In honor of Mother's Day, the leading ladies of TODAY — Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Dylan Dreyer and Sheinelle Jones — had their mothers on the show for the ultimate mother-daughter bonding activity: cooking together.
There were lots of laughs, stories (and photos!) from growing up and plenty of affection as they worked through the recipes together. If you're looking for some Mother's Day meal inspiration, look no further than these comforting, nostalgic recipes that defined our anchors' childhoods.
Hoda & Sami Kotb
New mom Hoda Kotb celebrated her first Mother's Day in the TODAY kitchen with her mom, Sami Kotb, making their favorite family recipes: pot roast and cauliflower mash.
"My mom’s roast is great comfort food. It always reminds me of home!" says Hoda.
"And her cauliflower mash is the best," Hoda adds. "You think you are eating some really good spuds. If I only had a fraction of the talent my mom has in the kitchen, I would be happy."
Savannah & Nancy Guthrie
Mother-of-two Savannah Guthrie and her mom Nancy make a Southern-inspired family meal that's great for year-round entertaining — from perfect crispy fried chicken to an irresistible cheesy Mexican spoon bread.
Nancy Guthrie reveals her secrets to making her delicious home-style Kentucky fried chicken that has an incredible golden crunch and just the right kick of spice. The key is to use crushed crackers or potato chips in the coating and to add bacon grease to the frying oil for extra flavor.
"This goes with everything from hot dogs to steaks and is a great entertaining side dish," says Nancy. "It's also great with simply prepared plain pinto beans too. I especially like to make it in large quantities for parties. Just remember that it takes longer to bake through if you double or triple the recipe."
The liquid in Kentucky Wonder pole green beans is called pot liquor and contains all the vitamins, according to Nancy. "If you can't find Kentucky Wonder pole green beans, use string beans instead. Just be sure to serve the beans with the liquid. You can sop up the liquid with cornbread or another thick bread or go ahead and just pour the liquid directly over spoon bread. This dish is also traditionally served with molasses."
Dylan & Linda Dreyer
Another new Mom, Dylan Dreyer, and her mom, Linda, shared their favorite family recipes that are perfect for any holiday: easy-but-fancy-looking beef Wellingtons with a savory mushroom sauce and retro Jell-O salad.
"Don't spend hours fussing over fancy beef Wellingtons that take forever to make," says Dylan. "These super easy, equally as impressive beef Wellingtons will wow your guests and save you a ton of time in the kitchen."
"The name sounds like something out of the 1960s, and it probably was, but boy was it delicious! We always had this as a side dish to our savory meal," says Dylan. "It tastes more like a dessert and I think that's why us kids loved it so much. You could be sure no matter where we celebrated Christmas, my mom brought the Jell-O mold!"
Sheinelle Jones & Sheila Kinnard
Mother-of-three Sheinelle Jones and her mom, Sheila Kinnard, share Sheila's go-to recipe that's been passed down for generations in their family, salmon croquettes, and Sheinelle's "world-famous" brussels sprouts.
Sheila shares the story behind this family recipe: "This recipe is actually passed down from my grandmother, Granny Pace, who catered for a living. When Sheinelle would come home to visit from Northwestern, I always fixed her favorite salmon croquettes. We like them on the spicy side, but you can make them as hot or mild as you like."
"The kids eat these brussels sprouts like popcorn!" says Sheinelle. "They taste amazing and they're so easy to make."