It’s hard not to want to go all-out for Mother’s Day. After all, doesn’t Mom deserve the best?
More than half of consumers plan to take their mothers out for a special meal for Mother’s Day, reports the National Retail Federation. The average tab: $51.18. That’s about a third of the entire amount most consumers plan to spend in celebration. But consumers on a budget might want to consider making a special brunch or breakfast in bed.
It’s easy to come up with recipes that cost just a few dollars, feed the whole family and are simple enough to prepare without Mom’s kitchen supervision. That leaves you with more cash for a nice card, flowers or some other token.
Try these six cheap recipes from chefs, bloggers and other experts that fit the bill. And don’t forget to do the dishes!
Ham and Cheese Breakfast Bake
Pamela Braun of MyMansBelly.com has come up what she says is the perfect Mother’s Day recipe. “For starters, it tastes really good,” she says of the ham and cheese bake. It’s also simple enough that the kids can help, versatile enough to allow flexibility with the ingredients, and leftovers even work for dinner. “Just serve it with a salad,” she says.
Peanut Butter-Banana Pancakes
“Don’t forget the honey butter — it really makes this recipe sing,” says Lee Zalben, founder and president of Peanut Butter & Co. Make it beforehand by combining two tablespoons honey and a half-stick of butter in a bowl. Mix well and refrigerate until ready to serve.
In a large bowl, sift together one and a quarter-cups flour, two teaspoons baking powder, and a half-teaspoon salt. In a blender, combine one and a half-cups milk, one large egg, one tablespoon sugar, a quarter-cup peanut butter, and one ripe, chopped banana. Pulse until smooth.
Add the mixture to the dry ingredients and use a fork to mix just until the dry ingredients are well moistened. Heat a large griddle over medium heat and add one to two teaspoons of butter.
When the butter has melted, ladle the batter onto the griddle, using about ¼ cup batter for each pancake. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about two to three minutes per side. Continue to add more butter in between each round of batter. Serve hot pancakes with the honey butter.
Maria Zoitas, creator of the “Maria’s Homemade” line at New York’s Westside Market, suggests this savory take. “It’s inexpensive, easy to make, and won’t be messy when mom is enjoying her breakfast-in-bed,” she says.
Peel five Idaho potatoes and cut them into small wedges. Fry the wedges in a half-cup olive oil until golden brown. Mix in a half-pound cubed Feta cheese and cook on medium heat until melted. Add three eggs and cook until the eggs are scrambled.
Bananas Foster Waffles
Appliance maker Krups sent over this breakfast recipe. To make: Preheat a waffle iron. Beat two eggs in large bowl with a hand beater until fluffy. Beat in two cups flour, one and three-quarters cups milk, a half-cup vegetable oil, one tablespoon brown sugar, four teaspoons baking powder, a quarter-teaspoon salt, and a half-teaspoon vanilla, mix just until smooth.
Spray the preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the mix onto the hot waffle iron and cook until golden brown.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, combine a half-cup dark corn syrup, a half-cup light brown sugar, a cup maple syrup, and a cup of coarsely chopped pecans. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add six sliced ripe bananas and a teaspoon of rum extract.
Coat the fruit with the syrup mixture and simmer for one minute. Spoon over waffles. Serve immediately.
Spring Vegetable Frittata
“Frittatas are the perfect brunch dish; they can be served warm from the oven or at room temperature,” says home cook Corey Nascenzi, who has created recipes for several PBS kids’ shows.
To make a spring vegetable frittata, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Chop or rip stale bread into bite-sized chunks, until you have enough to fill a half-cup. Place in bowl. Pour a half-cup milk over bread and set to soak.
Meanwhile, shred two medium zucchini. In an oven-safe skillet, sauté the zucchini with a tablespoon olive oil for five to six minutes, stirring frequently. Crack and beat eight eggs in a large bowl. Add three-quarter cup ricotta, the bread mixture, a teaspoon fresh thyme, and salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the egg mixture over the sautéed zucchini. Cook on the stovetop until the bottom sets and then bake for 25 minutes.
Nutella French-Toast Bake
“This is one of my favorite recipes,” says Charlene Corn of CharsKitchen.blogspot.com. “It’s delicious and pretty easy.” She suggests letting the kids prepare the sandwiches or dunk them into the custard.
To prepare, whisk together six eggs, two cups milk or cream, and a teaspoon vanilla extract until somewhat frothy and set aside. Butter a 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour a half-cup maple syrup on bottom.
Smear five slices of sandwich bread generously with Nutella and top with another slice each to make five sandwiches. (Mix Nutella with cream cheese, if desired.) Cut each diagonally into quarters. Soak each quarter in custard for one to two minutes, flipping to coat evenly.
Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Pour the rest of the custard over the top and dot the top with butter. Refrigerate overnight. Bake at 365 for 35 to 40 minutes.
Frugal Foodie is a journalist based in New York City who spends her days writing about personal finance and obsessing about what she’ll have for dinner. Chat with her on Twitter through @MintFoodie.