The Accidental Genealogist is running her annual “Fearless Females” month of March. I’m so happy to be joining in, although admittedly a little late. I will attempt to catch up before the end of the month. If you want to see her blog and prompts you can look here: http://www.theaccidentalgenealogist.com/2015/02/back-for-sixth-year-fearless-females.html

The prompt for March 7:

“Share a favorite recipe from your mother or grandmother’s kitchen. Why is this dish your favorite? If you don’t have one that’s been passed down, describe a favorite holiday or other meal you shared with your family.”

Neither of my grandmothers were known for their culinary abilities. I don’t think I have any recipes passed down from either of them. My mother on the other hand is an amazing cook. They may not be family recipes but we definitely had some family favorites growing up. When our church published a cookbook she added many of our favorite dishes with each child’s name. The submissions were a little thin so my mom kept adding recipes, it feels like it’s almost her cookbook! I like having these recipes professionally printed, making them easy to read and access. (Of course the only copy of the cookbook I could find while writing this was a severely water damaged one, but I know there’s a pristine copy around here somewhere!)

There are a few submissions from her mother as well but nothing that I recognize as a family recipe she served us. One is called “My Mother’s Ham Loaf”. I wonder if it really came from her mother? She describes it only as “Really yummy!”

Recipes included by my mother include her ‘go to’ pancake recipe that she tried after reading it in a cookbook and never went back. She also submitted a tandoori-style chicken recipe that is still one of my favorite ways to prepared chicken. Homemade croutons are also a staple at our house…although they have turned more snack food than salad topping. Crescent-wrapped marshmallows made an appearance at all of our sleepovers. But if you were to poll my family about traditional dishes two things would probably come to mind from everyone: cheesy chicken and coffee cake.

Cheesy chicken is simply oven roasted boneless chicken breasts but they are turned into a divine creation when they are topped with a coarse mixture of breadcrumbs and cheddar cheese pulsed in the blender. The technical term for this coating is “cripsies” and of course anyone who knows how to make the dish will make extra coating that gets layered into the empty spaces between the chicken breasts and fought over by diners like land in an oil field. Seriously, keep your hands out of the way or they are likely to get stabbed by an incoming fork.

Cheesy Chicken Recipe from the Normandy Church Cookbook.

Cheesy Chicken Recipe from the Normandy Church Cookbook.

The second family favorite to be published in the cookbook is Brown Sugar Coffee Cake which is a moist and often gooey coffee cake batter (our family is a vocal proponent of undercooking all baked goods, take 5 minutes off your next batch of boxed mix anything and you will agree). However, this batter is studded with clumps of rich brown sugar. These too are worth starting territory wars over. When cutting in you really have to choose your piece carefully to get the best sugar clumps. This is usually only served on Christmas morning and 4th of July morning, when we host all family and friends for breakfast before our city’s annual parade right by our street.

Brown Sugar Coffee Cake from the Normandy Cookbook.

Brown Sugar Coffee Cake from the Normandy Cookbook.

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