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Sunday, May 8, 2011

A LOVELY MOTHER'S DAY WEEK-END

My husband surprised me by arriving in the middle of Friday night instead of Saturday afternoon as expected.  It's wonderful when he pops in unexpectedly - and the more time we have together, the better.  It threw off my baking plans for Saturday morning though (which is quite alright with me) so I picked up a pre-made angel food cake to go with some fruit I had on hand and pulled out some freezer items so I didn't spend the day cooking and we could spend the day enjoying ourselves together instead.

Saturday night's dinner was the other half of the Swedish Meatballs I had made and frozen in a vacuum sealed bag with the rest of the bag of Amish Noodles I had (of which my husband is particularly fond), a deliciously fresh chopped salad with crisp iceberg lettuce, chunks of cucumber and green onions, black olives and feta cheese with a Champagne Vinaigrette, some garlic toast, and dessert of angel food cake topped with sugar macerated fresh strawberries and seriously delicious fresh blackberries further topped with a rather huge dollop of Sweet Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream.  Both my husband and son raved about the whipped cream of all things.  They enjoyed the visual appeal of the vanilla bean seeds in the cream and the glistening pieces of fruit slathered over the angel food cake slices.  Pretty good for a throw-together meal.

I didn't take any photos this time but here's how I made the whipped cream:

SWEET VANILLA BEAN WHIPPED CREAM

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon Vanilla Bean Paste
3/8 cup granulated sugar

Add all ingredients to bowl of stand mixer with whip attachment and start off slow to get the sugar dissolving into the cream.  Increase the speed to medium high and beat until peaks form.  Be careful not to go too far or you'll make butter.  I can see when the cream starts "staying in place" that it is about ready.  I take the whip attachment off the stand and stir everything with it manually to ensure it is all the way ready.  Deliciously vanilla tasting and sweet.

For the fruit, I just rinsed and quartered the strawberries and rinsed the blackberries and tossed them in a bowl with 1/4 cup of granulated sugar and let them sit on the counter for about an hour before serving.  They made their own little sauce which the cake absorbed.  The fruit is tastiest at room temperature - very summery tasting dessert.

The FoodSaver is really a wonderful product - the meatballs and sauce were as tasty as the day I made them.  I did add a little half and half to thin out the sauce a bit because I knew the noodles were going to suck up what sauce there was.  I cooked the noodles, drained them, and added the thawed meatballs and sauce into the pasta pan and dumped the noodles on top, stirred gently, saw they needed a little thinning and added about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of half and half.  I didn't measure but I think that's about right.  It turned out pretty perfect!

We all left the table with full tummies and I found my husband rustling through the fridge looking for the leftover noodles for a before-bedtime-snack.  I think there were only one or two meatballs left but the sauce with the noodles is what I knew he'd go searching for...and I was right.

We decided to skip brunch Sunday morning and go out to dinner Sunday evening instead.  For lunch I whipped up a recipe of Chicken Salad Spread and served it on hamburger buns.  Quite delicious.

I'll write about our dinner later.  For now, I'm carrying on with the R&R associated with Mother's Day...  I've talked to my Mom, both of my older boys, one granddaughter, and texted my sisters.  All-in-all it's working out to be a great day!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!StumbleUpon

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