A Sweet Mother’s Day Recipe Journal To Share & Share Alike

by Caitlin Kelch


I realize today is Cinco de Mayo, but I’m heading straight to Mother’s Day, so have a margarita for me! For my Mom this year, I decided to get a little ambitious and create a handwritten recipe journal with every single dish I remember my Mom loving whenever she visited me over the years. I know it’s traditional that Mothers pass down recipes to their children and families, but I wanted to share some of mine as a token of my love of food she cultivated in me — and so she can make these recipes for herself if she’s so inclined. I’m actually gifting her two journals, one with my recipes (and funny notes about our shared food history, like how much I hate tuna) and one for her to jot down recipes she’d like to share with me. So the plan is for us to trade them back and forth every so often and eventually pass them down to my daughter. I’m thinking I’m going to get a lot of “low-cal” and heart-friendly annotations from her, along with childhood stories around food that I’ll say I’d rather forget, but secretly crave to remember and tell my daughter while we giggle about fish sticks and such.

Today, I’m sharing a few recipes I’m including in the journal that my Mom hasn’t tried yet, but that I know she’ll love. These recipes are also great ideas to make for Mother’s Day if you’d like to treat Mom to some seriously delicious sweets (and a savory dish, too). Wishing you a Mother’s Day filled with smiles and memories that make you smile! –Caitlin

Author’s Note: The lovely hardback notebooks I’m using for this gift are by Moo — and I love them so much! Why, you ask? Because not only are they gorgeous and substantial with their fancy hardcover case (see below photos), but they lay flat because they use Swiss binding that allows the front cover and bound pages to separate. Total genius! There are some photos of the notebooks I’ve chosen below, and I’ve added them to our new SHOP so take a peek here if you’re interested.


And for all of you spelling bee champs out there, I did, indeed, intentionally spell parsley wrong in this first handwritten recipe because it’s a long-running joke between my Mom and I. I have major issues with “P” words like parsley, phlox, etc… I can hear her saying, “Oh my gosh Caitlin, you’re STILL spelling parsley wrong!”


Nice drawings, huh? So realistic that I bet you can almost taste the olive oil! Now on to the other tasty recipes I’m including.


Who doesn’t love a bundt cake?  This cake, from Alexis Siemons, is delectable with its crème fraiche icing and rose water scented aroma. Make this and share it with Mom. You’ll be glad you did. And so will she! Recipe here.


I haven’t always been a chocolate fan, but let’s just say that after an entire week at Grace & Julia’s, I’m in. I got home from my visit with them and made these cookies within 24 hours. I then proceeded to drink an entire quart of whole milk. Yum. You can get this recipe by Klancy Miller here and her book Cooking Solo that contains this recipe and other delicious ones right here.


True fun fact: I don’t like pie. My Southern family thinks this is very strange and has threatened to disown me if I don’t at least try a bite of the 40 pies present at holidays. Let me tell you what I do like — SAVORY pies. Hand me a pastie or a piece of English pork pie and I will forever be your friend. This Zucchini and Mushroom mini-pie recipe is amazing. Of course, I tend to add some chopped pancetta to it! Give it a try yourself. You can find the recipe by Bill from (now closed) The Pie Truck right here. This beautiful image is thanks to the fantastic work of food stylist Adam C. Pearson and photographer Matt Armendariz.

Here are some more shots of the Moo notebooks that I will forever use to gift anyone and everyone, plus keep next to my bedside table for writing down all of my wacky dreams after I’ve eaten a dozen Triple Chocolate Chip cookies!


Mom and I will pass the red and blue ones back and forth with our recipe share (she better be into it!) and I’ll use the grey one for my dream journal.

Whatever you choose to do, give, or make this Mother’s Day, I hope it’s a relaxing day that celebrates all the Moms in your life (including you)!


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  • Thank-you for sharing this. It was an added bright spot in my day. The journals with added recipes(and sketches) are a very thoughtful idea.

  • The recipe journal is wonderful and charming. Unfortunately, I am probably the least artistic person I know. I can’t even write a straight sentence unless I’m using ruled paper!