Posts tagged Mother’s Day

Great Mother’s Day Giveaway Winner!

I just wanted to congratulate Rachel from Christine Gross-Loh’s blog who won the Great Mother’s Day Giveaway! I hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day.

 

My kids made me a chicken salad for lunch with spinach, chicken, carrots, dried cranberries, and almonds.

My kids made me a chicken salad for lunch with spinach, chicken, carrots, dried cranberries, and almonds.

Mother's day note

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German chocolate mini parfaits

German chocolate mini parfaitsIs there a German chocolate cake fan in your family? Making an entire cake can be an overwhelming endeavor, especially for pint-sized cooks. Easy solution? Make German chocolate cake in a cup.

 

Ever since we made mini chocolate raspberry chocolate cups, we’ve been trying out other combos. This one has become a fast favorite. I’ve included lots of make-it-quick steps in the directions.

 

Recipe

Servings: 12

 

Ingredients:

1 recipe chocolate cake mix

1 recipe coconut dream frosting (or packaged German chocolate frosting)

1 cup chocolate syrup

Whipped cream or ice cream

Toasted coconut (opt.)

 

You’ll also need:

Mini Irish coffee mugs (4.8 ounces)

Mini glasses (plastic mini champagne glasses work well, too)

 

Directions:

Photo courtesy: Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream

Photo courtesy: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream

  1. Cook the cake according to package directions. You could also use leftover brownies, or bake up a batch. (You will have extra cake.)
  2. Place a handful of cake into the bottom of all the cups, press it down to make about 1-inch. This is a perfect kid job!
  3. Drizzle the cake with chocolate syrup (Hershey’s is fine; even better melt 1/4 cup chocolate chips with 1/4 heavy cream in the microwave and let it sit until thickened).
  4. Add a heaping spoonful of coconut dream frosting into each cup.
  5. Put another inch of cake into each cup and repeat the process–drizzle chocolate, then add frosting.
  6. You have a few options for the top of the cup–whipped cream or a small scoop of ice cream. My recommendation: finish it off with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in salty caramel. Sprinkle each cup with toasted coconut flakes.

 

 

 

 

 

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Mother’s Day Giveaway

Mother’s Day is around the corner (May 12th!)–have you done your shopping yet? Here’s a chance to win a whole host of prizes–enough to pass some along to your mom and still have some leftover for yourself.

 

I’ve joined in with several of my blogging friends to participate in The Great Mother’s Day Giveaway (thanks, Brette Sember for organizing this giveaway).

 

And now for the part you’ve all been waiting for–the prizes. Keep reading for a complete list and for details about how to enter.

 

THE PRIZES!

From PuttingItAllontheTable (The Organizer of This Great Giveaway):

muffin-tin-cookieOne signed copy of The Muffin Tin Cookbook: 200 Fast, Delicious Mini-Pies, Pasta Cups, Gourmet Pockets, Veggie Cakes, and More! by Brette Sember. Moms love muffin tin cooking because one cup equals one portion (no fooling yourself that you’ll have “just another bite”) and because kids automatically think anything made in a muffin cup is delicious and are willing to try new foods made this way.

One copy of Cookie: A Love Story: Fun Facts, Delicious Stories, Fascinating History, Tasty Recipes, and More by Brette Sember, a glorious celebration of America’s favorite treat, a gleeful look at its history, impact, meaning, and deliciousness, filled with mouth-watering anecdotes and stories that will satisfy in a way no other book can. Special recipes, anecdotes, and everything you ever wanted to know about cookies are in its pages.

From Project: Happily Ever After:project-happily-ever-after

One copy of Project: Happily Ever After, by Alisa Bowman, a memoir of how the author saved her marriage. Partly tragic and partly humorous, the book will help you feel normal, give you helpful tools to try at home, and leave you with a pervading sense that you are not alone.

From Christine Gross-Loh:

parenting-without-bordersOne signed copy of Parenting without Borders: Surprising Lessons Parents Around the World Can Teach Us, hitting shelves just in time for Mother’s Day. Parenting expert Christine Gross-Loh, a mother of four, takes readers on a multicultural tour of the world’s best parenting practices — from Finland, Sweden, and Germany to France, Japan, China, Italy, and beyond to examine how international parents successfully foster creativity, discipline, independence, resilience and academic excellence in their children.

Revealing the surprising ways in which culture shapes accepted practices, Gross-Loh offers objective, science-based insight into what strategies are best for children–and why–in a book that is sure to spark new conversations among parents. Ultimately, Parenting Without Borders is both a call to action and an international handbook on how to build our own global village–one that will raise all of our children well.

From Belle Jewelry Designs:

One Bead Kit and Pattern to Make Dainty Daisies Bracelet belle-jewelry-designsby Claudine Jalajas.  Every year my children give me flowers for the garden for Mother’s Day. It’s one of my favorite gifts. This bracelet reminds me of Mother’s Day for that reason.

This pattern and bead kit will provide you with everything you need to create this lovely bracelet. The design is created using a cross-weave technique which is great for anyone from never-touched-a-needle-and-thread-before to advanced weaver.

I’ve taught this design at several libraries in Suffolk County (on Long Island). Most people can create the bracelet in an hour. It is woven using 4mm and 6mm genuine Swarovski crystallized pearls for the flowers, TOHO seed beads for vines, and potato pearls to simulate leaves. The clasp is a lobster clasp. This design also makes a gorgeous anklet–just increase the size. Jalajas’s bracelet design book, Wearable Art,  featuring more than 25 bracelet designs, will be released Fall 2014 by Running Press.

 

From Attainable Sustainable:

attainable-sustainable-off-the-shelfOne copy of  Off the Shelf: Homemade alternatives to the condiments, toppings, and snacks you love from Kris Bordessa, who shares a collection of recipes that take your favorite condiments and pantry staples off the grocery store shelves and puts them right in your (very capable) hands.

Make hummus, pesto, fresh salsa, and a Caesar ranch dressing that will knock your socks off. Whip up a batch of hot fudge sauce or chocolate pudding to indulge your sweet tooth. If you can chop, dice, and stir, you (or your kids, mom!) can make any of these recipes and more right at home.

From MyKidsEatSquid:

my-kids-eat-squidOne $25 Gift Certificate for King Arthur Flour, from My KidsEatSquid.com, which offers cooking tips, tricks, and recipes to tempt your family’s taste buds.

Founded in 1790 (yes, you read that right), King Arthur Flour is a really cool business where baking and social responsibility go hand in hand.

 

From The Friendship Blog:

best-friends-foreverOne copy of Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup With Your Best Friend by psychologist Irene S. Levine. On a recent appearance on “CBS Sunday Morning,” Rita Braver called Irene the “Dear Abby of Friendship.”

Close friendships, which are essential to our well-being, can be challenged by motherhood. Having children often drains time and emotion from other relationships, and can create distance between mothers and child-free friends. Give yourself the gift of focusing on your female friendships this Mother’s Day.

 

From MyItchyTravelFeet:

65-things-to-do-when-you-retireOne copy of 65 Things to Do When You Retire: TRAVEL. A total of 10,000 people turn 65 each day–and many of them who retire want to make the most of travel opportunities. 65 Things to Do When You Retire: Travel offers practical, inspiring advice about how to have the time of your life, whether traveling with a group, with a spouse or partner, or on your own.

More than 65 intrepid writers and travel experts reveal their own personal adventures and describe glorious getaways for retirees, including such exciting travel opportunities as international house-sitting, going to Italy for a writing workshop, volunteering to help communities in developing countries, doing archaeological digs, taking a retirement “gap year,” and chucking it all to see the world.

 

From StickingMyNeckOut:

the-business-of-babyAn autographed hard cover copy of The Business of Baby, by Jennifer Margulis, an explosive new book uncovering how corporations and for-profit medicine harm new moms and their babies.

Award-winning midwife Ina May Gaskin calls the book, “a must-read for expectant mothers,” and Library Journal has said it’s “not just for parents to ponder.”

 

From ReelLifewithJane:

reel-life-moms-day-giveaway-2006 DVDs. Every mom needs a distraction from life, whether it’s Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts on a scooter, Edie Falco as a wayward nurse, Jennifer Aniston and Jason Bateman as old friends who might be parents, the classic boy from Neverland, Anna Wintour’s glitzy life, or America’s bully crisis.

That’s why Reel Life With Jane’s entry in The Great Mother’s Day Giveaway is a DVD/blu-ray six-pack extravaganza: “Larry Crowne,” “Nurse Jackie Season 4,” “The Switch,” “Peter Pan Diamond Edition,” “The September Issue,” and “Bully.” For more great giveaways, entertainment news, celebrity interviews and reviews, visit Reel Life With Jane and follow them on Twitter.

 

Rules:

  • One winner will win the ENTIRE package of prizes!
  • Enter by leaving a comment on this post.
  • For more chances to win, enter once at each blog listed in the giveaway below. One entry per person per blog.
  • You must enter by midnight ET on Sunday, May 12, 2013 (Mother’s Day).
  • Each blog participating in the giveaway will randomly select one semifinalist from those who have entered on that blog.  One winner will then be randomly selected from those names and will win ALL the prizes.
  • Offer limited to U.S. addresses only; entrants age 18 and up.
  • Winner will be notified by the email given when entering; not responsible for email transmission problems or postal delivery problems or failures.
  • You are responsible for notifying us of your correct mailing address if you are selected as a winner.
  • Contest closes at midnight Eastern Time on May 12, 2013. Prize is nontransferable and may not be redeemed for cash.
  • We reserve the right to announce the name of the winner on the blogs.

Each participating blog will be responsible for sending its own prize

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Guest post: Squid kid

My oldest about to eat a guava

My oldest did a guest post this week just in time for Mother’s Day.

Ever since I was little, I’ve loved food. From corn dogs to duck confit, I’ve always been excited to try it. Mostly because of my awesome parents, who encourage me to try new things. It’s sort of become the norm. Like it or not, you can’t say anything until you’ve at least tried a bite.

Getting my friends to understand this little philosophy isn’t always the easiest but the lunch table has become my place to share.  First I started with simple stuff, like homemade tortillas or Japanese candy and soon it became the thing at my table to see what I’ll bring.

And when I do bring something, I can never expect to eat it all, because an open package of food in front of hungry teenagers is doomed.

The best part, by far, about getting my friends out of their food comfort zone, is when they find something they genuinely like. Like when I discovered that my two best friends are appalled by the thought of coconut. That just wouldn’t do. So, I did what any good food-savvy friend would do, and brought in the chocolate banana coconut muffins my mom made. But, they didn’t know what was in it. Like usual, they helped me finish it of within a couple of seconds.

A couple days later, I couldn’t help but laugh when they both requested that I bring those muffins on a road trip we are going on. When I told them about the coconut in it, they both were amazed.

And getting to make cool food with my friends is so much fun! At their house, it’s not uncommon for me to be foraging through their fridges for any leftovers, and making dinner for us. I still remember when I used the pulled pork they had leftover and made spicy pulled pork nachos, with every cheese they had! And at my house, we got another spicy punch as we all made salsa with my mom.

Now, instead of “Let’s go to a restaurant,” I get to hear “Let’s go to Kayla’s house!”

And I love it, because food with a friend is always better.

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My mother’s day meal

Note to self: remember to take the camera off landscape

Can I just say, I heart Mother’s Day–from the little handmade cards to the extra hugs (not to mention breakfast in bed!)–I enjoyed every minute of it. So today I wanted to thank my hubby and his little helpers for making it so memorable.

As requested, my hubby fixed Mexican food for dinner. He went all out–shredded beef taquitos (he marinated the meat overnight, bless him!), mushroom and chorizo quesadillos, rice and refried beans. And that’s a dollop of guacamole, fresh-made salsa and chipotle creme sauce on top. It was delicious.

For dessert, I talked him in to making crepes (well, it didn’t take much convincing). He filled the them with Ghirardelli chocolate, almonds, dried cherries, honey and walnuts and then thinned Nutella to slather on top along with a handful of raspberries. Mmmmm (and yes, I’m trying to get him to do a “guest” post on crepes). Happy Mother’s Day everyone! Now what to do with the one leftover crepe…

Crepes for a crowd

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Mother’s Day Mini-Cheesecakes 3 Ways

Cheesecake. For birthdays, holidays, my kids always request cheesecake. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love making them, but to do ‘em right you have to follow a few tricks–including baking it for over an hour. A traditional cheesecake can take a better part of a day to make. Yikes! I just don’t have that amount of time.

Solution? Minis. (I know, I know, I’m really into baking things in miniature). I can now, make a dozen awe-inspiring cheesecakes in the same amount of time it takes for brownies. And the recipe is simple enough that my kids can make these.

What I like about my little discovery is that you’re not stuck with just one flavor–mix raspberry jam into one, miniature chocolate chips (there I go again) into another. Extra pecans? Throw ‘em in a couple.

Get the idea? What’s in your cupboard you’ve been wanting to get rid of use creatively in a recipe? Here are three ideas, I’m sure you’ll come up with more. Better yet, pass your ideas along to you Mother’s Day baking crew.

Light:

Follow the basic recipe below, substituting fat-free or Neufchatel cream cheese (1/3 less fat than regular) and low fat graham crackers for the crust. (Sorry no picture here–I went for a happy-calorie medium, with Neufchatel cream cheese and regular crumbs for the crust:)

I put a layer of caramel sauce on before adding the chocolate ganache

Turtle:

Instead of graham cracker crumbs, use crushed pecan sandies. Stir pecans into the batter. Before serving the cheesecakes, top with caramel sauce, and chocolate ganache.

Chocolate Lovers:

For the crust, try chocolate graham crackers (I used chocolate animal crackers, mmmm). And make this addition: melt 1/2 cup high quality chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons heavy cream in a glass measuring cup by heating it half power for 90 seconds in the microwave, then stir. Let the mixture cool then add it with the cream cheese batter (you might also want to add 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder; I went with my black onyx powder). Serve with chocolate sauce, whipped cream and sprinkled with cocoa powder.

Is your crew not the cooking type? Check out these Mother’s Day gifts that moms over at Motherboard received. I love the story of the little boy that bought his mom the best present ever (or so he thought)–a racing car magazine.

Now for that mini-cheesecake recipe…

Basic Recipe

Ingredients

Crust

2 cups graham cracker crumbs (chocolate or regular)

4 Tablespoons butter, melted

Filling

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature

¾ cup white sugar

2 eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until you have fine crumbs.
  3. Add the melted butter into the crumb mixture. Mix to combine.
  4. Lightly grease 8, 6-ounce ramekins (or you can use muffin papers).
  5. Divide the crust into the 8-10  containers and firmly press the crust into the bottom and a little bit up the sides.
  6. Bake the crust for 10 minutes.
  7. For the filling, mix the cheese on high until creamy. Add the sugar and then the eggs, making sure to combine.
  8. Mix for 5 minutes straight to fully incorporate all of the ingredients.
  9. Scoop the batter into the containers, making sure that they aren’t overly full.
  10. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the batter barely giggles.
  11. Cool and then refrigerate over night.

Your turn–what are some of your favorite Mother’s Day memories? Or do you have a special request for the big day (besides mini-cheesecakes)?

Hungry yet?

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