Recipes from the Stars' Moms
Photo By: Charles Masters
Guy Fieri and his mom, Penny
Unless he's on the road taping Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy has no problem making it to his mom's on Mother's Day: She lives right next door. The two have celebrated with countless pecan pies over the years, using a recipe handed down from Guy's grandfather, a Georgia native. This pie is special, Penny says, because it's not too sweet and has an extra layer of pecans on the bottom.
Southern Pecan Pie
Pecan pie was always a treat for the family when Guy was growing up because his mom rarely made dessert; she says she stuck to cooking "hippie food, like brown rice and steamed veggies." When Guy gave up chocolate as a 12-year-old, telling his mom, "It makes you hyper," Penny was relieved that he'd still indulge in this family favorite.
Get the Recipe: Southern Pecan Pie
Aarti Sequeira and her mom, Rose
The star of Aarti Party says that her mother was a stickler for keeping her three daughters' breakfasts as healthy as possible. Pooris, or puffy Indian fried breads, were a rare treat. But every now and then, Aarti would smell the telltale aroma of dough hitting hot oil and get so excited that she'd run around the house shrieking, "Poooooris!"
Shrikhand and Pooris
Aarti Sequeira's mom, Rose, serves Pooris with a vanilla yogurt pudding called shrikhand: A bite of the two together tastes like a cream-filled doughnut.
Get the Recipe: Shrikhand and Pooris
Anne Burrell and her mom, Marlene
Anne grew up in her mom's garden. "When she was 5," Marlene says, "I'd pay her to pick herbs and flowers, two cents each." Marlene sells five varieties of rose geraniums in her upstate New York flower shop; she first started baking the dessert she's known for, a Rose Geranium Cake, based on a recipe from a friend.
Victorian Rose Geranium Cake
Lots of kids get their start baking cakes from boxed mixes, but Anne was making her mom's Rose Geranium Cake from scratch by age 13. To Anne, this cake tastes like home.
Get the Recipe: Victorian Rose Geranium Cake
Duff Goldman and his mom, Jackie
The Goldman family recipe is tucked away in a vintage cookbook written by Duff's grandmother, but it's certainly not sacred. "We adapt it to include whatever we happen to have in the house," Jackie says. "It's the kind of thing you can't screw up that badly." Jackie swaps in pecans when she's out of walnuts, switches between plain and pulpy orange juice, and has experimented with different types of wine for the sherry.
Cherry-Walnut Gelatin Mold
Duff remembers having the sweet, nutty Jell-o as a dessert, while Jackie prefers to eat it as a side with dinner, like cranberry sauce. Either way, there's no debate over the deliciousness. "It's definitely not something they're teaching in culinary school," Jackie says, "but every time Duff sees me, he asks me to make it for him."
Get the Recipe: Cherry-Walnut Gelatin Mold
Sunny Anderson and her mom, BJ
Growing up, Cooking for Real host Sunny Anderson and her family moved constantly – 23 places in 29 years – because her dad was in the military. But whether they were living in Virginia or Germany, one thing could make anywhere feel like home: Mom's funnel cake. Young Sunny loved this dessert because "you can usually only get it at a carnival or fair," Sunny's mom BJ says. "It's such a novelty at home."
Easy Classic Funnel Cake
Sunny's mom, BJ combined two recipes she snagged from a friend, and 9-year-old Sunny and her older brother, Tommy, started making the dessert once a month, no matter where they lived. Funnel cakes are great for older kids to help with, BJ says, "because even the ugly ones taste good." She served the sweet fried dough with a pick-your-own-toppings bar of canned pie filling, strawberry coulis, whipped cream and hot chocolate powder.
Get the Recipe: Easy Classic Funnel Cake