Sunday, May 8, 2011

Loving Mom, On a Budget

As I said in a recent post, Nick and I are planning a cruise wedding for sometime in 2012. With this wedding looming, we're continuing to work on saving money as much as possible. Nick and I both love to give gifts, but it's hard to give wonderful gifts when you're trying to save money.....or is it?? Today is Mother's Day and I have to be at work all day, so last night (while Nick was at work) I invited my mom over for a special Mother's Day Eve dinner.

Mom, I love YOU!

For the protein I pan seared some wild-caught salmon, because I only feed my mom the best fish! My mom suggested adding some maple syrup as a glaze, which sounded like a great idea to me. It turned out fantastic.

I served this quinoa salad as the side dish, which was a simple combination of quinoa, dill, reduced fat feta cheese, cucumbers, red peppers, tomatoes and a bit of EVOO.

Have you ever toasted salmon skin for a snack? I know that sounds so strange, but a lot of the omega-3's are concentrated in the skin. I took off the skin, added some salt and pepper, toasted it until it was nice and crispy, and we ate it as a little snack after our meal.

I know it may not look very appealing, but it was quite delicious and satisfying.

For our beverage we had some very "fine" wine, aka an eight dollar bottle of Big House Red.

If you are friends with me on Facebook, and you know my last name, you'll understand why I bought this wine. I've had it before and loved it. It's a California wine and it's a mix of several grapes (and no merlot included, yeah!). If you can't read the wacky writing below, read about the wine here.

And for dessert I made some of my famous low fat chocolate peanut butter ice cream. I simply made my original vanilla ice cream (with almond milk and half and half) and added some unsweetened cocoa powder, whole peanuts, and some chunks of chunky peanut butter.

After dinner I gave my mom with a poem I wrote for her. Who says you have to spend a lot of money to show love??!!

QUESTION: How did you show your mom you loved her today?

If you are a mom yourself, happy Mother's Day to you!


  1. Happy mothers day to your mom and my mom. I think a good meal together with good talk is a great gift. I wrote that once on my blog about that: the best gift to our parents is to spend tome with them!
    Dinner looks great and your mom look really happy in that photo!
    My mom is coming back from the trip today, so we are taking them for dinner and yesterday we got a gift for her.

  2. A perfect present!

    I am so slow this morning it took me a really long time to figure out why you would like that wine AND I definitely know your last name and definitely took spanish for many many years. I figured it out though, I swear!

    Eric and I are cooking my parents dinner tonight tonight too. Eric's mom said she was too busy to hang out with us today haha, so we'll have to do it for her another time!

  3. What a lovely way to celebrate Mother's Day!

    Thanks for the salmon skin tip! I'll definitely try that next time I'll make salmon!

    And I love the wine! It's perfect! :)

  4. We all loved your mom too when she took care of us when we were sick... or just didn't want to go to class :) I am excited to try the quinoa salad recipe!

  5. oh!! why are we not friends on facebook...

    anyways you and mama are so cute! a salmon dinner sounds fabulous and i actually thought of you slash talked about you with deej the other night because we were food shopping and found glorious salmon and i told her my friend from blogging said the fish with the fattiest stripes have the most omega 3s! she loved that fact haha

    i think i want to whip out my ice cream machine on my thesis break!

    also should i rsvp now for your wedding?

  6. My mom lives a plane ride away - I sent her an Amazon gift card - she loves reading and has a kindle. She loves being able to buy books!

  7. I'm SO excited for you and Nick to hear about your cruise wedding plans!!! *jumping up and down with joy and enthusiasm for you!!!* :-)

    Happy Mothers Day to your Mom! You and your mom are two gorgeous ladies!! :-) Your mom is so blessed to have such a beautiful, caring, amazing daughter who is also such an awesome chef!

  8. awww loved what you did for your mom!!! I agree there is no need to spend a ton of money. Quality time and a nice meal are more than enough!! Im sure your mom appreciated it very much.

    PS: Love that ice cream recipe. Thanks for sharing :D

  9. Awww, that's so sweet, Gina! I love the picture of you and your mom - you two look so much alike! You really don't need to spend a lot to show someone how much you love them. I think your delicious home-cooked meal and poem are perfect and better than anything money can buy. I'll bet your mom was so happy! Happy Mother's Day to her!!!!

    Your salmon looks so good! I love the crispy salmon skin that I sometimes get from broiling the salmon, but I've never thought of actually just making the skin by itself. That is a GREAT idea! I'm totally doing that the next time we have salmon. Like the name of your wine, too ;)

    Have a wonderful Mother's Day, Gina and Gina's mom! :)

  10. What a lovely dinner you made for your mom. I love salmon and am going to try the roasted skin tip.

  11. Sounds like a great celebration of and with your mom :)

    I've never had salmon skin, but I'd definitely try it!

    I spent the day with my mom, and it was amazing, as always. I also bought her a digital picture frame that has its own email address so anyone (who they give the address to) can send pics to it, and they automatically show up slide show style! She's totally excited about it, but also wants me to set it up for her...

  12. what great ideas. My mom is away (in Italy) so I wasn't with her. It's confusing, having kids, weather mother's day is about my mom, my mother in law or me. Love your meal that you made. A poem and a meal, I really don't think gifts get any better. Curious why you're anti Merlot and would love that ice cream recipe.

  13. My momma's gone. So instead of showing her love today my husband and I reminisced about her... Kind of enjoyed the day with her still so to speak!

  14. I love that you guys are planning your wedding on a cruise ship! So fun! And 4th of July party?! I know nothing of this! We are still on for 5/20, right? Hope so!

    Your mom is one lucky chick! A meal and a poem, aww! :) You're a much sweeter daughter than I. I went to church with my mom and then we had a cookout before I had to hit the road. I kept it cheap and got her a card. I couldn't afford much else with gas prices to get to and from Chicago, ow!

  15. I went to visit my Mom and she ended up cooking dinner for me! I'm so awful! It was really nice to spend the time together though.

    You and your Mom look so much alike! You both are so pretty!

  16. I love salmon skin! I never made it as a snack - although I'm not opposed to it - but I always eat it when it's on my fish! and I love salmon skin rolls at sushi restaurants! It is fattening but it's full of healthy minerals! Yum! Your quinoa salad looks awesome too! I want to try that soon!