(Family Features) What can family members do special this year for Mom? Most Moms dream of a fine meal they don’t have to shop for, cook or clean up afterwards. Often going out for breakfast on Mother’s Day can mean dealing with long lines and slow service. But Dad and the kids can rise to the occasion and prepare a meal themselves at home that can be a real treat.
Even the dad who only makes breakfast on weekends can cater a fine restaurant meal at home, with kids as willing sous chefs. It’s easy when your family shops where the pros shop, such as Sam’s Club for frozen appetizers, readymade pastry, organic produce, fine wines, quality meats, great breads and fabulous cheesecake ready to thaw and serve. For a crowning touch, add an unexpected and affordable luxury gift and Mom just might decide to sign on for another year.
Check out www.samsclub.com — or the Sam’s Club nearest you — for more great Mother’s Day ideas.
Mother’s Day Game Plan
Here’s the game plan for catering a Mother’s Day meal at home.
- Chill the champagne or make a delicious punch a few hours before the meal.
- Read the instructions on the box, then pop those frozen appetizers in the oven.
- Prepare and cook the salmon.
- Slice up some fresh fruit or bread.
- Finish with a deliciously moist cheesecake - a Mom favorite. (Remember to thaw it beforehand.)
- Serve Mom in bed - let her relax and enjoy the meal and her day.
- Have the kids clean up the kitchen.
- Watch Mom smile.
Mom’s Secret Wish List
Mom usually puts the needs of her family first. But if she were really honest, she would say she’d love to have something from this list. And, Dads, when you shop smart, these become affordable luxuries.
- Diamonds. They’re always a girl’s best friend. Diamond solitaire earrings go with everything — jeans on the soccer field, a suit at the office or workout clothes at the gym.
- Designer Fragrances. Perfume and cologne in her special scent makes Mom feel pampered and special.
- Furniture. Surprise her with something she’s been wanting, whether it’s the armoire for the great room, a new desk for the home office or even a new leather sofa.
- Chocolate. Always a treat, especially now that health experts have declared that dark chocolate is actually good for us. Now, will it be Godiva or Ghirardelli?
- Culinary Ware. If Mom has been trying to make culinary masterpieces from a mismatched set of cookware from her early married days, it’s time for an upgrade. Or, maybe she’d love a stand mixer or a great platter.
Puff pastry encloses flavorful salmon, spinach and herbs in a main dish fit for a special occasion. Wellington preparations are thought to take a great deal of time and skill to make. However, with the time saver of purchased puff pastry, it’s a breeze. The bundles can be prepared up to a week in advance and then frozen. Just pop them in the oven when needed.
Note: Puff pastry must be cold (but not frozen) when placed into a hot oven in order for the pastry to become light and flaky.
Makes: 4 servings
- 1 tablespoon sweet butter
- 1-1/2 tablespoons shallots or onion, minced
- 1/2 cup frozen spinach, defrosted and well drained
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon thyme or dill
- minced Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
- 1-1/2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
- 4 thick, skinless fillets of salmon (about 6 ounces each)
- 2 packages puff pastry (defrosted in refrigerator)
- 1 lightly beaten egg
- 1 teaspoon milk
- Heat sauté pan with butter over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté 3 to 4 minutes until softened. Reduce heat to medium-low and add spinach, nutmeg, lemon zest, thyme, salt and pepper. Sauté 2 to 3 minutes; remove from heat and stir in feta. Taste for seasoning and let cool.
- Lightly salt and pepper each piece of salmon and top with 2 tablespoons of spinach mixture.
- Roll out pastry sheets on lightly floured board. Cut 1 piece of pastry for bottom of each fillet — about 1 inch larger than the salmon. Cut a second piece large enough to drape over fillet and touch counter, plus 1 inch to spare all the way around.
- Brush edge of smaller sheet with lightly beaten egg mixed with milk. Place 1 piece of salmon in center of pastry. Drape larger piece over salmon and seal the two pieces of dough together by folding and pleating like a pie crust. Repeat for each “package.” Chill at least 30 minutes or freeze up to 1 week before baking.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush top of each package with a small amount of egg/milk mixture. Put on sheet pan lined with parchment paper and a dusting of corn meal. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 23 minutes, until golden. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Cranberry Splash Punch
Makes: 8 servings
- 4 cups cranberry juice
- 3 cups pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup cherry juice
- 2 cups puréed strawberries or raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- 6 cups ice cubes
- 2 lemons, sliced
- 2 limes, sliced
- 3 cups orange soda or ginger ale
- Mix all juices and puréed berries and chill thoroughly.
- To serve, put punch in handsome container and add ice and fruit. Slowly stir in orange soda.
Source: Sam's Club
(Family Features) If you’ll be hosting friends and family to honor Easter this year, make your gathering as simple as it is scrumptious with a decadent brunch menu.
If you’re daunted by the diversity of dishes a brunch menu demands, remember that quality ingredients – not complex preparation – is what makes dishes truly stand out. Fresh produce and superior products instantly elevate a recipe from good to great.
These brunch staples all start as basics, but get a boost with the right combination of quality ingredients:
Made-to-order omelets are always a hit because they guarantee you’re serving up exactly what your guests enjoy. Use a few winning ingredients to create an easy and quick omelet base, then offer an array of toppings, including unexpected flavors such as Jarlsberg Brand Cheese. Best known for its classic wedge, this nutty, mild cheese is also available in slices – perfect for the ooey-gooey factor everyone loves in an omelet.
A classic French quiche combines fresh and flavorful ingredients, is easy to make and tastes delicious hot or cold. The quiche is simple enough to make that you can prepare several varieties, giving guests plenty of options and handily filling a buffet spread. Simply prepare your crust and filling base then mix in fresh, crisp veggies that are steamed or lightly browned. Or create a savory, meaty quiche with your favorite sausage or bacon. Add some cheese before filling the crust and sprinkle some more cheese on top before baking.
Finger foods bursting with flavor simply make brunch better. This recipe uses ready-rolled puff pastry sheets, rosemary and the distinctive taste of Jarlsberg Brand Cheese for a mouthwatering dish that can be featured at a tasting station or as part of a larger meal.
Find more recipes for your Easter brunch at jarlsberg.com.
Make Brunch a Breeze
Skip the stress this Easter with these tips to make preparing your holiday brunch simply delicious.
- Choose several make-ahead dishes that you can prepare well in advance, such as quiche or a breakfast bake.
- Skip time-intensive pancakes and instead serve up a French toast casserole.
- Prepare recipes using the highest-quality, freshest ingredients for the best results.
- Give your meal a boost with unexpected but impactful touches, such as specialty butters, homemade jams and delicious cheeses.
- Create beautiful and tasty accents for your buffet in minutes with pretty bowls or platters filled with colorful, seasonal fruit.
Easy Brunch Omelet
Makes: 4 portions
- chorizo, bacon or ham
- cherry tomatoes
- spring onions
- 8 eggs
- 8 tablespoons water or milk
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 8 slices Jarlsberg Cheese
- 8 slices ham
- Prepare toppings. Fry mushrooms and chorizo, bacon or ham; cut cherry tomatoes and spring onions.
- To make omelet, crack eggs in bowl and add water, salt and pepper. Whisk eggs until they turn a pale yellow color, about 25-35 whisks.
- Heat frying pan on medium heat and melt butter. When butter is bubbly, add about one quarter of the egg batter. This will make one of four omelets. When batter starts setting, move hardened parts toward the middle, enabling the rest to get direct heat as well. Use a gentle hand to avoid scrambled eggs. When batter starts to look cooked, add cheese and meat and flip omelet over. The omelet should be slightly golden on fried side and a little runny and soft in the middle.
- Finally, put omelet on plate and add garnish before serving.
Puff Pastry Swirls
Makes: 4 portions
- 4 ready-rolled puff pastry sheets
- 1 cup grated Jarlsberg Cheese
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- On lightly floured work surface, roll out pastry sheets into 8-by-4-inch rectangles. Mix grated cheese, rosemary and pepper. Spread mixture over puff pastry. Roll up each pastry rectangle from short end. Press edges firmly together to seal roll.
- Slice each roll into 2-inch thick slices. Place face down on baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Tip: To make swirls rise more, don’t roll out pastry with rolling pin.
Cheesy Bacon Quiche
Makes: 4 portions
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 cup bacon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 leek
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup Jarlsberg Cheese, plus additional for topping, grated
- 3 tablespoons parsley
- 4 tablespoons cream
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- In large bowl, mix butter, flour, water and salt together. Knead thoroughly to make firm dough. Pack dough in plastic wrap and let rest in refrigerator for 20 minutes. Press dough into full surface of pie plate and cover with aluminum foil. Prebake in oven 10 minutes, then remove aluminum foil and bake another 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in frying pan on medium heat, saute bacon. Add leek at end of cooking time.
- In bowl, whisk eggs and cream together and add grated cheese, parsley, bacon and leek. Pour filling into crust and top with grated cheese. Bake for 15 minutes, or until edge is golden brown and center is set.
Tip: To save time, use premade pie crust and bake according to package directions.
Source: Jarlsberg Cheese