Every year around Mother’s Day, you can open up any magazine, turn on any TV show, or visit any website find various recommendations for the perfect Mother’s Day brunch. Crepes! Omelets! Cinnamon bread swirled with raisins! I think it’s all pretty amusing, because in most houses with young kids, guess who is the only one who knows how to make crepes, omelets and glazes? Mom – the same mom who most likely would love the morning off instead of standing by the stove.
So this weekend, instead of suggesting a brunch that she’ll have to help plan, execute, and often clean up, give her something she can really use: a few simple, can’t-screw-up dinner recipes that she can make in a jiffy or hand off to someone else.
Baked Sausage and Apples
Hardest part: Turning on the oven.
- 4 links sweet Italian sausages
- 2 apples, preferably Granny Smiths, halved and cored
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place sausages and apples, cut-side down, in a baking dish lined with foil. Bake for 15 minutes, flip over apples, and drizzle maple syrup on top. Bake another 15 minutes. Serve.
Marcella Hazan’s Extra Special Velvety Tomato Sauce with Pasta
Hardest part: Opening a can of tomatoes.
- 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes (preferably imported)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and halved
- salt to taste
- 1 pound spaghetti
Put the tomatoes, onion and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer then lower the heat to keep the sauce at a simmer for about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, discard the onion, add salt to taste and keep warm while you prepare your spaghetti according to package directions.
Serve with spaghetti and, if desired, shredded Parmesan.
Curried Chick Peas with Spinach
Hardest part: Thawing frozen spinach, tracking down a Maya Kaimal Simmer Sauce and some packaged naan bread (both available at Whole Foods)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 15-ounce can chick peas, drained in a colander
- 1 container Maya Kaimal Tamarind Simmer Sauce (or your favorite flavor)
- 1 cup thawed frozen spinach (If still frozen, place a chunk in a strainer and run cool water on top. Press spinach into the strainer to get as much of the liquid out as possible.)
- 1 package naan bread, such as Kontos brand
Add olive oil to a large skillet set on medium-high heat. Add chick peas and simmer sauce (look on simmer sauce package directions – some require the addition of water) over medium-low heat for 10 minutes until chick peas are heated through. Stir in spinach during the last two minutes. Serve in bowls with naan.
Still too complicated? How about Sandwiches for Dinner? Try any of these three.