Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mother's Day Picnic

To celebrate and show gratitude for our mothers, this year my family will be picnicking on a small farm surrounded by lavendar, sweet peas and sunflowers. I get immense joy from sharing a meal made with care and love from beautiful, wholesome ingredients with those I love. In May, we still have the best that spring has to offer us and the bounty of summer begins.

me & mom when we were young
My picnic basket will include a trio of salads, deviled eggs, assorted cheeses and crackers, and mulberry lemonade… oh, and probably some cookies or lemon bars, although mom is sweet enough already.

Deviled Eggs
1 dozen back yard chicken eggs, hardboiled
a small shallot, finely diced
fresh parsley, minced
Peel the hardboiled eggs and cut them in half lengthwise.  Remove yolks and place in a bowl.  Arrange the whites on a serving tray.  To the yolks, add the remainder of the ingredients (except the parsley and paprika).  Mash the yolks with a fork and stir ingredients together until creamy.  Dollop the yolk mixture back into the egg halves.  Sprinkle with paprika and parsley as desired.

Kitchen Tip: how to easily peel a hardboiled egg
Crack each of the 2 ends, removing a bit of the shell at each end, seal your lips on one end and blow; the egg pops out of it's shell!

Spring Vegetable Salad
Mixed greens (a handful per person)
a diced avocado
fresh basil chiffonade (stack several leaves, roll them tightly, then cutting across the rolled leaves, producing thin strips)
a julienned red beet
roasted asparagus
a couple thinly sliced carrots
fresh corn (slice the kernels from a cob)
tossed with a champagne vinaigrette
…and if you really want a rich salad, add chevre & toasted pine nuts (but that just may be gilding the lily)

Champagne Vinaigrette
Shake ingredients together in a jar: 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar (or red wine vinegar or lemon juice), 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon dijon or whole grain mustard, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Grain Salad or Pasta Salad

Seasonal Fruit Salad
Toss together sliced nectarines, pluots, strawberries, and oranges, with mulberries or raspberries; drizzle with a little local honey, top with fresh mint chiffonade and garnish with edible flowers.

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