Mother’s Day 2010
Yesterday Eric and I hosted Mother’s Day dinner for our Mothers and my Grandma (as well as the rest of the family!) It was so much fun! I really enjoyed planning the menu and doing all the prep work. Over the years I’ve learned how helpful it is to plan everything out a few days beforehand for a large dinner party. That way, during the party you can relax and spend more time with your guests instead of being really busy cooking in the kitchen. When cooking for a crowd, I think it’s also helpful to stick with recipes that you are familiar with so that there are no last minute surprises. Since my family loves Italian food, I chose an Italian-inspired menu:
- Appetizer: Toasted Crostini (combination of white and wheat baguettes) with two toppings- Bruschetta with Tomatoes & Basil and Kalamata Olive Tapenade
- Salads: Fruit Salad with Strawberries, Kiwi, Clementines, & Grapes (courtesy of my Mom) and Green Salad with Spinach, Romaine, Strawberries & Kiwi, Feta Cheese, sliced Almonds, & Strawberry Vinaigrette (courtesy of my sister, Kristine)
- Main Course: Tomato, Mozzarella, & Basil Tarts and Italian Sausage, Red Pepper, & Mushroom Risotto
- Side Dishes: Steamed Broccoli; sliced bread with butter
- Desserts: Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing and Angel Food Cake with Whipped Cream & Raspberries (courtesy of my Mother-in-Law)
I decided to make bruschetta and olive tapenade as appetizers because they are both easy to make and can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Then, at the last minute all you have to do is slice the baguettes and toast them in the oven for a few minutes.
My mom and sister were kind enough to bring salads. Both salads were delicious! The fruit salad was so colorful, and I loved the combination of spinach, mixed greens, kiwis, strawberries, and almonds in the green salad.
I kept the side dishes simple, and just made steamed broccoli and bread with butter.
For the main course, I made two of my favorite recipes: Risotto with Italian Sausage, Red pepper, & Mushrooms and Tomato, Mozzarella, & Basil Tarts. I first discovered this risotto recipe a few months ago and have made it a couple of times since then. I did all of the prep work for the risotto a few hours before my guests arrived- this entailed chopping the onions, red peppers, basil, and mushrooms. Then I just stored all of the pre-cut ingredients in little plastic containers in my fridge. The second main course was a Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil tart. It’s sort of like a pizza, only better! (At least I think so!) Since there were 13 of us, I made 2 tarts. The tart dough consists of a garlic and basil crust, and it’s topped with a little bit of tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes, basil, and parmesan. My father-in-law doesn’t care for garlic, so I made one of the tart crusts without garlic, and one with. This is a great recipe, and I think it would also be good to serve as an appetizer. Yum!
For dessert I made my favorite sugar cookies, and my mother-in-law was kind enough to make a delicious angel food cake with whipped cream and berries. It’s a recipe that was passed down from Eric’s Grandmother, and it is fabulous!
Be sure to check back for upcoming posts with photos and recipes for the Kalamata Olive Tapenade, Tomato, Mozzarella, & Basil Tarts, and Sugar Cookies! Hope everyone had a Happy Mother’s Day!