Mother's Day should be celebrated each and every day but the official day is Sunday.
Every day is a day worth celebrating a mom's selflessness, and while there are Mother's Day cards in the stores for the special day, how about buying some and sending them to your Mom randomly throughout the year? If you still have a mother, consider yourself very lucky. You have one of life's most precious gifts.
The card suggestion was part of a column someone sent me years back, as it is yellowed with age. It was put together by David's Bridal and spells out ways to show affection for Mom on her day and throughout the year by using the letters of Mother.
JUST?FOR?MOM — Orange Blossom muffins would make a great breakfast in bed treat for mother on her day. The recipe is from the Family Favorites Cookbook and is quick to make with biscuit mix, orange juice concentrate and orange marmalade. And how about some flowers for mom as well?
-- Esther McCoy
Now something else that moms always appreciate is a day without cooking. It could be a fantastic breakfast before church, a restaurant meal in the afternoon or an old-fashioned family meal in the evening. Consider some of her favorite foods and include these in the meal if it is done in the home. At a restaurant she can go wild with whatever dishes she desires.
Starting with a fancy breakfast, what would be better than muffins made with the addition of orange juice and orange marmalade and a crunchy streusel topping as a starter? And they are made easy by using biscuit mix. This is from the Family Favorites Cookbook.
6 ounces orange juice concentrate
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 egg beaten
2 cups biscuit mix
1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter
Combine orange juice, 1/2 cup sugar, oil and egg in a medium bowl. Add biscuit mix and beat until smooth. Fold in marmalade and nuts. Line muffin tins with paper liners and fill two-thirds full. Combine remaining sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter in a small bowl. Mix with fork until crumbly and sprinkle on top of muffins. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 12 to 15 muffins.
Note: These are good served with raspberry butter. Combine 1/2 cup butter, 1 cup powdered sugar and half of a 10-ounce frozen package of red or black raspberries, thawed. Mix until smooth and spread on muffins or any sweet bread.
Dinner could start with a hearty cheesy soup that has broccoli, carrots and green onion included. This recipe is from the Family Favorites Cookbook also.
Colby-Swiss Broccoli Soup
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
4 cups broccoli flowerets
1 cup peeled and diced carrots
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup green onion, sliced
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 cups milk
2 cups shredded colby cheese
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
Combine water and bouillon in a 3-quart saucepan; bring to a boil. Add broccoli and carrots; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for about 10 minutes until vegetables are tender. Drain, reserving liquid. Set aside. Melt butter; add onion and cook until tender. Stir in flour, nutmeg and pepper. Cook for one minute; gradually add milk and reserved liquid. Heat until thickened; sprinkle in cheeses and stir until melted. Add cooked broccoli and carrots. Serves six.
This recipe is from "Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat." It notes how to eat for enjoyment, your good health and regulation of weight. It is for a roasted pork tenderloin rubbed with herbs.
Herb Rubbed Pork Tenderloin
2 pork tenderloins, about 1 1/2 pounds total weight
1 tablespoon dried chives
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove silver skin from pork, if necessary. Mix the herbs in a large plastic bag. Rub the pork with oil then place into the plastic bag to coat evenly with herbs. Heat a heavy skillet on the stove on high until smoking hot. Place pork in the skillet and sear it, turning until all sides are browned. Once seared, place in a 400 degree oven if the skillet is oven safe, if not place in a roasting pan. Bake for 9 to 13 minutes or until of the desired tenderness. Do not overcook; it should be moist inside. After baking, let the pork rest for 10 minutes. Slice into 1/2-inch thick slices and overlap on a serving platter. Drizzle with dried cherry and pear sauce.
Dried Cherry and Pear Sauce
2 cups diced Bosc pears
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 teaspoon butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup apple cider
Dice pears and cook in a saucepan over medium heat. Add dried cherries and stir to heat. Add cider and sugar then simmer until the volume of liquid has been reduced by half. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon warm sauce over sliced pork tenderloin.
A different vegetable would be roasted broccoli and cauliflower with an addition of citrus. It is from the Good Housekeeping magazine.
2 medium heads broccoli, 1 1/2 pounds each, cut into medium-size florets
2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 small head, 1 1/4 pounds, cauliflower, cut into medium florets
1/2 orange and lemon
2 tablespoons pitted green olives, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, for the garnish
Arrange two oven racks in bottom half of oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a jelly-roll pan, toss broccoli with 1 tablespoon oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. On another jelly roll pan, toss cauliflower with 1/2 tablespoon oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Roast vegetables 30 minutes or until vegetables are browned and just tender, rotate pans between racks half way through roasting. Meanwhile grate 1/4 teaspoon orange peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons orange juice into a medium bowl. Into same bowl, grate 1/4 teaspoon lemon peel and squeeze 1 tablespoon juice. Whisk in remainaing1 tablespoon oil, salt and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Arrange broccoli and cauliflower on serving platter. Scatter olives over vegetables. Whisk dressing again and drizzle over the dish. Garnish with parsley and serve. Makes six servings.
Here are some cheese scones, with the recipe coming from Scotland. The recipe is in the "Quick and Easy 2 Cookbook."
Nanny's Cheese Scones
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons milk, divided
Mix flour, baking powder, salt and pepper together. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cheese. Add 3/4 cup milk and mix well. On a floured surface, press dough into an 8-by-6-inch rectangle that is 1-inch thick. Cut into 12 2-by 2-inch squares. Place on a greased baking sheet. Brush tops with remaining milk; bake at 425 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Makes a dozen.
Here is a cake that looks extravagant in calories but is actually only 240 calories for a slice that is 1/12 of the cake. The cake is made using applesauce to keep it moist and egg whites to lower the percent of fat calories. It is advertised as a special three-layer cake for a special occasion and what could be more special than Mother's Day. It is from the "Busy People's Low Fat Recipes" by Dawn Hall.
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup applesauce
6 egg whites
18.25-ounce box chocolate fudge cake mix, Betty Crocker brand is recommended
6 tablespoon fat-free caramel sundae topping
2 ounces fat-free whipped topping
2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray three 8-inch round cake pans with non-fat cooking spray. Set aside. Mix water, applesauce, egg whites and dry cake mix together with a whisk for 1 minute in a medium-sized bowl and then 1 minutes with an electric beater. Bake in prepared pans for 16 to 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 7 minutes. Remove cakes from pans, one at a time. Spread 2 tablespoons caramel topping on top of each of the three layers. Stack the layers. Just before serving, frost the top layer with the whipped topping. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Refrigerate leftovers. Makes 12 servings.
(McCoy can be contacted at email@example.com.)