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50 Recipes for Your Retirement Bucket List

Have more free time now that you're retired? Spend a little extra time in the kitchen making the things you never had time to make, like homemade breads, jams, ice cream and more!

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Cinnamon Rolls

My wife likes to tell people that after I retired, I went from being the breadwinner to being the bread baker! It all started with a bread-making class at a nearby community college. Now my baked goods are favorites of friends and family, including these breakfast rolls. —Ben Middleton, Walla Walla, WA
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Luscious Blueberry Jam

This perfectly spreadable blueberry jam boasts a beautiful dark color with a sweet, seasonal flavor. —Karen Haen, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
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Strawberry Gelato

You'll love this smooth and creamy gelato with bright strawberry flavor and just a hint of sea salt and honey. —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
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Honey Challah

I use these shiny beautiful loaves as the centerpiece of my spread. I love the taste of honey, but you can also add chocolate chips, cinnamon, orange zest or almonds. Leftover slices of this sweet challah recipe work well in bread pudding or for French toast. —Jennifer Newfield, Los Angeles, California
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Zesty Lemon Curd

There are lemon trees in our backyard, so I'm always on the prowl for new ways to use the fruit. When we shared some of our homegrown citrus with neighbors—Canadians who were spending the winter here—the wife "repaid" us by giving us this recipe! The curd keeps well, and it can be used for any meal. My husband likes it on waffles and toast for breakfast, but it's also a great dessert topping on plain cake or ice cream. —Jean Gaines, Bullhead City, Arizona
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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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Glazed Spatchcocked Chicken

A few pantry items inspired this recipe, which I've since made for small weeknight meals or for big parties. —James Schend, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
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Soft Beer Pretzel Nuggets

What goes together better than beer and pretzels? Not much that I can think of. That’s why I put them together into one recipe. I’m always looking for new ways to combine fun flavors. I love the way this recipe turned out! —Alyssa Wilhite, Whitehouse, Texas
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Iced Honeydew Mint Tea

I grow mint in the garden on my balcony. For this tea, I blend two of my favorite beverages—Moroccan mint tea and honeydew agua fresca. —Sarah Batt Throne, El Cerrito, California
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Bacon-Wrapped Pesto Pork Tenderloin

I love to serve this family-favorite tenderloin—maybe because of the compliments that come with it! When the weather warms up, we grill it instead. —Megan Riofski, Frankfort, Illinois
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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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Chicken Tamales

I love making these homemade tamales. They take a little time to make but are so worth the effort. I usually make them for Christmas, but my family wants them more often, so I freeze a big batch. —Cindy Pruitt, Grove, Oklahoma
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Perfect Pizza Crust

I have spent years trying different recipes and techniques, looking for the perfect pizza crust recipe—and this is it! I'm amazed that I finally found a crust recipe my family prefers over the pizza parlor's! —Lesli Dustin, Nibley, 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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Old-Time Custard Ice Cream

I think my most memorable summertime dessert for get-togethers has always been homemade ice cream. This recipe is so rich and creamy and the perfect indulgence on a hot summer afternoon. —Martha Self, Montgomery, Texas
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Lobster alla Diavola

I’ve cooked lobster alla diavola (devil’s style) since I was first married. We serve lobster at family celebrations, usually with linguine or capellini. —Marcia Whitney, Gainesville, Florida
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Malted Chocolate & Stout Layer Cake

If you want a dessert that will take the cake at a St. Patrick's Day celebration, look no further! The rich chocolate cake is incredibly moist and has a nice malt flavor that's perfectly complemented by the Irish cream frosting. —Jennifer Wayland, Morris Plains, New Jersey
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Rosemary Lemonade

A friend suggested I add a sprig of rosemary to lemonade. The herb makes the drink taste fresh and light, and it's a pretty garnish. —Dixie Graham, Rancho Cucamonga, California
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Apricot Amaretto Jam

This thick, chunky apricot jam was my grandma's recipe; it's lovely to make something for my family and friends that she made for hers! —Linda Wegner, Robinson, Illinois
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Honey Bagels

Who has time to make from-scratch bagels? You do, with this easy recipe! The chewy golden bagels offer a hint of honey and will win over even the pickiest eaters. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Burnt Custard

The recipe for this smooth-as-silk custard came from a local restaurant years ago. With its broiled topping it looks pretty in individual cups. —Heidi Main, Anchorage, Alaska
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Glazed Doughnuts

The light coffee flavor in these tasty sugar-glazed doughnuts makes them a perfect start to the morning...on Christmas Day or any day. You'll find that the recipe is a delectable way to use up leftover potatoes. —Pat Siebenaler, Random Lake, Wisconsin
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Homemade Chicken Broth

Wondering how to make chicken broth at home? Learn here! Rich in chicken flavor, this traditional broth is lightly seasoned with herbs. Besides making wonderful chicken soups, this chicken stock recipe can be used in casseroles, rice dishes and other recipes that call for chicken broth. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Blue Cheese-Mushroom Stuffed Tenderloin

Here’s my go-to entree for just about any special occasion. Filled with a savory stuffing, the sliced tenderloin looks and tastes like a specialty from an upscale restaurant. —Joyce Conway, Westerville, Ohio
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Classic French Onion Soup

Enjoy my signature French onion soup the way my granddaughter Becky does: I make onion soup for her in a crock bowl, complete with garlic croutons and gobs of melted Swiss cheese on top. —Lou Sansevero, Ferron, Utah
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Best Ever Crescent Rolls

My daughter and I have cranked out dozens of homemade crescent rolls. It’s a real team effort. I cut the dough into pie-shaped wedges; she rolls. —Irene Yeh, Mequon, Wisconsin
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French Macarons

Even decorated simply—a sprinkle of sugar, a drizzle of icing—these stylish beauties are part of our creative Christmas cookies collection. They will be the showstoppers on any cookie tray. —Josh Rink, Photo Stylist Taste of Home
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Make-Ahead Eggnog

Sipping homemade eggnog is a holiday tradition for many families. Our slow cooker version of the classic drink couldn’t be easier to make. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Hot Cocoa Souffle

A friend invited me to go to a cooking demo at her church years ago, and one of the recipes prepared was this luscious souffle. It was so easy—and absolutely delicious. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Homemade Ravioli

I love to bake and cook, especially Italian dishes like this homemade ravioli recipe. In fact, my idea of a perfect day consists of cooking my family's favorite foods then watching them dig in!—Lori Daniels, Hartland, Michigan
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Steamed Mussels with Peppers

Use the French bread to soak up the deliciously seasoned broth. If you like food zippy, add the jalapeno seeds. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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French Loaves

My kids love to help me make this delicious bread recipe. It's quite easy, and they enjoy the fact that they can be eating fresh bread in less than two hours! —Denise Boutin, Grand Isle, Vermont
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Honey Cinnamon Butter

This recipe is a simple yet special spread for breakfast bread and muffins. —Sue Seymour, Valatie, New York
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Rose Petal Honey

This delicious recipe is a perfect topping for toast or English muffins. It is so simple to make and will impress guests at tea.—Mary Kay Dixson, Decatur, Alabama
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English Muffin Bread Loaf

Many years ago, a good friend gave me her mother's recipe for this delightful bread, and I've made it ever since. Toast it up for breakfast and don't forget to slather on your favorite jam. —Jane Zielinski, Rotterdam Junction, New York
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Seafood-Stuffed Salmon Fillets

You could get stuffed salmon from a big-box store, but my fillets are loaded with flavor from crab, cream cheese and savory herbs. We love them. —Mary Cokenour, Monticello, Utah
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Ricotta Gnocchi with Spinach & Gorgonzola

When my family comes for a visit, they always ask me to make this unique dish for dinner. Homemade cheesy gnocchi is topped with a rich sauce made with butternut squash, spinach and Gorgonzola.— Brud Holland, Watkins Glen, New York
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Roasted Tomato Salsa

Our family's all-time favorite salsa, this recipe is the reason we grow a huge garden every summer. We make gallons of it and share with our neighbors. You might find yourself eating it right out of the bowl with a spoon. —Donna Kelly, Orem, Utah
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Orange Jelly

Orange Jelly

For a change of pace, give this yummy jelly made from frozen orange juice a try. I've given it as gifts to friends and family—and many times the jars have been returned for refills. —Mary Rice, Maysville, Oklahoma
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Sage & Gruyere Sourdough Bread

A sourdough starter gives loaves extra flavor and helps the rising process. This bread, with sage and Gruyere cheese, comes out so well that I’m thrilled to share it. —Debra Kramer, Boca Raton, Florida
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Rhubarb Jelly

I help help my husband with the pouring and skimming for this jelly—my own personal favorite. It's nice as both a breakfast spread and a topping for pork or other meat. —Jean Coleman, Ottawa, Ontario
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Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pudding

One of the nice things about this easy pudding is you don't have to stand and stir it. This is a must for us at Christmas—at Thanksgiving and Easter, too! I also make it into a pie with graham cracker crust that our grandchildren love. —Amber Sampson, Somonauk, Illinois
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Old-World Ricotta Cheesecake

I reconstructed this dessert based on an old recipe that had been in the family for years but was never written down. The subtle cinnamon flavor of the zwieback crust reminds me of the cheesecake I enjoyed as a child, but substitute other crumbs if you like. —Mary Beth Jung, Hendersonville, North Carolina
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Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

We don't want to brag, but as far as vanilla ice cream recipes go, this one is the best. And with only four ingredients, it just might be the easiest, too. No ice cream maker? No problem. Just follow the directions below to learn how to make homemade ice cream by hand. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Sweet Tea Boysenberry Shandy

I love an ice-cold beer on a hot summer day. I also love sweet tea, so one day I got the great idea to mix the two. Wow! It was absolutely delish. I experimented with different flavorings, and this combination was my favorite. —Kelly Williams, Forked River, New Jersey
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Peach Cream Puffs

On a sizzling day, we crave something light, airy and cool. Nothing says summer like cream puffs stuffed with peaches and whipped cream. —Angela Benedict, Dunbar, West Virginia
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The Best Apple Pie

Boost your apple pie with a buttery crust, pre-cooked apples and an incredible filling with cider, cinnamon and lemon juice. —Nick Iverson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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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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Whiskey-Brandy Slush

It may be cold outside, but we like to serve this icy citrus drink for Christmas gatherings at our house. It is fantastic for parties and large gatherings, and it keeps well in the freezer. —Joan Shoebottom, Lexington, Michigan
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Spicy Sweet Potato Kale Cannellini Soup

This cross between a soup and a stew fits the meatless Monday bill quite nicely. It warms you right up, and satisfies without leaving you overstuffed.—Marybeth Mank, Mesquite, Texas

Emily Racette Parulski
Emily Racette Parulski is a Senior Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in email newsletters. When she’s not writing about food, she’s baking something sweet to feed her chocolate obsession.
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