2018-05-01 / Features

Mother's Day Menu

So you love your mom and you want to do something in honor of her special day that involves a personal touch, but your experience in the kitchen is pretty much limited to microwave zapping and cereal moistening.

Never fear.

Choose from these you-can’t-go-wrong recipes for breakfast, brunch, snack or main meal and you’re sure to shine.

APPLEWOOD FARMHOUSE RESTAURANT’S APPLEWOOD JULEP

Ingredients:

1 quart apple juice (read the label at the grocery. It will tell you what size bottle you are buying.)

1 cup pineapple juice (according to an actual measuring cup, not a coffee mug. Check around your mom’s kitchen. She will have what you need.)

1 cup orange juice (Squeeze your own and then measure, pour from a container of presqueezed or mix up a can of frozen concentrate and then measure out a cup’s worth.)

¼ cup lemon juice (See instructions above. Don’t forget to strain the seeds out if you squeeze your own.)

Directions:

Mix all these liquidy things together with a long-handled spoon in a large mixing bowl or a very large pitcher. Store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to share some. Keep it covered, if possible, so it doesn’t absorb other odors in the fridge, like leftover pizza or moldy take out chicken that got shoved to the back of the shelf. Just before you are ready to offer your mom some refreshment, pour her a glass over ice. Garnishes are lovely, but don’t choose candy canes or olives. It’s just not done. Trust me.

HOT CINNAMON TWISTERS

Ingredients:

1 tube refrigerated buttermilk biscuits (12-ounce size)

1/3 cup sugar

1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (If your mom doesn’t already have some with her other spices, you can find this in a bottle in the baking goods section of your grocery store. You can buy whole pieces of cinnamon and try your hand at “grinding” it, but you’ll end up saying ugly words your mom won’t appreciate. Not even a little bit. Not a good start to Mother’s Day.)

1/3 cup butter, melted (You do know how to melt butter in the microwave, don’t you? And you do realize that wrapped sticks of butter show you just where to cut to end up with the amount you need, don’t you? But if the stick of butter you are using is already out of the wrapper, just cut off a chunk about three inches long and melt it. Close enough.)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Dampen a piece of paper towel with some vegetable oil and wipe it all over the surface of a large jelly roll pan (That’s the flat pan your mom probably uses to bake cookies. As opposed to an actual cookie sheet, which does not have sides, the jelly roll pan has sides all around about 1/2-inch deep. If you don’t have cooking oil — or paper towels — spray the surface with a cooking spray. No need to get carried away here. A light spray that covers the surface will do. And keep in mind that the spray can make a greasy mess if it misses the pan and drifts about in the air until it finds a target you never meant to grease down.)

Take the biscuits out of the tube and separate them from each other. Place them on a smooth, clean surface and slightly flatten each one, then, using a sharp knife, cut them in half down the middle.

Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a shallow bowl.

Dip each biscuit piece in the butter and then put it in the sugar mixture, turning to coat both sides. Then pull each biscuit piece into a slightly longer piece of dough and twist it a couple of times. Lay them out on the jelly roll pan, with about an inch of space between them, and run the pan in the oven for 10 minutes. Try to time this so you can zip them out of the oven and serve them warm to Mom. She will smile. So will you.

If you need more than the 10 “twisters” this will yield, just double everything. Except the temperature and cooking time, of course. Duh!

EASY BACON, EGG AND CHEESE CASSEROLE

Ingredients:

12 eggs

2 packages pre-cooked bacon slices

2 regular-size packages grated cheddar or American cheese

1 jar sliced jalapenos, drained

4 green onions, sliced into little bits (after you cut off any limp green tops and peel off the paper-thin covering of the white bulb part of the onion. Once you chop all this up, you’ll have the rest of the green bits mixed in with the white bits in little pieces a tad longer than a grain of rice.

1 small can sliced black olives, drained

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground pepper

2 teaspoons garlic powder

Small amount of vegetable oil or can of cooking spray

Directions:

You will need a 9-x-12-inch baking pan. Bet your mom has one. Using instructions above, either wipe the inside bottom and sides down with the vegetable oil or spray it with cooking spray.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. (Notice that you cannot prepare this casserole and the cinnamon twisters at the same time, since the baking temperatures are not the same. My advice: Prepare the casserole first, immediately readjust the oven temp when you take the casserole out, leave the casserole on top of the stove, where it will continue to absorb some heat without actually cooking, and then put in the twisters to bake when you’ve raised the oven temp by 10 degrees.)

Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl and stir them briskly with a fork until all the yolks (That’s the yellow part.) are broken and they are pretty well mixed together. There will still be a little gloopy clear or whitish bits, but the eggs should be pretty much yellow. You can also put them all in a blender and combine them that way (Be sure and put the lid on tight.) or use a small hand mixer. They will get frothy, but that’s fine.

Add the salt, pepper and garlic powder and stir it well just a bit more, to spread the seasoning evenly throughout the mixture.

Sprinkle a little more than half of one package of grated cheese over the bottom of the baking pan and spread it out pretty evenly to make a “crust.” Place the bacon strips from one package over this, covering as much of the cheese as possible. You can always cut a bacon piece in half to make it fit, if needed.

Arrange about half the green onions, jalapenos and olives over the bacon. (They won’t come close to covering all the bacon up, but that’s fine, just distribute them fairly evenly over the casserole.)

Cover this with about half the cheese that is left, then do another layer of bacon, using the second package, and top it with the rest of the onion, jalapenos and olives. (If there are any of those things your mom doesn’t like, just leave them out. This dish is great even without “spicing it up.”)

Use the rest of the cheese to cover the top of the whole thing.

Pour the beaten eggs over the whole thing and put it on the rack in the middle of the oven to cook for about 30 minutes. (If you want to mix this all up the night before and put it in the fridge, that will work, too. Just remember to take it out about 15 minutes before you plan to put it in the oven, so it will not be quite so cold when you start the baking process. But don’t let it sit out any longer than that. Eggs have a way or rebelling if you don’t treat them carefully.)

Slice it into squares about 3-by-3-inches and serve warm.

TURTLE DESSERT

(Possibly a Southern Living specialty, but I wouldn’t swear to it.)

17 Ice cream sandwiches

1 jar caramel topping (12.25 ounces. Check the area near the ice cream freezer in most stores.)

1 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

1 12-ounce container frozen whipped topping, thawed

3/4 cup hot fudge topping, heated (will be near the caramel topping in the store)

Directions:

First of all, the pecans will be fine if they aren’t toasted, but I have to confess, I find they are a bit tastier when you’ve gone through that extra step. Here’s how to do it: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spritz a jelly roll pan (See recipe for Twisters.) with cooking spray or wipe down with cooking oil. Spread pecan pieces on the sheet and toast them for no longer than five minutes. Just until they begin to smell. Watch them carefully or they will scorch and you will have to throw them away.

Now, put half the ice cream sandwiches in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. (Don’t take them out of the freezer until you are totally prepared to do this. You don’t want the ice cream to start melting on you. Oh, and you will need to cut the ninth ice cream sandwich in half. No problem.

Spread the caramel topping over the ice cream sandwiches and sprinkle just one cup of the cooled pecans over this. Put two cups of the thawed whipped topping over all these goodies and then layer the rest of the ice cream sandwiches over the whole thing.

Use the rest of the whipped topping to “ice” it and spread it out completely. Sprinkle it all with the rest of the pecans and cover the pan with aluminum foil, sealing the edges all around.

Put it all back in the freezer and let it stay for at least two hours.

When you are ready to serve this, let it stand for five minutes at room temperature before you try to slice it into squares.

Drizzle each slice with the warmed chocolate sauce. (Don’t try to boil this or get it steaming hot. You just want it warm enough that it will drizzle off a spoon and onto the dessert.)

You may invite eight friends or family members over to share this dessert with you and your mom, since it serves 10 nicely. Or you can give yourself and the honoree two servings each, seal the baking pan up with aluminum foil again quickly, and put it back in the freezer for later in the afternoon.

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