Inexpensive Mother's Day gifts
Green guru Elizabeth Rogers offers tips for saving money on Mother's Day.
Thu, May 06, 2010 at 02:43 PM
Right now, at this very moment, I am having chocolate on a warm, toasted, sourdough baguette — I’m obsessed. It's so delicious, it's crazy, plus, it was my son's dream come true to get up in this morning and make chocolate for breakfast; I’m like a dream mom to even ask for such a thing.
How often do we really get to ask our kids — or sig-o — to make us a chocolate sandwich for breakfast, or for any meal for that matter? With Mother's Day coming up, consider asking for a yummy breakfast in bed rather than a pricey restaurant brunch to save your family some dough. And, if you go meatless, you’ll be doing Mama Earth a big favor too. Here are some easy, yummy, and inexpensive ways to shift, save, and serve it up for Mom:
Like a sweet grilled cheese sandwich, this naughty treat takes less than 20 minutes to prepare, and is guaranteed to be loved by all.
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
16 (1/2-inch-thick) baguette slices, cut on a long diagonal
1 (3- to 4-ounce) fine-quality bittersweet chocolate bar (no more than 70% cacao if marked), broken into 1/2-inch pieces
Generously butter 1 side of each baguette slice. Place 8 slices, buttered sides down, on a work surface and cover each slice with chocolate, leaving a 1/4-inch border around edge. Top with remaining 8 slices, buttered sides up, to make 8 sandwiches.
Heat a dry 12-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick) over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then fry 4 sandwiches, turning over once, until golden, 3 to 4 minutes total. Transfer sandwiches to a plate and wipe skillet clean. Fry remaining sandwiches in same manner. Serve warm.
Frittatas are much easier to make than omelets, and kiddies will go to town cracking and whisking away at the eggs. Plus, this one’s packed with fresh, seasonal veggies, making it just right for springtime devouring.
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
1 cup chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1 12-ounce bunch thin asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 cup sliced stemmed shiitake mushrooms
8 large omega-3 eggs
1 cup diced Fontina cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat broiler. Melt butter in heavy broilerproof 10-inch-diameter nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sauté 4 minutes. Add asparagus and shiitake mushrooms, sprinkle lightly with salt, and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Whisk eggs, 3/4 cup Fontina cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl. Add egg mixture to skillet; fold gently to combine. Cook until almost set. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup Fontina cheese and Parmesan cheese over. Broil until frittata is puffed and cheese begins to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.
Perfect served fresh form the oven with seasonal jam and fresh butter. Little kids can take a crack at this one by adding the butter and cutting the dough triangles.
2 tablespoons plus 1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, diced
1 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup (or more) chilled half and half, divided
Position rack in top third of oven; preheat to 375°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice in bowl for glaze.
Whisk flour, baking powder, lemon peel, salt, and 1 cup sugar in large bowl. Add chilled butter; using fingertips, rub in until coarse meal forms. Mix in cranberries and walnuts. Add 1/2 cup half and half and1 tablespoon lemon juice. Toss with fork until dough comes together in moist clumps, adding more half and half if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Press out each half on floured surface to 6-inch-diameter (1-inch-high) round. Cut each round into 6 wedges. Transfer to baking sheet; brush with glaze. Bake scones until golden and tester comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
The fhift: Instead of hitting the brunch buffet this Mother’s Day, treat Mom to a vegetarian meal — bonus points if it’s also organic.
Save $$: You could save up to $10 per person or more compared to buying meaty entrees. Plus, you’ll save even more if you make it at home.
Save the planet: Up to 1,000 calories worth of grain are required to produce 100 calories worth of meat. The energy, land, water and pollution associated with producing and preparing vegetables, fruits, soy, lentils, wheat or rice are significantly less than those involved with the production of beef, pork, or poultry.
Did you know?: Vegetarian foods can be not only extremely healthy and refreshing, but they’re very pleasing to the senses as they involve a variety of flavors, colors and textures.
For more easy shifts like these, pick up a copy of Shift Your Habit. This article comes courtesy of ShiftyourHabit.com and was reprinted here with permission.