My recommendations for Mother’s Day Giving for 2012

Each year Mom’s everywhere will be treated to he obligatory Card, flowers and dinner out. If they are lucky maybe breakfast in bed or brunch. How about something different for your Mom. Something that shows you put thought and care into her special day.

My first recommendation isn’t BBQ. This may come as a shock. As a Mom of 3 and a busy one at that I like nothing better than coming home to a clean house. Yes that makes me very very happy. IF the laundry is done even better. Even if you are broke a little sweat equity is sure to make your Mom happy.

I love these coupon templates. Perfect for giving your Mom a break.

Once you get through the coupon giving or cleaning … then I think you need to give your Mom this if she likes to cook:

The super fast splash proof Thermapen from Thermoworks. Every person on the planet that cooks should have one.  I love mine. Available in an array of colors you can even co-ordinate it with her purse. Plus if she carries it in her purse (and yes I have one in my purse at all times- you just never know when you will be grilling or cooking) she could also protect herself from creeping marauders, wanna be thugs etc. The thing is sharp. Sharp as a shiv. (Please note in no way does Thermapen  support this use of a Thermapen in this manner – just my own ideas).

If your Mom doesn’t cook well then its time for you to giddyup and stock her freezer full of BBQ goodness.  BBQ Jerk Chicken, Smoked Meatloaf and Pulled pork all freeze wonderfully. Stocking your Moms freezer would give her a break come meal time planning.

There is also of course the option of making your Mother a beautiful BBQ feast.

Start with a yummy cocktail:

Mix 2oz Jack Daniels honey with 4 oz Peach cider or Mango nectar. Serve shaken over ice in a chilled stemmed glass.


Then serve with a grilled appetizer flatbread

Diva Q Goat Cheese Spinach Flatbread 

A terrific quick mid week dinner or a delicious appetizer for BBQ parties…..

1 Flatbread
1/2 cup Roasted Red Pepper Spread
1/2 cup Baby Spinach Leaves stems removed
140 gr Goats Cheese thinly sliced
1/8 cup Basil Chiffonade
1/4 cup Thinly sliced ham (prosciutto, black forest etc)
1/2 tsp garlic pepper

Preheat grill to 325F
Hickory Oak Apple pellets/wood chunks/chips recommended

Spread the 1/2 cup Roasted red pepper spread over the flatbread
Layer the spinach, slices of goats cheese and thinly sliced ham.
Sprinkle the garlic pepper and basil over the flatbread
Grill until the cheese is just beginning to melt and the spinach begins to wilt.
Slice into 12 pieces.


Main Course

One of my all time favorites is herb crusted Prime Rib served with grilled asparagus and parmesan topped grilled mushrooms. Any Mom I know would be happy to feast on this.


For dessert I love anything to do with apples and caramel. This simple grilled dessert pizza paired with a glass of Prosecco is a wonderful finish.  Then make sure to drive your Mom home. She has had a few cocktails by this time.  Happy Mothers Day to all.

Diva Q’s Caramel Apple Pizza Perfection

This originally ran in the Toronto Star May 18, 2010

Danielle Dimovski, Diva Q, outdoes herself with this over-the-top grilled dessert. To fully gild the lily, sprinkle this with sanding or demerara sugar, and whip up any leftover 35 per cent cream and dollop it over everything. Look for fresh pizza dough in the refrigerated area of supermarkets, usually in the bakery or pasta area.


Caramel sauce:

1/4 cup (60 ml) water

1/2 cup (120 ml) packed brown sugar

1 tbsp (15 ml) corn starch

1/3 cup (80 ml) whipping cream

2 tbsp (30 ml) corn syrup

2 tbsp (30 ml) unsalted butter

1/2 tsp (2 ml) pure vanilla


750-g bag fresh pizza dough

All-purpose flour and cornmeal for dusting

2 Ontario apples (such as Gala or Red Prince), unpeeled, cored, thinly sliced

Ground cinnamon for sprinkling

125 g (5 oz) cream cheese (half a package), at room temperature

2 tbsp (30 ml) granulated sugar

Skor toffee bits for sprinkling

For caramel sauce, in small saucepan, combine water, sugar, corn starch, cream and corn syrup. Bring to boil over high heat. Boil 2 minutes, reducing heat slightly if needed. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Reserve.

For pizza, bring to room temperature as per package instructions. Remove from bag; divide into 2 balls.

On lightly floured surface, pull and shape into 2 pizzas, about 9-inches (23-cm) wide. Crimp edges as you would with pie. Prick dough all over with fork tines. Let rest at room temperature 30 minutes. Slip onto cornmeal or flour-dusted pizza paddle. Place on oiled grill preheated to medium-high (about 550F/280C); close lid. Grill about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Let cool.

Place apple slices directly on grill. Grill 1 to 2 minutes per side, until softened and browned. Transfer to platter. Dust with cinnamon.

In medium bowl, combine cream cheese and granulated sugar. Mash well with fork and beat with wooden spoon until fluffy.

To assemble, spread sweetened cream cheese over each pizza as desired. Divide apples evenly over pizzas. Generously drizzle each with caramel sauce. (Refrigerate any remaining cream cheese and caramel sauce for another use.) Sprinkle each with Skor bits. If needed, return pizza to grill for 1 to 2 minutes to quickly warm.

Makes 2 pizzas (about 12 slices).




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