It’s a few weeks after Mother’s Day at this point, but better late than never. This year for Mother’s Day, I took a few Simply Delicious recipes and decided to make a brunch menu out of them for my mom. We usually do lox and bagels at home for our holiday brunch celebrations, but this year I wanted the full Mother’s Day buffet experience–but still at home. It’s not brunch without fruit salad, so the first entry for this grand event (MD2017) is 15-19: Layered Fruit Salad.
But wait a minute, you say! This is from the Cold Desserts category? How can it be for brunch?
It’s fancy fruit salad–I think it’ll be okay either as a dessert or a brunch side dish. Plus, I need to burn off some of these dessert recipes–so many of them require fresh fruit and summer is the best time for that.
Everything I needed to learn about making 4-18: French Vegetable Casserole was told to me by Remy the animated rat, star of Ratatouille. I know…the editors of Simply Delicious call this dish “French Vegetable Casserole” to make the name more palatable for Middle America. 🇫🇷
The card mentions that the dish is referred to as “ratatouille” in its area of origin.
Editor’s note:I did the underlining you see above when I realized this recipe was “ratatouille”. I’ve made this recipe before, a year or two prior to embarking on this project. I even watched Ratatouille on my laptop while I made it. 🐀
I’m not going to write a long dissertation on the origins of the well-known French dessert, Tarte Tatin–I’ll let Wikipedia handle the background of it. Instead, I’m going to focus on my history with 16-15: Tarte Tatin, evidenced by my mom’s handwriting all over the front & back of the recipe card.
Since she and I already had plans to go to a local farmers’ market for this year’s Labor Day BBQ supplies and apples were plentiful, I decided to bring back an old classic for us to cook together. 🍏
Mostversions of TarteTatin are somewhatsimilar–it’s a pretty basic recipe. My mom’s notes claim it’s “easy”, and she stands by it to this day. Her other notes turned out to be helpful as well–the importance of good note-taking.
The photo of the pie for this recipe, 16-4: Blueberry Pie is epic. The peasant blueberry picker doll in the background is a great departure from most of the photos in Simply Delicious. 👍 We bought a case of blueberries during a trip to the market because they looked super fresh. I was going to make blueberry muffins, but after flipping through the recipes, this seemed like the best choice.
The whipped cream in the receptacle looks great. Check out how they used the pie in the background as well as in the center of the photo. The blueberries scattered on the table and the baby’s breath everywhere makes this photo extra fancy. 🎩
1-9: Four Seasons Pizza is a weird little pizza. This appetizer uses ingredients from the 4 different seasons (from my interpretation): ham for spring, olives for summer, mushroom for the fall and shrimp for the winter. The marinated artichoke heart in the middle reminded me of the sun. 🌞
As I stated in the 13-11: Vegetarian Pizza post, I do enjoy pizza. I made these 4 small pizzas and was able to freeze 2 of them whole to eat later. 🍕
It took more than two years, but I’ve finally ventured into the last untouched dessert category – Group 15: Cold Desserts – with 15-1: Lemon Mousse. I’ve experimented with mousse before, both within this project and in my own cooking (here’s one of my desserts from my restaurant days), but I’ve never made this version. It’s simple, refreshing, and a good summer dessert. 🍋
This recipe is for lemon, but you could probably substitute orange, lime, or something else citrusy that’s similar if you want to get creative/different with it. This freezes/holds well, so you can make it even further in advance of the night before if you want. ❄
Corn is more of a summer thing, but the recipe for 3-14: Creamy Corn Chowder calls for fresh, canned, or frozen corn, so you can have it anytime you have a hankering for corn chowder. I’m not personally a huge fan of corn chowders, but I know a lot of people are, and my in-house reviewer claimed to like it, so it comes recommended.
I’ve made a variation on Tyler Florence’s corn chowder at my current job, which was also a hit. Both call for thyme, but Simply Delicious chooses to bulk with mirepoix vegetables & milk rather than potatoes, roux, & heavy cream like Tyler Florence. Another example of the lean/health-conscious 80s. Read more