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Main Content

Favorite Family Recipes

The best recipes are those passed along as family favorites

Photography by Mark Mosrie

Food styling by Whitney Kemp

As early spring makes up its mind whether to hang on to the cold or give way to warmer temperatures, it’s a good time to combine comfort foods, such as beef roast, with cold-weather garden vegetables, such as beets, parsnips, and winter squash.

These recipes from Out Here readers will surely hit the spot.

Beef Roast

“Here is my recipe for the most delicious roast ever,” writes Flo Gabay, of Jacks Creek, Tenn.


  • 3-pound chuck roast
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. chipotle chile pepper (Use black pepper if you don’t like spicy pepper)
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 cup peach-flavored soda (We use Fago brand)
  • ½ cup chili sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place roast in a pan, cut slits in it, and add pieces of garlic.
  3. In a bowl, combine salt, chipotle chili pepper, and garlic powder. Sprinkle over meat and pat in.
  4. In a small bowl, combine soda, chili sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over roast.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and roast for 2½ to 3 hours, or until tender.


Serves 6.

Roasted Winter Vegetables

From the Out Here kitchen: We tossed the beets in last so the other vegetables wouldn’t absorb so much of their red color.

“The first time I made this recipe was because I needed to use up some turnips and beets,” writes Sarah Cangialosi, of Gladstone, Va. “Now I save extra root vegetables especially for this recipe. It is an easy, colorful, and healthy addition to any meal.”

  • 6-8 cups winter vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, and winter squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ cup onions, cubed
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 Tbsp. dried — or 3 Tbsp. fresh — herbs, such as rosemary, thyme, parsley, oregano
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Toss ingredients, except onions, together (onions roast faster; they will be added shortly after).
  3. Spread in a single layer on greased baking pan(s) and place in oven.
  4. About 10 minutes into baking time, add onions.
  5. Roast about 20-35 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove from oven and season with salt and pepper. Serve with roasted garlic sauce.

Roasted garlic:

  1. Remove loose papery layers from outside of a whole garlic bulb, but do not peel.
  2. Slice off top of the bulb, exposing the tip of each clove.
  3. Place on a square of aluminum foil and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil or season with salt and pepper.
  4. Wrap tightly and bake alongside vegetables until tender.

Roasted garlic sauce:

  1. Bake one head of garlic as directed.
  2. Squeeze soft roasted cloves into a small bowl, mash with fork, and stir in ¾ cup plain yogurt.

Serves 8.

Prize-Winning Mocha Caramel Cheesecake

“This recipe earned my daughter a Grand Champion ribbon in 4-H at the Fond du Lac County Fair, and I received third place in the county cheesecake contest when I submitted the recipe,” writes Teri Panzer, of Brownsville, Wis.


  • 18 chocolate sandwich cookies
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, melted
  1. Coat a 9-inch pie pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Pulse cookies in food processor until finely ground. Add butter; process to blend.
  3. Press over bottom of pan. Place pie pan in freezer while proceeding.

From the Out Here kitchen: We used a spring form pan.


  • ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup instant coffee granules
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • ½ cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 1 packet unflavored gelatin
  • ¼ cup cold water
  • 3 bricks (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1¼ cups granulated sugar
  1. Put chocolate chips and coffee granules in a medium bowl. Stir in boiling water and let stand 1 minute to melt chocolate and dissolve coffee.
  2. Add caramel topping; whisk to blend well. Let cool 10 minutes.
  3. In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold water. Let stand 1 minute. Stir over low heat 2-3 minutes or until gelatin completely dissolves and liquid is clear.
  4. Whisk gelatin into coffee mixture.
  5. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese and sugar on high speed until smooth. Reduce speed to low and beat in coffee mixture until well blended.
  6. Pour into crust; cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or until firm.


  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 Tbsp. caramel ice cream topping, divided
  1. Beat whipping cream and 2 Tbsp. caramel topping in a medium bowl until soft peaks form when beaters are lifted.

Cut cheesecake, arrange on plates, and spoon on topping. Drizzle with remaining caramel.

Shortcut: Buy a chocolate cookie crust. Prepare filling as directed and pour into crust. Omit the topping if desired.

Serves 16.

Sausage, Mushroom and Cheese Breakfast 'Muffins'

“These compact omelets keep well in the refrigerator and can be individually microwaved for a minute or two for a quick and tasty breakfast, “ writes Julie Myrick, of Laurel, Miss. Plus, she adds, “you can create all kinds of options.”


  • ½ pound bulk sausage (mild or spicy based on taste)
  • 1 cup Vidalia or other sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped, or 4½-oz. jar of mushrooms, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 9-12 eggs (depending on size; 9 jumbos or 12 large)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Salt and pepper or other seasonings to taste
  • 1 to 1½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Use a large six-cup muffin tray. Spray either muffin cups or foil liners with cooking spray.
  2. Sauté sausage in skillet until cooked and lightly browned. Drain. Add onions and mushrooms, and sauté until soft.
  3. In a bowl, blend eggs, milk, and seasonings.
  4. Split sausage, onion, and mushroom mix between the six muffin cups. Top with 2-3 Tbsp. cheese.
  5. Pour egg mixture evenly between the six muffin cups (use a ½-cup measure, and distribute between cups; they should be about ¾ full, though less is okay).
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until well set and lightly browned. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, top muffins with additional cheese if desired. They may puff up above top of cup a bit.
  7. Let cool 5-10 minutes before removing from pan.

For the “Denver” option: Substitute ham for the sausage and sweet green and/or red peppers for the mushrooms. Sauté onions and peppers in 1 Tbsp. of butter until soft and then add cubed ham and sauté until hot.


Yields 6 large muffins.

B. Ann's Cheese Straws

These crunchy, cheesy snacks from William Crisler, of Dadeville, Ala., will last for about two weeks in a well-sealed container.


  • 1 stick butter or margarine
  • 1 lb. extra-sharp cheese, finely grated
  • 1½ cups plain, unsifted flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt, or less to taste
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  1. Let butter soften at room temperature.
  2. Add cheese and blend well.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and cayenne pepper together.
  4. Mix well with cheese mix.
  5. Roll and cut out in desired shapes.
  6. Place in ungreased pan and bake at 300 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

From the Out Here kitchen: We formed, rather than cut, shapes.