Cooking With Love













My mother was a fabulous cook and baker. There was always a delicious, home cooked meal on the table at night along with one of her even more delicious desserts. I can remember getting off the school bus and smelling the wonderful scent of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies or heavenly apple turnovers as I walked up our driveway. She really put so much love into cooking for her family.

I remember asking her if she would write her recipes down for me so I’d be able to make some of these wonderful dishes too – her flounder stuffed with crabmeat, roasted turkey with stuffing and her fabulous marble cake with dark chocolate icing. She didn’t have any of these recipes written down, so I knew this was going to be quite a chore, but on my birthday that year, stuck between a few other gifts, was a red spiral notebook with all her recipes – a true gift of love. A few years later, my husband noticed that the pages of my book were becoming harder and harder to read because of the gravy splotches and batter stuck to the paper. He carefully pulled each page out of the notebook and slipped them into plastic sleeves and inserted them into a binder for me. My mother passed away in 2002 but I have this book of her recipes to cherish forever.

Today I decided to make Mom’s delicious pot roast and serve it just the way she did – with mashed potatoes, gravy, homemade red cabbage and carrots with a pat of butter, a teaspoon of brown sugar and salt and pepper. It was so good, I have to share it with you. (The recipe, not the pot roast!)


1 – 2 1/2 – 3 lb roast (I used bottom round)
2 tbs oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 cups water

Add oil to a dutch oven on high heat and brown meat on all sides. Add onion and sauté about 2 minutes.
Add all of the other ingredients and simmer 1 hour.
Turn meat over and simmer another 2 hours.
To make gravy, remove meat from pan. whisk together 3/4 cups of water and 4 tbs flour. Slowly add to pan, whisking until thickened.
Add salt and pepper to taste.

I hope you like this as much as we do. I love you, Mom.

Of course, we’ll be having salads for dinner tomorrow night to make up for all we ate tonight, but that’s okay – it was a delicious meal made with love and lots of good memories.

Thanks so much for stopping by – have a beautiful day!

With love,



  1. says

    Oh man, what a precious thing to have! My mom is a great cook, too, and I can only hope she will leave me something like that. That dinner looks fantastic. It is going on my menu for this week! I love red cabbage!!

  2. says

    Oh, Susan … such a precious gift from your mom and also how sweet of your husband to add his kind touch as well. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Comfort foods are always delicious, especially when they are from two very special people in your life. Hugs ♥ Teri

    • says

      It really is a very precious gift, Teri. I’m so thankful to have it, not only for all the delicious recipes but for the beautiful memories as well.

  3. says

    Now I see how you have come to be such a wonderful cook, Susan. Your mom set such a fine example of hard work and love–with a bit of artisan’s touch, I’m sure–to make such wonderful meals for your family. I love looking at your culinary offerings–and now I have a story to think of each time I see a new masterpiece.

  4. says

    I love this post! Gram was also a food psychic. Whenever I’d get a craving for something–homemade mac and cheese, stuffed flounder, chicken parm–I’d walk in her side door and it would be waiting on the stove, without my ever having to tell her what I was in the mood for.

  5. Laura says

    And your mom loved sharing her food! Even though you had a big family they was always room for your friends as well

    • says

      Yes, she did love sharing, Laurabell. It was amazing how many people she could feed in that small house. I remember coming in one Thanksgiving and there were people there that didn’t speak English – and they called my mother Mom. Wonderful memories.

  6. Laura says

    And your mom loved sharing her food! Even though you had a big family there was always room for your friends as well ! All some of the best memories!

  7. says

    You have such a treasure. My mom was not a cook, but my granny was and I have all of her recipes, most written in her hand, that I love so much.
    As each of my babies has grown and married I have taken a blank book and copied all their favorite recipes for them to use in their new homes. So far I have done this four times, one more to go :)

    • says

      What a lovely thing to do for your children, Tracey! I think I’ll copy my mom’s recipes, add some of my own and give a binder to my daughter. Thanks for the great idea.

  8. says

    Truly a gift of love from your mom and then your husband…so observant and thoughtful !

    I have a binder with recipes…some were on cards, some on paper. Written down by others or written by me. This brought back memories of how much time it took to write down just one recipe. Contrast with our cut and paste or bookmark or pin time now! :)

    • says

      My mother didn’t use recipes so it could not have been an easy task to write out these recipes, which made it all the more special. It really was a gift of love. And, I really am grateful that my husband put all of these in plastic sleeves or the would have been totally ruined from use by now.

  9. says

    Loved this . . .
    What a treasure the recipe book from your mom . . .
    Don’t you love seeing her handwriting!
    Your moms pot roast is just like my moms. . . .

    • says

      My favorite, Lynne, is the little note she wrote on the first page. What amazes me is how my own handwriting is so similar to hers!

  10. says

    Oh what a wonderful keepsake! And how lovely of your husband to put the recipes in a binder too. Your mom’s pot roast recipe looks delicious!

    My mum passed away in 2007 and I inherited her recipe books. She was a terrible cook – something she freely admitted – but she had a whole shelf of recipe books!:-)

    • says

      It sounds like she may have liked the idea of cooking, not the cooking itself. Well, now that you have them all, perhaps you can make some of the things she meant to try. Thanks for stopping by, Vickie.

  11. says

    Wow. This looks amazing and a lot like the food I grew up with.
    I love family recipes and talk about them in my books.

    Have you considered joining the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge? We blog each day in April, except Sunday, inspired by the letters of the alphabet. Over 2000 bloggers participated last year.
    Could be fun to share these recipes with so many bloggers!

    Thank you,

    • says

      Hi Heather – Thanks for inviting me to participate in your challenge. I’m not able to commit to 6 days a week in April but I will definitely be following you and some of the others on this journey.

  12. says

    Oh what a very very precious cookbook. I have a couple of my Mum’s recipes tucked away but her main cookbook is still with my Dad and it’s cherished by all of us – although we still can’t find the recipe for lemon meringue!

    • says

      I wish I had a lemon meringue recipe to share with you, Carie. It’s nice that you can all share you Mom’s cookbook. It’s almost as if they left a part of themselves here with us. xoxo

  13. says


    This was a double sniff, sniff post…your mother putting the recipes together for you, and then your husband preserving them. You are surrounded by love. And the love in reviving these recipes. I love making pot roast and I believe your mom was spot on in cooking it long and slow. The gravy sounds delish! Your pictures convey that warmth and love and the good feeling a wonderful meal brings about. Thank you!

    And thank you for your nice comment on my last post. I think I’m going to have fun doing a bit of shopping for the lake in the months to come at my fave stores. More so for the walls where we had damage. My surfaces, like coffee and end tables were okay.

    Jane xxx

  14. says

    That’s such a wonderful gift from your mum Susan. My mum wasn’t much and still isn’t much of a cook, bless her, but I was totally blessed with both my grand mothers being amazing cooks. My Dad’s mum was a prize winning baker and my mum’s mum raised 11 children on her own so you can imagine how she could make deliciousness out of thin air!! I loved reading this….I’m curious, what type of meat do you use for the roast? and I’m not sure what a bottom round is?? 😀 Thanks for sharing, Jan x

    • says

      I’m not sure what they call different cuts of meat over there, but you can use any inexpensive roast, Jan.
      How on earth did your grandmother manage to raise 11 children on her own? She must have been a truly amazing woman. What a great role model.

  15. says

    I have been reading your posts tonight. Glorious pictures. I must try your ginger ale bread. I wanted to reach through the computer and eat the loaf!

  16. says

    Your dinner looks delicious! I have a similar little book from my grandmother; every time we make “Grandpa Al’s Swedish Pancakes” or “My Favorite Spice Cake” my heart is filled along with my stomach.

  17. says

    I just got myself a dutch oven (I don’t know how I ever did without one) so I’m so glad you shared your mother’s pot roast recipe. Thank you!

  18. says

    Such a lovely post Susan, on so many levels!

    It’s easy to see the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Your pot roast looks amazing!

    You possess something that is very rare in that ‘cookbook’. You’re a lucky lady.

  19. says

    Oh what a wonderful thing to have… A special reminder of times spent with her It looks very yummylicious. My sister inherited our grandmothers cook books and we have had many fun days recreating what she made for us as children. Some of the recipes are not complete as she just jotted down the essentials but we have had fun playing detective with them lol.

  20. says

    I have my mom’s old marble notebook, filled with her handwritten recipes. It really is a gift. The note you have from your mom really makes it so very special, what a treasure, Susan.

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