15-37: Elegant Strawberries

15-37: Elegant Strawberries

Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s the final dish from Mother’s Day this year–only 6 months after the fact. Better later than never, I suppose. 

You can find the other dishes I made for this year’s Mother’s Day under the tag MD2018 (there’s also last year’s MD2017). If you’re interested in a Simply Delicious Thanksgiving feast I did a few years ago, check out TGV 2016

15-37 Elegant Strawberries

My mom always loves dipped strawberries, so I thought these would be a nice alternative to the mail-order/delivery ones you see all over the place around the holidays. Since I was also making 16-10: Strawberry Shortcake, it ended up being a very strawberry-heavy Mother’s Day. 🍓🍓

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14-31: Coffee Nut Crêpes

14-31: Coffee Nut Crêpes

Trying to sneak one in before the month of October completely passes me by. 14-31: Coffee Nut Crêpes is not the first crêpe recipe I’ve covered during this project, but it may be the last–believe it or not, I’m getting close to finishing a few of these sections. I made this dish back in May as part of my Mother’s Day brunch for 2018, since it seemed like a breakfasty-brunchy kind of treat.

You can find the other dishes I made for this year’s Mother’s Day tagged under MD2018–there’s also MD2017 if you’re interested in last year’s menu.

Yes, this is technically a dessert (according to Simply Delicious). But doesn’t brunch already cross a few boundaries just by definition? Plus, it was Mother’s Day–most restaurant brunches you’ll find on that day have a pretty extensive dessert section. I’m just contributing to authenticity.

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17-30: Stollen

17-30: Stollen

Still catching up on a few old ones–but maybe you can file this one away for later on this year. 17-30: Stollen is a traditional German sweet fruit bread that is typically eaten around Christmas time. After two back-to-back years of holiday treat bundles comprised of multiple Simply Delicious creations (good way to burn them off quickly), I’ve pretty much finished off that type of recipe…at least when it comes to baked goods.

17-30 Stollen
Stollen isn’t a Simply Delicious creation–Wikipedia has a pretty extensive entry on it. There’s some other pretty solid recipes out there as well, if you’d like to compare them to this one. I find comparing multiple versions (from trustworthy/reputable sources) of a well-known dish helps me understand what’s essential about it (what I find common amongst all the recipes) and what’s up for interpretation (where they differ). 🇩🇪🎄

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17-23: Mocha Éclairs

17-23: Mocha Éclairs

As part of my Mother’s Day brunch this year (MD2017), I wanted to push my limits by attempting some of the hardest pastry recipes in the book. I tested my skills not only with 17-44: Homemade Danish Pastries, but with this recipe as well, 17-23: Mocha Éclairs.  My mom always referred to éclairs as something that challenged her when she was learning to cook and bake, and that a well-executed one was something that really impressed her. With that in mind, I knew this recipe was a must-do.

17-23 Mocha Eclairs
I may have to make a few adjustments to Simply Delicious‘ version of the recipe–first of all, there’s no chocolate listed anywhere in this recipe, and it’s advertised as “mocha”, which is coffee AND chocolate. We may have to do something about this “slicing the tops off” idea as well.

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17-44: Homemade Danish Pastries

17-44: Homemade Danish Pastries

Strap in ladies and gents, this one’s a long one. As part of my Mother’s Day brunch this year (MD2017), I thought I’d raise the bar and attempt some of the harder ones in the book–nothing impresses your mother like showing her you can cook (and bake). My mom LOVES pastries, so I made her 17-44: Homemade Danish Pastries to nosh on while I worked on trying to serve up 5-4: Eggs Benedict. Luckily, these turned out better than my hollandaise sauce attempt did.

17-44 Homemade Danish Pastries
Obviously, mine look a bit different than what’s pictured on their card–we’ll get into all the decisions and pitfalls that led to that being the case after the jump.

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15-19: Layered Fruit Salad

15-19: Layered Fruit Salad

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.

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.

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16-24: French Chocolate Cake

16-24: French Chocolate Cake

I recently attended a baby shower for a former co-worker and took it as an opportunity to knock out two more Simply Delicious desserts: 16-39: Apricot Tart and this one, 16-24: French Chocolate Cake. I wanted to bring something fruit/nut and something just plain chocolate, since some people there had nut allergies and others might just want something simple and chocolate.

16-24 French Chocolate Cake
This was a combination birthday party/baby shower (same person being honored for both), which will hopefully explain the odd decorations on my version of the cake. I’ve spared you pictures of the worst of my decoration choices, but let’s just say I made liberal use of all 4 colors of a grocery store icing kit. I kept meaning to hit a craft store for better cake decorations (or even Amazon), but time got away from me. ⏳

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17-49: Apple Muffins

17-49: Apple Muffins

My contribution to this year’s holiday baking (XMAS 16) consists of two recipes which include my favorite fruit: Apples! 🍎 🍎 🍎

I ended up multiplying this recipe by 3, which gave us more than enough apple muffins for the holiday gifts. 🎄


The notes on the front of the card are from Jamie’s mom. I made this recipe once before when I had a lot of apples laying around.

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17-48: Buttery Vanilla Rolls

17-48: Buttery Vanilla Rolls

In my holiday baking batch from last year (XMAS 15), I included 17-67: Coconut Crescents to offer some variety to the endless types of cookies. 🍪 17-48: Buttery Vanilla Rolls were included in this year’s holiday baking (XMAS 16) for much the same reason, although I think I ended up with a better mix of items this year. 🎅🏼

17-48 Buttery Vanilla Rolls
I liked that these were baked in muffin cups as well–I thought that might make them easier to pack up and distribute/ship as gifts. To make them holiday-ish, I sprinkled them with a bit of red and green decorating sugar while they were cooling. 🎄

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17-42: Luscious Lemon Bars

17-42: Luscious Lemon Bars

17-42: Luscious Lemon Bars were the second of my holiday baking batches this year (XMAS 16), and one that I’ve baked in the past, given my rather bold notes. I think I was on a cheesecake kick, and thought these would be easier than making an actual cake. “BAD DO NOT MAKE” doesn’t exactly bode well for a recipe–why make it again?

17-42 Luscious Lemon Bars
Here’s why: sometimes it’s important to try again, even when the first experience wasn’t exactly a positive one. The first time I made these lemon bars was my junior year of college, so about 10-12 years ago. I had just moved into my first off-campus apartment with my friend, and we had a full kitchen, something I hadn’t had access to for a few years while living away from home in the dorms.

I remember making these in that kitchen (yes, I dragged these books with me all the way out to Colorado and back) and struggling with this recipe. Out of that frustration (and failure) came the note. I’ve learned a lot since then (culinarily and otherwise), so I think it’s time to figure out if it was the recipe or it was me.

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