10 foodie inspired Mother’s Day gifts
Mom, mother, mommy, mum, mama, madre or in our house, The Viv. We all have our different terms of endearment for that special woman in our life who held our hand on our first day of school and makes us chicken soup when we are sick – my mom still does this ;). Although we should be celebrating moms every day, this Sunday we get to spoil and thank them even more as we celebrate Mother’s Day!
For Mother’s Day in our house, buying food related gifts always merited bonus points, so if your mom works in the industry or is just a mega foodie, check out these food inspired gifts that will definitely make her smile:
1.) Kitchen utensils/tools/gadgets - There is never a shortage of kitchen gadgets and utensils in my mom’s home but she never says no to a new ones. Personally, I actually get excited when I buy or receive a new set of professional knives, pots and pans and other handy kitchen tools, if that makes me weird, so be it! Find out what your mom needs or even replaced and pick them up at your nearby department or specialty kitchen store. One kitchen staple that I love is the classic stand mixer, that you’ll be happy you bought when she mixes up a batch of chocolate chip cookies for you :) My favourite brand is the KitchenAid stand mixer that is available in all sorts of fun colours: http://www.kitchenaid.ca/flash.cmd?/#/en/category/2/
2.) Homemade chocolate treats – If your mom is a lover of all thingschocolate, why not make her some chocolate treats instead of buying them this year. Homemade chocolate truffles are a fun way to customize your chocolate gift with her favourite flavours or you can present her with a chocolate bouquet of homemade chocolate “lollipops” created with different novelties. You can find molding chocolate at most bulk or specialty chocolate shops and I have included a recipe for some delicious homemade truffles below.
3.) Food movies – Create a basket of foodie movies and gourmet popcorn which will make for a yummy Friday movie night, on-screen and off! Some of our favourites include, Babette’s Feast, Julie and Julia, Mostly Martha, Soul Food, Woman on Top and Ratatouille.
4.) Wine tour – If your mom is a fan of wine or self-proclaimed connoisseur, you can’t go wrong here. Wine tours are great way to try new wines and learn more about the wine making process, all while enjoying the beautiful scenery of the vineyard. The beauty of this is that you could stay local or plan something on a more international scale in places like Napa Valley, Alsace or the Barossa Valley. One of our favourite Niagara vineyards right now is Tawse Winery who offer a great wine experience that includes a tour of their biodynamic vineyards and tastings with a licensed Sommelier – http://www.tawsewinery.ca/.
5.) Cooking class/ how to class - If you mom has been hinting about how much she wants to hone her culinary skills, buy her a set of specialty cooking classes. Many culinary schools, restaurants and even private Chefs offer 4 – 12 week classes in the evening, for those who want to learn something new or refine their cooking techniques. For added fun, sign up as well so the two of you can enjoy the experience that I am sure mom will appreciate the extra quality time.
6.) Book a foodie themed weekend for just mom and the kids - Whether your mom is a lover of street food, fine dining or loves a great diner, there are so many great foodie trips you could plan for you and her. Some fun places include Portland for a street food feast, a weekend in Paris for some fancy French fare or a road trip to visit some of the spots you saw on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, the ideas are endless.
7.) Subscription to her favourite food magazine – This ensures that your mom is getting a least one component of her foodie fix for the next year.
8.) An outing to a local farmers’ market - Plan a trip to the local market to pick up some produce and meats for dinner. Often there are great local restaurants nearby or on premise so why not treat her to brunch while you’re there.
9.) Host a mom themed dinner party – Plan a party for your mom where she is the guest of honour. You can switch roles and cook her all of the favourites she made for you and some of her favourites as well. Have her favourite flowers as centrepieces and use your favourite mom & me pictures on the place cards. You can go nuts with this theme and she will definitely feel like the queen at the table.
10.) Special edition cookbooks – There are so many cookbooks out there that cater to so many different cuisines. Try finding hard cover or special editions of her favourites that she can put on her coffee table and show to her friends, as she brags about the great gift her son and/or daughter bought her. Some lovely titles in our collection include The French Laundry Cookbook, Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything and Cook with Jamie Oliver.
Regardless of what you do, a simple thank you and I love you will always warm mom’s heart and makes her smile. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the fabulous mom’s out there! This weekend is all about you, so enjoy it :)
Cinnamon Truffles in Almond Croquant
Yield 20 truffles:
8 oz. semi-sweet high quality chocolate (chips or chopped by hand)
2 oz. semi-sweet high quality chocolate (chips or chopped by hand)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cinnamon stick, ground in a spice grinder
1. Steep cream with cinnamon over med high heat until steam comes off and starts to bubble.
2) Pour the cream over 8 oz. chocolate and let sit for 2 min.
3) Mix the chocolate and cream to smooth out the chocolate
4) If chocolate is not completely melted, then melt the remaining over a double boiler
5) Refrigerate the mixture for 4 hrs.
6) Roll the chilled chocolate into balls and then refrigerate them again while you prepare the croquant – see recipe below.
7) Prepare croquant recipe. Once the croquant is cooled and ready, melt 2 oz of semi-sweet chocolate.
10) Roll the balls with the melted chocolate in your hands (you may want to do this with gloves).
11) Once coated in the melted chocolate, roll the balls in the croquant.
12) Refrigerate and serve once set.
3 cups of water
3/4 cups of sugar (you can use sucanat as well)
1.5 cups of almond slivers
1) Poor water into pan
2) Pour sugar in centre of water being careful not to splash the sides of the pan. Gently stir the sugar once but do not stir beyond this point.
3) Bring water to boil until the sugar dissolves and light golden brown – about 10 -15 minutes (do not leave unattended).
4) Lightly toast the almonds.
5) Spray a cookie sheet and spread the almonds evenly over the sheet.
6) When the caramel (sugar mixture) is light golden pour over the almonds.
7) Cool in fridge.
8) Pulse chipped croquant in food processor until it crumbs.