MOTHER'S DAY: Daddy and Kids Easy Brunch, Pecan Apple Pie French Toast, Strawberry Fruit Salad and Topperfino Coffee Discs

This is a shout out to all the dads out there. This is your PSA blog post, Mother's Day is May 8th!

I repeat, Mother's Day is May 8th. Go on. Write it down. Get a highlighter. Imprint it in your brain. Got it? Good!

So now, what to do, right?
If you have no idea what to get the mom who has everything, I have some advice with a couple of easy brunch recipes you and the kids can do together to make Mom's wake up call even sweeter. You can also get a little help from my friends at Topperfino! They make these chic chocolate coffee discs with designs and sayings to make mom's cup of coffee super special. It's like a drinkable Mother's Day card.

But first, my advice to treat the mom in your life to brunch. She gets up every morning, makes the coffee and makes sure all her charges are out the door dressed, clean and fed. She rarely gets a break in the morning. Give her one. It's inexpensive and means the world to her. The idea of languishing in bed an extra 30 minutes, without having to clean the coffee pot to make her own coffee sounds like heaven. Really. Skip the jewelry. It's the little things.

Not great in the kitchen? No problem. I developed these recipes just for you! This baked french toast is very easy. If you know how to cut bread, use a whisk and turn on the oven, you got this. I added a simple fruit salad for good measure. And for an added special touch, a foamed coffee drink topped with a Topperfino Happy Mother's Day chocolate disc placed where she sits just sets the tone for the rest of the day. These chocolate discs come in various designs, but the Mother's Day one is the design you want! These discs have a subtle sweetness that subtly melts as mom sips her coffee, getting a layer of chocolate with her coffee. It's a delicious treat.

Now to the recipes. What's great about baked french toast is that you prep it the night before and let it soak. The next morning, put it in the oven and bake it for an hour, That gives you time to round up the kids, have them make cards and set the table, whip up the fruit salad and make the foamed coffee just before serving.

Once you treat mom to her brunch, my final piece of advice is to give her a few hours to herself. Take the kids to a movie and let her do whatever she wants, undisturbed. If she wants to soak in the tun until she's a prune while no one is banging on the bathroom door trying to get in or talk to her, then let her. Reading uninterrupted? Gardening uninterrupted? Napping uninterrupted? Crafting uninterrupted? These are all treasured gifts that costs nothing. Give her a couple hours to herself, and she will be ever so grateful. Trust me.

Pecan Apple Pie French Toast


1 13 oz. loaf french bread, cut into large chunks
1 can apple pie filling with more fruit than syrup, like Duncan Hines
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
3 cups whole milk
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 cup sugar


Preheat oven to 200˚. Lay the chunks on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, to dry out the bread. Let cool completely before using. You can also keep the bread out for a day to dry out.
Spray a 13 x 9 baking pan with non stick cooking spray. Lay half the bread chunks in a layer on the pan.

Spread all the apple pie filling along the layer of bread. Sprinkle with half the chopped pecans. Lay the rest of the bread chunks over the apple filling. 

Now in a medium bowl, whisk the milk with the eggs and the spices. Pour gently over the bread mixture. Using a the back of a spatula, push the bread flat to soak up the egg mixture and to flatten the top.

Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight in the refrigerator. An hour and a half before serving, pull the pan out and uncover. Preheat oven to 350˚. While oven heats, let the pan warm up a little on the stove top at room temperature. Bake for about an hour, or until the top (and middle) is puffy and evenly golden, and bounces back when touched. Let cool and set for about 20 minutes then serve with maple syrup or honey.

Strawberry Fruit Salad

2 pints strawberries, hulled, cleaned and sliced.
2 Tbsp. floral honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
dash of salt


Mix together and let macerate for 10 minutes before serving. You can serve this as is or with some vanilla yogurt and granola.

Topperfino and Coffee, quick how-to!

First foam milk gently in a mug. For a handy video, check this out.

Next, put espresso grounds (if making a cappuccino) in your maker and make 2 shots of espresso. You can also splash regular American coffee in your foamed milk.

Finally, gently place a Topperfino chocolate disc on top of the milk, wait 20-30 seconds until the chocolate begins to soften and melt to drink!

Please note: Topperfino chocolate discs were provided by Topperfino. All thoughts, opinions and obsessions about Topperfino are completely my own. Thanks!



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