Sure, popsicle stick picture frames and watercolor cards are always in style—but this Mother's Day why not drop a few hints and get the kids to make you something really sweet? From dressed-up strawberry shortcakes to an easier-than-it-looks ice cream cake, these treats are simple enough for even the littlest kitchen newcomers to tackle (provided Dad's on standby with some paper towels, of course).
Banana Rice Pudding Parfaits
Spoon 3 tablespoons of rice pudding into the bottom of a medium glass. Top with a layer of crushed gingersnaps, a layer of whipped cream, and a layer of sliced bananas. Repeat with another layer of pudding, gingersnaps, whipped cream, and bananas. Top the parfait with a final spoonful of whipped cream and a sprinkling of crushed gingersnaps. Chill for 10 minutes before serving. Makes 1 parfait.
Per serving: 510 calories; 26g fat (15g saturated fat); 90mg cholesterol; 150mg sodium; 7g protein; 66g carbohydrates; 12g sugar; 2g fiber; 4mg iron; 76mg calcium.
Strawberry Balsamic Shortcakes
Combine 3 cups sliced strawberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a medium bowl. Let sit for 20-30 minutes, until berries become syrupy. Spoon berries over biscuits. Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: 360 calories; 17g fat (11g saturated fat); 45mg cholesterol; 540mg sodium; 6g protein; 45g carbohydrates; 11g sugar; g fiber; 2mg iron; 192mg calcium.
Easy Espresso Ice Cream Cake
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a bit of paper hanging over both of the long sides. In the bottom of the pan, place 5 ice cream sandwiches in a single flat layer, cutting them to fit if needed. Cover the sandwiches with 1 ½ cups softened coffee ice cream, smoothing to form an even layer. Repeat with another layer of sandwiches and coffee ice cream. Cover loaf pan with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 1 hour. When ready to serve, lift the cake out of the pan using the parchment paper and transfer it to a platter. Slice the cake serve garnished with whipped cream, espresso powder, and maraschino cherries. Makes 1 cake (approximately 8 slices).
Per slice: 380 calories; 20g fat (12g saturated fat); 65mg cholesterol; 210mg sodium; 5g protein; 49g carbohydrates; 31g sugar; 1g fiber; 0mg iron; 145mg calcium.
Cherry Chocolate Brigadeiros
Add 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, 2 tablespoons cherry jam, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, and 1 tablespoon butter to a small saucepan. Cook mixture over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until it thickens and a spoon leaves a clean trail when pulled across the bottom of the pan. Transfer the mixture to a shallow bowl and let cool for at least one hour, until it is firm to the touch. When cool, scoop out the dough by the tablespoon and roll it between your palms to form balls. Roll each ball in sprinkles until completely coated. Makes about 15 pieces.
Per serving: 140 calories; 3.5g fat (2g saturated fat); 10mg cholesterol; 30mg sodium; 2g protein; 24g carbohydrates; 23g sugar; 0g fiber; 0mg iron; 69mg calcium.
Mango Cream Tart
Pour 2 (¼-ounce) packets of unflavored gelatin into a small microwave safe bowl. Add ⅓ cup water, stir, and let mixture rest for 2 minutes. Place bowl in microwave and cook on high for 30 seconds until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Puree 2 ½ cups of cubed mango, ½ cup lime juice, and 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk in a blender until smooth. Add the gelatin mixture and pulse once to combine. Pour mango mixture into a prepared graham cracker crust. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. Serve with whipped cream. Makes 1 tart.
Per serving: 290 calories; 13g fat (5g saturated fat); 25mg cholesterol; 125mg sodium; 5g protein; 40g carbohydrates; 30g sugar; 1g fiber; 1mg iron; 91mg calcium.