Mothers Day is swiftly approaching and today, I’m gathering with my good blogging friends to bring you a list of recipes that would be perfect to celebrate your mama. Our host is once again the fabulous, hard working Jen of Jen’s Favorite Cookies – thank you so much for putting all of this together!
I don’t celebrate my mom as often as I should. I really ought to do more for her on a regular basis. My relationship with my family is complex to say the least (as I’m sure yours is with your families). I love my mom fiercely but our relationship doesn’t bear many of the markers of traditional mother-daughter relationships
I don’t call her every day, or ever, really. We don’t hug or say “I love you.” She’s never told me she’s proud of me or complimented me on anything. I don’t know what any of my mom’s “favourites” are because she has never expressed a preference for anything. I don’t know what her birthday is because we celebrate the lunar calendar, which changes every year. I don’t know what dress size she wears. I don’t know her back story – who her friends were growing up, how she met my father, what their wedding was like, etc.
My parents are the stereotypical Chinese parents. Stern. Firm. Traditional. They don’t believe in having friends because family comes first and foremost. They show love not through hugs but through working hard to put a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and food in our bellies. They don’t compliment and tell us we’re special. Instead, they aggressively push us to be our best so that we won’t suffer in life. The lessons they taught weren’t to reach for the stars but to have an education so that we wouldn’t have to do manual labour. Save your money so that you won’t be poor. They didn’t come to parent-teacher nights or school concerts or hold parties for us on our birthdays. They were too busy working.
This all sounds harsh but it’s my life and it’s my reality. This is what I know, it’s all I know. And I appreciate my parents so much but especially my mom for everything she’s given and taught me. Her marriage to my dad was arranged. They never had romance or true love. Instead, there was a lot of fighting but in their old age, they’ve settled into a comfortable routine. Because of all that, my mom taught me to never rely on a man. Always have my own bank account. Be self-reliant and independent. Be smart. Be strong.
My mother has never complained a day in her life. She is the hardest working person I’ve ever known. She grew up in China during the Cultural Revolution which was brutal, to say the least. She gave birth to my older sisters in China and almost immediately after labour, went back into the field to keep farming. She moved to Canada, not knowing a word of English, leaving behind her entire family, and went straight to work in a sewing factory where she stayed until retirement. The entire time I lived in her home, she would get up at 5 a.m. to cook breakfast and lunch for me, my three sisters, my dad and my grandparents. She’d come home after work and cook dinner (everything fresh, never processed) and then clean the house. She’d carry home twenty pounds of groceries on public transit every week without ever asking for help.
My mom is not only the best mom, she’s also the best grandma. She loves my nephews and niece so much, always going out of her way to do whatever she can to help them and my sisters.
My mom has never owned anything nice. No nice clothes, jewelry, furniture, etc. Everything my parents own is super old but as long as it functions, that’s good enough for them. My mom doesn’t go to the salon or the spa. She doesn’t get her hair done. She’s never worn make-up in her life. She doesn’t take care of herself because she’s so busy taking care of us.
In all these ways and so much more, that is how my mom shows her love. She demonstrates through her actions and her awe-inspiring selflessness how much she loves us, how much she cares for us, and how important we are to her.
I love my mom more than words can say. Any intelligence or strength I have within me comes from her.
In honour of my mom and all the mothers out there, I made no-knead brioche filled with Caramilk squares. Yes, I took the easy, lazy way out but hey, work smarter not harder, right? My mom taught me well.
Before we get to this magical recipe, listen to the Spice Girls sing about their relationships with their moms and make sure you visit everyone else’s blog to drool over their delicious recipes!
1. Coconut Cupcakes from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
2. German Apple Cake from Magnolia Days
3. Baked Lemon Pasta with Broccoli and Shrimp from What Smells So Good
4. Cinnamon Pear Cake from Roxana’s Home Baking
5. Strawberry Whiskey Sour from Girl in the Little Red Kitchen
6. Huevos Rancheros from Crumb Blog
7. Triple Lemon Cake from Created by Diane
8. Banana Chocolate Chip Bread from Chocolate Moosey
9. Lemon Thyme Shortbread from Jen’s Favorite Cookies
10. Pineapple Coconut Sweet Rolls from Pineapple and Coconut
11. Caramilk Stuffed No-Knead Brioche from Gotta Get Baked
12. Mom’s World Famous Sponge Cake from Hungry Couple NYC
13. Brown Butter Pecan Fudge Ripple No-Churn Ice Cream from Cupcakes and Kale Chips
Caramilk Stuffed No Knead Brioche (adapted from Treats)
3 1/4 cups bread flour
2 3/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
6 large eggs (plus 1 egg + pinch of salt for brushing onto the top)
1/2 cup water, room temperature
1/3 cup honey
16 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
at least 3 Caramilk bars, broken into individual pieces
pearl sugar, optional
Whisk flour, yeast, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk the 6 eggs, water, and honey together in medium bowl. Whisk in the butter until smooth. Add the liquids to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until fully combined and no dry flour remains, about 1 minute. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for two hours, then refrigerate for at least 16 hours up to 48 hours.
Remove from the fridge and at this point, you can either shape them into two loaves or into buns.
If making loaves:
The dough is quite wet and sticky so if making loaves, I’d recommend simply dividing the dough in half and placing each half into a well buttered loaf tin. Let the dough rest for 60-90 minutes. In the last half hour of resting, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the tops with egg wash and bake approximately 30-40 minutes until the tops are a deep golden brown.
If making buns:
Butter a muffin tin or brioche tins. I was able to fill 6 brioche tins and 8 muffin tins with this recipe.
Scoop out approximately 4 tablespoons of dough with your hand and press 2 Caramilk squares into the centre. Gather the dough around the Caramilk squares and press together so that the squares are completely covered. Place into the muffin/brioche tins, seam side down. Continue until you’ve used all the dough.
Let the dough rest for 60-90 minutes at this point. In the last half hour of resting, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Before placing the dough into the oven, lightly beat one egg with a pinch of salt. Brush the beaten egg over top of the brioche. You can sprinkle pearl sugar or any other large-crystal sugar over top but this is completely option.
Place into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the tops are a deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before eating.
I can’t believe how amazing no-knead brioche tastes! Almost as good as brioche made the old fashioned way. The outside was super crispy and the inside was buttery, light and airy. The molten chocolate-caramel center worked perfectly with the light flavourful bread. This couldn’t have been easier to make. Simply mix together the dough and let it sit in the fridge. Even if you have a yeast-phobia, you’ll be able to conquer this recipe like a boss!
To all the mothers out there, thank you so much for everything you do. You deserve to be pampered by your kids and loved ones. Just leave a list of these recipes lying around and hopefully someone will make it all for you!