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Great ways to honor Mom on Mother's Day

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Each and every day a new woman becomes a mother for the first time or all over again. Being a mother changes a person's life in dramatic ways.

Mother's Day is a great time of year to honor mothers and attempt to give back just a portion of the tireless love and devotion moms offer their children. Some children provide large gestures, while others feel it's the little things that can help a mom to feel appreciated. For those needing a little inspiration on treating their mothers in special ways, consider these ideas.

- Make mom a breakfast in bed with her favorite morning treats.

- Enjoy a movie at home with mom. Let her pick the flick and share her favorite film with you.

- Agree to not bicker for the entire day, especially if you are prone to getting into arguments with siblings.

- Put together a collage of photos from moments you have shared with mom or your family.

- Cook a meal together and learn about everyone's favorite recipes or the family history.

- Give her a locket with your photo inside and have a duplicate you can wear containing her photo.

- Customize a coffee mug, tote bag or a blanket with a meaningful sentiment or photo.

- Treat mom to a day off from her chores. Tackle all of the jobs she normally does for the family.

- Bake a delicious dessert that mom will absolutely devour.

- Pamper mom with a gift card for her favorite nail salon or massage therapy location.

- Prepare a jar of mom's favorite candies wrapped in pieces of paper that have loving sentiments written on them.

- Compile a playlist of songs and artists mom prefers and download them to her phone.

- Begin a charm bracelet tradition by purchasing a charm bracelet and a new charm each year that represents a meaningful memory you both shared.

- Write a new email each day with an inspirational quote or special words of love for mom.

- Tackle a task that she may not want to do herself, such as washing the exterior of her car and vacuuming the interior.

One tried and true way to show "Mom" you care is to serve her breakfast in bed or, at least cook breakfast for her. Here are a few breakfast recipes from The Dairy Alliance which are quick, easy to prepare and most of all, very tasty.

**Hawaiian Harvest Smoothie Bowl

Treat "Mom" to a Hawaiian breakfast, using kefir and Greek yogurt, which really packs this bowl full of high-quality protein. It's perfectly balanced with a little tang and just a hint of sweetness. Top with your favorite granola, nuts and fresh fruit to make this filling smoothie bowl.

1 C. plain unsweetened kefir

1⁄2 C. coconut flavored Greek yogurt

1 1⁄2 C. frozen tropical fruit blend

1⁄4 diced fresh mango

1⁄4 diced fresh pineapple

2 Tbsp. chopped macadamia nuts

2 Tbsp. tropical granola with dried fruit

2 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut

Combine kefir, yogurt and frozen fruits in blender. Blend until smooth. Spoon into serving bowl and top with diced fresh fruit, dried coconut, granola and nuts. Serve immediately.

Can be made with plain Greek yogurt, frozen coconut and coconut extract. Follow instructions and use:

1 C. plain unsweetened kefir

1/2 C. plain Greek yogurt

1 1/2 C. frozen tropical fruit blend

1/4 frozen coconut pieces

1/2 tsp. coconut extract

1/4 diced fresh mango

1/4 diced fresh pineapple

2 Tbsp. chopped macadamia nuts

2 Tbsp. tropical granola with dried fruit

2 Tbsp. unsweetened shredded coconut

**Peanut Butter Trail Mix Muffins

Using store-bought fruit and nut granola is a cost-effective way to purchase the ingredients. The muffins can be frozen up to 3 weeks in a zip top bag. Place the bag on the countertop partially open over night to thaw and reheat in the microwave 15 seconds, if desired.

Servings: 18

1 1⁄2 C. all-purpose flour

1 3⁄4 C. dried fruit & nut granola, divided

2 tsp. baking powder

1⁄4 tsp. baking soda

1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt

1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1⁄2 C. plain Greek yogurt

1⁄2 C. creamy peanut butter

1⁄2 C. dark brown sugar

3 Tbsp. melted butter

2 large eggs

1 C. whole milk

1⁄2 C. grated carrot

**Yogurt Peanut Butter Glaze

1 C. powdered sugar

5 tsp. plain Greek yogurt

1 tsp. creamy peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stir together the flour, 1 cup granola, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt and ground cinnamon in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, stir together the yogurt, peanut butter, dark brown sugar, melted butter and eggs in a medium bowl until smooth; whisk in the milk.

Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixture; add the carrots and fold together just until blended.

Portion the batter between 18 lightly greased, standard-size muffin cups filling 2/3 full. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cup granola evenly over the batter in the cups. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until a wooden pick tests clean when inserted in the center. Gently loosen the muffins from pan edges. Transfer to a wire rack. Cool completely.

Prepare the Yogurt-Peanut Butter Glaze; drizzle over the muffins.

Whisk the powdered sugar into the yogurt and peanut butter in a medium bowl a little at a time until blended; whisk vigorously until thickened and smooth. Muffin cook time may take 15-18 minutes

**Cheddar, Pear and Cranberry Muffins

Cheese is a natural pairing with fruit like pears, so what better way to enjoy them together than in a delicious, sweet and savory muffin? Serve just slightly warm with sweet cream butter.

Servings: 12

2 C. all-purpose flour

1⁄2 C. sugar

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1⁄2 tsp. allspice

1⁄2 tsp. salt

3⁄4 C. milk

1⁄3 C. canola or vegetable oil

1 large egg

1 C. grated sharp Cheddar cheese

1 C. peeled and diced pear (about 2 medium pears)

1⁄2 C. dried cranberries

2 Tbsp. turbinado (raw) sugar

Preheat oven to 375? and coat a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar and next three ingredients; set aside.

In a small mixing bowl whisk together milk, oil and egg until well combined. Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir just until dry ingredients are moist. Gently fold in pears, cranberries and Cheddar cheese.

Spoon batter into muffin tin, filling about two-thirds full. Sprinkle each with turbinado sugar. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool in pan on wire rack for about five minutes, then remove muffins from pan and finish cooling on wire rack. Serve warm with butter.

**Scrambled Egg and Mozzarella Breakfast Pizza

Offer pizza for breakfast by topping an English muffin with pizza sauce and cheesy scrambled eggs.

Servings: 2

1 whole-wheat English muffin

2 tsp. butter

2 mushrooms, sliced

2 green onions, finely chopped

4 Tbsp. green or red bell peppers, chopped

1⁄2 C. egg substitute

1⁄4 tsp. salt

1⁄4 tsp. pepper

Dash of oregano seasoning or Italian seasoning

4 tsp. pizza sauce

1⁄2 C. shredded low-moisture Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Split English muffin in half and toast; set aside. Melt butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, green onions and bell pepper. Cook, stirring continuously for 2 minutes, or until vegetables are softened. Stir egg substitute, salt, pepper and oregano into vegetable mixture. Cook, stirring continuously until egg substitute is set, about 2 minutes. Spread 2 teaspoons of pizza sauce onto each English muffin half. Spoon a quarter of egg mixture over pizza sauce and top with a quarter of cheese. Spoon remaining egg mixture and cheese evenly on top of muffins. Place muffins on a baking sheet and bake 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

**Egg and Cheese Breakfast Cups

Enjoy a low-lactose breakfast cup filled with sausage or ham and topped with Cheddar cheese.

Servings: 6

3 large eggs lightly beaten

1⁄3 C. lactose-free milk

Pinch of black pepper

6 slices whole-wheat bread, crusts removed such as Pepperidge Farms

1⁄4 C. chopped cooked ham, bacon or sausage

1⁄2 C. shredded Cheddar or pepper-jack cheese

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375?. Spray six muffin cups with cooking spray.

Mix eggs, milk and pepper in a small bowl.

Press one slice of bread into each muffin cup, making a cup shape with bread.

Pour egg mixture evenly into bread cups; top with ham, bacon or sausage.

Bake 15 minutes or until eggs are cooked and not runny. Remove from oven and turn oven off. Top evenly with cheese and let stand in oven 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven and let cool at least 5 minutes.

**Cheddar Drop Biscuits

Servings: 4

1 1⁄2 C. self-rising flour

1⁄2 C. plain yogurt

1⁄3 C. lactose-free milk

3⁄4 C. (3 oz.) shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Mix flour, yogurt, milk and cheese together. Spoon dough onto baking sheet in mounds. Bake for 12 minutes or until golden. Serve warm with sausage gravy or honey and butter.

**Ham & Cheese Pops

These easy ham and cheese pops are like mini cheese balls on a stick and are great for kids, with a little assistance, to make special for Mom. The recipe makes 20, so share with grandma, aunts and neighbors on their special day.

For another serving option, you can omit the pretzel and the cucumber slice and serve the ham and cheese pops on a platter alongside bread, crackers or veggies.

8 oz. softened cream cheese

1 Tbsp. honey mustard

1⁄2 tsp. paprika

1 C. shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese

2 Tbsp. diced ham

20 Ritz crackers, crushed

20 pretzel sticks

20 slices English cucumber

Combine cream cheese, mustard and paprika in a small bowl; mix until well combined. Fold in Cheddar, ham and half of crushed crackers. Moisten hands lightly with water and shape mixture into 20 (1-inch) balls. Gently roll in remaining cracker crumbs; cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to serve. When ready to serve, poke pretzel sticks into cheese balls and place each on a cucumber slice.

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