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100 Pantry Staples You Can Make at Home

If you can't make it to the store, try your hand at making these staples at home. From fresh bread and jelly to condiments and cookies, your pantry will be stocked in a jiff.

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Basic Homemade Bread

If you’d like to learn how to bake bread, here’s a wonderful place to start. This easy white bread recipe bakes up deliciously golden brown. There’s nothing like the homemade aroma wafting through my kitchen as it bakes. —Sandra Anderson, New York, New York

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Apple Pie Steel-Cut Oatmeal

I absolutely love this slow-cooked oatmeal. The steel-cut oats have so much flavor and texture. My family sprinkles toasted pecans on top whenever possible. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
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Homemade Potato Chips

Forget buying a bag of potato chips at the grocery store when you can make these at home. This quick and easy recipe will delight everyone in the family. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Pancake Mix in a Jar

At Christmas, I like to present friends and family with this mix and pure maple syrup. The pancakes are fluffy and fruity.
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Homemade Canned Spaghetti Sauce

DIY canning spaghetti sauce recipes are a tomato grower's dream come true! Use up your garden bounty and enjoy it later in the year. —Tonya Branham, Mt. Olive, Alabama
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Vanilla Frosting

Don't know how to make icing for cake but don't want to settle for store-bought frosting? This four-ingredient easy vanilla frosting recipe is the perfect topper for your cakey creations. The homemade taste just can't be beat. —Mary Faulk, Cambridge, Wisconsin
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Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

Skip the store-bought stuff and learn how to make taco seasoning yourself. This recipe is right on. It tastes like purchased mixes, but is cheaper and has nearly half the sodium. Your heart and wallet will surely thank you! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Salad Croutons

"Homemade croutons are a delight to serve with your favorite mixed green salad-or as a crunchy snack," suggests Fayne Lutz of Taos, New Mexico. Her well-seasoned salad toppers will set you back a mere 4 cents per serving!
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Canned Nectarines in Honey Syrup

Nectarines are in season for such a short time, you'll want to do whatever you can to extend the season. With this quick method for canning nectarines, you'll have delicious fruit all year long. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Doughnuts

Guests will have a touch of nostalgia when they bite into one of these old-fashioned doughnuts. Accents of nutmeg and cinnamon, along with a subtle burst of lemon, make them hard to resist. — June Jones, Harveyville, Kansas
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Aunt Frances' Lemonade

My sister and I spent a week each summer with our Aunt Frances, who always had this thirst-quenching lemonade in a stoneware crock in her refrigerator. It makes a refreshing drink after a hot day of running around. —Debbie Reinhart, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania
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Homemade Honey Grahams

The way my boys eat them, I would spend a fortune on honey graham crackers at the grocery store. So I decided to make a homemade version that is less processed—and less expensive. These are wonderful, although they still don't last long. —Crystal Jo Bruns, Iliff, Colorado
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Easy Puppy Chow

This easy puppy chow recipe uses a whole package of cereal, so there's less messy measuring. And it makes enough to feed a hungry crowd. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Savory Cracker Snack Mix

A Taste of Home recipe inspired this one! Because I love everything bagel seasoning, I decided to give this a try. A friend later suggested I make the mix more versatile with something other than oyster crackers, and now it's a deliciously addictive snack! —Cyndy Gerken, Naples, Florida—Cyndy Gerken, Naples, Florida
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Annie's Original Salsa

I spent 5 years working on this recipe. Everyone loves it, and it's one of the few recipes that is actually mine, not inherited from someone else! It's been so popular that a friend canned 4 ounce jars and gave them as wedding favors. My oldest daughter asked me to do the same thing, and so we gifted wedding guests with 300 small jars of salsa at her autumn-themed wedding. —Angela Barnes, Big Rapids, Michigan
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Peanut Butter Brownie Mix

I discovered this recipe in our local newspaper, and when I gave it a try, my family loved it. While you can pack the dry ingredients into any kind of quart-sized container, a glass jar lets the pretty layers show. Cover an ordinary canning-jar lid with special fabric to customize the gift for an occasion or the season. —Lynn Dowdall, Perth, Ontario
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Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix

I gave this away at our neighborhood Christmas party in cutie-patootie gift bags and was thrilled that I was able to give something to everyone. But the next week I started getting calls from the neighbors who'd made it and was blown away at the response. Everyone loves this! The white chocolate is what makes it extra creamy and chocolaty!—Mandy Rivers, Lexington, South Carolina
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Homemade Pasta Dough

Go for it. Once you try homemade pasta, you're hooked. —Kathryn Conrad, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Grandma's Dill Pickles

This treasured dill pickle recipe is like an old friend. These crispy spears have a slightly salty, tart flavor with a good balance of dill, garlic and peppers. —Betty Sitzman, Wray, Colorado
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Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

I like using pretty mini muffin liners and topping these homemade peanut butter cups with colored sprinkles to coordinate with the holiday we're celebrating. People can't believe how simple it is to make this irresistible candy with gooey peanut butter centers. This is how to make homemade peanut butter cups. —LaVonne Hegland, St. Michael, Minnesota
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Cuban Chimichurri

This fresh Cuban sauce wonderfully complements steak, but pour it over a burger, and your taste buds will thank you! —Elaine Sweet, Dallas, Texas
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Ready Gravy Mix

This dry mix keeps up to 6 months, so any time you yearn for chicken or beef gravy, you can stir up a portion. You'll love its just-made flavor and convenience. —Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah
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Homemade Pizza Sauce

For years, I had trouble finding a pizza sauce recipe my family liked, so I started making my own. The evening I served it to company and they asked for my recipe, I knew I'd finally got it right! When I prepare my sauce, I usually fix enough for three to four pizzas and freeze it. Feel free to spice up the sauce to suit your own family's tastes. —Cheryl Kravik, Spanaway, Washington
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Quick Biscuits

These biscuits make a satisfying accompaniment to any meal. I never made biscuits until I tried this two-ingredient recipe, now my husband wants them all the time! —Diane Hixon, Niceville, Florida
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Slow-Cooker Coconut Granola

Here's a versatile treat with a taste of the tropics. Change it up by subbing dried pineapple or tropical fruits for the cherries. —Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Spiced Maple Mustard

Have grill masters on your Christmas list? Consider giving them a special homemade mustard flavored with maple syrup, allspice and turmeric. Everyone just loves it. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Apple-Cinnamon Oatmeal Mix

Apple cinnamon oatmeal is a breakfast staple at our house. It's a warm nutritious start to the day that keeps us going all morning. We used to buy the oatmeal mixes, but we think our homemade version is better! Feel free to substitute raisins or other dried fruit for the apples. —Lynne Van Wagenen, Salt Lake City, Utah
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Confetti Bean Soup Mix

With its colorful variety of beans and delicious flavor, this soup is tempting. I like to give it to friends each Christmas. —Rebecca Lambert, Staunton, Virginia
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Lemony Snack Mix

I'm on a gluten-restricted diet. I came up with this snack mix one day when I wanted something fast and easy that tasted like lemon bars. It makes a great gift, and folks love the light and fresh citrus flavor. —Patricia Sensenich, Olanthe, Kansas
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Mom's Macaroni and Cheese

The wonderful homemade goodness of this creamy Velveeta mac and cheese makes it a staple side dish in my mother's kitchen and in mine as well. It has tender noodles and a crowd-pleasing golden crumb topping. —Maria Costello, Monroe, North Carolina
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting

Chocolate and peanut butter are such an enjoyable combination. This delicious chocolate peanut butter frosting makes a satisfying topping to these moist chocolate cupcakes.—Ruthe Stevenson, Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Olive Oil Dip

Combine a blend of herbs to create this mouthwatering mix. Plumping the herbs in water before stirring into olive oil enhances the flavor. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Homemade Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is a scrumptious spread for scones, biscuits or other baked goods. You can find it in larger grocery stores alongside the jams and jellies or with the baking supplies, but we like making this lemon curd recipe from scratch. —Mark Hagen, West Allis, Wisconsin
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All-Day Apple Butter

I make several batches of this simple and delicious homemade apple butter recipe to freeze in jars. Depending on the sweetness of the apples used, you can adjust the sugar to taste. —Betty Ruenholl, Syracuse, Nebraska
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Spicy Pickled Garlic

Here's a delicious condiment for the garlic lover on your list. You'll be pleasantly surprised how pickling mellows out the garlic, making it a tasty sandwich topper. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Soft Sesame Breadsticks

I've been making these tasty breadsticks that go with almost any meal for years. Since they use ingredients like flour, sugar, baking powder and milk, it's convenient and inexpensive to mix up a batch. —Nancy Johnson, Connersville, Indiana
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Susie's Hot Mustard

My husband enjoys spreading this bold, robust mustard on anything that needs an extra "bite" of flavor. —Susie Gibson, Alta Loma, California
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Slow Cooker Fruit Compote

I use canned goods and my slow cooker to whip up an old-fashioned treat that’s loaded with sweet fruits. It makes a cozy dessert or even a change-of-pace side dish for large parties. —Mary Ann Jonns, Midlothian, Illinois
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Mom's Pickled Carrots

My mother is the only other person I've known to make this recipe. In fact, when I take it to a potluck or picnic, no one has ever heard of pickled carrots. But once they try them, they are hooked. —Robin Koble, Fairview, Pennsylvania
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Red Lentil Soup Mix

Give your friends the gift of good health. Red lentils are a protein powerhouse, and loaded with folate, iron and fiber. Oh, and this soup tastes amazing, too. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Triple Chocolate Cookie Mix

Everyone likes a good old-fashioned cookie mix—and this one is especially popular with chocoholics! Tie the prep and baking directions to the jar with a colorful ribbon. —Patricia Swart, Galloway, New Jersey
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Nutty Slow-Cooker Snack Mix

My three boys inhale snacks! This easy recipe makes a big batch that keeps them snacking happily for the day—and I appreciate that the nutrient-dense nuts add a little protein. —Jennifer Fisher, Austin, Texas
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Overnight Oatmeal

Start this breakfast the night before so you can get some extra sleep in the morning. My husband adds coconut to his, and I stir in dried fruit. —June Thomas, Chesterton, Indiana
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Homemade Spicy Hot Sauce

I created this spicy recipe one day using what I had available from my garden: hot peppers, carrots, onions and garlic. The carrots make this recipe stand out. —Carolyn Wheel, Fairfax, Vermont
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Homemade Hot Cocoa

This homemade hot chocolate recipe will make people think you fussed but it is so simple. —Hershey Food Corporation, Cheryl Reitz, Hershey, Pennsylvania
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Pressure-Cooker Cinnamon Applesauce

Homemade applesauce is a breeze in an electric pressure cooker. A few minutes of prep and a short cook time put this treat on the table very quickly! —Ally Billhorn, Wilton, Iowa
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Homemade Vanilla Extract

Homemade vanilla is fun to give in decorative bottles with attractive labels. Share it with special friends who like to cook or bake. —Becky Jo Smith, Kettle Falls, Washington
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Barbecue Seasoning

I use this BBQ seasoning on country-style ribs, pork chops and chicken. You'll likely have all of the seasonings on hand to make a batch, and if you don't use it all, it will keep for the next time. —Rose Rainier, Sheridan Wyoming
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Peppermint-Fudge Brownie Mix

This mix is so pretty when packaged as a gift, with the crushed peppermints sparkling against the dark chocolate colors. I like to print the baking instructions neatly on an index card to include with the mix, and decorate with Christmas stickers. —Barbara Burge, Los Gatos, California
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Party Animal Snack Mix

A colorful and fun snack mix does't get any easier than this. Mix and match with your sweet and salty favorites. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Hot Buttered Cider Mix

Put the butter base for this beverage in a decorative jar and attach a copy of the recipe for a great gift from your kitchen. You can omit the brandy for a kid-friendly version. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Ranch Dressing and Dip Mix

This versatile recipe converts easily into a creamy dip or smooth dressing. It's delicious served with fresh veggies or drizzled over greens. —Carolyn Zimmerman, Fairbury, Illinois
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Molasses Cookie Mix

These spicy, old-fashioned treats are sure to be a hit with your family and friends. For holiday gift giving, I put a batch of this cookie mix in an attractive basket along with the recipe and a festive tea towel. —Barbara Stewart, Portland, Connecticut
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Cheese Crispies

For years I’ve taken these crispy, crunchy snacks to work. They get high marks from everybody in the teachers lounge. —Eileen Ball, Cornelius, North Carolina
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Chewy Honey Granola Bars

There's sweetness from the honey, chewiness from the raisins, hints of chocolate and cinnamon, and a bit of crunch. To save a few for later, wrap individual bars and place in a resealable freezer container. When you want a satisfying treat on short notice, just grab one and let it thaw for a few minutes. —Tasha Lehman, Williston, Vermont
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Split Pea Soup Mix

My mother sent me some of this pretty dry blend along with the recipe. The hearty soup is thick with lentils, barley and peas, and chicken is a nice change from the usual ham. —Susan Ruckert, Tangent, Oregon
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Cajun Snack Mix

I pack this mix in Christmas tins to give to friends and family. They can't seem to get enough-and it's so easy!
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Biscuit Baking Mix

You need just four common pantry staples to put together this versatile mix. I use it in recipes that call for store-bought baking mix. It's the key to lightly browned biscuits as well as to chunky dumpling soup. —Tami Christman, Soda Springs, Idaho
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Taco Seasoning Mix

Create your own zippy taco seasoning for spicing up Mexican dishes. It's handy and less expensive than buying envelopes of prepared mix from the store. —Karen Owen, Rising Sun, Indiana
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Holiday Hot Buttered Rum Mix

My family loves serving this rich and delicious beverage around the holidays. It can be made with or without alcohol, so everyone enjoys it! —Alisa Pirtle, Browns Valley, California
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Wild Blueberry Muffins

Nothing is better than a warm blueberry muffin in the morning. This muffins are the best I have ever made. The wild blueberries make them extra special.—Dewey Grindle, Blue Hill, Maine
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Easy Rhubarb Relish

Easy Rhubarb Relish

I remember eating this relish at my grandmother's over 50 years ago. My mother made it for years and now my daughters make it. The relish complements any meat, but I find it a must with meat loaf. —Helen Brooks, Lacombe, Alberta r
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Chili-Scented Seasoning

This pleasantly mild seasoning blend perks up fish, poultry and meat. Shake a little of it on the table, just as you would salt. —Millie Osburn, Winona, Missouri
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Double Hot Horseradish Mustard

My family enjoys spicy food so this recipe is wonderful for us. We add it to sandwiches.—Madeline Cole, Willow, Alaska
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Big & Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies

My take on the classic cookie is inspired by a bakery in California called Hungry Bear. It's big, thick and chewy—truly the best chocolate chip cookie recipe. —Irene Yeh, Mequon, Wisconsin
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So-Easy Snack Mix

I eat this tasty treat just as much as (if not more than) the kids! Have fun with it by adding other goodies into the mix, like nuts, cereal, pretzels and more. —Jeff King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Hearty Pasta Soup Mix

Warm up loved ones on frosty winter nights with a gift of this hearty, stick-to-the-ribs soup mix. Packed in pretty glass jars, it looks just as good as it tastes! Be sure to include preparation instructions and a list of additional ingredients needed with your gift card. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Thyme-Sea Salt Crackers

These homemade crackers are decidedly light and crispy. An addictive snack on their own, they also pair well with a sharp white cheddar. —Jessica Wirth, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Roasting pumpkin seeds is easier than it seems. Just hollow a pumpkin out, spice 'em and bake 'em for a fun snack. —Dawn Fagerstrom, Warren, Minnesota
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Chippy Chocolate Cookie Mix

I've had this simple recipe for a long time and got the idea of layering the mix after seeing similar gift mixes in stores. I have yet to meet the person who doesn't rave over the cookies. I sometimes use M&M's in place of the peanut butter chips. —Francine Wingate, New Smyrna Beach, Florida
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Cheddar-Pecan Crisps

Lots of holiday treats are sweet. For a change of pace, I fill goodie bags with my cheese crackers. The recipe has a large yield, but you can freeze the dough logs to bake later. —Heather Necessary, Shamokin Dan, Pennsylvania
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Jambalaya Mix

Keep Sybil Brown's zippy jambalaya mix on hand, and a full-flavored meal is never far away. The Highland, California, cook adds shrimp, smoked sausage and a few other easy ingredients to the nicely seasoned rice mix to create a speedy skillet sensation.
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Air-Fryer Potato Chips

After I received an air fryer for Christmas, I discovered how simple it is to make potato chips in it. Good chips are an essential, crispy side for lunch. —Melissa Obernesser, Utica, New York
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Oatmeal Chip Cookie Mix

I like to give a jar of this oatmeal cookie mix, along with a cookie sheet, for a bridal shower or housewarming gift. —Joan Airey, Rivers, Manitoba
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Homemade Bagels

I always wanted to make my own bagels, so I searched to find a bagel recipe I could try. For variation and flavor, I sometimes add cinnamon and raisins or honey and sesame seeds to the dough.
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Kumquat Marmalade

I didn't even know what a kumquat was until my husband and I discovered them in southern Florida. Now I love using them for marmalade. I always get carried away making it and am happy to share! —Faye Robinson, Pensacola, Florida
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Gingerbread Cake Mix

I make this mixture so I can bake moist, nicely spiced gingerbread in no time. It's especially handy during the hectic holiday season. Other bakers I know love to get this as a gift. —Ruth Seitz, Columbus Junction, Iowa
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Sweet-Hot Asian Dipping Sauce

This Asian-inspired sauce is a delicious egg roll dipping sauce, but it can also be used for veggies or to make a sweet-tangy vinaigrette. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Chicago-Style Hot Giardiniera

I've been living in Chicago for the last 12 years and have grown to love the spicy giardiniera served at restaurants. So I developed my own to use at home. We love it on everything from eggs to sandwiches and even pizza! —Andrea Quiroz, Chicago, Illinois
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Mocha Pumpkin Seeds

Roasted pumpkin seeds are a classic fall snack. Kick them up a notch with instant coffee and cocoa powder for a mix that’s mocha genius at any time of year. —Rebekah Beyer, Sabetha, Kansas
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No-Bake Peanut Butter Treats

Perfect for road trips, these peanut butter oatmeal balls won’t stick to your hands. Keep them in the refrigerator for portable snacks. —Sonia Rohda, Waverly, Nebraska
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Spicy Ketchup

When this homemade ketchup is bubbling on the stove, the aroma takes me back to childhood. One taste and I’m home again. —Karen Naihe, Kamuela, Hawaii
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Spinach Pesto

Serve this vibrant pesto on pasta, pizza, sandwiches and more. If you don't have fresh oregano on hand, you can omit it. —Susan Westerfield, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Easy Potato Rolls

After I discovered this recipe, it became a mainstay for me. I make the dough ahead of time when company is coming, and I try to keep some in the refrigerator to bake for our ranch hands. Leftover mashed potatoes are almost sure to go into these rolls. —Jeanette McKinney, Belleview, Missouri
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Homemade Cajun Seasoning

We in Louisiana love seasoned foods. I use Cajun seasoning recipe in gravy, over meats and with salads. It makes an excellent gift for teachers. Many have asked for the recipe. —Onietta Loewer, Branch, Louisiana
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Very Berry Spread

Two kinds of berries make this jam deliciously different. I always keep some on hand.—Irene Hagel, Choiceland, Saskatchewan
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The Best Marinara Sauce

I developed this recipe with a friend to make the most of a bumper crop of tomatoes. Now we like to make huge batches—we’re talking 220-pounds-of- tomatoes huge—and then give jars along with a pound of pasta as gifts around the holidays. Knowing this sauce is made from the heart with the best possible ingredients makes me feel good about giving it to my family and friends. —Shannon Norris, Cudahy, Wisconsin
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Nutty Apple Butter

Being a New England native, I love apple-picking season. Grab some apples and peanut butter to make your own creamy riff on a PB&J. Of course it’s great on a sandwich, but you can dunk sliced fruit or graham crackers in it, too. —Brandie Cranshaw, Rapid City, South Dakota
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Candied Pecans

Candied Pecans

I pack these easy candied pecans in jars tied with pretty ribbon for family and friends. My granddaughter gave some to a doctor at the hospital where she works, and he said they were too good to be true! —Opal Turner, Hughes Springs, Texas
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Crunchy Granola Pretzel Sticks

I love this healthier, portable snack that's sweet, crunchy and fun to make. If you don't have granola, use other cereals or nuts. You can even do bacon bits.—Kelly Silvers, Edmond, Oklahoma
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Peanut Butter Cookies

It is amazing how much flavor these simple peanut butter cookies without brown sugar have. I make them very often because I always have the ingredients on hand. —Maggie Schimmel, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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Watermelon Jelly

With its beautiful color and intense watermelon flavor, this jelly preserves summer to enjoy long after the cool weather arrives. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

To add delicious flavor to your pumpkin pie recipe, try this pumpkin spice. This pumpkin pie spice blend can also be used to make spiced nuts. —Mary Dixon, Catlin, Illinois
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End of Garden Relish

We dollop this tangy relish on burgers, hot dogs and salads. It’s a cool way to use up garden produce, and people love it at picnics and potlucks. —Karen Stucky, Freeman, South Dakota
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Sweet & Spicy Pickled Red Seedless Grapes

Most people don't think about grapes when creating a canned pickle recipe. The pickling liquid for these grapes includes red wine, vinegar, and common pickling spices like coriander, mustard seeds and hot pepper; it also contains warm spices like cinnamon and star anise along with brown sugar. These flavor-packed grapes are unique and delicious on an antipasto, pickle or cheese tray. —Cheryl Perry, Hertford, North Carolina
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Remoulade

This creamy remoulade recipe is the perfect way to add some Louisiana spice to your favorite sandwiches, crab cakes and burgers. —Lauren Knoelke, Des Moines, Iowa
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Make-Ahead Butterhorns

Mom loved to make these lightly sweet, golden rolls. They're beautiful and impressive and have a homemade taste that makes them memorable. —Bernice Morris, Marshfield, Missouri
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Family-Favorite Cinnamon Candy

I have fond memories of standing at my grandmother's stove with my mom and my aunts, helping to make this cherished recipe. Now I share the tradition with my kids. —Wendy Hagan, Oak Grove, Louisiana
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Salt-Free Herb Blend

Eva Bailey of Olive Hill, Kentucky combines a handful of seasonings, from paprika to poppy seed, to make this salt-free mix that will perk up poultry, meat and vegetables, too.
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Country White Bread

Anytime is the right time for a comforting slice of homemade bread. These loaves are especially nice since the crust stays so tender. This white bread recipe is my husband Nick's favorite. He makes most of the bread at our house. —Joanne Shew Chuk, St. Benedict, Saskatchewan

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.