It’s about sharing.
Sharing a meal with friends and family is special, and sharing the preparation can make that meal even more special. While our Upwork family can’t all sit down to a meal together, we can still connect with each other through our favorite recipes.
My grandma Gabby made this for me every birthday and special occasion. It tastes like my childhood, happy memories, and warm hugs.
These are my favorite appetizer on earth! My boyfriend’s mother made these the first time I went home to meet the parents, and I was immediately hooked on her cooking.
I’ve always enjoyed cooking and baking. Most recently, my three-year-old daughter, Vera, has become my official sous chef. This recipe comes after several attempts and a flour-filled kitchen. These will be the memories I will always think of as my daughter grows up.
My grandmother used to make this dish for us during the holiday season. After she passed away, it became a Christmas tradition for my mom to make for us. It became such a favorite that to this day, any time she asks what we want for our birthday dinner, all six of us respond ‘chicken divan!‘
Rice and peas is a delicious dish made with white rice and kidney beans cooked in coconut milk and spices and universally enjoyed in Jamaican homes on a Sunday. As a child, I looked forward to Sundays because of the fluffy, tasty rice and peas that would accompany the main dish. As an adult, it was one of the first things I learned to make, because I had to carry on the tradition!
This is a favorite from my mom’s kitchen. She would make this as a comfort food when we were in low spirits or when we needed some extra love and support. When my sisters and I eat it, it makes us feel warm inside.
A warm hug in a bowl... also known as birria. Birria is such a nice, tasty, and cozy dish! A cherished memory is eating birria on Sundays at my abuelita’s (grandma’s) house. Picture more than 20 family members together, laughing and eating this soup/meat dish!
I lived on sailboats over a 20-year period and spent three years mostly at anchor in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, and Colombia—a lifestyle known as sailboat cruising. Fishing was (not surprisingly) part of daily life, and using up fresh fish was often a challenge. The solution: ceviche.
Growing up, fish was an everyday staple at home but prawns were eaten only on special occasions. They were usually cooked only on a weekend, and my sister and I would start fantasizing about the dish soon after we woke up on any of those special weekends!
Having this when I was younger was a real treat—even if it came from frozen boxes! My mom loves ordering this dish when she sees it, and she was thrilled when I made it for her a few years ago.
Goat was a delicacy growing up in India, so my mom only made mutton curry on special occasions, like the festival of Holi (colors) we celebrate in March. We would wake up early, collect twigs for the bonfire, help grind fresh spices and prepare for the festivities, then play with colors and water balloons in the warm sun. Exhausted, we would wash the colors off and sit down for the most wonderful meal of the year: mutton curry with rice.
Growing up, I vividly remember spending many hours in the kitchen with my grandmother, typically standing on a dining room chair so that I could clearly see what was going into measuring cups, bowls, and cookie sheets. One of my Gram’s classic cookie recipes was this simple six-ingredient treat. Sharing this recipe is like sharing a piece of my heart and my childhood.
My husband and I discovered this recipe after having way too many Thanksgiving leftovers and getting sick of eating the same thing for days on end.
My wife makes this soup every now and then, and our entire family loves it! Plus, given she comes from a large Italian family, I think it makes us feel more connected to her family and heritage.
This pie is so amazing, I’ve had it requested instead of birthday cake!
Nina Sabado Bitz
Every third Sunday, my mother would cook lunch for 20 people, haul the pots to a St. Vincent location where they had a very small dining room, then serve and eat with community members in need. The first dish that she asked me to help her make and serve was chicken tinola. She said it’s warm for their bellies, healthy for their hearts, and easy to share.
Sweet bread gets shared on January 6, Día de los Reyes. In Spain, it’s the day that gifts were given to kids, like Santa Claus in the U.S. It’s extra special for me because it was my father’s birthday, and my first son was born on that day as well.
Many of my fondest memories of my grandmother Santina involved la cucina! It’s so hard to pick just one of her recipes, but one that stands out are her lasagna rolls. We continue to make these for our family dinners. “Mangia, mangia,” as Santina would say!
Carolyn Gomes de Araujo
I lived in Brazil for five years. It was hard being away from home in the U.S. One of my favorite things to do was to host friends and share recipes that I grew up with, so when I came back to the U.S. it was only natural to bring a few recipes home with me.
Growing up, when I visited my grandparents’ house, at least once during my visit, we would open a can of chili, heat it up on the stove, and eat up. I always found it delicious, comforting, and filling. As an adult, a can of chili is still a favorite for me, but when I have a little time, I like to make my own homemade.
My sister’s mother-in-law makes delicious meals with a gorgeous setup. This is one of my favorite breakfast recipes!
My grandma made these for me when I was a little girl in Ukraine.
This recipe for banana bread (varaoa meika) comes from my parents-in-law, who immigrated to New Zealand in the 1960s from the Cook Islands. Traditional Cook Islands food continues to be a big part of how the family comes together, connects, and celebrates.
During the pandemic, my fiancé and I were looking for new recipes to try. To experiment, we made chorizo dumplings to bring together the flavors of our Mexican and Chinese backgrounds, and they were a huge hit with our friends!
When asked for one of her own memorable meals, Tess picked bucatini carbonara at a Florence restaurant on her first visit to Italy—“so creamy and delicious!”