Celebrate Mother’s Day with family recipes

Published 10:36 am Thursday, May 9, 2019

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By Stephanie Williams Dean

Bless Your Spoon


For Mother’s Day, celebrate a few traditions from your family’s Southern table. Many of us reminisce about the food we grew up with – I know I do. We just can’t seem to forget those comforting “made with love” dishes that our mommas prepared for us. Many family recipes and customs have been passed down from one generation to the next – and we often have stories to go along with them. These memories are to be cherished as they’re your family heritage. There’s security in knowing where we came from and how we came to be the way we are.

My family sat together around the kitchen table at mealtimes. Mom cooked every night of the week, serving the traditional southern plate known as a meat and three – three vegetable or fruit side dishes that accompanied the meat entrée. Recently, my sister gave me Mom’s small, metal recipe box that was chock-full of handwritten notes and collected clippings – many of my childhood favorites. I’m sharing the meals I remember well – those home cooked, suppertime favorites.

But first, before we eat, who’s going to say the blessing?

“Gracious Father, make us thankful, for these and all our other blessings. We ask it all in Jesus’s name. Amen.”


2 pounds round or sirloin steak

1 pound sliced, fresh mushrooms

½ cup chopped onions

¼ cup salted butter

½ tsp. powdered basil

½ tsp. grated nutmeg

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. freshly grated pepper

1 cup sour cream

1 pkg. cooked, drained, egg noodles.

Salted butter

Cook noodles as directed on package. Rinse and drain. Butter and keep warm. Pound steak until it is thin. Cut into strips 1 inch by 3 inches. Saute onions and mushrooms in butter until tender. Brown beef strips and add to onions and mushrooms. Add seasonings and sour cream, and mix well, but do not boil. Pour into a greased casserole dish. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour. Serve over warm egg noodles or potatoes, and sprinkle with nutmeg.


3 pounds boneless chicken breasts

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

½ tsp. paprika

6 Tbsp. butter, divided

14 oz. artichoke hearts

½ pound fresh, sliced mushrooms

2 Tbsp. flour

2/3 cup chicken broth

¼ tsp. dried rosemary

3 Tbsp. sherry

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and paprika. In a skillet, brown chicken in 4 Tbsp.of the butter. Remove to an ovenproof casserole. Arrange in the bottom with artichoke hearts between chicken pieces. Add remaining 2 Tbsp.of butter to drippings and saute mushrooms. Sprinkle flour over mushrooms and cook 5 minutes while stirring. Stir in chicken broth, rosemary, and sherry. Cook 5 minutes, and pour over the chicken and artichokes. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 40 minutes or until breasts are tender. Serve alongside wild rice.


3 cups cooked hot rice

1 pound of lean round steak

1 Tbsp. paprika

2 Tbsp. salted butter

2 cloves of crushed garlic

1 ½ cup hot beef broth

1 cup of sliced green onions with tops

2 green peppers, cut in strips

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

¼ cup water

¼ cup soy sauce

2 diced fresh tomatoes

Soy sauce

Cook rice according to directions. While rice is cooking, pound steak to ¼ inch thick. Cut into ½ inch strips. Sprinkle meat with paprika. Using large skillet, brown meat in butter. Add garlic and broth. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in onion and green pepper. Cover, and cook 5 minutes more. Blend cornstarch with water and soy sauce. Stir into meat mixture. Cook until thick. Serve over fluffy rice. Top with chopped tomatoes.


3 Tbsp. butter

2 chopped onions

3 stalks chopped celery

6 chopped chicken breasts

2 cups reserved chicken stock

1 can mushroom soup

½ lb. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 Tbsp. water

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

½ lb. cooked, drained spaghetti

Small jar of sliced black olives

1 cup chopped pecans

Saute onions in butter and set aside. Boil chicken and reserve 2 cups chicken broth. Chop chicken into 1-inch pieces. To the stock, add soup, sautéed onions and celery, cheese, water, salt, and pepper, and mix well. Fold in drained spaghetti noodles. Let stand 1 hour. Add chicken and olives. Top with pecans. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 minutes or until bubbly.


6 large, fresh tomatoes

Onion powder

Garlic powder

Lawry’s Seasoning salt

Black pepper

Fresh bread crumbs

Salted butter

Slice tops off fresh tomatoes about a ½ inch from the top. Sprinkle onion powder, garlic powder, Lawry’s seasoning salt, black pepper, fresh bread crumbs, and a pat (a little less than 1 Tbsp.) of butter.  Place under broiler. Serves 6.


2 pounds fresh yellow squash

1 chopped carrot

1 chopped yellow onion

1 stick salted butter

2 cups Pepperidge Farm dressing, plus some

1 can condensed cream of chicken soup

½ pint sour cream

Cook squash, onion, and carrots until tender but not mushy. In a skillet, melt butter, add dressing and mix well. In a large bowl, combine butter and dressing mixture with squash, carrot, onion, soup, and sour cream. Mix well. Pour into a greased casserole dish. Top with additional Pepperidge Farm dressing with pats of butter around the top. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes.


6 medium potatoes

2 Tbsp. salted butter

2 cups cheddar cheese

1 ¼  cup sour cream

1/3 cup chopped green onion

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. white pepper

Salted butter


In a pot, boil potatoes in skins until almost done. Cool. Grate, shred or cut into small cubes. In a saucepan, heat butter and cheese until almost melted, and then remove from heat. Blend into the mixture the sour cream, onion, salt, and pepper. Add potatoes stirring lightly until mixed. Place in a buttered 2-quart casserole and dot with butter. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes.


2 cups chopped, cooked chicken breast

2 chopped hard-boiled eggs

1 cup chopped celery

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

½ cup sliced water chestnuts

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

Crumbled potato chips

Mix all ingredients except potato chips. Pour into a greased 1 ½ quart casserole and top with potato chips. Bake in a 375-degree oven for 30 minutes or until bubbling. Serves 6.


3 pkgs. French-style green beans

8 oz. sliced water chestnuts

1 can drained bean sprouts

4 ½ oz. sliced mushrooms

1 can cream of mushroom soup plus ½ can milk

1 large chopped onion

1 can French fried onions

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp pepper

Grated medium cheddar cheese (optional)

Cook green beans in little water. If canned, drain and rinse thoroughly.  Combine all ingredients, and mix well. Layer in a 2-quart buttered casserole dish with grated cheese between each layer. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes.


2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

1 fresh head of broccoli

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. soy sauce

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

¼ cup liquid from cooked broccoli

Salt to taste

To toast sesame seeds, place them in a skillet over moderate heat. Shake pan continually from the time they start to brown. Do not allow to burn. Boil or steam broccoli until half-done. Drain and save liquid. Separate broccoli florets. Stir-fry broccoli in oil for 2 minutes. Add cooking liquid and soy sauce. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and toasted sesame seeds and toss. Add salt if desired.


2 beaten eggs

½ cup of whole milk

½ cup premium mayonnaise

1 can cream of celery soup

2 cups shredded, sharp cheddar cheese

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp. of minced onion

1 small can of chopped mushrooms (optional)

20 oz. of cooked broccoli

1 cup bread crumbs

Salted butter

Parmesan cheese

Steam broccoli and don’t overcook. In a bowl, mix ingredients in order. You can prepare ahead and bake anytime. Pour in a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle buttered bread crumbs on top and dot with butter. Top with grated parmesan cheese. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes.


½ lb. salted butter

4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

4 beaten eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped pecans

1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a saucepan, melt butter and chocolate. In a mixer, beat eggs. Add sugar, flour, and butter and chocolate mixture. Mix well. Fold in vanilla and pecans. Pour into a greased oblong baking pan. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 25-30 minutes.


2 beaten eggs

1 cup sugar

½ cup Wesson oil

1 ½ cup sifted all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp. soda

¼ tsp. salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup grated carrots

½ cup chopped pecans

In a mixer, beat eggs. Add sugar and oil. Add flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon, and mix well. Fold in carrots and nuts and mix well. Pour into a greased and floured tube pan. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cover cake with foil for first 20 minutes to reduce cracking.

Cream Cheese Icing

8 oz. softened cream cheese

1 stick softened salted butter

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup confectioners sugar

1 ½ cup chopped pecans

Cream softened cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla and sugar. Mix well until smooth. Fold in pecans.


3 cups peeled, sliced, fresh peaches

¼ cup sugar

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. grated lemon rind

1 tsp. almond extract

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. sugar

1/3 cup Crisco shortening

½ cup whole milk

1 beaten egg

2 Tbsp. sugar

Put sliced peaches in a greased 8-inch square baking dish. Mix sugar, lemon juice, lemon rind, almond extract, and sprinkle over peaches. Heat in the oven while preparing shortcake. For shortcake, sift together the flour, salt, and sugar. Cut in shortening until mixture is like coarse crumbs. Add milk and egg. Stir just to moisten the flour. Spread over hot peaches. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake in a 250-degree oven for 40 minutes or until done.


1 pie shell

9 egg yolks, whites reserved

3 Tbsp. ice water

1 ½ cups sugar

3 tsp. flour

Pinch of salt

3 Tbsp. melted butter

Grated rind of 1 lemon

Juice of 3 lemons

5 beaten egg whites


4 beaten egg whites

¼ cup sugar

Bake pie shell according to directions. Beat together 9 egg yolks, ice water, and sugar. Add flour, salt, and butter. Stir in grated lemon rind and lemon juice. Mix well and cook in top of a double boiler just until thickened and not too thick. Beat 5 egg whites until stiff, and fold into lemon mixture. Reserve the other 4 whites for meringue. Pour pie filling into baked pie shell. Top with meringue made of the remaining egg whites and ¼ cup sugar. Bake in a 350-degree oven until meringue is browned.