Celebrating mom <3

She dried your tears when you cried, wiped your nose when you were sick and feigned excitement of those handmade family stick figure portraits produced for years.

For one Sunday a year, the focus is on mom. Seems easy enough – celebrate the woman who brought you into this world with love and maybe gifts. But, like most people, with less than 24 hours before the big day you haven’t figured out how to show that love. Look no further.

You can put together something nice for mom, keep costs low and incorporate fresh produce. The key is your local farmers’ market. Famers’ markets are a great place to buy what’s fresh, talk with farmers to get tips on preparation or even growing your own plants.
On the weekend, San Mateo County is home to many famers’ markets. You can visit Half Moon Bay, Daly City, South San Francisco, Millbrae, San Mateo, East Palo Alto, Belmont, Redwood City, Menlo Park or San Bruno and find one normally close to downtown.
This will be key to getting much of what you need!
Flowers are a staple of most Mother’s Day celebrations. A dozen roses can really set you back. Try going to a farmers’ market this weekend to choose flowers. Not arranged in a fancy vase, but these flowers are often extra fresh – meaning they’ll live longer – and a bit cheaper than most stores. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or for suggestions. The person selling flowers will know what’s been doing well recently and how to care for the plants. Try something other than roses to cut down the costs. Look for something in your mom’s favorite colors or mix and match things that simply look pretty. It can’t get more personal than arranging a bouquet.
Then comes chocolate, a tasty indulgence few females can turn down.
Chocolate covered strawberries can be expensive. It doesn’t have to be that way. Mixing naturally fruit sweet with chocolate can be done at home. Make your mom a delicious chocolate fondue at home – although it may need to be eaten near the stove to keep the chocolate melted.
Purchase your mom’s favorite chocolate – white, dark, milk, whatever – and break it into pieces into a metal bowl. Put a pan of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Then place the bowl with the chocolate inside and allow until melted. At that point, start dipping.
To make chocolate covered fruit – strawberries, cherries, raspberries, pineapple – be sure to place the fruit on wax paper and let cool.
Alternatively, use a mix of berries on top of French toast for breakfast. (See the recipe from “Top Chef Masters” below.)
It could be a delicious Mother’s Day. Don’t forget to clean up afterwards!
Moms are simple. It’s about the thought, not the price tag. Roll up your sleeves and put a little extra effort into it this weekend.

French Toast
Ingredients
16 egg whites whipped slightly
2 cups fat-free milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 orange
Sliced bread
1 cup fresh fruit (like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries)
Syrup

Directions
1. Combine egg whites, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and orange zest. Dip bread into mixture — let soak for 3 minutes on each side.
2. Fry on high heat in a sauté pan with cooking spray until caramelized on both sides.
3. Top with fresh fruit, sliced with a tablespoon of maple syrup.

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