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Cost-Saving Mother's Day Gift: Cook a Meal!

By Guest Blogger(view all posts by JulianaWeissRoessler)
at 9:15AM Saturday May 12, 2012
under Holidays

If you're wracking your brain for last-minute ideas on something to do for Mother's Day that doesn't involve hundreds of dollars or yet another generic bouquet of flowers, consider doing something that truly comes from you – cook mom a meal!

Even if you're not a gourmet chef (and if you are, why didn't you think of this sooner?!), mom will appreciate you serving her for once, and she'll marvel at the hard work you put in. Just as importantly,you'll be able to show her you love her for a fraction of the cost of going out to a restaurant.

The best way to go about this is to find some of your mom's favorite foods or meals and make those, but if you're having trouble, here area couple of ideas to get you started.

Blueberry Bedcakes

These pancakes with fresh blueberries are a great way to start of mom's day. Why "bedcakes"? Because that's where you're going to serve them to her. You'll need:

An egg
A cup of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
2 tbsps vegetable oil
3 tsps baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
Unsalted Butter(or margarine)
1/2 cup blueberries

Start by beating the egg until it's fluffy, then add in the rest of the ingredients and stir until smooth. Use the butter to grease a skillet, then heat it and pour about 4 tbsps of batter onto it per pancake.Watch closely as they cook, being careful to flip the pancakes as soon as the edges become dry and the batter puffs up. Repeat for the other side until the pancake is golden brown. This should make about 8 pancakes. For an even simpler recipe, just use a store-bought mix and add blueberries!

Parmesan Nibbles

After a heavy (and late – let mom sleep in!) pancake breakfast, mom is probably in the mood for a lighter lunch, so try these bite-size morsels.

8 oz. of cream cheese
1 cup grated parmesan, divided
16 oz. (2 cans)of refrigerated crescent rolls
1 chopped red pepper
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350. While it's heating, mix cream cheese and ¾ of the cup of parmesan together and beat with a mixer. Pull the dough apart into 8 rectangles, then top them with the cream cheese spread. Add peppers and parsley, then fold the rectangles into thirds lengthwise so that the filling is enclosed in a tube.Cut each of these into four squares and put them seam-side down on a baking sheet. Use the leftover ¼ cup of parmesan to top them and bake in the oven for13-15 minutes. Serve hot! 

Stuffed Pork Chops

For dinner, it's hard to beat these chops stuffed with spinach and sun-dried tomatoes! 

4 pork chops (16 oz. total)
2 tbsps olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup of reduced-fat cream cheese
¼ cup of goat cheese
1 (10-ounce) bag of frozen spinach, thawed
1 ½ cups chicken broth
½ lemon, zested
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp dried thyme
2 tbsps lemon juice
2 tsps Dijon mustard 

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet, then add the minced garlic and cook for about 60 seconds. Mix in spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, pepper, salt,and thyme, and cook for another 2 minutes. Place in a bowl and add both of the cheeses, stirring till everything is mixed together. Set the bowl aside and cut pockets in the pork chop, then stuff the mixture into the pockets and season the chops with more salt and pepper. Next, use a separate bowl to mix the lemon juice, lemon zest, chicken broth, and mustard. Heat another tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, then add the pork and cook for about 4minutes on each side, until it's heated through. Remove the pork and cover with foil so it stays warm, then put the broth mixture in the skillet and cook until simmering. Halve the broth, but continue cooking for another 8 minutes at you will have a sauce. Pour over the chops and serve!

Photo Source: janineomg