Shared Kitchen Wisdom (XOXO MOM)

Moms can be some of our best role models.  Whether your favorite mom is your best friend, your aunt, grandma, a friend’s mom, or the mother who bore you- a good mom is also an incredible woman for all to admire.  In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend, I’ve asked some friends to share a few of their favorite cooking tips learned from the moms they cherish.  Enjoy!  Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing moms out there. xoxo

Mother’s Day Tea Sandwiches

Ashley says

My favorite tip my mom gave me is to make berries last longer (since they normally go mushy and gross after just a few days) – put the berries in a large bowl of water with a splash of distilled white vinegar, swish them around and then place them on paper towels to dry.  Once they are completely dry, put them in a bowl in the fridge.  They’ll stay fresh for 7-10 days!

My favorite tip my friend Leah (a mom of 1-year-old Ari) gave me is to use wheat germ instead of bread crumbs.  You need to add seasoning (fresh or dried herbs, garlic powder, salt and/or pepper) to make it taste like something, but it’s the same consistency and so much better for you.

Katie says –

My best friend Hannah is an amazing chef and busy mom! She went to culinary school in NYC and creates tons of delicious organic recipes. One the my favorite recipes she picked up at school is Chocolate Covered Apricots. It’s the perfect go-to recipe for a quick party dessert and always a huge hit!

Ingredients
20 apricots (My favorites are from the bulk bin at Whole Foods)
2 bars of your favorite dark chocolate (I love the Endangered Species Chocolate Organic bars, also at Whole Foods)
1/2 tsp of sea salt

Directions
1. Place wax paper on a baking sheet or plate.
2. Bring water to a boil in a double boiler.
3. Place chocolate bars in the double boiler, stir frequently until melted.
4. Dip the apricots carefully in the chocolate and place on the wax paper.
5. Allow chocolate to cool for approximately 5 mins and then lightly sprinkle sea salt on the top of each apricot. You want the chocolate to be cool enough to keep the salt from melting.
6. Place baking sheet in the refrigerator and allow to cool for 20 mins.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Claire (of 31 Lemons) says –

Make lists and plan ahead. We have a large family – sometimes over 30 people will come together for a sit-down dinner around the holidays. To make these large gatherings happen, my mom would start preparing at least a week ahead of time. She would plan a menu from appetizers to dessert, create a grocery list based on the menu, and develop a timeline for when things needed to get done. She looks at what could be done a day or two before, from setting the table to prepping the food to cooking certain dishes ahead of time.

Simple is always better. Having a couple of great easy dishes to fall back on is key. If you know they taste good and can be prepared without a fuss, you can’t go wrong and will save yourself a lot of stress. Plus, even if you serve them at every meal or gathering, these tried and true favorites end up becoming “family traditions.”

Leave the clean-up for after the guests leave. Stack dishes in the kitchen as they’re used so that they’re out of sight and out of mind, but don’t worry about any cleaning until everyone leaves. It’s a party after all – enjoy the company of your guests and the wonderful conversation!

Shawna & Elana say

Always keep staples in the house so you can have several choices of something quick to make- include a package of pasta, veggies, dry ingredients, ground meat, chicken (both in freezer), spices and seasonings of all types, flour, sugar, baking soda and powder, oils, vinegars, chocolate chips, nuts, etc.

Have a variety of pans for baking and serving.  All types of different shaped cake pans are great.

Have lots of recipes available- either from cookbooks or from online sources (or from blogs like yours!)

Never try out a new recipe when company is coming, unless you are super-brave!!!

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