(Photography by: Julie Miguel and Food Styling by: Julie Miguel & Irene Matys)
Irene and I have collaborated on this post because we wanted to create a lovely, easy, and light menu to pamper the mother or mother figure in your life this Mother’s Day.  We are both Mothers ourselves so we have an idea of what Mom’s want.  We created these dishes keeping in mind that children and spouses, who are not always handy in the kitchen, may be taking on a larger role in the kitchen on Mother’s Day.
IMG_1637 72dpi
The menu:

  • Blood Orange and Campari Cocktail
  • Grilled Squid Salad with a Balsamic & Ice Wine Syrup Dressing
  • Easiest Pineapple Granita served on Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

IMG_1666 72dpi
Start the night before with the ice cream base and your granita.  Use this Vanilla Bean ice cream recipe or buy a high quality version from the grocery store.  Now, this is the easiest granita recipe I have ever tried and it works brilliantly!  I have to thank Marida, from Twice the Spice, for this amazing tip!  Follow the recipe and make the simple syrup, blend your pineapple in the blender with the syrup, pour the mixture into a large ziplock and lay flat in your freezer.  The  next day it will be ready to serve!
Now Mother’s Day is here and it’s time to prepare the salad.  This salad is light and easy.  There’s hardly any real cooking involved except for a little barbecuing.  Use a brick to grill the calamari to prevent it from curling up and to help with even cooking.  Irene has been using this brilliant trick for years – I am so glad she shared it with us!  And, who wouldn’t want to use a foil wrapped brick for cooking – how fun, right?  so first thing, marinate your calamari, then make the dressing, and prepare your vegetables.

Irene and I tested out these recipes together and they are beyond delicious and easy for anyone to prepare.  You will impress the mother or mother figure in your life without a doubt!  Please let us know if you try these recipes and please share with us how you like them.  Feel free to use these pictures as inspiration for setting your Mother`s Day tables.
IMG_1637 72dpi

IMG_1607 72dpi
For some extra special details, have the kids pick some wild flowers from the yard or buy some grocery store flowers, and make small hand-tied bunches and scatter them on the table.  Even using the flower heads spread out on the table adds colour to the table and will make the lady of the day feel extra special.
IMG_1718 72dpi

I hope that you all enjoy your Mother’s Day celebrations!
Warm Regards,

Blood Orange and Campari Cocktail
Serves: 2 glasses
  • 1 can of San Pellegrino Blood Orange Beverage
  • 2 oz Campari
  • 1 blood orange for juice and garnish
  1. Mix the Blood Orange beverage with the Campari in a champagne flute. Squeeze some Blood orange juice into the glass and add a wedge to the side of the glass.

Grilled Squid Salad with a Balsamic & Ice Wine Syrup Dressing
Prep time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 6 fresh squid tubes and their tentacles
  • 16 fresh asparagus spears, woody ends trimmed
  • 8 cups fresh spring mix salad
  • Marinade:
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp. red chili pepper flakes
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Dressing:
  • 1 roma tomato, seeded, finely diced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp. capers, drained
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. cabarnet franc Gourmet Ice Wine Syrup
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper
  1. Rinse the squid under cold water and pat dry. Score each side of the tube every ½ inch with a sharp knife. Be very careful not to cut all the way through the flesh.
  2. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Place squid in a resealable plastic bag. Pour marinade over squid. Seal the bag and toss well to coat. Place in the refrigerator for 30 mins.
  3. Meanwhile to make the dressing, whisk all ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Preheat grill or grill pan to medium high heat.
  5. Toss asparagus in 1 tbsp. of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 2-3 minutes until tender. Set aside
  6. Divide the spring mix among four plates. Two cups of salad per plate. Top with 4 asparagus spears on each plate. Set aside
  7. Ensure you oil the grill grates well to avoid squid from sticking.
  8. (Tip: Top the squid with foil covered bricks to ensure their full surface is on the heat and to prevent curling)
  9. Remove the squid from the plastic bag and season with salt and pepper.
  10. Grill squid for 1 minute on each side until it turns from opaque to white inside. (See tip below)
  11. Remove from grill and top each salad with 2 pieces of squid tubes and 2 tentacles.
  12. Drizzle dressing evenly on each salad. Serve immediately.

Easiest Pineapple Granita
Prep time
Total time
Use this granita on top of vanilla bean ice cream for a fresh and light dessert. The recipe for my vanilla bean ice cream is located here.
Serves: 1 quart
  • 1 pineapple, pureed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Vidal Gourmet Ice Wine Syrup
  • mint leaves for garnish
  1. Place the sugar + ½ cup of water in a saucepan and heat just until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool.
  2. Cut your pineapple into chunks and add into a blender with the syrup.
  3. Pour the pureed pineapple mixture into a large resealable plastic bag and lay flat in your freezer. Freeze overnight.
  4. Before serving, remove the bag from the freezer and while the granita is still in the bag, smash bag on a hard surface or break up using your hands.
  5. Scoop vanilla bean ice cream into 4 martini glasses, Add a scoop of granita on top of the ice cream. Drizzle with ice wine syrup. Garnish with a mint leaf.