My Recipe Box

Mother's Day Cookbook Giveaway

Want to win a copy of Mothers Best? Upload a recipe to the Recipe Exchange or post a comment below.

Want to win a copy of Mother's Best? Upload a recipe to the Recipe Exchange or post a comment below.

By Robyn Doyon-Aitken, Web producer

May 4th, 2010

Lisa Schroeder is a chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, and a busy mom. Her Portland restaurant, Mother’s Bistro & Bar is “an ode to all things motherly” where Lisa’s “Mother Food,” the ultimate comfort food, if you ask me, is made from scratch daily with fresh, high-quality ingredients (just like Mom’s!).

This Mother’s Day, we’re saluting moms like Lisa who honor home cooking (and cooks) with recipes that compel families around kitchen tables. Check out the excerpts from Lisa'a book Mother’s Best and upload one of your own mom-inspired recipes to our Recipe Exchange or post a comment about your favorite “Mother Food.” I’ll pick one recipe and one comment at random on Tuesday, May 11, 2010. The random picks will each receive a copy of Mother’s Best.

Main Dishes:

Chicken Cacciatore Recipe Jan's Stuffed Eggplant Recipe
Chicken Cacciatore   Jan's Stuffed Eggplant

Chicken and Dumplings Recipe Manhattan Clam Chowder Recipe
Chicken and Dumplings   Manhattan Clam Chowder

Breakfast/Brunch and Dessert:

Migas (Scrambled Eggs with Corn Tortillas) Recipe Mother's Crunchy French Toast Recipe
Migas (Scrambled Eggs with Corn Tortillas)   Mother's Crunchy French Toast

Almond Poppy Seed Pancakes Recipe Coconut Cream Pie Recipe
Almond Poppy Seed Pancakes   Coconut Cream Pie

Now, go ahead and gush about mom's cooking below or share one of her recipes with us. It could be worth a copy of Mother's Best!

Update: Congrats to katiekat and rondash. Both will be cooking from Mother's Best in no time. Thanks for your comments, everyone!

posted in: Blogs, Lisa Schroeder, Mother's Day, Mother's Best
Comments (53)

bradyhouse writes: My mother was such a special cook that friends would invite themselves for dinner or just show up around dinner time to partake of her cooking. What was so amazing was that she could turn a dinner meant for 7 into a feast for 12 without blinking in 15 minutes. What she taught me was that no recipe had to be followed exactly and lack of funds did not mean our dinners had to lack flavor. Posted: 9:24 am on May 10th

momG writes: Being an Asian American I grew up on mom's Asian cooking--lots of noodles, gambas, grilled marinated chops, stuffed chicken, beef roll-ups, fabulous appetizers and soups. Mom had a serious fall in Jan and is now bed fast and can't do any cooking of her own. She now lives with my sister who has arranged 24-7 care for her by caregivers==at least she is with family. My mom inspired recipe is Awesome Chevre Crostini. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do! Posted: 9:10 pm on May 9th

mariocat writes: Mother's thanksgivings were the best. Each year she outdid herself. There would be appetizers galore, pounds of shrimp cocktail, turkey, stuffings, creamed spinach, other vegetables, rolls, glorious mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and so much more. We would eat until we burst. And each year my uncle would ask her when the main course was coming out. Well, one year she fooled him. After all of this, she came out with an Italian course of lasagna. He never asked her again for another main course. I guess my favorite recipe of hers from Thanksgiving was her pots de creme. It was so rich one could only eat the smallest bit. The denseness of the flavor couldn't be surpassed by any other dessert I know. I still make it for the holiday. Posted: 6:53 pm on May 9th

barbur writes: Our family is Italian-American. My mom's cooking made holidays special. Christmas lasagna, strufoli, and cannoli. Easter grain pie and bread babies. And the Sunday pasta and "gravy" that no Italian restaurant can duplicate.... Posted: 8:48 am on May 9th

ptherrien writes: My grandmother raised me and she was a fabulous cook. Nothing fancy, used mostly home-grown vegetables fresh from the garden or "put up" for the winter. She made the best sweets, pies and cake from scratch, and the best divinity ever - I cannot duplicate it to save myself and I miss it so much. She was deeply involved in our church and often provided much-looked-forward to cakes and treats for communal dinners and youth meetings. Having been raised during the Depression, she could also make a nickle go a long way. For our youth group, she used to make tuna salad with ONE can of tuna (small) and a loaf of bread for sandwiches for all of us. Crusts cut off, and quartered, of course. And her sweet tea - I miss that too. I miss her so much. When I think of what she gave up to raise me after my parents were killed, and what she went through, I wish I could kiss her and thank her one more time. What a lady. Posted: 9:11 am on May 8th

rbistany writes: Where to start on my mom's cooking? My mother was the one who taught me to love food. Dinners growing up were never anything fancy or special, but always yummy. Today, I'm lucky enough to live in the same town as my mom. We share subscriptions to cooking mags, watch cooking shows together, and are both enjoying introducing my two year old daughter to the kitchen! My favorite thing about her cooking: she never holds back on the good stuff, butter, fat, cream, mayo. My husband thinks her cooking can be too heavy, but to me, there is nothing better! Posted: 8:34 am on May 8th

Tablefor4 writes: As a working mom, there's a lot of guilt being away from my kids and the reason I bake and cook. I don't remember all the details of my childhood, but I distinctly remember my mom's food and my favorite dishes. I crave my mom's fried chicken and spaghetti that she made for every day dinners or her chocolate chip cookies and apple pies. I looked forward to Christmas morning, not only for the presents but the almond ring bread she laboriously made 1 time a year. I know that through baking and cooking, my boys will look back fondly and remember those lemon cookies or cream scones they crave and family dinner. Through food, I will create fond memories like I do of my own mother Posted: 4:44 pm on May 7th

yeven writes: My Mom wasn't a big "cook", but more of a baker. I learned my love of baking from her and especially remember her rugelach filled with nuts and cinnamon. Posted: 3:33 am on May 7th

Biffhank writes: My mom worked a full time job and raised two kids when there were no convenience foods or time-savers. She still put a great meal on the table each meal and cleaned up the kitchen with my dad every time. She may not have inspired me in the kitchen with her too-busy schedule and limited time to teach cooking but she inspired me with her cooking to care about what I eat and take time to make it right. In the last 10 year or so I've gotten into baking and I think about all the desserts made in my Southern home and town. The South is very big on desserts and having a "company cake" on hand for visitors. I feel that tradition is in my veins and I'm carrying it on...even if I do live in the Northwest Pacific area now. I just mailed my mom some oatmeal berry cookies made from scratch and barely cooled from the oven to share our love of good food and me being so lucky to have such a great mom and (now) friend. Posted: 12:17 am on May 7th

Millier writes: My mother made the BEST divinity candy ever. When she made it at Christmas for my school parties it was green and for Valentine's parties it was red. Absolutely delicious. It took both of us to spoon it out before you could not handle it anymore. My mother also made the best homemade from scratch Coconut Cake I have ever tasted and the best Caramel Cake. Unfortunately I cannot find her recipes anywhere. I loved all of her cooking-very basic things, but the divinity and cakes were the best ever! Posted: 9:27 pm on May 6th

sugarshock writes: Food is central to every culture, and a mom always seems to know just what to make for all occasions (from holiday dinners and special occasions to bad test scores and broken hearts). My husband remembers his mother through the recipes I was able to salvage and the others I took the time to experiment with and nail down from his memories of taste and smell. I can only hope that when my son is older and moved away, that he remembers the love I put into every meal, and that when I'm gone he feels the warmth of that love in the recipes and traditions passed down to him. Happy Mother's Day to all the Mothers of the World. Posted: 8:48 pm on May 6th

2pamr writes: The migas and poppy seed pancake recipes make staying home and cooking (and eating!)for Sunday morning sound like the best option. Posted: 8:41 pm on May 6th

elysek writes: There is no food more homey then my mom's amazing mac and cheese. (There was no Kraft in our house, growing up...) Posted: 7:49 pm on May 6th

jeanmal writes: Every Sunday we would return from church to a perfectly cooked pot-roast which had been on the stove while we were gone. My mother would then add potatoes and carrots and cook until they were done. The crowning glory was her gravy and I would give anything if I could duplicate it. Except for the fact that it was thickened with corn starch softened in a little water, I am sorry to say I never learned her trick. For a treat at the end of the meal, we would get a piece of white bread and pour ample amounts of gravy over it. Wish I had some right now. Posted: 7:36 pm on May 6th

katiekat writes: Oh, my goodness. Mother and food. My mom had a passion for food. Food was the ground of our whole family -- our holidays, dinner in the evening, Sunday morning breakfast -- everything. I learned to cook at her knee, literally. She had polio when I was a child,the oldest in our family. I learned step by step, pinch of herb by pinch, tablespoon by tablespoon. Somehow I absorbed her passion and have carried it through to this day. I went to culinary school, worked in restaurants, cooked amazing complicated things. But on my birthday, I have to have our family Brunswick stew (layers of chicken, potato, onion, salt pork, tomato, corn, lima beans, spices, garlic simmered while our mouths water) The only change is that I lightly flour and brown the chicken and use chicken stock -- but it's my moms. She's gone now, but she endures in the way she would want to -- the simple, delicious, every day foods well flavored and prepared, colorfully presented, enjoyed in companionship. Just a daily reminder of what joy is all about. Thanks Mom, for the joy you folded into our lives, no matter what trials come our way. Posted: 7:27 pm on May 6th

djflamingo writes: Both the pancakes & french toast recipes look so good. Can't wait to try them. Posted: 7:21 pm on May 6th

Taylor50 writes: Long after I moved out, my mom admitted to me she secretly worried that I wouldn't take to cooking. Turns out I just needed my own kitchen! My mom really shaped my positive views on food; we rarely ate the same thing twice (unless my dad made a special request) and I always had to try a bite before deciding I didn't want something. But while she was versed in less-fussy American food, I have branched out a bit more thanks to the explosion of all kinds of cookbooks, high-quality kitchen tools, and gourmet foods at the local grocery story. Fine Cooking has made fancy and sophisticated recipes accessible to me and my little kitchen for many years now and I'm grateful for it. My mom said recently at a meal of mine, "It's always an adventure when you cook." Perhaps this will be my legacy! *smile* Posted: 5:50 pm on May 6th

Lanej writes: My mom was a wonderful woman, but a lousy cook. After all, I grew up in the age of food enlightenment, where all the best came from a can or a box or the frozen section of the grocery store. I thank Mollie Katzen for showing me how good home cooked food can really be and I haven't looked back yet! Years ago I took my mom to Mother's Bistro before she died and we had a great meal. Thanks Lisa! Posted: 4:14 pm on May 6th

pmintpat writes: My mother and grandmother were always considered good cooks. I couldn't tell you one thing that was their 'signature dish'. Everything was good. I need to poll my children's memory of their mom's favorite.Interesting question. How many of us could answer that question? Posted: 3:35 pm on May 6th

michelle1009 writes: My mom is known for her enchiladas. Living in a large mexican american family this is what our comfort food was. A big pan of spicy beef enchiladas was what we all looked forward to. I make my own version but they will never replace the ones I grew up with. Posted: 3:33 pm on May 6th

LittleSouthernLady writes: When we get together, Mom never lets us leave without taking home a "Care Package". In this "care package" will be the left over food from the meal.
My favorite comfort food that makes me think of Mom was her chicken and dumplings. She would boil the chicken with spices until the chicken would come apart, she would remove all the bones, then she would bring it back to a boil. She would have the dough rolled out and cut into squares. She would instruct us on dropping the squares, one at a time into the rolling chicken broth. Just aroma of this cooking could make me feel so good. Posted: 3:01 pm on May 6th

newkiwi writes: How wonderful to learn about Mother's in Portland and Ms. Schroeder's cookbook! In about a week, my husband and I will be traveling to Portland (our first visit), so I quickly added the restaurant to our "don't miss" list. Fantastic! Posted: 2:58 pm on May 6th

ckkkmk writes: My mother use to make a pie out of leftover pie crust. She called Nanny Pie. When it came out of the oven it would be devoured within minutes. She would add to an unbaked pie crust flour and sugar. She'd then pour milk on top of that and sprinkle cinnamon all over it. It would cook up to a custard like filling. She did her best to write down the recipe as exact as she could after my constant pestering. I'm glad I did because she passed away suddenly soon after that. I've since searched the web and came up with several similar recipes for a pie called Milk Pie. It's really quite wonderful, especially with cinnamon sprinkled on top. Yum Yum Posted: 2:50 pm on May 6th

monelle writes: My mother is long gone but she was a splendiferous cook and baker with a Hungarian and German bent - she made her own soup noodles, Hungarian noodle dishes my father loved such as prune dumplings, cabbage and noodles known as kraut zweckerel, potato noodle dumplings, round and also shaped like gnocchi, stuffed cabbage, and American apple pie that is still talked about some 30 years after her death. Her palascinta were to moan over and her yeast cakes, made only once a year because they were so labor intensive, can still make me yearn. Posted: 2:41 pm on May 6th

CinnamonGirl writes: My mother was full-blooded Italian and fluent in both Italian and down-home country cooking, that part of her culinary repertoire acquired I suspect after marrying my father, a "good ole boy". Unlike me, a cookbook freak, she never owned a cookbook in her life and everything she made was exquisite. Whether it was her heavenly chicken and polenta -- still my favorite comfort food -- her homemade ravioli, the recipe passed on from my grandmother -- or her chicken and noodles, it was all delicious. I miss her and her cooking, and think of her every day as I try to recreate things like her homemade macaroni and cheese, topped with celery seed, or her rice pudding. Posted: 2:26 pm on May 6th

vickielgomez writes: My Mom is still and was such a great cook when I was growing up. In fact, it is because of her that I love cooking so much! When my kids were younger they used to say, "Mom, you should be a chef!" Ha, ha, they were just so hungry at dinnertime! Anyway, one of my very favorite memories of growing up was that each birthday, my Mom let us choose our favorite meal for dinner. Mine was so simple and very midwest-like, but I still love this meal and have passed it along to my oldest son -- now his favorite! It is basically called Macaroni and Tomatoes (served with her delicious Fried Chicken). There is no set recipe other than cooking elbow macaroni, draining it and returning it to the pan. Add 2 cans (plus more depending on amount of 'soupy sauce' you like) of crushed tomatoes. Add about 1/2 Cup white sugar (more if you like it sweeter) and a 1/2 tsp. black pepper. Put back on the stove and reheat until the sugar has dissolved and the dish is hot. Taste for salt/pepper/more sugar. I know, I know, it doesn't sound great, but it is sooooo good. Each time I make it, I think of growing up and how much I love my Mom. Posted: 2:12 pm on May 6th

Mapi writes: To this day, I remember my grandma's "rosquillas" (a small ring-shapped pastry that is fried) as a pleasure. In fact, I have the recipe and make them once in a a treat that gets me back to my chilhood.
I'm spanish and go visit mom once in a while...gets what's the first thing in the planning list? No the tickets, no the logistics, but the menu that I would like to have while visiting!!! Posted: 2:09 pm on May 6th

gallopnred writes: both my grandmothers and mother were excellent cooks. I made up a dip that my family asks for repeatedly.

Beef/Cheese Dip

1 8 oz pkg creme cheese softened to room temperature
1 16 oz sour cream
1 pdg buddig beef family size (diced)
Horseradish to taste
Garlic Powder to taste

blend cream cheese and sour cream together, add smoked beef, horseradish and garlic powder.

Better if chilled overnight. Posted: 1:38 pm on May 6th

ChestnutCabinCook writes: My "mother's best" would be a long list. She was not only a talented cook and baker, but she always had a fun way of including us kids in most of the meal preparations. For instance, whenever she made a pie, we got generous scraps of pie crust that we spread with butter, sugar and cinnamon, and then rolled up and baked for our own special treat. These are cherished memories. Posted: 1:28 pm on May 6th

ckbkcollector writes: Homemade enchiladas were my Mom's specialty. We would always request them for birthday's and other special occasions. Posted: 1:09 pm on May 6th

Ziad writes: I totally get the mother/grandmother food. Although my mom is very good cook, nothing comes close to what my "teta" used to make. It's the best food I've ever had hands down. Posted: 1:04 pm on May 6th

cherolia writes: The only thing I remember my grandmother making that I loved was tapioca pudding. I wouldn't even wait until it
was cooled to eat it. My mother wasn't really a cook either.
My parents both worked so it was up to me as the oldest ( I think I was 12) to get supper started. My mom would leave me a note with what we were having and I would get it started. Peel potatoes, make meatloaf, etc. I was getting so bored eating the same things all the time I would try new things with the things we had on hand. I remember trying to make kapusta and instead of cabbage (who knew) I used romaine lettuce with the sauerqraut. It looked like cabbage but didn't taste like it. We all had a laugh. I love to cook and my kids grew up eating a variety of things (venison, eel, frog legs). I have over a thousand cookbooks and still find new ones to add to my collection as well as new recipes. Posted: 1:03 pm on May 6th

Ladyfish65 writes: My Mother is a fabulous cook. Growing up all my friends would come over my house to eat leftovers after school.

One of the best things my Mom makes is a Manhattan Clam Chowder. It is the best I have ever tasted. It is always chock full of vegetables and clams. Having said that there is a ton more things she makes that are absolutely the best. Posted: 12:48 pm on May 6th

bandblady writes: Love the Migas. As I own a B&B and will have a full house for Mother's Day, I thought I would serve the Migas as a festive dish. Thank you. Posted: 12:45 pm on May 6th

KimJSCP writes: I consider myself very lucky to live in Portland so I am able to eat at Lisa Schroeder's restaurant regularly, but I am even luckier to come from a family of great cooks - including one Grandfather.

My Mother is a fantastic cook and has many great recipes, but I think my favorite "Mom" food is what ever she whips up. I am so grateful for the lessons she taught me about being creative and experimenting and using the best ingredients (which were frequently the one out of our garden). We were probably the only kids in the 60's and 70's eating grilled veggies, but my mom *invented* those for us.

Since my Mom rarely makes the same thing twice, there is always something new and yummy coming from her kitchen and she taught me that the secret to being a good cook is to use you heart, brain, nose and sense of taste to just go for it, instead of sticking with what is safe because you are afraid.

What is the worst that could happen? I could make a really awful dinner tonight (which actually never really happens) and have to go to Lisa Schroeder's restaurant, Mother's for dinner instead. Darn, that would certainly be rough :)

I know tonight will be a success because I am making Chicken Cacciatore! Posted: 12:38 pm on May 6th

carol_craig writes: My mom was the greatest! When I was young, she would get up every morning and make a home-made dessert for that night's dinner! She was a fabulous baker. She has been gone for two years now and I still miss her terribly. And so every time I bake something, I feel close to her! Posted: 12:36 pm on May 6th

shauri writes: My mom wasn't the chef in our family, though she had all the cookbooks, I mean a bookcase full. My grandmother and her sister were the real cooks. I remember Mom Brown's Lemon Meringu Pie, Christmas Cookies for the shut-ins (I got to eat the broken ones and lick the bowls), my Aunt Met's Chicken and Dumplings (I'm going to try the one here.). No kitchen today had the smells that came out of these two women's kitchens on any given day. Or the chruch kitchen for that matter whenever there was a pot luck supper.
We had complied all their recipes in a notebook, to pass down, but a fire at my mom's a couple of months ago destroyed everything. In the rubble I found one old Betty Crocker Cookbook I'm going to try and clean and give back to her. I've started my own notebook so we can pass that on to future generations. Posted: 12:21 pm on May 6th

Sinjin2 writes: My Mom was a great cook. She always tried to make something special for us, especially when the weather was cold. I remember coming home from school and she would have huge baked apples coming out of the oven. The cinnamon and sugar smell was all through the house, delicious! If she didn't bake apples she was making homemade doughnuts, I miss those days! She used to make a banana cake at Christmas that was awesome...yes I do miss those days! Posted: 12:00 pm on May 6th

Patcee001 writes: This book looks wonderful. I am know as a very good cook. I have two sons who are professional chefs. I would love to try the Chicken Cacciatore, wow! Posted: 11:56 am on May 6th

felicia48 writes: When my parents got married my mother couldn't even boil water (as she likes to say). She decided to take cooking classes and for the longest time we only ate Chinese food because those were the classes she was taking. Some of my favorites things she had perfected were her egg rolls, pot stickers and wontons. They were to die for. The filling was she doesn't make them because she doesn't liek to fry things anymore. But to come home from school to a plate of egg rolls and pot stickers was the best after school snack ever.

For thats another story..just think chocolate mousse and then put it into a cake and there you have it. We would request this cake as our favorite birthday fact my brother just had his 43rd birthday and he asked our Mom to make him one...and she did. It was just like he remembered it... Posted: 11:41 am on May 6th

LizzieO writes: My Mom made the most amazing Pots de creme. She would always make this dessert for special occasions. My Mom is gone now and not a day goes by that I don't miss her. Happy Mother's Day Mom! Posted: 11:37 am on May 6th

Digigirltx writes: My mom didn't enjoy cooking, so her meals were pretty basic. But HER mother - my grandmother - was legendary. She was one of those intuitive cooks. She couldn't tell you how much of anything she put into her recipes, just however much felt right and everything was incredibly delicious.

Whenever she came to visit, she would make each person's favorite dessert, all on the same day. So I'd come home from school and find a lemon meringue pie, peach cobbler, chocolate chip cookies and a chocolate cream pie arrayed on the counter! Posted: 11:22 am on May 6th

PsywarGeneral writes: Every day was Mother's Day to me. I had the best mother any guy could hope to have. I didn't wait for special events, holidays or birthdays to let my mother know how much she was loved & appreciated. I tried to find some way to show her or to let her know every day. My mother loved me just for being me... she was always there when no one else was. This is the 1st Mother's Day I will not be able to spend with my mother. She is now gone at age ninety. I not only lost my mother but my best friend. When I was growing up... my mother always baked me a Cherry Pie for my birthday. Those were the best pies in the world. Now I have only my thoughts and memories for companionship. I am very grateful to God for my mother and for the years I had with her. She was the very best! Posted: 11:17 am on May 6th

LadyG2 writes: When I think of my moms cooking i think of two things. Homemade bread and a very simple hamburger hash with mashed potatoes. She used to get early one day a week and she would start her day with making 5 loafs of fresh bread. That night we were guaranteed to have the hamburger hash with the warm bread. Even typing this, I whish she was still capable of making all this stuff, but I guess the memory is evern better. It makes you realize how much effort she made back then as a stay at home mom. Posted: 11:16 am on May 6th

lovnmyself writes: I have never tried Chicken Cacciatore but it look so good I can't wait to fix it Posted: 10:27 am on May 6th

cmwps writes: My husband loves Chicken Cacciatore. I can't wait to try this one. It looks really great. Posted: 9:23 am on May 6th

TheMomChef writes: As a teenager my mom would try to get me to stand by her side to learn some of the Armenian recipes that had been passed down to her. I refused or did so grudgingly, making sure my displeasure and fact that I wasn't really paying attention showed. Now I regret that I didn't hang on every word and watch every movement closely. Living 800 miles away from her, it's hard to try and make those dishes, having just the phone to help guide me in proper preparation. At least I have the moussaka recipe down perfectly and that's the one that's to die for in my book. Posted: 9:15 am on May 6th

infinitysnake writes: mother wasn't much of a cook. My grandmother, on the other hand, was amazing. I had a lot of favorites, but she made deep fried stromboli that was so unhealthy, but sooo good. Posted: 5:09 am on May 6th

Alisnak writes: My Mother really wasnt a great cook but she did do a few things Super----yeast dinner rolls and divinity candy. Posted: 10:22 pm on May 5th

mrsricho writes: I love my Mom's key lime pie. Makes me think of hot Florida summers! Posted: 6:05 pm on May 5th

molly05 writes: The almond and poppy seed pancake looks very delicious and wholesome. I can't wait to try it. Posted: 5:11 pm on May 5th

BarbaraIT writes: Really I can only choose one? I love his chicken to milk, his stracciatella, the "ciambellone" for breakfast, but the recipe is definitely my favorite polenta with sausages! Posted: 10:47 am on May 5th

rachmolly writes: I can't pick just one recipe of my mom's that's my favorite. So much of my relationship with her is intertwined with food and cooking. There's "Tante Harriet's birthday cake" which is requested regularly by family members. There's chicken and rice which is my go to comfort food. And then there's the food that she makes without fail for every holiday. I love it all... Posted: 8:25 pm on May 4th

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