This recipe and photography was provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at Ravenouskitchen.com.
Mother’s Day is the perfect time to tell mom how much she means to you and there is no better way to show her than by teaming up in the kitchen and cooking a meal fit for a queen. Most of us will be celebrating Mom’s Day at home this year, so this meal needs to be simple enough for the kids to be involved, yet beautiful and tasty enough for mom and the whole family to enjoy. Full of color and flavor with lots of jobs for the kids, this menu has something for every member of the family.
Garlic and Herb Grilled Shrimp is a favorite appetizer turned main dish. By threading multiple shrimp on one skewer, this dish morphs from a walk-around cocktail nibble to a lunch entrée. Large shrimp are marinated in a flavorful garlic, lemon, rosemary and olive oil blend, then skewered and quickly grilled. I love how this dish can be made ahead and heated up at the last minute. The older children can have the job of skewering the shrimp. Try to keep them neat and tidy so they look pretty, kids.
Cool, refreshing gazpacho is a springtime favorite and Grape Tomato Gazpacho with Avocado Relish puts a new spin on the Spanish classic. All the ingredients for the soup go directly into a food processor to be blended until smooth and then chilled and served icy cold. For amazing color, I used orange grape tomatoes, but you can use yellow just as well or even the traditional red. Gazpacho is really a liquid salad, which can be kind of boring if not for a zippy boost from sherry vinegar. It has just the right amount of sweet and tart to bring this soup into focus but if you don’t have it or can’t find it, you can use a blend of lemon juice with a touch of honey to get the flavor on point. For added interest, the soup is garnished with a relish of avocado, cilantro and pine nuts that adds texture and even more color and flavor to this simple but spectacular soup. Plus, this soup is served ice cold, so there’s no cooking at all. The kids will love dumping the all the veggies in the bowl of the food processor and watching it all turn to liquid. It’s magic!
Purchased ciabatta bread and a glass of Spanish Albariño round out this leisurely spread. Just slice and serve with really good imported butter (which has a higher fat content and is therefore more delicious) and uncork a chilled bottle of this popular white wine. Albariño is not too sweet and not too dry, a combo that really works with this tart, vegetable soup. If Pinot Grigio hits Mom’s sweet spot, a bottle of that Italian favorite will work just as well.
The last recipe on the to do list is Orange Angel Food Cake. Yes, this is a cake that you must mix up and bake. Let me make myself clear. I do not insist that you make the cake, though you may get extra credit for doing so from Mom. You decide. Though you may not be able to find an orange angel food cake for purchase, you can easily purchase a plain (but still delicious) angel food cake if that better suits your plans. You could even buy the cake and let the kids make the glaze to pour over it for extra points. I’ve provided you with a recipe in case you are of a baking persuasion and would like to make mom a special cake. The kids would have a great time sifting the flour, separating the eggs and watching the whites beat up fluffy and I suspect that making an angel food cake would even qualify as a learning experience. Hey, what’s a little flour on the kitchen floor? I’d make the cake if I were you. Come on. You know the kids want to make Mom a cake.
Start the process a day or so ahead and you will be front and center, ready for Mom’s big day. Don’t forget the pretty napkins and remember to clean up the kitchen as you go. Mom will get a kick out of being pampered, the kids will be proud of their work and you will have done your best to make a lovely day for a lovely lady. Happy Mother’s Day!