Pamper mom inside and out with brunch and spa treatment

It has been 19 years since I became a mother. I never thought that time would go so fast. This past year has been life changing for me and for my family as we sent our oldest child, Carter, to Australia for four months.

As parents, we want our kids to learn new information, see unfamiliar places and gauge how to get through life as successful individuals. But when that time comes to set them free, there is anxiety tinged with excitement.

Since time goes by quickly, remember to enjoy everyday experiences and kick back, relax and have fun with the children in your life.

Some of my favourite Mother’s Day memories are the special gifts and meals that my children have shared, from hand picked pussy willows to a home pedicure using only kitchen ingredients

This year, I am receiving a brunch and spa treat. I have helped with the preparations by sharing the following easy recipes.

Maple Baked French Toast with Berries

  • 1 pkg. cream cheese, softened 250 g
  • 1 c. milk 250 mL
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup 60 mL
  • 1 tsp. vanilla 5 mL
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 2 mL
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg 1 mL
  • 1 loaf French, cut into 16 slices
  • 1 tbsp. icing sugar 15 mL
  • 2 c. fresh strawberries, halved or berry mixture of your choice. 500 mL

Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C)
In a mixing bowl, beat softened cream cheese until smooth. Continue adding the, eggs, milk, syrup, vanilla and spices. Combine well.
Saturate bread in the egg mixture, dipping both sides. Lay the bread in a large baking pan with sides. Pour the remaining egg mixture over top of the arranged bread.

Chill for up to 24 hours. Place bread in single layer on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown, turning after eight minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and serve with strawberries. Serves eight. Source: adapted from Kraft Canada

Fruity Greens Spring Salad

For something less sweet, try this meal salad that brings colour to the plate.

  • 8 c. lettuce, torn 1 L
  • 1 c. fresh sliced strawberries 250 mL
  • 1 c. fresh blueberries 250 mL
  • 10 oz. can mandarin oranges, drained, juice reserved 284 mL
  • 1 finely cut red onion
  • sprinkle of nuts or seeds

Dressing:

  • 1/2 c. oil 125 mL
  • 1/4 c. vinegar 60 mL
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds 15 mL
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds 15 mL
  • 1/4 c. sugar 60 mL
  • 2 tbsp. honey 30 mL
  • 1/4 c. juice from canned mandarin oranges 60 mL

Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well. Combine dressing ingredients and pour over top of the greens just before serving and toss.
Add some leftover or grilled/roasted meat of your choice. Or use a juicy store bought rotisserie chicken. Serves eight.

Amaretto Fruit Salad

  • 6 c. prepared fruit such as berries, red and green grapes, fresh pineapple chunks 1.5 L

Dressing:

  • 1 4 serving size pkg. vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 large container of whipped toppings such as Cool Whip
  • 1/2 c. amaretto liquor 125 mL

Set whipped topping out of the freezer. Make vanilla pudding mix to package directions using 1/2 cup (125 mL) less milk. Empty the whipped topping into a mixing bowl and beat until smooth. Stir in the prepared pudding and amaretto. Let stand in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
Prepare the fruit and store until preparing the salad.
Note: Use orange juice instead of amaretto if desired.
In a large serving bowl, add prepared fruit and approximately two cups (500 mL) of fruit dressing, mix gently and enjoy.
Use extra dressing as fruit dip. Store the extra dressing in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Sugared Berry Pastries

  • 1 container store bought mini cream puffs found in the freezer section of the grocery store
  • 3 c. washed berries 750 mL
  • cinnamon, brown and icing sugar to spice

To prepare, remove the mini pastries from the freezer. Cut each puff in half and place face up.
Carefully decorate each puff with berries of your choice.
Sprinkle with brown sugar, icing sugar and cinnamon.
Place on a plate or tray and serve.

Jodie Mirosovsky is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact: team@producer.com.

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