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Relax (a bit) This Mother’s Day…Even While Hosting

Mother’s Day is coming so get ready to be pampered, catered to, and to not lift a finger….YEAH RIGHT! My husband does do a pretty good job of making the day extra special and relaxing, which means he applies the kids’ sunscreen if we swim, after I packed the towels! Seriously, he really is the sweetest husband, and since the only thing I ask for is to stay in bed past 7:00 am, and to get a run in, I am not that hard to please.

Many women of our generation end up catering to their mothers and mother-in-laws by hosting family for lunch. This means we are grocery shopping, cooking and setting the table for our special day, BUT remember if this makes you a tad resentful that one day, we will be the older generation and someone will be doing it for us. Just give it about 25 years!

In order to make this Mother’s Day one where you can honor your mom or mother-in-law by hosting them for a fabulous lunch, while still having some time to relax with a glass of sparkling lemonade or crisp white wine with your feet up flipping through a stack of magazines (dream come true!) we are presenting a meal comprised mainly of dishes that can be made ahead. Though the main course needs to be made on Mother’s Day, Chef Hugo, 2011 Houston Culinary Awards Chef of the Year, from Backstreet Cafe has chosen a dish that is simple enough for the man in your life to prepare. Tell your men to rustle up their tongs and man the grill, it is their day to cook!

Executive Chef Hugo Ortega, Backstreet Cafe

Grilled Salmon Over a Warm Corn, Avocado and Cherry Tomato Salad


Chef Hugo’s tips:

This recipe is great to prepare outdoors using a grill. The corn, poblano pepper and salmon can be prepared on the grill. However, the salmon can be prepared indoors using a grill pan. For the corn, use a cast-iron skillet as a great alternative as offered here. When roasting corn, I tend to leave a couple of layers of husk on each cob to prevent the corn from acquiring too much color. However, completely peeling the corn will give a more rustic look as well as a robust flavor.


4 corn cobs with husks if desired
½ pint different-colored cherry tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
½ small white onion, sliced into thin strips
1 red jalapeňo pepper, seeded, deveined, sliced into thin strips
1 poblano pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded, deveined, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, diced into ½ inch cubes
¼ bunch cilantro, leaves only
6 (6-oz) salmon fillets
Sliced radishes for garnish
Lime wedges for garnish


1. Place a cast-iron skillet over low heat. Preheat 5 minutes. Place corn on skillet and cook until kernels soften, about 12 minutes peeled or 18 minutes with thin layer of husk. Remove from skillet and cool enough to handle.

2.Transfer to a clean cutting board. Cut off pointed ends to give a staple base. Run knife to remove kernels from cob. Place in bowl.

3. Add cherry tomatoes, onion and peppers. Mix to combine. Add salt, oil and lime juice and toss to coat completely. Fold in avocado and cilantro before serving.

4. Prepare outdoor grill or grill pan.

5. Place salmon fillets, presentation-side down first and cook to medium, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and serve family style. Place salad on platter and top with salmon fillets.

6. Garnish with radishes and lime wedges.

Makes 6 servings

photo of similar dish from salad-in-a-jar.com

Quick Lemon and Garlic Quinoa

This side dish from food.com can be made the morning of, or you can even prepare the dressing and do all the chopping the night before. Quinoa is a seed, which cooks and tastes like a grain, and is  heralded for being a complete protein and high in fiber. Just make sure you buy quinoa that comes pre-rinsed. I have learned the hard way, and I want to save you from the annoyance. This dish is wonderful room temperature.


1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup carrot , chopped
1/3 cup parsley , minced
1/4 cup sunflower seed


2 -3 cloves garlic , minced
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce (such as San-J Wheat-Free Tamari Soy Sauce)


1. Boil the water in a large stock pot.
2. Add salt and quinoa and boil for 10 minutes.
3. Drain in a strainer (like pasta).
4. Prepare dressing in a large bowl.
5. Add carrots, seeds, parsley, and cooked quinoa, and toss well.

prepared by DIL Diaries

Ricotta Cheesecake with Ginger and Kiwi


This Cheesecake from myrecipes.com can be made up to two days in advance and then garnished before serving. Talk about helping to make your Mother’s Day more relaxed!


2/3 cup (about 3 oz.) gingersnap cookie crumbs
1/2 cup minced crystallized ginger
2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
1 carton (15 oz.; 1 2/3 cups) low-fat ricotta cheese
4 large egg whites
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup nonfat yogurt cheese or 1 package (8 oz.) nonfat cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 kiwi fruit (about 1/4 lb. each)


1. Combine crumbs, 1/4 cup ginger, and melted butter. Pat crumb mixture evenly over bottom of a removable-rim 8-inch cheesecake or cake pan (at least 1 3/4 in. deep).

2. Bake in a 350° oven until crust is slightly browner, 10 to 12 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, whirl ricotta cheese, egg whites, and lemon juice until very smooth.

4. In a bowl, mix yogurt cheese, sugar, lemon peel, and vanilla. Add ricotta mixture and stir until well blended (the mixture is thin). Pour into hot or cool crust.

5. Bake in a 350° oven until center barely jiggles when cake is gently shaken, 50 to 55 minutes. Run a thin-bladed knife between cake and pan rim. Refrigerate cake, uncovered, until cool, at least 2 1/2 hours. (If making ahead, wrap airtight when cool and chill up to 2 days.)

6. Remove pan rim. Peel kiwi fruit and slice crosswise. Arrange fruit in a ring in overlapping slices on cake; sprinkle with remaining ginger. Cut cake into wedges.


photo via myrecipes.com

Ending a meal with decorated cookies always makes it feel like a party. Michael’s Cookie Jar has fabulous decorated cookies in all designs, and can even be customized in unlimited ways. They ship, so you can order for Mother’s Day no matter where you are located!

Does your Mom or MIL like to primp?
What Mom doesn’t like shoes???
all photos via michaelscookiejar.com

Make the day feel like a true occasion with flowers that are simple, but will make you and your guests feel extra special. Find colorful vases, or interesting bottles or jars and fill them with flowers from your garden (sounds nice, I don’t have a garden) or whatever is available when you grocery shop. I think it is very chic to use all one kind of flower, or have a monochromatic feel by choosing one shade. You don’t need a ton of flowers to make a big impact, as you can see in these pictures.

If you would like something to munch on when family arrives I suggest something easy and light like this Pina Colada dip from tablespoon.com with fruit. It is easy to grab a bite, and the kids can munch on the fruit during lunch too! It is really refreshing, and almost like a trip to the islands as an extra Mother’s Day gift!

Fruit with Pina Colada Dip Recipe


2  (6-oz.) containers Yoplait® Original 99% Fat Free French Vanilla Yogurt
1  teaspoon rum extract or dark rum
3  tablespoons flaked coconut, toasted
2  tablespoons finely chopped pineapple
Fruit or your choice such as:
15  fresh strawberries, halved
30  (1-inch) chunks fresh pineapple
30  chunks mellon


1. In small bowl, combine yogurt, rum extract and 2 tablespoons of the coconut; blend well. Stir in pineapple. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until serving time.

2. To serve, arrange fruit on serving platter. Sprinkle dip with remaining tablespoon toasted coconut. If desired, garnish with pineapple leaves. Store dip in refrigerator.

photo via tablespoon.com

How are you celebrating Mother’s Day this year?

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3 Responses to “Relax (a bit) This Mother’s Day…Even While Hosting”

  1. * jaw drops after reading the beauty on this post*

    i think I’ll probably get a hot dog on Momma day but I’d like some of that stuff up there. ^

  2. these all sound super yummy!

  3. So glad you like them!

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