Recipes from Mothers Who Lunch

Lynn's Carrot Cake

Jenny's Chocolate Cookies

Wendy's Pumpkin Soup

Karen's White Chocolate Cheesecake

PJ's Justly Famous Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Jenny's Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Nan's Brownies

Drew's Favorite Fish Dip

Lynn's sister Darby Reid's Carrot Cake

My sister is a professional chef. She taught me to make this cake (before she was famous) and used to sell the cakes. My husband Andrew likes it so much that he's annoyed he didn't meet my sister first.



4 (large) Eggs
2 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Vegetable Oil
3 Cups Peeled, grated carrots
2 teaspoons. Cinnamon
2 Cups All-purpose flour
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1 teaspoon Vanilla (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease the sides (and some of the bottom) of 2 nine (9) inch cake pans. Flour heavily. Cut wax- or parchment-paper circles to fit in the bottom of the pans.
  3. Peel and grate the carrots.
  4. Beat the eggs and sugar lightly. Add the oil, carrots, and cinnamon (and optional vanilla).
  5. Mix the flour, salt, and baking soda together. Add flour mixture to carrot mixture, stir until just blended.
  6. Pour mixture into pans. Bang pans on counter to remove air bubbles.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes. Turn the pans 180 degrees at 20 minutes. Cake is done when it just pulls away from the edges of the pan -- the center may still be slightly moist if tested with a toothpick.
  8. Let cakes rest for about 30 minutes on a cooling rack. Then invert and remove the wax paper circles.



8 ounces Cream cheese
4 ounces (1 stick US) Unsalted butter
16 ounces (450 grams = 1 box US) Confectioner's sugar (10x)
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1 pinch Salt
1 teaspoon Lemon juice


  1. Beat butter and cream cheese hard until light and fluffy.
  2. Add rest of ingredients and beat well until smooth.
  3. For best results, put 1/3 of icing between two layers of cake. Make a thin layer with another 1/3 of icing around edges of cakes and top. Chill everything. Then use the remaining 1/3 of icing to finish the outside of the cake -- prevents crumbs from mucking up your lovely white icing.


  • Make sure you peel the carrots because the cooked skin turns green. Don't use baby carrots; they're too sweet. In an emergency, you can use grated carrots from the salad bar -- but increase the oil to 1.25 cups.
  • The recipe calls for 3 cups of grated carrots. I generally use more -- whatever results from peeling/grating one pound of carrots.
  • 1 Cup = 8 fluid ounces; 1 teaspoon = 5 fluid milliliters
  • This recipe turns out best if you barely beat the eggs and sugar. Something to do with oil-based cakes not requiring air.... but really, the less attention you give the cake, the better it is!
  • For the icing, the quality of the butter matters more than the quality of the cream cheese.
  • I found Australian lemons to be too sweet. Increase lemon juice to 2 teaspoons.
  • I find this cake particularly useful when you can't give it undivided attention. You can do steps 2 & 3 ahead of time; steps 4 --6 take only minutes for completion.

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Jenny's Chocolate Cookies
previously known as Grammy's Chocolate Cookies
(Cookie of the Week Grand Prize Winner from Martha Stewart Living Feb. 2000)

2 cups all purpose flour
¾ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (note: regular cocoa powder works okay, too)
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ cups (2 sticks plus 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temp.
2 cups sugar, plus more for dipping
2 large eggs
2 tsps vanilla extract

1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
2. Beat butter, sugar, and eggs on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
3. Add vanilla, mix to combine.
4. Gradually add flour mixture, and combine on low speed.
5. Chill until firm, about 1 hour.
6. Heat oven to 350. Line baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper (note: I don't do this, I just use my regular Baker's cookie sheets which are pretty non-stick anyway and it seems to work fine).
7. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Dip top of each ball into sugar. Place on prepared baking sheets about 1 ½ inches apart.
8. Bake until set, about 8 minutes.
9. Transfer baking sheets to rack to cool. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

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Wendy Washington’s Jamaican Pumpkin Soup

Makes 8 servings


6 cups chicken stock
2 cups fresh or canned pumpkin meat or your favorite winter squash (such as butternut squash, acorn,etc.) cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups all-purpose potatoes peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons minced jalapeno pepper, or more to taste
Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste
¼ cup low-fat buttermilk or evaporated milk
¼ cup minced coriander (cilantro), for garnish


In a saucepan, or stockpot (large enough to hold all the ingredients) over medium heat, bring the chicken stock to a simmer.  Add all the ingredients except the buttermilk and coriander and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes and pumpkin are tender.  The stock should completely cover all ingredients by at least 2 inches.

Remove the bay leaf and pour the soup into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Return the soup to the pot and heat through.  Stir in the buttermilk or evaporated milk.  Divide the soup into serving bowls and garnish with the coriander.

Nutrition Facts

Calories:   70
Cholesterol:  0mg
Fiber:  1g
Fat:  0g
Sodium:  139mg
Protein:  6g
Carbohydrates:  11g

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Karen's White Chocolate Cheesecake

I tore this recipe out of an Australian magazine, so the measurements might be a bit off, but in my experience it doesn't have to be exact….

1½ cups crushed plain chocolate biscuits (I use chocolate graham crackers)
90 grams (almost a whole stick) butter, melted
500grams cream cheese, softened (two blocks)
400gram can sweetened condensed milk
1½ cups white chocolate chips, melted
300ml carton cream (the US ones are only about 236mls, but it works just fine)
1 tablespoon gelatine
¼ cup boiling water
¾ cup dark chocolate chips, melted

1. Combine biscuit crumbs and butter, press into base of a springform pan, refrigerate until firm
2. Beat cream cheese and condensed milk until smooth. Beat in white chocolate, then beat in cream (did you have your heart attack yet?)
3. Combine gelatine and water, stir until dissolved. Beat gelatine into cheesecake mixture, spoon over crumb crust.
4. Swirl dark chocolate into cheesecake mixture, refrigerate until firm.


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PJ's Justly Famous Whole Wheat Cookies

  • 2¼ cups + 2T whole wheat flour
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • ¾ cup + 2T quick-cooking oats (although regular work okay too)
  • 2T wheat bran (coarse or fine)
  • 2T toasted wheat germ (I use Bob’s Red Mill, and I don’t always toast it, and it works out fine, but the flavor is a little nuttier if you toast the untoasted stuff in a skillet).
  • 1c (2 sticks) unsalted butter @ room temp
  • 1c (lightly packed) light brown sugar
  • ½ c granulated sugar
  • 1½ t pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 9 oz (1½ cups) semisweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F and prepare pans (with parchment, silpat, or light greasing)
  2. Sift flour, baking soda, salt together and set aside.
  3. Mix oats, bran, and germ together (separate from flour) and set aside.
  4. Cream butter, sugars, and vanilla together, until light & fluffy, 1½-2 min, scraping down twice.
  5. Add eggs one at a time and beat on medium until blended, about 30 sec, and then scrape again.
  6. Add flour and mix on low speed for 10 sec, and scrape again.
  7. Add oat mixture and mix on low speed for several seconds to blend.
  8. Add chocolate chips and blend until they are mixed in, 5 to 8 seconds.
  9. Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons 2 inches apart on baking sheets.
  10. Bake until edges are golden and centers are light and puffed up slightly, 11-12 minutes—usually they’re a little lighter than you think they should be (the tops are not all golden), but that’s fine.  Cool on sheets. 
  11. Best same day they are baked, although I put them in giant Ziploc bags and freeze them.  Allison claims to like the frozen ones almost better than the fresh—they’re crunchy.

Source:  Rosie’s Chocolate-Packed, Jam-Filled, Butter-Rich No-Holds-Barred Cookie Book, all of whose recipes (that I have tried) have been outstanding.

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Jenny's Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

  • 1 bag (8 oz) Hershey's Kisses
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Granulated sugar for dipping
  1. Heat oven to 350. Remove wrappers from chocolates.
  2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl til well blended. Add sugars and beat til fluffy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla; beat well. Stir together flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.
  3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar; place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  4. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into the center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges.
  5. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Note: this recipe actually calls for Hershey's kisses but I prefer to use Brach's chocolate stars because I think they provide a better chocolate to cookie ratio AND you don't have to unwrap all those kisses...but I'm sure we could all manage to choke down the ones with the kisses!)

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Nan's Chocolate Brownies

  • 4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 4 oz. butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 C. sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 C. flour
  • 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Melt the unsweetened chocolate and butter together in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Allow to cool slightly.

Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt until they are foamy. Gradually beat in the sugar until the mixture is thick and pale. Beat in the vanilla and the cooled chocolate/butter mixture, then the flour. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Butter a 9x 12 baking pan and pour the batter in, spreading evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. The brownies should still be moist and slightly sticky when they come out of the oven; they achieve the right texture as they cool. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Enjoy!

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