Celebrating Mom at the Table

“Her children rise up and call her blessed.” – Proverbs 31:28 Preparing and serving a beautiful meal for your mom—or for the special woman who has been your biggest encourager—is a wonderful way to honor her for all of the ways she has been there for you. This colorful dinner salad and dessert are perfect for the occasion. Set a pretty table and fill a vase with her favorite flowers for the centerpiece. Serve as she has served you over the years. Let her know how much she is loved, admired and appreciated.

grilled chicken and berry salad (7)Grilled Chicken and Berry Salad (Makes 2 entrée salads)

Ingredients: • 4 cups mixed baby greens • 2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced • 8 strawberries, quartered • 1/2 cup blueberries • 2 tablespoons crumbled Gorgonzola, blue or goat cheese • 4 tablespoons almond slivers, toasted • 4 teaspoons good quality, low- or no-sugar added seedless raspberry preserves • 8 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil • 4 teaspoons cider vinegar • 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Arrange the lettuce on two pretty dinner plates. Arrange one of the sliced chicken breasts down the center of the lettuce on each plate. Sprinkle half of the berries, cheese and almonds on each salad. In a small bowl, combine the preserves, oil, cider and balsamic vinegars, salt and pepper with a whisk. Drizzle over the salads, and serve immediately.

mini berry bundtIndividual Mixed Berry Bundt Cakes with Citrus Glaze (Makes one dozen individual Bundt cakes or 1 regular-size Bundt cake)

For the cakes: • 4 cups all-purpose flour • 2 teaspoons baking powder • 1/2 teaspoon salt • Zest of two lemons • 2 cups butter, room temperature • 3 cups sugar • 6 eggs • 1 cup whole milk • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract • 1 cup fresh blueberries • 1 cup fresh raspberries • 1 cup fresh blackberries • Additional berries for garnish (optional)

For the glaze: • 1/4 cup butter, melted • Juice and zest of two lemons • 1 tablespoon orange juice • 2 teaspoons lime zest • 2 teaspoons orange zest • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar • Additional zest for garnish

To make the cakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray mini Bundt pans with non-stick baking spray.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and lemon zest, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whip the butter for 30 seconds. Add the sugar, and beat for three minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add the eggs, and beat for 30 seconds or until eggs are completely incorporated.

Add the vanilla and almond extract, and beat for 15 seconds.

Add a third of the flour mixture, and beat until just incorporated. Add half of the milk, and beat until just incorporated. Repeat with the next third of the flour mixture, the rest of the milk, then the rest of the flour mixture.

Once all of the ingredients have been incorporated, gently stir in the berries.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared miniature Bundt pans. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Place on a cooling rack for 15 minutes. Then, remove miniature Bundt cakes from the pan to cool completely.

To make the glaze: Combine the melted butter with the juices and the zests. Stir in the powdered sugar until smooth.

If the glaze is too thick to drizzle, add a little more juice. If it is too thin, add a little more powdered sugar.

Spoon glaze over the cooled cakes, and sprinkle with the additional zest. If desired, garnish with berries and a slice of lemon, orange or lime.

LeAnn Rice is a food blogger and the author of The Loving Kitchen, a cookbook filled with yummy recipes, as well as ideas for gathering with those you love and reaching out to those in need.