Mother’s Day Brunch

French Chambord Martini

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Drinks
Servings 1 cocktail


  • 1 cocktail shaker


  • 2 ounces chilled pineapple juice
  • 5 ounces Chambord liqueur
  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • fresh raspberries and lemon peel twist garnish


  • Place martini glass in freezer to chill while you make your cocktail.
  • Place pineapple juice, Chambord and vodka in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Cover shaker and shake vigorously until cocktail is well chilled.
  • Strain cocktail into chilled martini glass. Garnish with raspberry on a cocktail pick and lemon peel twist.

I like to offer bite size appetizers to nosh while enjoying cocktails at the beginning of brunch. My Mini Tomato Prosciutto Tarts are perfect because they are easy to make and can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature. My Buttermilk Cream Biscuits are a delightful bite-size appetizer to serve for brunch.

Mini Tomato Proscuitto Tarts

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Appetizer
Servings 12 mini tarts


  • 1 mini tart pan (to make 12 mini tarts)
  • 1 2 1/8" round cookie cutter


  • vegetable oil spray
  • 1 14.1 ounce Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust wrap any leftover pie crust and refrigerate for another use.
  • 4 slices prosciutto
  • handful assorted fresh herbs – parsley, basil, chives and oregano, chopped very fine
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, sliced into 3 or 4 slices each cherry tomato
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Clarke and Hopkins Chesapeake Bay Pepper Sauce
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Spray mini tart pan with vegetable spray. Wipe out any excess vegetable spray with a paper towel.
  • Place pie crust on a lightly floured board. Cut 12 (2 1/8") rounds out of pie crust. Place rounds in each of the 12 tart sections in the mini tart pan.
  • Bake pie crust rounds for 5 minutes in preheated 425 degree Fahrenheit oven.
  • Remove pie crust rounds from oven.
  • Cut 2 1/8 rounds out of prosciutto with cookie cutter. Place one round of prosciutto on each pie crust round. (Cut proscuitto with a sharp knife around the cookie cutter if the prosciutto does not cut easily with cookie cutter.)
  • Top prosciutto with finely chopped herbs, pressing down into prosciutto.
  • Top the herbs with 2 or 3 slices of cherry tomato. Top cherry tomato slices with finely grated Gruyere cheese, pressing down lightly.
  • Place 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper sauce on each mini tart and sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake mini tarts in 425 degree Fahrenheit oven for 5 minutes or until the tarts begin to brown on top.

Buttermilk Cream Biscuits

Tiny flaky biscuits perfect to fill with Smithfield ham
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Snack
Servings 36 small biscuits


  • 1 1 1/2 inch biscuit cutter (round or square)


  • 1 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup + 6 tablespoons cold heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter (to top biscuits before baking)


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Add butter and cut into the flour with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (butter will be the size of tiny peas).
  • Make a well in the center of mixture. Pour cold buttermilk and cold whipping cream into the well and stir gently until just combined.
  • Turn dough onto a floured work surface and pat it together into a rectangle.
  • Fold the rectangle in thirds. Turn dough a half turn, gather any crumbs, and then flatten back into a rectangle. Repeat twice more, folding and pressing dough a total of three times.
  • Roll out dough on a floured surface to about 1/2 inch thick. Use a 1 1/2 inch round or square biscuit cutter to cut biscuits. Reroll any scraps of dough to cut more biscuits.
  • Transfer biscuits to prepared baking sheet. Brush tops of biscuits with melted butter.
  • Bake in preheated oven until biscuits are flaky and golden brown, about 15 minutes.
  • These biscuits freeze well. Place 12 biscuits (layered 6 biscuits to a layer) on aluminum foil. Wrap the foil around biscuits. Wrap plastic wrap around foil and freeze for up to one week. Thaw biscuits before cutting to fill with Smithfield ham or other filling of your choice.
  • To make Smithfield ham biscuits: place a couple of slivers of butter on one side of cut biscuit. Spread Pommery (grainy) mustard on the other side of biscuit. Cut Smithfield ham to the size of the biscuits. Top the bottom side of the biscuit with Smithfield ham and place top side of biscuit on top of ham. Wrap filled biscuits with aluminum foil and warm in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Shrimp cocktail is an extra special way to begin Mom’s special brunch. Since we don’t live near the ocean, fresh shrimp is hard to come by. I used raw frozen extra large, peeled and deveined, tail-on shrimp. (I find cooking the shrimp myself is much better tasting than pre-cooked shrimp.) After thawing, I pat the shrimp dry with paper towels (shrimp can get mushy if they sit in a moist environment for too long) and boil them immediately, then chill in the refrigerator before service.

Cocktail Sauce

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Condiment
Servings 0.75 cup


  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2-4 drops Tabasco sauce
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


  • Mix the ketchup, horseradish, lemon juice and Tabasco sauce in a small bowl.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cover and refrigerate.

One of my favorite brunch treats to serve for Mother’s Day brunch is my Spring Tarragon Chicken Salad. It has a secret ingredient – whipped cream! Serve a scoop of chicken salad on a bed of butter lettuce, surrounded by sliced tomatoes and cornichons. Mini croissants are a nice addition to offer with your chicken salad. Chill your glass or china plates in the freezer before service which will help keep your chicken salad crisp and icy cold.

Spring Tarragon Chicken Salad

Secret Ingredient – Whipped Cream
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Salad
Servings 4 servings


  • 1.40 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream, whipped
  • 1/3 cup sweet salad cubes
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 cup Duke's mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place olive oil in baking pan .
  • Place chicken breasts in baking pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Bake chicken for 1 hour or until chicken is thoroughly baked. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • Chop chicken and place in mixing bowl. Add celery, whipping cream, sweet salad cubes, tarragon, mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon salt,1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, lemon juice and almonds.
  • Stir to combine all ingredients.
  • Cover and chill in the refrigerator.

And for dessert – I love ice cream! Semifreddo loosely translates to “half cold” in Italian. It’s much easier to make than ice cream, but has the same rich taste and consistency of our favorite frozen treat! If you can’t find fresh cherries, you can substitute frozen cherries in my recipe.

Pistachio Semifreddo

The egg whites in this recipe are not cooked. Do no eat if you are pregnant or immunocompromised.
Course Dessert
Servings 2 quarts


  • 1 food processor


  • 2 cups fresh cherries, stems removed, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups shelled salted pistachios
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • fresh mint sprigs for garnish


  • Place chopped cherries in a bowl. Sprinkle with sugar. Stir. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Pulse 1 cup pistachios with 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor until very finely ground. Add remaining 1/2 cup pistachios and pulse until just coarsely ground.
  • Beat egg whites in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until soft peaks are formed. Beat in remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, a little at a time, then increase speed to high and beat until meringue just holds stiff, glossy peaks.
  • Beat cream with almond extract in a large bowl of an electric mixer at high speed until it makes soft peaks.
  • Fold meringue into cream gently, then fold in nut mixture. Spoon into a 2 quart dish and freeze, covered, until firm enough to scoop,
  • While semifreddo is freezing, place ice cream bowls and spoons in freezer to chill.
  • To serve, scoop semifreddo into chilled ice cream dishes. Top with chopped sugared cherries and garnish with mint sprigs.

One Response

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