Tag Archives: Joy the Baker

Mother’s Day: How to Make Breakfast in Bed for Mom

gThankYou! Employee Gifts - Mothers' Day FlowersThere are a few secrets to giving mom a great breakfast in bed.  First, don’t make it too complicated.  A simple breakfast is better than a fancy one that’s difficult to do and risks not being all you (or Mom) hoped.  This is especially true if the kids in the house are making the meal.

Second, know what mom wants. If she loves the cranberry orange scones from a neighborhood bakery, head out early and pick one up rather than try to make one yourself (scones especially have a dangerous tendency to get rock-like if you don’t have much practice).

Third, nail the garnishes!  Put a single lily, Gerber daisy or Mom’s favorite flower in a bud vase. Arrange everything on a pretty breakfast tray. Maybe even put her orange juice in a wine glass, just for looks.

gThankYou! Employee Gifts - Artistic TrayAnd, don’t forget the hand-made Mother’s Day card from the kids.  It will make Mom’s day, no matter how breakfast turns out.

Finally, try one of these fun recipes for Mother’s Day brunch this year. They’re all simple and delicious, and at least one of them should hit the sweet spot between decadence (for her) and ease (for you).

Sumptuous Smoothies

8639164930_f00bfb2a15_cThere is a secret in these not-too-sweet, sophisticated smoothies from Joy the Baker. They’re actually pretty healthy (!) – but don’t tell the kids. A regular size pineapple smoothie from Jamba Juice will set you back more than 400 calories, which doesn’t leave much room for bacon (or Mother’s Day dessert).

But try the vanilla, blackberry, oat and almond milk smoothie from Joy. Almond milk is the healthiest alternative to cow’s milk (60 calories per cup, versus 86 for skim), but it’s full of flavor; sweet, lightly nutty and perfect for smoothies.  You’ll want to keep making these all year-long.

Wonderful Waffles

Waffles are such wonderful weekend food. If you do them up sweet, they can almost be like dessert for breakfast.

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Photo by Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen

Mom would probably love these whole wheat Belgian waffles with mascarpone, thyme and fresh strawberries from the blog Happyolks. If you’re feeling ambitious, try them.

But if you don’t have yeast lying around, Deb Perelman’s recipe from Smitten Kitchen (above) made with buttermilk and vanilla extract should do the trick. Just make sure to top with powdered sugar and fresh fruit.

Perfect Pancakes

1fc1e62d03af7b13220daafa9f139b04If hauling out the blender and/or the waffle maker on a Sunday morning seems like just too much effort for early in the day, pancakes are the perfect fallback. Fancy enough for a special occasion but easy enough that your six-year-old can help, “flapjacks” can be sweet (chocolate-pecan pancakes from Martha Stewart Living), savory (butternut squash pancakes or sweet potato and kimchi pancakes from Lantern Restaurant via Epicurious.com) or somewhere in between (lemon-ricotta pancakes from CHOW).

There’s nothing better for breakfast than a stack of golden brown silver dollar pancakes with good maple syrup drizzled on them. Sprinkle in a few dark chocolate chips while they’re cooking, and it’s really a holiday.

Mom will be delighted!  So have fun and keep it simple. For more recipes and other Mother’s Day ideas – please check out our post: The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift!

Happy Mother’s Day!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

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3 Fantastic Food Blogs | gThankYou! Favorites

As winter weather drags on, finding inspiration in the kitchen can get a little harder.

Sweet potatoes, again?

Sweet potatoes, again?

On one hand, in my kitchen is often where I most want to be, next to the heat of the stove and a ready pot of tea. I’m the hunkering-down sort. I tend to bake too much, drink too much hot chocolate, and make endless variations on roast chicken and risotto.

On the other hand, winter in colder climates is one of the most discouraging times for produce. By March, I am tired of winter squash and potatoes. I have no more ideas for kale. I want something new.

That is where these food blogs come in. Visit any of these websites and let Deb Perelman, Heidi Swanson and Joy Wilson inspire and engage you with their vivid photographs and active imaginations.

9780307595652_custom-683a87e207903e45bbbd8a85df5d00c2e7502387-s6-c10I became a fan of Smitten Kitchen in a backwards way. I had heard of Deb Perelman, the New York-based author of the popular tiny kitchen blog, in passing via recipes from friends. But it wasn’t until I read about (and subsequently cooked) her lasagna bolognese in Best Food Writing 2012 and then impulsively bought her gorgeous new cookbook that I became a true SK convert.

A great blog is a combination of look and voice. Perelman takes all her own photos, and they’re beautiful, from a colorful mixed citrus salad with feta and mint to the French onion tart posted just this month. Her tone is self-deprecating and funny.

Her husband is “such a tidy eater … I comparatively eat with the grace of a Hoover.” She has a category on the blog called “disasters,” and writes about one set of them, “They’re not inedible. … They’re just not wonderful or magical or seriously, why have you not dropped everything yet and run to your kitchen to get this started?

Smitten Kitchen is organized for maximum ease — recipes are grouped by season, as well as by type (pancakes, dumplings), ingredient (eggs, apples) and cuisine (Indian, Italian). Now is the perfect time to try pancetta, white bean and chard pot pies, or “hibernation fare,” pasta with sausage, tomatoes and mushrooms.

SwansonFor healthier, I’m-sticking-to-my-New-Year’s-resolutions dishes, my absolute favorite blog is Heidi Swanson’s 101 Cookbooks. Swanson is the essence of inspirational, raving about her farmer’s market finds and offering simple substitutions for almost everything she makes.

Because of Swanson’s blog (and her two cookbooks, Super Natural Cooking and Super Natural Every Day), orzo has become a pantry staple, for potluck salads and easy weeknight dinners. I am no longer afraid of tofu, and I am shamelessly addicted to kale.

Following 101 Cookbooks is a great way to incorporate more grains into your diet in interesting, easy ways, from scones to warm noodle bowls. Start reading before spring, and you’ll be ready for every peapod and asparagus spear that crosses your path.

On the opposite end of the “virtuous” spectrum is Joy the Baker, a delightfully hedonistic blog full of cupcakes, cookies and lots of dark chocolate. Ina Garten is her kindred. (And yes, Joy has a cookbook too. It’s lovely.)

Joy baker

Photo from Joy the Baker

The site’s author, Joy Wilson, is perhaps best known for her sweets, but the first thing I made from her website was savory: this creme fraiche/bacon/gruyere quiche with a puff pastry crust, which simultaneously satisfied my craving for creme fraiche (like a mild sour cream) and something different to make with eggs.

I am intrigued by Wilson’s dark chocolate, pistachio and smoked sea salt cookies, the oatmeal sandwich cookies with creamy peanut butter filling and her roasted strawberry buttermilk cake, which transforms strawberries “from summer fruit to warm, soft candy.”

Maybe strawberries aren’t quite in season yet, but that sounds like the perfect cake to snap me out of my winter funk.

A few other food blogs to try and enjoy:

Wishing you spring weather soon!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Contact: Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog – “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

The Perfect Mother’s Day Gift

For Mother’s Day, every Mom appreciates most, something from the heart.  A child’s handmade card, special craft project or custom gift certificate for something such as “picking up my room without being asked for a month”.

An easy special treat, that even the littlest ones in the house can help with, is breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day!  Time to get up early, make some coffee and orange juice, and bring it to mom on a tray, complete with a flower and a homemade card!

Wondering what to make for the main dish?  Here are some easy recipes that not just Mom will enjoy!

gThankYou! - Best Pancakes Ever

The Best Pancakes Ever…
Looking for a basic, fool-proof, fluffy pancake that you can personalize with a variety of syrups, fruit, or jam?  Here it is, the ultimate blank canvas from The Kitchn!
P.S.  The secret is in the egg whites!

Desert for Breakfast – Red Velvet Pancakes
Or are you looking for something decadent and surprising? Try these Kitchy Kitchen red velvet pancakes, complete with a hint of chocolate and a deep crimson color. Top with mascarpone and pretend you’re eating dessert for breakfast!

Baked French Toast Casserole
With a little bit of planning, you can whip up a batch of Paula Deen’s French toast casserole the night before, then pop it in the oven first thing in the morning. The whole house will smell like cinnamon and maple syrup!

Mushroom and Bacon Breakfast Skillet

gThankYou! - Mushroom & Bacon Skillet

Mushroom & Bacon Skillet
by Joy The Baker

Is Mom more of an eggs and bacon person? Here’s an easy and elegant breakfast skillet by Joy the Baker that will satisfy a salty-crunchy craving rather than a sweet tooth.

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
Looking for something fast and easy that even the littlest cook can help with? Make these gorgeous yogurt parfaits for Mom, using whatever fruit is in season.

gThankYou! - Granola & Fruit ParfaitLayer the yogurt, fruit, and granola in beautiful glasses for a really pretty presentation!

However you choose to celebrate Mother’s Day, have fun and take the time to share your gratitude with all the Mothers in your life.

Happy Mother’s Day!

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are one of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand whole Turkey or half or whole Ham, at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.  

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo, and ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

5 Great Winter Soups to Keep You Warm

There is something magical about waking up in the morning and gazing out your front window onto a yard covered with powdery, pure white snow. Watching drifts form with the frigid winter wind, seeing icicles appear along the eaves, and hearing the fresh snow crunch under your boots – these are the simple pleasures of winter.

gThankYou Chicken Tortilla Soup Picture

Chicken Tortilla Soup by The Pioneer Woman

But after a long day shoveling the sidewalk, building snowmen, or pulling the kids up the sledding hill it’s time to thaw out with food that warms you from within – soup. Easy to make, soups come in endless varieties, with recipes that can easily be adapted to the ingredients you have on hand. Best of all, leftovers are even better reheated a few days later!

Serve a hearty bowl of soup with warm crusty bread and a green salad and you have a meal that will keep you warm, even as the temperatures outside plunge into single digits.  Check out these favorites and enjoy!

What’s your favorite winter soup?  Share it with us and we will post it for everyone.  Stay warm.

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are one of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand whole Turkey or half or whole Ham, at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.  

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo, and ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.