Sunday, May 10, 2009

Brunch was a success!

Our Mother's Day Brunch went off without a hitch. With Mr. ValleyWriter's input, I ended up coming up with the following menu:

Strawberry Spinach Salad
Antipasto salad
Egg salad finger rolls

I'm proud to say that I made nearly everything from scratch. I didn't make the noodles, meats or cheeses, but I did make all of the dressings, the crust for the quiche and even the finger rolls. This is a big step for the girl who, 5 years ago, thought nothing of serving boxed meals (remember those Betty Crocker Complete Meals®?) for dinner several nights a week.

I didn't come up with all of the recipes myself, though. The antipasto salad was a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis that I found on the Food Network site. In the past, I've made a similar salad, but just used bottled Italian dressing. This dressing the recipe was SO much better. The basil adds a wonderful freshness - I'll definitely be keeping this recipe in mind for summer BBQs. And the finger rolls were a bread machine recipe - essentially making a basic white bread and splitting the dough into 8 smaller pieces before baking.

I will claim the strawberry spinach salad as my own. The idea, of course, is not unique, but I played with different elements of the dressing to get it just so. I'm very pleased with the results - and everyone else seemed to enjoy it, too. Here's what I did:

Strawberry Spinach Salad

1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1/3 c. white sugar
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
12 oz. baby spinach, washed
2 c. strawberries, hulled and sliced

In a small bowl, whisk together sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika and Worcestershire sauce.
In a large bowl, combine spinach and strawberries. Pour dressing over the top and toss to coat. Cover and chill about 45 minutes before serving.

On a side note, I was seriously considering making that pineapple upside down French toast from the round-up (it sounds delish!), but I thought our moms would appreciate these less sweet options more. We'll have to save that French toast for another day when it's all about me and my need for sweets!! :-)


LK- Healthy Delicious said...

you had me at mimosa. lol!
strawberries go so nicely in spinach salad. and congrats on making nearly everything from scratch- that's quite the accomplishment!

Kristen said...

Way to go on making everything on your own! Isn't homemade so much better? That antipasto salad looks amazing - will definitely need to try that recipe for a summer BBQ or picnic.

Jenn said...

I'm glad the brunch was a success. The feeling when it all over must be amazing. Well done!

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Everything looks wonderful! I do have a question though. Did the spinach salad hold up well once it had the dressing on it? I'm planning a wedding shower for my best friend and I'm gathering food ideas and this salad looks delicious.

ValleyWriter said...

Nutmeg Nanny - The spinach salad held up just fine for at least 3-4 hours. I'm having the leftovers for lunch today and the leaves are looking a little wilted - so I'd say hold off on putting the dressing on until about an hour or so before you're going to serve it.
Hope that helps!

Kelly said...

Everything sounds wonderful! And the salad looks so yummy!

Ozge said...

Interesting! It's for first time I read about strawberry & spinach come together.

Daily Spud said...

Good for you! Glad to hear it was all a success - hope the quiche went down well :)

Nutmeg Nanny said...

Thanks for responding back. I can't wait to try this salad!!!

Tangled Noodle said...

Sounds like it was a marvelous feast! Strawberry and spinach salad is perfect for the season!

Kelly said...

I cannot wait for my first CSA delivery as well. Mine doesn't start until June so I have been impatiently waiting and counting down the days.