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Recipe Friday: Mom's Favorite Recipes

With Mother's Day coming up on Sunday, we thought it might be fun to hear from some of our readers what recipes their mother's made for them growing up. Take a look! 

From Stephanie Powell, Alpha Baking Company

When we were growing up my sister was obsessed with being British and high tea, this was pre Harry Potter so I have no idea where that came from. My Mom was equally as confused to the origin of this obsession, but she rose to the challenge and found tea rooms around Chicago that the three of us could visit and enjoy a high tea. We were enthralled with the dainty sandwiches, sweets, and the whole ritual of it.

We were so enamored that we started making tea sandwiches at home for holidays and celebrations. These events became so elaborate that when my Grandma joined in she brought out her elaborate vintage hats so it could be a “proper” tea. My Mom, who is a vegetarian, became known for her cucumber, dill, and cream cheese tea sandwiches. To this day these high teas continue, with some additions like ricotta blueberry sandwiches, but they are not complete without my Mom’s signature cucumber sandwiches.

Cucumber Dill Sandwiches

Ingredients for Dill Cream Cheese Spread

4 oz. whipped cream cheese
Juice from ½ lemon
2 T fresh dill (you can sub dried dill, but use 1 tsp instead)
Black pepper and salt to taste

Ingredients for Sandwich

Diced cucumbers (peel them if you want to be fancy, but it’s not a problem if you leave them on)
2 slices of rye bread or wheat pullman bread


  1. Combine the whipped cream cheese, lemon juice, and fresh dill together. Season with salt and pepper and then set aside. Can be made the day before.
  2. Assemble the sandwich: spread a layer of the dill cream cheese mixture on both slices. Cover the bottom slice with cucumbers and then top with the other slice. Slice off crusts and cut remaining sandwich into 3 pieces.

Ricotta and Honey Sandwiches

While there aren’t many ingredients in this sandwich, it’s definitely greater than the sum of its parts!

Ingredients for the Ricotta/Honey Mixture

2/3 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
2/3 cup shelled pistachios
1 T honey (add more to taste)

Ingredients for Sandwich

3 oz ricotta honey mixture
2 Slices of wheat pullman bread
Fresh blueberries


  1. Crush the shelled pistachios with a mortar and pestle (or use a food processer).
  2. Mix the ricotta cheese and honey together, add the pistachios, and mix until smooth. This can be done the day before.
  3. Assemble the sandwich: spread a layer of the ricotta/honey mixture on both slices. Cover the bottom slice with blueberries and then top with the other slice. Slice off crusts and cut remaining sandwich into 3 pieces

Fom Julia Kendrick Conway, Assaggiare Mendocino

 My mom's (and her mom's) Tuscan white beans and greens are one of our favorite vegetarian/vegan entrees.

Grarndma's Beans - Tuscan Beanpot Beans (Fagioli al Fiasco)


1 ½ cups dried beans, soaked overnight in water to cover
3 T extra virgin olive oil
2-3 sprigs sage
1 ea. small white or yellow onion, quartered
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 bunch of fresh greens (chard, kale, dandelions, spinach)
Salt to taste


  1. Drain beans and discard soaking liquid. Place in crock pot or heavy casserole with fresh water to cover by 1''. Add all the ingredients except the salt, and bring to a slow simmer. When the liquid is just simmering, cover the pot and continue cooking until the beans are very tender but not falling apart. The liquid should never come to a rolling boil, but simmer slowly. If you do not have a crock pot, place covered pot or casserole in a low oven. Check the beans from time to time and add more hot water as needed to keep beans covered and maintain the simmer. It is impossible to give an accurate cooking time, as the age and size of the beans vary. Plan on at least 1 ½ hours, but the process can take up to 3 hours. During the last half hour of cooking, add the greens to the cooking pot. If using tough greens such as kale, first remove center rib and slice into ribbons before adding to pot. 
  2. The finished beans should not be soupy, but napped in a velvety cooking liquid. Add the salt only when the beans are finished cooking, as it toughens the skins of the beans and causes them to split if added earlier. 
  3. To se the beans as a topping for crostini or bruschetta, puree a quarter of the beans with 1 cup of the cooking liquid, then stir back into the beans to thicken. Spoon on top of toasted bread, and drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil. 

From Cody Middleton, Chef Instructor, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts

Growing up in the South, cornbread was a staple for many meals. I was the youngest of my quadruplet siblings, so getting food on the table quickly was a must for my family. While my mom wasn’t a baker, I do remember her or my Mimi making this cornbread many times as it is simple to pull together. This recipe is said to be an adaptation of a recipe posted in the newspaper decades ago and was called, “Mother’s Cornbread.” It is fitting that mothers are the people I saw make this recipe as a child.

Mom was diagnosed with celiac disease when we were very young, so gluten-free baked goods were the norm. This recipe is written to be gluten-free as that is how Mom always made it. It can, however, be made with conventional all-purpose flour with great results. In the South, there are as many recipes for cornbread as there are towns. My family liked ours on the sweeter side and crisp. The crisp edges achieved from baking in a thin layer (along with the convenience factor of not scooping individual muffins) is why this recipe is baked in a sheet pan. In fact, Mimi (mom’s mom) prefers her cornbread extra crispy. She always puts hers in the toaster oven until dark brown and eats hers with a concoction of evaporated milk and water, although, I prefer mine with a spoon of honey butter and flaked sea salt. Baking in cast iron or as cornbread muffins produces fantastic results, but will have more of the moist interior and less of the crispy edges.

Mother’s Cornbread


1 cup (5 oz) gluten free all purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 T baking powder
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
3 ea. large room temperature eggs
2 ½ cups buttermilk, room temperature
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ cups corn kernels, frozen (optional)


  1. Sift together the gluten free all-purpose flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Whisk in the cornmeal. Reserve.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the Kosher salt, granulated sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter until homogeneous.
  3. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. If using conventional all-purpose flour be sure not to over-mix! Fold in the frozen corn kernels, if using. The batter will seem wet, but after a minute or two, the cornmeal will absorb the liquid and the batter will thicken.
  4. Spread into a greased half-sized (13x18”) sheet pan. A 10” preheated and greased cast iron skillet can also be used.
  5. Bake at 425ºF until browned and firm in the middle, approximately 15-18 minutes.

From Fausto, Blue Elephant Catering

This Cuban boy's favorite thing his mom made for him and that was flan. There are so many but this is the one that brings back the fondest memories

Dalva's Flan


1 can condensed milk
1 can of regular whole milk
5 ea. large eggs
1 cup white sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to 350
  2. In a large bowl,beat the eggs until foamy
  3. Add condensed milk
  4. Using the condensed milk can, add 1 can of whole milk
  5. Add eggs, one at a time until everything is combined
  6. Add the sugar to a small saucepan. Heat on medium/high heat until it melts, stirring constantly. Once it is liquefied, add it to a pyrex baking dish.
  7. Add the egg mixture to the sugar in the baking dish.
  8. Place the baking dish in a larger glass baking dish filled with water.
  9. Place carefully on the center rack of the oven and bake at 350 for 1 hour.
  10. Flan is done when a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  11. Run a knife or small spartual around the edge of the flan to loosen.
  12. Carefully flip the flan onto a plate. The caramelized sugar will be on the top!



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