Mother’s Day Brunch and Creamy Lentil Salad

I hope all the mothers out there enjoyed a wonderful Happy Mother’s Day this past weekend. I always have my parents over that day. We used to do it in the evening but this was our 3rd year with an earlier brunch format which I love. Instead of serving the plates in the kitchen, everything is laid out on the table.

Since I prepare several dishes I usually surf the net for inspiration. I wanted to thank all the bloggers who’s recipes inspired this years brunch. Clik on the links for the recipe. I did prepare a Creamy Lentil Salad of my own too. It really was a way to use up leftovers and it was success. use what every veggies you have at home.

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Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Spinach and Feta Strata

Here is a great little dish to serve for a sophisticated brunch at home. This is actually the 3rd dish I said I would blog about from Mother’s Day. Sorry I have been busy. Last year I made a baked french toast dish which my mom loved. I thought I would stick to the idea but turn it into a savory dish.

Spinach came to mind and there are plenty of recipes out there for a Spinach Strata. My deciding factor was this recipe at The Flour Sack which used Feta cheese as well. A Strata is very similar to a quiche but instead of  crust you soak the egg mixture up with bread, mix in cheese and bake it after leaving it overnight in the fridge to make sure the bread has completely absorbed the egg mixture. It is a very versatile dish as you can tried different kinds of cheeses or add sausage, mushrooms, whatever you like. This time around when I saw the spinach and feta version the first thing that came to mind was ‘Bingo!”

If you want to see the other two recipes I made for the brunch you can check them out here: a Maple Apple Brussels Sprout Salad as a side dish and for dessert Lemon Rice Pudding Verrine with Chocolate Ganache.

Ξ Spinach and Feta Strata Ξ

grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (coating the pan)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper (freshly ground)
6 large eggs
2 cups whole milk
10 oz crusty day old bread
2 cups spinach leaves (coarsely chopped baby, 3 12 ounces)
1 cup feta, crumbled

1 Coat an 9-inch square baking dish with olive oil. Sprinkle lemon zest. Add the bread, spinach, and half of the feta. Gently toss the mixture with your hands until combined, then spread it into an even layer; set aside.

2 Whisk the measured olive oil, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until combined. Add the eggs and milk and whisk until combined. Very slowly drizzle the mixture over the bread and evenly sprinkle the remaining half of the feta over top. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

3 Heat the oven to 350°F. Bake until the custard is set and the edges are browned, about 55 to 65 minutes. Drizzle olive oil and add chopped fresh oregano.

Lemon Rice Pudding Verrine with Chocolate Ganache

Everyone in the food blog world is backing up lemon and citrus treats. To me this means spring and summer are a coming! I love citrus sweet treats at this time of the year. So for Mother’s day I wanted to have a lemon twist to the dessert. As I mentioned in my last post I chose simple fancy recipes, the first a Maple Apple Brussels Sprout Salad while my wrist is in physio rehab. Both my mother and I love rice pudding too. So a Lemon Rice Pudding was natural choice. How about topping it with a little chocolate ganache and serving it all fancied up in a verrine? A success!

I have been actually looking for verrines for a long time, a small glass where ingredients  are layered. All I ever found was too small or too big. I felt like Goldie Locks ha ha. Well finally I got some…for free. I sometimes order beauty products by mail from Yves Rocher and they always throw in a free gift. This time it was a set of 4 verrines the exact size I wanted even if the design is simple. Expect more verrine recipes soon.

Ξ Lemon Rice Pudding with Chocolate Ganache Ξ
adapted from TheKitchn

1 lemon
1/4 cup rice, jasmine or Basmati rice
2 cups of milk (I used homogenized)
3 tablespoons sugar
dash of salt
1 tablespoon rum (optional)
2 oz dark chocolate
2 tbsp Greek yogurt

Preheat the oven to 260°F. Peel the lemon rind (no white) with a vegetable peeler and cut the peel into very fine strips. Reserve the lemon.

Mix the lemon peels, rice, sugar, milk, salt and rum in a small ovenproof dish. Place in the oven and cook uncovered for about 2 1/4 hours, stirring every 45 minutes.

When ready the rice will have almost dissolved and the mixture will have thicken. No worries if it seems a bit liquid still, the mixture will thicken as it cools. Squeeze the juice of the lemon and stir in the juice of the lemon. Divide equally into 4 verrines.

Melt chocolate in the microwave, 30 sec at a time. Ad d the yogurt and mix in. It will be more pasty then smooth, this is normal with yogurt. Divide ganache into 4, topping each verrine. Serves 4 in verrines

Maple Apple Brussels Sprout Salad

So Mother’s Day was the push I needed apparently to really get me back in the kitchen. After 8 weeks I finally made real recipes, 3 of them actually. Well I will admit I chose very elegant dishes that were easy enough to prepare to give my wrist a break. I’ll blog about all 3 recipes in the next days but the first I want to show you is the salad.

My mom loves Brussels sprouts. My father and I hate them. Well I hate the boiled bitter ones I associate with my childhood. I now know you can prepare them minus the bitterness. So to make Mom happy I used her loved veggie in a raw green salad very reminiscent of a slaw. I found an intriguing recipe at Kitchen of Health and I knew this was the one for me, adapted of course. It was a hit all around. I had my dad taste it too, asked what he though t and only told him after it was Brussels sprouts…to his disbelief.

Ξ Maple Apple Brussels Sprout Salad Ξ

3 cups Brussels sprouts, shredded
1/2 onion, sliced finely
3/4 red apple, julienned with skin
chopped walnuts or pecans to taste, optional.

Although you can prepare your veggies with a good knife, if you have a Mandoline it will make your life that easier. Add  Brussels sprouts, the apple, the onion and a sprinkle of chopped nuts to a salad bowl (of course I forgot to add them before the photo shoot). Toss with Maple Citrus Dressing before serving.

Ξ Maple Citrus Dressing Ξ
1/4 c orange juice
1/4 c olive oil
1/8 c apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp nutmeg
dash of salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk well.

The weather as so wonderful, we enjoyed our meal on my balcony. Yes I am high up, 18th floor.

A Daughter’s Love

Happy Mother’s Day

I have 15 min to spare before my parents arrive for dinner to celebrate Mother’s day…and I have 1/2 a recipe to go.

Mother’s day is a day to mark everything Mothers do throughout a day, a week, a month, a year and a lifetime for their children.

Now I am not trying to steal anybody’s thunder…but a daughter’s love is solid and devoted too.

Mom….I accidentally bought the wrong pita flavor for the bouchés with the cocktail. I swear I read multigrain but I saw this morning it was sugar and cinnamon. I know you hate cinnamon. I did not have time to go to the store and get more. So I took a (new in package) tongue brush and brushed of as much as the cinnamon as I could on every single piece for you so you would not have to taste it. Here is the proof:

Of you can expect a following post with the dinner. Actually it will be three posts spread out a bit. I had 3 various cooking challenges to do so That was my dinner menu he he. I cooked my butt off Sunday. So make sure to come back to find out what I made:

– May 12th: mystery dumplings from the Iternational Incident Party
– May 14th: Cooks challenge for the Daring Kitchen
– May 27th: Bakers challenge for the Daring Kitchen