Wednesday, May 4, 2011

But I WANT To!

J has a funny thing he does where if he really wants something and we say no, he responds with "But I WANT it!" or "But I WANT to!" as if adding extra emphasis to the word "want" will make us suddenly want to give him the $50 pirate ship he sees at the store or let him drive the car.  Well I say, two can play at this game, Mr. J, and if the universe is listening, I really WANT this:

And I WANT this:

And please make me look like this because I WANT to:

Please?  Pretty please?  Hmm, it didn't work.  Go figure.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Give Mom the Royal Treatment

Will and Kate have had their day, and I enjoyed it as much as anyone else, but what do you say we now move our focus to the queen of our home, Mom?  Sunday is Mother's Day and what better way to wake up your own resident royal than with breakfast in bed?  So maybe this is weird because I'm the mom around here and it may seem a little self-serving, but I've put together a collection of recipes just perfect to make for a Mother's Day breakfast.  I'm not doing it for myself (or as a hint to my husband), really.  I'm doing it because I know some dads want to make breakfast in bed for their spouse but have no idea what to make beyond toast and store-bought orange juice.  Well, I'm here for you, brothers.  The following three posts are super simple but impressive looking breakfast recipes, and all have elements you can make in advance so you're not scrambling so much to get things made before she wakes up.  Here's the rundown of the menu:

Breakfast Trifle, made with strawberries, whipped cream, and waffles.
Sausage Rolls, easy and savory.
Sunrise Slush, a refreshing fancy-schmancy beverage.

Feel free to round out the meal with anything else that tickles your fancy, but even if you just make what I have listed here, Mom is going to have a great start to the day.

Breakfast Trifle

You won't believe how easy this is to assemble.  Really.  Pretty much you take waffles, break or cut them into bit sized pieces, then layer them in a fancy dish or even a glass with sliced, slightly sweetened strawberries and whipped cream (recipe below).  Waffle layer, strawberry layer, whipped cream layer, repeat, topping it all of with a nice dollop of whipped cream.  You can totally make the waffles ahead of time, even a few days before, and slice and sprinkle sugar on the strawberries the night before.  I would wait until that morning to make the whipped cream, but that doesn't take to long, then you assemble it all and serve immediately.  Easy peasy.  Dads, you are going to look so good with so little work come Mother's Day. 

My husband's mom had a great waffle recipe that I love to use, so I will include it below, but you could even get away with using Bisquick waffles or some other mix.  I'm not sure how this would work with Eggos, but if any of you so desire, give it a try and report back.

Whipped Cream:
1 pint whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Using a hand mixer, beat the whipping cream on the highest setting in a bowl until it starts to thicken slightly.  Add sugar and vanilla and beat until it's all nice and fluffy and the desired stiffness.

Everyday Waffles:

1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 beaten egg yolks
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup oil
2 stiffly beaten egg whites

Sift together dry ingredients.  Combine yolks, milk, and oil; stir into dry ingredients.  Fold in whites, leaving a few fluffs.  Cook in a waffle iron.  Makes 3 10-inch waffles.

On to:  Sausage Rolls.
Back to:  Mother's Day Menu.

Sausage Rolls

Have any of you read the culinary mysteries that Josi Kilpack writes?  They are very cute, light, easy reads and they're filled to the brim with tasty recipes.  My favorite of her books thus far is English Trifle and in it there is a recipe for sausage rolls that I wanted to try.  I did, and they were great.  If you're wanting to make these for a breakfast or brunch and don't want to do too much prep work that day, you could brown the sausage the day before and refrigerate it until ready to use.  Also, make sure you thaw the puff pastry far enough in advance that you don't have to wait for it come morning.  A slight change I made to the recipe when I made these was to cut the puff pastry sheets into nine squares each instead of six which made the rolls better for finger food in my opinion.

Since this isn't my recipe I won't post it here, but if you want to try it, you can get the recipe by clicking on the "Download Recipes Free" button on this page then scrolling down to "Easy Sausage Rolls."  P.S. The High Tea Lemon Cookies are also amazing and worth trying.  You'll thank me.

On to:  Sunrise Slush.
Back to:  Mother's Day Menu.

Sunrise Slush

This is just a little something I made up mixing and tweaking various other drink recipes that I like.  I love the soft peach color of this drink.  Doesn't it just look like the sky at sunrise?  I also love the flavors all the different fruits and juices bring to this recipe.  You can make this drink anytime--for a nice summer afternoon barbecue, or even for a brunch, as long as you aren't squeamish about serving soda before noon.  Which I'm not.  Don't judge.

Sunrise Slush

4 cups sugar
6 cups water
2 lemons
5 oranges
5 bananas
2 cups mango or apricot nectar
2 cups cranberry juice
Lemon-lime soda

Boil sugar and water 5 minutes until sugar is dissolved, then cool.  Squeeze juice from lemons and oranges.  Mash bananas.  In a large bowl, combine lemon and orange juices, mashed bananas, mango or apricot nectar, and cranberry juice.  Add sugar and water mixture and freeze (if I make a small batch I freeze it in ice cube trays).  When ready to serve, chop up the frozen juice mixture, spoon it into glasses, and pour lemon-lime soda over it.  Let sit for a few minutes, stir, and serve.  If you don't want noticeable chunks of banana in yours (although I love the chunks), you can place the chopped up frozen juice mixture in a blender, pour in enough soda to cover it, and blend until smooth.

Back to:  Mother's Day Menu.