HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!

Mother's Day is held every year on the second Sunday in May. This year it is celebrated on May 10th!

The first Mother's Day observance in the United States was held on May 10, 1908 in Philadelphia, PA. Anna M. Jarvis (1864-1948) is credited with the origination of Mother's Day.

Anna loved her mother very much and was extremely attached to her. So when she passed away in May of 1905, Anna wanted to honor HER mother, as well as all other mothers, with a special day dedicated just to them. She felt that many mothers are not appreciated enough by their children while they are alive. She hoped that having a day specially designated to remember our mothers would increase respect for them, as well as for fathers, and help to strengthen family bonds.

By 1911 every state in the United States was celebrating Mother's Day. In 1914 President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Mother's Day an official national holiday.

Giving our mother a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a loving card on Mother's Day is one way many of us show our love and appreciation. Carnations were Anna Jarvis's mother's favorite flower, so they have become the symbolic flower for Mother's Day. White carnations represent the sweetness, purity and endurance of a mother's love.

In time, red carnations became the symbol of a living mother, while white ones signify that one's mother has died.

Another great way to show our affection and appreciation to our mother on Mother's Day (or any day) is to honor her by fixing her some of her favorite foods!

Since I am a mother myself, (and I know lots of other mothers,) I feel that I am somewhat of an expert on what mothers love to eat, especially when they are splurging, which of course they absolutely SHOULD be doing on Mother's Day! So, having said THAT, I would really like to share with you some of the recipes for dishes I believe mothers will love.

RECIPES FOR BRUNCH

EGGS BENEDICT

Eggs Benedict consists of an English muffin half covered with sliced ham or Canadian bacon, topped with a poached egg, and covered with a couple of spoonfuls of warm hollandaise sauce. This is a dish that mothers order for breakfast in a restaurant, but rarely prepare at home!

Eggs Benedict is actually very easy to prepare, but the hollandaise sauce can be tricky if you don't follow the directions exactly. The first time I made it, I cooked it too much and it curdled. I did learn from my mistake, however, and it turned out perfectly the next time I made it, as well as every time since! I'll let you know in the instructions what the "secret" is to perfect hollandaise sauce!

So, surprise mom, and fix her Eggs Benedict served to her in bed! It's great served with fried potatoes and a fresh fruit cup.

Ingredients: English muffins Ham or Canadian bacon Eggs for poaching Ingredients for Hollandaise sauce: (Makes enough for 6 to 8 English muffin halves.) 4 egg yolks 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 cup butter, cut into slices 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper Note: It is very important to use a whisk to stir the sauce!

Instructions: Make hollandaise sauce first.

Place egg yolks into a small heavy saucepan, or a double boiler. Whisk eggs together with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Whisk together well!

Turn heat to medium and add slices of butter. Constantly whisk butter into other ingredients as it melts. As soon as butter has melted and sauce is smooth, take off heat. Very important: If you cook sauce any more than this, it will probably curdle. Cover sauce to keep it warm while toasting English muffins and poaching eggs.

If you are using fully cooked sliced deli ham, you can just warm it in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds. Or you can fry your Canadian bacon or ham until lightly brown.

To poach eggs: Pour 2 inches of water into a deep skillet. Heat water to boiling; reduce to simmer. One by one, break each egg into a cup, hold cup close to the water's surface, and slip it into the simmering water. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until it is done just as you like it. (I like my yolk a little runny!) Lift eggs from water with a slotted spoon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired.

Toast English muffins and butter.

Warm the ham or Canadian bacon.

Place ham on cut side of each English muffin half. Place egg on top of ham. Spoon warm sauce over eggs.

Makes 3 to 4 servings.



BROCCOLI MUSHROOM QUICHE

REAL women LOVE Quiche!!! I absolutely ADORE this recipe for quiche! If your mother is a quiche lover too, serve her this with some slices of crisp bacon and cut-up fresh fruit on the side.

Ingredients: 1/4 pound mushrooms, sliced 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 3 large eggs, lightly beaten 3/4 cup half and half 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 1/2 cups shredded swiss cheese Broccoli One 9-inch pie shell, unbaked (I have given you my recipe for pie crust, but if you would rather, you can purchase a pre-made pie shell from your grocery's dairy case.)

Pie Crust Ingredients: 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup Butter Flavored Crisco 3 to 4 tablespoons very cold water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Instructions for crust: Mix dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening with knife until the size of small peas. Pour in cold water and stir together with a fork until dough sticks together into a ball. Roll dough out to fit into the 9-inch pie pan. Note: I always roll my dough out on a piece of waxed paper. Flour the paper well, and also flour your rolling pin, as well as the top of the dough. After rolling out the pie dough you will be able to pick the paper up, and turning the paper upside down, lay dough into pan. Set aside while making the filling.

Melt butter in a medium-sized skillet. Add mushrooms and green onion; lightly saute till soft.

In a medium-sized bowl combine eggs, half & half, salt, basil and grated cheese. Set this mixture aside also.

Cook broccoli slightly. Lay broccoli in bottom of unbaked pie shell. Sprinkle mushroom/onion mixture over broccoli. Pour egg mixture over all.

Bake quiche at 425 degrees for 15 minutes; then at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.



SOUR CREAM SCONES WITH CURRANTS

These scones are sooooo light, tender and flavorful! They would make a perfect addition to mom's breakfast-in-bed tray.

Ingredients: 1/2 cup dried currants 2 cups all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 teaspoon salt 5 tablespoons butter 1 cup sour cream 1 egg, separated Cinnamon-sugar mixture (like you would use for cinnamon toast)

Instructions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Bring out 2, 9 inch non-stick pans (or grease lightly) to bake them in, or you could use a cookie sheet.

Place currants in a small bowl and cover with very hot water. Let stand about 5 minutes; drain well, and set aside till ready to add to flour mixture.

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Cut in butter with a knife or pastry blender till it resembles course crumbs. Stir in currants.

In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream and egg yolk. Add all at once to flour/butter mixture. Stir until dough clings together.

On a lightly floured surface, knead gently - about 15 strokes. Cut dough in half, and roll or pat each half into an 8 inch circle. Cut each circle into quarters, but do not separate. Lay the quartered circles into the baking pans or onto a cookie sheet.

Beat egg white with a fork until frothy. Brush a coating of egg white on the top of each scone; then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes until light brown.

Cool 5 minutes. Split each scone in half and spread with soft butter. Makes 8 large scones.

RECIPES FOR AFTERNOON TEA

STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE

This cheesecake is so easy to make. You don't even have to make a crust! It has a very subtle almond flavor, and the baked-on sour cream topping makes it so much more rich and creamy! Garnish with sliced sweetened fresh strawberries.

Ingredients:
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat cream cheese, sugar and salt till fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat well after each one. Beat in almond extract.

Pour into a 9” or 10” round glass or ceramic pie baking dish or a 7” springform pan. (I usually use a 10” glass or ceramic dish.) Bake for 25 minutes if using a 9” or 10” pan, or about 45 minutes if using a 7” springform pan.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes before spreading on sour cream topping and baking again for 10 minutes more.

Sour Cream Topping:
1 cup sour cream
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Stir together until throughly combined. Spread on top of cheesecake. Bake in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Chill completely in refrigerator before serving.

Prepare strawberries: Just before serving, slice strawberries into bowl and add sugar to taste. Spoon over top of chilled cheesecake.



LEMON BARS

These lemon bars would be absolutely delicious served at Mother's Day tea!

I LOVE this recipe for lemon bars! I got it from my good friend Jackie. They are a lovely combination of sweet and tart with a melt-in-your-mouth shortbread-like crust. They taste fantastic warm or cold.

Ingredients for crust: 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup butter, not softened 1/2 cup powdered sugar

For filling: 4 eggs, beaten 2 cups sugar 1/4 cup lemon juice Grated rind from 2 lemons 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt

For frosting: 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1/4 cup lemon juice 3 tablespoons butter, melted

Instructions: Grease a 9 x 13 baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix flour and powdered sugar together. Slice up butter and work into flour mixture with pastry blender, cut in with knife, or, do as I do and work the butter in with my fingertips.

Press mixture into pan and bake for 15 minutes.

While crust is baking, beat together the eggs, sugar, lemon juice, grated lemon rind, flour, baking powder and salt.

Pour mixture over hot crust and bake 25 minutes.

Make frosting while bars are baking. Beat powdered sugar, lemon juice, and melted butter together with electric mixer or whisk.

Pour over bars while they are still hot and spread as evenly as possible. Try a piece warm, and then store the rest in the refrigerator.