This Mother’s Day, I’d like to pay tribute to the women in my family that gave me the baking inspiration growing up that still fuels me to this day. There are three in particular — my mom, my grandmother, and my Aunt Diane.
Some of my fondest memories growing up were baking in the kitchen with my mom. Every family birthday was celebrated with a cake or two, made completely from scratch. My mom and I would find recipes that we wanted to make for each birthday that was coming up. My mom’s specialty was a pineapple cake with cream cheese frosting that one of my grandmothers always requested! Coconut and carrot cakes were big around our house, and let’s not forget the Easter bunny cake that my mom made me every year when my April birthday was close to Easter. German chocolate cake worked it’s way in there, too, and has always been a favorite of mine. To this day I still prefer to bake cakes completely from scratch. You can call me a cake snob, but really, it’s just tradition!
My mom always baked a ton over the Christmas season and gave the goodies away as gifts. She made rocky road candy, marshmallow drops, romance bars, and many other treats. I’ve carried on the tradition, and every year I bake my favorites — armies of gingerbread men, sugar cookies, cocoa thumbprints, and whatever new recipes inspire me. Some years I swear I’m not going to do it because I often become exhausted, but I always do it. Somehow it just isn’t the same if I don’t!
My grandmother, or Granny, as we called her, used to bake pies and breads from scratch often when I was younger. She told me she gained too much weight, so she had to stop! As I got older, she would buy store bought pies instead, but I always remember her homemade ones. I’ll never forget her hams that just melted in my mouth every Christmas and Easter, and of course, Granny’s Rice Pilaf that graced the table every single family get-together. Granny passed away five years ago, but I never feel like she’s very far away.
My Aunt Diane passed away 16 years ago, at much too young of an age. She was always smiling, and always ready to help anyone that needed it. I’ll never forget her spanakopita, baklava, and a creamy, chocolate-vanilla layered pudding dessert called “The Dessert”, which was my favorite! I will make that some time, as it’s one of those recipes that needs to be shared. You could feel the love in all of Aunt Diane’s dishes. She aimed to please, and please she did!
Below are 20 of my favorite Mother’s Day recipes:
Apple Raisin Baked Oatmeal
Banana Blueberry Oatmeal Bread
Coffee Cake Carrot Muffins with Cream Cheese Filling
Coconut-Lime Baked Donuts
Greek Yogurt Pancakes with Blueberry Maple Syrup
Healthier Strawberry Banana Muffins
Raspberry Coconut French Toast Bake
Grapefruit Brulee Fruit Salad with Toasted Coconut
Fresh Key Lime Yogurt Dip
Baby Kale Salad with Bacon and Dried Cranberries
Cranberry Pear Salad
Grilled Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons
Baby Lettuce Salad with Raspberries, Cranberries and Feta
Homemade Hostess Cupcakes
Key Lime Cooler Cookies
Key Lime Pie with Meringue Whipped Cream
Lemon Burst Cookies
Meyer Lemon Sugar Cookies
Strawberry Orange Rhubarb Pie
Happy Mother’s Day to you and yours!