In honor of our mothers

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 For Mother's Day, I cooked my mom and mother-in-law a feast featuring Columbia's best local foods. Get my recipes for creamy ricotta goat cheese dip, pepper crusted tenderloin, bread salad with creamy lemon dressing and buttermilk berry pie. 

Scott and I are blessed with three pretty awesome moms to celebrate this weekend.  They are caring, generous - constantly putting our needs above their own.  I can't speak for Scott, but anyone who put up with me as a teenager certainly deserves more than one day of celebration a year.

A couple weekends ago, my mom came to visit, so we invited my mother-in-law to join us for dinner.  Whenever my mom comes to town, we get breakfast at the local farmers market.  While we were there, I set her loose to pick up a few goodies for dinner so we could make a mostly local meal.  She had brought me a few jars of spices from La Boite a Epice, the hot new spice guy (who knew such a thing existed?), so I knew I wanted to incorporate them into our meal.

Cooking a decadent meal for people you love is a simple way to give thanks.  Especially for our moms, who have certainly done their fair share of cooking for us, much of it when cooking was the last thing they wanted to do.

We started our meal with two appetizers - a creamy goat cheese dip served with radishes from our CSA and smoked trout from Our Local Catch.  The goat cheese was from Trail Ridge Farm and Goat Dairy.  They make amazing cheeses and never judge me for sampling every single one of their flavors, twice.  I flavored it with one of the flavored salts my mom bought me, a blend of fennel and orange.  The recipe below includes my best approximation at the mix, but feel free to experiment with fresh herbs or a flaky salt mixed with your favorite spice blend.  For our main course, my mom picked out a Denver cut steak from MiBek farms, who sells dry-aged, pastured beef with no antibiotics.  We had never heard of Denver cut before, and they were nice enough to spend time explaining their unique cuts of beef and how they are best prepared.  I flavored it with another one of my new spices, a mix of 8 different peppercorns.  You could substitute any mixed peppercorn blend or just plain ole black pepper, just make sure it's freshly ground.  Our salad came about from my need to use up leftover bread and an extra bag of greens from our CSA.  Despite being thrown together, it was pretty great!  Dessert was a surprisingly healthy raspberry custard pie, made with a whole grain crust and only 1/3 cup of sugar!

Hope these recipes inspire you to create a special meal of your own to celebrate the fabulous mothers in your life!

Creamy Goat Cheese Dip
Author: Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE
Serves: Serves 4-6
Adapted from [url href="http://www.marthastewart.com/356357/crudites-goat-cheese-dip"]Martha Stewart[/url]
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 3 tablespoons full fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • pinch of sugar
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • flaky sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed with a mortar and pestle (if you have one)
  • pinch of orange zest
  • 1 bunch of radishes, halved
  • whole grain bread, toasted
Instructions
  1. Mix goat cheese, ricotta, vinegar, sugar and oil until blended well. Garnish with salt, black pepper, fennel and zest or your favorite flavored salt. Serve with radish and whole grain bread, or with endive leaves.
Bread Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing
Author: Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE
Serves: Serves 4
Ingredients
  • about 4 cups torn sourdough bread, preferably whole grain
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Mixed greens
  • Salt and black pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add 1 minced garlic clove and cook for 30 seconds. Add the bread and cook until toasted, about 8 minutes total. Place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together 1 garlic clove, 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice and yogurt. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Mix the bread, mixed greens and dressing together in a large bowl. Serve.
Pepper Crusted Tenderloin
Author: Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE
Serves: Serves 4
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, preferably from mixed peppercorns
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1-lb Denver cut steak or beef tenderloin
Instructions
  1. About 1 hour before grilling, rub steak with oil, pepper, and salt. Let marinade at room temperature, which helps it sear. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill the steak about 2-4 minutes on each side, until well charred. Transfer the steak to the cooler side of the grill, cover and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of about 130 degrees (for medium-rare), about 20 minutes.
Raspberry Custard Pie
Author: Rachael Hartley, RD, LD, CDE
Serves: Serves 8
Ingredients
  • 1 whole grain pie shell (I cheated and used a premade crust. My favorite is a spelt crust they sell at Earth Fare)
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup natural cane sugar
  • 1 large egg, pastured
  • 1 cup organic half and half
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounces raspberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour and sugar in a bowl. Add egg and cream, whisk to combine. Spread berries evenly in the crust. Pour the half and half mixture on top.
  2. Bake until set. The recipe says it takes about 45 minutes but it took mine about an hour, probably because I used frozen berries. Let cool slightly then cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours before serving.