Thursday, May 6, 2010

Simple Mother's Day Recipes

Becoming a mother makes you the mother of all children. From now on each wounded,abandoned, frightened child is yours. You live in the suffering mothers of every race and creed and weep with them. You long to comfort all who are desolate. ~Charlotte Gray

Every Mother's Day my husband and all three kids cook me breakfast and dinner. Breakfast is always French Toast because I love it, and it's easy for the kids to help with. Dinner is the surprise meal of the day. If it's nice they grill for me, if not, they adjust the menu. I can't tell you how much I look forward to Mother's Day. I thought I would share a nice, but simple menu that can be made for Mother's Day dinner. If you are a mom you could pass it along, if not, then print the menu out and stop at the store before Sunday!

Herbed Crab Dip
Orange Lemonade
Grilled Shrimp with rice or noodles
Simple Salad
French or Italian Bread

Notes: Serve the dip and beverage on the porch, deck or living room where mom can snack and enjoy the day while the dinner is being prepared. Serve the shrimp dish with the salad, bread, butter and more of the Orange Lemonade. Dessert can be dishes of mom's favorite ice cream, or a cake from the local bakery.

Herbed Crab Dip

2 8 ounce packages cream cheese (light or regular)
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives or green onions
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tsp. or so chopped fresh dill or 1/4 teaspoon dried dillweed
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 cans (8 oz each) crabmeat, well drained

In medium bowl, combine cream cheese and mayonnaise. Stir until very smooth. Add the chives or green onions, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper. Stir to mix thoroughly. Stir in crab. Cover and refrigerate several hours before serving. Serve with crackers and raw vegetables.

Notes: If you don't have dill you can leave it out and put in a little garlic powder, or I've used capers that have been smashed and minced too. It's a really flexible recipe.

Orange Lemonade from Sunkist

1 cup Sunkist® freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups Sunkist® freshly squeezed orange juice
4 Sunkist® fresh orange slices, 1/2" thick
4 Sunkist® fresh lemon slices, 1/4" thick

To make one portion: Combine Sunkist fresh-squeezed lemon juice, water and sugar, and blend well to dissolve sugar. Add Sunkist fresh-squeezed orange juice. Mix well and chill. Place 1 orange slice and 1 lemon slice with ice cubes in a tall glass. Pour chilled Orange Lemonade over ice. Ready to serve. Makes 4 servings

Grilled Shrimp Scampi

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice or wine vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 1/2 pounds raw, cleaned, shelled shrimp

In a plastic or glass bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Stir in the shrimp and marinate for 20-30 minutes. Preheat grill. Remove shrimp from the marinade, and thread onto skewers. Grill for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until done. Makes 6 servings.

Notes: We've made this with a grilling bowl too. They are a good investment for cooking vegetables and shrimp. I've also seen disposable pans for using on the grill. If you use either of these you won't need the skewers. Serve the shrimp over rice or pasta if you wish.

On OFL we also have a breakfast menu and beverage recipes for mom.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Nasturtiums in the Flower & Herb Garden

Nasturtiums are one of my favorite flowers to grow directly from seed. Technically, they are herbs. The blooms, foliage and seeds are all edible, plus it's charming in the garden. This year I'm growing Tall Single Mixed Colors, which has a mixture of yellows and oranges. This variety is known for it's ability to grow in poor soil where it "sprawls" and brightens up an otherwise dreary space. I'm also growing the Alaska variety below, which has a varigated foliage that has cream swirls. It sprawls, but not too much. I always plant it at the front of the flower bed.

Lastly, I'm growing a Cherry nasturtium that is actually a dwarf variety. I grew it when we lived in the city and it's a lovely pink with a light pretty fragrance. It's perfect for containers and window or deck boxes. This year I'm going to plant it in the raised vegetable bed with basil.

Nasturtiums can be direct sown into the soil about an inch deep at any time during the spring. I have experimented over the years with soaking, starting indoors etc. and still the ones that have always done the best for me are the ones I simply stuck in the ground, watered and left alone.

Nasturtium seeds can be pickled and used much like you would capers. In 'The Joy of Cooking' by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker (Bobbs-Merrill Co., Inc., New York, 1975) they give a nice recipe for preparing the seeds.

After the blossoms fall, pick off the half-ripened Nasturtium seed pods. Continue as your crop develops to drop them into a boiled and strained mixture of:

1 quart white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Pickling Salt
1 thinly sliced onion
1/2 teaspoon each allspice, mace and celery seed
3 peppercorns

Keep refrigerated and use as a variation for capers.

On OFL we have more recipes and tips for growing nasturtiums.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Enter our Giveaway!

This month, enter to win a these beautiful handmade "Little Girls in Pink Bows" and "Little Girls and Butterflies" tag sets courtesy of our sponsor, Fish in the Attic Studio!

To enter click here
"Little Girls in Pink Bows" tag set features three small girls in hats and bows, copies of Victorian era trade cards from my collection. Each is collaged onto deep rose colored card stock along with vintage style patterned papers, kittens in hats, tea cups and saucers, and punched paper flowers, and hand stamped with French script, postal cancellations, flourishes and fern leaves. They are strung with robin's egg blue vintage seam binding, through a decorative metal grommet. Each measures 2 7/8" x 5 1/4'". 

"Little Girls and Butterflies" tag set features the same three little girls, framed against a background of aqua blue, olive green, cinnamon and cream. Each is collaged onto patterned card stock along with book text and letter stickers, and hand stamped with butterflies and rulers. They are strung with robin's egg blue seam binding, through a decorative metal grommet. Each measures 3" x 6".
These make beautiful gift tags on presents and wine bottles, and can be hung from a door knob on a beautiful armoire. Tie them along a ribbon for a lovely garland.

Rules: Must be a legal U.S. resident, 18 years or older. You may enter once per day. Entries will be accepted through midnight, CST on May 31, 2010. Winner will be drawn at random and notified via email.  They will have 7 days to respond or an alternate winner will be drawn.