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Entertaining

Mother’s Day Dinner Ideas: How to Host

Sometimes, telling mom you love and appreciate her is even sweeter when those words come with a gesture that shows how much you care. This Mother’s Day, treat her to a restaurant-quality dinner experience at home--starring you as the chef and host. Get started with our Mother’s Day dinner ideas and give Mom an evening to remember. Here’s how.

Outdoor dinner table with salad in wooden bowl, roasted vegetables on platter in the center and beer bottle

Decorate with seasonal floral arrangements.

Spring weather is prime time for botanicals and bouquets, as well as for creating your own unique floral arrangements. If you know her favorite varieties of flowers, choose those to display around the house and on the dinner table. If you’re unsure, pick a theme color, and mix it up with different vase styles and flower types. For example, if her favorite hues are pinks, decorate with pink peonies, pink daffodils and pink tulips. Soft-stemmed tulips stand up nicely in sturdy, stoneware vases, while peonies--with their large blooms--make a statement in single glass bud vases. White flowers always look fresh and coordinate well with many types of dinnerware.

Set an elegant yet relaxed table.

Just because you’ve opted to stay in for the night doesn’t mean that you can’t dine in style. Forgo your family’s everyday dinnerware and instead use your special occasion set. Use bone china for a traditional table or weighty earthenware and stoneware in spring pastels or hues that complement your floral arrangements for a look that’s more rustic and casual. Whatever style you choose, specialty dinnerware will make the meal feel unique and your guest of honor feel extra special.

Create ambiance with mixed lighting.

Start preparing your meal far enough ahead of time that the family won’t have to wait until 10pm to eat—but not so far in advance that the food is ready well before dusk. Take advantage of the beautiful May evenings and serve dinner during the long spring sunset. Light a mixture of tabletop candles—scattered tealights or classic taper candles in the center—and bring in more soft lighting with lamps or, if dining outdoors, string lights. Natural light paired with gentle artificial light will create a welcoming mealtime ambiance.

Make an event of it, and build up to the main course.

Bring the hallmarks of a night at an upscale restaurant down to earth in your own home. Prepare appetizers for the family to nibble while you prep the main course. Offer a variety of easy-to-prepare snacks like bar nuts, dips and simple tapas. Let the woman of the hour choose from a written menu for the feel of a real restaurant experience. The homemade apps and personalized “service” will keep the meal cozy and familial.

Dark leafy greens in a white plastic salad spinner with a plate of salad in the background

Cook a meal she’ll love, with a unique twist.

Prepare a menu you’re confident she’ll like, but customize it with little surprises. If Mom loves alfredo linguine, cook it for her and add something special, like oysters or crab. If she’s a fan of salads, try a new homemade dressing. Use avocado or tahini as a creamy base and experiment with sweet ingredients like dates. She’ll appreciate the effort and creativity, and an unexpected element in a favorite dish will help make this Mother’s Day dinner one to remember.

Use the evening as a time to collaborate, celebrate and bond together.

Mother’s day is just as much about families as it is about mom. Celebrate her hard work by putting in extra effort as a family. Impress mom with teamwork and collaboration in creating a memorable home-cooked meal. If she can’t resist offering to help out in the kitchen, let her do little things like chop vegetables or stir a pot, but do the bulk of the work yourself. The end result will be a special dinner for mom cooked with care and love and eaten in style.

For more traditional Mother’s Day gift ideas, visit our our collection of gift ideas for Mom.

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