Mother’s Day gives us a chance to show mom how fabulous she is. Throwing a party for her is a fun way to let her know how much we appreciate everything she does for us. Make it just your family, or invite other families to join in. The moms can hang and chat while everyone else pitches in, including the kids! If you already have plans for Mother’s Day, give mom a rain check and throw the party the following weekend.
Simple and Tasty Menu
The menu doesn’t have to be elaborate to be tasty, and the kids will be able to help. Below are recipes for a slightly kicked-up roast chicken and potato boats, which are fun to make and yummy to eat. Serve with a green salad or a hot vegetable.
Green beans would be a good match with the chicken and potatoes. Keep them simple with a pad of butter, salt and pepper, or toss in lightly toasted slivered almonds and dried cranberries or cherries. And for dessert? You’ll find the perfect sweet treat that mom will savor at one of our market’s—, and —fabulous bakeries.
Make it Festive
Liven up the party with colorful decorations. The is a great place to find streamers, balloons, bright napkins and more.
A flowering plant inside a cute pot makes not only a great centerpiece, but a nice present for Mom. sells a good selection of pretty pots and 4-inch flowering plants. The has beautiful flowering plants, some already nestled in baskets or pots. They also have small, adorable silk flower arrangements that would make a lasting Mother’s Day gift.
A Toast to Mom
Use pretty wine glasses or flutes and pour a nice bottle of wine, champagne or sparkling water. For a special touch, add a splash of peach or mango nectar to the sparkling drinks and garnish with a slice of orange. Add some curling ribbon to the stem of mom’s glass.
Whole Roasted Chicken
This can be cooked in the oven (350 degrees F) or on the barbecue. Buy an organic, free-range chicken if you can. It’s more expensive, but there truly is a difference in the flavor and texture compared to commercially processed chicken.
Brine the chicken: If you’ve never done this, you’ll be amazed how it adds to the flavor, tenderness and juiciness of the chicken. The brine can simply be water and salt (1/4 cup salt to 4 cups water). If you like, you can add fresh or dried herbs, fresh garlic, or a splash of orange juice or white wine. Seal the chicken and brine in a plastic bag and refrigerate at least three hours. If I’m brining overnight, I’ve found it best to reduce the salt, or the chicken becomes too salty.
When you’re ready to cook the chicken:
Loosely stuff the chicken cavity with fresh rosemary sprigs, peeled garlic cloves and chunks of fresh lemon or halved kumquats.
Make a basting sauce: Heat ¼ cup olive oil over low heat. Stir in finely chopped rosemary, garlic powder, fresh ground pepper, juice from 1/2 lemon and a splash of white wine. Remove from heat. Baste the chicken occasionally while it’s roasting. Chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 175-180 degrees F.
Meanwhile, make caramelized onion and kumquat “chutney”: Thinly slice approximately seven fresh kumquats. Set aside.
Chop a large yellow onion. Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a sauté pan. Cook the onions over low-to-medium heat until browned (caramelized). Stir only occasionally. Over-stirring won’t allow the onions to caramelize.
When onions are almost done, stir in one to two minced cloves of fresh garlic. Then stir in the sliced kumquats. Add a splash of white wine, stir again. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to small serving bowl.
You can keep these simple, or get creative with a variety of additions.
Bake whole russet potatoes, allowing at least one potato for every two people.
Cool the potatoes until they can be handled, then cut each potato in half lengthwise.
Scoop out the insides of the potatoes into a mixing bowl. Leave a small amount of potato in the skins so the skins stay intact.
Add butter, salt, pepper and a splash of milk. You can also add a heaping tablespoon of sour cream or yogurt.
Mash the potatoes by hand or with a mixer. Do not over-mix or the potatoes become glue-y.
Make the potato boats. This is where you have some choices.
You can leave the potato mixture as is, or add—by hand—grated cheese, cooked bacon pieces, chopped green onions or chives, chopped red onions, caramelized onions, chopped black olives, diced ham, whatever sounds good to you!
Scoop the potato mixture back into the skins, spread until even, and then top with grated cheddar or other cheese.
Finish off in the oven: Put the potato boats on a cookie sheet and bake in a 450 degree F oven until potatoes are heated through and the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
To all the moms out there, have a wonderful Mother’s Day!