Mother's Day Brunch with the Stars

Mother's Day Brunch with the Stars
ESSENCE.COM May, 05, 2009

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Just in time for Mother’s Day, we’ve rounded up tasty recipes from our famous friends to host the perfect Mother’s Day Brunch for om.

“I totally enjoy cooking and caring for my mother after all the years of her caring for me,” says Raven-Symoné.

Try Raven-Symoné’s special Mother’s Day Brunch recipes:

Baked Cheese and Shrimp Grits »

Glazed Turkey Bacon »

Juicy Fruit Salad »

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Kick off brunch with Raven’s Juicy Fruit Salad , which is as healthy as it is delicious.

Mangoes are one of her favorite fruits and add some sass to the salad. Make this versatile salad with a combination of your top in-season choices.

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Raven reminds us to start the night before by setting the table. Surprise mom and include her favorite fresh flowers. Also do prep work for dishes to avoid feeling rushed.

Try Raven-Symoné’s other special Mother’s Day Brunch recipes:

Baked Cheese and Shrimp Grits »

Glazed Turkey Bacon »

Juicy Fruit Salad »

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Make brunch with your mom more personal by incorporating family favorites in the meal. For Mo’Nique’s clan, no holiday is complete without mom Alice’s Orange Roughy with Crabmeat , and she has taken notes to master the dish.

“My mom’s signature dish always takes center stage. We’re from Baltimore, the nation’s crab capital,” Mo’Nique says.

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Mo’Nique also focused on slimming down to be in better shape to take care of her family. She has found ways to cut calories and still have her favorite dishes.

“You can substitute any lean white fish, such as red snapper, tilapia or flounder for orange roughy.”

Try Mo’Nique’s dish:

Orange Roughy with Crabmeat »

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Even if you aren’t the most experienced cook, your mom will definitely appreciate the effort to make her feel special. The most important part of the Mother’s Day Brunch is quality time with your mom.

“I love being a wife and mother,” Mo’Nique says. “I love the unity of family.”

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For many of our mothers and aunts, health and medications may limit some of their menu options, but that doesn’t mean taste has to be sacrificed. Diabetic Patti LaBelle shares with us one of her favorite recipes, Chicken with Black-Eyed Peas and Yellow Rice, from her cook book, “Patti LaBelle’s Lite Cuisine.”

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“Cooking isn’t just about filling people’s stomachs; it’s also about filling their spirits. It’s about bringing folks together around a table for love, laughter and camaraderie. It’s about creating the roots and rhythms of our lives. There’s soul food (think: grits and greens) and soul food (think: friendship and fellowship). I learned that lesson as a little kid,” Patti shares with ESSENCE.

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For many, Mother’s Day can be bittersweet if your mom is no longer here. Bernice King, daughter of the late Dr. Martin Luther, Jr., and Coretta Scott King, uses the holidays to remember the family’s cooking memories.

“Every Sunday, my sister, our brothers and I would alternate making breakfast for the entire family,” she says. “We get up earlier than the others to prepare the eggs, bacon, grits and toast. This was my mother’s way of helping us develop kitchen skills as well as a work ethic.”

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“When my father was alive, we would return home for dinner after church. Even for a regular Sunday meal, Mother’s aesthetic was no paper, no plastic. And celebrations were all the more special with linens, china, multiple serving and eating utensils placed just so, and beautiful floral centerpieces. Orchids were her favorite flower,” Bernice recalls.

Try Bernice’s Sunday recipes:

Crab Deviled Eggs »

Minty Spring Peas and Pearls »

Coconut Layer Cake with Lemon Filling and Fluffy White Frosting »

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Now Bernice is a minister in her own right and spends holidays honoring the memories of her parents—and still uses the cooking and hosting lessons her mother instilled in her as a child.

Try Bernice’s Sunday recipes:

Crab Deviled Eggs »

Minty Spring Peas and Pearls »

Coconut Layer Cake with Lemon Filling and Fluffy White Frosting »

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Actress/choreographer Debbie Allen and her hubby, former NBA player Norm Nixon, both enjoy entertaining. The duo shared one of their favorite recipes with the late great Issac Hayes for his cookbook “Cooking with Heart and Soul.”

Their Apple-Smoked Filet Mignon
with Ginger-Snapped String Beans is ideal for a sophisticated dish, minus timely and complicated preparation, and a great tag-team meal for cooking. Involving all those who adore mom will make cooking fly by and brunch that much more special.

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Mother’s Day is also time for mothers to bond with their children. Chef G. Garvin has already began involving his 5-year-old daughter in the kitchen and uses recipes he picked up from older relatives.

Moms can use the special day to begin to teach their children a few cooking tips.

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“‘Twizzle’ is what happens when I add a fresh twist to a dish that makes the flavor sizzle,” says Garvin. To create this effect, he adds seasoning at the beginning, middle and end of the cooking process. “It’s similar to a play with three acts. Everything has its own identity, and then at the close, it all comes together beautifully.”

Get your “twizzle” on with these G. Garvin recipes:

French Toast with Mixed Berry Compote and Baked Brown Sugar Walnuts »

Ambrosia Trifle »

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This mother’s day when you’re making plans, be sure to consider a special brunch at home for the special woman in your life. Avoid those long lines and build new memories and remember old ones.

Do you have special Mother’s Day plans or memories? Have a famous family recipe you are whipping up for mom? Share your thoughts below.

Try more delicious recipes »

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