I'm asked a lot if I have favorite Taste of Home recipes. Of course, I have the unique advantage of having an entire staff of food professionals available to consult when I need a great potluck dish or weeknight meal idea. But mostly I do just what you all do—I head to tasteofhome.com, plug in an ingredient, cooking style or food type, and see what comes up. I've found many delicious dishes this way, and it truly was difficult narrowing down to 15. But the following recipes have been standouts for me. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
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Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Dip
Just five ingredients, this is—incredibly quick and easy and, oh lord, how tasty! Definitely not for
those looking to cut calories. It calls for canned chicken, but we eat of lot of rotisserie chicken at my
house and I use the leftovers for this dip—I think it gives it more chicken-y flavor.
I demo-ed this recipe dozens of times on television to promote the very first Taste of Home Cookbook, and I cannot tell you how many TV production crews devoured shrimp for breakfast! The garlicky aroma of the marinade would bring people literally running onto the set as soon as the cameras were off.
Take sourdough bread, douse with butter, smother with cheese and onions, bake. Whatever could be wrong
with that? Enough said.
Recipe: Asian Turkey Lettuce
These are every bit as good as anything you could get at a restaurant. This was one of nine dishes on the set at QVC recently, where we launched the new Taste of Home Cookbook, 3rd Edition; of all the dishes we featured, these wraps got the most rave reviews, and from food stylists, no less! I add chopped water chestnuts for crunch and fresh cilantro for extra flavor.
Recipe: Citrus-Scented Brined
Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite cooking day. I start thinking about the menu weeks in advance, but the official kickoff of the kitchen fun is brining the turkey. Brining takes some planning—including making enough room in the fridge to store it!—but it produces a deliciously moist bird and is well worth the extra effort.
This is TOH's version of beer-can chicken; the savory rub makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
The recipe was submitted to us by Steve Bath of Lincoln, Nebraska; his suggestion to spritz the chicken
during cooking with apple cider and balsamic vinegar results in even moister meat.
I love these kinds of recipes, where three simple, very common ingredients that you have right on hand
combine for fantastic flavor. My kids love shrimp, and this is so easy you can make it for a weeknight
meal. I always add more garlic and some red pepper sauce for a little kick.
Recipe: Italian Beef Sandwiches
At my house, we call this slow-cooker recipe "Where's the Beef?" It's a potluck and party staple for
me all year round, and it freezes beautifully, too. It's just so easy to throw together, and after
simmering all day in the slow cooker, the beef just melts in your mouth.
Recipe: Cherry Brie Tossed Salad
I prepared this salad for a church dinner last winter, and I thought people were going to lick the
bowl clean! Here in Wisconsin, cherry trees abound, and you can always find dried cherries at the
supermarket. If you can't find them where you live, just substitute dried cranberries or even raisins. The
sugared pecans are to die for...
Almond Green Beans
This actually is from Simple & Delicious magazine, and it's just the best recipe; it's so fast and the
results are so tasty. The beans are fabulous, but I've also made broccoli, Brussels sprouts and snap peas
this way, too, and my family just loves them.
My husband thought this sounded gross, but he changed his tune after just one spoonful. It's just
heavenly—and not too pumpkin-y either. And it's really quick. I might try replacing some of the chicken
broth with dry sherry for more complex flavor.
Recipe: Hearty Chicken Noodle
I've made gallons and gallons of this soup—my kids love it, and when a good friend of mine was going
through chemotherapy, this soup was a meal she requested often. There's just something about chicken
noodle soup that's so comforting, and this recipe is one of the best I've come across. I make up big
batches and freeze it for those cold winter days when a bowl of hot soup is the only thing that will do.
Recipe: Five Fruit
I made two of these for my father's birthday party last summer. There was a huge cake, but everyone
fought over the pie! It calls for apples, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and rhubarb; while it
sounds like summer, you can use frozen fruit (even rhubarb) and make it in winter, too. I used
refrigerated pie crust—always do—to make the prep easier.
Recipe: Ultimate Double Chocolate
If you're going to go to the trouble of baking brownies from scratch, this is the recipe to use. Hands
down, the most sinful brownie I've ever made—and why even bother with 'em if they're not sinful? I've used
both pecans and walnuts, and have made them nut-less as well, with great results.
Recipe: William Tell's Never-Miss
Jamie Jones of Madison, Georgia, thank you SO much for this
recipe! I baked this cake just recently, and honestly, I thought my husband was going to eat the whole
thing by himself! We love coconut, so I mixed some into the frosting along with pecan chips—it was just
heavenly. One of the moistest cakes I've ever made.