How Are YOU Celebrating this Mother’s Day?

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[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] T[/dropcap]his year marks the 6th Mother’s Day since my mother died. It’s always a bit of a funny time for me. I tend to try and focus on all the memories. What she was like.

How she LOVED asparagus. How she loved lashings of cream on her desserts, especially if they involved passion fruit. How she loved her garden and playing tennis on a Tuesday.

But there’s always a bit of sadness that creeps in around the sides.

This year it’s worse than normal. Which is understandable I guess since it’s also my first Mother’s Day where I have any claims on getting flowers OR breakfast in bed*.

I just really wish she was still around. So many questions. And my Mum just adored babies (she had 5 of her own). Whenever there was a baby anywhere near, she’d be the first to volunteer for cuddles and the last to hand them back to their mothers.

There’s no doubt in my mind that she would have been a champion grandmother. I can just imagine how ‘in her element’ she’d be with 4 special grandchildren and 2 more on the way (my sister is expecting in August!).

And the Love Is Free

3D cover

If you’re new to Stonesoup you might be surprised to learn that ‘5 Ingredients 10 Minutes‘ isn’t my first print book. I actually self-published a collection of my Mum’s recipes back in 2009.

The book is called ‘And the Love is Free and I’m so glad I wrote it. I just love having my Mum’s recipes and stories all in the one place.

There are only a limited number left. So why don’t you order a copy of my first print book today?

To make sure you don’t miss out go to:

GF tuna dish-2

Super Quick Tuna ‘Dish’

Adapted from ‘And the Love Is Free‘.

Growing up, tuna ‘dish’, as we called it, was easily my favourite meal. You may know it as tuna bake or tuna mornay.

But whatever it’s called, it’s still the thing that comes to mind when I need something super comforting. The original version is made with pasta instead of beans and bechamel sauce instead of the ricotta. This simplified version has the advantages of being much quicker and easier AND being gluten-free without losing any of its comforting goodness.

Enough for 6-8
1 large can tuna in brine (425g / 15oz), NOT drained
500g (l1b) full fat ricotta
250g grated melting cheese, I used emmental but see below for other options
3 cans white beans, (400g / 14oz each), drained
2-3 handfuls almond meal, optional

1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F).

2. Mash tuna with a fork until combined with the brine. Stir in the ricotta.

3. Place a thin layer of tuna & ricotta mixture in the base of a medium ovenproof dish. Scatter over half the beans and a little cheese. Top with more tuna mixture, then the rest of the beans. Cover with the remaining tuna mixture and sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Dust with almond meal, if using.

4. Bake for 20-30 minutes until everything is hot and the cheese on top is melted and browned.

bean-free – replace beans with 400g (14oz) short pasta such as penne, cooked until al dente.

nut-free – just skip the almond meal or replace with breadcrumbs.

vegan / dairy-free – the cheese is really essential here. Sorry!

vegetarian – try this warming onion and white bean bake instead.

different cheeses – try a mixture of cheeses instead of the emmental. Cheddar is good, so is raclette or gruyere. You’re just looking for something that will melt and go all golden. My mum used to use processed cheese slices, so feel free to give them a try.

Video version of the recipe.

Do you have something special planned for the mother(s) in your life?

I’d love to hear about it. Please share your ideas in the comments below.

With love,
Jules x

* For the record (you never know which Irishman might end up reading this) I’m happy to skip the breakfast in bed tradition. The thought of crumbs in bed just doesn’t do it for me. BUT breakfast sitting in the sun on the lounge room floor with lashings of hot, milky Irish breakfast tea sounds like my idea of heaven.


  • Jules, this is a wonderful post. What a fun and very special lady your Mum must have been! Not to mention a great cook with her very own delicious tuna ‘dish’ and the best lamingtons that Australia has ever seen! Thank you for sharing.

    I didn’t get to see my Mum on Mother’s day as I am in the US and she is in the UK (where Mother’s Day is in March). During my next visit I will make up for my absence by making a Devonshire Cream Tea with traditional English scones filled with clotted cream and home made Scottish jam!

    Wishing you a very special Mother’s Day Jules, filled with lashings of sun and Irish breakfast tea.

    Claire xo


  • Sorry about your mom :( I haven’t figured Mother’s Day out yet. I usually make plans for the family and I’m okay with that. I’m sure it will include a bake ride at the beach and lots of good food…brie and bacon wrapped dates with blue cheese sounds perfect :)

  • Hi Jules. Good luck with the breakfast/flowers. My family is always a bit sleepy to be on top of that. So, this year, I’m going down to do the Mothers Day Classic, walk for breast cancer support. When I get back, I hope that special breakfast will be waiting for me.

  • Hi Jules. I too lost my mom six years ago and Mother’s Day can be hard especially when there are grandkids to be held and loved on. I will be celebrating the day with my three sweet boys and husband quietly at home. I hope you have a great day! Thanks for a lovely post.

  • My mother is several continents away, but making a dish she would like seems like a good way to spend the day. Blessings on your day with its joys and sorrows.

  • I light a candle for my mum given she is on the other side of the globe on Mother’s Day. I send her a gift that she keeps until the day then opens (and always says it is fantastic and exactly what she wanted….argh!).

    This year will be a little different! I’ll know it will be 15 days until I see her again at the airport! I am so excited I can’t wait!!!

    Your Tuna dish looks ridiculously tasty – I might have to make it with salmon or cod though – we don’t have ethically sourced tuna over here (sigh – one day it will come). I love the addition of almond meal – would not have thought of it!!!

  • OK just read the vegetarian option (onion and white bean bake) – THAT would work in our household! I actually reckon if I crumble up silken tofu and stir that through the onion with some miso that could make it vegan friendly. Not sure how crunchy that will get though…

  • Hi Jules, I sent an order for the books.
    I tried to send an email but it bounced.
    I sent a comment but it seems to have gone AWOL.
    Can you confirm you have my order?
    Thanks, Lenny

  • Thanks for this recipe. I made it last night and added zucchini. I loved the almond meal on top. My husband didn’t like it very much – but he is a die hard pasta fan unfortunately.

  • Hi Jules, thanks for this recipe, it sounds delicious. I plan to make it during the week. It is sad that your Mum is not here to celebrate this special Mother’s Day with you. I am lucky to have my 84 year old Mum who is also my best friend, and I will be spending the day with her. I will pamper her with breakfast in bed for a starter. My daughter is doing a fun run on Mother’s Day so I will celebrate with her and my grandchildren during the week. Cheers to all the wonderful Mums every day, not just Mother’s Day. xx

  • Best wishes for your mothers day – am sure she would love to see your little baby and give you lots of advice – we miss my mother in law who only saw Sylvia on one short visit and hasn’t been around to share her wisdom and love. I am sure your little one will hear lots of about their grandmother and hopefully you will keep a copy of your book for them!

  • Sending you a big cuddle, Jul. Mum would’ve been the BESTEST Grandmama ever.
    I think I’ll put my order in now with Joel for tuna dish for Mother’s Day now. I would never have thought of using beans and ricotta instead and it sounds very tasty.
    Great pics too!!

  • I lost my mom five years ago so I know a bit about how you feel.

    I like the recipe. I must admit I never thought of replacing the pasta with beans! My husband loves beans so this will please him.

  • Lovely post, and I love that you use your mum’s old recipes. I’ve got a very well-worn recipe book of my mums filled with her faviurites, handwritten in her scrawly writing. And while the recipes themselves are a bunch of wonders from the 70s (a lot of canned soup is involved) it makes me feel close to her when I make them.
    My mum does 29 years ago, and Mother’s Day is still hard. I wrote this post about it today and you’ll probably nod along to bits of it.

    Hugs to you this sunday x Andrea

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