FOOD FOR THOUGHT—A Special Meal for Mothers

By on May 6, 2015
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By LYDIA BOLEN

Mother’s Day is a day set aside each May to honor all mothers. We shower our loved ones with cards, gifts, and special meals. This is THEIR day!

Show off your cooking skills and prepare a lovely meal. Whether you plan a brunch, lunch, or dinner, this menu will fit into your Mother’s Day plans.

A make-ahead Shrimp and Grits Casserole and a Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing are definite favorites! Top off your meal with an old-fashioned Lemon Icebox Pie.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

 

SHRIMP AND GRITS CASSEROLE

  • Shrimp and Grits_DSC_00201 cup regular grits (quick cooking, not instant)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (plus 1/2 cup for creamier grits)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided (grate fresh)
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided (grate fresh)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 green onions, chopped fine
  • 1 pound fresh shrimp (cooked, peeled, and chopped into bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 can (10 oz.) original Rotel tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook grits according to directions in chicken broth as liquid. Use about 1 /2 cup extra broth to get creamier grits. It will add a few minutes to the cooking time. Remove grits from heat when they have reached the desired consistency.

Stir together cooked grits, 3/4 cup Cheddar cheese and 3/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese.

Sauté green onions in butter for about 5 minutes. Combine grits mixture, green onions, shrimp, Rotel, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Pour into lightly greased 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes.

Serves 6. (May be assembled the day before and cooked before serving.)

Picture and recipe adapted from amandajanebrown.com.

 

SPINACH SALAD WITH POPPYSEED DRESSING

  • Poppy Seed Salad_DSC_00171 bag (10 oz.) baby spinach
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced
  • 4 ounces Bleu cheese, crumbled (I used Feta)
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roasted

Dressing :

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 – 1/2 tablespoons onion, grated
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 to 6 shakes Tabasco sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I use canola)
  • 1 – 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds

To roast pecans, place on baking sheet in oven at 300 degrees for 3 to 4 minutes.

To prepare dressing, combine first 6 ingredients of dressing recipe in blender on low for 30 seconds. On high, add oil slowly with a steady stream. Blend 30 more seconds. Add poppy seeds after blending is complete. (Stir in by hand)

To serve, combine spinach and remaining ingredients and toss. Pass Poppy Seed Dressing.

If you prefer, you can assemble each plate individually, add salad toppings, and drizzle with the poppy seed dressing.

Picture and recipe adapted from amandajanebrown.com.

 

LEMON ICEBOX PIE

  • Lemon Icebox Pie 11 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon peel, finely grated
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 graham cracker piecrust (9-inch)
  • 4 tablespoons granulated sugar

In a medium bowl combine condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, and egg yolks. Mix well. Pour into piecrust and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, beat egg whites with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Remove pie from refrigerator and top with beaten egg whites, spreading to the edge of the crust to seal. Bake until just browned, about 12 minutes. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Makes 8 servings.
(Pie can be assembled the day before. Prepare topping the day you plan to serve.)