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Apr 27, 2009 11:04 AM

In Celebration of Mothers, Sisters & Grandmas

Hey all, I am putting together the annual Mothers Day event, this years will be combined with a little special celebration surrounding the "pinning" of my MIL and SIL for the nursing program.

I'd like some help with my menu this year!

In the past I've worked with some spectacular recipes of my fellow chows and some of my own recipes mixed in.

I'd like to do a brunch...around 1 pm
we dig tarts, quiche etc but i'm also looking for some new flavors or combinations... for example, we did cayenne maple crusted bacon last time...tarragon potatoes, leek & camembert tart, strawberry tart in a shortbread crust...

I'd like to incorporate the following into the menu:

potatoes or grits
something dessert like, berries etc
a sparkling beverage, similar to a mimosa

So - any great recipes out there you'd like to share? I'd be mighty thankful.

I appreciate the help...hopefully we can get a good discussion and recipe share going in here!


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  1. I love paprika and cheese grits. I've made these into cakes also (chill and cut, then pan fry). These can be topped with any number of things, but chorizo and green onions are nice.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hollyd

      love love love you use the hungarian smoked paprika? i love that stuff. i usually throw in some jalapenos from the garden too...yum...chorizo on top sounds gooooood....

      1. re: lollya

        I usually use the smoked paprika unless I'm doing the chorizo. I think it came out a bit too smoky with both.
        I've also done spinach feta grit cakes with mushrooms on top.
        Just make any kind of cheese grits, spread them into a sheet pan, chill until firm, cut and pan fry. As long as you keep them kind of small they are easy to top with anything and are easy pick up off a tray.

    2. This is a little far-removed from the tart/quiche thing....if this isn't for a huge group, how about....

      -latkes(can hold up well in a warm oven for a fair amount of time, which means you don't have to fry in your Sunday best :)

      -poached eggs (again, can do in advance and reheat in hot water) or creme-fraiche scrambled eggs with chives (for those who don't like runny yolks)

      -side of roasted asparagus

      -an herbed hollandaise (tarragon or dill are wonderful! and hollandaise keeps lovely and warm in a thermos)

      -macerated berries with vanilla bean/honey ricotta

      -(insert breakfast meat- not very creative when it comes to them)

      -Sparkling beverage.....I've been doing a lot of "juice spritzers" using flavored seltzer waters and 100% juice blends- combination I've really liked is key lime seltzer and peach-papaya-mango juice and frozen raspberries and blueberries in lieu of ice cubes

      Have a wonderful brunch!

      2 Replies
      1. re: 4Snisl

        Oh 4S!
        Much love...i love the idea of roasted asparagus with a herb hollandaise & love the idea of macerated berries with ricotta - do you have recipes?

        1. re: lollya

          Sorry to say that I don't follow or use recipes very often.....I generally follow Alton Brown's proportions, but have never made this recipe "as is" because I've never needed 1.5 cups of hollandaise sauce at one time (wanted- yes. needed- no.)

          This blender method also looks fairly easy (scroll down about 1/3 of page for pictoral on making hollandaise:

          At the end of the emulsion, I'd just add in fresh chopped herbs. Oh, and just a dash or 2 of hot sauce (Tabasco and Louisiana-style hot sauces both work fine). But that's just standard procedure for me....

          For macerating berries, generally, I'll sprinkle on about 1 tsp of sugar per cup of berries, depending on the sweetness of the fruit and a bit of lemon juice (maybe 1/2 tsp). Add the tiniest pinch of salt (always add to highlight sweetness), stir it up, let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, and become amazed at the lovely sauce that this mixture self-produces.....I know some people will add booze, which is probably a nice touch- I just don't keep the stuff around, so I never add it.

          The ricotta is easy and all to taste- to good, fresh ricotta (best you can find), per pint, scrape in about 1 vanilla bean, 1 tsp lemon zest, and 2-4 TB honey and tiny pinch of salt. Stir it up, let sit for about 1 hour so flavors meld. You can also do this with creme fraiche or even plain Greek yogurt.....

          Enjoy- and congratulations to your family members for their accomplishments!

      2. Sounds like a lovely day!

        I make this one: often - especially when I am overrun with onions. It holds up well and it is lovely at room temp.

        If you are going to do a quiche or tart you could consider using potatoes (precooked and lightly mashed) as a base for it. You press it in and prebake it. You can do the same with grits. Precook them thickly, let it set up a bit and then press in and bake off. Not quite as good as the potatoes, but it has its place.

        For a drink - you can muddle fruit with brandy or liquer and then make your sparkling punch before serving.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Sal Vanilla

          thank you 4Snisl! i actually was just worried about messing up the hollandaise ratios. ;)
          thank you sal vanilla for the onion tart, it seems similar to one i've done but with a real crust (i've been cheating and using pastry)


          1. re: lollya

            No problem....actually, I was thinking of your sparkling beverage options a little more....what about a variety of herb-infused (or fruit-infused) lemonades?

            Basically, all you need is lemon juice in sparkling water (which is nice in it's own right)....but, have small pitchers of simple syrup that have been steeped with herbs or "homemade fruit syrups" (basically, muddle the fruit into hot simple syrup, let cool, and strain. Have done this with peaches, pineapple and just about every type of berry under the sun). Nice herbs that I've had in lemonade recently have been lavender and mint. Have heard that basil lemonade is interesting, but haven't tried it out.

            If you're into alcohol, I hear the bellinis are a lovely, lady-like drink to serve. Never made them, but maybe someone who has can chime in?

            Anyway, thought I'd throw that out there! Have fun....

            1. re: 4Snisl

              funny you should mention it...lavendar lemonade is the only confirmed item on my meal plan at the moment...i like the simple syrup idea and a bottle of vodka close by might work well....

            2. re: lollya

              Cheating shmeating. Was it delicious??? I hate making crust so I do giant batches of them like 20. I know. .. What? I have a huge freezer that performs better when full (or so I tell myself) and I also HATE cleaning the food processor. I wish I could have bolded and increased the font on the HATE.

              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                oh yes it's always yummy, i roll out the pastry dough, top with caramelized leeks/onions and a camembert or aged gouda with thyme, delicious!

          2. Sounds fun and yummy! My mom is going to be out of town this Mother's Day! :-( Did you see the grits recipe with corn and vidalia onion on the Bon Appetit Y'all thread? It was really, really good! Also, I made this lacquered bacon on Easter and everyone loved it: I can never get it crisp enough in the oven, so I usually transfer to a griddle and finish it.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Katie Nell

              no i missed the grits recipe!!! sounds delicious! can you point me in the right direction?

              this will be the bacon this year katie, thanks!

            2. Thanks to all of the sweet people who helped out with ideas for the menu, here it is so far:
              lavendar lemondade
              orange and vanilla baked french toast
              leek and camembert tart
              scalloped potatoes
              lacquered bacon (thanks katie) - or a maple peppered bacon
              roasted asparagus (thanks 4snisl)

              2 Replies
              1. re: lollya

                Can you post/link the camembert and leek tart recipe? We do a 4 PM buffet and it sounds great!