Mama Duff helped bring Duff into the world, and now she’s going to help us kick start the blog!
It’s always so difficult to decide how to celebrate mommies and like-mommies on Mother’s Day — do you pick up some flowers and go to brunch? Do you grab a card and go over to visit for a couple of hours? Do you plan to have a dinner at a new, snazzy restaurant? Whatever the case, we all just want it to be something good so our mothers feel special. They do have quite a thankless job, after all. This year, we wanted to change it up a bit and do something Mama Duff had passively asked us to do the week before — take her hiking.
Now having taken on such a feat, I can tell you this is basically the perfect Mother’s Day experience and I would suggest adding this to your list of “gift” ideas next year. There is a beautiful nature sanctuary near where we live, and it was the perfect place to take Mama Duff for a short hike. The trails are well worn and visible, and the scenery is gorgeous. We went to an overlook of a river and took in the beauty of the rolling hills, stopped for a few pictures, and made our way back to the entrance for what I most anticipated all day — picnic lunch!
One of our favorite dishes right now is what we call a Cretan salad, inspired by a weekend episode of Giada in Paradise. It contains basically all of my favorite foods (who doesn’t love bread and cheese?!) and does not require measuring ingredients or a bottle of boring, store-bought dressing. It’s also made to be customizable, seeing as everything is basically added “to taste.” It wasn’t completely picnic-friendly because we brought along quite a few spices, but that’s part of what made it feel so special.
I’ve eaten this salad for brunch, lunch, dinner, as an appetizer, and as a midnight snack. It is perfect any time. Mama Duff now shares our love for this simple, delicious salad, and we hope you will, too.
- 1 baguette
- 4-5 cups salad greens
- 4 roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 8 oz. feta cheese, sliced
- kalamata olives
- dried oregano
- dried thyme
- dried dill
- salt and pepper
- extra virgin olive oil
- red wine vinegar
- Slice the bread about half an inch thick. Cut each slice in half lengthwise (you end up with little bread sticks!) Place the slices of bread in a circle around the edge of your plate. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Top the bread with tomatoes and cucumbers. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place salad greens in the middle of the plate, nestling them into the center of the bread. Top with feta, olives, and capers.
- Season with oregano, thyme, dill, and additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Drizzle olive oil and red wine vinegar over salad, to taste.
- Remember: You can always add or subtract ingredients to your preferences. Make it what you love!
Then, if you can swing it and it’s your kind of thing, visit a nearby vineyard and have yourself a little wine tasting! It was the perfect end to a great day.
Nothing beats a good hike, a good meal, and time spent with a very special mama.