Photo Credit: KDKA

This Mother’s Day, invite all of the celebrated ladies in your life over for a tasty Mother’s Day brunch. Local chef Kate Cunning offers her advice for hosting the perfect brunch. “The key to a great brunch for Mother’s Day is to have time to spend with the people you’ve invited,” she says. “Simple recipes with advanced prepping will ensure that you have plenty of time to spend with mom and she doesn’t have to help in the kitchen.” Below are some easy recipes that you can prepare in advance so that you can enjoy the day with mom.

Chef Kate Cunning
Independent Chef

Cunning graduated from Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh, one of the schools where some of the world’s finests chefs train. She has lent her pastry skills to Pittsburgh establishments such as Hyeholde and The Priory. She is currently an independent chef, offering menus for private events. Kate can be heard giving her advice on wine and food pairings as the culinary expert on the East Coast Wine Geeks podcast.

Breakfast Casserole
This rich and savory component will cover all of the breakfast favorites: eggs, meat, potatoes and biscuits all in one tasty dish.

  • 1 bag frozen shredded potatoes
  • 1 roll of refrigerated biscits
  • 8 eggs scrambled (or 2 cups egg substitute)
  • 1 lb ground breakfast sausage
  • 1 cup chopped green onion
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 small container sour cream

Prepare casserole the evening before, cover and refrigerate

  1. In a large skillet, brown breakfast sausage.
  2. Prepare a well greased deep baking dish.
  3. Roll out entire roll of biscuits and place on the bottom of the baking dish.
  4. Combine shredded potatoes and sour cream in a large bowl and spread on top of the biscuits.
  5. Combine scrambled eggs and green onion and pour on top of the potato mixture.
  6. Layer two cup of cheese, the breakfast sausage and more cheese on top.

The day of the brunch, heat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 30-35 minutes

Related: Gridiron Grub: Confetti Omelet Cupcakes

Pear Walnut Cobbler
This sweet treat makes a tasty brunch dessert and you can make it in the crock pot while you are using the oven to bake your casserole. The pear adds a level of sophistication to your usual cobbler.

  • 2 cans of sliced pears
  • 1 package vanilla cake mix
  • 2/3 cup oats
  • 1 cup walnuts (if nobody is allergic)
  • 3 tablespoons evaporated milk
  • 1 egg


  1. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, oats, evaporated milk and egg.
  2. Pour pears into a crock pot.
  3. Pour cake mixture on top.
  4. Top with walnuts.
  5. Cook on low for 2-3 hours.
  6. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Homemade Hot Chocolate Or Blackberry Iced Tea
While you are waiting for the casserole and cobbler to bake, offer mom a drink to enjoy. The weather in May can be iffy, so you can either offer Hot Chocolate or iced tea depending on the weather (and Mom’s preference)

Hot Chocolate (makes 4 servings)

  • 2 milk chocolate bars (for a distinct taste, try Sarris choclate bars)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 cups milk


  1. Chop chocolate bars
  2. In a microwave safe bowl combine chopped chocolate and heavy cream.
  3. Microwave on high 1-2 minutes.
  4. Mix until chocolate and cream are blended, add vanilla and cinnamon and mix well.
  5. In a sauce pan combine and heat chocolate mixture and milk until hot.
  6. Pour into mugs and serve with whipped cream.

Blackberry Iced Tea

  • 4-6 black tea tea bags
  • 3 cups frozen blackberries
  • the juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup sugar


  1. In a large pot or kettle heat enough water to fill your pitcher 3/4 full.
  2. Pour hot water into pitcher and add tea bags, steep for 8-10 minutes.
  3. Remove tea bags.
  4. Add blackberries, lemon juice and sugar and mix well.
  5. Refrigerate overnight.

Related: Best Places To Entertain Grandparents In Pittsburgh On A Budget

Jennifer Stockdale is a native of the greater Pittsburgh, PA area. She is a restaurant marketer and wine enthusiast and one of the hosts of the East Coast Wine Geeks Podcast. Her work can be found at