5 Utah cookbook authors share recipes inspired by Mom
Cookbooks • 5 Utah cookbook authors share recipes inspired by you know who.

By Kathy Stephenson

The Salt Lake Tribune

Published: May 8, 2014 03:41PM
Updated: May 7, 2014 04:13PM
ÏEat Fresh: Quick and Easy Meals,Ó by Chef Tom Woodbury will be release in July Courtesy Cedar Fort Publishing

Moms and grandmothers everywhere have inspired many cooks and more than a few cookbooks.

With that in mind — and with Mother’s Day approaching on Sunday — we asked five Utah cookbook authors with new or upcoming releases to tell us their favorite recipe inspired by Mom (or Grandmother). Here’s what they said:

Kelsey Nixon

This Ogden native and Brigham Young University graduate is the host of “Kelsey’s Essentials,” on the Food Network.

Mom-inspired recipe • Charred Corn Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

“Many of my favorite memories involve my mom’s cooking. She has a couple of signature dishes for each season that can’t be beat when it comes to home cooking. Many of her signature dishes inspired recipes in my cookbook — one of my favorites being my Charred Corn Salad with Basil Vinaigrette. Her version graced the table of Fourth of July picnics and barbecues year after year and will always make me think of my home town’s Cherry Days celebration each year. This corn salad is the perfect complement to any summer meal and is definitely best when made with Utah corn on the cob. The fresh basil vinaigrette tossed with the corn and tomatoes embodies everything that’s great about summer cooking.”

The cookbook • “Kitchen Confidence: Essential Recipes and Tips That Will Help You Cook Anything” (Clarkson Potter, $19.99)

Janell Brown

Owner of One Sweet Slice bakeries in Sandy and South Jordan and a winner of an episode of “Cupcake Wars” on the Food Network.

Grandmother-inspired recipe • Peaches and Cream Cupcakes.

“When I was growing up in Monticello, Utah, I remember my grandmother and I picking ripe and juicy peaches off the tree and canning them in the late summer. Since my grandfather was a rancher, we also had fresh milk every morning. For a dessert treat, we would skim the cream off of the top of the milk and combine that with the canned peaches to have a memorable snack. This experience is what inspired the Peaches and Cream cupcake we often have in our bakery.”

The cookbook • “One Sweet Cupcake: Professional Decorating and Recipe Secrets Made Easy” (Cedar Fort Publishing, $22)

Matt Pelton

A two-time winner of the World Dutch Oven championships, Pelton has written five cookbooks.

Grandmother-inspired recipe • Dutch Oven Honey Whole-Wheat Rolls

“My grandmother never bought a loaf of bread in her life; she would make 15 loaves a week. I started making bread with her when I was about 8 years old. It’s from her that I learned how to make bread by hand. She had one of the greatest influences on me that way. Of course, she used cast iron bread pans, so I do things a little different now. But I can’t bake bread in anything other than a cast iron pot.”

The cookbook • “Cast Iron Gourmet” (Cedar Fort Publishing, $12.99)

The Six Sisters

The Adamson sisters — Camille, Kristen, Elyse, Stephanie, Lauren and Kendra — started a blog in 2001 to keep in touch, but it has since gained more than 9 million viewers a month and more than 307,000 followers on Pinterest.

Mom-inspired recipe • Gooey Lemon Bars

“When we were a lot younger, our mom would let us cook on Sundays and we usually — this is so bad — made lemon bars from a box,” said sister Stephanie Adamson Loaiza, Logan. “The first time she made these we were having a family dinner and everyone was over. We just thought they were the most gooey, delicious cookie. We finished off a pan at one sitting and there was no going back. Now they are at every family function. If my mom doesn’t make them, one of the sisters will bring them.”

The cookbook • “A Year With Six Sisters’ Stuff: 52 Menu Plans, Recipes, and Ideas to Bring Families Together” (Shadow Mountain, $21.99)

Tom Woodbury

Author at cookwithtom.com and a former contributor to “Good Things Utah” on ABC 4 and ShopNBC.

Mom-inspired recipe • The Best Whole-Wheat Waffles Ever

“When we were kids, my mom loved to give us anything whole grain. It didn’t matter what it was, if she could make a whole-wheat version she did. And, of course, as kids we hated it. But when you’re young, you don’t realize how good you have it. But Mom turned out to be right. I’ve tweaked her recipe a bit. I added cornstarch to add crispness to the outside and a dash of vinegar, which reacts with the baking soda, and gives it a light airy texture.”

Cookbook • “Eat Fresh: Quick and Easy Meals” (Cedar Fort Publishing, $18.99), July release date


The Best Whole-Wheat Waffles Ever

Normally, whole-wheat waffles are soggy and dense, but adding a bit of cornstarch gives the waffle a great crunch. Apple cider vinegar also makes them light and airy. You won’t believe they’re whole wheat!


¾ cup whole-wheat flour

¼ cup cornstarch

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 to 1 ¼ cups milk

1 egg

¼ cup oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Optional fruit

1 banana mashed

½ cup fresh (or frozen and thawed) blueberries. Smaller berries are stronger and will hold up better in waffle iron.

Preheat waffle iron. Combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Add milk, egg, oil and vanilla, and mix well to combine. Add enough liquid so that batter makes a small mound or ribbon temporarily before returning to level. If you’re adding fruit, do it now and gently stir.

Right before pouring batter onto waffle iron, add vinegar and mix quickly. Cook until golden using manufacturer’s directions. Remove from waffle iron and immediately place on a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining batter.

To freeze, wrap waffles individually and place in a freezer bag or container. Reheat in a toaster on a medium setting.

Servings • 4 (8-inch) waffles

Source: Eat Fresh: Quick and Easy Meals, by Tom Woodbury

Peaches and Cream Cupcakes

A thick juicy peach, fresh whipped cream and a touch of nutmeg make this cupcake perfect for late-summer lunches or evening desserts.

1 large fresh peach

¼ cup unsalted softened butter

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup sour cream

¼ cup buttermilk

¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

½ cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons pure vanilla

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 ¼ tablespoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt


Fresh whipped cream

Dash of nutmeg

1 fresh peach, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel one peach and puree in a blender.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat butter and granulated sugar, at medium speed, until smooth. Stop mixer and scrape down sides of bowl. Add sour cream, buttermilk, applesauce, oil, eggs, vanilla, and vanilla bean paste. Mix until ingredients are well blended and smooth.

In a separate bowl, sift flour, brown sugar, baking powder, spices and salt.

Turn mixer to low speed and add dry ingredients until just incorporated and batter is smooth. Fold in peach puree until batter is marbled.

Line two standard muffin tins with paper cupcake liners. Fill each cup two-thirds full with batter. Use an ice cream scoop for perfect measuring.

Place pans in the oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes or when the tops spring back when touched gently with your finger and the edges are just golden brown.

Remove cupcakes from tins and cool completely before frosting.

When cupcakes are cool, top with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, a sprinkle of nutmeg and a peach slice.

Servings • 24 cupcakes

Source: One Sweet Cupcake, by Janell Brown

Charred Corn Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

6 ears corn, shucked

Canola oil

Kosher salt

Cracked black pepper


1 ½ cups packed fresh basil leaves

1 garlic clove, grated

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

Cracked black pepper

1 (10-ounce) container small heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)

½ small red onion, finely chopped

For the corn: Preheat a grill pan or outdoor grill to high heat. Brush or rub each corn cob with the canola oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put the corn on the grill and char 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from gill and let rest until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes. Stand each ear up, stalk side end down, in a wide shallow bowl. Using a knife, slice the corn kernels off the cob.

For the vinaigrette: In a food processor or blender, pulse the basil and garlic until basil starts to break down. Add vinegar. Continue pulsing while adding the oil in a steady stream. Process until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine corn, tomatoes and red onion. Drizzle the basil vinaigrette over vegetables and toss well to coat. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Servings • 6 to 8

Source: Kitchen Confidence, by Kelsey Nixon

Gooey Lemon Bars


1 (18.25-ounce) box lemon cake mix

1/2 cup butter

1 egg, slightly beaten


2 to 3 cups powdered sugar

3 to 4 tablespoons butter, softened

1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice

3 to 5 drops yellow food coloring

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature

2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place crust ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork. Press into a 9-by-13-inch pan with greased bottom.

In a separate bowl, mix powdered sugar and butter with a hand mixer. Add enough lemon juice to form the consistency of thick frosting. Fold in cream cheese and yellow food coloring.

Set 1 cup of this mixture aside to use as frosting.

Add eggs to the remaining mixture and beat until fluffy. Spread on top of the crust in the pan and bake 25 to 30 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn’t overbake.

Remove from oven and cool completely. Spread reserved frosting mixture on top.

Servings • Makes 20 bars

Source • A Year With Six Sisters Stuff