Monday, May 10, 2010

Happy Mothers Day! FEAST!

Happy Mothers Day to my beautiful mommys!!! 
(This picture is from like four years ago, but you get the point).

To celebrate Mommy Day 2010, I had the families over to our crib. And I had quite the ambitious menu as you obviously recall from my Saturday post.  Or maybe you don't since it was 8 pages long.  This is what I had planned:

Mother's Day & Mom & Mikeys Birthday Menu:
Apps: Guac & Chips CHECK, Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls CHECK
Main Cours: Herb Roasted Whole Chickens CHECK, Bacon & Horseradish Mashed Potatoes CHECK MINUS THE BACON, Garlic Roasted Potatoes CHECK, Cauliflower Mash CHECK, Assorted Roasted Veggies CHECK, Mediterranean Salad CHECK
Dessert: Fresh Fruit Tart with Vanilla Pastry Cream EPIC FAUILURE, Carrot Cake Cupcakes CHECK, Peanut Butter Cupcakes DIDN't ATTEMPT
And here is what I learned, 
A) Simplify the Menu 
B) In Laws Always show up TOO early 
C) Don't BAKE something you've never made before.  

And this is what the day was like.  Cooked from 9am until 2pm Sunday.  Family supposed to show up at 4pm.  9-12, things are smooth sailing.  1PM, Vanilla Pastry Cream that I refrigerated overnight did not set AT ALL.  More like a thin milk shake.  Try again to make the Cream and this time it turns to scrambled eggs.  Throw everything out and decide to make JELLO Vanilla Pudding and Home-made Whipped Cream to fill the tart. Things are going okay and then ~ 2:15PM, Pie Tart breaks in a million pieces.  2:20PM- Freak out, call brother to get another dessert.  2:30PM- Finally calm, about to finish cleaning up and go upstairs to shower. 2:37PM- Doorbell rings and my in-laws arrive WAY WAY too early.

After all that drama, Mothers Day ended up being quite fun.  Here is our awkward family shot before everyone ate the delicious food.  And aside from the tart, the food was delicious and everyone was happy! Especially with the Celtics Win!
SO lets get to that food, shall we?  I made Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls for an Appetizer along with Guacamole and Cheese and Crackers.
In the filling mix was 1 cup of corn, 1 can of black beans, 1 small can of green chiles, 1 10oz package of defrosted spinach, 4 diced green onions, cayenne pepper, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. And all you do to wrap them is put the filling in the middle, fold up the bottom, then the sides, then roll it over and close the flap.  Kinda looks like an envelope, huh?  Then you bake for 15-20 minutes at 375°.

I think they liked it! I served this with home-made guac- which all I do is use 1 ripe avocado, lime juice, salt and pepper and Fresh HOT Salsa bought from the produce department.  Whirl that up in the food processor and you got yourself a nice spicy guac dip.
Okay, moving on to the Whole Roasted Chickens.  I followed Anne Burrells recipe.  Which is kinda crazy because she seriously SCARES me.  I do watch her show though on occasion and this recipe kinda jumped out at me.  Plus it had a video online.  View here.  So basically all you do is make an herb paste of chopped up rosemary, sage, thyme (my add-in), garlic and red pepper flakes with LOTS of EVOO. 
Then you get under the skin and all over the birds with the paste.  Add more S&P and more EVOO, tie the guys up, put carrots, celery, another thyme bundle, onions and chicken broth in the roasting pan and add the chickens over the veggies.  This was obviously a mans job.  Thanks hubby!
Place the birds in the oven at 425° for 25 minutes, then lower temperature to 400° and cook on and off with foil until the thermometer reads between 160° and 170°.  (PS, I finally realized that the keyboard short cut for degrees is Option Shift 8... just an FYI).  Along the way I added a tablespoon or two of butter on top of the bird and basted the chickens with the chicken stock below.  Thats how I got the golden color.  Mmmmm.
And here is our chicken all cut up.  Dave cut it up with our electric knives we got for our wedding.  Dave loves that thing.
Other things I made were, Smashed Cauliflower from the other week with an add in of Kale, Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini, Roasted Maple Carrots and Parsnips, store bought biscuits,
Mashed Potatoes with Horseradish (kinda looks like scrambled eggs no?) and Roasted Potatoes,
My brother Mike and his wife brought this delicious Mediterranean salad with a lovely dressing of lemon juice, EVOO, thyme and salt and pepper.
And here is the lovely cake my brother and his wife bought from Athan's Bakery.  It was an Apricot Chocolate Mousse cake and it was fabulous.
In addition, I made Carrot Cupcakes, and these were actually successful!  Maybe I don't absolutely SUCK at baking.  Maybe.  This recipe was inspired from Annie-Eats as was my failed tart.  I did basically everything she said, except I used Pumpkin Pie Spice in place of the nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon since pumpkin pie spice includes all those.
Did I mention that my mom and brother share the same birthday?  And that the year my brother was born was ALSO Mothers Day?  What a treat for my mom.  Has her first baby on Mothers Day and her birthday.  Well, their birthdays aren't until Thursday but we decided to celebrate when we were all already together.  Plus wasn't it nice that I made my brother get his own birthday cake?  I'm a cruel sister!
Good job Mom, your eyes are open.  Now make a wish!
All in all, it was a lovely day with my two families.  Lots of laughs, some tears and lots of delicious food.

PS, this is what the Tart was supposed to look like:
So this is what I learned on this beautiful Mothers Day.... sometimes... you just can't do it all. But you can have fun and nervous breakdowns trying!  Thanks to my family for a wonderful day!!!!!!


  1. OH MY GOD - I'm dying!
    So many things to comment on:
    - Early guests are so stressful; more than one group of friends has seen me in a dirty t-shirt and glasses because they've arrived an hour early (bastards! I kid...or do I?)
    - The SW egg rolls LOOK DIVINE (nice job on the step by step instructions)
    - Your chickens looks gorgy! Even Julia would be proud - and btw, your photography looks GREAT - new camera!?!
    - God, we all have that one baked good that is the undoing of us. For me, its meringue. No matter how cold the bowl is, or how carefully, I strain the yolks, those damn things NEVER fluff for me. Annie Eats is seriously a baking goddess - my stuff never turns out as beautiful as hers!

    But girl, Athan's aint a bad second choice :) Looks like the fam had a blast!

  2. Wow, That's a serious feast, nice work! I'm sure they all loooved it!

  3. I am starting to think I should invest in a cannon G11. The food photos really are superb. I'd freak if my guests showed up two hours early!! nevermind i'm light years away from putting together a meal like this. i'm impressed.

  4. color me impressed and now starving! lizzie all of your dishes look SO good! you did an excellent job :) happy birthday to your mom and bro