Mother’s Day Menu Ideas for Men and Children

                               mothers-day-meal-plan-ideas

What does every woman want on Mother’s Day? What every woman wants on Mothers Day… is a day off!  What does this mean?  It means that for this one day of the year, she doesn’t have to worry about what her family is going to be eating for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  She can turn her brain off and know that her children, husband or significant other is going to take care of everything on this special day of the year.  She can sit and relax and do whatever she wants without being preoccupied with taking care of the family.

It is with my great pleasure to give your some great, super-easy, Mothers Day menu ideas that anyone can make if you know basic safety around a hot stove & oven and can lift a skillet.  Shop the day before and be thinking of each meal you want to prepare.

As with any meal, be sure to set the table with napkins, utensils, drinks, and condiments prior to serving your food.  Preparing a meal is all about thinking ahead to what someone is going to need to enjoy their food.

Mothers Day Breakfast menu ideas for Mothers Day:

  • Scrambled Eggs – simply melt butter or olive oil in pan, scramble some eggs, add some cheese if you like, pour in hot pan, stir gently, add salt and pepper as desired & SERVE.
  • Eggs in a Blanket – butter both sides of a piece of bread, then tear out a hole in the center of the bread.  Cook this slice of bread in medium heat skillet until golden on bottom.  More butter may be added to skillet.  Flip bread with hole over on the other side, add 1 egg to the hole in the middle of the bread, cover skillet with foil to help cook the top of the egg.  Flip over if necessary to cook egg entirely.  Season with Salt & Pepper to taste & SERVE.
  • Ham steaks – go to the grocery deli and ask for some ham sliced thick, or buy some canadian bacon in the packaged meat department.  Melt some butter in hot pan, add ham steaks – do not flip until you have some color on that ham.  Flip.  SERVE.
  • Sausage – cook the same as ham steaks, these take a little longer.  As the saying goes, “NO COLOR NO FLAVOR” – so resist the urge to server before you get some color on that sausage – if need be – turn heat to medium high to achieve that color. SERVE.
  • Sliced Tomatoes – great for breakfast with a little salt and hot sauce
  • grits – follow the directions on the box – I recommend adding salt to water & cheddar cheese to the grits AFTER they have cooked thoroughly.  SERVE.
  • Oatmeal – Cook according to directions on box, add cream, brown sugar and some fresh fruit.  SERVE.
  • Frozen Hashbrowns – you can buy frozen hash browns just like they have at McDonalds in the frozen potatoes section of your grocery store.  Simply butter both sides while frozen, place in skillet & cook on medium until browned, flip & repeat.  Salt to taste. SERVE.
Mothers Day Lunch menu ideas for Mothers Day:
  • Gourmet Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup – Get high quality cheddar cheese or Swiss cheese or both – butter one side of the bread, place in hot skillet, add cheese slices (about 3), you can even add a thin slice of onion & tomato, then another slice of cheese.  Top with another piece of bread that has butter on one side, butter side up.  Cook on medium heat until brown, flip over gently with spatula, cook 2nd side until browned.  Cut in half and SERVE.   Warm the soup in a pot and SERVE.
  • Any kind of soup & sandwich is good. 
  • Hot Tuna Macaroni Salad – boil some small type of small pasta – macaroni, penne, or rotini (spiral) according to package directions.  Drain 3 -4 cans of tuna, dump in bowl.  Add 1 heaping tablespoon of mayonnaise for every can of tuna you are using.  Add some salt, pepper, onion salt or real diced onions, celery salt or real diced celery to the tuna in large bowl.  Drain the pasta, and add to the tuna bowl.  Mix well & SERVE with sliced tomatoes & crackers.
  • Salad made with all kinds of fun things from the refrigerator – anything goes.  Be sure to add some type of cheese and and maybe even some canned tuna or rolled up and sliced lunch meat to the salad.  
Mothers Day Dinner menu ideas:
  • Baked Potatoes, both white and sweet – it goes without saying that these are easy to prepare and always a hit.  Clean potatoes, poke with fork.  Wrap Sweet Potato in foil to keep from the potatoe juices from smoking up your oven.   If you are really trying to impress, dry off white potatoes, rub oil and salt on exterior.  Cook on 350 degrees in oven for up to 2 hours.  You can bake and forget about these.  They are ready when you can squeeze them easily.  SERVE with butter.  (Sour Cream, Salt & Pepper for white potatoes)
  • Roasted chicken – buy white chicken breast on the bone.  Rinse under cold water, pat dry with paper towels, rub with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in oven with potatoes the last hour (it only takes about 45, give or take to roast this to perfection)  Look for when the skin turns golden and crisp.  SERVE.
  • Steaks – grill or cook in a large flat skillet with butter.  Be sure to season steaks with salt and pepper first, then add to HOT skillet.  Don’t flip until you have some color on the bottom of steaks.  “NO COLOR NO FLAVOR”.  
  • Salmon – simply buy some teriyaki marinade – marinate salmon for at least 2 hours.  Cook in oven at 350 for 20 minutes or in slightly covered skillet until the top of salmon doesn’t look translucent anymore, or you can pull flesh apart with fork easily.
  • Vegetable – easiest are asparagus & spinach – If you are cooking spinach you’ll want a large pan and cook the whole bunch as it cooks down to nothing.  Simply heat some olive oil in pan, add some garlic, then add cleaned spinach or asparagus with bottoms cut off.  Cover with pan with lid or foil.  Stir Spinach often.  Asparagus can be mixed just a couple times.  Cook until asparagus is tender.  Cook Spinach until leaves are wilted.  Season with either Lemon Juice or salt & pepper.  SERVE.
  • Salad – anything goes – that’s the fun of a salad.  SERVE.
  • Sliced bread with softened butter. SERVE.
Mothers Day Dessert menu ideas: 
  •  Fresh fruit & whipped cream
  • Rootbeer Floats – add scoops of vanilla ice cream to a large glass, pour root beer over.  SERVE with a spoon.
  • Banana Split – scoop some neapolitan ice cream (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry) in a large bowl, slice banana in half lengthwise and place on sides of ice cream.  Top with whipped cream, chocolate syrup and a maraschino cherry on top.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the women that do so much for our families 364 days a year!  Today is your day!  Relax, we got it. 

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Best Blueberry Pie Recipe

blueberry pie recipe

I can’t believe it’s been 7 months since my last post.  I promise I’ll start posting more often and regularly.  Since 4th of July, our Countries Independence Day is a red, white & blue day, I thought it fitting to let the blueberry shine as it should on such a holiday.

This Blueberry Pie recipe is low fat and absolutely as easy to make as it is delicious.  I promise you will not be disappointed.  Even if you are just reading this and need a last minute item to take to a picnic, you can do so in a flash.

Here is a quick grocery list leading with the least likely to have in pantry ingredients:

9″ graham cracker crust
5 cups blueberries
8oz sour cream
1 lemon
brown sugar
plain breadcrumbs
vanilla
butter
flour

& here is the delicious recipe for my Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

  • 5 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 (9-inch) reduced-fat graham-cracker crust
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoonsvanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 (8-ounce) carton low-fat sour cream
  • ¼ cup dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoongranulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
1.Preheat oven to 375°F.
2.Place blueberries in crust; set aside.
3.Combine brown sugar, flour, vanilla, rind, and sour cream; spread over blueberries. Combine breadcrumbs, granulated sugar, and butter; sprinkle over sour cream mixture. Bake at 375°F for 40 minutes or until set and crumbs are lightly browned. Cool 1 hour on a wire rack.
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Good Luck Foods for a Happy New Year!

Good Luck Foods for a New Year Day

Greens: Any and all kinds of greens are welcome.  They represent money.  The more greens you eat, the greater your wealth in the new year.

Lentils:  Quite simply, lentils represent coins.  Thereby increasing your chances for great wealth for the new year.

Pork: The custom of eating pork on New Year’s is based on the idea that pigs symbolize progress. The animal pushes forward, rooting itself in the ground before moving.

Fish: Dates back to before refrigeration and fish could be cured and saved.  Herring is usually consumed for fertility, Shrimp for long life, and Sardines for good harvest.

Cakes: With emphasis on the round shape, or ring shape.  Cakes aren’t always round. In Scotland, where New Year’s is called Hogmanay, there is a tradition called “first footing,” in which the first person to enter a home after the new year determines what kind of year the residents will have. The “first footer” often brings symbolic gifts like coal to keep the house warm or baked goods such as shortbread, oat cakes, and a fruit caked called black bun, to make sure the household always has food.

What NOT to eat:
1. Lobster should not be eaten because they move backwards and could therefore lead to setbacks.
2.  Chicken is also discouraged because the bird scratches backwards, which could cause regret or dwelling on the past.
3.  Another theory warns against eating any winged fowl because good luck could fly away.

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Brussel Sprouts with Bacon & Shallots

Brussel Sprouts with bacon recipe
I love the purity of brussel sprouts to begin with… I won’t bore you with our childhood tales of brussel sprouts, but I’m sure you get the picture. When I was finally old enough to cook and have my own stovetop, I understood the unpopular green as an undiscovered jewel of the superfoods, that are still unappreciated. Fresh from the stalk of the growing giant, each brussel sprout is worthy of it’s own name. Cut, rinsed, and sliced into thirds according to size, some not even needing the slightest of cuts, they are ready for searing in a hot skillet of sizzling Nueske’s applewood smoked bacon diced as if it were pancetta, and a shallot of proportionate size sizzling before the sprouts are tossed in to be seared al dente and served piping hot… season according to taste.

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon Recipe 
(serves 2)
Ingredients
1 giant shallot, diced
1 slice Nueske apple-wood smoked piece of bacon, diced
1 quart fresh organic brussel sprouts
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pinch kosher salt

Directions:
1. Dice and begin cooking 1 slice of Nueske apple wood smoked bacon in large skillet until it begins to crisp.
2. Add 1 diced shallot to crisping bacon and cook 2 minutes.
3. Add brussell sprouts that have been cleaned and cut into slices that are approximately 1/4 inch wide pieces or even left whole depending on size of sprout. The object is to have slices or pieces of sprouts that are approximately the same size in order to cook evenly. Drizzle brussel sprouts with olive oil, about 2-3 tablespoons.
4. Cook until largest slice of brussel sprout is al dente and remove from heat and serve.

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Cherry Galette Recipe

Cherry Galette Recipe

Cherry Galette Recipe

Using my recipe for flaky butter pie crust, the same that I used in my Tahitian Apple Pie, you can’t go wrong with this Galette.  What’s nice about my butter pie crust recipe is that not only is it super simple, it’s fool-proof. The crust has a built in timer, you know when it’s done because it “Golden”.  It has a buttery flavor and flaky texture.  The crust holds so well, that you can literally pick the crust up and eat it with your hands if you want.  Perfect for husbands…

De-seeding is a crucial element in preparing this dish.  I use an olive pitter (or cherry pitter) to de-seed the cherries. While deseeding, be sure to catch the seed in your hand and set aside in separate dish. If the seed does not automatically come out, go in and get it. Do NOT take for granted that the dark piece that flies out the bottom is indeed the seed – it could just be a dark piece of flesh. That’s why it’s very important to feel the seed in your hand before tossing the cherry in the pitted cherry bowl.

Butter Pie Crust Recipe (makes 2 galette crusts)
Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted, plus additional for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
1/2 cup ice cold water
 
Directions:
(Use mixer fitted with whisk attachement)
1. Sift Flour and salt together in mixing bowl.
2. Add 1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced to flour mixture. Turn mixer on medium and mix until lumpy.
3. Lastly, gradually add 1/2 cup ice cold water to mixing bowl. Mix well.
4. Roll dough into a ball and wrap with saran wrap.
5. Chill at least 1 hour in refrigerator.
 
Cherry Filling Recipe
Ingredients:
3 1/2 cups pitted Sweet Cherries
2 teaspoons corn starch
4 Tablespoons granulated white sugar, divided
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 egg yolk
1 Tablespoon milk, whole or skim
1 Tablespoon cane sugar
 
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
2. Divide pie crust in half
3. On flat floured surface, roll out butter crust until about 15 inches wide, or 1/4″ thick.
4. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
5. Carefully move Crust to parchment paper.
6. Combine 2 Tablespoons white sugar & 2 teaspoons cornstarch with small whisk or fork. Sprinkle cornstarch mixture over dough leaving a 2 inch border.
7. Combine remaining 2 Tablespoons white sugar, pitted-cherries, lemon juice & lemon rind together. Toss well to coat cherries. Pour cherries in center of crust and arrange as necessary, leaving a 2 inch border.
8. Fold in the sides to partially cover cherries.
9. Whisk egg yolk and 1 Tablespoon of milk together and brush on crust. Sprinkle crust with Cane sugar.
10. Bake @ 400ºF for 25 minutes until crust is golden and cherries are bubbly. Cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
 

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Best Poppy Seed Cake Recipe

Best Poppyseed Cake Recipe

Best Poppy Seed Cake Recipe

Ingredients:
1 box yellow or lemon cake mix
4 ounces vanilla or lemon instant pudding pack
2 ounces poppy seeds (save some for icing)
4 eggs
1 cup cooking oil
1 cup white wine 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients in bowl, and mix on medium speed for one minute.   Stop and scrape down sides of bowl, then beat one more minute.  
2. Pour into well greased floured tube pan.
3. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes to one hour.
4. Cool  in pan for 15 minutes than turn out on serving plate.

Icing:
To make icing, combine powdered sugar & water until a creamy paste if formed, about 1/2 cup worth, add remaining poppy seeds.  Spoon over warm bundt cake. 

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New Mexican Hatch Green Chile Pepper Sauce Recipe

New Mexican Hatch Green Chile Pepper Sauce Recipe
I was in Fresh Market late August this year, and to my surprise I saw bundled freshly wrapped trays of New Mexican Hatch green chile peppers.  I remember last years harvest proved fruitful on those nights where I wanted to add a little depth and hotness to soup, chicken or tacos.  It’s the perfect accompaniment. You can roast them, can them, freeze them, pack them in water, oil, salt, or any combination – think roasted red peppers or tuna in olive oil. When canning, I prefer olive oil over water – it’s just my preference for healthy oils.  Although my doctor may say otherwise  – my HDL is over 100.

I also met a nice woman whom inquired about the hatch peppers, to which I shared with her my New Mexican Hatch Green Chile Pepper Sauce Recipe.

It should also be noted that our President of the United States visited the New Mexican Hatch Green Chile Pepper Festival last year in 2011. Our President really does have good taste.

To Roast Peppers – simply lie flat on a large baking sheet. Set broiler to low. Place baking sheet with peppers directly under the broiler with oven door closed. Wait for peppers to puff up, and blister. They will turn a little black on skin. Carefully, open door and pull rack out, so as to be able to flip the peppers using tongs. Place back underneath broiler. Wait for blistering to take effect again and remove and place roasted peppers in glass bowl. Repeat with the remaining peppers.

Once peppers are roasted, wait for them to cool. carefully peel skin away from flesh. Gently pull stem out of flesh, and carefully slice flesh near top to expose seeds, and rinse under running water.

Proceed to recipe.

Authentic New Mexican Hatch Green Chile Pepper Sauce Recipe
 
Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons corn oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups hatch chili peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Directions:

1.Saute onions in corn oil: in a heavy saucepan until they begin to brown.
2.Add garlic : and cook another 2 mintues.
3.Stir in flour: so that it thickens.
4.Add chopped chilies,: beef broth and salt and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer 10-15 minutes to allow mixture to reduce. The sauce should be thick enough to bind chilies and onions together. Sauce can be refrigerated for 3 days, or frozen.
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Fried Green Tomatoes

Living in Florida, nothing says “Southern” like fried green tomatoes.  The funny thing is… I remember growing up on an Ohio farm in the storybook town of Troy with my Mom making these every tomato season as if it were a Northern tradition. Word would spread throughout the day that she were going to fry tomatoes that night, and neighbor kids from all up the hill would visit and snack on these tasty delights as if it were a celebration.  In a way, it was a celebration… a celebration of the tomato!

To make these tasty treats, all you need are a few ingredients and a garlic aioli sauce for slathering.

Fried Green Tomato Recipe:
Ingredients:
  • Green Tomatoes
  • Panko crumbs
  • salt & pepper
  • eggs
  • parmigianno reggiano cheese, grated
  • olive oil
Directions:
1. Slice tomatoes 1/4″ thick
2. Dip in egg, panko crumbs, then parmesan cheese.
3.  Drizzle olive oil in 10″ skillet and heat enough to fry tomato.
4.  Place tomatoes all around, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and fry on one side to a golden brown underneath.
5.  Flip over carefully using 2 forks to leverage the tomato.
6. Fry until golden and carefully remove and place on paper towels.
7.  Continue in batches, adding more olive oil as needed.  Be sure to place additional paper towels in between layers of tomatoes as needed also.
 
 
 
 
 

Garlic Aioli Sauce Recipe:
Ingredients:
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 T fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
Directions:
Combine the garlic, egg, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper in a food processor and puree.  Add the oil slowly and continue processing until the mixture has formed a thick emulsion.
 

 

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Tahitian Rose Marshmallows

Tahitian Rose Marshmallow Recipe:

You will need a candy thermometer, sifter, and a stand mixer with paddle attachment for this recipe. Heart shaped cookie cutter is optional.
Ingredients:
  • Vegetable oil, for brushing
  • 4 envelopes unflavored gelatin (3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups light corn syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoons pure tahitian vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • Pink gel food coloring, toothpick
Directions:
1.  Brush a 18″x12″x2″ pan with oil.  Line with one piece of parchement, and carefully press into pan, slitting 4 corners in order to bend each side piece behind the next to form a good rectangle inside the pan.
2. Brush top of parchment paper with oil.
3.  Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 3/4 cup water into medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat.  Cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238°F on a candy thermometer.  About 8 minutes.
4.  Measure 3/4 cup cold water  and put into the bowl of an electric mixer; sprinkle with gelatin and allow to soften at least 5 minutes.
5. Attach bowl with gelatin to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin mixture. Gradually raise speed to high; add pink gel using a toothpick to mixture, repeat until you get to a desired color.  Beat until mixture is very stiff, about 12 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with an offset spatula. Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours.
6. Sift 1 cup confectioners’ sugar onto a work surface. Unmold marshmallow onto confectioners’ sugar; remove parchment. Lightly brush metal cookie cutter with oil, and wiggle the cookie cutter to the bottom and press hard.  Gently lift the cookie cutter and carefully pull marshmallow out of cutter. Conversely, you can also oil a knife and cut the marshmallows into squares.  Sift remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar into a small bowl, and roll each marshmallow in the sugar to coat. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 21 days.

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New Year’s Day “Lucky Do’s & Don’ts”

New Year’s Day is day of renewal and a chance to live again… in an off world colony.   That last part sounded a little familiar, didn’t it? Oh well, I’m going to keep this short and to the point so as to make sure you get this before the stroke of midnight.  There are some things you can do to up your luck for the new year.  And there are also some things to not do or eat, so as to insure that you do not backslide in 2012.

DO LIST:
Start  by eating 12 GRAPES at MIDNIGHT, this tradition originated in Spain.  Each grape should be eaten one at a time, and all should be eaten before the last stroke of midnight.  As you consume each one, each represents a different month in the upcoming new year.   For example, if the third grape you eat is sour, chances are, March may be a not so great month.  So, here is me wishing you all sweet grapes for each and every month.

Greens: Any and all kinds of greens are welcome.  They represent money.  The more greens you eat, the greater your wealth in the new year.

Lentils:  Quite simply, lentils represent coins.  Thereby increasing your chances for great wealth for the new year.

Pork: The custom of eating pork on New Year’s is based on the idea that pigs symbolize progress. The animal pushes forward, rooting itself in the ground before moving.

Fish: Dates back to before refrigeration and fish could be cured and saved.  Herring is usually consumed for fertility, Shrimp for long life, and Sardines for good harvest.

Cakes: With emphasis on the round shape, or ring shape.  Cakes aren’t always round. In Scotland, where New Year’s is called Hogmanay, there is a tradition called “first footing,” in which the first person to enter a home after the new year determines what kind of year the residents will have. The “first footer” often brings symbolic gifts like coal to keep the house warm or baked goods such as shortbread, oat cakes, and a fruit caked called black bun, to make sure the household always has food.

What NOT to eat:
1. Lobster should not be eaten because they move backwards and could therefore lead to setbacks.
2.  Chicken is also discouraged because the bird scratches backwards, which could cause regret or dwelling on the past.
3.  Another theory warns against eating any winged fowl because good luck could fly away.

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