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A brunch for mom

Posted: May 4, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 4, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Apricot nutty-filled spiced muffins

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Motherhood matters. It doesn’t matter who you are mothering, there is just no substitute for you.

Children can come from the womb or birthed in the heart. That’s why on Mother’s Day, we also celebrate aunties, grandmas, foster, adoptive and spiritual moms, too.

If you nurture, sacrifice, serve, cook, wipe noses and give hugs, then you qualify to be celebrated, served and thanked. After all, what would their world be like without you?

Just the other day, my 26-year-old daughter and I sat on the couch and slipped into an emotional conversation. That day, my daughter had listened to her 87-year-old great aunt reminisce with her brother about their relationship with their deceased mother.

Deep in thought, my daughter mentioned, “I wonder what it will be like in years to come when I do the same with my siblings.”

I replied, “Yep, someday I will no longer be around.”

Our conversation had surprisingly taken us to a new level of understanding. Caught off-guard, we looked at one another and cried. There are just no words for a moment like that.

However, we can cushion that future reality with our actions today. One way is to express your appreciation to the mom in your life in a tangible way, such as a call, a card or, best of all, a special Mother’s Day brunch. Before I start with my sweet and savory recipes, let me suggest a few ways for moms to have the day they deserve:

1. Don’t be afraid to request how you want your day. Do you love flowers, perfume, chocolate or a homemade card ? Do you want brunch on the back porch or a restaurant? Write what the perfect Mother’s Day would be for you and leave it out on the counter.

2. Encourage your little ones to go out and pick flowers from the garden for you. Make a big, approving fuss over it, and they won’t forget in future years.

3. If your family members aren’t cooks, bake or buy your favorite brunch treats ahead of time. Ask your family to simply reheat the goodies and make coffee. (Let them serve you on a table draped in your favorite tablecloth with flowers and a cute place setting.)

4. Keep a good attitude. Remember, your kids will have future conversations about you. There is nothing worse than for you to implant in their thought that, “We could never please mom on Mother’s Day.”

Go ahead and make your Mother’s Day perfect. Here are some recipes to help you.

Yammy gluten-free quiche
5 tablespoons olive oil,
   divided
1 ½ cups (3 oz) finely chopped leek
1 large (10 oz) yam or sweet potato, peeled, or 3 cups grated yams
5 slices Rudi’s gluten-free multigrain bread
1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
7 extra large eggs
1/2 cup half and half cream
1 teaspoon gluten-free salt free garlic herb seasoning
1 cup shredded Italian five cheese blend
1/3 cup chopped gluten-free Canadian Bacon
1 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
1 slice gluten free Canadian Bacon, cut into ¼-inch slices
2 tablespoons chopped chives

Heat oven 400 degrees. Line a 9-inch spring form pan with parchment paper. In a large frying pan, heat three tablespoons olive oil. Add leeks, and cook on medium for seven minutes. Reserve two tablespoons for crust. Scrape remaining leeks into large bowl to mix with egg mixture.

Meanwhile, make breadcrumbs from Rudi’s gluten-free multigrain bread. Break bread into pieces and process in food processor for three 10-second pulses or crumble by rubbing between your thumb and first two fingers. Set aside.

Cut off the rough  yam ends and discard. Cut one vertical slice to decorate the center of the quiche (under 1-inch in width and under 1/4-inch deep). Shred yams on the largest grating hole of a food processor or hand grater for three cups grated yams. Chop any yam pieces that are too small to go through grater and incorporate into egg mixture.

Grease the wall of the spring form pan with olive oil. So as not to dirty another pan, use the leeks frying pan and toss two tablespoons cooked leeks, grated yams, two tablespoons olive oil, lemon pepper, and breadcrumbs. Pat crumbs on bottom of pan and up the sides to within a half-inch of pan’s edge.

In large bowl with leeks, whisk in eggs, cream, herb seasoning, and grated cheese until smooth and creamy. Stir any extra chopped or grated yams and chopped Canadian bacon into egg mixture and mix well.

Right before pouring egg mixture into pan, stir in baking powder and mix well. Pour egg mixture into pan. Arrange Canadian bacon strips in a spokes-like design with the yam slice as the center. Sprinkle with chives. Bake 35 minutes or until set in the center. Cool 10 minutes, run a thin knife in between the pan’s edge and quiche crust. Remove from pan.

Ham swirls with
pineapple glaze
1 (8 ounce) sheet from a
(17.3-ounce) package
puff pastry sheets,
thawed
5 ounces minced ham (1
heaping cup full)
1 cup red onion
1 cup shredded cheese
(Mexican or Italian
  blend)

Pineapple preserves or  
jam

Heat the oven to 400°F. Place ham chunks in food processor, pulse 5-10 short times or until finely diced to resemble deviled ham. (Note: If you don’t have a food processor, mince ham by hand or with a food chopper).

Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly oiled cookie sheets. Spread ham to the edges of the pastry sheet and sprinkle with cheese. Starting with the long side, roll up pastry sheet like a jellyroll. Gently cut roll in 12 one-inch slices).

Place the slices, cut-side down like a cinnamon roll, onto baking sheets.

Bake the swirls for 17-22 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown. Remove pastries from baking sheet and place on cooling rack.

Spoon a half-tablespoon of pineapple preserves on each swirl. (Ham swirls can be served warm or at room temperature).

Apricot nutty-filled spiced muffins
1 cup apricot jam
1 tablespoon orange
   marmalade
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground
   cloves
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
3 whole eggs
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie
   spice
2 1/2 cups all-purpose
   flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
8 ounces mascarpone
   cheese

Line muffin baking pan with 12 liners. Heat oven to 375°.

In a medium bowl, combine the filling ingredients by mixing the apricot jam, marmalade, pecans, cinnamon and clove. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and the butter together with an electric mixer for two minutes.

Add eggs and beat one more minute. Sift the flour, baking soda, and spice into the butter mixture as you alternate with buttermilk. Mix at low speed until smooth.

Bake for 18-23 minutes, until golden brown. Cool for five minutes.

With an apple corer remove the center of the muffin without breaking through the bottom of the muffin. Spoon filling into cavity and plug the hole with a piece of the muffin peg.

Dollop mascarpone cheese on top and serve. Makes 12 muffins.
 
Lemon cherry scones
1 tablespoon freshly
  grated lemon zest
2 1/2 cups all-purpose
  flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking
   powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
7 tablespoons cold salted
  butter, cut into ¼-inch
  pieces
1 cup dried cherries,
  slightly chopped
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon lemon
   extract
Marcarpone glaze: mix 4 ounces mascarpone cheese with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon milk.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl or food processor mix lemon zest, flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, and butter, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add dried fruit to flour mixture.

In a small bowl lightly beat egg, yolk, buttermilk, and extract until smooth. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined. On a well-floured surface with floured hands pat dough into a one-inch-thick disc. Flour the end of two-inch glass or biscuit cutter and cut scones. Re-roll scraps and cut again.

Arrange scones one inch apart on baking sheet and bake in middle of oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until pale golden. Cool scones two minutes and serve with a drizzle of mascarpone cheese glaze and sprinkle with extra lemon zest.

Makes 16 small scones. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 8.

Merry Graham is a Newhall resident, fantastic home cook and winner of numerous recipe contests.
Merry’s Yammy Quiche is currently in a Facebook recipe contest. If you enjoy this recipe, why not vote for it daily until June 6th? Here is the LINK: http://www.facebook.com/rudisglutenfreebakery?sk=app_203943816295148.

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