Mother's Day food: Breakfast, lunch and dinner - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Mother's Day food: Breakfast, lunch and dinner / Christine Balderas / Christine Balderas

By Emelie Battaglia

They say the easiest way to a person's heart is through their stomach. This Mother's Day, don't just hand over a card and be done with it. Instead, plan out a whole day of food fun. When she wakes up in the morning, offer your mom a handmade home menu for the day, with your selections for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert feasts. Once the day is over, everyone will be full and happy, and your mom will remember the lovely occasion for many Mother's Days to come. The great news? The work is easy! Learn the best daylong recipes here:

Breakfast: Banana Pecan Pancakes

Honestly, these delicious pancakes are too good to pass up. This recipe will serve 15 to 18 4-inch pancakes, so adjust ingredients accordingly. Before you start, gather the following ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1 1/2 cups milk, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 2 medium bananas, mashed, 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted, additional vegetable oil for cooking and maple syrup for topping. Powdered sugar makes another delicious topper.

To toast your pecans, sprinkle the nuts onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the nuts are lightly browned. During baking time, stir the nuts once or twice to avoid burning.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs and 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture, mixing just until the flour disappears. Don't overbeat the batter; a few lumps are fine. Stir in the mashed bananas and the pecans. Lightly oil a skillet or griddle and place it over medium heat. Spoon in the batter and cook until browned on both sides and no longer gooey in the middle.

Lunch: Baked Macaroni, Tomato and Cheese Casserole

A great spin on a traditional family dish, this one's sure to impress your mom, as well as to fill her up. This recipe serves four. To start, gather 1 1/2 cups raw elbow macaroni, 1 small onion, chopped, 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, 1 cup cubed sharp Cheddar cheese, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon butter and 1 cup bread crumbs.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and grease an 8-cup ovenproof casserole dish with a lid. In the prepared dish, combine the macaroni, onion, tomatoes, cheese, water, salt and pepper. Stir to combine it all well. Place the lid on the casserole and bake for one hour, opening the oven and giving the mixture a stir halfway through the baking time.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and cook, stirring, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the crumbs are lightly toasted. After the casserole has baked for one hour, remove the lid and sprinkle the buttered crumbs over the top. Return the casserole to the oven, place under the broiler element, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until the surface is visibly brown.

Dinner: Sweet Chicken Tenders

This dinner dish goes great with any potato side, and it's extremely family friendly, so bring the kids! Our recipe serves four. To start, gather 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into thin strips, 1/2 cup Italian-style salad dressing, 1 1/2 teaspoons honey, 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice and 2 teaspoons vegetable oil.

In a small bowl, mix together the dressing, honey and lime juice. Place the chicken stripes in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish and pour the mixture over the chicken, completely covering it. Cover the dish with foil and refrigerate to marinate for one hour.

Remove the chicken from the marinade, discarding any remaining lime mixture. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté the chicken strips until they are lightly brown on the outside and cooked through (the juices will be clear). This usually takes about 12 to 15 minutes.

Dessert: Easy Cheesecake Bites

Don't spend a day preparing the traditional cheesecake favorite. Instead, make these cute and simple cheesecake cupcakes! They're perfect for impressing the lady of the house. Gather 16 vanilla wafer cookies, two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened, 3/4 cup sugar, 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your muffin pans with cupcake liners, and place one wafer cookie in the bottom of each cupcake liner. Cream together cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl, and beat in the eggs and extract until smooth. Pour the mixture over the cupcake paper, filling cups only halfway. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden and set. Cool for a half-hour, and enjoy!

Cooking is a fun and easy way to show Mom that you care. With these great recipes, there's no stopping you, and by the end of the day, your Mother's Day Mom of honor will be eating out of the palm of your hand.


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