Friday, May 14, 2010

mother's day weekend

To celebrate Mother's day and my sister's birthday most of my family gathered at our house for the weekend. Our house seems to be the gathering place and I am totally okay with that in my control freakish, first born child, Monica Gellerish sort of way. My sister's birthday and Mother's Day happened to fall on the same day this year so we decided to celebrate her birthday on Saturday night. The menu planning began as soon as the gathering was proposed. What could I make that she would really like? Well, she loves potatoes so we could have potato salad, scalloped potatoes and baked potatoes. Wait. We've already done that!

So, instead I decided to make Greek dinner for
the Potato Princess because everyone loves Greek dinner.

Pork Souvlaki
Greek Lemon Potatoes
Greek Rice
Pita Bread
Greek Salad

Moussaka Recipe
How do you say "comfort food" in Greek? I think it is "Moussaka"! This is a recipe that I have tweaked over the years. Mine is actually "Mooseaka" because I make it using moose meat. My husband is the Great White Hunter and I always substitute moose meat for beef. Moussaka is made in three layers.

Meat Sauce Layer
1 onion
4 or 5 cloves of garlic
2 tsp. oil
2 lbs ground meat
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 sm can tomato paste
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Cook meat in pan with oil, onions and garlic. Add remaining ingredients and simmer while you are preparing next layers.

Vegetable Layer
2 small zucchini
1 medium eggplant
4 or 5 medium russet potatoes
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Peel potatoes, wash zucchini and eggplant. Slice all vegetables so that they are about 1/2 inch thick. Layer on parchment lined cookie sheets. Drizzle with oil and add salt and freshly ground pepper. Broil in oven until slightly browned. Turn and broil other side until slightly browned and vegetables are tender.

Bechamel Sauce
6 tbsp butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
salt and pepper
2 eggs, slightly beaten

Melt butter and add flour to create a roux. Slowly add milk and stir with whisk while cooking on medium heat. Continue stirring until sauce thickens. Add remaining ingredients and continue whisking until thickened and bubbly. Set aside.

In a baking dish layer the meat sauce on the bottom. Then evenly layer the veggies over top. Finally add the sauce and sprinkle with a little nutmeg for colour. Bake in 350 oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool for about 15 minutes before serving.

My other sister, the twisted one, made these two amazing cakes for dessert -

One for the Potato Princess

And one for Mother's Day

However, my Twisted Sista, in keeping with her non-conformist reputation, wrote this sentiment on the Mother's Day Cake.


The decision for the Mother's Day menu was taken completely out of my hands. My mother printed a recipe from the Internet, presented it to the guys and said, "I think this is what you should make for Mother's Day Brunch." The recipe was for Strata and it had to sit overnight so after dinner on Saturday night, they proceeded to make the Strata for the following morning's brunch. I must say they were good sports about it and it only took about 2 hours and 2 - 3 Rusty Nails.

It is a thing in our family, that when there is a special occasion - birthday, anniversary or whatever - we must cook. I suppose it is our way of showing we care. So my mother, by giving the guys a recipe, was ensuring that us mothers were going to be cooked for, damn it! Thanks for stepping up to the plates, guys. We feel the love.

P.S. The strata was yummy.

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