the best dishes made by our mamas via laurenconrad.com

We get a lot from our mamas: our sense of humor, our favorite style tips, and the beauty advice we can’t live without. Today we’re sharing one of the most delicious things we’ve learned: their go-to recipes. These are the dishes that transport us back to childhood and make us think of special occasions and happy memories. Whether our moms were gourmet cooks or rarely set foot in kitchen, we each remember a dish that was made with lots of love and still makes us nostalgic to this day. From a decadent mac ‘n’ cheese to a sweet cherry crisp, this list is guaranteed to make you feel homey (and hungry!) Keep reading to see what dishes our mothers passed down to us—and be sure to check out the recipes so you can make your own special version….

1. Cowboy Ciao Rainbow Chopped Salad
By far my most frequently requested salad when I’m at home with my family, this colorful dish has the perfect blend of textures and savory flavors. It is inspired by one of my family’s favorite restaurants in Phoenix, Arizona called Cowboy Ciao, but my mom’s version is even better. She will often include diced grilled chicken or, my favorite, smoked salmon, which adds a nice bit of protein into the mix. The pepitas give just the right amount of crunch to every bite. Writing about it has me craving it now! Here is the recipe. –Allison, Managing Editor

2. 5-Ingredient Vegan Pâté
Growing up in a vegetarian household, my parents were always on the lookout for recipes that replicated traditional dishes, sans the meat. My mom perfected what she calls her “mock chop liver,” using only 5 ingredients, that tastes (and looks) like the real thing… maybe even better! Whenever my parents entertain, you can count on finding a big batch of this vegan pâté on the appetizer table. My mom serves it with carrots and crackers, and it’s always the first dish to be finished. You won’t even know it’s vegan! Get her recipe here. – Rachel, Managing Editor

3. Betty Crocker Baked Macaroni and Cheese
Lighter, healthier fare was definitely the norm in my childhood home. But every once in a while, my mother would whip up a homemade mac ‘n’ cheese recipe taken from a 1960s Betty Crocker cookbook that her own mother had passed down to her. Made with chopped onions and a heaping helping of butter and cheddar cheese, it’s baked in the oven until it gets perfectly crispy around the edges. It’s indulgent and definitely my ultimate comfort food. You can find a version of the recipe right here. –Ilana, Managing Editor

4. Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip
My mom has made this savory spinach artichoke dip as an appetizer for entertaining our family and friends for as long as I can remember. It tastes best served warm, right out of the oven, and it is a crowd-pleasing hors d’oeuvre any time of year. She serves it along with bread crisps or crackers and always has a small serving spoon by the dish, which encourages the scooping big chunks of artichoke hearts onto each bite. Find the recipe here. –Allison, Managing Editor

5. Cowboy Cookies
One thing that I love about my mama is her ability to whip up a killer dessert! I recall my mom even putting together a build-your-own-sundae bar on our kitchen table for dinner one night (yes, you read that correctly). Not only did I inherit her sweet tooth, but I’ve since made a copy of her Cowboy Cookie recipe that was always famous in our house growing up. Think classic chocolate chip cookie meets a hint of nutty, coconut flavor…oh, and rolled in sugar. I’m sure there’s a healthier option for this on the market these days, but if you want to know what the best cookie in the world tastes like, click here! –Jessi, Senior Editor

7. Apricot Scones
As soon as my mom pops these scones out of the oven, it’s everyone for themselves- they never last long in my house! My mom is a great cook, and to her, food is love. She knows I love these scones and so every time I come home on a break from school, there’s a pile of them waiting for me. This recipe calls for any type of dried fruit, but I like them the best with tiny chunks of dried apricot. They taste light, sweet, and are perfect for spring! Just be sure to give them enough time to harden after you pull them out of the oven- the ideal scone is firm with a little crumble. –Kiera, Editorial Intern

8. Warm Cherry Crisp
As long as I can remember, my mom’s cherry crisp has been my favorite dessert of all time. It’s warm, gooey, crumbly, and sweet, and it always reminds me of home. It’s best served right out of the oven with vanilla ice cream on top, but I can attest that the leftovers are just as good served cold (I have to admit I’ve even eaten it as breakfast… sans ice cream of course). My mom has been using the same recipe for years that was passed down from my grandmother, but this one is pretty dang close. Except for one ingredient… My mom has said that lemon juice is the secret to making a tart, tasty crisp, so don’t forget it! (We like to add 2 tsp fresh lemon juice to the cherry filling.) She also uses a full cup of rolled oats (instead of 1/2 cup), and sprinkles the mixture on the bottom of the pan as well as the top, for extra crumble. –Tessa, Editorial Assistant

9. Lentil Loaf
I became a vegetarian when I was 15 years old, but even before that my mother would sometimes make this healthy and more delicious alternative to meatloaf. The recipe she used to make was actually lost during a move, but as an adult I went on a quest to find a similar one to make for my own kids. I love this lentil loaf recipe from Meghan Telpner, made with lentils, oats, chia, mushrooms and kale. I often double the recipe, freezing one loaf for later. –Ilana, Managing Editor

10. Creamy Wild Rice Soup with Ham
One of my all time favorite dishes that my mom makes has to be her wild rice soup. Whenever the weather would cool down I’d practically beg her to make a huge pot of it! Even though I could easily make it for myself nowadays, nothing beats the way that my mom makes it. If you’re looking for something comforting and delicious, this wild rice soup recipe will be your new favorite too! Click here to copy the recipe for yourself. –Jessi, Senior Editor  

What are your favorite recipes from your mom?

Sound off in the comments!

XO Team LC

Photo: The Little Market
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