SURPRISE! Mother’s Day is just five days away. Five. I can’t figure out how it still manages to sneak up on me when literally every commercial for the last month has been an advertisement for something shiny and sparkly for mothers day. I’m not the shiny, sparkly type though. I like something I can actually get some use out of, so I figured I would share some of my current favorite things that you still have time to get (thank you Amazon Prime, am I right!).
Obviously, 99% of things that I want, or have recently gotten and love, are for the kitchen. Let’s start off with some new cookbooks that are out.
First up, The New Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook by Ellen Brown. I’m obsessed with this one. I love cooking in a skillet, love that it can go from stove, to oven, to table. There are 150 recipes (272 pages), everything from breakfast, to lunch, dinner, all the way through dessert. There are some really easy (and delicious) side dishes, awesome breads, and even a section at the beginning on how to care for your cast iron. I really can’t say enough about the recipes, and the amazon reviews speak for themselves. Beyond that most important stuff though, the quality of the book itself is great. There are tons of beautiful photographs, the paper is nice and thick, and the cover and dust jacket are gorgeous. I’m not going to lie, this is the cookbook that I’ve been leaving out on the island the last couple of months just because I like to look at it. Want to make a set out of it? Pair it with a new pre-seasoned skillet and you’re all set.
Next up, Pocket Pies by Pamela Clark. I love making meals that we can just grab and go with. It’s so easy with the kids, they can cart it out to the backyard or even in the car if we’re heading out somewhere. The book isn’t just filled with empanada style food though, there are lots of individually baked meals (think chicken pot pie), and amazing appetizers and party food (caramelized leek and brie tartlets, or feta and spinach filo bundles anyone?). Don’t even get me started on all the incredible sweet options it has too. Every one of the 116 recipes is this book (160 pages) has a gorgeous photo attached to it (something that’s getting rarer and rarer in food publishing these days). Want to pair it with something? I picked up this Nordic Ware 6 mini pie baking pan a few months ago and love it. The Gooey Chicken, Brie, and Cranberry pies in this book were the inspiration behind my leftover turkey pocket pies too.
If you have a Mom that’s into heart health (or maybe should be more into heart health than she currently is), pick her up Good Housekeeping’s Good Food for a Healthy Heart. It’s got 185 low calorie, low fat, low sodium, and low cholesterol recipes that aren’t low on flavour and variety. In this house, Bo and I are both committing to being more active, and eating better, and this cookbook has been a great go-to for me as we start incorporating healthier meals into our diets. I’ve got the Thai Mixed Vegetable Stir-Fry on the menu for us this week, and I’m thinking some grilled Smoky Spanish Salmon on the weekend. The book is 256 pages of recipes covering every meal, snack, and dessert that you could want. If you’d like to pair it with something else, how about some great quality extra virgin olive oil to use in the recipes.
The last of my new cookbook options is SuperFood Snacks by Julie Morris. Now, I just got this one about a week and a half ago, so I haven’t spent a lot of time making recipes from it yet. I have been pouring over the 100 recipes (224 pages) though, marking up all the ones I’m lining up to make (and there are dozens). If you’ve got a Mom in the house that’s running after a bunch of kids, and often forgetting about herself (cough, me), than this is the book to get her! The first 36 pages are a great introduction to the “superfoods”, explaining how and why they’re good for you without all the big fancy terminology that trips me up all the time. The variety of make ahead and in the moment snacks in this book is incredible, and seeing as we are talking mothers day gifts – there’s even a chapter at the back full of kid snacks. If you’d like to pair it with something, I’d go with some popsicle molds (these ones are on sale right now, search for others if they aren’t any more), or a dehydrator (it would help speed up a few of the recipes, and is super handy for homemade, healthier fruit snacks for the kids).
Now, if you’re looking for big ticket items, there are two things that I’ve bought for my kitchen in the last six months that I am in love and obsessed with – no regrets.
First up, the Breville Sous Chef Food Processor. This baby isn’t cheap, it’s actually at the top end as far as food processors go. I did a ton of research though over the course of a year while I kept my old processor together with tape and a prayer. I have not regretted this purchase even once though (rare for me), so I’ve got no problem recommending it to anyone who will listen. It does an incredible job of dicing up fresh tomatoes without turning them to mush, it has an adjustable slicing disk, cuts up my french fries in the blink of an eye, and can even whip up a batch of pizza dough in seconds. Really, I could go on and on. Just know that I use it all the time, and I have yet to find even the tiniest flaw with the machine.
Lastly, I finally bought a good quality chefs knife, and it’s made a world of difference. I didn’t want to spend a fortune (because seriously, you can spend a FORTUNE on knives), but I wanted to see a significant improvement from my everyday, 8 year old knife block set. After a bunch of research, I finally settled on a Global 8″ Chef’s Knife. I am extremely happy with it. It slices through absolutely everything like it’s butter, and Bo has seen a significant decrease in the amount of times he has to run upstairs and get me a band-aid. There is nothing more dangerous than a dull knife – seriously.
I hope these ideas helped some of you out, Happy Mother’s Day Mom’s!