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Mother's Day

Dinner for Mom: Make it Memorable ...

You've given Mom a plethora of wonderful gifts, including perfume, a new wallet and stunning silk scarf, and you're anxious to cap off the perfect day with a delicious meal. Sure, hopping into the car and heading to a restaurant would be the easy thing to do, but imagine the wait you'll encounter once you get there. (Doesn't anyone take reservations anymore?) Why not prepare the meal yourself? Here are eight tips to make it easy:

What you will need to create the perfect meal

  1. Plan your menu, and keep it simple. Start with an easy appetizer such as warm corn chips and pico de gallo (recipe to follow), then dazzle Mom's taste buds with tequila, cilantro and jalapeno salmon -- a treat from the Southwest that is sure to delight the whole family. A baked potato and green salad will nicely complement this selection.
  2. Set the table -- fork is on the left, knife is on the right (facing inward, toward the plate), with the spoon to the right of the knife. Place a folded napkin under the fork.
  3. Set a spring bouquet of Mom's favorites in the center of the table. Select short-stemmed flowers (as opposed to long-stemmed roses) so family members can see one another over the top of the arrangement.
  4. Chill the wine. Remember -- white with fish; red with beef. Buy sparkling cider for the kids.
  5. Fill the room with scented candles and light them about 20 minutes before starting the appetizer. This will lend a warm, cozy glow to your surroundings.
  6. Put her favorite CD on the player and turn it down low. You want to be able to carry on a conversation.
  7. Buy something scrumptious for dessert, and you're all set.
  8. Wow her with your wisdom and expertise!

Pico de Gallo

1 large white onion
3 large tomatoes
3 small Serrano peppers, or 1 large Jalapeno pepper
1 bunch cilantro (more commonly known as coriander)

Peel onion and chop finely. Chop tomatoes and add to onion mixture. Finely chop Serrano (or Jalapeno) peppers and add to onion and tomatoes. (Be advised that the pepper seeds themselves can be very hot. Adjust to personal taste.) Rinse cilantro well, then place on paper towel and gently squeeze dry. Chop, and add to mixture. Stir everything well, cover with wrap, and place in refrigerator. Juice will accumulate as mixture sits, so stir occasionally. Serve as you would salsa -- with chips, over fish, on top of a baked potato...whatever suits your fancy.


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