We love to share recipes and stories of food with you, and some of our favorites are about dishes that stir up happy feelings and the comforts of home. (Like a dinner your mom made or the treat that made you feel so special.) Today we’re dishing up our favorite family-memory dishes to inspire you to make and create more happy home traditions.
Chicago-Style Hot Dog
To this day, Jennifer Buege can’t see a Chicago-style hot dog without thinking of Saturday afternoons with her mom. Every few weeks or so after grocery shopping, she and her mom would duck into a little restaurant in a strip mall in her hometown where they sold nothing but Vienna beef dogs topped with all the usual suspects: yellow mustard, pickle relish, tomato slices, white onions and sport peppers. (She’d usually take those off.) The shop’s long closed, but fortunately Jennifer can still get her fix with this recipe for Chicago-Style Crescent Dogs.
Kate Rogers may have grown up in Minnesota, but she’s a mountain girl at heart. She was born in the Rockies, which may explain her fierce attachment to Chicken Maximilian from “Gwyn’s High Alpine Cookbook.” How could one resist? It’s chicken in a creamy tomato-chile sauce with mounds of shredded cheese, crushed corn chips and a dollop of seasoned sour cream. It was also one of the only meals that everyone got excited about. “There were too many opinions at our house, but somehow we always agreed on Chicken Max,” says Kate’s mom.
Alyssa Vance vividly remembers her first tour of a professional kitchen. She and her family took an annual trip to Maui, and every year she personally devoured J.J.’s cheesy, buttery, stuffed artichoke at Jameson’s (a restaurant that’s since closed). During one trip, when she was 10 years old, she was mid-artichoke when J.J. himself stopped over to ask if she’d like to come to the kitchen while he cooked up his namesake dish. She happily obliged, took a mental note of the recipe and has been making it for family and friends ever since. She suggests using Crusty French Loaf for the croutons!
Brita Nelson’s sweet tooth made her a challenge at the dinner table as a child, until her mom made a dish she called “candied chicken.” It instantly became Brita’s most requested meal. “It’s basically baked chicken and potatoes doused in syrup,” she says. “I’d always add extra syrup.” To this day, she still requests it when she visits home. “It makes me feel happy and loved.” She found a similar recipe that she’s planning on making herself to share with friends.
Dutch Pigs in a Blanket
Madison Mayberry grew up in a small town in Iowa with a strong Dutch heritage, meaning a lot of her favorite family recipes are things people have never heard of before. Two years ago, her 91-year-old grandmother taught her to make saucijsjes, the Dutch version of pigs in a blanket. It’s a family tradition to have saucijsjes every Christmas morning, and now her freezer is always filled with a stash for easy weeknight meals.