Mother’s Day Lunch 2020

This year was a special Mother’s Day for a lot of reasons. This was the first year that Tate’s mom was celebrating being a mother to both a human and a fur child, and due to the pandemic, the first year that Tuck’s parents were home for Mother’s Day. We knew we had to do something really special to celebrate the big day. Tuck’s mom took the lead on menu planning and prep so that all the moms could have a relaxing day without being slaves to the kitchen. Here is how the menu and day played out.  

The Menu 

We tried to create a menu that had a little something for everyone. Our mom loves Israeli food and the restaurant Safta here in Denver in particular. When Safta opened she went to a food event with the head chef, Alon Shaya, which means we are all owners of his cookbook. We wanted to take elements from his book that we all love and create a menu from it. Originally we had planned to have appetizers and lunch as two separate courses, but decided having lunch as one big platter of food would serve the mood of decadence and be easier to prepare. It ended up being very family style, which feels appropriate to the day even if it isn’t the best social distancing practices. 

When planning a menu as extensive as this one, it is important to be strategic in time management and designating specific areas to extend the most energy. The first step to doing this is buying as many items that are pre-made as possible. We bought all of the “snacks” from our favorite Middle Eastern market, Arash. They have better hummus than we could ever make on our own and it is an easy way to eliminate a lot of prep work. Making homemade pitas with a menu this large would be absurd, so we bought those as well and threw them on the grill so that they were hot and crunchy when we sat down to eat. We marinated the chicken kabobs and lamb meat the day before, so that all that was left to do the day of for those dishes was to cook them on the grill. The pound cake is a favorite recipe of ours from the Safta cookbook and easily can be made the day before, which eliminated having to spend a lot of time Sunday morning on dessert. 

The final preparation for lunch was pretty easy with the help of a few extra hands. We had Tate’s dad grill the lamb and chicken in the backyard, Tuck’s dad on roasted cauliflower duty, and the Tuck’s mom assembling the platters. The key to any platter, as you can read from our cheese board assembly posts, is that more is more. We divided the dips into small ramekins so that each platter had a little bit of everything and filled the boards with veggies and pitas once the entrée kabobs were cooked. The visual is stunning and almost overwhelming- they are always a crowd pleaser! 


Chicken Skewers with Cilantro Dipping Sauce

The Chickey Gervais Skewers are named after this year’s Golden Globes host, Ricky Gervais. We love these skewers because they are really easy to assemble and always a crowd pleaser at a party. We love the cilantro lime dipping sauce as a pairing  with the onions and peppers for a fresh taste but you could easily swap and serve these with BBQ or hot sauce. For the Golden Globes, we plan to serve all dishes as heavy apps and decided to make half skewers to keep these the right portion. If you are serving them for a summer bbq use full sized skewers and make them an entree. 

Chickey Gervais Skewers – Chicken Fajita Skewers with Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce
Makes: 12 half skewers; 6 full sized entree skewers
Prep Time: 15 minutes     Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients For the Skewers:

  • 1 lb chicken breasts or chicken tenders
  • 2 green peppers 
  • 1 red onion

Ingredients For the Sauce:

  • 1 package cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the skewers in a bowl of water. Make sure they are fully submerged as this will prevent the skewers from burning while you cook.
  2. Cut the chicken, green peppers and onion into one inch pieces. Assemble the skewers by placing one piece of each the chicken, peppers and onion in a row until the skewer is filled. Leave 1/2 inch of skewer on each side for easy handling.
  3. Season the skewers with salt and pepper and put them in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.*
  4. While the skewers are in the oven, make the sauce. Combine the cilantro, garlic, lime, olive oil and cumin in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve the skewers on a tray and splash the sauce directly on them or put the sauce in a separate dish for a self-serve option. Enjoy! 

*If you are cooking the skewers in the summer, feel free to cook on the grill! You will follow the same steps but cook on high heat for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.