Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Making Marvelous Meals for Mom

May 6th...was the day to start planning what to make on May 10th.

The Wednesday Night Resource Centre Crew hosted "How to Make Marvelous Meals for Mom", highlighting favourite recipes for celebrating Moms, supporting their health, and the well being of Mother Earth.
There was a lovely sampling of delicious dishes that would make any Mother's Day Brunch (or any day brunch) extra special.

Angeline prepared a huge bowl of fruit salad, it was beautiful to behold and satisfying to sample.
She combined strawberries, grapes and bananas. Her delightful twist on this breakfast staple was the addition of peach juice. As more and more local produce ripens, this recipe is perfect for celebrating seasonal flavour variations.

Fruit Salad
You will need:
1 cup strawberries
1 cup grapes
1 cup banana
1 cup of Mom's favourite juice (I think Angeline's mom picked Peach!)
Get Mixing:
Pull the grapes from their stems and put them in a big bowl with the strawberries. Add enough cool water to cover them and mix carefully. Pour the water and fruit into a strainer in the sink. Shake the strainer a few times to get most of the water off.
Take the stems out of the strawberries and cut big strawberries in half. Peel the bananas and slice them into the bowl. Pour the juice into the bowl, stir to cover the bananas with the juice to stop them from turning brown. Gently mix the grapes and strawberries into the banana and juice mixture. Scoop some into a small bowl for Mom.
*You can use any combination of berries, fruit and juice to make your own special recipe.

Kim showed up weighed down by her crockpot. Truly this is the perfect dish for making Mother's Day morning relaxing. In fact, this recipe is a Christmas morning tradition in my house. I look forward to it every year because on a busy morning it is nice when breakfast waits for you rather than the other way around.

Kim provided a smorgasbord of special toppings to take your oatmeal to the next level. She presented bowls of granola, dried cherries and chopped nuts. Oatmeal is full of cholesterol-lowering fibre, and provides a great energy boast for a family hike on a lovely May afternoon.

Old Fashioned Apple-Raisin Oatmeal

You will need:
1 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
4 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 medium cooking apple (e.g. granny smith or rome beauty), cored, peeled and shredded
3 tbsp raisins
Optional toppings: granola, nuts, seeds, dried or fresh fruit

Get cooking:
Combine all of the ingredients (except the optional toppings) in a lightly oiled slow cooker. Cover and cook on "low" for 6 hours. When you're ready to serve, spoon the oatmeal into bowls, sprinkle with toppings of your choice. Serve hot.

Amazing toppings: maple syrup, raisins, sunflower seeds, ground flax seeds, dried cherries, toasted sesame seeds, chopped apples, pears, peaches, berries, bananas, cinnamon and sugar, fruit jam or dark unsulphured molasses.

Tony, rounded out the options with a savoury selection, his "simple tomato, cucumber and chickpea salad". This is another great dish to make with little kitchen helpers. They love to assist with dumping ingredients in a big bowl and stirring it up with a huge spoon. This satisfying salad will sustain Mom while she lets the rest of the family wash up the dishes-it can be an exhausting job to be adored.
Simple Tomato Cucumber Chickpea Salad

You will need:
tomatoes (1 per 2 people)
cucumber (1/4 of a large one per 2 people)
chickpeas (1/4 cup per 2 people)
olive oil (1-2 tbsp)
apple cider vinegar (1-2 tsp)
sea salt (1/2 tsp)
black pepper (1/4 tsp)
oregano(1/2 tsp)
parsley (1/2 tsp)
basil (1/2 tsp)

Get Mixing:
Chop the tomatoes, cucumber and add them to a large bowl. Add the chickpeas and stir everything together. Add the dressing ingredients, stir everything to coat the vegetables in your dressing. Then start tasting and adjust the seasonings as you like. Let the salad sit for 15 minutes to allow the dressing to be soaked up by the veggies. Serve the salad at room temperature.

I (Lisa) brought a tray of mini muffins. These monkey muffins are a family favourite, that I often make with my niece and nephews. The recipe has been thoroughly kid-tested. Which means, even if some of the flour spills on the flour during stirring or the ingredients are added in a random order-the results are still delicious. I hope you'll try them with your family.

Monkey Muffins

You will need:
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
3/4 cup soy or rice milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 ripe bananas, mashed (really smushed up!)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Get Baking:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil a muffin tin. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, salt and baking soda. In a small bowl add the vinegar to the soymilk and let it hang out for a couple of minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients to the large mixing bowl (including the soymilk). Stir everything until it is "just mixed". Scoop the batter into your muffin tin and bake in your oven for 25 minutes.
Makes 12 standard-size muffins or a whole lot of mini ones.

The Resource Centre Crew also had 10 ideas for Making Mother's Day Marvelous.
1. Use cookie cutters to make toast or fruit in fun shapes.
2. Arrange the food on Mom's plate to look like a happy face.
3. Clean and dry the dishes and kitchen counter when you're done making breakfast.
4. When Mom finishes breakfast, wash and dry her dishes.
5. Gather pretty flowers and leaves from your yard. Put them in a vase or glass of water and add them to your serving tray.
6. Bring your Mom her favourite mug full of tea or coffee.
7. Make a meal that you can prepare the night before. Then let Mom sleep-in.
8. Deliver the paper or your Mom's favourite magazine with her meal.
9. Add a little note or a drawing about how special your Mom is. She will enjoy seeing it while she eats.
10. Share lots of laughter, hugs and kisses with Mom! XOXO

We enjoyed sharing our dishes with all of our amazing visitors. We hope to see you all at our next fantastic event.

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