The best apple pie
To preface, my mother is a brilliant and intuitive cook. At just over five feet, she shuffles around the kitchen in slippers, tasting dishes and julienning vegetables in an operatic flurry. Mommy Kim never used cookbooks. She lived under insufferable conditions with her mother-in-law and learned how to cook as per Korean tradition and became a purist. My childhood was filled with days of making our own kimchi, Korean miso and even drying our own fish and seaweed (how our poor neighbours suffered!). I didn't know it then but I was my mother's prep cook and sous chef.
I remember my very first sincere baking experience. I was 15 and dead determined to make a classic apple pie from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. I had never baked anything in my life, and I had a vision of the perfect pie from a legendary Toronto establishment called Just Desserts, and I could almost taste it. After 6 or 7 tries (and a bout of tears) I was nearly done for good. As I trudged on, my brother peeled endless bowls of apples and I experimented with every crust recipe, apple combination and oven temperature you can imagine. I didn’t know then but I had found my happy place, my own test kitchen. And I have been making a kick-ass apple pie ever since. Soo Kim, food director
The best pasta sauce
My mom used to make pasta sauce every Sunday. It would cook in a large pot on the stove all day, making our house smell like a classic Italian restaurant. Although my mom has yet to share the recipe with me, she brings me a jar or two or it every other week. Renee Reardin, senior digital editor
A great kid-friendly dessert
For birthdays and specials occasion my mother has been making the same chocolate cake with white fluffy icing for as long as I can remember. We call it the princess cake. The actual cake is light and airy, and the icing has the perfect amount of sweetness and is fluffy like a cloud. As kids my sisters and I would have the job of adding some sprinkles to the top. Now that I am a mother, I make the same cake for my daughter’s birthdays and she adds the sprinkles. Ann-Marie Favot, home and style director