Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Menu

I had meant to post a menu for Cinco de Mayo for y'all, but it completely slipped my mind. And except that I didn't complete the menu for our Mother's Day Brunch until around ten o'clock last night (after several last minute interviews with friends about what I should serve), I would have posted everything for you ahead of time. But, "better late than never," right? I had a lot of help from my sister-in-law who brought yummy cranberry scones, a huge fresh fruit medley, and a yummy sausage and sundried tomato strata. So this is a complete menu, but only the recipes for what I contributed. I opted for two appetizers as the church services were all getting out at different times and I wanted there to be plenty to munch on while everyone waited for everyone else.

Brunch menu-
Sweet and Salty Honey Cheese Spread (appetizer)
Breakfast Bruschetta with Strawberries (appetizer)
Fresh Fruit Medley
Baby Blue Salad
Spicy Sausage, Sun-dried Tomato, and Mozzarella Strata
Cranberry Scones
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Sweet n Salty Honey Cheese Spread - this is from Southern Living and is super easy. My friend Annie had the idea to do goat cheese with bread for something simple and crowd pleasing. My friend Rebekah directed me to this recipe for its sweet, mid-morning compatible flavors. I am sure it would be equally good at a cocktail hour though :)
1 (10.5 oz.) goat cheese log
1/2 c. roasted, salted sunflower seeds
1/3 c. honey
1 pt. fresh raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries
assorted crackers (or sliced baguette)
-roll goat cheese in sunflower seeds to thoroughly coat. arrange on serving dish with any remaining sunflower seeds and drizzle with honey. garnish with raspberries. serve with crackers or bread.

Breakfast Bruschetta with Strawberries - this is from a blog called Noble Pig. it is super good. you're gonna wanna make this. trust me.
2 ciabatta rolls or 1 loaf (or, I used two baguettes)
butter for buttering bread
2T sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 c. fresh strawberries, hulled and diced
2T sugar
1T fresh basil, chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 c. sour cream
2T plain yogurt
2 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. vanilla
- slice baguettes or ciabatta bread and butter one side of each slice. combine 2T sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle a little over the buttered side of each slice of bread. place slices under broiler (about a half foot from the heating element) for 2-3 minutes.
-toss strawberries with 2T sugar, basil, and lemon juice.
-in a separate bowl, combine sour cream, yogurt, honey, and vanilla.
-assemble bruschetta- on each slice of toasted bread, spoon some berries with juice and top with a dollop of cream.

Baby Blue Salad - My friend Marne thought I should put salad with the egg and fruit dishes to "lunch them up." My friend Rebekah directed me to this recipe as a crowd pleasing favorite from Birmingham society. She will laugh when she reads that, "Birmingham society." I found it published online from, where else? Southern Living
3/4 lb. mixed salad greens (or, one head of romaine)
4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
2 oranges, peeled and cut into thin slices (I used pears- you could use anything)
1 pint fresh strawberries, quartered (I used raspberries- again, you could use anything)
sweet-and-spicy pecans, recipe follows
balsamic vinaigrette, recipe follows

Sweet-and-Spicy Pecans
1/4 c. sugar
1 c. warm water
1 c. pecan halves
2T sugar
1T chili powder
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
- stir 1/4 c. sugar into water until dissolved. add pecans and soak for 10 minutes. drain pecans and discard liquid.
- combine 2T sugar with chili powder and red pepper. toss pecans in spice mixture to coat. place pecans on lightly greased baking sheet.
-bake at 350 for 10 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring once.

Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
3T dijon mustard
3T honey
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 small shallots, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 c. olive oil
-whisk first seven ingredients together. gradually whisk in olive oil.

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins - these are from that magazine and website I love. Y'all know the one. Ssssshhh! I don't think they want me to share these with you. But I pay good money for my subscriptions (except the magazine, my brother-in-law gives that to me for Christmas), and I think that includes occasional sharing rights. The muffins were sort of overdoing the bread situation today, but I always like to give people options. However, most people opted for the scones so I didn't get a whole lot of reviews. Amabel and George gave them the thumbs up though. I just decided to eat one as I was typing, and my vote is.... perfect texture, strange flavor situation with the glazed top being super lemony and the bottom, where the glaze doesn't quite soak in, not being quite lemony enough. Tasty though, and way less trouble than I have come to expect from these guys. Well, since I'm sharing recipes, here's this one. It may not change your life, but if you were itching to try a new recipe for this classic bakery item, here's a worthwhile venture.
3 c. unbleached, all purpose white flour
1T baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3T poppy seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
10T unsalted butter, softened
1c. granulated sugar, less 1T
1T grated lemon zest
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. lemon juice
-adjust oven rack to lower middle position and preheat oven to 375.
-combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, poppy seeds, and salt and set aside.
-beat butter and sugar on medium high until light and fluffy, about two minutes, and add lemon zest. add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. beat in half of dry ingredients. beat in one third of yogurt. beat in remaining dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with yogurt, until incorporated.
-grease muffin tins (or use paper liners) and divide batter between 12 muffin cups (they will be really full, and I didn't quite use up all of the batter in just one pan) and bake muffins for 25-30 minutes. set on wire racks to cool for five minutes before glazing.
-while muffins bake, make glaze in small saucepan by combining 1/4 c. sugar and lemon juice and stirring until sugar dissolves, and mixture forms a light syrup- about 3-4 minutes. brush warm glaze over warm muffins and serve.

Well, I hope everyone had a happy Mother's Day. I know it is a Hallmark holiday. But, even in spite of being coerced by card companies, I am always up for a reason to celebrate. Especially when we're celebrating me :) Cinco de Mayo? St. Patrick's Day? Valentine's Day ?- people just like to eat and drink. And I say hurray for that! I hope to be celebrating more things more often, starting now. I don't know what exactly, but couldn't we all use a little more merriment? I think so. More recipes to come soon.


jennifer h said...

Happy Mother's Day, Abby. I hope you got to rest a bit after providing such a nice meal.

I met your mil this morning and I spoke with George, but I never saw you. Hope to talk to you soon.

Corrinne said...

I love the goat cheese idea! It super easy and crowd pleasing. I work Chavrie and the above recipe sounds just wonderful!

wp said...

um, yeah, abby - will you be my personal chef? :)

e.c. said...

Seriously! I thought about cooking for my mom, and then opted for the lazy way out. Can't wait to make the appetizers...when I get brave enough :)

annie said...

This all looks so yummy. Think that I'll have to try it all.....

Fittsy said...

Everything looks amazing, so much better than lunch out! Birmingham society would definitely approve!

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