white ceramic teacup
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Naked Epicurean: Queen-for-a-Day, Mother’s Day Brunch

(Disclaimer: Columns may contain opinions that belong to the author)

Mother’s Day is just days away. Do you know how you’re celebrating the moms in your life?

While presents are nice, Mother’s Day is really about showering moms with gestures of love and gratitude — a day for overtly recognizing all that she has done over the previous 364 days of the year.

This Mother’s Day, I found myself waxing nostalgic. When cleaning out drawers after my mother’s passing, I was utterly gobsmacked to find she had saved all the cards we had ever given her. Every.single.one. THE MORAL OF THIS STORY: There is no such thing as a small gesture.* Hugs, cards, phone calls, videos and quality time go a long way.

food on plant on wooden bed tray
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You know what else makes a big impression? Serving your Queen-for -the-Day breakfast in bed. It’s probably not often that Mom gets to nosh in her pjs from the comfort of her own bed. Waking up at your leisure to a tray adorned with delicious fare prepared by someone other than yourself is très décadent, am I right?

Take that breakfast tray to a whole ‘nother level by adding flowers and a mimosa. Pick fresh blooms from your garden to create a bouquet. Next pour some sparkling grape juice for everyone. Gather them around Mom to raise their glasses, each one toasting Mom for special things she does. Then allow Mom to sip her mimosa while you slip away to the kitchen

Here I’m sharing a few recipes that can engage all members of the family (with a little supervision) so everyone has a chance to contribute. 

     ▪︎clementine ice

     ▪︎blueberry muffin French toast 

     ▪︎spicy twisted bacon 

     ▪︎grapes jubilee 

     ▪︎easy sheet pan egg bake

Most of these recipes can be made ahead which means spending more time with Mom on her special day. Perhaps most important: don’t forget to clean the dishes and pans!


Check your favorite market for clementines with stems on them.

What You’ll Need 

▪︎silicone sphere-shaped ice molds

▪︎clementine leaves

▪︎pulp-free orange juice

What You’ll Do 

1. Fill ice molds with orange juice.

Place a leaf in each opening, submerging a bit of the leaf + stem into the juice.

3. Place in freezer for 4 hours or overnight.

4. Carefully remove the top of the mold as not to rip the leaves

5. Place cube in a glass and pour champagne over the top. Cheers!


Warm, decadent cake for breakfast? Yes, please. Using store bought muffins cuts your work for this recipe exponentially. Gently fry muffin slices in rich browned butter and top them with a dollop of whipped cream for some early morning WOW factor.

What You’ll Need 

▪︎4 day-old jumbo blueberry muffins

▪︎3 large eggs

▪︎¾ C refrigerated French vanilla nondairy creamer

▪︎¼ tsp ground cinnamon

▪︎3 Tbsp butter

▪︎confectioners’ sugar + berries for garnish

What You’ll Do 

1. Hold your muffin upright and trim off the ends to give it flat sides. Cut remaining muffin vertically into 2-3 ½” slices.

2. In a shallow bowl, whisk together eggs, creamer + cinnamon. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Dip muffin slices in egg mixture, coating both sides. (Soaking them too long will make them soggy.)  Place slices in hot skillet; toast 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. 

3. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and adorn with berries before serving.



With minimal prep time + crowd-pleasing appeal, this grape salad is the cool, crunchy, and surprisingly refreshing dish you never knew you needed. 

What You’ll Need 

▪︎8 oz cream cheese, softened

▪︎1 C vanilla Greek yogurt

▪︎¼ C granulated sugar

▪︎4 lbs seedless grapes, about 10 cups

▪︎¾ C brown sugar

▪︎1 C pecans, toasted + chopped 

What You’ll Do

1. Add cream cheese, yogurt, and granulated sugar to a large bowl. Stir to combine. Carefully fold in the grapes; gently toss until evenly coated. 

2. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and pecans. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture on top of the grapes. 

3. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or overnight. Serve cold.


🌸SHEET PAN EGG BAKE (for 6-8)🌸 

You are 40 minutes and a hot oven away from being fork-deep in eggy satisfaction. The name sheet pan egg bake sounds simple and, um, a bit underwhelming. But that’s the beauty because it’s even less complicated that a frittata (which is fried) or an omelette (with a fancy fold) or a strata (layered with bread). Here you’ll simple stir + pour + bake. Follow the suggested ingredient list below or substitute your faves. Make it your new family brunch go-to!

What You’ll Need

▪︎16 large eggs 

▪︎⅓ C milk 

▪︎½ C feta cheese, crumbled 

▪︎¾ C spinach, chopped 

▪︎½ C sun-dried tomatoes, chopped 

▪︎1-2 green onions, thinly sliced

▪︎1 tsp Italian seasoning

▪︎1 tsp salt, adjust to taste

▪︎½ tsp garlic powder

▪︎½ tsp onion powder

▪︎½ tsp red pepper flakes

▪︎½ tsp black pepper

What You’ll Do

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Crack eggs in large bowl. Whisk in the milk until smooth. Add the feta cheese, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and spices and combine.

3. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper and spray well with oil. Pour the egg filling into the dish; bake for 15-20 minutes or until it is “set.” If the egg mixture in the center jiggles when you remove the pan from the oven, place it back in for 5 more minutes. No jiggling means it’s done.

4. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Then cut it into 8 to 10 pieces. 

5. Serve as-is or with a slather of tangy tomato jam (not pictured) or even wedged between slices of buttery brioche for a breakfast sandwich. 


🌸SWEET + SPICY TOMATO JAM🌸 This delicious, jammy condiment is great on a sammy or served over a slab of goat cheese or even as a charcuterie accoutrement. 

What You’ll Need 

▪︎2 lbs very ripe Roma tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped (peeled, if necessary)

▪︎¾ C light brown sugar

▪︎2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

▪︎1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger

▪︎¼ tsp ground cinnamon

▪︎⅛ tsp ground cloves

▪︎1 tsp salt

▪︎½ tsp cayenne

What You’ll Do 

1. Add all the ingredients to a heavy bottom saucepan; bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent the bottom from burning.

2. Reduce the heat to simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of jam. 

3. Remove from the heat; allow to cool to room temperature. 

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.



The twisty shape makes these bacon spirals 50% soft + 50% crispy and 100% tasty.

What You’ll Need 

▪︎½ C firmly packed light brown sugar

▪︎2 Tbsp dry mustard

▪︎½ tsp ground cinnamon

▪︎½ tsp ground nutmeg

▪︎½ tsp cayenne pepper

▪︎1 lb bacon, thickly sliced*

▪︎about 16  12” wooden skewers

What You’ll Do 

1. Preheat oven to 350⁰F with rack in middle of the oven. 

2. Line the bottom of a large rimmed baking pan with aluminum foil. Set a metal cooling rack on top of the pan. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, mustard, cinnamon, nutmeg + cayenne with a fork until evenly blended. Transfer mixture to a large sheet of wax paper. Gently press both sides of the bacon strips into sugar mixture to coat evenly.

4. Poke a skewer through each corner of one end of a coated bacon strip. Twist strip several times around the skewer to make a snug spiral. Place skewer on prepared rack. Repeat with remaining bacon strips and skewers.

5. Bake 40 minutes* or until bacon is almost crisp and sugar is bubbly — it may take 45 minutes depending on the oven and thickness of your bacon. Watch carefully so they don’t burn.

6. Transfer strips to clean aluminum foil or parchment paper until almost completely cool, about 4-5 minutes. Gently remove skewers and serve.

*If you use a thinner cut of bacon, you can reduce your cooking time 5-10 minutes.

Ann Beth Strelec is known around town as Naked Epicurean. This cocktail connoisseur also has mad skills in the kitchen and on the grill. Subscribe to the Augusta Good News newsletter here.

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