Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Magical Mothers' Day

When you’re the single gal in the midst of mothers, it becomes your responsibility to host Mothers’ Day brunch.  There are six women in my family and I am the younger of two non-mothers with the other being a fabulous aunt who should be celebrated as a mother regardless.  And since I was pent up in grad school the last few mothers’ days, I thought that I should offer to host a little party to celebrate my aunts, stepmom, sister and of course my charming, adorable, weird, pious, giving, hardworking mother:  Big Mama.   As the family baker, I’m pretty sure the gals were expecting something lovely.  Add into the mix that half are on a diet, or off carbs, or don’t want something heavy …like cake.  Oy.  I made a mix of brunchy things:  Crustless Quiche Muffins – yum!, a spectacular Kale Salad with red cabbage, peas, shallots, beets, and a little goat cheese in a fresh lemon “vinaigrette” – a big sautéed batch of Potatoes O’Brien, Grilled chicken – optional topping for the salad, Grilled Turkey Bacon (because I’m a veg and didn’t want my house to smell like dead pig), and a French Toast Casserole for the kiddies that were joining us.  Since I’ve really been on a no processed food/only natural foods kick in my own personal dietary psychosis, I decided that the bread for this should be home made.  Since I decided that last minute, I made my emergency bread or “beer bread” using 7up instead of beer.  Add a little  more sugar and you have a sweet citrusy bread that take 5 minutes to mix and less than an hour to bake.  BooYaH!

So easy:

3 cups flour
1tbsp baking powder
3 tsp sugar
12 ounces beer or lemon/lime soda like 7Up
1 tsp salt

4tbsp butter

Stir first five ingredients until combined.  Melt butter and pour over batter in loaf pan.  Bake on 375 about 50 minutes.  If you're using a soda, you can add a bit more sugar and a tsp of lemon extract for extra sweetness and flavor. 

 For dessert, I made Pavolova in individual servings with a lemon curd filling, fresh whipped cream and a blueberry balsamic drizzle.  And because I like cake, I made an orange pound cake which was a total fail because I used my angel food cake pan instead of my bundt pan which I couldn’t find.  GRRR.  Since no cake gets wasted, I froze the chunks to make future cake pops.  Meh.  So in a pinch, and now handy angel food cake pan, I whipped up a quick lemon angel food cake. 
Here's a destroyed orange pound:

Let me talk about the pavlova a minute.  Or as long as I want, since it’s my blog!  Meringue is a beautiful thing.  Ever since my great Aunt Sis who lived next door made peppermint meringue cookies for Christmas when I was a wee snarkybaker, I have been hooked on the crunchy melt in your mouth magic of meringue.  So when a good friend was grinding up sugar in a food processer for pavlova, which she described as a soft on the inside but crusty on the outside meringue, I was intrigued.  I poked around on the internet and found this recipe which showed single serving pavlova cups that looked easy, and delicious.  They turned out perfect!  So pretty and quick to make.  Look how yummy they look!

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