Quick Recipes and Easy

Celebrating Mom on Mother’s Day

A Mother’s work is never done. It is time to honor Mom for all the loving things she does every single day. Have you thought about how you will celebrate Mom? I have the menu plotted for the entire day. Just a small plotting and Mom will not have to step a foot in the kitchen all day long.

First of all, print out the recipes below and make your grocery list. Shop for your groceries on Saturday before Mother’s Day. Don’t forget to pick up some flowers for Mom. Once you come home, make the Buttermilk pie, Baklava Mini Bites and your Strawberry Soup. After you end with the desserts and soup, prepare your Melba toast and toast your pecans. This will help with your Mother’s Day meal preparations simpler.

On Mother’s Day get up early and prepare a wonderful breakfast in bed for Mom. This should take about 45 minutes to prepare.

For breakfast you will serve:

Cinnamon French Toast

4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
A sprinkle of sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 slices of dense bread
Maple syrup

Mix the eggs, milk, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon in a shallow, wide-bottomed bowl that is large enough to accommodate a slice of bread. Grease a griddle with melted butter or margarine. Heat the griddle to 350¡ (medium-high heat). Dip a slice of bread into the egg batter, coating both sides. Remove the bread and place it on the hot griddle. Brown the bread on both sides, cooking each side about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with maple syrup. Makes 6 servings

Variation: Top with maple syrup and berries of your choice: strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries.

Spiced Bacon Twists

1 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 lb. sliced bacon

Arrange oven racks in middle and bottom positions. Preheat oven to 350̊F. To make clean-up simple, line bottom of a broiler pan with foil.

Place a sheet of waxed paper on shallow tray or counter. Place brown sugar, mustard, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne on waxed paper and rub together with your fingers until mixture is evenly blended.

Dip bacon strips into sugar mixture, coating evenly. Twist each bacon strip several times. Arrange about half the slices in a single layer on rack of broiler pan. Bake 30 minutes or until bacon is nearly crisp and sugar is bubbly. Carefully place hot bacon strips on a piece of clean aluminum foil to cool slightly before serving. Repeat with remaining bacon slices and sugar mixture. These may be served warm or a room temperature.

Makes about 24 servings.

Almond Tea

4 Tea bags your favorite tea from our Traditional Teas Collection
1/2 teaspoon Lemon zest, finely grated
4 cups boiling water
1/2 cup Sugar
2 tablespoons Lemon juice
1 teaspoon Almond extract
1/4 teaspoon Vanilla

Steep tea and lemon rind in boiling water for about 5 minutes. Stir in sugar, lemon juice, almond and vanilla. Serve hot

Lunch will take about one hour and thirty minutes to prepare. For lunch you will serve:

Beer Chicken

12 chicken thighs or your favorite chicken part, skin removed
2 large onions, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tomatoes, diced
3 tablespoons ketchup
5 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 large russet potatoes cubed
1/2 can beer
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of thyme
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 large green pepper, sliced
1 large red pepper, sliced

In a casserole dish, heat oil and saute onions until tender. Add chicken and saute until it is light brown on both sides. Add tomatoes, ketchup, carrots potatoes and beer. Season with dashes of salt and pepper and cook covered for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and add thyme and cornstarch. Stir and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Add peppers and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Serve on a decorative platter.

Note: The cooking process removes the alcohol and leaves the yeast flavor.

Garlic Rice

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 cups rice
4 cups water or chicken broth

Over medium heat, saute garlic in olive oil until translucent but not brown. Add rice and stir until the garlic olive oil is well mixed into the rice. Add water or broth and raise heat to high. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium-low and continue cooking until water or broth is absorbed. Stir frequently. Serve in a decorative bowl, or surrounding the chicken on a large platter.

Roasted Broccoli

1 pound broccoli florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons pecans, toasted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
In a large bowl, toss the broccoli with the oil and salt and pepper to taste. Arrange the florets in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast, turning once, for 12 minutes, or until just tender.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and lemon zest and heat, stirring, for about 1 minute. Let cool slightly and stir in the lemon juice.
Place the roasted broccoli in a serving bowl, pour the lemon butter over it and toss to coat. Scatter the toasted pecans over the top. Serves 4 to 6 servings.

*To toast pecans, place in small skillet. Cook over medium-high heat 1 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring constantly

Caesar Salad

1/4 cup (1 ounce) freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground mustard
8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
4 slices (about 1-inch-thick each) French bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes and toasted

Combine cheese, mayonnaise, water, lemon juice, garlic, Worchestershire sauce, pepper and mustard in small bowl; mix until creamy. Combine lettuce and dressing in large serving bowl; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with croutons. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Baklava Mini Bites

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups chopped walnuts
5 (18×14-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed

Glaze Ingredients:
1 tablespoon Butter, softened*
1 tablespoon honey
Melt 1/2 cup butter in 1-quart saucepan. Stir in 1/2 cup honey, lemon juice and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened (18 to 20 minutes). Remove from heat. Combine thickened honey mixture, and walnuts in small bowl; mix well. Cool to room temperature (1 hour). Heat oven to 350̊F. Cut phyllo sheets in half crosswise (14×9-inch rectangle). Place 1 1/2 cups filling on end of each phyllo rectangle. Roll up, starting at long (14-inch)edge. Combine all glaze ingredients; brush over top of dough. Cut into 1-inch slices with sharp knife. Repeat with remaining phyllo dough.

Place baklava slices onto ungreased baking sheet, cut-side down. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 1 to 2 minutes; remove from baking sheet. Serve warm or cool.

Makes 28 servings.

Serve Mom’s favorite beverage with the meal.

Your light dinner will take about 30 to 45 minutes to prepare. For dinner, you will serve:

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

2 bunches spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
4 cups sliced strawberries
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

In a large bowl, toss together the spinach and strawberries.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, sugar, paprika, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. Pour over the spinach and strawberries, and toss to coat.

Melba Toast Recipe

Serve Melba toast with soup or salad.

1 long thin loaf of French bread
butter, softened
fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Slice loaf into 1/4-inch slices. Spread slices with butter then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place on a cake rack or other rack over a baking sheet, so drips will be caught and air will go around the slices.

Sweet Potato Sausage Balls

3 cups biscuit mix
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups sweet potatoes, mashed
1 pound sausage

Combine all ingredients well. Shape into balls and place on greased baking sheet with sides. Bake at 350̊ for 20 minutes, until brown.

Cold Strawberry Soup

2 pints pureed strawberries
3 ounces heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3/4 ounce Amaretto liqueur

Mix all ingredients and serve chilled.

Buttermilk Pie

1/2 cup butter
1 1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch salt
1 pie shell, 9-inch

Cream the butter and sugar; add the egg yolks, beating after each addition. Beat in flour and buttermilk; add the lemon juice, lemon peel, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt. Beat the egg whites until stiff; fold into the filling.

Pour the filling into the pie shell; cook in center of a preheated 325̊ oven until the custard is set and slightly brown, about 1 hour. Serve with berries, fresh fruit, or dessert sauce.

Even if you do not like buttermilk, you will like this pie!

At the end of the day, prepare Mom a wonderful bubble bath. Give her a couple of magazines and light a few candles in the bathroom. Let Mom delight in her leisure bubble bath and reflect over her day of being a Queen.

Betty Lynch, author of Back to the Table with My Country Kitchen, and owner of My Country Kitchen, Simple Answers to Bring Your Family Together. You may visit her website at mycountrykitchen.com mycountrykitchen.com

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