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Cookin’ up Gifts for Mom

The yearly hunt for the perfect gift to say “I love you” to Mom can be a bit daunting. With a little help from the kitchen, here are three ways to say “thank you for feeding me” (more tenderly, “thank you for taking care of me”) to the mom-chef in your life.

With the title Love & Lemons, motherhood and feeding children is aptly named. Scrounging around for what we can get these little ones to actually eat while also fueling ourselves can be rather like making lemonade from lemons. This is a cookbook at its simplest. Attractive photography and sweet design, the recipes aren’t too challenging and come arranged by author Jeanine Donofrio’s favorite veggies or fruit — artichokes, berries, mushrooms and others.

Getting kids into the kitchen is a powerful step toward teaching them variety in eating. With the “Let’s Cook” series from Quarry Books cute artwork and simple but authentic recipes urge kid-chefs to join Mom at the stove. The bilingual series includes Let’s Cook French from Claudine Pepin and her father, Jacques Pepin, Let’s Cook Italian and Let’s Cook Spanish.

Don’t want Mom to feel she needs to spend all her free time cooking? How to Jug a Hare from Sarah Rainey and Bee Wilson gives her a break with quality writing from culinary contributors past and present for UK newspaper, The Telegraph. There are recipes, but this is one book meant to be read with a bottle of red or Mom’s favorite sangria.

Heavenly Cake

From Let’s Cook Italian — Serves 8
Preparation time 30 minutes | Cooking time 40 minutes
Difficulty High

2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons (250 g) butter, softened for 1 hour
1 1/4 cups (250 g) sugar
1 lemon
8 eggs
5 1/4 ounces (150 g) potato starch or corn starch
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (150 g) white flour
Butter, for the mold
Powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 340°F (170°C, or gas mark 3).

In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar, until fluffy.

Add the lemon zest and 8 egg yolks (keep 3 egg whites aside, save the rest for another use), one at a time. (Don’t add the next yolk until the previous one has been fully incorporated.) Add the potato starch or flakes and flour. Mix together well.

In another bowl, beat the 3 egg whites with an electric mixer. Add them to the mixture, folding them gently from the bottom up.

Butter a high-sided cake pan with a diameter of 11 inches (28 cm) and pour in the batter. Bake for 40 minutes.

Remove the cake from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack. Serve the cake in slices, dusted with powdered sugar.

Recipe and Art c/o Quarry Books, an imprint of Quarto Publishing

The Books

The Love and Lemons Cookbook: An Apple-to-Zucchini Celebration of Impromptu Cooking
by Jeanine Donofrio
Avery, $35

Visit Love & Lemons Food Blog

Let’s Cook French by Claudine Pepin + Jaques Pepin, Let’s Cook Italian by Anna Prandoni, Let’s Cook Spanish by Gabriela Llamas
Quarry Books, $21.99

How to Jug a Hare — The Telegraph Book of the Kitchen
compiled by Sarah Rainey forward by Bee Wilson
Aurum Press, $28.99


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