee, squeeze those oranges, and don’t forget the flowers. Assemble the ingredients for these recipes and begin.

This is for YOUR mom. This is HER day.

Baked Eggs with Cheese
4 slices rustic sourdough bread, 1 inch thick
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup goat cheese or ricotta cheese
1 tsp. fresh thyme or rosemary
4 large eggs at room temperature
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste

Lightly toast bread under the broiler or in a toaster oven or slot toaster. Brush with olive oil then cut a hole 1 1/2 inches in diameter in the center. Reserve the “hole.”

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Season cheese with salt, pepper, and herbs. Spread onto toasted bread and place on well-oiled baking sheet. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil.

Break an egg into each hole and season with salt and pepper. Bake until whites are set, 12-14 minutes. Garnish with the toast hole and Parmesan slivers. Yield: 4 servings

Zucchini-Carrot Cakes
1 cup zucchini, grated
1 cup carrots, grated
3 eggs
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. onion, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Heat oil over medium-high in large skillet. Drop mixture into 4 equal portions in hot skillet and form into patties with a spatula. Cook until browned on each side and heated through. Yield: 4 servings

Yogurt and Fruit in Edible Cups
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/4 cup chopped almonds, walnuts, or peanuts
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons creamy nut butter
1 large egg
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
2 cups fresh berries

Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine oats, nuts, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Combine honey and almond butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high 30 seconds; stir until smooth.

Add honey mixture and egg to oat mixture; toss to coat. Divide oat mixture evenly among 8 very well-greased muffin cups. Using a piece of wax paper and a spoon, press oat mixture into bottom and up sides of each muffin cup. Bake for 15 minutes or until edges are browned and crisp. Cool completely in pan.

Carefully run a butter knife around edges to loosen cups; remove from pan. Fill each cup with 1/4 cup yogurt and top with 1/4 cup fruit. Yield: 8 servings

Your questions and comments are always welcome and will be answered. Send your letters to [email protected] or in care of the Coastal Journal.

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