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100 Recipes Every Mom (or Dad) Should Know, Chowhound edition

So, I've seen a couple of cookbooks out there "100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know" and "100 Recipes Every Mom Needs in her Back Pocket"; I'm wondering if we could come up with a Chowhound version of these lists. I figure that the meals I put on the table for the next decade and a half will end up being the dishes my child looks back at (hopefully) fondly in 30 years, the dishes he remembers from his childhood that remind him of home.

My list from childhood would include my mom's spaghetti with meat sauce, chili, pot roast, her Thanksgiving turkey stuffing, and grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup. My grandmother's fudge, brownies, pop corn balls, chili, chicken soup, pancakes all make my list.

But, which essential dishes from my cooking repertoire today will someday make my grown child's list? Or, which would I want, anyway?

Looking at what we cook today I hope it would be my pulled pork, catfish sloppy joes, my husband's spaghetti and chili, chicken quinoa hot dish, my husband's rhubarb pie, dan dan noodles, enchiladas... Hopefully my roast chicken, since I cook it all the time.

Hmmm not sure what else , but I wish I had a good chocolate chip cookie in my repertoire. A pad Thai.

What would be on your essential list of dishes you'd want your kid to remember fondly from his or her childhood? I debated putting this on General Chowhounding Topics, but I wanted people to share their tried and true recipes, if they wanted.

What's on your list (that maybe should be on my list, too?)


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  1. At my house it would be spaghetti carbonara. Our oldest son asks for it every year for his birthday.

    1 Reply
    1. DQ...good to see you here. You covered a few of the items that I believe should be in everyone's "repertoire". Such as chicken soup. I make it three different ways: a creamy vegetable, clear with Matzo balls and noodles, and a Latin inspired, with cumin, oregano and cilantro.

      I want to preface my favorites, as I make with my slant even if they might be suggested again.

      My girls love my chocolate chip cookie cake with a chocolate gouache and chopped pecans sprinkled on top.

      A roux
      Grilled chicken breast
      Bolognese sauce with pasta

      And # 1 on my list....

      Liver ( I know, but I loved it as a kid and still do) breaded, and fried with onions. It is my obligation as a parent to at least provide my offspring with one food nightmare so they can write about it in later life!

      3 Replies
      1. re: PHREDDY

        Would you share your recipe for chocolate chip cookie cake? I love the liver and onions idea! And, of course, "your slant" on these dishes is what will cause your children to long for them, because no one will ever make them quite like you do!


        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          I will tomorrow,, am flying home today....

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            Sorry for the delay...
            Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
            2 1/2 cups of flour
            1/3 tsp baking powder
            1 tsp salt
            2 sticks of butter softened
            3/4 cup of sugar
            3/4 cup of brown sugar packed
            2 tsp vanilla extract
            2 extra large eggs
            2 cups of chocolate chips...I like the mini chips
            1/2 cup of chopped Walnuts

            Mix dry ingredients.
            Cream the butter and sugars and vanilla then add eggs one at a time
            Add dry items slowly and mix thoroughly.
            Mix in by hand the chocolate chips.
            Spread dough onto a 12 inch round pizza sheet/pan
            bake about 20 to 25 minutes at 350 degrees. The top of the cake should be soft, not hard, let cool to room temperature.
            Coat with a chocolate gouache and sprinkle with the chopped walnuts. (I use semisweet chocolate, with some butter melted in a double boiler and add some warmed up heavy cream to smooth it out, and remove from heat immediately.)

        2. Chicken Soup---made with lots of veggies
          white turnip, parsley root,celeriac, parsnip, celery,carrots
          leek,onion,flat parsley, dill, 2 plum tomatoes

          Chopped Liver-onions-shmaltz

          Roast Turkey

          cranberry sauce-mama sandberg's

          zucchini bread-recipe from James Beard's Beard on Bread

          cucumber salad- kirbycukes-spring onions,dill,white balsamic vinegar,+

          pickles-honest to ha-shem pickles

          3 Replies
          1. re: jpr54_1

            ooh, could you share the chicken soup and cucumber salad recipes? i know the salad seems simple but I've never been able to master that.

            1. re: fara

              cucumber salad
              use kirby cukes-peel, cut thinly-sprinkle salt on slices and onions-let sit overnite-rinse-add remaining ingredients-plus a small amt-1 tsp of sugar

              for the chicken soup I use a whole pullet cut in quarters-
              plus chicken feet, giblets plus unborn chicken eggs if i can find them

              1. re: jpr54_1

                jpr54_1, I can tell you are definitely using home grown chickens, don't get those unborn chicken eggs in store bought chickens!

                Whatever organ those little eggs were in, my granny would clean the eggs out, keep them & wash that tube (sorta looked like tripe) & chop & cook it in some other chicken parts to make such a wonderful broth poured over rice.

                Sorry I got off post, but as soon as you said unborn chicken eggs I had a flashback to many years ago. My granny called them that too.

                Thanks for the memory.

          2. Here's a chocolate chip cookie from Cook's Illustrated that I made for years. In fact, there was an annual party I was told not to bother to attend if I didn't bring a batch of them. There have been a number of discussions about this cookie here on CH over the years and some people say they don't bother with the specific instructions about how to form the cookie, but I find the method of forming them essential to the texture of the end product. Try this one and see if you think it as memorable as many do.


            2 Replies
              1. re: JoanN

                I think forming the cookies on these makes a big difference and use it for other recipes, too. I like the texture of the end product.

              2. "Looking at what we cook today I hope it would be my pulled pork, catfish sloppy joes, my husband's spaghetti and chili,"


                My husband's chili and spaghetti????

                Please tell me more as there are a 1,000 ways to make that. My interest is aroused.

                As for 100 dishes?
                Hell, I keep a good 25 to 30 in std. rotation and sub in whatever is on sale or fresh at the mkt. for the rest.

                100? No way.

                Joy of Cooking for SOP for the art of cooking.
                Barron's The New Food Lovers Companion for what the heck I am cooking by ingredient.

                Choc. chip cookies? Std. tollhouse drop cookie recipe from the Nestle's bag . I;ve never had a bad batch except when I have used low quality butter with a high moisture content.

                For me it's home made meatballs amd spicy sausage with "Sunday Gravy" aka homemade spaghetti sauce, white chicken chili, basil pesto, meatloaf with ketchup/basalmic and brown sugar glaze and garlic mashed potatoes.

                Learn the basics and build on them.

                Reminds me of a carpenter story of the "meaure twice cut once theory." But the young journeyman keeps coming back saying "I cut this 2x4 3 times already and it's STILL too short.


                14 Replies
                1. re: jjjrfoodie

                  Not to disparage my husband's cooking in any way, but there's nothing exceptional about his spaghetti or chili--just a basic recipe with ground beef (though we often use bison) and lots of onion. He uses McCormick spices packets. On, and his meatloaf, too. (We like Gio's Chipotle Bison meatloaf recipe, though we have an oatmeal one we use a lot, too.) I was just thinking that these dishes are ones we have often (especially in winter for the chili and spaghetti) and, therefore, they would be likely to become permanently imbedded in the family culinary memory. And, in a way, it's why I'm asking the question. Some of these dishes may just end up becoming memorable by default and maybe I'd put a little more thought into perfecting a few standards while my toddler is still little.

                  Meatballs with Sunday gravy is a terrific dish to include in a repertoire.

                  And as far as a 100 dishes--it's a stretch for sure, but between all of the family recipes and mine, I've more or less mentioned about 20 dishes in my OP already! If you count breakfast recipes, and seasonal recipes and holiday favorites, I'll bet you could get to 100 faster than you think.

                  I love some of the others folks have already mentioned: zucchini bread, spaghetti carbonara, cranberry sauce, pickles, liver and onions!


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    Had to google Gio's Chipotle Bison Meatloaf and came up with http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/526852 We often cook with Bison so I can't wait to try this! Thank you TDQ & Gio (:

                    When we make meatloaf it's a ground chicken version baked in muffin tins to speed up cooking time.

                    1. re: maplesugar

                      Smart on the muffin tins. I've heard you can also bake it flat on a jelly roll pan, meatloaf brownies of sort...but I've yet to try it as it's not really meatloaf season right now.


                  2. re: jjjrfoodie

                    I think you missed the point here. We all hope our kids become good cooks, but we also want them to be able to recreate that favorite dish the way mom/dad always made it.

                    I made a "family cookbook" for my kids, and put in well over 100 recipes. It included, in addition to a selection of family pictures,

                    coconut meringue cookies from a very old big red cookbook, and peanut butter fudge that we make at Christmas

                    the wacky cake recipe that I used for birthday cakes for years and years (just made one for my granddaughter.. the secret ingredient is decaf coffee)

                    our very favorite mac and cheese (we are a roux-based household)

                    chirashi zushi, known as Mom's Sushi Salad

                    the very best potato salad, from a different big red cookbook

                    my mother's sausage casserole with almonds

                    my grandmother's recipes for pie crust and homemade noodles, as I wrote them down when she taught them to me 45 years ago

                    my Aunt Bea's sausage gravy

                    and so on, but you get the drift. There are thousands of recipes for any of these dishes, but having the special recipe that you remember fondly is priceless.

                    1. re: DebinIndiana

                      What a wonderful list! We have a lost peanut butter fudge recipe in our family. Would you mind sharing yours?

                      And, I think a family cookbook is a wonderful idea--I've been thinking about one to capture recipes from my mom's generation. Did you use one of the online cookbook softwares like tastebook?


                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                        Dairy Queen: Go for it! It is a lot of fun to make a cookbook! It will take 'way longer than you think (mine started as a present for a June wedding and ended as a Christmas gift...), but it is worth it.

                        I looked into some of the available internet services and software packages for producing a cookbook, and found them all too expensive. (I do not recall if tastebook was one I looked at, and this was 3-4 years ago.)

                        Also, I am a control freak, and using some of the services meant tying yourself to a specific publishing service, or to continuing to use only that package to maintain the resulting book. I figured, if I was going to spend my time on such a big project, I wanted complete control.

                        The price and quality of laser printers for home use was the deciding factor. The book turned out beautiful.

                        I am an engineer, so I wrote the cookbook in Microsoft Word, like a technical document. It had 15 chapters, so that I could use an Avery tab set and three ring binder to organize it. I used the table of contents and index functions of Word to make master and chapter TOCs and an index to make it easier to look things up.

                        I established a common format for all the recipes using Word tables, and used it throughout. I used a post-it like format to add a lot of comments to the book -- like whose favorite recipe it was or what birthday/holiday we made it for.

                        I put LOTS of family pictures in it -- that was the best part, since we have not shared old photos in any other way in my family. Lots of pictures of my kids, especially with their grandparents. I also asked my new daughter-in-law's mom for some of her pictures and recipes to welcome Anna to our family.

                        Rather than pay what it would cost to publish a 200 page book from a service, I bought a laser printer and scanner (scanner to scan in the photos from the time before digital cameras), and printed it myself on slightly heavier than normal paper.

                        Now, I realize I had an advantage since I am an experienced Word user from my job, but I do recommend this method for a couple of reasons:
                        1.) You maintain control of all the source material and can share the file with anyone (like my daughter-in-law's mom or my daughter's friends who like to eat at our house) by just making a pdf file and mailing it to them.
                        2.) You can add more recipes later (errata or additions) -- I am working on a new set of printouts for this Christmas, including pictures of my new grand-daughter.
                        3.) A three-ring binder seems like the perfect family cookbook to me, since anyone can add their favorites -- I included blank punched paper -- but it would also be easy and cheap to take it to Kinko's and have it spiral-bound.
                        4.) I ended up with a great printer and scanner for the cost of publishing.

                        I will also say that if you have a sister or cousin or someone who might want to be co-author, I think that making it a joint project would make it more fun. It would have been good to have someone to collaborate with and talk about decisions. And to share the work! You could use a file-sharing service like Google drive to collaborate if you are not close geographically.

                        One last thought on cookbooks that will maybe provide more encouragement: if you are lucky enough to still have your mom or aunts with you, they will probably be thrilled to see the book. My mom found "Grandma B.'s Cranberry Relish" with a picture of her and my oldest on the page, gave the page a little pat and grinned big! (Making no assumptions on age here, but my own mom is in her 80s, and maintained her recipes on typed index cards.)

                        Recipe -- since I rarely post to Chowhound, I hesitate to post the peanut butter fudge -- I got it 25 years ago from a church cookbook, and it fits in that category of "are you shy of sharing trashy recipes?" I'll get flamed off before I have de-lurked for even a month.

                        Like so many trashy recipes, though, it has been a big hit with anyone who ever ate it. And, it supports my point. What is special about this recipe is that it was one we made together when the kids were young.

                        Peanut Butter Fudge
                        (kids love to make this -- it changes color and takes NO skill)

                        1 lb. margarine (not the soft kind in a bowl)
                        1 lb. Velveeta
                        Melt together in microwave or double-boiler.
                        Set aside.
                        4 lb. powdered sugar
                        22 oz. jar peanut butter
                        In very large bowl, cut peanut butter into powdered sugar as if for pie crust. The peanut butter will seem to disappear.
                        Add the melted mixture to the powdered sugar mixture and mix well.
                        Pat into two 9x11 inch pans and chill.
                        Cut into very small squares to serve.

                        1. re: DebinIndiana

                          Thank you for this cookbook advice and the recipe. I've already started collecting recipes and photos, but got stalled due to some other life distractions. I do think I'll get back to the cookbook eventually though. Maybe next year. Doing it in word sounds so daunting. Wide-open, intimidating blank page problem... Very interesting that you found it more cost effective to just buy a printer and scanner! Smart. What do you mean by "post-it format"?

                          I don't think your PB fudge recipe is the same as my family's missing recipe, alas, because I don't remember Velveeta being part of it, but it does sound like a lot of fun and, therefore, certainly worth trying. Don't ever let anyone flame you off Chowhound for posting a recipe you enjoy. Everyone's tastes are different and yours is as legitimate as anyone else's. And, as you point out so nicely, sometimes food is about tradition and family as about anything else.

                          Thank you so much!


                          1. re: The Dairy Queen

                            DQ: I'm pretty sure you would remember if your lost fudge recipe had included Velveeta -- it's not the sort of thing one forgets!

                            I know the blank page gumption trap very well, and understand that one of the ways to fight it is to create a structure to work in. You might download a template from the web and use that as your starting point. There are lots of Word templates available, and then you can just start plugging in a recipe or two whenever you feel like it.

                            The "post-it formatting" that I did for my book was nothing special -- it was to highlight personal comments. I formatted all the recipes alike, but I found an assortment of editable clip art that looked like someone had stuck a post-it onto the page. Using the clip art, the final page looked like a recipe page with a note added.

                            If you inherit a cookbook or a recipe collection, the notes scribbled in are usually the best part ("Make this for Deb" "Try less sugar next time" "Would be good with cheese") Adding the post-it notes was how I emulated the cookbook scribbles, although my comments were more about people than about the recipes.

                          2. re: DebinIndiana

                            Wow, Deb, can you come & organize my recipes??

                            And: Velveeta fudge! I remember that from growing up in Kentucky. It may not be gourmet, but I remember it being delicious. I have a recipe (floating around somewhere--see why I need you?) for "Opera Fudge" that also uses Velveeta--had forgotten about that!

                            1. re: pine time

                              I'd probably enjoy organizing your recipes -- taking chaos and turning it into managed information is what I do and enjoy. (Sad, I know, and yep, that control freak thing...)

                              Just think of all the great recipes I'd be able to cadge!

                              1. re: DebinIndiana

                                You're hired! :o) But seriously..if thats true? You could make some serious money. I like to organize too but..factor in the info I have on the computer and I want to flush it all. I seriously doubt I'm the only one.

                                1. re: DebinIndiana

                                  Deb, if you're still out there, I actually thought of this thread yesterday as I began to tackle the archeological dig that is my recipe pile.

                                  I exclusively use cookbooks and paper recipes (don't do any on-line organizing), and I purged at least 200 bits of clippings and print-outs of stuff I'd never made nor probably will live long enough to make.

                                  Actually grabbed manila folders and began organizing--not just "mains," but beef, chx, etc, like 99% of the world does. Whew.

                                  However, then I tried to put the manilas into an accordion file to keep 'em all together, and broke the seams on the file. Still some purging to do.

                                  1. re: pine time

                                    Good for you, pine time. It is so hard to get rid of the bottom half of a large collection. Sounds as if you may have a challenge reducing to one file -- don't get too ambitious!

                                    So tell me -- did this happen to you? You start organizing and purging, with the plan to keep only the "best of the best" --recipes you really love -- and you end up with a new pile of untried recipes that bubbled back up to the top, and not only can you not throw them away, you want to try them out this week!

                                    1. re: DebinIndiana

                                      Of course--I thought that was a given! :)
                                      I need to quit ripping new recipes out of magazines, but that just sounds so sad...

                      2. I'd agree with most of the things on the list so far.

                        My 36 year old son still wants Mom's meatloaf with a baked potato and cream corn virtually every time he comes over to eat dinner. He also insists on having a side order of green bean casserole with the Thanksgiving dinner. It has to use Del Monte's French cut beans, Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup and French's onion rings. God forbid if make any substitutions like fresh beans or béchamel sauce.

                        I'd add beef stew made in a pressure cooker using the old Presto recipe.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: TomDel

                          So sweet. When your son was a child did the meatloaf as a favorite of his or has that been a surprise, looking back? And, yes, family Thanksgiving recipes are sacred, I'm afraid!


                        2. for at least a year(!) my 4yo's favorite dinner has been tacos. I season blackeyed peas and use the refrigerated corn tortillas. It's a good recipe, passed down from both sides of my divorced parents- each claim to have been the one to invent it, also the only shared recipe as far as I can tell.

                          maybe because she's young and dh is learning how to cook, we don't have a ton of "favorites' in rotation. I hope she will remember my vegetable matzo ball soup- matzo balls in chicken soup but with a sofrito base of leeks, onions, and parsley, followed by chopped broccolini added at the very end.

                          dh's chicken cutlets are always a favorite- pound some chicken breasts with a mallet and dip in flour,egg, and panko and then pan fry in sunflower or olive oil.

                          Perhaps homemade pizza, made with raw bakery dough and fresh tomato sauce. Pretty amazing.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: fara

                            Would you share your blackeyed peas tacos recipe? You've got some wonderful dishes on your list that will make fine memories someday.


                          2. For an amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe, check out the one from the NYT. It's excellent.

                            What's on my list:
                            My spag bol (adapted from my mom's version)
                            Cincinnati Chili
                            Chicken Marbella
                            Chicken Veracruz
                            Fish or Shrimp Tacos with guac and pico de gallo
                            Creamiest mashed potatoes
                            Curry Udon
                            Japanese Spaghetti (Spicy salty fish roe with spaghetti)
                            Chicken meatballs
                            My scrambled eggs
                            Banana Bread
                            Flourless Chocolate Cake
                            Cranberry Almond Cookies with Quinoa

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Apple

                              Ohh! I'd love your recipe for the cranberry almond cookies with quinoa, if you wouldn't mind sharing. Terrific list. I need to put banana bread on my list too.


                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                It's not my recipe! I got it from Bon Appetit last year and making it ever since.


                                For an awesome banana bread, I have also switched to this banana bread recipe. It's excellent.


                                I've been loving bon appetite very hard over the last two years. I hope you can see why. :)

                              2. re: Apple

                                Also after additional time to reflect, I should add:

                                Perfect Pan Seared Salmon (with enough corally pink in the middle)

                                Chopped Salad
                                Green Goddess Dressing
                                Ceasar Salad with home made dressing
                                Caramelized Brussell Sprouts with Bacon and Anchovy Butter
                                Apple Cranberry Chutney

                                1. re: Apple

                                  This is a great list. I love Green Goddess and homemade Caesar dressing. I would love your recipe for the sprouts. I can't figure out a good way to make them but I think as a cabbage, broccoli and other sulfur-y vegetable lover I would really enjoy them and the bacon and anchovies sound like a great combination. Also, what's your pan seared salmon method for a nice medium rare? It's hit or miss with me whether I can get crispy skin without overcooking.

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    not a recipe per se.. because I do it differently everything as it varies based on what we have in the fridge and what's for dinner. (but inspired by dinner at lucky peach (David Chang) in nyc.)

                                    a quantity of brussel sprouts, washed and trimmed (slice of bottom stem and sliced in half)
                                    1 small white onion diced
                                    a quantity of anchovies - I use about 4 or 5 - chopped roughly
                                    about 4 strips of bacon -cut into strips - fried and set aside. (if I have leftover bacon from breakfast, I just cut it up and use that instead.)
                                    some kind of acid - lemon juice, rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar (depends)
                                    salt and pepper

                                    Heat a large skillet over medium high. Add vegetable oil (or bacon fat) and heat until it shimmers. The pan should be pretty hot to get a nice colour on the sprouts.

                                    Throw in brussel sprouts - resist the urge to touch them until they start to get caramelized. Saute them around abit so they can get lovely and golden. Throw in the onions and anchovies, turn down the heat - you want them to cook but not burn. The anchovies will start melt and disappear. I use smallish sprouts so they usually get cooked without blanching first, however, if they sprouts are slightly larger, I add about 1/4 to 1/2 c of water to allow the BS to steam out...
                                    Once cooked, I toss in the bacon and a hit of acidity. Taste and then finish with pepper and fleur de sel (if necessary.) If I am making an Asian flavoured dish, I might add a touch of sriracha or you could finish with an oyster sauce, etc. I have seen a recipe that finished with maple syrup... I could get on board with that! :)

                                    It took me years to get the salmon just right - then I found a technique that a lot of restaurants use for steaks - finishing it in the oven. Heat oven to about 350 degrees. Preparing your salmon well. Pat dry with paper towels, then sprinkle skin side with pepper and fleur de sel. Heat a skillet over about medium high, add vegetable oil. Carefully place the fish skin side down onto the pan. Sprinkle flesh side with a little more pepper and fleur de sel. Cook for about 5 minutes depending on how thick the fish is. DO NOT TOUCH the fish - no flipping, prodding, etc. Finish fish in the oven for another 4 or 5 minutes. I like it a little on the rarer side but I often serve it closer to medium rare for guests.

                                    It took a couple of tries to get the fish just so but I also found the keys to success were hot pan, starting with fish that is patted dried, no touching, and to use fillets that were generally pretty uniform in thickness. If the ends are really thin, I trim it and the bits for scrambled eggs or something.

                                    Hope this helps.

                              3. If we're talking about true "must have's" then....
                                Mashed potatoes
                                Whole roasted chicken
                                Steak :)
                                Hamburger patties (from beef, not hockey pucks)
                                Some sort of pasta with sauce
                                And I'm vietnamese so my kid will be knowing how to make a big pot of pho :)

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: darrentran87

                                  If I made great pho I'd want it to be on the list, too!


                                  1. re: darrentran87

                                    if my daughter could master only one recipe, I'd make it the whole roast chicken.

                                  2. Eggs - in all its wonderful variations
                                    Macaroni and cheese
                                    Roast chicken

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                      It's clear to me I'd better get a mac and cheese recipe in my repertoire. It's on so many lists!


                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                        Indeed, it's quite possibly my favorite food if I had to choose only one.

                                    2. my spaghetti and meatballs. Challah bread. Potato latkes. Basic roast beef. But even more important than passing down to my children specific recipes would be imparting to my children a love for trying new things in the kitchen, never being frightened of new cuisines or ingredients or methods of cooking.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: ahuva

                                        how do u make your latkes?
                                        kind of potato? flour/matza meal, oil?onion

                                        1. re: jpr54_1

                                          I know you didn't ask me but I love the recipe from the Frugal Gourmet's Christmas cookbook.

                                      2. I disagree with a PP that 100 dishes is too many. Once I started thinking of all the things DH and I cook, it's easy to reach 100.

                                        The top ones for me - DH's pulled pork, salmon with chermoula sauce, chili, chicken parmesan, roasted potatoes, lemon bars, and breakfast (he makes a mean omelet, sausage gravy, pancakes, hash browns - you name it!). My clam chowder, chili corn chowder, lasagna, carbonara (the real stuff - no cream!), fettuccini alfredo, roasted chicken, and cheesecake.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: BostonLover

                                          Great list! Would you share your recipe for chili corn chowder if it's not too much trouble?


                                        2. Chicken Marsala - HH
                                          Swiss Steak
                                          Oven BBQ Pork Tenderloin
                                          Crockpot Pulled Pork
                                          Skillet Lasagna
                                          Steak and a baked potato
                                          Stir Fry
                                          Rice casserole HH
                                          Breaded Pork Chops with mashed potatoes
                                          Pot Roast
                                          Meatloaf HH
                                          Sweet and Sour Pork

                                          7 Replies
                                          1. re: Hank Hanover

                                            Maybe my breakfast was inadequate or something, but everything on your list sounds wonderful and I think I need to have every one of your recipes. OK, I know I've seen your chicken marsala recipe around here somewhere, but I'll have to look for some of the others, I think.


                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                Oh.. I appreciate you digging that up. I figured I was going to have to put them out again. Those are definitely the big hitters on my 25 goto dishes.

                                                I still believe most people should come up with their own 25 goto dishes and keep them very very handy. Even if you have no curiosity or drive to find something different 25 dinners will keep you going month in and month out without getting bored with a dish.

                                                1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                  You know, I'm working on my list of "go to" dishes. I was not a big cook for many years. And then when I started cooking, I did a ton of experimenting, seldom cooking the same dish twice. Now I don't have time for as much experimentation and am really trying to develop a set of go to dishes. Living in MN, it would have to be pretty seasonal, as we eat totally differently when it's subfreezing than when it's 90 degrees out. But I'm working on it!

                                                  Do you have a recipe you wouldn't mind sharing for your breaded pork chops or is it more of a technique?


                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                    Breaded pork chops... not a formal recipe but I will see what I can do.

                                                    I buy boneless center cut pork chops or buy a pork loin and slice them myself. I use 3/4 inch thick chops. Any thinner and you will over cook them. I brine them for 45 minutes. I use 1/4 cup Kosher salt and 1/4 cup light brown sugar to a quart of water for my brine.

                                                    I rinse them off, pat them dry and put pepper and garlic powder on them. Preheat the oven to 350 ° Farenheit.

                                                    I dredge the chops in flour then 50/50 egg/milk solution then italian bread crumbs. Then I pan fry them until the bread coating is brown. Then put them in the oven for 5 - 10 minutes to finish cooking. In the mean time, I have made my mashed potatoes and white gravy and whatever veggie you want. The trick is not to overcook them in the oven.You still want them the tiniest bit pink.

                                                    I can't cook pork much pinker than that especially in the summer. My dead mother would immediately appear and spank me for it. I'm certain of it!

                                                    1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                      Hank, these sound great.

                                                      I have to force myself to overcome my "cook the pork to death" childhood conditioning. My husband actually does much better at this than I do, because he learned a lot of his cooking from me, and I told him it is OK for the pork to be a bit pink if it gets to temperature.

                                                      He believes me. Apparently, I instead believe my mother!

                                            1. re: Hank Hanover

                                              What brand of sweet Marsala do you buy? Do restaurants usually use sweet rather than regular Marsala?

                                            2. I would like to put your husband's spaghetti & chili in my recipe files. I have no children to pass my recipes on to, but I am happily eating my way down the line anyway!

                                              Great post, will be interesting to see what folks come up with.

                                              Sorry, I see the spaghetti was addressed further on down.

                                              11 Replies
                                              1. re: cstout

                                                If you are serious, I will ask my husband for his recipes to share, but they really are very ordinary. I love them because he makes them with love, in the sense that he cooks when he knows I'm tired or frazzled or in need of extra vitamin c (more onions!), and, without even asking, he'll just quietly go into the kitchen, turn on the radio, and start cooking. He does all of the shopping and cooking and clean-up (though, we almost always have all of the ingredients on hand for these recipes, so shopping is seldom part of the equation).


                                                1. re: cstout

                                                  cstout, almost didn't read all the replies, 'cause I don't have kids, either, but decided to read every reply 'cause I do love to cook and to eat!

                                                  1. re: pine time

                                                    cstout, pine time and anyone else reading along, please don't feel like having kids is some kind of litmus test for participating in this thread. Everyone's perspective and comments are welcome. I'm a newish mom and so that's the lens through which I view a lot of things lately. I assume eventually I'll just settle into the role and not seem all hyper mom'ish all the time.

                                                    And as for your perspectives, you were once children and know how your own food memories might have been formed. And if you have nieces and nephews or friends with kids, don't be surprised if that signature salad, or whatever, you bring to Thanksgiving dinner every year becomes part of someone's food memory!

                                                    Plus, at the end of the day, this thread is just about eating good food!


                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      Nicely said, DQ.

                                                      I laughed, 'cause my "*(9#! Brownies are the favorite of my friends, and several of their now-grown kids are asking for my recipe. (They're really Amaretto Truffle Brownies, but such a pain to make, they became the *(9#! Brownies. Even tho' the official recipe uses a boxed mix, I start with a scratch recipe, so I've tinkered with it for over 20 years.)

                                                        1. re: sweetTooth

                                                          Amaretto Truffle-top Brownies
                                                          48 to 54 bars (yeah, right)

                                                          21 1/2 oz pkg Fudge Brownie mix (note: I use my own brownie base; have been told this size box is now hard to find, so if you use a smaller box, reduce the oil/water a bit)
                                                          1/2 c oil
                                                          1/2 c water
                                                          2 Tbl Amaretto (can sub 1 tsp almond extract)
                                                          1 egg
                                                          3/4 c chopped almonds (I toast 'em lightly 1st)

                                                          8 oz cream cheese, soft
                                                          1/4 c powdered sugar
                                                          1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted (or other chopped chocolate)
                                                          2-3 Tbl Amaretto

                                                          1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
                                                          1/4 c whipping cream
                                                          1/2 c sliced almonds, toasted

                                                          Oven to 350. Grease 13x9" pan.
                                                          Combine all brownie ingredients. Beat by hand, about 40-50 strokes. Bake for 26-33 min.--do not over bake. Cool completely.
                                                          Beat cream cheese & powdered sugar in a small bowl until smooth. Add melted chocolate chips & Amaretto. Spread over cool brownies. Refrigerate at least 1' until firm.
                                                          Melt 1/2 c chocolate chips with whipping cream in a small pan. Stir constantly till smooth (I add another Tbl of Amaretto). Spread over chilled filling.
                                                          Sprinkle w/ toasted sliced almonds. Refrigerate at least 1'. Cut. Store in fridge (will melt otherwise--a lesson I learned sadly during a potluck at work).

                                                          1. re: pine time

                                                            Sounds really good! What do you use as your brownie base?


                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                              It varies. Now I usually do Maida Heater's recipe as a base & play with the oil/water amounts. I've tried dozens of variations, usually with good quality chocolate. The only boxed brownie mix worth a darn was a Ghiradelli one, but I can't recall right now which one. These are very rich, but that's right up my alley. If you make 'em, let me know what you think or what variations you try.

                                                              The only reason these are a pain is 'cause I'm impatient, and the "do this step. Wait another hour" isn't my temperment!

                                                              1. re: pine time

                                                                Sounds pretty fabulous! Thank you for sharing!


                                                            2. re: pine time

                                                              Wow! Those sound awesome. Thanks so much!

                                                              1. re: sweetTooth

                                                                They're great if you (your name) have a super sweet tooth. That's why I never get the specified # of bars...I cut 'em big. I've hardly met a dessert that was too sweet or too rich.

                                                  2. Luckily for me, Mom wrote all the family recipes on 3X5 cards when I flew the coop. There are more like 250.

                                                    Maryland chicken
                                                    Jock marinade for beef
                                                    Aunt Verna's steak sauce
                                                    Poached chicken and dumplings
                                                    Irish stew
                                                    Beef stew
                                                    Veal shanks braised in red wine
                                                    Broiled fish steaks with butter
                                                    Squirrel stew
                                                    Baked pheasant
                                                    Fried panfish
                                                    Herb stuffed trout
                                                    Blueberry cobbler
                                                    Date torte
                                                    Cherry pie
                                                    Peach pie
                                                    Banana cream pie my favorite
                                                    Chocolate pie
                                                    Our family tea 2/3 Gunpowder, 1/3 Green
                                                    Old Fashioned
                                                    Vodka Gimlet

                                                    Veggies were either steamed or boiled. Nana and Mom canned and froze their way through the summer and fall.

                                                    Leaving my childhood.....

                                                    8 Replies
                                                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                      I'm in awe. Would you share your (mom's) banana cream pie recipe? I can't resist, since you say it's your favorite...


                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                        It was declared the best rendition by two of my baking friends at Thanksgiving. I have to go into storage. Check back in a couple of days.

                                                        Word to the wise. The bananas have to ripen to the stage of black on the counter top.

                                                        1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                          I end up with many of those kinds of bananas!


                                                      2. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                        What is Maryland chicken? Is this like Chicken Chesapeake?

                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                          I have also had people call it Border Chicken. This is a favorite of my ex and a true labor of love in the middle of August with no AC in Florida for her birthday.

                                                          Lightly dredge skinless chicken pieces in seasoned flour. Place in pan with a couple of sticks of butter. Bake until lightly browned, basting with the butter. Then add enough whole milk or light cream to go up about half way on the chicken.

                                                          Here comes the labor of love. My grandmother would get a stuffing spoon and tape a ruler to it to lengthen it. Then she would switch the oven to broil, leave the door open, and constantly spoon the milk and butter onto the chicken. The chicken has to be far enough away from the element so that the milk will not burn before you start the rotation again. Keep doing this for at least 10 minutes. I have done it for as long as 30 minutes. Add milk as needed.

                                                          It is finished when the chicken has a light brown skin from the milk and you have a thin gravy.

                                                          Mashed potatoes. No skin or garlic allowed. Fresh veggies that love gravy.

                                                          This is all about the chicken. I have experimented with sage, thyme, mace, and it is nice, but different. I have grated a little yellow onion that is nice.. Sweet vidalias did nothing. White pepper if you have it.

                                                          The better the chicken, the better the flavor. If it is in the budget, a free range fryer.

                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                            Maryland chicken is fried chicken with cream gravy. Kind of like chicken fried steak, but with chicken.

                                                          2. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                            So glad you included beverages! Our book includes my Mom's citrus punch, piano teacher Ms. Elizabeth's Cheerwine & Pineapple Juice punch, and orange juice & sprite served in a "fancy glass" that will convert any ordinary snack into a special "tea party".

                                                            1. re: AreBe

                                                              Huh. I had to google Cheerwine. Had never heard of it until now.


                                                          3. Darn,

                                                            I really wanted to play, but misunderstood the rules of the game. I thought it was to offer recipes that SHOULD be in a mom's repertoire.

                                                            I must recuse myself:
                                                            A) Because sadly, Mom was not a great cook...nothing to take away from that generation
                                                            2) By the time I became part of my stepdaughter's life, her palate was a bit beyond saving....we still work on her. She'll be 25 soon.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: Monch

                                                              Monch, by all means, please jump in with your input. Everyone's comments are welcome in this thread. We all have different life experiences that form our unique opinions--don't feel you have to fit some kind of mold to contribute.

                                                              I love my mom but, sadly, she was not a great cook either. And yet, there are still some dishes of hers --such as the pot roast-- that though, perhaps not "chowhound-worthy", remind me of her and of "home." And there are a few memorable "disaster" dishes of hers that I won't enumerate because this is a public forum and you just never know who might stumble upon this thread, but PHREDDY made an interesting point above about liver and onions... Sometimes the "negative" food experiences can make fun memories, too!


                                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                Then the one recipe that sprung to mind, was Chicken Cooked Under a Brick...especially from Alice Waters' "The Art of Simple Food".

                                                                It just slammed into my head as I read the thread title.

                                                                I thought that this recipe is so simple that a parent should have it in their bag of tricks and pass it down the generatonal river.

                                                                Simple to make. A demonstration that you CAN do something this delicious with what you have in your pantry AND make it turn out.

                                                                Combine that with the fact that the book itself could be a seminal cookbook for the new cook, and you have a winner.

                                                                Funny. I have only made this a couple of times, but my mind went righ to this recipe.

                                                                1. re: Monch

                                                                  I have that book! (It's a former COTM...) I shall have a look, thank you.


                                                            2. If anyone wants to share, I would love to have a really great Jambalaya recipe and a really good Lo Mein recipe.

                                                              Oh ... I have a good but really simple dessert for this time of year. Slice some fresh peaches and macerate them with some sugar and a tiny bit of ameretto. Put a scoop of vanilla ice cream over a slice of pond cake and pour the peaches and juices over the ice cream and serve. If you want to go over the top, you could drizzle a little caramel sauce over it. I prefer it without the caramel sauce.

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                Me too, re: Jambalaya and Lo Mein! I find it interesting that there have been very few "regional" dishes mentioned in this thread so far, but I'm very interested!

                                                                RE: jamalaya. Recently, I've been using John Besh's recipe from the Zatarain's site because it's easy and I bought a dozen boxes for some reason (long story), but I'd love one that doesn't start with boxed par-cooked, already spiced rice. (Besh actually has a scratch one in "My Family Table" I've been meaning to try).

                                                                Besh says he was cooking for some post Katrina event and used Zatarain's mix for expediency. He said that so many people came up to him and told him that the jambalaya reminded them so much of their mother's that he became sold on Zatarain's. I think he also mentioned that he judged a Jambalaya event and half of the top dishes started with Zatarain's as a base. So, I use it without shame, but I'd still like a recipe where I could have more control over the ingredients!


                                                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                  Yeah I have a Zatarains jambalaya which is quick, easy and pretty good. I want to find a a jambalaya that takes a little more time, is a little more difficult but not much and a whole lot better.

                                                                  As for Lo Mein, I still can't find the noodles that my Chinese restaurant uses. It almost looks like linguine but not quite.

                                                                  1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                    Well, now you have me in search of a good lo mein recipe. I'd still love it if someone posted their tried and true recipes for either of these dishes, but I found this from the recently-published Chinese Take-Out Cookbook that I might try:


                                                                    And this from Grace Young whose recipes have never failed me on deliciousness:


                                                                    (Here's a report from someone who cooked this dish when GY's books were COTM: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7567... I noticed that folks who tried the oyster lo mein from the same book felt they needed to increase the amount of soy sauce and sesame oil and that recipe and used toasted sesame oil instead of light.)

                                                                    As for jambalaya, here's the John Besh recipe I mentioned. I don't know if this will be the jambalaya of your dreams, but since it's from his "My Family Table" book I don't think it will be that labor-intensive. And, I think you can tell just by looking at it it's going to be a whole lot better than Zatarain's:



                                                                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                    I use Zatarain's too. As a weeknight meal, I make something I call Spam jambalaya: Zatarain's, cubed Spam and frozen green peas. It's crazy easy and surprisingly crazy good.

                                                                    1. re: mtlcowgirl

                                                                      Might have to try that one of these days--I'm always looking for pantry dinners!


                                                                  3. re: Hank Hanover

                                                                    My favorite has been Shrimp Jambalaya from Howard Mitcham's Creole Gumbo and All That Jazz. Not sure where to find it online nor how to connect it here but have found that that the small amount of cloves, allspice and a bit more thyme really gives a nice background flavor without being overpowering.

                                                                    Of course the peaches sound perfect for dessert!

                                                                  4. Maybe this is just my general kitchen philosophy speaking, but I feel like when you're cooking for kids, it's less about specific dishes and more about knowing how to turn basic ingredients into something they will eat. While there are a couple of my mother's recipes that I still (at 36) make and enjoy, I've tweaked and improved them using techniques that I learned both from her and on my own. However, even though she is a perfectly good cook, much of what we ate as kids reflected her own 1950s upbringing and is now sadly outdated.

                                                                    What I've learned in cooking for my two stepdaughters (one of whom is extremely picky) is that getting a reasonably healthy meal that everyone will eat on the table at a decent hour is of utmost importance, and the best way to do that is to have a load of techniques to draw from. Knowing how to cook vegetables a number of different ways (roast, saute, puree, etc.) to get picky kids to try something new. Knowing how to turn any cut of meat into a breaded cutlet (and knowing how to bread it with whatever flour/crumb/nut/etc. you may have on hand at any given moment). Knowing how to create a pasta sauce out of pantry ingredients on the fly. Knowing how to use certain packaged foods to make your life easier while still dressing them up to be nutritious. These are important techniques for any cook, of course, but they're especially important for busy parents, IMO.

                                                                    Anyway, that said, the two dishes from my mother's regular rotation that I still make as an adult are chicken with garlic spaghetti (breaded chicken cutlets served alongside spaghetti all'aglio e olio) and enchiladas with Texas gravy (flour tortillas filled with cheese, onions and ground beef in a chile gravy). Oh, and chocolate chip cookies, but that's not her recipe - she used the recipe on the back of the Nestle bag, subbing Crisco for butter (it's the only thing I ever use Crisco for).

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: biondanonima

                                                                      Your garlic spaghetti recipe sounds like something I need to add to my repertoire!

                                                                      And let's knock on wood that my little dynamo doesn't turn into a picky eater.


                                                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                        Spaghetti all'aglio e olio is classic - there are "recipes" all over the internet, but really, it's nothing more than garlic and oil on pasta! My mother just chopped up some fresh garlic, browned it in oil, dumped it on the pasta and served us parm from the green can on the side.

                                                                        I have elevated it a bit as an adult - I make garlic chips first (very thinly sliced garlic, sauteed in oil till brown) and then I use that oil plus some butter to VERY SLOWLY saute a ton of FINELY chopped garlic, so that it gets sweet and soft rather than really browning. I add a pinch of pepper flakes, then toss in the hot pasta, some pasta water and some real parmesan to create more of an emulsified sauce. It's a little more work but a LOT more delicious - my mother asks ME to make it for HER now when I visit! It still has to be served with breaded chicken, though - it's tradition!

                                                                    2. Well? I have a son, close to grown now. We've always been a family that enjoys trying new things. There's a few things I think he'll take with him--none of them terribly exotic; top of the list is definitely the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies; things like..beef burgundy stew; meatloaf; chicken and rice soup; definitely the minestrone; cornbread; honey limeade. Basic things like that, but above all? I think he will remember times like when we pulled the cars out of the garage; set up tables covered with butcher paper in the middle of December; did a giant crab boil and invited the neighbors. All of us..freezing or patooties off--eating steaming hot crab, shrimp, corn and potatoes, or our annual Halloween tradition. My husband rolls out the barbecue; makes mini tacos by the boat load and "treats" the adults..while I give out candy to the youngsters. You can smell them for blocks.

                                                                      There've been tons of tailgate parties--in our own drive way; lots of barbeque--no matter what time of year it is. My husband took a tractor disc and make a huge "wok" out of it, to do vegetables and sides for the meat. There's the family campouts--in my sister's back yard, where we take turns cooking for 50 or so. Some great; some..nosogood--but everyone takes a turn and no one complains.

                                                                      Because I try so many things--our "go-to" file is pretty big. With him getting older, I asked him not too long ago, if he wanted a copy of those recipes. His eyes got..SO big; he said..yes! How else will I EAT?? :o)

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Charlotte313

                                                                        I love all of these ideas. But, your story reminds me of how, when he was ready to go away to college, my Mother-in-Law gave my husband a crash cooking course (even though, of course, he'd helped out in the kitchen throughout his childhood), . 5 things to do with eggs, 5 things to do with ground beef, that sort of thing. Those recipes served my husband well during his bachelor years and he still falls back on them today.


                                                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                          Mom taught me two things the day before I left for college.

                                                                          How to disjoint a chicken.

                                                                          How to write a check.

                                                                      2. Catfish sloppy joes?? That sounds really interesting, I definitely have to give that a try.

                                                                        Definitely a homemade marinara/bolognese/ragu.

                                                                        Also, homemade stocks.

                                                                        A variety of pan sauces (alfredo, marsala wine sauce, picatta, etc..).

                                                                        I really love good home fries, so those would probably be on the list as well.

                                                                        Maybe also how to make homemade sausages, and canning fresh veggies.

                                                                        1. Staples of my mother's repertoire that were among my favorites growing up:

                                                                          vegetable beef soup
                                                                          Brunswick stew
                                                                          scalloped potatoes
                                                                          southern green beans (long cooked w/salt pork) -- [also wonderful cold as a salad with her homemade mayonnaise and sweet onion, over Bibb lettuce]
                                                                          fried chicken
                                                                          rot kohl (red cabbage German style sweet & sour)
                                                                          pot roast
                                                                          cole slaw
                                                                          German potato salad
                                                                          souffles -- spinach, eggplant, cheese

                                                                          Mainstays of our everyday cooking:
                                                                          Roast chicken
                                                                          Pasta carbonara
                                                                          Tortilla soup (per Alice Waters Art of Simple Cooking, minus the chipotle)
                                                                          Chiles rellenos (baked rather than fried)
                                                                          Chicken enchiladas with salsa verde
                                                                          Beef stew
                                                                          Moroccan lamb stew with couscous (celery, carrots, turnips, chickpeas, raisins, onions)
                                                                          Chicken with fennel (a braise, with tomatoes, red onion, garlic, and olives)
                                                                          Thai curries - curry paste, coconut milk, fish sauce, Thai basil w/any protein & vegetables
                                                                          Greens and potato/sweet potato gratin
                                                                          Beef short ribs with bean puree or mashed potatoes

                                                                          1. The staples of my youth were tacos, spaghetti, mac & cheese, chili & chicken noodle soup. making an appearance less often were shepards pie, tomalley pie & stew. 2 items I could have done without as a kid were the beef with barley soup and the lima beans with ham hocks (which is funny because i've been trying to make the later for a while, but can't get the ham hocks, go figure.) sunday dinner was always beef or pork roast cooked with cream of mushroom and lipton onion soup in tin foil and cooked until it fell apart (still a family favorite, and served with an obscene amount of mashed potatoes & gravy : ) The special occasion favorites were enchaladas, smothered burritos, german apple pancakes, crepes ( my family calls them danish pancakes)
                                                                            and for holidays: strawberry waffles with whipped cream, grandmas pecan roll and aunt pams mini cheesecakes. the sentimental favorites are the danish pancakes, orange glazed pound cake and grandmas apple pie; she used grated apples in her pies and would draw wheat shafts on her pies with the venting slices as part of the design. one problem, i come from a family of good cooks, but no one follows recipes. when ever I ask my mom for a recipe i get something like: well I used a pinch of that and a little bit of this, and i'ld pour some of that into my hand until it looked like about the right amount.... It's a great way to cook on the fly, but a lousy way to preserve a favorite family "recipe".
                                                                            I'll also mention, on the other side of the family, my grandparents owned a steak house. they've both long since passed away, but i've never had steak, sour dough bread or potato salad that tasted as good as grandmas & grandpas.sadly, those recipes are lost too. (so to any one out there thinking about compiling recipes, do it before its to late.) one other thing I remember, as a young child, is going to their restaurant after church (they were closed on sundays.) and grandma would make grilled sandwiches; cheese, tuna fish, and peanut butter and honey. all of which became easy goto comfort food in later years.(especially the PB&H, if you over do it on the honey, it almost turns the bread into candy. yumm! Thanks DQ for the little nudge down memory lane.

                                                                            1. Rice and dal, cauliflower & potatoes, chole (chickpeas), tea, cheese on toast

                                                                              1. The recipe I cook most for my son is scrambled eggs.

                                                                                Scrambled eggs:
                                                                                Step 1 - Scramble some eggs.
                                                                                Step 2 - Don't f*** em up this time.

                                                                                1. This thread has gotten me thinking of the food legacy I will leave to my children. I think they would say that Alabama smoked chicken, blanquette de veau, pork and calvados stew, sushi bowls, Korean short ribs, chicken tetrazzini, fideus, mac&cheese, pizza, ham&cheese crepe torte with Apple compote, Szechuan green beans....I haven't even thought about sweets(I am a baker after all).

                                                                                  1. I made an electronic version of Family Favorites (all MS Word files) and gave the 81 recipes to my nieces, siblings and Mom for Christmas one year. A mix of everyday stovetop cooking recipes, celebration meal favorites, preserves and sweets. Here are a few - Maybe something from this list will have you adding to your top 100.

                                                                                    Chicken wings in rice pilaf
                                                                                    Seven Seas casserole (tuna/rice/peas/cream of x soup)
                                                                                    Meatballs in onion gravy
                                                                                    Tater Tot hotdish
                                                                                    Beefburgers (ground beef/veg beef soup smooshed in)
                                                                                    Cranberry Apple Wedding Punch
                                                                                    Chuck Wagon Pepper Steak
                                                                                    Dad's Potato pancakes
                                                                                    Onion Rings
                                                                                    Grandma's pickle relish
                                                                                    Deviled eggs
                                                                                    Cream Puffs
                                                                                    Frozen chocolate covered bananas
                                                                                    Peanut butter Press Cookies
                                                                                    Caramel Corn
                                                                                    Sugar Cookies
                                                                                    Peanut Brittle

                                                                                    Edited to add - home made pizza dough and sauce

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                                                                      Would you share your chicken wings in rice pilaf recipe?


                                                                                    2. apple crisp,my mushroom/onion/(sometimes)sausage pate

                                                                                      1. When he's able to appreciate humor, feed him Honeymoon Salad. I can still picture my Dad cutting the wedges of iceberg, and telling us the punchline -- Lettuce Alone.

                                                                                        1. Huh. My daughter and I were talking about this just recently, and she ran down the list just as quickly as I could write them down (she was asking me to provide recipes/directions, so she could duplicate, now that she's living away from home). So I have the real deal answer here, not just what I imagine she might say. It will be a pleasure to type these in. I think the mix of items is hilarious.

                                                                                          Most I just do, without recipes. I'll list them as she refers to them, so you'll see some indefinable things, like 'Middle Eastern carrots," which are just carrots cooked, then tossed with lemon, olive oil, cumin and paprika and served at room temp.

                                                                                          Spaghetti carbonara (per Marcella Hazan's recipe)
                                                                                          Spaghettini with scallops and breadcrumbs (ditto)
                                                                                          Meatloaf, the way my husband makes it
                                                                                          Lemon, garlic and rosemary roasted chicken
                                                                                          Mashed potatoes with herbs and/or garlic
                                                                                          Cucumbers and onions in vinegar
                                                                                          Lemon garlic green beans
                                                                                          Roasted cauliflower and Brussel's sprouts
                                                                                          "Indian chicken" per Madjur Jaffrey (real name Spicy Baked Chicken/Masaledar Murghi), plus her cauliflower and potatoes or rice with peas and onions
                                                                                          Pickles (half sours)
                                                                                          Scrambled eggs
                                                                                          Middle Eastern carrots
                                                                                          Grilled salmon with sesame
                                                                                          Miso soup
                                                                                          Split pea soup with cornbread
                                                                                          Chicken noodle soup
                                                                                          Smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers and red onions on bagels (memories...sometime we just assemble them!)
                                                                                          Chicken pot pie
                                                                                          Greek lemon soup
                                                                                          Spinach & goat cheese whole wheat pie
                                                                                          Potato, onion and garlic frittata
                                                                                          Warm milk with vanilla
                                                                                          Salad of bitter greens with toasted walnuts
                                                                                          Chilled asparagus with mustard sauce
                                                                                          "Those brown rice salads you make"
                                                                                          Baked rice with chickpeas and currants (Claudia Roden)
                                                                                          Banana bread
                                                                                          Oven pancake with lingonberries
                                                                                          Pumpkin pie
                                                                                          Peach pie
                                                                                          Armagnac and prune cake
                                                                                          Welsh cakes
                                                                                          Gluten free chocolate chip cookies

                                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: clepro

                                                                                            How wonderful. I, like you, love the mix of "typical" comfort food items, and, more adventurous items. But then also just, warm milk with vanilla. Are you putting together a cookbook for her?

                                                                                            Would you tell us more about "Those brown rice salads you make"? And the oven pancake with lingonberries? Is that just a Dutch baby with lingonberries? Would you share your banana bread recipe?

                                                                                            (Raise your hand if you want a copy of clepro's cookbook).


                                                                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                                                              I've been giving her the requested directions/recipes bit by bit. I did put together a cookbook for my sister years and years ago, that was enormous fun to make and give. So long ago that I typed it on a typewriter. It was comprised of favorite recipes from our family, me and our friends, adorned with photographs, quotes, stories. I should dig that out and make another copy for my daughter.

                                                                                              Just went out looking for the recipe card that started the brown rice salad craze, but couldn't find that old wooden card box off the bat. Will dig it out later this week, if I remember.

                                                                                              That card goes way back. When Johanna was about 6 or 7, we were back East visiting my old college roommate. She'd made a brown rice salad for our visit and had it ready for us in one of those lovely hand thrown pottery casserole dishes. I can't remember exactly what all was in it, except that it was spiked with little bits of raw cauliflower, hot peppers, olives and walnuts, and my girl had something like three helpings. So I went home with the recipe on a card, and have been riffing off that start for years. Mine are all over the map, and I don't track what I do (as I think you might remember from cooking with me, DQ).

                                                                                              Basically, just start with a good sturdy brown rice, cooked in broth or white wine and broth. I like a particular oval brown rice available in the bulk bins of our coop. Sometimes I mix in other rice or grains. Then add whatever vegetables you're in the mood for and look good. At least one crunchy option; carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, peppers. Arugula, spinach, chard or other greens are excellent, shredded or full leaf, raw. Olives add a lot, as do dried or raw cranberries, dried apricots, currents, golden raisins, tiny green onions, fennel, sauteed almonds or walnuts, whole basil leaves, parsley, cilantro. Crushed garlic, shallots, chopped red onion, fresh herbs, spices...vinegar and oil dressing. I never ever use meat or fish in these salads, always just vegetables. They're really just elaborated room temp pilafs, you know?

                                                                                              Yes, a Finnish pannukakku, aka Dutch baby. I use the recipe from the Minnesota Ethnic Food book. Just eggs, milk (I use skim), butter, flour, salt, and a touch of sugar.
                                                                                              I always put the pan the oven and melt the butter in it to crackling hot before pouring in the batter. As soon as I take it out of the oven, I squeeze a half lemon over it, then cut into big squares. Top each square with a spoonful or two of high quality lingonberries (not the jam, the whole lingonberries) and drizzle on some maple syrup. Excellent holiday breakfast, served with thick cut bacon and very strong coffee.

                                                                                              I'd be happy to share "my" banana bread recipe, but aren't we constrained from doing that here on CH? I mostly use the one from a cookbook written about the places and people where I grew up, Cooking from a Country Farmhouse, by Susan Wyler. http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Country... As she writes, key is to have your bananas be exceedingly ripe, although I use more than she calls for. She uses all buttermilk in her's, but I like to use half buttermilk and half yogurt. I follow her lead and use dark brown sugar, but I also like to grate a little nutmeg in mine, while her recipes calls for no spices at all. Sometime I add cinnamon too.

                                                                                              An interesting side to perusing that book back when she first wrote it was learning that the apple cider vinegar and buttermilk flavors I was so familiar with were somewhat unique to the region.

                                                                                              Ah. Found an online copy of Wyler's recipe. Buttermilk Banana Bread. http://michelle-fromthekitchen.blogsp...

                                                                                              We also love Maida Heatter's Cuban banana bread, to which I add dark rum and sometimes swap out the raisins for chopped dates. http://madaboutmaida.blogspot.com/201...

                                                                                              1. re: clepro

                                                                                                Oh wow, this is all so fantastic, thank you for sharing. You make them all sound so appealing (as I am sure they are) I want to rush off and try them right now. I also love the story about your daughter loving the brown rice salad. :)

                                                                                                Thank you also for providing a couple of different favorites on the banana bread. I haven't yet settled on a signature banana bread, so fun to experiment right now.

                                                                                                And, yes, you can't type recipes verbatim from a cookbook or other published source into chowhound. You can link to them when you can find them (as you have done) or paraphrase them using your own words. And, since you are a cook by heart sort of cook anyway, I'll suspect you have your own unique approach to even someone else's recipe that I suspect "putting it into your own words" might eventually be essential in order for you to share it with anyone else.

                                                                                                Thank you again!


                                                                                                1. re: clepro

                                                                                                  If you should find your typed cookbook, you could try scanning the pages into text. Even cheap scanners will do this nowadays, and copy shops can provide the service, too.

                                                                                                  The result will be a text file that you will need to proofread and then correct any typos the scanning process introduces. Then you can format it however you like. You will have an electronic version of your cookbook.

                                                                                                  Electronic files are so easy to share and to add to...

                                                                                                  1. re: DebinIndiana

                                                                                                    Thanks! Excellent advice; I'll take it.

                                                                                              2. re: clepro

                                                                                                Do you share recipes? I'd love a couple of them..

                                                                                                Welsh Cakes
                                                                                                Armagnac and Prune Cake
                                                                                                Spinach and Goat Cheese Pie
                                                                                                Miso Soup..

                                                                                                ..didn't think it would hurt to ask. :o)

                                                                                                1. re: Charlotte313

                                                                                                  Oh, I would love to share my Welsh cakes recipe with you! It was my mother's; she made them every year for Christmas so they're particularly special to us.

                                                                                                  Rather than typing Mom's in, I'm going to link you to a recipe/directions almost exactly the same as her's. The only difference is Mom added 2-3 tablespoons of whole milk, depending on the flour's absorption. And she used only a pinch of salt, not a heaping teaspoon. (The self-raising flour already has salt...) http://thechildrenswar.blogspot.com/2...

                                                                                                  And here're your directions for making self-raising flour: http://southernfood.about.com/cs/brea...

                                                                                                  Lard is excellent in these (but only if you can get the really good lard, not the oldish stuff sold in most grocery stores), but you can replace with half Crisco/half butter, half butter/half lard, according to my Mom. All butter does not work well in my experience; they're too flat. But some people swear by it, so give it a whirl if you'd rather. Whatever shortening you use, make sure it's cold when you add it.

                                                                                                  Do NOT ever use anything except currents...no raisins please. Don't even think of eliminating or replacing the nutmeg. But if you must, use mace. Or a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

                                                                                                  We always cooked ours on an ungreased or extremely lightly greased cast iron griddle.

                                                                                                  I rub/cut in the lard/butter until crumbly, then mix in the currants, then work in the eggs for a soft but still stiff dough. You want the dough to feel sort of like a pastry dough, so don't overdo the milk nor the mixing. It's best to do by hand, for that reason. It may take you a few times to get these right. The cooked cakes should be soft and tender, with no more than at the most a bit of a crisp around their brown edges.

                                                                                                  I chill the dough for an hour or so before rolling them out. When you roll them out, make them about 1/4 thick. This will help you make sure your center gets cooked by the time the surface is golden, abt 3-3 1/2 minutes per side. (Flour rolling area and pin a bit, but dough should not be sticky.)

                                                                                                  I am not particularly skilled at these. My mom's were the best, and my sister's are a close runner up. But they're worth any effort it might take, because done right, these are delectable.

                                                                                                  1. re: clepro

                                                                                                    I love the photo of the woman's mom's handwritten recipe in the link you provided. So neat.

                                                                                                    P.S. why are we both awake?


                                                                                                  2. re: Charlotte313

                                                                                                    Now, for the rest.

                                                                                                    The real name for the cake is Walnut and Prune Cake Perigord Style. http://domesticintelligence.files.wor... I am obsessive when I make this. I blanch, skin and toast the walnuts. Dice the prunes and dust them with flour so they suspend properly, and bake it in a fluted tube pan. It's an outstanding cake.

                                                                                                    The other two...I'm sorry, but once again, I just make them by the seat of my pants.

                                                                                                    Whether it's the Spanakopita or spinach/goat cheese pie, I usually start by sauteing a good amount of leeks and green onions if possible, otherwise some yellow or white onions thinly sliced or diced, in olive oil. One or two minced garlic cloves is good too, but not essential, IMO. Salt, pepper. Cool down. Get the spinach ready...if frozen, a couple of boxes, thawed and very, very well squeezed of all moisture. If fresh, which is preferred, a couple of pounds roughly chopped, then sauteed in a little bit of boiling water, just long enough to turn the leaves limp. Chop again after cooking. To the cooled spinach I add the onions and a bunch of parsley, chopped. I also like to add chopped fresh dill (or tiny bit of dried dill...go light on the dill, regardless). Some people really like a little chopped fresh mint, but I'm not one of them.

                                                                                                    Then beat up a couple of eggs, and add that to the greens with whatever amount of feta or chevre you like, crumbled. Taste, salt and pepper again. Don't skimp on the pepper.

                                                                                                    Layer a few leaves of filo, each one brushed with melted butter or olive oil, pour in the spinach mixture, and top with more buttered filo leaves and bake. Or take a prepared pie shell (we like whole wheat for these) and simply spoon in the filling, smooth and bake. The top will crack a little bit on the open pie generally, once it's cooked through. These are delicious warm or cold, and always held up well packed in school lunches.

                                                                                                    For the miso soup, I follow the same basic pattern as these instructions. http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20... You can use any type of miso; white, brown, red. Note the part about how to temper in the miso at the end; if you've ever made a Greek lemon soup, where you pulled out some hot broth to mix with your beaten eggs and THEN added that mixture back into the hot soup, this is the same idea, I highly recommend doing that, as it allows you to control better the amount of miso as you go, and ensure it all dissolves properly.

                                                                                                    1. re: clepro

                                                                                                      These are priceless, thank you! I know you're daughter will love having these, too! I think I'm actually ready to go to sleep now. Good night!

                                                                                                      P.S. she didn't ask for the fried cream cheese won tons?


                                                                                                      1. re: clepro

                                                                                                        How generous..I'll keep these--every detail. :o) Your daughter is going to love this! :o)

                                                                                                  3. my great aunt has made cookbooks for her kids, her grandkids and certain of her nieces and nephews. I'm lucky enough to have one.

                                                                                                    She tests the recipes, tries them out and then decides if they go in or not. Every month or so, I get a new recipe to add to my version of her cookbook. I love this. I love it so much.

                                                                                                    My daughter is nine. I've an Evernote notebook of the things we make:
                                                                                                    * meatloaf
                                                                                                    * trout nicoise
                                                                                                    * campers' panfish
                                                                                                    * meatloaf
                                                                                                    * family stir fry (not as ominous as it sounds)
                                                                                                    * chocolate pavé (a la Alice Waters)
                                                                                                    * melted carrots
                                                                                                    * hobo zuchinni
                                                                                                    * present dinner

                                                                                                    I just keep adding when we find something that feels like a hit.