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Orna's Blog

Eight Great Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

#1 Social Networking for Seniors

Fabulous Magazine: Info on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and more.

Social Networking for Seniors

Only $13.99 at Costco


#2 The Guilt Trip, with Barbara Streisand & Seth Rogan

Gift Mom the movie on iTunes… and watch it with her. (If you dare!)

The Guilt Trip

Loved this movie!

$12.99 on iTunes >>


#3 OXO Cookie Jar with homemade “Crunchies” or Oaty Chews

Super-easy to make, and Mom will be touched by the personal effort and love the fabulous, air-tight container!

Crunchies in Cookie Jar

Click here for the traditional South African “Crunchies” recipe >>

Click here for Orna’s Oaty Chews with Coach’s Oats >>


#4 Gourmet Blends Balsamics and Olive Oils

Gourmet Blends Gift Pack

Mix & Match 4-pack (6 oz bottles), $65 on >>

My favs are Pomegranate Balsamic, Asian Dipping Oil (with a kick), Basil Olive Oil, and Vanilla Fig Balsamic.

Gourmet Blends at Farmer's Market

Click here for my post on Gourmet Blends Balsamics & Oils >>

Or visit your local Farmer’s Market—or Cost Plus World Market (love that store!)—and make up your own gift basket.


#5 Food Network Magazine subscription

My favorite magazine! A wonderful gift for foodie moms.

Food Network Magazine

$18 on >>


#6 Cook’s Illustrated Magazine subscription

Fabulous recipes with illustrations and detailed descriptions.

Cook's Illustrated Magazine

$24.95 on >>


#7 Fabio’s Italian Kitchen, by Fabio Viviani of Top Chef fame

I just got it at Costco—haven’t had a chance to look through it yet.

Fabio's Italian Kitchen

$14.73 on Amazon >>

If you’re in the LA area, treat Mom to Mother’s Day Brunch at Fabio’s delightful restaurant, Cafe Firenze, in Moorpark, CA.

If you go for dinner, be sure to order the Braised Short Rib Ravioli with Taleggio Cheese Sauce. My mouth is watering as I type. Must go there soon!

I’m sure that Mr. Smooth-and-Charming would be happy to sign her copy of his brand new cookbook!

Me and Fabio

Orna & Fabio

New Year’s Eve at Cafe Firenze, 12/31/12


#8 Old-School Comfort Food by Iron Chef & Chopped Judge Alex Guarnaschelli

Old-School Comfort Food book cover

$18.90 on Amazon >>

Click here for my post on Meeting Alex Guarnaschelli >>

I would recommend the book; I would NOT, however, recommend making the “Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting and a Caramel Top,” which I made this week for Sam’s birthday!

Three of us with the cake

Note to self: Next time you spend the entire day making a cake—while toddler  is at Granny’s, and you could have been out frolicking with pre-birthday hubby—rather pick a detail-oriented baker’s recipe; the likes of Martha Stewart or Rose Levy Beranbaum—in contrast with laid-back, nonchalant Chef Guarnaschelli. (Though I’d imagine she gets pretty fired up on Iron Chef!)

I guess I was secretly hoping that I would also just throw it all together—all chill and casual—and it would turn out just as delicious as hers did at the cooking demo. Not.

Control freak that I am, I prefer seeing “a teaspoon of lemon juice,” not just “juice of 1 lemon.” A big lemon? A small lemon?

I know, I know, I can’t blame too much lemon on the sunken center! But for me, the citrus was overpowering.

I could definitely have done with some more details, Chef Guarnaschelli!

Fixing the cake

We did have a laugh fixing it! (With the off-cuts I hadn’t already eaten.)

Pouring Caramel over Cake

And pouring and cracking the caramel was pretty fun.

Smashing caramel with knife

 Next time I’ll listen to Sam’s words and make a Duncan Hines Chocolate cake—and just pour caramel over it for the same dramatic effect and caramelly crunch!

Slice of Cake

Edible. But not “worthy!”

Whenever I try to convince him of something it comes back to bite me!

And the lesson is… ?

Do you have any great Mother’s Day Gift Ideas? Please share!

What to serve on Mother’s Day

THE BEST Cowboy Caviar—dip/salad/snack >>

Cowboy Caviar

Caprese on a Stick—the perfect party bite >>

Asian-Style Turkey Meatball Minis >>

Join my Bulka Banter Group on Facebook.

2 Responses

  1. Great post and images. I agree with your sentiments about the caramel cake. Go for an easier base and try it out! Still it was rather delicious…

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