Just to show you how far behind I’m running with entries these days: I’m finally cracking into what I made for Mothers’ Day this year with 16-10: Strawberry Shortcake. You know…back in May. We were growing a ton of strawberries in the yard this year, and a few of them even made it into this dish.
Last year I attempted a Simply Delicious-inspired Mothers’ Day brunch (MD 2017), complete with fancy pastries and attempts at complicated sauces. This year, I kept it somewhat more simple in the interest of time spent and calories consumed. 🍓
My plan for this entry is pretty much going to be like the ones I linked above that are similar to it–a few quick blurbs about each of the tools, and perhaps a few shots of some of my own gear that corresponds to the pictures. It’s going to be a wild ride.
Doing a bit of housekeeping…here’s one that’s been sitting in my draft queue since around Christmas. 18-19: Basic Kitchen Utensils covers exactly what it says–basic tools even novice cooks should have in their kitchen. This is part of Cooking School, the back segment of Simply Delicious that covers basic techniques, ingredients, and recipes for all levels of aspiring chefs.
Like I said in 20-13: Béarnaise and Hollandaise Sauces, Hollandaise and its variations comprise one of the five mother sauces, a big part of French cuisine. Mastering it (and the others) is one of the marks of an accomplished and talented chef. I’ve always appreciated a well-made butter sauce, and these variations are intriguing–I’d be interested in eventually trying each one out.
I believe in a couple of things–nobody’s perfect, and all things eventually balance out. My experience with this recipe, 5-4: Eggs Benedict, especially relative to how the rest of the meal went, encapsulates both of those ideas. In the days leading up to making this Mother’s Day brunch (MD2017), I knew I needed to practice two things before the big day: poaching eggs and hollandaise sauce–I’ve had trouble with both in the past. Guess what I didn’t do?
I procrastinated on practicing both my egg poaching and my hollandaise, and those were my failure points on this recipe. After the jump, you can read about what went really well (my homemade English muffins) and what didn’t (my broken hollandaise sauce, for one).
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.
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.
Cold desserts are not my area of expertise, but I gave it a shot for this recipe. ❄ 15-18: Chocolate Favorites were a hit! I really just got a kick out of saying “Chocolate Favorite” when describing these little treats. 🍫
Bite sized pastries are the best! These two layers did come out as intended, a one-two punch of chocolate flavors. This recipe did indeed make me want to rejoice. 😆
Since it’s currently summer, I’ve been experimenting more with the Cold Desserts section of Simply Delicious. Come fall & winter, we’ll get back to more of the Hot Desserts. 15-2: Chocolate Mousse is not the first mousse I’ve attempted (check out 15-1: Lemon Mousse for a citrusy variation), but it is a pretty solid chocolate mousse recipe–these are great for entertaining, or even making in individual servings and freezing for later. 🍨
As noted above on the card, chocolate mousse is a classic and popular dessert. There are a variety of ways to approach it, as explained in this Serious Eats feature on the dish, but Simply Delicious’ version is super easy–5 ingredients are all you need. 🍫
This recipe, 15-31: Pavlova Meringue Tart had a couple of firsts. It was my first attempt at making a meringue, but it was also my first failure at making a meringue. However, my first successful meringue came out of this experience too, so in the end, it was all good! 👍
Due to lactose intolerance, I substituted the whipped cream for a coconut whipped topping. Half of my berries were bad so this tart had a lot more kiwi than raspberries. 🍧
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. ❄