On the Saturday night before Mother's Day, I hosted our Mom's (and Dads) for dinner.  It was a great little party of 6, which is the perfect number of guests for dinner.

I love homemade gifts for holidays like Mother's Day and Father's Day (and Easter, and Valentine's Day...).  Emma and I made crab hand-print tea towels for her Moo-Moo and Mimi.  I also included coordinating Tapers and Tablet+LePens from the store (that will be restocked next week - sorry!).  I gave Privet Berry Blue Mike's mom, and Mom's Hydrangea (of course) to my mom.

I had a silhouette cutout of Emma's profile made for each of them.  I'm working on designing Emma's "Big Girl" room, so I had one made for part of the gallery wall I'm planning, and just had a copies made because I thought they were so sweet.

They were made from a photo at HMK - very, very reasonable.  The best part is after the initial setup of $25, each copy is only $5.  A major deal, as I've seen $40/copy prices other places.  Basically, everyone I know is going to be getting one of these, and I'll have multiples hanging in our home : )  

My menu was all "girly food" - as I warned the men in our family.  There were no steaks and baked potatoes, and no chocolate cake for dessert.  All girly food.  My goal was to plan a menu that could be made completely ahead of time, eh, for the most part.  Since it was a family party, everything was very casual and help-yourself style... as you can see here, Emma is helping herself to garlic toasts.

Classic Tomato & Mozzarella Bruschetta is my favorite appetizer of all time.  It always tastes good - especially now that the weather is warming up and good tomatoes are popping up at the store.   I just large dice 2 tomatoes and 4 ounces of fresh mozzarella, then add fresh basil and drizzle over olive oil, sea salt and pepper.  For the toasts, I drizzle them with olive oil, bake under broiler for 4 minutes, then rub with a raw clove of garlic.  Very simple - let me know if you'd like more detail and I can do a separate recipe post. 

For dinner, I made the Barefoot Contessa's Baked Shrimp Scampi.  It was fabulous.  And so easy.  By far the best way to prepare shrimp for a party.  I made it in the morning, then it baked for 15 minutes just before dinner.  I followed the recipe exactly, except I left out the rosemary because I just wasn't in the mood for it - and I only had dried.  If I had fresh, I maybe would've added it.  I also used Meyer Lemons instead of regular because I can't help buy by them when I see them at the store.

I made a simple Angel Hair & Spinach Pasta with a light creamy lemon sauce to go along with the shrimp... and this cheese bread.  I was inspired by the Pioneer Woman on Saturday morning as Emma and I were watching her show when we were preparing dinner.  It is the same recipe my Mom made when we were growing up - Mike loves it, Emma loves it, everyone loves it.  I'll do a recipe post with the details later.

The grand finale (besides Emma's rendition of her favorite song "Carry On" by FUN. later in the evening) was the Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée for dessert.  I brûléed the tops just before serving, then piled on fresh raspberries.  A small but special treat.  Do you recognize these bowls?  I use them for everything.

And because a mother's day post would be complete without a photo of Emma and me, here are a couple of the two of use being silly and sweet on the beach a couple of weeks ago. 


Here is a flashback from our first Mother's Day at Duxbury Beach after the Brimfield Antique Show - a very relaxed day of multiple picnics.   I hope you all had a exciting fun relaxing Mother's Day : )

More seaside photo coming next week, along with new Summer Entertaining products and restocked essentials in the store.