Overnight Apple-Cinammon French Toast makes a delicious Mother’s Day brunch — make it the night before and pop it in the oven in the morning.

Overnight Apple-Cinammon French Toast makes a delicious Mother’s Day brunch — make it the night before and pop it in the oven in the morning.

Give Mom the day off today

From breakfast, to lunch and on to dinner, Cathi Litzenberger has the meal solutions you need

Today is Mother’s Day. Today we honour our moms, and let them know how much they are loved and appreciated.

When I was growing up, my mother had eight kids and half the neighbourhood running in and out of her house. So much of her time was spent preparing food, doing laundry, ironing, mending clothes, settling fights,  patching up scrapes and cuts and disciplining children that I’m amazed she found the time to play and do crafts and baking with us.

In our first years, she had no running water or electricity so it’s no surprise housekeeping came last on her list, especially with the nine of us (yes, Dad too) never picking up, or cleaning up after ourselves. How she ever kept her sanity through those years is a mystery to me but I suspect it was her strong faith. It’s been five years since my mom passed — I miss her.

Today’s first  recipes  are perfect for any mom, because any dad can help his child prepare them for her; they’re simple but delicious. The ice cream pie and the chicken recipe are gluten-free; the French toast is sure to become a brunch favourite, and the salmon looks elegant and tastes divine. Happy Mother’s Day to all moms everywhere.

Over Night Apple-Cinnamon French Toast

1 pound loaf inexpensive supermarket French or Italian bread

8 large or extra large eggs, slightly beaten

3 1/2 cups skim milk

3 Tbsp. + 1/2 cup sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

5-6 apples, sliced thin

1 Tbsp. butter (salted is fine)

Maple syrup

Whipped cream, optional

Use nonstick cooking spray or butter a 9×13 inch pan.

Cut the bread into 1.5 inch slices and pack them tightly into the prepared pan in one layer. In a large bowl, stir together eggs, milk, 1/2 cup sugar and vanilla. Pour half of this egg mixture over the bread slices. Distribute the apple slices over the bread, and top with the remaining egg mixture.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 3 Tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon and sprinkle this mixture evenly over everything in the pan. Dot with butter. Cover the whole thing and refrigerate overnight or for 6+ hours.

The next day, or when ready to bake, uncover the pan and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven 50-60 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes, then cut into squares and serve warm with maple syrup (and whipped cream  if you’d like) and enjoy!

Parmesan Chicken

3 cups Rice Krispies Brown Rice Gluten-Free cereal

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1 egg

1/3 cup 2% milk

1/4 cup rice flour

1/2 tsp. salt

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 cups pasta sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley

In large plate or shallow pan, combine crushed cereal, Parmesan, basil and oregano.

In medium bowl, whisk egg and milk together until well-combined. Whisk in flour and salt; mix until smooth.

Dip chicken in egg mixture, then coat with cereal mixture, pressing until completely coated. Place in single layer on foil-lined baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.   Bake at 350 F about 35 minutes or until no longer pink in centre. (Do not cover or turn chicken while cooking.)

Spread half of the pasta sauce into a 33 x 23 cm (13 x 9-inch) casserole dish. Arrange cooked chicken into dish and cover with remaining pasta sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Return to the oven and bake until the sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted and golden, about 20 minutes.

Serving suggestion: serve with roasted baby potatoes and steamed fresh veggies.

Tomato Basil Salmon

2 (6 ounce) boneless salmon fillets

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 tomato, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Place the salmon fillets onto the foil, sprinkle with basil, top with tomato slices, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven until the salmon is opaque in the centre, and the Parmesan cheese is lightly browned on top, about 20 minutes.

Strawberry Ice Cream Pie

2 Tbsp. firmly-packed brown sugar

3 Tbsp. butter

1/4 cup corn syrup

2-1/2 cup Rice Krispies Brown Rice Gluten-Free cereal

1 L or 4 cups vanilla ice cream

3 cups fresh strawberries

1 Tbsp. sugar

In medium saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter and syrup. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture just begins to boil. Remove from heat.

Stir in cereal, mixing until well-coated. With back of spoon press evenly into buttered 23 cm (9”) pie plate to form crust. Chill until firm.

Spoon softened ice cream into chilled crust, spreading evenly. Freeze until firm, at least 4 hours; cover.

Reserve about 250 ml (1 cup) berries. In food processor or blender, purée remaining strawberries.

Sweeten with sugar to taste. Cover and refrigerate.

At serving time, slice reserved berries; top each pie slice with sliced berries and drizzle with strawberry purée.

Cathi Litzenberger is The Morning Star’s longtime food columnist, appearing every other Wednesday and one Sunday per month.