Saturday, May 7, 2011

In case you didn't already know, tomorrow is Mother's Day. If you're still not sure what to get Mom for her special day, consider a homemade meal, start to finish, where Mom doesn't have to do any of the work! Most moms I know would pounce on at the chance for a home cooked meal that involves no work on their behalf. For the record, "Involves no work" means Mom does not lift a finger and do anything. Her job is to kick back, relax and enjoy herself. THIS MEANS NO CLEANING UP AFTER THE MEAL!!!

We normally associate grilling out as a Father's Day type of meal, but with the forecast for tomorrow looking favorable, break out the grill and treat mom to a meal cooked in the great outdoors. According to, highs are going to be in the mid to high 60's and the day will be partly sunny with a 10 percent chance of rain. Even if the sun decides to play peek-a-boo tomorrow, the bright sunny flavor of orange in this meal will perk everyone's spirits. Money saving tips are included throughout the recipe. Meal scaled to serve 4.

  • 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (save 50 cents on any C&H sugar or 40 cents on Domino sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallion
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 (10 ounce) package fresh baby spinach (Dole is on sale for $1.99 at Kroger)
  • half of 1 (15 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
Combine first 5 ingredients and whisk together. Slowly add oil and continue to whisk. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. You will need to whisk again just prior to serving to evenly distribute the ingredients. In a large bowl, toss spinach and oranges. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with seeds, then plate.

Photo Maggie Hoffman, Flickr
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless salmon fillet, cut in four pieces ($9.99/lb at Marsh)
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced with green
Preheat grill to medium high and spray grates. In a small bowl, whisk together the first 6 ingredients. Brush glaze on each side of salmon and grill approximately 5 minutes per side (or until desired doneness). Top with scallions and serve on a bed of brown rice.

  • 1 pound baby carrots ($1.69 at Kroger or $1.88 at Marsh)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste
Rinse carrots and place in a microwave safe container with water. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on medium heat for 4 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir. Recover and microwave 3-5 minutes more, until desired tenderness.

  • 1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup hot milk (150-160 degrees)
  • 3 tablespoons brandy
  • Orange liqueur infused strawberries (see below)
Combine chips, sugar and eggs in a blender and blend. Add hot milk and brandy and blend until smooth. Evenly distribute into 8 small serving cups and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Garnish with a strawberry and serve.

  • 16 large fresh strawberries with leaves, rinsed and dried (Driscoll's berries are on sale at Kroger 4/$5.00 or 2/$3.00 at Springboro IGA)
  • 1/2 cup Grand Marnier
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate confectionery coating (Wilton candy melts are on sale at half price for $1.49 at Joann's)
  • 6 ounces white chocolate confectionery coating (Wilton candy melts are on sale at half price for $1.49 at Joann's)
Using a new syringe, inject 2 teaspoons of Grand Marnier into each strawberry and allow berries to rest in the refrigerator for half an hour. Place confectionery coatings in separate bowls and melt in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring well after each 30 seconds. When nearly melted, stir until completely smooth. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Dip half of the strawberries in dark and the other half in white coating. Place each berry on the waxed paper as they are dipped and refrigerate until time to serve.

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