Homemade Mother’s Day Brunch for $8 a Plate


Money may be tight, but that’s no excuse to cheap out on Mother’s Day.

Gather the family together for a celebratory brunch that will make breakfast in bed look like tiny tubers. Check out MainStreet's menu, which offers fine dining fare that will feed four empty bellies for less than you’d expect.

Grand Total: $32.13 (Seriously!) And all recipes serve four.

Homemade and thrifty? Mom will be so proud. Everything is easy to make, except maybe the brandied apricot upside-down cake, but you can do it. (And while you cook it up, give her something to open, like a thoughtful homemade video card.

Here's how you do it:

Home-Style O.J.
Without the economy of scale and extended shelf life offered by concentrate, fresh squeezed juice is a simple delight that feels like highway robbery. When pressed at home, unadulterated O.J. is a steal.

8 juicing oranges (4 lbs.), halved

1. Use a reamer to juice oranges. Pour juice into a pitcher and refrigerate until serving.

Total: $3.99

Mocha Latte
Starbucks (Stock Quote: SBUX) charges as much as $3.40 for a 12-ounce mocha. Don’t have beans for brains; have them for coffee, instead.

1 cup coffee beans, ground
¼ cup hot chocolate mix
1 cup whole milk

1. In a small bowl, combine ground coffee and hot chocolate powder.
2. Using a coffee maker, brew ground mixture with 6 cups of water.
3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat milk until it comes to a simmer and remove from heat. Divide coffee and warm milk among 4 mugs and serve hot.

Total: $4.80

Potted Popovers
Flowers make for an expensive and ephemeral centerpiece. Baking popovers in flower pots, instead of a pan, makes for a whimsical table setting that fills the tummy, instead of the trash.

1 cup All-Purpose Flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
3 large eggs
1¼ cups whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

4, 4-inch terra-cotta pots

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and onion powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and melted butter. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir until smooth. Fill each pot just under halfway with batter and bake until puffed and golden, 35-40 minutes. Serve immediately.

Total: $1.95 (plus $6.00 for pots)

Coddled Eggs
Gussy-up the standard scrambled with this cooking technique, which uses the gentle heat of a ban marie to make luscious, velvety eggs.

8 large eggs
¼ cup whole milk
½ teaspoon salt
Finely ground black pepper, to taste

Fill a medium saucepan 1/3 of the way with water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a medium porcelain or glass bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper, until frothy. Place the bowl over the steaming water and let sit until a thin layer of cooked egg forms against the bowl. Using a rubber spatula, gently scrape the cooked egg towards the center of the bowl. Repeat process until eggs are cooked through, but still moist, 10-15 minutes.

Total: $1.41

Sausage Breakfast Patties
Grinding and seasoning your own sausage saves money and enhances flavor. Avoid labor-intensive links by forming your forcemeat into patties.

1 pound boneless pork butt, about 70% lean, cubed
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil

Toss the cubed pork with the dry spices and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or overnight. In a food processor bowl, pulse meat with ¼ cup ice and 1 tablespoon cold water, until sausage mixture is sticky to the touch, 1-2 minutes. Stir in thyme. Form 8 patties and keep in the refrigerator until ready to cook.

Heat the oil in a large skillet, over medium-high heat. Add sausage patties and cook until deep golden and cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towel and serve hot.

Total: $2.46

Brandied Apricot Upside-Down Cake: (Discount decadence with leftovers included)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
2 tablespoons brandy
1¾ cups granulated sugar, divided
2 pounds apricots, halved
1½ cups All-Purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup whole milk
½ cup canola oil
2 large eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line the bottom with a parchment round. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat then, stir in the brandy and 1 cup sugar. Continue stirring until mixture is light golden, 5-7 minutes. Pour the hot caramel into the prepared baking dish. Place the halved apricots, skin side down, in a single layer over the caramel.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, remaining ¾ cup sugar, salt and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk together milk, canola oil and eggs. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir until combined. Pour batter evenly over apricots. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Rest cake for 15 minutes before inverting and slicing.

Total: $11.52

Related Stories:

10 Mother's Day Gift Ideas Under $25
5 Cheap Gifts Mom Will Love
Cheap Eats: Dining Out on a Dime

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