Janet's Notebook
Celebrating Mom's Memorable Recipes

Valencia Delights

As a child, one of my favorite things was watching my mom in the kitchen. Eating out was a big treat in our family, so most nights mom was by the stove whipping up something tasty. That's where I developed my love for cooking.

And, as years have passed, it seems so many memories stem from those moments in the kitchen. Many of my go-to recipes seem to be from my mom. Don't you think mom's - and grandmas - always seem to have the best recipes. So this week, let's celebrate all things mom!

To me, Selena Parisher'sGrandma Ruth's Inspired Oyster Stew recipe is the perfect heirloom recipe. "My grandmother invented it, my mother improved upon it and I perfected it," says Selena. Selena suggests letting the stew set for 24 hours so that the flavors meld. I did, but it meant that I had to pull myself away from it for that long! It was delicious from the moment it was done, but I did manage to save some of it to taste the next day as she suggests. I'm glad I did ... It was worth the wait. Awesome, indeed.

"Growing up as a kid through adulthood, Mom would make this Shrimp Creole recipe," explains Lynda Loose. "She would call and invite us over because she was making creole. That is all she would have to say ..." The seasoning in this recipe is just wonderful...perfect amount, perfect flavor. We put our shrimp in towards the end of the cooking time rather than leave it in the whole 60 minutes. It turned out great!

April Alvarez'sGrandma Baldwin's Mayonnaise Cake/Pudding Frosting recipe may sound a little strange. Mayo in a cake? Well, if you haven't tried it you must! It makes the cake oh-so moist. "My grandmother Baldwin would make this every weekend," says April. "when I got old enough to ride my bike, I would ride from one side of San Diego to the other just to eat a piece." This is a lovely example of a perfectly designed chocolate cake.

"Living with my grandma motivated me at an early age to cook, bake and eat everything on my plate," says Jill Drury. "Baking easily became a bond that we shared." What better compliment can I give than that Jill's Valencia Delights are just as wonderful as the story behind them! Together, the orange and chocolate that Jill (and her grandma) mixed together creates a sweet melody of flavors that will have you craving more.

Let's not forget about mother-in-laws. Marsha Cooley has a great recipe from hers! "Momma Linda's Enchiladas was the first dish my mother-in-law shared with me," explains Marsha. "It's very popular in our family, especially for company." The Kitchen Crew loved these! They pack a medium punch of heat that was just right for my taste. Make sure to invite the family over to try these great enchiladas - and create some great memories!

These days, I try to keep my cooking traditions alive with my grandson. I love showing him my favorite recipes and it's a great way for us to spend some quality time together. Who knows ... maybe he will look back on these days as fondly as I do with my mom. Get out that yellowed cookbook and share a few of your favorite recipes and memories from mom.

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Paula Todora - May 12, 2014
I too cook with my grandson-5 years old, Janet. He says he puts his love in his cooking, and when I asked him why he says that he says, "because you say you put your love into your cooking, Nana!" awwwww-so sweet
Lynn Littizzio - May 10, 2014
OK, so I swear I'm not pervy or a weirdo, but every time the photo for these cookies shows up on the side of my screen (and it's there a lot this week because it's a mother's day article),I catch a glimpse from the corner of my eye and I think the same thing - why is there a photo of a woman's breasts in a black bra on the JAP website? I know it's black and white cookies, but they way they're photographed in a small picture on the bottom right of the page, it's just what it looks like. And then I laugh and think - am I the only one who sees that?

Just a little giggle from one mom to another.
betty fallin - May 7, 2014
so great to learn cooking great dishes, from your mother and grandmoyher. I also love to cook and try new recipes. thank you !
Sandy Sellers - May 7, 2014
"Happy Mother's Day" to all you lovely cooks out there, I remember my mother's recipe for Mayo Cake too...matter of fact we where just recently talking about it!! I was looking for the recipe in my collection & to my surprise you have it..."Thank-you
JULIE KOMMALAN - May 6, 2014
Happy Mother's Day everyone ! ENJOY YOUR DAY !!
Colleen Sowa - May 6, 2014
Happy Mother's Day sweet friends! xo