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15 Foods That Barbara Bush Loved

The former First Lady was known for her sense of humor, white hair and pearls, but she also knew a thing or two about making good food.

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First Lady Barbara Bush holds her hand over her heart as the American Athem is played at the White House during official State visit ceremony on the South Lawn. Political figures, AmericaShutterstock/Mark Reinstein/REX

Barbara Bush was a much-admired woman who always believed in the importance of family. It’s no surprise that many of her favorite foods, like apple crisp and bean soup, are perfect for sharing with the ones you love.

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Mrs. Bush made a mushroom quiche that not only delighted her husband but also impresses many home cooks who follow her recipe—it’s a lot like this one.
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Bean Stew

The former First Lady made a stew full of pinto beans and vegetables, like zucchini and corn. This bean soup is similar and would have undoubtedly been well-received by Mrs. Bush and her family!
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Lemon Bars

Lemon bars are always a light and refreshing dessert, and Mrs. Bush gave hers a tropical twist by adding coconut to the filling. (See all 50 reasons we love coconut!)
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One of the Bush family’s favorite restaurants in Texas named pizzas after each family member. Barbara’s pie is topped with goodies like chicken, spinach, mushrooms and artichokes. Here’s a copycat recipe to try in your kitchen!
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Patriotic Desserts

She was certainly patriotic, and that is made even more evident by her popular red, white and blue cobbler, which included both cherries and blueberries. (We’ve got more American-flag inspired desserts, too.)
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Barbecue Chicken

The Bushes loved to fire up the grill, and Barbara had a great barbecue chicken recipe. She made her own sauce using ketchup as the base.
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It’s said that when her husband was on the campaign trail, Mrs. Bush would host pasta nights for potential voters. We’d like to think that she made something as easy and comforting as this dish.
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Gingerbread Cookies

During her time at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., Mrs. Bush decorated the White House Christmas tree with gingerbread men. Festive!
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Clam Chowder

The former First Lady made a delicious clam chowder thickened with cream of celery soup and enriched with bacon drippings.

You can’t go wrong when your recipe includes a can of condensed soup!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

Family Circle magazine held a cookie contest that matched Mrs. Bush’s chocolate chip cookies against a batch from Hillary Clinton. Though Hillary won, we’d say Barbara’s recipe was a keeper, and think she’d love these too!
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Zucchini Soup

Mrs. Bush must have loved bold flavors. She made her zucchini soup unique with the addition of a surprising special ingredient—curry powder. Try a pinch of curry in our summer squash soup and find out what the fuss was about!
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Apple Crisp

Apple desserts are decidedly American, and by all accounts, Mrs. Bush made a wonderful apple crisp. It was surely served a la mode!
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Cheesy Enchiladas

Like most proud Texans, Mrs. Bush loved Tex-Mex food, especially cheese enchiladas and tacos; they even had Texas-made tacos flown to the White House once!
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Oatmeal Cookies

The Bush family matriarch’s best oatmeal cookie recipe uses instant oats and also includes chocolate chips—it’s an ideal combo of two top cookies!

Grace Mannon
Grace is a full-time mom with a Master's degree in Food Science. She loves to experiment in the kitchen and writes about her hits (and misses) on her blog, A Southern Grace.