Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Sunday, Happy Mother's Day. To all of the mothers in my life - I hope you all have a great day. To my mom - so generous, so giving, so kind, so always there for all of us. To my sister - her boys always come first, she always wants to give them the absolute best. To auntie Barb, Margo, Mrs. Sherstan,  Auntie Joanne and daughters, Jessica, Maegan, Sam, Sharon, Jenny, Mena, Jocelyn - you are all wonderful moms - enjoy the day. For the moms that are no longer with us, I miss you lots.

Last night we had a great night. Lots of good food, good laughs and the hockey game - oh my Canucks, get 'er together - we're not ready to end our season watching yet. 

On the menu:
Appetizers - Safeway Style - and prawns
Main course - Risotto with peas and mushrooms, breaded chicken and roasted beet and carrot salad with goat cheese and walnuts
Dessert - cake with coconut and lime with lime butter frosting

I tried to do a photo collage of the dishes - but I am a photoshop rookie - and thought that I was going to lose my mind in the process.

Risotto with peas and mushrooms  
6 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of water
1 large onion
2 tbsp butter - 1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups of arborio rice
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup peas
6 large mushrooms thinly sliced
2 cloves minced garlic

If you want to give this a try - and I really hope that you do - you have to commit to the dish, as it will take at least 30 minutes of dedication and stirring.

Warm your stock and water in a pot. In a high sided pot - saute your onion in the butter and olive oil - for about minutes until softened. Add the rice and garlic and coat the rice with all of the sauteed onions. Begin adding 1/2 cup of the stock at a time - over medium heat. Stir the stock into the rice and repeat this. Ensure that you are stirring this to prevent any of the rice from sticking. Once you have added the last stock, add your peas and mushrooms and continue to stir - for about another 5 minutes. Just before serving, add your parmesan cheese. And that's it. It does take a bit of time - but so worth it. 

Breaded Chicken Auntie Barb's style
6 chicken boneless skinless breasts  
3/4 cup sour cream
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Dried oregano
1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup parmesan cheese

Mix the lemon juice, oregano, chives and sour cream together. Add the chicken to coat. Do this early in the morning and let it sit for the day in the day. 
Pre-heat oven to 425. Mix the parmesan and bread crumbs together in a flat bowl or a plate. Take each piece of chicken and coat it in the bread mixture. Once each piece is coated, place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for about 40 minutes. I like to change the oven to broil for the last 2 minutes to really brown the chicken. The chicken turns out so moist and the crispiness of coating is super delicious.

Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts
This is the first time that I have made this - and I will definitely be making it again. I roasted the veggies earlier in the day and then warmed them up slightly just before serving so that the cheese would gently soften.

4 large beets - peeled and cut into cubes
2 bunches of small carrots - probably 12 in total - washed and not peeled - and then cut into half
Olive oil 
Kosher salt and pepper
1/2 cup of goat cheese - crumbled
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

On a lined baking sheet with parchment paper, place the beets and carrots. Drizzle with olive oil and kosher and pepper. Bake in a 425 oven for about 15-20 minutes. 
In a bowl mix your vegetables with the cheese and walnuts - and that's it!!! Seriously! I didn't add any dressing b/c the vegetables were coated in the olive oil and the flavour of the goat cheese gave it a beautiful flavour. Sigh - can't wait to do that dish again.

White cake with lime and coconut
I cheated - but it so worth it. I bought a white cake mix and added to it. 

1 white cake mix
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Zest of one lime
Juice of 1/2 a lime

Mix the cake mix as stated on the box. Add the lime zest, coconut and lime juice. I only used 2 eggs instead of the 3 that the directions suggest - and the cake still turned out to be so moist. I used a large spring form pan.

5 tbsp of softened butter  
2 tbsp of half and half
1 tbsp of lime zest - about the zest of one full lime 
1 tbsp of fresh lime juice
1 1/2 cup of powder sugar

Cream the first 4 ingredients together and then slowly add the sugar. The frosting will be very creamy and not too sweet. 

I topped the cake with edible flowers (from Epicure) - they made the cake beautiful.

Everyone rated the dinner a 5! It was so much fun to cook for all of them and to have a full house. 

Give these dishes a try - let me know what you think.

Today - a few errands - dollar store to get a bunch of basket wrapping materials for the silent auction, while I'm out there probably a stop at HomeSense (Love that store), dog walk, fixing Chris' bike tire - tomorrow is the start of Bike to Work Week - more like - Bike to get off of your butt and do something week. 

Kitchen tip:
I add my dish soap to a glass bottle so that I can leave it on the counter - it looks decorative and gets rid of the nasty looking dish soap bottles.

Hope your Sunday is divine. 


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