89°Mostly Cloudy

Friday Question of the Day – Favorite Family Recipe?

by Prince Of Petworth June 1, 2017 at 10:22 pm 79 Comments

Thanks to Carlos Lumpuy for sharing his awesome looking Cuban Pork Shoulder Roast Lechón Asado or Pernil Asado Recipe: Cuban Pork Shoulder Roast _ Pernil Asado Recipe (PDF)

Carlos writes:

“About five years ago I shared my recipes for Tropical Egg Nog and Chili Con Carne. It’s summer 2017 now, and I have a winner I’ve been preparing for more than 30 years, with only five ingredients prepared the night before, and slow cooked the following day.”

I thought I’d take this opportunity to ask others if they have any favorite family recipes they’d be willing to share? If you don’t have the recipe, I’d just be curious to know what’s your favorite family dish. My grandma made a mean French Onion Soup and my grandpa made a mean french toast. And we lost the french toast recipe and are still looking for the secret ingredient… What are your favorites?

If you don’t like PDFs, you can check out Carlos recipe in full after the jump.

“Prepare Marinade the day before, leave in refrigerator overnight. Begin by selecting a Pork Shoulder, Bone-in is better.

You will need one plastic Oven Bag Turkey Size to Marinade only.

For the Marinade (Mojo) you will need: Sour Seville Orange Juice, Salt, Garlic, Badia Sazón Completa

Unwrap Pork Shoulder. Rinse under running cold water in sink.

Dry with paper towels and set on cutting board.

Crush and peel all the Cloves of one whole Garlic Bulb.

With sharp pointed knife cut slits into Pork Shoulder all around

with holes just large enough to insert Garlic Cloves tight.

Measure one-half level teaspoon of Salt for each pound of Pork

and place in Oven Bag.

Measure one level teaspoon of Badia’s Sazón Completa

for each pound of Pork and place in Oven Bag.

Pour one 10-once bottle of Sour Seville Orange Juice

Naranja Agria into Oven Bag and stir.

Carefully place Pork Shoulder with stuffed Garlic in Oven Bag.

Carefully remove air from Oven Bag and tie at top.

Place on a sided pan (should it leak) and refrigerate overnight.

For purists, Sour Seville Oranges can be found at Latin bodegas

In the early morning, remove from refrigerator and leave on

kitchen counter for one hour to bring up to room temperature.

Untie. Carefully remove Pork Shoulder and place fat skin side up on Rack of Oven Broiler Pan.

Preheat oven to bake at 500 degrees.

Carefully pour Marinade into a container for Basting.

Discard Oven Bag.

Loosely cover Pork Shoulder with Aluminum Foil

as you seek to bake|roast, not to steam Pork.

Place in oven for 20 minutes. Bring down to 250 to 275 degrees.

Bake for the rest of the morning and into the afternoon,

40 minutes for each pound of Pork, about 4 to 6 hours.

Baste with Marinade every hour. Waft will take over the house.

At end of cooking, to toast fat skin on top, brush with Olive Oil

and roast without foil a few minutes. Watch careful not to burn.

Bon Appétit | Buen Provecho

Cuban Pork Shoulder Roast | Lechón Asado


The sour Seville Orange Juice is indispensable to this recipe.

Also, the Pork is inedible without the Salt.

Badia’s Sazón Completa is a short cut of not having to find

Oregano, Cumin, Onion Powder, Cilantro, Lime Zest and Ground Pepper separately.

Although Cuban, the Marinade and culinary technique are of

Spaniard Canary Island origin dating to the 1700s’.

This savory roast may be the best Pork dish you will ever have.

Go full Cuban and serve with Black Beans, Rice or Yucca,

Plantains, and a Flan dessert with Cuban Coffee.

Life is good.”

  • Suse

    Spaghetti Carbonara for 1
    Break 1 egg and 1 egg white into bowl. Mix with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.
    Meanwhile saute sliced garlic (remove it when caramel colored) and cut up pancetta with some olive oil.
    Cook spaghetti.
    When ready to serve, add white wine to saute pan to deglaze and make a sauce. Toss mostly-drained spaghetti with egg mixture to coat; and then toss with wine-pancetta sauce from saute pan.

    Adjust amounts for larger servings and you know the warning about raw eggs.

  • dcd

    I am going to say right now that this is going to me my favorite PoP thread of all time.
    A couple come to mind:
    My grandmother’s Thanksgiving stuffing – nothing fancy, just stale white bread, chicken stock (or homemade turkey stock, if you want to get fancy), onion, celery, sausage, and seasoning. The key is to let the bread get completely stale, and then moisten it just a bit to prevent it from crumbling when you break it up. I find every fancy stuffing recipe inferior.
    For every birthday of my life since I was 4, my mother has made homemade chocolate cake with homemade icing. The cake is good; the icing is spectacular (she makes 1.5 times the recipe so it’s just slathered on). She now makes it for my wife and daughter as well as me and my sister (my father, much to his chagrin, has been cut off for health reasons, though he still gets pieces of our cakes). My friends ask to come over when they know the cake is in the house; Mom has even on occasion made it for some of my wife’s friends. My wife and daughter are going to tackle it this year (I am not much of a baker), I have been told.
    I expect if this question is asked in 50 years, my grandkids will bring up Grandpa’s French Onion Soup, which is based on the Cook’s Illustrated recipe, is very involved and time-consuming, and, all false modesty aside, is truly excellent.

    • bubbles

      The CI French Onion Soup is AMAZING. I made it twice this winter. Getting the Cooks Illustrated Science of Good Cooking was such a game-changer for me!

      • dcd

        It really does help to understand the science behind the cooking, if only to prevent shortcuts that seem innocent, but really undercut the efforts to achieve the desired result.

  • Pixie

    My family are not great cooks. But we all loved my grandmother’s soda bread. She never used a recipe and it always came out perfect. When her health started to decline, we asked her to write down her recipe for us. She wrote it out something like this “Two large scoops of flour, two eggs, a little buttermilk, a spoonful of baking soda” etc. Directions included helpful statements like “mix some buttermilk into the dough, just enough to wet the dough but not too wet.” She passed away almost 10 years ago. Since then we’ve fumbled around with her soda bread recipe every St. Patrick’s day, trying to get it right and writing down actual ingredient measurements. But it’s never the same. Mine always comes out especially bad, and I love to bake!

    • welshie

      It’s probably not the same at all, but Ina Garten’s Soda Bread from the Barefoot Contessa is the best recipe of many soda breads I’ve tried. It’s fool proof, has way less ingredients than many I’ve seen, and I make it every year now (so does my mother and aunt). I’d recommend checking it out on food network!

    • BRP

      I love this. We have some handwritten recipes from my great-grandmother that call for “one glass” of whatever. Back in the day, everyone – all the Jews in Brooklyn, at least – always had Yartzheit glasses on hand, so it was a reliable standard measurement. I don’t think I’ve ever lit a Yartzheit candle, so holding on to the recipe cards is really just nostalgia!

  • Joshua

    I don’t have a recipe handy but good lord, that pork shoulder is quite literally making my mouth water! I love Cuban food so much.

  • bubbles

    My mom’s pimiento cheese, green bean casserole, and pound cake.
    My grandpa’s Bloody Mary recipe.
    Anytime we host people for dinner, we make the NYTimes Little Onion Tarts with Gorgonzola and Walnuts as an appetizer. They are to die for. If they fit the meal, I also really love baking fresh dinner rolls (which also freeze super well!)– the recipe I have from the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Cookbook is my favorite. These are two recipes that I will make forever.
    Not exactly answering the question, but I’ve been making tons of salmon recently and digging this preparation method from NYTimes Cooking, so thought I would share:
    -Salt and pepper and then marinate salmon (I’ve been using sesame oil, soy sauce, sriacha & honey these days.)
    -Preheat oven to 475
    -Preheat pan in oven with butter for 3-5 minutes
    -Put salmon in oven, skin side up for 4 minutes. Remove from oven, pull skin off, salt and pepper the now skinless side before flipping
    -Pour a little bit of the remaining marinade over fish
    -Bake 3-5 minutes more, depending on thickness of fish and desired internal temp.
    I usually serve with vegetables and/or rice/cous cous/quinoa!

    • Andie302

      Soy, lime juice, and brown mustard make an excellent salmon marinade!

  • Andie302

    My mom makes something she calls hot dog surprise. It’s canned bake beans, chunks of potato, cut up hot dogs, some ketchup, and I think canned pineapple chunks? This is not my favorite, but my brother is obsessed with it and asks her to make it any time she’s cooking for him. She just seems to cook everything in an electric frying pan, starting with the potatoes and then adding things.

    One of my favorites is my grandmothers baked pineapple. Take 10 slices of white bread, chunk them into small pieces and sauté them until brown with a stick of butter. Add this mixture to one large can of shredded pineapple, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 egg. Mix and bake on about 375 for around 35 minutes (until brown on top and it starts to set). I made this over Easter in the microwave with the convection setting at it turned out wonderful as always!

  • I Dont Get It

    This Date Nut Pudding, really a dense cake, was a family recipe made by my mother each year at Christmas. My sister and I hated all the chopping of pecans and dates and stirring the thick batter! Too bad we can’t load PDFs for this, the recipe is part of a letter my grandmother, who had recently had a stroke, sent to my mother before Christmas and a few weeks before I was born.

    “Here’s your recipe also your Xmas. Mighty poor but the best we can do. You’d have done better by letting me buy your Xmas. You’d be surprised what I can do by phone.

    Wish you all a very merry Xmas and wish we could be together. Don’t know how we’ll make it thru but guess somehow. Have Anna this weekend also Ann so things will work out fine.

    You don’t mention how you’re feeling and when you’re expecting the baby. If you don’t tell me I’ll be expecting it the very first day of January.

    Gotta go, Daddy is OK. Gripes a lot but you can expect that after never doing anything in his life and all of a sudden have to do it all.”



    ½ cup Sugar
    ½ cup Flour
    ¼ teaspoon Salt
    2 Eggs
    1 teaspoon Baking Powder
    1 cup Dates (cut up)
    1 cup Pecans
    1 tablespoon Cream
    1 teaspoon Vanilla

    Sift salt, baking powder and flour together, Beat yolks, add sugar and cream, and then add dry ingredients and vanilla, and dates and nuts. Fold in beaten whites of eggs and bake about 30 minutes in a moderate oven in a pan 8 inches square lined with waxed paper. When cool cut in squares and serve with caramel sauce and whip cream. Makes 9 squares


    2 cups Brown Sugar
    1 ½ cups Water
    2 tablespoonfuls Flour
    2 tablespoonfuls Butter

    Blend sugar and flour together, add water and butter, cook 30 minutes.

    • wdc

      This letter and recipe are so very midwest American. I can hear your grandma’s voice, and she sounds just like my aunts (whose epistolary skills haven’t changed much since the advent of email, btw.)

      • I Dont Get It

        She was probably a generation or two before your aunts, and a Kentuckian, but the simplicity in style is likely the same. I met her later as a toddler before she died but don’t recall her so this letter is a treasured item.

        By the way, the recipe was typed (with a typewriter!) but the rest of it was handwritten on the remaining space on the paper which adds to the charm.

  • Emmaleigh504

    Although my parents are good cooks they did not come from good cooks, so there are no family recipes that have been passed down through the ages. There is one recipe that we did let get away, Alice’s biscuits. Alice was a maid for my grandmother and made the most amazing little biscuits. My mom always meant to get the recipe, but never did. After Alice died, she tried to get it from her relatives, but none of them had gotten it either. The recipe is now lost.

  • Ben

    My mom’s French Silk Pie:
    1 stick of butter, 2 whole eggs, 2 egg yolks, ¾ cup of sugar and 1.5 tsp of vanilla
    Bake a pie crust according to directions on the box. Remember to poke holes in the crust before baking it to prevent the crust from bubbling.
    Soften the butter (Let it sit out for a few hours or with a microwave – careful we want it softened but not liquid!)
    Meanwhile soften the chocolate using a double boiler (or in the microwave) and let cool
    When the butter has softened cream it with the sugar using a beater
    Mix in the cooled chocolate and vanilla
    Mix in the egg yolks one at a time, beating for 5 minutes each. Repeat for each of the two eggs for a total whisking time of 20 minutes. Don’t skimp! The long whisking time gives the silk in French Silk Pie
    Pour the mixture into the cooled, baked crust and let it sit the fridge, covered, overnight

    I’ve since turned it into “Tennessee Silk Pie” by adding Jack Daniels.

  • MadMax

    Unfortunately mine were passed down more as a process than a recipe, so it’s hard to share. But my favorites that were taught to me were definitely my mom’s chicken and dumplings and my dad’s biscuits with sausage gravy.

    • dcd

      I’d be eternally in your debt if you could **try** to put them down on paper . . .

      • wdc

        Ditto, especially on the chicken and dumplings! I’ve been experimenting with it for a while, and haven’t really hit on something special yet.

        • dcd

          That’s the one in particular I was thinking of. I am the only one in my family who loves sausage gravy, and the health-related grief I would get for making it really takes away some of the enjoyment. A good chicken and dumplings, though, is a wonderous thing. I made it once, and it was fine, but just fine.

      • MadMax

        You’re in luck. I always rely on the eyeball method of cooking, but turns out mom had it written down. There’s still a lot of leeway because we don’t like rules much…

        -Boil whole bone-in chicken until cooked through, remove lid for last 1/3 of cooking to boil off more water and make broth stronger.
        -Debone chicken, pull apart with forks, set aside.
        -For dumplings:
        1 1/2 cups All Puropse Plain Flour
        1 egg beaten
        3. TBl shortening
        1/2 tsp salt
        5 TBL cold water
        -Combine all in bowl then divide into 3 balls.
        -Flour surface and roll out paper thin. Let them dry out for 20 minutes.
        -Cut strips whatever size you like.
        -Drop in boiling chicken broth left over from cooking the whole chicken. You can tell when they are done, taste test if necessary.
        -Add chicken just to warm.

        The only seasoning we ever used growing up was salt & pepper, I’m sure you could add other things as desired if you want a more herbal broth, but most of the flavor will come from the chicken stock itself.

        • dcd

          Thank you!

        • Joshua

          Thank you for sharing. This takes me back to enjoying my great-grandmother’s chicken and dumplings. So simple, yet so delicious. And I agree with you about the seasoning; chicken contains such wonderful flavor on its own when it’s cooked down this way!

  • Anonamom

    Does Trader’s Joe’s Mandarin Chicken count as a family favorite recipe?
    Seriously though, my kids really love my meat loaf. It’s very simple – ground beef, salsa, one egg, and seasoned bread crumbs; mix, bake, done. I do actually cook other, more complicated things, but for some reason, this is a real hit in my house.

  • ajr

    My mom’s secret crawfish monica recipe lovingly renamed “Crawfish Nana.” Speaking of which, it’s been ages since I’ve made it so I think I will soon.

  • wdc

    Extended family is all about the seafood gumbo. It takes ages, and lots of expensive ingredients. We make gallons of it at a time on special occasions (Christmas, family reunions) and eat it at every occasion til it’s gone. There’s nothing weird in my family about having seafood gumbo for breakfast.
    In my nuclear family, it’s my macaroni and cheese. My kids’ friends have tried mine, and then forever after refused to eat kraft from a box. The secrets are sharp cheddar and nutmeg.
    Adults like my mac and cheese, too, but they love my lasagna. No secret there, really. Well, a little finely-grated carrot in the sauce gives it a nice sweetness.

  • anon&confused

    My Grandmother’s chicken ‘n dumplings were amazing, as was her fried chicken. She taught me the chicken ‘n dumplings recipe, but I’ve never managed to replicate it just so….

    On the paternal side, we have a killer BBQ recipe from my Dad’s great aunt.

    My mom also makes a divine lemon cake. It’s so light and zesty.

  • lmfb

    Dad’s curry chicken marinade: juice from a couple lemons, plenty of curry powder, plenty of coleman’s mustard powder, salt, pepper, olive oil. Then grill that chicken till it’s perfect but not overdone. BEST EVER.

  • MichelleinMD20721

    Spinach brownies! Basically a quiche, but a great potluck dish. Originally clipped from the Montgomery Journal newspaper.

  • goaldigger

    At my house this was known as The Pink Dessert, recipe is here http://allrecipes.com/recipe/22894/pink-pie/ (we made in a square pan). It was something my Mom’s family made in the summer. Her father was a food chemist at General Foods and worked on Jello flavorings so it makes me think about him.

  • Spaghetti

    My mom was a great cook. She passed away unexpectedly and I never got most of the recipes since she never wrote it down. I was never interested in learning to cook when I lived at home and I regret it now. However, when I went home last year a cousin shared the family secret meatball recipe with me!

    Another recipe I do have is graham cracker pudding. Growing up I always thought it was super fancy, but then I learned it’s from the back of a pudding box. Literally just graham crackers and instant pudding layered, topped with whip cream, and chilled. It’s good though.

    • dcd

      A former colleague of mine went on and on about her husband’s family’s incredible dessert – to the point where she wouldn’t divulge the recipe because it was a “family secret.” Then she brought it to an office potluck. Turns, the “recipe” has two ingredients – whipped cream and Nabisco chocolate wafers – and is printed right on the box. Family secret my @ss.

      • Elvis’s Mom

        I pestered my mom relentlessly for her “family” fudge recipe with no response, until I finally called her from the grocery store and told her I need it now! She told me it’s on the back of the Fluff bottle. Such is my family’s legacy.

        • dcd

          I will say, in her defense, that fluff fudge is really, really good.

    • Emmaleigh504

      My mom made that graham cracker pudding recipe a few times, only she topped it with chocolate icing. so rich and good!

  • Moe

    I make the best shrimp and grits you’ll ever eat!

    • Blithe

      Drool. Can I be your new best friend?

  • Tall E

    My mom’s flourless chocolate cake. Essentially chocolate mousse, bake half of it, layer on the mousse, the cover with whipped cream. It was my regular birthday cake as well as eaten during Passover.

  • hiphopanonymous

    Nothing in particular, but coming from the Midwest (Iowa/Minnesota) there are LOTS of recipes for hotdish and things that contain butter and Oleo!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Do y’all’s recipes get names attached to them? Like we have Sarah Potts’ caramel cake b/c it’s my great aunt’s maid’s recipe. Then there’s Uncle Bill’s pie b/c it was pie served at Uncle Bill’s funeral. The names just stay attached to the recipes.

    • lizcolleena

      Not too much, but I do have a recipe for Aunt Jo’s dumplings at home that reminds me of my childhood. She was my Grandma’s sister, so really my great aunt, but like a second grandmother – to me at least, because I was kind of her favorite.

      • dcd

        Absolutely – as I referenced above, Mom-Mom’s chocolate cake, Mom-Mom’s stuffing (though they refer to different Mom-Moms). Also, Chicken Olivo, named after an old family friend – boneless chicken breasts (or thighs) breaded and fried, then a huge mess of garlic, peppers, onions and mushrooms sautéed in olive oil, dumped on top of the chicken and baked for 40 minutes or so. In the last 10 minutes, put an large amount of good parmesan cheese – the good stuff, hand grated from a block, not that obscenity that comes from a plastic jar – on top and melt. Probably my favorite comfort food.

  • MaebysMom

    Being from Baltimore, my family makes amazing crab cakes. My mom also makes the best sour beef and potato dumplings- basically a ginger snap-thickened beef stew- i can provide the recipe if anyone is interested!
    Also every fall my mother makes her own tomato juice for bloody mary’s- she buys bushels of overripe tomatoes and cans juice by the case because its so popular with family and friends

    • Anonamom

      Crab cakes are so controversial. But this reminds me, my stepdad makes the best crab dip and it is so easy. I love it on top of a portabello mushroom and broiled. Now I’m really hungry!

      • textdoc

        Controversial how?

        • dcd

          Some will tell you that crabcakes consist of lump crabmeat, just enough breadcrumbs and binding agent to hold it together, and nothing else. They turn up their noses at any sort of seasoning or added ingredients. It’s basically Maryland’s version of the Maine/NH/Cape Cod lobster roll debate.

          • Blithe

            And some of us will fight you on adding breadcrumbs! And include an obligatory smidgen of Old Bay. As with potato salad, most of us are very picky about how we make our crabcakes. When I was a kid, the recipe started with: “First, you catch your crabs….”

          • dcd

            I knew that breadcrumb reference would bring one of the purists out! :)

          • Blithe

            Of course! lol

            . Should I ask your stance on crackers? Or tartar sauce? Or are those topics too inflammatory for a family-friendly blog?

          • dcd

            I honestly have no opinion on it (shocking, I know). I didn’t grow up around here, and while I love a good crab cake (who doesn’t) I can appreciate all different kinds, and have messed around with different recipes. That said, in my mind, a good crabcake doesn’t require, and is lessened by, tartar sauce.

          • artemis

            In my family we add breadcrumbs. I omit the tartar sauce. I have gotten major side eye in the past because I like a slice of cheese melted on top of my crabcake sandwich. Blasphemy, I know.

  • BRP

    I’ve tried making all sorts of fancy matzoh ball recipes, but the best will always our family favorite – straight from the back of the Manischewitz matzoh meal box!

  • lizcolleena

    My mouth is watering reading all this! My in-laws have a top-secret recipe for lasagna, which I’ve tweaked to be almost completely homemade (sauce, sausage, noodles but the cheese is still store-bought). I would get killed if I shared it though, sorry!
    My grandpa made a mean fried chicken and amazing marinara. I don’t really have recipes for either, but the marinara was a 3-day process using lots of bones and very delicate stirring after adding the meatballs early on day 3. I am getting hungry just thinking about it. Good reminder to ask my Mom to help me remember them so I can write them down.
    They’re not homemade, but check out Giada’s short rib tagliatelle and Thomas Keller’s herb gnocchi with mushrooms and squash for some impressive dinner party meals. Both are involved and on the long-ish side, but can largely be prepared in advance.

    • dcd

      “I would get killed if I shared it though, sorry!”
      Not to derail, but I have never understood this. Food is the ultimate in community, and cooking (for me) is a significant way to express that you care about others. Why hoard recipes (not you, but your ILs)? It’s saying, “Here is this amazing dish, but I am going to restrict access to it, because . . .” Why? If I make someone a dish, and they like it enough to ask for the recipe, I am thrilled to give it to them.

      • Blithe

        If someone has a skill, and people praise them and include them for that having skill, I can imagine some people viewing that as a special part of their identity — and being unwilling to risk losing the status, attention, appreciation, or other benefits that may go along with being the only one with that skill. I agree with dcd that food is about community. And I can easily imagine that someone with a special dish that’s widely admired might view being able to provide and share that dish as being somehow essential to their participation and role in the community.
        — tldr: Safeguarding proprietary information. I don’t agree — but I can understand it.

        • dcd

          Yeah, I guess, but this isn’t that. Lizcolleena’s in-laws have given the recipe out (to her, for one), but would apparently be angry if she shared it with others – even people they don’t know. (Again, lizcolleena, this is not grumbling at you – you absolutely need to keep the peace!) The attitude is that “this lasagna is reserved for our family and those for whom we choose to make it – the rest of the plebes out there don’t deserve it, and will have to settle for an inferior product. They are not worthy.” It’s as if they feel their experience enjoying the lasagna would be somehow diminished by others enjoying it as well. Kinda selfish.

      • KeepingItReal

        I agree, and basically its a silly concept. If a person is a good enough cook to make the dish right, they can pretty much figure it out after eating it. If you can’t figure it out just by eating it, you probably wouldn’t make it right with the recipe either. So give out the recipe people, its not going to help, and your friends will think you are even more magical, because they can’t make it as good as you.

        • Bruce

          Really? I’m pretty good at following a recipe, but pretty lousy at tasting something and somehow divining how to make it. Those seem like entirely different skills to me.

  • MPinDC

    My mother’s Famous Potato Salad –
    Cut potatoes into quarters, boil until done. Let cool slightly, peel, then dress (while still warm) with an olive oil/cider vinegar/salt and pepper dressing. Refrigerate until cold, add chopped celery and onion and salad dressing (generic Miracle Whip), more salt and pepper if needed.
    My now-famous recipe is salmon with panko (from Simply Recipes), I use a mayo/regular mustard instead of honey mustard, more fresh herbs and more panko.

  • anan

    My grandma’s chicken paprikash was some of the best food I ever ate. And her apricot/walnut nut rolls and kolachki. The latter are a pain in the butt to make, but at least I have the recipes.

  • wdc

    I don’t really get “secret” recipes. Maybe if you own a restaurant, or otherwise monetize food. But within a family? Or among friends? What is actually the point? Some fear that Aunt Betty will show up at the reunion with Uncle Floyd’s cookies, and no one will eat Uncle Floyd’s, and his feelings will be so hurt that he’ll convince Grandpa to cut Betty’s kids out of the will?
    It’s not like two people making the same recipe are going to do it exactly the same anyway. My father says of my mother “We’ve been married for 40 years and I’ve never eaten the same meal twice.”

    • BRP

      party pooper

    • dcd

      I just posted this exact thought above. It’s completely foreign to me.

    • occasional DJ

      I kinda-sorta understand where it’s coming from — a desire for creative control or something? — but I don’t agree with it.
      It’s like DJs who don’t want to identify the tracks they play and jealously guard the track names. Me, I’m all about proselytizing musically, so I’m happy to share that information. If another DJ adopted a whole bunch of what I think of as my “signature” tracks, maybe then I’d be irritated… but I don’t really feel like I’m in danger of someone else replicating my sound.

    • navyard

      Re: “I don’t really get “secret” recipes.”

      OMG, my mother MUST try every cheesecake and ALWAYS says “mine is better” or “this is great, but mine is better”. It’s pretty annoying actually. She’s a very good baker, (but not a great cook). So if you have that kind of pride in your stupid recipes, that’s when the secret part comes in.

  • artemis

    Crabcakes. Chicken and dumplings.

    My dad makes a dish that I named sloppy chicken as a kid. He used to cook it for us when we’d visit him on weekends. Chop an onion and peppers and sautee them in a pan. Add in drumsticks and thighs (skin on and bone in) to the pan. Season to taste. Allow this to simmer with homemade chicken stock (my dad always used the buillion cubes) until the chicken is cooked and fall off the bone tender. Serve over white rice (Dad used to do the boil in the bag kind) with a side of steamed cauliflower that has been treated with a generous helping of butter.

    I also make my partner’s Oma’s ginger cake. It is basically one giant candied ginger shortbread. So delicious.

  • littlen

    My mom is a fantastic cook and baker, sadly I had no interest in cooking while I was at home – which I really regret now, since I could have picked up so much. While I was home for Christmas though she showed me a really easy focaccia bread recipe that she is now known for with their friends, she brings it to most get-togethers.

    2 cups of lukewarm water
    2 teaspoons active dry yeast
    4 cups bread flour
    2-3 tsp salt
    2-3 tsp olive oil
    2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
    1 tsp sea or kosher salt

    Sprinkle yeast in water and stir until dissolved. Stir in 2 cups of flour and the regular salt and stir until smooth. Add in remaining 2 cups of flour until dough pulls away from sides of bowl and flour is incorporated. Refrigerate overnight, remove 2 hours before shaping and let stand in warm place for dough to rise a second time. Preheat oven to 500. Dip your fingers in olive oil or cold water and insert into dough, make holes by pulling to sides until it shows the pan where you have made holes. Stretch to 1 inch thick oval. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt. Reduce oven temperature to 450 and bake for 15-20 minutes.

    I’ve only made it twice, but it’s been quite tasty!

  • Elvis’s Mom

    My family are not great cooks; however, we do make a “traditional” Jell-O mold for the holidays. I’m sorry in advance:

    2 packages of Jell-O (for nasty green mold, use Lime)
    1 20-oz. can of Crushed Pineapple (in juice)
    1 pint Sour Cream
    OPTIONAL (I MEAN IT): 12 maraschino cherries, halved

    o Dissolve 2 packages Jell-O in ½ cup hot water
    o Add ½ cup pineapple juice (approx. contents of can)
    o Add crushed pineapple
    o Add Sour Cream
    o Pour into Jell-O Mold
    o Refrigerate until firm and tasty

    • dcd

      We called it lime mold, and instead of sour cream it used cottage cheese, and there were definitely walnuts. There was also a “Sunshine Salad,” which was orange jello, shaved carrots, pineapple, and some other stuff. Loved them both so much. My parents are visiting this weekend, and this reminds me to get the recipe from Mom.

      • Elvis’s Mom

        A few years back I got the fevah (only explanation) and made a rainbow Jell-O Mold for a St. Patrick’s Day party. People loved it. And you’re right; at some point this recipe included walnuts but I think it was a first-degree texture violation for some family members so got excluded. Also as a note, the maraschino cherries, when placed on top of the green Jell-O mold, are supposed to look like a holiday wreath.

  • Gumball

    My son’s grandma (RIP) made a rum cake that would get you tipsy, yet still tasted sweet and buttery.

  • jaybird

    If anyone likes to make fresh pasta this is the best one I have used:

    Semolina Pasta Dough

    1 oz. water
    1 whole egg
    9 egg yolks
    1 T olive oil
    1 large pinch salt
    11 oz. extra fancy semolina flour

    1. Set a bowl on scales and zero.
    2. Add one once of water.
    3. Add one whole egg.
    4. Continue adding egg yolks, from the container or bowl, until scale reads 8 ounces
    5. Add one tablespoon of olive oil. The scale will now read 8.5 ounces
    6. Add salt and whisk thoroughly
    7. Weigh 11 ounces of flour in a separate bowl. Make a well
    8. Add the egg mix to the well.
    9. Stir with a fork and then lightly knead by hand. If too wet, add a pinch more flour.
    10. Divide dough into two or three pieces and run through the large (widest) setting on a pasta machine. Do NOT do this more than twice.
    11. Let rest for at least 1 hour.
    12. Continue to roll through the settings of the pasta machine. If the dough is the least bit wet or tacky, dust with some flour as you roll the pasta through the different settings.

    Cut the pasta using the pasta cutter provided or fold and cut into wide noodles using a pizza cutter or use a rocking motion with your chef’s knife. Toss the pasta with flour and wrap in plastic and refrigerate if not using immediately. Freeze for 1 month.

  • jaybird

    Also, for summer this is my favorite lighter dessert in which I use peaches:

    Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Berries
    Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings

    For meringue:•1 cup superfine granulated sugar
    •1 tablespoon cornstarch
    •3 large egg whites at room temperature 30 minutes
    •3 tablespoons cold water
    •1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

    For filling:•2/3 cup granulated sugar
    •1 tablespoon cornstarch
    •1/8 teaspoon salt
    •1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
    •1/2 stick unsalted butter
    •3 large egg yolks
    •2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
    •1 cup heavy cream
    •4 cups mixed berries

    Make meringue: Preheat oven to 300°F with rack in middle. Trace an approximately 7-inch circle on a sheet of parchment paper. Turn parchment over and put on a baking sheet.
    Whisk together superfine sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.
    Beat whites with a pinch of salt using an electric mixer at medium speed until they hold soft peaks. Add water (whites will loosen) and beat until whites again hold soft peaks.
    Increase speed to medium-high and beat in sugar mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. After all sugar has been added, beat 1 minute more.
    Add vinegar and beat at high speed until meringue is glossy and holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes (longer if using hand-held mixer).
    Gently spread meringue inside circle on parchment, making edge of meringue slightly higher than center (the “crater” is for curd and fruit). Bake until meringue is pale golden and has a crust, about 45 minutes (inside will still be marshmallow-like).
    Turn oven off and prop door open slightly with a wooden spoon. Cool meringue in oven 1 hour.

    Make Lemon curd while meringue bakes: Stir together sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, then add lemon juice and butter. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, whisking, then continue to simmer, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Lightly beat yolks in a small bowl and whisk in 1/4 cup lemon mixture, then whisk into remaining lemon mixture in saucepan. Reduce heat to low and cook, whisking constantly, until curd is thickened, about 2 minutes (do not let boil). Transfer to a bowl and stir in zest. Chill, surface covered with parchment, until cool, about 1 1/2 hours.

    Assemble Pavlova: Beat heavy cream until it just holds stiff peaks, then fold 1/4 cup beaten cream into curd to lighten. Spoon lemon curd into meringue and mound berries on top. Serve remaining whipped cream on the side.

    • Blithe

      This sounds swooningly delicious!

  • MichelleinMD20721

    A friend texted me recently for our family’s brownie recipe. My answer: it’s the one on the chocolate chips bag.


Subscribe to our mailing list