Recipes our Moms Make Better Than Us

As my team and I gathered around to discuss potential Mother’s Day blogs, we came to the same conclusion: We all have that 1 recipe our moms passed down to us that we just can’t get exactly right. We’ve read and reread the recipes, watched Mom in action, and practiced endlessly, but it’s just not the same when we make it. Is she leaving something out or does Mom just have the magic touch? We may never know.

Donatella: Too Many Titles to List. All-around “Boss Lady”

donatella arpaia mom recipe zucchini fritters

For me it’s Stuffed Artichokes and Zucchini Fritters- no matter how many times my mother goes over the recipes, I’m convinced she’s leaving something out. They just don’t taste like hers!


  • 4 medium zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 3/4-1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Olive oil


  • Combine the Zucchini, eggs, parsley, Parmigiano, and extra-virgin olive oil and stir until the zucchini is coated. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add 3/4 cup of the flour just a sprinkle at a time and stir. Continue adding until the mix is the consistency of pancake batter, add more if the zucchini is very wet.
  • Fill a large, heavy-bottomed pan with 1/4″ olive oil. Heat over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches, spoon the zucchini mixture into the pan in 2-tablespoon mounds. The fritters should be three-quarters submerged in the oil. If bits of zucchini stray, scoop them up and return them to the fritters.
  • Reduce the heat slightly and fry until golden brown, turning once, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Allow the oil to return to medium heat before proceeding with the next batch.
  • Serve the fritters on a parchment-lined tray. The leftover fritters will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 2 days. Reheat, wrapped in foil, in a low oven.


Meredith: Brand & Product Development Guru. The Left Brain.

homemade chicken soup recipe

My grandmother was Hungarian and everyone knows what fabulous cooks they are!  Everything she made was delicious, but who doesn’t love chicken soup a la Grandma?  We loved to devour it at holiday meals with her homemade noodles.  It is satisfying and healthy anytime of the year and will give you that TLC only a mom can provide!


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 8 – 10 cups water (enough to cover chicken)
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 large onions
  • 2 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and diced
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into1-inch pieces
  • parsley, for sprinkling
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • pepper



  • Bring chicken and water to a boil in a large stockpot. Add carrots, onions, celery, garlic and kohlrabi. Simmer, partially covered, for 1 ½ hours. As the soup cooks, skim foam that rises to the surface and discard.
  • Remove carrots, celery and kohlrabi and reserve.
  • Remove the chicken, place onto a cutting board and chop into small pieces.
  • Strain the chicken stock through a fine sieve into another pot and stir in desired amount of chicken. Add the vegetables back into the soup. Season the soup with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chopped parsley.



Jess: Graphic Designer & Marketing Maven. The Right Brain.

mother's day blog recipes

While Dad reigns supreme in the kitchen, Mom was known for a few dishes that no one executes like her. The most popular of which, are her authentic British sausage rolls. No one in my family gets the dough as fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside as she does. What was once reserved for special occasions (namely Christmas) has become a family favorite- made pretty much year-round. The key to perfect sausage rolls is to get the best quality cumberland sausage or banger meat that you can find. The rest is ridiculously simple.


  • 1 lb of banger sausage meat- not incased (go to your local British store. We like Myers of Keswick)
  • 1 lb of puff pastry
  • flour for dusting
  • 1 egg for egg wash


  • Preheat the oven to 400F.  Dust flour on your surface, and roll the puff pastry into long strips of dough about 4″ wide and 1/4″ thick.
  • Roll out the sausage meat into long tubular sections about the circumference of a a quarter. Place into the center of the dough, and roll the pastry around the sausage. Use a fork to seal the dough.
  • Brush the top of the sausage roll with egg wash and slice it into 2″ sections. Then stab each bite-size roll on the top to let the roll breathe while baking. Place on a greased baking sheet.
  •  Bake sausage rolls for 10 minutes  or until the pastry puffs up, then I turn down the heat to 325F and bake for another 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.  Serve warm or at room temperature.


Andrea: Pastry-Chef Extraordinaire & Master of all Things Sweet

mother's day blog recipesPULLED PORK

My mother is Puerto Rican and Sicilian (she liked to joke to my suitors “both sides are good with knives”). Not only is she a force to be reckoned with, she also happens to be an incredible cook. Anyone who had ever had her cooking sings her praises, and I consider myself so lucky to be her kid. I get my passion for cooking from her. Of all the things my mother makes, my favorite thing is without a doubt, her Pernil. It’s a slow roasted Puerto Rican pork shoulder, that you begin to marinate in citrus and garlic days before and slow cook for upwards of 10 hours. When it’s done, it’s tender and falling off the bone. It’s heaven. Well worth the wait. Here’s a recipe for our spin on this dish. By adding a little barbecue sauce, it turns into pulled pork which we then layer with cole slaw on a bun. I’m sure mom would approve.



(Serves 15)

  • 1 bone-in pork shoulder (10 lbs)
  • 8 cloves of garlic made into a paste with a little salt (chop finely to make the paste)
  • Adobo (or a mixture of garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, black pepper, salt and oregano)
  • juice of 3 lemons and 1 orange
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • olive oil
  • oregano
  • 15  dinner rolls- we like King’s Hawaiian Sweet rolls!
  • barbecue sauce (enough to lightly coat pork)


  • NIGHT BEFORE: Place the pork shoulder in a baking dish skin side up and rub it with olive oil and generously sprinkle it with plenty of Adobo.
  • Make 1” slits (about 1” deep) all over the pork and slide the garlic paste into all of the slits.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the orange and lemon juice with the onion and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste and some oregano.
  • Pour over pork and marinate overnight.


  • Heat the oven to 475°.  Pour enough liquid (water or chicken stock) to come up 1” and bake uncovered for one hour.
  • Turn oven down to 275° and tent pork with some tin foil and bake for 1 ½ hours per lb.
  • Remove foil for the last hour of cooking.
  • Allow pork to cool and then shred with a fork. Transfer pork to a large bowl and toss with barbecue sauce until coated.
  • Toast buns and fill with ¼ cup of pork.


One thought on “Recipes our Moms Make Better Than Us

  1. Hello Donatella. In regards to your mom’s zucchini fritters… My mom told me to drain the zucchini in a colander with a little salt so the water can strain a bit from the zucchini. Also instead of Parmigiano she uses Pecorino Romano. It gives it a little more flavor in every bite. Maybe that will do the trick.

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