Cocktail Recipes, Spirits, and Local Bars

Give Mom something delicious for Mother’s Day!

Give Mom something delicious for Mother’s Day!

With Mother’s Day just days away, many of us are scrambling for the right gift. Whether she likes aromatic whites, reds (gentle or bold), or delicious bubbles, here are some great options.

Domaine Schlumberger 2012 Gewürztraminer Les Princes Abbés ($22)

Apricot leads a bevy of stone fruit aromas on the nose here. The palate shows off mango, pineapple, papaya, and lots of spice elements. Hints of mesquite honey join minerals and an avalanche of continued fruit on the long and persistent finish. This wine is full-flavored but remains lithe and balanced. It would be a stunning match with Indian or Thai cuisine.

Elena Walch 2013 Gewürztraminer Kastelaz ($32)

White flowers, apricot, and lychee fruit lead a hugely aromatic nose. Oodles of stone and tropical fruit flavors are in evidence on the rich, round, and full-flavored palate. Honey and spice elements appear on the outstanding finish. This offering would pair equally well with rich appetizers, creamy cheeses, or fruit-based desserts. Either this or the gewürztraminer above would be a great choice if your mom is a fan of aromatic white wines.

Loveblock 2012 Central Otago Pinot Noir ($37)

Black tea and mushroom aromas join red fruit on the nose of this New Zealand pinot noir. The thick palate is strewn with a ton of red and black fruit flavors such as black cherry and strawberry. Thyme and sage elements are present as well. Cranberry, pomegranate, and sour cherry elements reveal themselves in droves on the finish along with minerals and spices. Mouthwatering acidity and medium, yielding tannins mark the structure. This is a terrific example of pinot noir that will marry with a wide array of foods. If your mom loves excellent pinot noir, this wine will make her happy.

Faust 2012 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($50)

Most of the fruit for this wine comes from the Coombsville section of Napa Valley. The nose is studded with black plum, raspberry, and Mexican vanilla bean aromas. Bold red and black fruit flavors such as cherry and blackberry abound on the substantial and full-bodied palate. Dark chocolate, continued blackberry, earth, minerals, and roasted espresso. If your mom leans toward bolder, more fruit-driven reds, this wine would be a great gift.

Laurent-Perrier Cuvée Rosé Champagne ($99)

You really can’t go wrong with Champagne as a gift for your mom. And when it’s a beautiful rosé, such as this one from Laurent-Perrier, it’s a definite winner. The beauty starts with the lovely packaging. From the moment it’s poured, the salmon-colored hue is striking. Red berry fruit aromas abound on the nose along with a gentle hint of crème fraîche. The palate is generous and restrained with dry red fruit flavors in abundance. Spices, hints of flaky biscuit, and red berry flavors are in evidence on the lengthy finish. This is gorgeous Champagne in every way possible.

Any of these wines would make a terrific gift for your wine-loving mom. It simply depends where her tastes lie. When in doubt, buy a couple of them!

For Mother’s Day, cook mom’s favorite recipes — mine or yours

My parents died 22 years ago, she in April 1999 from complications of Parkinson’s he, in September 1999 of prostate cancer. They were in their mid-70s only that made it sadder for us all.

I tell friends whose parent has just died that I have little help to salve their loss. In the reverse of how we’d hope time would work, I miss my parents more as each year passes.

In matters culinary, my father and mother were a very different combination. He was raised in Fort Lupton, a small town north of Denver, of a teetotaling Methodist father and a stern Irish Catholic mother. His most vivid childhood memory was watching his mother decapitate a Sunday chicken, tossing it headless to the ground, and letting it run wildly around the backyard.

For special Mother’s Day recipes, Bill St. John turns to his mom’s go-to creations. Here, his mom, Madeleine, sits with her husband, William, on a bench in front of Ballymaloe House, Cork, Ireland, where Madeleine was taking cooking classes. Photo courtesy of the St. John family.

My mother was a teenager in German-occupied World War II Belgium rations of butter, flour, and sugar foreclosed on any kitchen education. My father eventually taught her how to make the flaky crust for the pies that he loved.

She blossomed as a cook in this country, self-taught from clipping drawers full of recipes from food magazines traveling often to Europe to take masters classes in cooking and teaching throughout the 1980s and early 1990s at her own cooking school, called La Bonne Cuisine, based in her home kitchen in Denver.

From her travels abroad, she brought back many recipes popularized by those who taught her: from Simca Beck in Provence, Darina Allen at Ballymaloe in County Cork, Robert Carrier of Hintlesham Hall in England, and Alicia Rios Ivars in Madrid, among others.

She worked or took classes in the kitchens of some of Europe’s finer hotels and restaurants, such as Provence’s L’Ousteau de Baumanière and Paris’ Taillevent.

In 1991, she authored a cookbook, “Friends for Dinner,” that brought $150,000 ($295,000 in 2021 dollars) to the Denver coffers of Meals on Wheels for people with AIDS.

Get more recipes and tips from Bill St. John.

She flogged sales of that book, self-published through its third printing, by setting up a card table weekends outside one of the Tattered Cover bookstores, handing out a couple of homemade chocolate truffles if you bought a copy.

I’ve learned so much about life as the result of her cooking.

What my mother taught me about cooking food wasn’t merely that it was something you did in order to care for other people. You did it also in order to care about the food itself. And also, perhaps most important, to care about yourself.

You chose the best ingredients you were meticulous in preparing them. To you, recipes were neither tests nor showpieces but stories about food and cooking, stories that told you significant things about living interestingly and nobly and well.

Show your mom love on Mother’s Day by cooking one of her favorite recipes. Photo: Getty Images.

You cooked slowly and carefully because it was a fine craft, and handiwork that a person, any person, could do over their entire life. Cooking focused the mind, slowed the pace of the day, let you attend to the beauty of the material world.

To my mind, the table is the great altar of life. Weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, deaths, promotions, crises — and the everyday, every day — all are best at table. Why that is so and not, say, at church or in the calm of silence alone, I cannot say.

Except that eating and drinking are so very real in their everydayness. And that is where I believe we must first learn to appreciate all else higher or better.

In honor of Mother’s Day, here are three of my mom’s favorite recipes, including her most-requested recipe ever: Boeuf Bourgignon.

Classic English Scones – Featherlight and fluffy

Classic English Scones: Just perfect for Mother’s Day. Image: Pixabay.

If there is one breakfast or teatime snack every Mum enjoys, it is these classic English scones. Featherlight and buttery, they are melt-in-the-mouth delicious. Slather a warm scone with a knob of butter, top it with strawberry preserve and a scoop of fresh whipped cream. Divine!

This recipe takes about an hour to prepare, so you may decide to rather prepare the scones at home and visit Mum with a surprise teatime basket of scones. Click here for the recipe.

Mussels steam in the same saucepan as chili-and-fennel-spiced tomato sauce in this effortless supper.

Risotto only sounds intimidating—if you can stir, you can make it. Poaching the eggs ahead of time should quell any lingering performance anxiety.

Since 1995, Epicurious has been the ultimate food resource for the home cook, with daily kitchen tips, fun cooking videos, and, oh yeah, over 33,000 recipes.

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Sheinelle Jones & Sheila Kinnard

Mother-of-three Sheinelle Jones and her mom, Sheila Kinnard, share Sheila's go-to recipe that's been passed down for generations in their family, salmon croquettes, and Sheinelle's "world-famous" brussels sprouts.

Salmon Croquettes

Sheila shares the story behind this family recipe: "This recipe is actually passed down from my grandmother, Granny Pace, who catered for a living. When Sheinelle would come home to visit from Northwestern, I always fixed her favorite salmon croquettes. We like them on the spicy side, but you can make them as hot or mild as you like."

Sheinelle's Brussels Sprouts

"The kids eat these brussels sprouts like popcorn!" says Sheinelle. "They taste amazing and they're so easy to make."

Recipes: 3 dishes you can make for Mom on Mother’s Day

Surprise Mom with an easy-to-make Mother’s Day treat. Rather than a feast, a simple Mother’s Day dish can be a tasty tribute to honor Mom. No need to sign up for a quickie course at the Cordon Bleu cooking school. Families with little culinary experience but good intentions can cook an edible gift.

Before the pandemic challenges hit, I might have suggested gifting an entire home-cooked meal, but under current circumstances, I think one lovely, heartfelt dish would be greatly appreciated. If you like, enhance the chosen dish with complementary add-ons. I have noted suggestions at the end of each recipe designed to round out the meal with optional store-bought goodies.

Berry Stew with Sweetened Crème Fraiche is a delicious, chilled dessert that can be prepared well in advance. (Photo by Stacey Cramp)

Berry Stew with Sweetened Crème Fraiche

For a dessert-centric gift: Don’t let the “stew” moniker throw you off. This is a delicious, chilled dessert that can be prepared well in advance. Served in bowls, it’s something like a crustless berry pie with a welcome herbal edge. The recipe is from a new cookbook, “Eat Cool” by Vanessa Seder (Rizzoli, $39.95). I like to serve it with shortbread cookies on the side.

Yield: 4 servings


2 cups strawberries, hulled, halved or quartered if large

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided use

8 sprigs fresh thyme, fresh lemon thyme preferred but not mandatory

Peel from 1 whole lemon (remove in wide strips with vegetable peeler)

1 cup crème fraiche see cook’s notes

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Cook’s notes: My local supermarket sells crème fraiche it’s stocked in the cheese case next to the Brie and Parmesan. If you can’t find it, substitute sour cream.


1. Place strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries in a large bowl and set aside.

2. Combine 3/4 cup sugar, thyme, mint and lemon peel in a small saucepan along with the water. Bring to simmer over medium heat and simmer, stirring once or twice, until sugar dissolves and the mixture smells fragrant, about 12 minutes total. Pour hot liquid through a fine-mesh strainer over berries and gently stir to combine.

3. Use a potato masher (or meat mallet, the kind with a handle attached at a right angle to a disk) to mash berries, leaving some completely intact and some completely mashed. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour. At this point, the berry stew can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days ahead of serving.

4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the crème fraiche, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla. This can be made up to 2 days in advance of serving and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

5. To serve: Divide berry stew among 4 bowls and top each with a dollop of sweetened crème fraiche. Serve immediately.

Source: “Eat Cool” by Vanessa Seder (Rizzoli, $39.95)

Add-ons: Serve with crisp cookies or wedges of chocolate brownies. If you like nuts, a few candied nuts could be sprinkled on top, or a small bowl could be served on the side. If you want a pie crust garnish, buy refrigerated pie dough cut the dough into bowl-sized hearts. To bake, place on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush lightly with egg wash (one beaten egg). Bake until golden in a 350-degree oven. At serving time place a heart on top of each “stew.”

A Frittata with Potatoes and Greens is an egg-based Italian dish that is like a crustless quiche and can work as an item for breakfast, lunch or dinner. (Photo by Cathy Thomas)

Frittata with Potatoes and Greens

For a breakfast gift, one that could be lunch or brunch, try this tasty frittata. A frittata is an egg-based Italian dish that is like a crustless quiche. The addition of Greek yogurt gives this concoction a delicious tanginess. This recipe is versatile, open to using personal favorites. My favorite rendition uses chopped Tuscan kale and a combination of fresh dill and parsley. I use unskinned Baby Dutch Yellow potatoes because they cook quickly — boiled to fork tenderness in about 9 minutes and then sliced in half and cut crosswise into chunks.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


1 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt

1/4 cup finely chopped herbs, such as dill, mint, basil, parsley, and/or chives

2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Coarse salt, such as kosher salt, divided use

2 cups coarsely chopped (about 1/2″ chunks) cooked potatoes

2 cups coarsely chopped raw or cooked greens, such as chard, kale, arugula, or spinach

Freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For yogurt sauce, mix yogurt, herbs, garlic, lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.

2. Lightly whisk eggs and remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a separate medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup yogurt sauce and stir just a couple of times (do not completely incorporate yogurt sauce).

3. Heat oil in a 10″ cast-iron or oven-safe nonstick pan over medium heat. Add shallots and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots have softened and potatoes are golden, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add greens and cook, just until warmed through and wilted if greens were raw. Add egg mixture and cook, until sides are just beginning to set, 5 to 7 minutes.

4. Transfer pan to oven and bake frittata until puffed and set, 18 to 20 minutes. Cut frittata into 4 or 6 wedges and serve with remaining yogurt sauce alongside.

Source: Adapted from

Add-ons: Fruit salad if serving for breakfast, mixed green salad or coleslaw if serving for lunch or dinner. Sliced tomatoes topped with a smidgen of vinaigrette could work any time of day.

A Caramelized Shallot and Bacon Tart is a savory treat that would make a great item for a Mother’s Day picnic. (Photo by Nick Koon)

Caramelized Shallot and Bacon Tart

A savory tart cries out for a warm-weather picnic. This Caramelized Shallot and Bacon Tart is a favorite, whether served at an outdoor outing or as a first course for a company dinner. The sweetness of browned onions and shallots team beautifully with crisp bacon and creamy ricotta. If serving at a picnic, provide small plates or sturdy napkins and a sharp knife place the tart on a rustic cutting board and let guests help themselves.

Yield: 8 servings


1 round prepared pie dough, such as refrigerated Pillsbury Pie Crust

4 shallots, cut crosswise into thin slices

1 1/2 large yellow onions, cut in half top to bottom, thinly sliced crosswise

1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Egg wash: 1 egg yolk lightly beaten with 1/2 teaspoon water


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350 degrees. Ease chilled dough into a 9 1/2-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Use top of bent finger to press dough into fluted sides of pan. To create a double layer of dough on sides of crust, trim dough 1/4-inch above top of pan fold overhanging dough over so top of fold is even with top of pan to reinforce sides press with top of bent finger to seal sides. Roll rolling pin over top of tart pan to make top of dough even all the way around. Poke dough at 1-inch intervals with tines of fork (bottom and sides). Line dough with sheet of aluminum foil. Add about 1 cup dry beans, raw rice or pie weights. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven remove foil and beans, rice or weights. Set aside.

2. In large, deep skillet cook bacon until crisp remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels, reserving 1 tablespoon bacon grease in pan. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil and heat oil on medium-high heat. Add shallots and onions cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and starting to brown, about 9 minutes. Reduce heat to medium or medium-low. Add sugar, thyme, salt and pepper stir to combine. Cook until onions are golden, stirring occasionally, about 20 additional minutes.

3. In small bowl combine ricotta, egg yolk, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Gently spread ricotta mixture on bottom of tart shell. Top with shallot mixture, spreading out into an even layer. Crumble or chop bacon and sprinkle on top of shallot mixture. Brush top edge of crust lightly with egg wash. Place on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven until golden brown and heated through, 35 to 45 minutes. Allow to cool 15 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.

Source: “Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce” by Cathy Thomas (Wiley, $29.95)

Add-ons: For a picnic, provide a mix of olives and assorted fresh fruit or fruit salad. A cucumber salad would be nice — sliced peeled “cukes” tossed with rice vinegar, salt to taste and toasted sesame seeds. Or a tomato salad napped with fresh herbs and vinaigrette.

Mother’s Day Recipes

Rather than just giving her a bunch of pink roses, why not say “thank you Mom” by throwing her a special high tea party with this pretty and delicious creation of rosewater, rose petals and meringue. This recipe from Figs & Pigs makes one large, delicious two-tiered Pavlova.

Turkish Delight is delicious and always makes a wonderful gift, and if you made it yourself, all the better. With preparation and baking time under an hour, its quick and easy to make, mom will love it and you can wrap it in beautiful packaging that will make her heart happy. Try this great recipe from Baking Mad.

These are a bit tricky to make, but if you can pull this off, your mom will be super impressed! Spoil her with beautiful “French” macarons made with Lavender and chocolate ganache (Butter Sweet Symphony), or be creative and make macarons in your mom’s favourite colour and flavour.

You can’t go wrong by spoiling Mom with a classic chocolate cake. Try this mouth-watering recipe from Martha Stewart of lush layers of cake and milk chocolate frosting. You can decorate it to suit your mom’s style and to say “I love you”.

A stunning recipe from Pick ‘n Pay, this is such an easy-to-make cheesecake, but is sure to impress mom! No baking is involved, it has a yummy crust, lemon zestiness and blueberry infusion. This will also look beautiful on display at a high tea party for your mom.

How to make Mother’s Day Rose Cupcakes

Want to be even more creative? Why not show your mom how much you love her by baking cupcakes decorated as roses? It’s simple to do. Watch this video from Fleur & Mike:

Feeling inspired to spoil your mom this Mother’s Day and show her how much you care with something baked, beautiful and delicious? Find all the Kitchen utensils for sale you will need at bargain prices, on Junk Mail.

12 Delicious DIY Gifts For Mother’s Day

New jewelry and spa days are lovely, but another way to show the moms in your life how much you love and appreciate them is with a delicious homemade gift. From truffles to biscotti, these treats are made with your hands and come from your heart. Happy Mother’s Day to all of the wonderful moms out there!

Rich, creamy, and intensely bittersweet, these truffles are pure, all-encompassing chocolate bliss.

Loaded with blueberries and bright flavor, this lemony pound cake makes a wonderful brunch or anytime cake.

These are everything you want biscotti to be: buttery, lightly sweet, crunchy, and delicious any time of day.

Give mom chocolate kisses! These bite-sized cookies sandwiched with a dollop of chocolate ganache.

Sweet, salty, and spicy, these nuts are perfect to serve with cocktails or just for snacking.

This homemade granola boasts huge crunchy clusters, perfect for snacking or spooning over lightly sweetened Greek yogurt.

This is the best homemade beef jerky recipe, and it’s easy to make without any special equipment.

Lightly sweetened with honey, these fluffy banana nut muffins are a delicious way to use up overripe bananas.

Candied pecans are wonderful on their own or sprinkled over salads, and the best part is that they take just 15 minutes to make!

This 15-minute chocolate walnut fudge from Cook’s Illustrated is rich and foolproof – and you don’t need strong arms or a burly assistant to stir it.

Rolled in coarse sugar, these sophisticated pecan shortbread cookies are long on buttery, nutty flavor.

Bake mom a cake! This one may look fancy, but its flavor is pure old-fashioned goodness.

Who doesn&apost love a parade? Family members can stand together or six feet apart holding balloons, noisemakers, and Mom-centric banners on the sidewalk in front of her house and then march around. Or the parade can be drive-by, complete with lots of honking and waving. When you call her to come outside, it&aposs a grand surprise.

Throw a different kind of garden party in Mom&aposs backyard: Help her plant her spring flowers even if getting your hands dirty isn&apost your idea of a good time. Stop by a local nursery and purchase some perennial plants—these are the kind that grow back every year𠅊nd Mom will love her garden even more.

Egg-cellent Ideas >

These are some of our favorite egg-centric brunch recipes. Choose from Bacon and Egg Puff Pastry with Gruyere, savory bacon and crème fraiche, a zesty Southwestern Hash Brown Scramble and a show-stopping Apple, Cheddar and Ham Breakfast Strata.