May 9, 2015

Mother's Day Brunch

Most of my friends, and now our devoted readers, have attained my joy for gathering friends over for brunch. To start the day with great food, friends, and love is a perfect way to commence a day off from work. To have an occasion to celebrate, makes brunch all that much more delightful.

I'm not a mother, however, I am blessed to have been nurtured by a loving, affectionate, compassionate, resilient, beautiful woman.  My enthusiasm for cooking started with my mom's passion to serve us healthy, delicious, nutritious meals; and now, she inspires our blog by continuing to support me by providing delicious recipes that I share with you. She illuminates my world and showers me with love with every breath she takes.

How can I ever thank my mother one day out of the year for all the days of her life in which she unconditionally loves me? It's not possible. My father says it best: "everyday is Mother's Day!" As a family, my parents do not weigh in or value a calendar day set aside to celebrate.  Therefore, we generally do not buy gifts or dine at fancy restaurants on Mother's day.  Rather, every day I remember to celebrate my mother with gratitude for her presence in my life. However, I do like to do something a little different on Mother's Day to simply celebrate.

For that reason, I like to serve a special brunch and I insist upon my mother to relax and enjoy the day. Belgium waffles are traditionally a staple, as that is one of her favorite breakfast dishes. Nonetheless, I take pleasure in surprising her with a new recipe.  This year, along with setting a elegant table decorated with flowers, serving hot and cold beverages, rosewater fruit salad, and waffles of course, I am planning to serve my recipe for savory eggs baked in the oven along with candied Bourbon maple bacon.

Chopped fresh herbs with a hint of garlic sprinkled on top of fresh eggs from our own chicken coop, is baked in individual ramekins along with butter, cream and cheese. These savory eggs serve a hearty, delicious, satisfying balance to the sweet fruit salad and waffles. Bourbon maple syrup glazed bacon accompanied along with eggs and freshly baked bread (thank you Anja for the recipe) is a home run! The bacon is prepared in the oven which makes it crispy, evenly cooked, and easy to clean up. I promise you, once you taste these candied bacon strips, you will want to enjoy them all day long: crispy, sweet and salty with a dash of Bourbon- Need I say more?

Happy Mother's Day, to all mothers, all the days of the year!

April 25, 2015

Raspberry Yogurt Chocolate Tart

by Marjan

Beautiful sunny spring days make it easy to come out of hibernation and celebrate the beauty and joy of blue skies and sunny days. I'm finding my weekends to be filled with fun filled events; whether it is a picnic, small gathering or even a large party, food seems to be the center of my world and attention. I have prepared my Raspberry Yogurt Chocolate Tart now over a dozen times and each time it's been a crowd favorite. This dessert is robust with beauty and taste, simple to make, and fairly less damaging on the waist line. A little tart, creamy and with chocolate sweetness, this dessert is a triple pack unbeatable threat! Minimal sugar is used and with yogurt and raspberries, how can you go wrong?

Many of my guests have asked me to share with them my recipe, so here it is:

April 11, 2015

Ramsons (Wild Garlic) Spring Soup

by Anja

Also called ramps or wild leeks, these garlicky tasting leaves are in season for only a few short weeks. So take advantage of the season as long as it lasts. Not only do ramsons taste delicious, they also have many health benefits and cleansing properties. They are loaded with powerful nutrients called flavanoids and help combat seasonal allergies.

You can buy ramsons from well-assorted stores or find them in the wild. Just make sure you don’t confuse them with the toxic lily of the valley leaves. They look very much alike, however when you slightly scratch the ramsons, you will smell that telltaling garlic smell.

I like this soup here especially on a rather cold spring day, when winter still feels closer than summer and I crave some comfort food. It’s creamy and has some richness to it, and the ramsons give it a delicious garlic taste.

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