simple is beautiful

Mother's Day Wrap Up

Monday, May 15, 2017


Hi friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and a sweet Mother's Day.  I couldn't have asked for a better day - having my family for the day is the best!  We invited Mom and D over for lunch and had the best time chatting, walking through the garden, and just plain visiting. We always enjoy hearing stories and my step father has the funniest knee slapping ones! We all gather around to listen and soon we can hardly stop laughing from his animated delivery. There's nothing like a good laugh with people you love.


The best part of all was having both sons home.  A last minute summer job change brought our oldest home for the summer and I'm not one bit sad.


I planned a super simple make ahead lunch so I could enjoy time with family and not be too busy with food.  Because it was a light lunch, I offered snacks to the guys with big appetites.


I found this delicious recipe for watermelon jalapeno margaritas to serve before lunch.  Thank you to my sweet husband for juicing the watermelon for me.  See recipe at bottom.


While the guys bellied up to the cheese tray, Mom and I walked around the garden sipping on margaritas talking about the important things, flowers and life.  Mom gives and gives and never asks for anything in return.  She loves her family with her entire being and always puts us first. I love you so much Mom!


I kept the table simple.  Sorry, no over the top tablescapes here.


I served one of our favorite chicken salad recipes over mixed greens which is perfect for a lunch gathering.  We had fresh bread and butter with it.  See recipe at bottom.


I made blueberry cheesecake squares for dessert.  These are so easy to make and perfect for a spring dessert.  See recipe at bottom.

Watermelon Jalapeno Margaritas
(recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen)

2 cups 1800 tequilla
1 cup Nellie & Joe's lime juice
2 cups watermelon juice 
1-2 sliced jalapenos sliced
2 1/2-3 tablespoons agave nectar

To juice watermelon, chop a small watermelon and run through blender.  Strain pulp reserving juice.  Mix ingredients together & serve over ice.  Garnish with jalapeno & slice of lime.

Mandarin Chicken Salad
(recipe adapted from the Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook)

4 cups chopped chicken ( I used a whole rotisserie chicken)
 3 stalks celery, diced
juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 red grapes, halved
2 oz. package slivered almonds toasted
11 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
Mixed greens

Combine first 4 ingredients; cover and chill at least one hour.  Add mayonnaise and salt stirring to combine.  Add grapes and almonds; toss gently.  Stir in oranges just before serving.  Serve on mixed greens.

Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
(recipe adapted from Tyler Florence)

Base:
cooking spray
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 tablespoon ground cinnamon
9 graham crackers
1/2 stick butter, melted

Spray 9 X 9 pan with pan & line with parchment paper.  Combine dry ingredients in food processor    until you have crumbs.  Add melted butter and pulse to incorporate.  Pour into baking pan and firmly pat down with bottom of glass.  Bake for about 12 minutes on 325 degrees.

Filling:
16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
2 eggs
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Add cream cheese, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar to a food processor and pulse until combined.  The consistency should be very smooth.  Pour onto the cooked graham cracker base and then sprinkle with blueberries.  They will sink slightly.

Bake 35-45 on 325 degrees, or until the center only slightly jiggles.  Cool completely.  Refrigerate at least three hours.  Once set, remove from pan using parchment lining and slice into 9 squares.



4 comments:

  1. Walking through the garden is something that I did with my mom and grandma and now just my mom. Driving around looking at houses and neighborhoods is something that I have also done since I was a child, starting with my grandpa. I love simple activities like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such sweet memories Teresa! Simple activities are often the best.

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  2. Your recipes look delicious. Can't wait to try the margaritas. You look too young to have boys so old!
    -Carrie

    ReplyDelete
  3. As a southerner myself, I enjoy your blog very much. As an exhausted high school teacher, you offer a great escape, too! Happy Mother's Day to you - and thank you for the recipes!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks so much for stopping by! I love your comments and read each and every one. Your questions will be answered here or you can email me at rene.cottageandvine@gmail.com

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