Our 2011 Favorite Family Recipe Contest Winning Entries

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The results are in for our 2011 Favorite Family Recipe Contest. Just like last time around, in 2008, contestants were asked to submit one recipe along with a short explanation of why it is of special importance to their family. We asked:

What dish or recipe is an intregal staple at your family get-togethers?

Yes, we were on the hunt for interesting and great tasting recipes. But, also, this contest was just as much a celebration of the important role food plays in our family history and family get-togethers as it is a search for great food.

Here are the 2011 Winning entries - followed by several of our other favorite entries.

1st Place Best Peanut Brittle

Our Grand prize goes to Angie Easterby of Meadow, South Dakota for her "Best Peanut Brittle". Angie wins a gift package from The Prairie Harvest Mercantile

In November of 1963 a recipe for peanut brittle was published in the Tacoma News Tribune, Tacoma, WA. I clipped the coupon and made the first batch which was sampled by my father-in-law. He loved peanut brittle but, he was a denture wearer and was unable to eat most brittles because they were too hard or too sticky. He was so impressed with this light, easy to chew peanut brittle, it soon became a favorite. I began making this recipe for Christmas gifts for friends and family and decided to keep the recipe a "secret". I continued this tradition for more than 50 years, never sharing the recipe. I usually made 50-75 pounds each year. When our kids married, early each holiday season the requests began to come in, "Mom, when are you going to make peanut brittle?". Finally, as their families grew and they became so spread out, it was no longer feasible to send to each family, so I gave them the recipe! Their comments were: but Mom, yours is the best we can't make it like you do." It's time to learn! :) Occassionally I still make it for them when we have an opportunity to spend Christmas together.

Best Peanut Brittle

3 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
3 cups salted peanuts ( I use cups)
2 teaspoons baking soda

In a heavy sauce pan stir together the sugar, syryp and water. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil. Continue cookin without stirring until temperature reaches 280 degrees on a candy thermometer. Stir in peanuts gradually so mixture continues to boil. Book, stirring often and watch closely to 300 degrees.
Remove from heat and stir in soda gently but quickly. Pour at once onto (2) buttered cookie sheets. DO NOT SPREAD WITH A TOOL! Let spread by itself. When cool break into pieces and stor in an air tight container. If you us a tool to spread it loses it' light airyness and becomes tough. Yield 2 1/2 pounds.

2nd Place Dad's Crockpot Dressing

Our 2nd Place prize goes to Diane King of Oregon, Ohio for her "Dad's Crockpot Dressing". Diane wins a cook-book from Quail Ridge Press

Whether you call this dressing or stuffing, it becomes a favorite of all who taste it! We call it Dad's recipe, as he is the one who shares it with us now -even at age 86! It is so simple, yet fills the home with an aroma so warm and inviting!

1 cup butter
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 4-oz. cans sliced mushrooms
12 to 13 cups slightly dried bread cubes
1 t. poultry seasoning
1 1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. dried sage
1 t. dried thyme
1/2 t. dried marjoram
1/2 t. pepper
2 to 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 eggs, beaten

Melt butter in skillet and saute onion, celery, parsley, and mushrooms. Pour over bread cubes in a very large mixing bowl. Add all seasonings and toss together well. Pour in enough broth to moisten. Add beaten eggs and mix together well. Pack lightly into medium crockpot. Cover and cook on high 45 minutes, then reduce to low for 4 - 6 hrs.

3rd Place Uncle Greggis Green Chili Cheeseburger Enchiladas

Our 3rd Place prize goes to Amy Angelo of Pennsville, NJ for her "Uncle Greggis Green Chili Cheeseburger Enchiladas". Amy wins a cook-book from Quail Ridge Press

I grew up in a small suburban town in Pennsylvania. I had the best parents and an adorable little sister. I was blessed with many things, a great home, great friends and all the love I could ask for. But, nothing could compare with the summers we spent with Uncle Gregg and Aunt Linda in Texas. Every year, as soon as school let out, our family would take the trip to Uncle Gregg’s house. We packed up the minivan and off we went! Uncle Gregg was a funny looking man; he stood what seemed to be 10 feet tall, with a very large nose and always wearing a fishing hat. He was as eccentric as could be, and always greeted us with big bear hugs and LUNCH. I don’t ever remember a trip to Uncle Gregg’s house where he didn’t have the grill smoking upon our arrival. Green Chili Burgers were his specialty, and we couldn’t run fast enough to the back yard picnic tables. We would eat until we were stuffed and then crash in the back yard hammocks. He always made more burgers then we could possibly eat, and we knew what that meant!!!! Green Chili Enchiladas for lunch tomorrow! Aunt Linda would make the most fabulous enchiladas out of the left over burgers and fresh salsa created right from their enormous garden. I was always sad to leave Uncle Gregg’s house, but now and then my mom would attempt to make Aunt Linda’s Green Chili Enchiladas for a Sunday night dinner treat. The comfort that the dish brought was priceless. That dish took me right back to Uncle Gregg’s backyard, and the smoky smell of summer in Texas.
My children never had the opportunity to meet my Uncle Gregg, but every Sunday, I bring the Green Chili Cheeseburger Enchiladas to the table and we laugh about a silly man in a fishing hat and summers spent daydreaming with overstuffed bellies and memories to last a lifetime.

Uncle Gregg’s Green Chili Cheeseburger Enchiladas

1 ½ lbs of ground beef (80/20)
2 tablespoons garlic (minced)
2 tomatillos (chopped)
1 large onion (chopped)
1 cup cilantro (chopped)
1 can diced tomatoes
4 cups Monterey Jack cheese (shredded)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups mild chunky salsa
15-20 corn tortillas (white or yellow corn)
1 can or 1 bag (frozen) corn
2 cans green enchilada sauce
Sour cream for topping

In a large sauté pan on medium heat, add ground beef. Cook for about 5 minutes, breaking up beef and turning to ensure even browning. Add garlic, chopped tomatillos, onion, and cilantro. Sauté for 6-8 minutes or until the beef has browned and the onions have softened. Remove from heat; fold in the tomatoes and 1 cup of Monterey Jack cheese. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Pour chunky salsa into the bottom of a casserole dish or lasagna pan.
Fill each corn tortilla with about 3 tablespoons of the beef mixture. Wrap the tortilla around the filling and place (seam side down) into the dish. Continue filling tortillas until the pan is full. Cover the enchiladas with a layer or corn and then the green enchilada sauce. Top with the remaining Monterey Jack cheese.
Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.
Serve with sour cream or your favorite toppings.

4th Place Grandma's Runzasi

Our 4th Place prize goes to Lauri Jardin of Santee, CA for her "Grandma's Runzasi". Lauri wins a cook-book from Quail Ridge Press

I grew up in San Diego California but every summer we would visit grandma in Lincoln Nebraska where my mom grew up. Grandma worked at the University of Lincoln in the cafeteria most of her working life “Go Big Red”. Each year we would visit usually summer time when we had a break from school and sometimes I would stay for weeks alone with grandma. My favorite memories are grandma in her kitchen and her garden. I loved her Runza’s and my second favorite recipe would be her “Carmel Corn”. So every time I visited she would make dozens of Runzas enough to feed a small army, she was not one to make just a few of anything. Grandma worked in the cafeteria feeding thousands of college kids. So we would eat Runzas all week long. They were so good I didn’t complain. My grandma passed 10 years back and to this day I continue to make her Runza’s. My recipe is a bit different from hers she made hers with ground beef and I make mine with ground turkey. Also her recipe was for single servings; mine over the years has turned into a roll. The reason being it’s a lot less time consuming to make, but still tastes great. I believe grandma would be proud of my version of her recipe and I bet she would of made the roll too but she’s thinking single servings having worked in a cafeteria most of her career. So in honor of my wonderful grandma here’s my version of her “Runzas”.

Runza Loaf

1 pound ground turkey
1 large onion, diced
1 small head of cabbage or 1/2 a large head, chopped in thin ribbons
6 cloves garlic, diced fine or pressed
1 medium Jalapeno (optional)
Swiss cheese slices (I use the processed Swiss as it melts better) about 3 slices
1 loaf frozen bread (it's in the frozen section, it comes in a 3 pack)
1 egg, beaten

Defrost 1 loaf of bread and let rise for a few hours. Brown turkey, onion and jalapeno in large pan with olive oil. Add garlic and cabbage, sauté just enough to get the cabbage a little soft and remove from heat to cool. Roll your bread on a floured board like making a pizza but in a rectangle. You might want to put a piece of foil on the board with flour so you can move it to the cookie sheet easier; sometimes it sticks. Fill turkey mixture on half of the bread and top with cheese and fold. I make a U shape out of it to fit on cookie sheet. Brush egg mixture on the edge and press to close. Put on cookie sheet and brush entire Runza with egg mixture.

Bake at 350º for about 20 minutes until brown. Let cool about 1 hour before eating because it will ooze out. It's even better the next day.

Honorable Mentions

Recipe contest submission by

Jennie Vee McFadden


1 cut up chicken (mom would buy one whole,and cut it up herself, it was cheaper.)

1 lb of ground beef

2 cups of rice

1 onion diced

1 pkg of mixed vegetables

1 cans of chicken broth

salt & pepper to taste

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp flour

Cooking instructions:
Place chicken in a large pot cover with water. Bring to a boil and add onions salt and pepper to taste. Boil chicken for 25-30 minutes or until tender. In the mean time take the ground beef and season with salt & pepper and 2 tbsp of the Worcestershire sauce and mix together. Form into 1/2 in size balls and brown in a skillet. Drain put in the pot with the chicken. Brown the flour in a skillet with 2 tsp of cooking oil. Cook rice according to package directions. Combine all ingredients and simmer until done about 8 minutes and enjoy with some of mom's homemade biscuits. Yummy!

This is my favorite family recipe because I come from a family of 16 children, 8 boys and 8 girls. My mother didn't have a job outside of the house because there was too much to do in the home with all of us running around. We were a happy family, even though we didn't have much, we had each other. My mother could take just about anything an make enough food to feed all of us and then some.
We would invite our friends over and they could eat also.

Recipe contest submission by

Jackie Tingler

Spanish Rice
by Tingler
Source: Tex-Mex

Love my mama's food. This Tex-Mex (Spanish) rice goes with everything Mexican. Another simple and easy dish to make and economical.

Servings: 4 to 6
Prep time: 10 to 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 to 35 minutes

• 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
• 1/2 cup diced onions
• 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
• 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
• 4 cups chicken broth or water
• 1 small can of tomato sauce
• 2 cups long grain rice
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


1. To prepare the Spanish rice, heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the onions, garlic and rice and cook for approximately 6 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly.
2. Add the cumin, chicken stock or (the water) and the one can of tomato sauce to the pot and stir gently.
3. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes with the lid firmly on the pot. Season with salt and pepper.

I love my mom's Tex-Mex Rice. Instead of white rice,(didn't have white rice till I was 20 years old) or potatoes we had her rice as a side dish and we all loved it. With seven kids and a husband it was very economical and delicious....I am getting to almost to the perfection of my mamas' rice....yummmmm

Recipe contest submission by

Dr. Vaishali Agte

Sweet corn and fenugreek leaf layered grilled sandwich

We, in western India, make one traditional recipe using fenugreek leaves wherein we add previously soaked and coarsely ground chick peas to cut leaves of fenugreek and shallow fry with spices, salt and sugar to a semi dry texture.
Inspired by this, I tried a new Indian-Western fusion recipe using sweet corn. There it goes:
Take about one cup of sweet corns and coarsely grind them along with green chilies and cumin seeds as per your taste. Finely cut the fresh fenugreek leaves (You can fetch them in Indian or Chinese food shops). Now, add some olive oil into a cooking pan and let it heat to the temperature for mustard seeds to crack. Add cumin seeds, turmeric powder and then the ground mixture of corn. Stir fry for 2 minutes or till it becomes a semidry homogenous mass. Add salt, lemon juice and sugar (optional).
Take two slices of whole wheat bread. On one, layer the sweet corn-fenugreek mixture followed by Mozzarella shredded cheese. On the other slice, apply butter to both sides.
Make the sandwich in grilled sandwich toaster.
It made a fantastic combination. In case fenugrrek leaves are not available spinach or cilantro leaves could be used.
This recipe is good for diabetics, obese individuals as well as health conscious people.

Recipe contest submission by


my favorite family recipe is my "Chocolate peanut butter oatmeal cookies" . this is a very interesting recipe because you dont have to use the oven. it is a very easy and simple desert to make. my mom taught me how to make this recipe and i plan to pass it down for many generations. This amazing cookie tastes the best when youu store it in the frezer to let them ferm up and then take them out before you serve them. But for easy convenence you can store them in the refrigerator. they will taste just as good.

Recipe contest submission by

Hidemi Walsh

In Japan, it is common to eat Christmas Cake on Christmas eve or Christmas. When I was a kid, my mother bought a Christmas cake and we enjoyed a lot. But since I moved out of my parents'house, I bought or made a Christmas cake for my parents. This is the one of the cake I made which was my father's favorite. He said,"taste is like HEAVEN" so I named Heaven Christmas Cake. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed as a perkinson disease 10 years ago and has been hospitalized. I had to give up on making Christmas cake. I had not made any cake for a long time but after I married, I started to make some desert for my husband who is diabetec. I moved to the US 2 years ago so don't have much family history yet but this recipe means a lot to me because my husband took over my father to eat Heaven Christmas Cake. (I make sugar-free cake using splenda, sugar free whipped cream, sugar-free chocolate and so on when I make this for my husband).
I would like to share my original recipe for this contest, not sugar-free since this cake has more history and lots of memories. Very easy to prepare but taste is just like HEAVEN.

4 oz Toasteds Crackers
4 tablespoons Butter, melted
8 oz Whipped Cream, such as Cool whip (thawed)
2 tablespoons Sugar
1/4 cup Crushed Almond
3 oz Chocolate Bar
5 Oreo Cookies, crushed

1.In a Ziploc crush crackers and add melted butter. Mix well. Transfer to the 9 inch pie pan and with hand, press mixture firmly on the bottom of the pan. Let it stand.
2.Chop chocolate bar into uniform pieces and put them into a bowl. Heat 1 cup of hot water in a saucepan over low heat, place the chocolate bowl over the hot water. When chocolate starts to be melted, turn off the heat and stir frequently. When chocolate is almost melted, remove the chocolate bowl from the saucepan and stir until smooth and completely melted.
3.In a bowl, combine whipped cream, sugar, crushed almond (leave 1 tablespoon for topping) and chocolate. Mix well. Then pour into the pie pan.
4.Sprinkle crushed Oreo Cookies and the reserved almond on top. Freeze for 2-3 hours or until sets.

Recipe contest submission by

Perry Hurst

Firehouse Baked Ham

15 lb Shaved Ham
100 small hamburger buns
2 lb dark brown sugar
2 tbl dark cocoa - unsweetened
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 c water

In med sauce pan combine water, sugar, cocoa and cinnamon.
bring to a boil. Stir constantly until sugar is melted.

In large roaster pan place ham and pour above liquid over ham.
cook covered in a 350 deg oven. Bake for 4-5 hours (mixture will be dark)

NOTE: Stir ham mixture every hour to prevent ham pieces from drying out..

Place 2 buns open faced on plate. Using tongs apply ham.
Serve with dill pickle slice and chips. Garnish with yellow mustard if so desired.

NOTE: This may be served hot or cold

Serves 50 people

I made this while i was with fire dept and have served it mny times there and at family dinners. The leftovers (if any) may be referigerated for up to 1 week. The mixture may be frozen for up to 6 months.

Liset Veliz

My families favorite is my flan. I learned it from my grandmother on my step mother's side of the family. Everyone in my family including guests asked for me to make them this desert at family gatherings. My boyfriend tried it from the store and he loved it and moved with me to Miami, Fl for six months. We ran out of money and had to live there for more than we bargained to stay there.

8 eggs (4 egg yolks only)
1 can evaporated milk
1 can whole milk
1 can condensed milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowel. In a sauce pan cook some sugar until it is melted and line it in an oven proof casserole dish. Pour the egg and milk mixture into the dish and bake in an oven 350* for approximatley 1 hour or until cooked. When ready, turn over to the other side when cooled to show the caramel sugar on top. Serve cold.

Recipe contest submission by

Liset Veliz

Hashbrown Casserole with bacon and cheese

1 container Hungry Jack Hashbrowns
1 lb. ground beef cooked
1 lb. bacon cooked
diced potatoes
diced ham optional
1 pint sour cream
1 lb. scallions

In a casserole dish line the hashbrowns layering diced potatoes, beef, bacon and chedder cheese. Garnish with scallions, green onions, bacon and sour cream. Ham can be used also.
Bake in an oven at 350* until cheese melts.

Recipe contest submission by

karen naihe

Growing up in hawaii was a real treat. The Asian influence was found in everything we are. These wings were a favorite around our house while growing up and my children all make them them for their families.

Sticky Wings

3 lbs. chicken wings
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 TBS. garlic powder
1/2 cup soy sauce

Place chicken in large ziploc bag. Add sugars, garlic powder and soy sauce. Soak wings for 2-3 days in the refrigerator turning bag over and mixing 4 times a day. Drain wings. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, drain liquid, stir and continue cooking for 30-40 minutes until cooked through, hot and sticky.

Recipe contest submission by

karen naihe

This jam reminds me of my grandparents. My nana and papa would always grow their own papaya's and we would always have fresh papaya's to eat as well as this jam on toast when my sister and I would spend the weekend with them.

Papaya Pineapple Jam

3 cups chopped, ripe papaya's
2 cups chopped pineapple
5 TBS. fresh lemon juice
5 TBS. fresh orange juice
1 teas. lemon zest
1 teas. orange zest
1 teas. finely minced ginger

Combine everything except sugar in saucepan. Cook over med-high heat 30 minutes, stirring constantly. Add an equal amount of sugar as you have fruit mixture. Cook 30 minutes or more untill thickened. Pour into hot jars. Seal.
Makes about 3 cups

Recipe contest submission by

Shelia Fullbright

Pineapple cream cheese stuffed peppers. 10 jalapeño peppers seeded. 8 oz pineapple cream cheese. 1 pound maple bacon. Stuff peppers with cream cheese and wrap bacon around each pepper then secure with toothpick. Grill for 30min or until bacon brown and peppers tender. My whole family went nuts over the peppers. It's the only way we will fix stuffed peppers from now on. A must try

Recipe contest submission by

Sherry Day

It was tough to choose just one recipe from my mom's battered and stained recipe box, but I have chosen a delicious recipe that the entire family used to enjoy, and is still just as yummy today!

Bubble Bread

2 loaves frozen bread dough
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 small pkg. butterscotch pudding (not instant)
1 stick butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Slice bread dough into 12 slices each. Place in a greased Bundt pan. Mix white sugar and cinnamon; pour over bread. Mix brown sugar and pudding mix; sprinkle over bread. Melt the butter and pour evenly over bread. Top bread with the nuts and let rise approximately one inch above pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.


Recipe contest submission by

Alex Vernon

Ingredients - 1 1/4 cups cornmeal 2 1/2 cups water 1/2 teaspoon salt
Directions - Mix together cornmeal, water, and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Pour mixture into a loaf pan and chill completely. Remove from pan, cut into slices, and fry in a small amount of oil over medium-high heat until browned on both sides. Serve with maple syrup.

This recipe is very important to me because my this was a staple in my dad's childhood and he passed it along to me. My Grandma Dee made this all of the time. This recipe makes me think about Grandma Dee, even though I never got to meet her. I know that she would be very proud to see my dad and I passing along the tradition!

Recipe contest submission by

Subasree Venkatesan

Achara Masala Okra:

Slice whole okras in the middle. Fry these okras in olive oil till brown and well cooked and keep them aside. Grind roasted fenugreek and cumin seeds together. Add a little of this to olive oil, add sliced tomatoes, pepper powder,salt, turmeric and a cup of curd. Let tomatoes and curd mix together and come to a boil. The oil will seperate out and at this point add the okras, cook for a minute or so and remove from the stove.

Serve this with Indian bread(Chapathis) or with rice.

I accidently tried this one day and my 7 year old called this kulka. "Pulka" is dry Chapathis and the dish to eat with she named it as "Kulka". This has become her favourite and from then on, everyone in my family loves whenever I prepare this dish.

YOu can prepare it with other veggies also, its yummy.

Recipe contest submission by

Sherri Williams

I dedicate these biscuits to my Grandma Sally Ann Logan. Country ham always reminds me of going out to my grandma's house when I was a young girl. I remember waking up on cold mornings to the smell of country ham, bacon, fried potatoes, eggs, and homemade bisuits. It was incredible! She created some of the most spectacular food I have ever eaten in my life, out of her small kitchen. It was there where my love and passion for cooking, started. These mini breakfast biscuits with the extra kick of habanera pepper will jump start your morning and remind you of home. They are quick, easy and delicious!

Habanera Honey Country Ham Biscuits


12 mini/tea frozen biscuits
6 oz country ham, thinly sliced
2 lg eggs
1/2 md habanera pepper, finely chopped
4 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 Tbsp italian seasoning
1 tsp paprika, sweet mild
3 Tbsp butter, unsalted
3 pinch salt and pepper


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place biscuits on lightly greased cookie sheet. Have sides touching each other. Cook for about 12 minutes or until golden brown. One minute before cooking is complete, melt 1 tbsp butter, add paprika and italian season. Brush the tops of biscuits with the butter mixture, continue to cook the biscuits for one more minute. Remove biscuits from oven and place on a cooling rack.

2. Meanwhile, in a heated large skillet, add ham slices and enough water to cover ham slices. Cook at medium heat until liquid has reduced in half. This should take about 4-5 minutes. Flip ham slices half way through. After liquid had reduced, remove ham and set or warming plate.

3. Add chopped habanera pepper, mustard and honey to the pan sauce. Simmer on low heat for about 2 mintes. Set aside

4. Whisk eggs, pepper and salt. In a medium size frying pan, add 2 tbsp of butter. Let melt, then add eggs. Cook eggs about 1 minute and flip and cook for an additional minute. Remove and cut into 12 equal pieces

5. Slice biscuits in half. Layer equal parts of egg, honey mustard mixture, ham, honey mustard mixture and tops of biscuits. Serve with fresh fruit and veggies.

Recipe contest submission by

Peggy Calhoun

Pink Lemonade Bars With Ginger Crust

Created in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (coming up in October). O.K Ladies, next month everyone needs to get in for their yearly checkup, a cause I am truly passionate about. Most everyone I know has been affected by breast cancer in some form...either a lump scare, a biopsy, a mastectomy or a death. Early detection does save lives! When life deals you lemons...make Pink Lemonade! Enjoy this recipe as a tribute. My family and friends request this simple delightful treat at family get together s and family functions. Serve year round and see the change you can make by a simple reminder with sharing your dessert dish. This is my favorite family recipe!


3/4 cup gingersnap cookies (about 15) in food processor
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into chunks
3 Tbsp ice cold water


8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup cool whip
1/2 cup frozen pink lemonade juice concentrate
1 pkg vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
4 drops red food color
1 piece pink candy ribbon cut into 1" thin strips, to shape into the form of a pink ribbon on top each square for garnish

To make crust; Place cookies in food processor. Process on high about 20 seconds, pulse 3-4 times until finely crumbled. Add flour and salt. Pulse. Add butter and continue pulsing until combined. Add water and pulse until ball forms. Remove and press evenly into a 9"x13" baking pan. Prick with fork to vent. Place in preheated oven and bake 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven.

Meanwhile, with crust baking make your filling. In food processor combine cream cheese, milk, coolwhip, pink lemonade, pudding mix and food color. Pulse several times, then process until all ingredients are incorporated and smooth. Remove from processor with spatula and scrape into prepared cooked crust. Spread top evenly with spatula. Refrigerate 1 hour until set. Cut into 12 squares. Top each square in corner with pink ribbon loop shape breast cancer symbol. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy and share!!!

Recipe contest submission by

Cherry Comp

Scalloped Corn

24 saltine cracker squares (crushed)
3 cans cream style corn
2 cans oysters (drained)
6 eggs beaten

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour into a greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

As a child growing up I remember my great aunt Anne bringing scalloped corn to holiday dinners. You never had to ask great aunt Anne what she was bringing because you always knew her scalloped corn would be there.

Later when I married I found out that my husband's family also shared this dish at family holidays. What a surprise. Now I am always the one to bring scalloped corn whether it be on my side of the family or my husband's.

This recipe has been on both sides of our families for many, many years and I couldn't begin to tell you what a disappointment it would be if I didn't bring scalloped corn to the holiday dinners. It's like bringing a little bit of great aunt Anne home again who passed on many years ago.

Recipe contest submission by

Sherri Bruinsma

Cheesy Meatballs

Make any meatball recipe that is your favorite and cook them all the way done. You can even use pre-made/frozen meatballs but cook them completely. THEN......

On the stove top put 1 can of cream of mushroom soup, 1 can of milk (after you take the soup out), and 1/2 cube of velveeta cheese in a pan. Melt these together, stirring frequently. Once the cheese is all melted pour over the meatball and place in the oven on 350 degrees until the mixture is bubbling. I serve it with mashed potatoes and we use the cheese sauce on our potatoes as well.

I started to make this years ago before we had children. It has become a favorite of my husband and children's. I make if for Sunday dinner and on birthday's when we have company. The children LOVE the cheesy sauce on their mashed potatoes. You can even double the cheese sauce if you are doing a large batch of meatballs.

Recipe contest submission by

Angela Evans

Southern Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 stick butter or margarine
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilaa
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 stick melted butter or margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour

Combine all ingredients except topping. Mix thorougly and pour into baking dish. Combine topping ingredients and spread over top. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

This recipe was my Great Great Great Grandmother's. Family history tells us she lived near Afton, Virginia which is near Charlottesville. It has been passed down for many, many years and no family get together is complete without it. I have tasted many sweet potato dishes and none have ever compared. The spiced, creamy filling and the caramel like topping is so much better than the marshmellow kind!

Recipe contest submission by

Paul Pease


You won't need a lot of ingredients and don't let the hamburger, vanilla combination fool you, this is good.
What you'll need:
4lbs. Ground Beef or Chuck
2 Single packs of Hi-Ho crackers
11-12 Slices 1/8-1/4" thick Velveeta Cheese
1 1/2 Cans White or original Mushroom Soup
1/2 A onion Diced or 1 Tsp. onion powder
1 Tbs. Mrs. Dash Original
1 Tbs Vanilla

Hungry yet!!
Put beef in large bowl add crackers crushed up fine mix with beef
Put diced onion or onion powder and mix well.
Mix in 1 can of mushroom soup,vanilla,and 6 slices of Velveeta mix well.
put in baking dish 1" deep 10" long
Put in oven bake at 300 Degrees until top starts to brown.
When brown take out and put remaining mushroom soup over the top spread. out evenly. Put back in oven till Mushroom soup begins to heat 1-2 min.
Take out and cover top with remaining Velveeta slices.
Put back in oven and let cheese melt.
Take out of oven and ENJOY!!
Serves 7-8 I have a large Family and great for entertaining guests. They will love it.

Recipe contest submission by

michael compean

My family abolutely loves tacos! Our heritage is from Santa Fe New Mexico. We visited there 6 years ago to see my Grandmother who is a great cook by the way, at a family reunion. She made these tacos for our family and everyone just loved em! I begged her for the recipe so here it is. Enjoy!


Yield: 4 servings


1 tbsp. red bell pepper, diced
½ tsp. spanish onions, diced
½ avocado, diced
Juice of ½ lime
1/8 tsp.Old bay seasoning
Pinch kosher salt
2 tsp.cilantro, chopped
1 ½ tbsp. chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp. canned corn kernals
1/8 tsp. cumin powder
1 ½ tbsp.canned black olives, sliced

¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tsp. Siracha chili sauce
1/8 tsp. sesame oil

2 tsp.olive oil
2 Vegetarian burger patties (such as “garden burger”)
4 – (4”) flour tortillas
2/3 cup white cabbage, shredded
2 tbsp. cotija cheese, shaved
¼ cheddar cheese, shredded

1: Heat a gas grill to medium-high heat

2: Combine the first 11 ingredients well in a small bowl. Set aside. Mix together the mayonnaise, Siracha and sesame oil and set aside.

3: rub the vegetarian burger patties with the olive oil. Place on the grill and cook for 4 minutes on each side . Cut each patty into 4 sections and set aside. Place the tortillas on the grill and heat for approximately 45 seconds on each side. Place each tortilla on a plate. Spread 2 tsp. of the spicy aioli on each tortilla, followed by 2 tbsp. of the avocado salsa, 2 pieces of the vegetarian patties. Divide the cabbage mixture, cotija cheese and cheddar cheese among each taco. Fold each taco upright. Repeat to make 4 tacos. Serve 1 taco per guest and enjoy.

Recipe contest submission by


When I was younger, I spent a lot of time with my Great Aunt who was German. She taught me so many things about cooking from homemade. She always make this Sauerkraut dinner but would never show me how. When she became ill she the last thing she did was teach me this recipe. I have kept it close to my heart and make it at every family gathering as she us to. It makes us feel like she is there watching over us sharing her favorite meal.

Aunt Elsie's sauerkraut pleaser

3 slices bacon, diced
2 small potatoes, cubed
2 small apples,cubed
2 lbs Brats, pieces
3 teaspoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds
54 ounces sauerkraut
1/2 cup water
Fry bacon and brats sausage until crisp;drain. Add flour to drippings and blend well.Stir in sauerkraut; mix well. Place sauerkraut mixture, bacon and sausage pieces in crock pot. or dutch oven. Add all other ingredients; stir together thoroughly.

Cover and cook on Low 7 to 9 hours. (High: 3 to 4 hours).

Recipe contest submission by

Mellissa Clark

White Chocolate Banana Pudding

3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
4 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 ounces white chocolate chips
26 vanilla wafers
3 over ripe bananas, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white chocolate shavings

Scald 1 1/2 cups milk for 4-5 minutes in a saucepan on medium low. Add sugar and white chocolate to dissolve. In a small bowl whisk cornstarch and remaining milk. Combine both milk mixtures and cook in a double boiler at medium heat for 5 minutes or until thickened. Set aside to cool. Layer 13 vanilla wafers in a 2-quart baking dish. Top with half the banana slices and then cover with half of the white chocolate pudding.Top with 13 more cookies, bananas and remaining white chocolate pudding. Cover and refrigerate until pudding is set. When ready to serve top with white chocolate shavings.

When I was a little girl, my grandma would make banana pudding every Sunday for family dinner. The best part is when I got to help her make it. I would literally lick the bowl.I couldn't wait until church was over to go over grandma's and devour this pudding.

Recipe contest submission by

Mukti Banerjee

Rabindranath Tagore and a Lamb Curry Recipe: One Man's Story of Coming to America

This year is the 150th anniversary of birth of the great Bengali-Indian poet, fiction writer, and songwriter Rabindranath Tagore. My husband Partha Banerjee, a writer and singer, shared this story with me and my friends at Mukti's Kitchen, so that people got more interested about the cultural and spiritual values of Indian cooking.

Partha told me what Tagore meant to him, and how he learned to cook more than twenty-five years ago, and shared a lip-smacking lamb curry recipe. I am quoting him here. Needless to say, I deeply, personally relate to his story.

“Mira Nair’s 2006 movie, “The Namesake,” showed a first-generation Bengali-Indian immigrant family starting life from scratch in America. But it missed some important elements: food, music, literature, film and art -- things Bengali immigrants need to survive. I know, because, in the mid-eighties, in my life as a new Bengali-Indian immigrant from Calcutta (now Kolkata), I almost died for them: not spiritually, but rather physically; actually, for the lack of them.

I came to America without knowing what America was all about; I never had a relative, extended family, or even a close friend here. The very first plane ride in my life brought me straight from Kolkata to Chicago via London, and overnight, I found myself in an unknown land, with unknown people, unknown food, and an unknown lifestyle. I felt like Neil Armstrong landing on the moon. I did not speak English (never had to: Bengali was more than sufficient), and I did not know how to cook. Worst, in my hurried last-minute preparation to leave India, I did not bring a single Bengali book, CD, or film tape.

And I left my wife Mukti behind. Only one word can describe my first few months in America: miserable – with a capital M.

The hundreds of Bengali songs that I carried in my mind since I was a child helped me to survive. A large number of those songs were of course Tagore songs: written by our poet of all poets Rabindranath Tagore. In my extreme isolation, Tagore’s songs were my only oasis.

He answered my prayers. In my alienation from the loved ones, I was able to understand him more than ever before. Soon after, I got his books from my graduate school libraries, and started translating his prose and poetry.

Okay. That's all fine and dandy! But philosophical, cultural and spiritual pursuits didn't go very far on an empty stomach. I was hungry. My stomach was growling. Indian men normally don’t know how to cook, and I was no exception. As a result, I lived on rice, butter, and potato chips for weeks. Did I say I was miserable? Very quickly, I also became sick.

A friend of a friend, who lived in Chicago, rescued me. He gave me a few little tips to cook some basic Indian dishes, and after my first, miserable semester was over, took me over to spend a few days with his family.

There, I got my first hands-on training in Indian cooking. I came back from the short vacation, and threw a small party for my university friends, and they were all impressed. The next few months, until my wife Mukti joined me and relieved me of my terrible isolation, I developed and refined my culinary skills – skills that grew with me as I grew older in America.

Over the next few years, when our daughter was growing up, I was really the man in the kitchen. Mukti was swamped with her new career as a biologist. Eventually, she left her job and decided to refine her God-gifted skills as a cook and teacher; then she floated her own little business, Mukti's Kitchen. Now that she is a pro, she spends more time in the kitchen than I do. In fact, she has made quite a reputation for her cooking and teaching already!

Here is my lamb curry recipe. Mukti refined it a great deal since she started Mukti's Kitchen in 2010."

Now, wasn't that a good story, or what?

Here's the recipé. I taught it to a number of my students, and they loved it.


* 2 potatoes – cut in four or more pieces
* 2 pounds lamb, cubed
* 1/2 cup yogurt
* 2 small ginger pieces, grated or minced
* 8-10 cloves
* 2" piece of cinnamon, whole or broken into smaller pieces (or ground for a very intense experience)
* 5-6 cardamom pods – grains only
* 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
* 4 tablespoons of vegetable cooking oil
* 2 medium-sized onions, chopped fine
* 1 cup water
* Cilantro – a quarter of a bunch
* Salt and sugar to taste

Sauté the potato pieces on medium flame until they turn brownish, remove from pan and set aside.

In a bowl, mix the lamb and yogurt and set aside. This will tenderize the lamb.

Heat the oil in a separate deep pan and on low flame. Add the whole spices (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ground ginger, turmeric powder). Fry until they turn slightly darker. (Note: high flame will burn the spices). This is your masala.

Add the onions to the empty potato pan and sauté till they turn light golden.

Add the masala to the onions, and sauté for a minute or so -- cook until the oil separates from the masala.

Add the meat and yogurt mix to the masala, and cook through; small cubes of good quality lamb could be done in as little as fifteen minutes. (Note: water will come out of the meat and then it will slowly dry out – this is the end point of your meat-cooking: in Bengali or Hindi, this process is called Kasha).

Add the potato pieces and cook with Kasha about five minutes.

Add the water and salt and sugar to taste. Cook till the gravy is reduced (too much water will make it bland; too little water will make it too spicy and strong). Stir often. The gravy should be thick when done.

Throw in your cilantro pieces. Turn off stove, cover, and let sit for about ten minutes.

Serve with rice, roti or naan.

Serves six to eight.

[Bon Appétit.]

Our 2008 Contest winners

Here are the winning and honorable mention recipes for our 2008 Family Recipe Contest. Congratulations to all of you!

1st Place Scandinavien flatbread

Our Grand prize goes to Barbara Myhre of Huron South Dakota for her "Scandinavien Flatbread". Barbara wins a $60 gift certificate from Baskets Unlimited Aberdeen South Dakota.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter just wouldn t be the same at our Myhre holiday celebrations without Flatbread. Flatbread? Yes, that Scandinavian treat my Grandma Myhre passed down to me. Flatbread is just what it says it is flat bread, but more like crackers or baked chips.

Grandma only made flatbread once or twice a year. I first became aware of the work behind this treat when I was in elementary school. I remember the winter day was very cold. Grandma invited me to her house to help make flatbread. When I arrived, she had the dough all stirred up and resting . The house was warm from the wood fire in the basement cook stove.

Grandma had a corner of the basement set up as an old fashioned kitchen a small table, a couple of chairs, a pantry, a cook stove, and a light bulb hanging from a cord.

We descended the steep wooden stairs with supplies in hand. Once she had everything in place and checked the fire, she pinched off a small piece of dough and began working in some flour shaping it into a most perfect sphere. Only when this sphere was to her satisfaction did she start to flatten it, and begin rolling with her grooved rolling pin (still working the dough to keep its circular shape). She used the long, wooden lefsa stick Grandpa had made her to flip the dough over. She rolled and flipped until the dough was paper thin. Then she cut the dough into pieces.

Now it was my turn. Grandma showed me how to place the pieces of flatbread on the cook stove without burning my fingers. The dough contracted and sizzled when it touched the hot surface. I continued to add more pieces until the cook top was full. After a couple minutes, it was time to turn each piece. We considered them done when they were lightly browned and crisp. Often we left a piece off to the side that needed more time to brown or crisp up. One also needed to be aware of the hot spots. We didn t want any to burn. Then the flatbread pieces were gently stacked inside a large, white metal dishpan.

Grandma always took care of the fire . She lifted the round lid with a special tool and stirred up the embers as she added more sticks of wood. It still amazes me how she regulated the temperature.

Grandma continued to roll and I took care of the baking for the next 2 hours. By the time we were done, our faces were flushed red from the warm wood fire and we were tired. I used a common table knife to turn the flatbread pieces, so my fingers were quite sore too.

There were a few dished to do, but I didn t have to stay to help with them. Instead, she found a brown paper grocery bag. She placed a paper towel in the bottom then gently and generously added flatbread for me to carry home.

We had fresh flatbread for supper! But actually, quite a few pieces disappeared before supper. I think my mom hid that brown paper bag so we would have some for later .

Many years have passed since then. Now I am carrying on the family tradition of flatbread. I have searched many recipe books on my quest for Grandma Myhre s recipe. She didn t share hers, so I ve had to rely on my taste memory. I ve settled on this one. It s pretty close; however, the methods are vastly different. I mix this recipe in a bread machine. A longer metal spatula works for flipping while rolling. By placing the flatbread on a cookie sheet, it browns and crisps nicely in about 10 minutes in a 325 degree oven. A grooved rolling pin is needed and a good hiding place is a must! Otherwise, flatbread has a way of disappearing and the holidays may be without our family tradition. You can t eat just one!

From the Kitchen of Barbara Myhre, Huron, SD

½ cup Oil ½ cup Sugar
1 tsp Salt 1 tsp Soda Mix Oil, Sugar, Salt, Soda, Cornmeal
¼ cup Cornmeal

2 cups Buttermilk
2 ½ cups Graham Flour Alternate adding buttermilk and flours.
2-2½ cups White Flour

Add more or less flour until thick enough to handle. Shape into 20 balls. Let rest.
Roll out each ball with a grooved rolling pin on a floured surface. Roll out paper thin. Cut into pieces. Transfer to cookie sheet.
Bake 325 degrees for about 10 minutes until lightly browned and crisp.

Eat plain or with butter.

view 1st place | view 3rd place | view honorable mentions

2nd Place Drop Donuts (Dough Boys)

Our 2nd place prize goes to Rochelle Shmidt for her "Six Generations of Dough Boys" Donut recipe. Rochelle wins a case of barbeque sauces from Grill'n Time of Mina South Dakota.

Great Grandma Thyen remembers Great Great Great Grandma Kranz being famous for her donuts. She remembers going to her house and playing cards and eating fresh donuts. These Drop Donuts (Dough Boys) have been passed down for at least six generations and maybe even farther back. Our family tradition is to make Dough Boys during snow storms. During the recent spring blizzards, our family has been reminiscing and researching this family tradition.

Drop Donuts (Dough Boys)

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 ½ cup buttermilk (or milk with 1 tsp vinegar)
2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon

Drop teaspoonful in hot oil.

Over the years, the recipe has been altered to:
Thaw frozen bread dough. Cut into chunks and fry in hot oil in deep fat fryer. Dip in sugar or cinnamon sugar and enjoy.

view 1st place | view 2nd place | view honorable mentions

3rd Place "Summer-is-here" Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

Our 3rd place prize goes to Linda DeTurk for her "Summer-is-here Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches". She wins a 25 dollar value gift from Char's Kitchen. Turton, SD.

We have 4 daughters who have always liked to help me in the kitchen. It has been our tradition for years that the first week after school is out, we make Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches. It is just a way of celebrating "Summer is Here!". It makes a nice big batch so we enjoy them slowly over time (or share some with the nieghbors!). I started with a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe and made them more "cake like" by adding the milk, so they do not crumble when frozen and bitten into.

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches
2 c. margarine
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 c. brown sugar
3 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1/2 c. milk
2 tsp. soda
2 tsp. salt
7 1/4 to 7 1/2 c. flour
12 oz. package mini chocolate chips
1 gallon vanilla ice cream

Cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla and eggs, and then milk. Stir in dry ingredients and then chocoate chips. Place rounded taspoons full on cookie sheet that has been sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Flatten cookies out with fingers dipped in flour so they are only as thick as the chocolate chips. Bake at 375 degrees until just barely done. (About 10 min.)

When cool, make into ice cream sandwiches by putting 1-2 scoops of softened vanilla ice cream between 2 cookies and flatten gently. Wrap them in foil and freeze. Makes about 3 dozen ice cream sandwiches.

Tip-when ready to make the cookies into ice cream sandwiches we start by matching up similar size and shape cookies into pairs, and we have all the tin foil squares already cut. Then when you actually start putting them together, it goes faster. This is when family teamwork works great!


view 1st place | view 2nd place | view 3rd place

Honorable Mentions

Pot Pie - Cherry Comp ( Cherry wins our bonus prize - A 30 dollar value gift-certificate from The CO-OP Natural Foods. Sioux Falls, SD

4 cups flour
1/2 cup lard or shortening
1 tsp. salt
4 potatoes
chicken, pork, beef, tame or wild rabbit (your preference)

Put meat in kettle and bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 3 hours, or until tender. Peel and cut potatoes and add to broth.

Mix flour, lard, salt and enough milk to make a soft dough. Roll out onto floured board 1/4 inch thick. Cut into squares and drop into the broth about 15 minutes until done.

My most favorite thing that mom used to make when I was growing up is pot pie. Not like a pastry with filling, it was a soup. My mother acquired the recipe from her mother-in-law, Grandma Green. It was considered a depression dish back in those days made with rabbit, beef, pork, whatever was handy. I love it and to this day it’s still my favorite.


Swedish Pancakes - Chrisina O'Hara

My grandfather died when my dad was five and his mother's mother moved in to help raise him and his sister so his mother could go back to work. My great-grandmother was from Sweden and baked and cooked fabulous Swedish meals. So good, in fact, that my dad's lunches were getting stolen out of his locker everyday. Everyone else kept their lockers unlocked in a school "honor system." My dad got a lock!
When my dad went away to college, he asked my grandmother to teach him some of her recipes. This is one of my favorites. He made these pancakes for us every Saturday morning. When I got married and moved out, I asked him to teach me how to make them, too. Now my kids ask for them every Saturday morning and I usually oblige!

Swedish Pancakes
Put in blender and blend until smooth:
2 eggs
2 cups milk
1 cup flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1/3 tsp salt
Pour about a 1/4 cup batter on a hot, buttered cast iron skillet. Lift the skillet to spread the batter. Loosen and flip the pancake when it becomes firm.
Serve rolled with syrup, sugar or Swedish lingonberries.


Bread Pudding - Kathryn Meier

Bread Pudding is certainly no gourmet food BUT . . . .when our five children were small and desserts were limited, I would save the odds and ends of bread, put them in the freezer to be used later to make this favorite dish. I didn't realize this was such a delicacy until after our children were grown and our boys began calling home for the recipe--I decided I must have done something right.

2 slightly beaten eggs 2 c. 1 inch day old
2 1/4 C. milk bread
1 tsp. vanilla 1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 c. raisins if
1/4 tsp. salt you like.
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Combine ingredients and pour mixture into
8 x 1 3/4 inch pan. Place in larger shallow pan with an inch of water and then bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. (Garnish if you wish with a sauce or ice cream) Double the recipe for 9x13 inch pan.


KRAUT BURGER - Carole Kling

Dough Meat Mixture
2 cup milk 1 Lg. White Onion
2/3 cup butter 4 lbs hamburger
2 pkg. yeast 4 16 oz. Cole Slaw
2 t. salt Lots of Salt
2/3 cup sugar Bunches of Pepper
3 eggs beaten
1/2 cup water
8 cups flour

Brown hamburger and chopped onion. Add cole slaw mix and salt and pepper. Cook until cabbage is cooked down . Drain mixture and cool. To make dough, mix wet ingredients together and heat until butter is melted and the let it cool. Add dry ingredients. Knead on a flour surface and let rise for 20 minutes. Pull off a ball of dought, big fist size and roll flat about pie crust size. Cut into four pieces. Spoon on meat mixture and fold and pinch dough closed. Arrange filled dough, pinched side down, on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 about 15 minutes until lightly browned. Makes about 2 dozen.

They freeze very well that's why the receipe is so large. I don't like the cabbage smell in my house very often. But it is worth it.

If your nose doen't run when you eat them you have not added enough pepper. My husband says you have to be a real German to get the pepper just right. Kraut Burgers are his childhood favorite.

I have modernized the receipe some. When his mother and Aunt Millie made them they chopped the cabbage. The cole slaw mix is much easier and the carrots give it a little color. The dough is a Kuchen dough receipe that is a bit lighter the the one his folks used.

The first time I made Kraut burgers was when we were newly married and I had no idea what they were or how to make them and my husbands directions were a bit far from the mark. The receipe comes from his German Russian heritage and is popular back in Colorado where he grew up. When we make them they have to be well hidden in the freezer or my children and grandchildren fight over them


Marinara Sauce: - Cena Keller

1/4 C. of good quality olive oil
7-10 cloves of garlic (depending on the size) minced
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (1/4 tsp. if you don't like it as hot)
2 16 oz. cans of organic crushed tomatoes
2 T. dried leaf basil
1 T. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. sea salt
black pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
(to make a deeper, richer sauce, sometimes i add 1/2 C. good red wine, but it does change the recipe, it definitely becomes a heavier sauce, but delicious)
Saute' the garlic and red pepper flakes on medium/low until translucent; add tomatoes, basil, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to a simmer for at least an hour. You can let this sauce simmer as long as you like as long as it as at a gentle simmer. This is such a versatile sauce. Serve with pasta, meatballs, for stuffed pasta's, lasagna, you can add a can of tomato paste and a 1/2 tsp. fennel seed to make it into pizza sauce. I usually double or triple the recipe and then freeze extra. It always comes in handy.

I grew up like a typical mid westerner. My folks didn't have a lot of money and my father liked meat. Mostly meat. So we always had meat and a couple of vegetables. My folks always had a garden in the summer, so they canned most of their vegetables. I grew up eating this type of meal every night. We didn't have casseroles, or pasta's, or rice, nothing like that. I did however, grow up eating any kind of vegetable that they grew. When I started cooking, I cooked the same way my folks did. Meat and vegetables. I was always interested in ethnic foods, but was intimidated. This recipe came to me from a friend that moved to South Dakota from Connecticut about 20 years ago when I started cooking. She and her husband were Italian and she could not get over the shock of the landscape of South Dakota, but mostly she could not get over the shock of the lack of produce at a small midwest grocery store. She gave me this recipe and helped me make it the first time. I loved it, my family still loves it. To me now, it is my family recipe that I will pass down to my children. Any time my kids are sick, or sad or just plain tired, they always request this recipe. To them, it's their comfort food. I love that it's good for them and again, so versatile. As a midwesterner, we like to stretch the dollar and have it go farther. This recipe does that, yet it tastes so good. The best red sauce I have ever tasted.


Watermelon Pickles - Marla Hyatt

Ingredients: 10 cups watermelon rind cut into 1" cubes (remove outside skin and leave about 1/4" of pink attached) -
Boiling water to cover
1 teaspoon alum
2 teaspoons salt
8 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cup "cinnamon hot" candies
1/4 teaspoon clove oil
Place watermelon cubes in very large stew or soup pot - pour water over to cover by about 1". Remove watermelon to a large bowl using a slotted spoon. (This gives you the measure you need for the water.)

Bring the water remaining in pan to a boil. Dissolve alum and salt in water. Add watermelon back and cook until tender, drain. Place in large glass bowl.

In large saucepan combine the sugar, 2 cups of water, cinnamon candies and clove oil. Bring to a boil. Pour over rinds in bowl, cover and let stand overnight. In the morning, drain the syrup from the rinds and bring to a boil - pour back over the rinds. Repeat for 2 more days. On the last morning return watermelon and syrup to the large pan and bring to a boil. Spoon into 1 pint jars and either freeze or hot-water process in boiling water canner for 20 minutes. (Count the time after water returns to a boil when jars are added.) Makes about 6 pints.

In our family nothing is supposed to go to waste. My mother started gathering up the watermelon rinds after our annual family picnic get togethers and making watermelon pickles. Then she would give jars of these yummy pickles to my aunts and uncles at the holidays - a great reminder of our summer picnics and an excellent addition to their holiday tables. I still can't stand to see people throw away their watermelon rinds, so I have continued the tradition. I found a great sale on cinnamon candies one year and substituted them for ground cinnamon, cinnamon oil and pickling spice that she had used in her original recipe. I've found that kids really like the "mellower" flavor of these pickles.


Homemade egg noodles - Mary Brasfield

2cups flour
3 eggs
pinch of sugar
dash of salt
1 or 2 T of water if dough is too dry

mix all ingredients together. knead dough on floured surface and roll thin. Works better if you can leave it to dry for a couple of hours. Then with a knife or pizza cutter cut your noodles- make them thin. Drop them in boiling chicken or turkey broth.



This recipe for homemade pinto beans is a recent addition to my recipe binder. This is the Estrada Family Pinto Bean Recipe. My fiance, Andy, is of Mexican heritage. His Grandfather and Grandmother legally immigrated to Nebraska from Mexico in the 1940's. This past February, Andy's Grandfather passed away, and we drove 25 hours straight to be with the family. This was the first time I met his Abuela (Grandmother) and his Tias (Aunts). Needless to say it was a hard first meeting given the circumstances. By the end of our 5 days stay his family had taught me their secret recipes for flour tortillas, and beans. I usually make the beans and tortillas when he's feeling homesick or having a bad week and its my special way of telling him I love him, since his family lives across the country.



-2 C. dried pinto beans; rinsed and picked through
-2 cloves garlic
-1 tsp. jalepeno; finely chopped
-1/2 tsp. cumin
-1/4 tsp. marjoram
-1/8 tsp. rosemary
-2 slices of bacon; chopped
-1 tsp. olive oil
-4 C. water

In a 2 qt. crockpot combine all the ingredients. Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 6-8 hours. Serves 6-8.


Chocolate chip crumb cake - Jessie Apfel

1 1/4 cups baking mix
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and flour an 8-inch square pan.

In a small bowl, combine all topping ingredients until the mixture is crumbly; Set aside.

For the cake, beat together the baking mix, sugar, sour cream, butter, vanilla and egg for about 30 seconds, scraping the bowl constantly. Then increase the speed to medium and beat 4 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Hand stir in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half the topping. Spread remaining half of batter and top with remaining topping. Gently press toping down into batter. Bake cake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

My grandmother used to make chocolate chip crumb cake for every family gathering that we would have. It was always my favorite and I would beg her to make more. Eventually, it got to the point where she would make two for every for me, and one for everyone else in the family. I would take an entire crumb cake home with me (eating a lot of it on the car ride home!) and always think of my grandmother when I ate it. At some point, we began to make it together, and it was always fun cooking and leaning with her. We experimented with all different ways of preparing it. This quick and easy version was our latest and last creation.


Sour Cream Parmesan Potatoes - Trisha Kruse

Our family spent several years in Italy when I was growing up. That's where I learned my first lessons in cooking with fresh, local ingredients. This is one of the tradiotional countly recipes we brought back to the US with us. The Parmesan cheese is what really sets this apart from other potato casseroles – it’s worth splurging on a wedge of the real stuff to make this!

2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, minced
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange potatoes over the bottom of the dish, and set aside. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion; cook and stir until the onion is transparent, about 5 minutes. Stir in 3 tablespoons butter until melted. Sprinkle the flour, salt, and pepper over the onion mixture. Cook and stir until mixture about 2 minutes. Continue to stir the flour mixture while gradually pouring in the milk. Add the sour cream and reduce heat. Stir in 1 cup Parmesan cheese; cook for 3-5minutes until melted, and mixture is smooth. Pour the mixture over the potatoes in the baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, uncover and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes more. Makes 8-10 servings.


SWISS ONION PIE - Marlys Barrie Burke

1 cup finely crushed saltine crackers (about 26 crackers)
4 tbsp. oleo melted.
Combine cracker crumbs and oleo, press into bottom and sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Refrigerate while preparing filling.

6 slices bacon, fried and crumbled
1 cup chopped onion
8 oz. swiss cheese, shredded ( 2 cups)
3/4 cup dairy sour cream
2 slightly beaten eggs
dash pepper

In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 tbsp. bacon fat, add onion and cook until tender but not brown.

Combine all ingredients. Pour into the reserved cracker crumb shell. Bake at 375 deg. for 30 minutes or until knife inserted just off center comes out clean. Sprinkle with

2 oz, sharp cheddar cheese, shredded ( about 2 cups)

return to oven for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting and serving. Make 6 to 8 servings and is a good brunch dish. It can be prepared the day before and put into the pie shell when ready to bake. May also be cooked, cooled and frozen, then reheated.


I have adapted the above recipe for individual hors d'ouevres as follows:
Buy 2 rolls of Pillsbury butterflake dinner rolls. Remove them from dthe package and carefully separate them in half . (if there are 10 in the package you will end up with 20). Press and shape them into little muffin or tart tins. (about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter). Spray them with"Pam" before use. Put about a heaping tsp. of the filling into each muffin tin and cook in the 375 degree oven for about 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the sharp cheddar and return to oven for a minute or two to melt the cheese. Serve hot, and may be reheated in the oven. I make a double batch around the holidays and put them into the deep freeze. If possible thaw them and reheat in a 400 deg. oven for about 10 minutes. That way I always have a quick treat ready when guests stop by.

I use this recipe a lot and guests always love them


Peaches & Cream Pie - Renee Duman
3 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
4 cups fresh peaches
2 pie crusts (one for top, one for bottom)

Beat eggs slightly, add rest of ingredients. Pour into pie crust and add top crust. Brush top crust lightly with milk, then sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400* for 55 minutes. Enjoy!

This recipe was created by me at a time when I sought to create a bright spot in the life of my family. We were going through some challenging times and I needed to find a way to connect with everyone, to remind them that even on the darkest of days, you can find a reason to smile. Sitting around a steaming pie is surely a reason to smile! Since that first time, whenever we have a big decisison to ponder, or one of us is down, everyone knows by the sweet fragrence wafting from the kitchen that we need to band together, we need to break bread and enforce the bonds that make us family so that we can overcome whatever obstacle that stands in our way. And somehow, sitting there eating the tender fruit nestled in clouds of creamy custard and cradled in the flakiest crust, we each are reminded that we are not alone in our problems, that our love for one another is unconditional and infinite, that we can rise above all that holds us down as long as we have eachother - and a brand-new pie coming out of the oven!


A pig and a goat on a date - Jim Mathis

This is a very simple recipe for a delicious and fun appetizer... I jokingly call it "A pig and goat go on a date". The result is crunchy and chewy, sweet and salty all at once.

12 medjool dates, pitted (Available at the The Co-op Natural Foods in Sioux Falls)
Organic Goat Cheese (Also available at the The Co-op Natural Foods in Sioux Falls)
1/2 pound of Pancetta (Italian bacon)

Stuff each of the dates with about a half tablespoon of goat cheese and wrap each with a slice of pancetta. Place on a rack on a shallow baking dish (like a jelly roll pan) and place under broiler at 450 degrees for about 7 minutes, or until the pancetta is crisp. Allow to cool for a few minutes, until you can easily handle. Serve warm.


Baked Potato Soup - Gretchen Hagin

- 4 large baking potatoes (about 2-¾ pounds)
- 2/3 cup butter or margarine
- 2/3 cup all- purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 6 cups milk
- 1 cup (4 oz.) thinly sliced green onions
- 10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
- 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese

Bake potatoes at 350 degrees for 65-70 minutes, or until tender; cool completely. Peel and cube potatoes
In a large saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk. Bring to boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened
Remove from heat; whisk in sour crème. Add potatoes and green onions.Garnish with bacon cheese

YIELD: 10 servings

Grandma Valland's Potato Cakes or Lefse - Ruth Morey, Aberdeen, SD

Ingredients: 4 cups mashed potatoes, cooled
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 & 1/2 cups flour

Make into balls, after mixing well.

Roll out thin and bake on lefse grill or iron skillet.