I am super excited for this Mother’s Day! Three generations celebrating motherhood is pretty special if you ask me. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it. To honor my mother and my daughter this day is overwhelming and I couldn’t feel more blessed. All of you daughters, mothers and grandmothers know what I’m talking about. Besides my daughter, my beautiful niece and my gorgeous second cousin-in-law (to use the proper name although she is more than a cousin to me) are also celebrating Mother’s Day for the first time. Of course, I am not forgetting all the “pro” moms: my mom, aunts, cousins, sisters-in-law, a very special step-daughter, nieces and girlfriends. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY LADIES!
Reflecting on my childhood and my motherhood I am more than ready to sit back and enjoy watching my daughter experience the most rewarding job on earth. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by mankind. Being a parent isn’t just about bearing a child, it is about bearing witness to its life. Sure, it kills you to see them grow up, but it would kill you quicker if they didn’t.
I’ll tell you what I am most excited about this Mother’s Day. Read about it on the bottom of this page but now off to the cake.
I love red velvet cake but I love cheese cake even more, and when I found this cake at Recipe Girl
, a combination of both, I was in heaven. Lori Lange
did an amazing job and just looking at her pictures made me salivate. I followed her recipe exactly except for the cake strips. I made my own from an old T-shirt which worked just as good and it was free. All cake strips do is cool the outside of the pan so the cake bakes evenly. What you really need is just wet material wrapped around the pan. Cut scrap material into a strip long enough to fit around the cake pan. My T-shirt was thin, so I tripled the strip. Run material under water and squeeze out so it is wet as possible but not dripping. Wrap around the pan and secure the ends with a safety pin. If you gently drop your cake pans on the counter a few times before baking, it will spread the batter evenly and get rid of air bubbles. You can see that I forgot to do that.
For the occasion I wanted to top the cake with something bold and beautiful. My good friend Martha Stewart taught me how to make flowers with dried pineapple. I one-upped her by coloring mine. Aren’t they pretty?
Serves 12 moms
For cake ingredients and directions please go here.
You can use your favorite cake or cupcakes recipe and garnish with these flowers as did Martha for her hummingbird cupcakes.
To make pineapple flowers:
Makes about 12
1 small Pineapple (less ripe)
Food coloring (optional)
Note that making this cake is somewhat time consuming, although each step is pretty easy. It is best to make the cheesecake filling one day ahead as well as the flowers, if you decide to make them.
Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with silicone mat (silpat) or parchment paper. Slice off the top of the pineapple with a sharp knife. Cut off the rind. Using a small melon baller or a small measuring spoon remove and discard pineapple “eyes”. With a sharp knife (serrated knife works well), cut pineapple crosswise into very thin slices. The thinner the slices, the better they will dry. You will most likely have more than 12 slices, but that’s OK, since not all of them will be cut perfectly. Just pick your best looking ones to use. I have soaked my pineapple slices in a food coloring/water mixture for few hours to create this red color, but leaving the pineapple uncolored yields gorgeous yellow flowers. I added about 10 drops of red food color to 1 cup water.
Transfer slices to baking sheet. It is helpful to pat dry slices with paper towels before this step. Bake until tops look dried, about 30 minutes. The baking time really depends on your oven. It took mine about 45 minutes on 330 degrees. Make sure to keep a close eye on them to avoid burning them. Flip slices and bake until completely dried for 30-45 minutes more.
Pinch center of each pineapple slice to form a cone, and let cool in a muffin tin to form flowers. It is best to leave them sit overnight to retain the shape. I returned the muffin tin into the warm oven to help dry more and shape better.
Garnish the cake right before serving because leaving them too long in the frosting will get them moist and floppy.
When my daughter was about 18 years old she gave me this poem for Mother’s Day that still decorates my office wall. It touched my heart on a level so deep, it is indescribable. She never had even the slightest clue of how much it meant to me, not even after a little tribute in this short story. But now that she is a mom, I know she will NOW understand the depth behind these words and she will understand the depth of my love for her, despite that she sometimes thinks I am being “mean” to her. And that is, my friends, why I’m so excited this Mother’s Day. That realization is the best gift a mother can receive even if it’s never admitted!
It might seem that I’m repeating this too often, but trust me; I can never have enough of it.
Sometimes I know the words to say
Give thanks for all you’ve done,
But then they fly up and away,
As quickly as they come.
How could I possibly thank you enough,
The one who makes me whole,
The one to whom I owe my life,
The forming of my soul.
The one who tucked me in at night,
The one who stopped my crying,
The one who was the expert
At picking up when I was lying.
The one who saw me off to school,
And spent sad days alone,
Yet magically produced a smile,
As soon as I came home.
The one who makes such sacrifices,
To always put me first,
Who lets me test my broken wings,
In spite of how it hurts.
Who paints the world a rainbow
When it’s filled with broken dreams,
Who explains it all so clearly
When nothing’s what it seems.
Are there really any words for this?
I find this question tough…
Anything I want to say,
Just doesn’t seem enough.
What way is there to thank you,
For your heart, your sweat, your tears,
For ten thousand little things you’ve done,
For oh-so-many years.
For changing with me as I changed,
Accepting all my flaws,
Not loving ’cause you had to,
But loving “just because.”
For never giving up on me,
When your wits had reached their end,
For always being proud of me,
For being my best friend.
And so come to realize,
The only way to say,
The only thank you that’s enough,
Is clear in just one way.
Look at me before you,
See what I’ve become.
Do you see yourself in me,
The job that you have done?
All your hopes and all your dreams,
The strength that no one sees,
A transfer over many years,
Your best was passed to me.
Thank you for the gifts you give,
For everything you do,
But thank you, Mommy, most of all
For making dreams come true.
This recipe is featured at City of Links
Jas is a cheesecake addict and the author of the Balkan Comfort Food cookbook available on Amazon. You can download a free excerpt of the book when you subscribe to All that's Jas newsletter updates. To learn more about Jas visit her About page.
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