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Our 60 Greatest Recipes from the Shores of the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes region has a lot to offer. Check out amazing recipes—everything from fried fish to cherry desserts to homemade bread—from cooks who call the lakeshore home.

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Lemon Batter Fish Exps Hca19 10179 E06 22 5b 22

Lemon-Batter Fish

Fishing is a popular recreational activity where we live, so folks are always looking for ways to prepare their catches. My husband ranks this as one of his favorite fish fry batters. —Jackie Hannahs, Cedar Springs, Michigan
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Blueberry Rhubarb Country Tart

When the rhubarb comes in, mix it with blueberries for a rustic and bubbly tart. Offer it to a friend with a warm cup of tea. —Jeanne Ambrose, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Garden Vegetable Corn Bread Exps Thjj17 145348 D02 02 6b 3

Garden Vegetable Cornbread

When I was a kid, my parents would make cornbread for my siblings and me. We would slather butter and maple syrup over the warm bread—it was delicious. Today I experiment a lot with recipes, just as my grandma and mom did, and that's how my version of their easy cornbread recipe was born! —Kim Moyes, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Grilled Apple Tossed Salad Exps Sdas17 33475 B04 06 4b 10

Grilled Apple Tossed Salad

The grilled apples in this salad combine so well with the blue cheese, walnuts and balsamic dressing. I like to serve it on pink Depression glass dessert plates from my great-grandmother. —Paul Soska, Toledo, Ohio
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Heirloom Tomato Tart Exps134508 Thhc1998108b03 23 6bc Rms 2

Heirloom Tomato Tart

Here's a delicious way to use the tomato bounty from your garden or the great buys from the local farmers' market. If you don't have heirloom tomatoes, try regular tomatoes with grape or plum tomatoes. —Kathryn Conrad, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Herb Focaccia Rolls

Yeast rolls speckled with fresh thyme and rosemary are a breeze to make without kneading and long wait times. Break out the good butter for these adorable rolls. —Linda Schend, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Pan Roasted Chicken And Vegetables Exps Hrbz16 134862 D09 15 1b 23

Pan-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

This one-dish roast chicken with vegetables tastes as if it took hours of hands-on time to put together, but the simple ingredients can be prepped in mere minutes. The rosemary gives it a rich flavor, and the meat juices cook the veggies to perfection. It’s unbelievably easy! —Sherri Melotik, Oak Creek, Wisconsin
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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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Dill Bloody Marys Exps Sddj19 37046 E07 19 1b 6

Dill Bloody Marys

With a nice level of pepper, and just enough dill from the pickle, these Bloody Marys are sure to please. To make Contrary Marys simply leave out the vodka. —Jay Ferkovich, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Pineapple Pretzel Fluff

I often bring this salad to potlucks, and everyone goes crazy for the sweet and crunchy combination. Be sure to add the pretzel mixture right before serving to keep it crispy. —Beth Olby, Ashland, Wisconsin
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Honey Walleye Exps Thsum18 2698 D02 01 5b 10

Honey Walleye

Our state is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, so fishing is a favorite hobby here. This recipe is my quick way to prepare all the fresh walleye hooked by the anglers in my family. —Kitty McCue, St. Louis Park, Minnesota
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Michigan Cherry Salad

This recipe reminds me what I love about my home state: picking apples with my children, buying greens at the farmers market and tasting cherries on vacations. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan
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Citrus Cranberry Pie Exps Bw19 29181 E08 22 2b 3

Citrus Cranberry Pie

To showcase abundant fall cranberries, make this beautiful lattice-topped cranberry pie. A dollop of orange cream complements the slightly tart flavor. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Crusty Homemade Bread

Crackling homemade bread makes an average day extraordinary. Enjoy this beautiful crusty bread recipe as is, or stir in a few favorites like cheese, garlic, herbs and dried fruits. —Megumi Garcia, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Blueberry-Orange Muffins

This recipe was given to me some time ago, and I've used it often since. In fact, it's so good that it won first prize at a county fair! Blueberries are plentiful here in the Midwest, and this is a delicious way to prepare them. —Irene Parry, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Barbecued Meatballs Exps Cimz17 5830 B07 13 5b 10

Barbecued Meatballs

Grape jelly and chili sauce are the secrets that make these meatballs so fantastic. If I’m serving them at a party, I prepare the meatballs and sauce in advance and reheat them right before guests arrive. —Irma Schnuelle, Manitowoc, Wisconsin
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Chewy Salted Peanut Bars

My rich bars are studded with the all-American peanut. I like to think famed peanut farmer Jimmy Carter would approve. —Ann Marie Heinz, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
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Pressure-Cooker Cheddar Bacon Ale Dip

My tangy, smoky dip won the top prize at our office party recipe contest. Use whatever beer you like, but steer clear of dark varieties. —Ashley Lecker, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Bluebarb Pie Exps Tohpp19 120860 E03 19 13b 4

Bluebarb Pie

If you're a fan of strawberry-rhubarb pie, you'll want to try this twist on the classic. Here, blueberries provide the sweet counterpoint to the tart rhubarb, with mouthwatering results. —Steve Gyuro, Franklin, Wisconsin
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The Best Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

What makes this the best out of all the scalloped potatoes recipes out there? I slice them extra thin and toss them in a rich, creamy cheese sauce. Then, to make them the best ever, I sprinkle homemade bread crumbs on top—they get nice and crispy in the oven. Make room for these at all your family get-togethers. —Aria Thornton, Taste of Home Prep Cook
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Cherry Bounce

Smooth and with the fragrant flavor of sweet cherries, this homemade cherry bounce recipe makes a wonderful holiday gift. For an additional treat, the drained cherries are delicious over vanilla ice cream. —Matt Warren, Mequon, Wisconsin
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Christmas Morning Popovers Exps Thca19 30910 B08 21 5b 5

Popovers

Popovers have been a Christmas morning tradition in my family for 30 years. I get up early to make the popovers, then wake the family to begin opening gifts. When the popovers are ready, I serve them with lots of butter and assorted jams. My father-in-law began the tradition. —Sue A. Jurack
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Apple Maple Pecan Salad

A well-made salad has good taste and pleasing crunch. This one with cabbage, apples and pecans gets high marks in both, with extra points for color contrast. —Emily Tyra, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes With Bacon Exps Cwfm18 41080 C10 12 9b 5

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Bacon

This side always takes my guests by surprise because of the smoky, creamy flavor. No doubt you'll get major kudos when you place these potatoes on your table. —Cynthia Boberskyj Rochester, NY
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Grilled Onion Skirt Steak Tacos Exps Ftts21cb 194481 B08 20 4b 17

Grilled Onion & Skirt Steak Tacos

I grew up watching my grandmother and mother in the kitchen. My grandparents came from Mexico, and these skirt steak tacos marinated in beer and lime juice honor their passion for cooking. —Adan Franco, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Big Buttery Chocolate Chip Cookies Exps Tham19 156150 C11 14 3b 22

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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The Best Ever Tomato Soup Exps Cffbz22 222724 B10 01 2b 10

The Best Ever Tomato Soup

Creamy, rich and bursting with brightness, this tomato soup recipe is the ultimate sidekick to a grilled cheese sandwich. You can't beat this homemade version of the classic. — Josh Rink, Taste of Home Food Stylist
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Creamy Chocolate-Banana Pie

You can make almost any dessert more awesome with chocolate. In this cream pie, fresh banana and chocolate make a truly irresistible combo. —Diane Nemitz, Ludington, Michigan
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Apricot Cranberry Bread

I was making cranberry bread one day and wanted to try something a little different. I found a jar of apricot jam in the refrigerator and decided to spoon the jam into the center of the bread. It looked lumpy, so I took a knife and cut the jam into the bread. The end result was delicious. —Diane Roth, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Seasoned Oven Fries Exps Cf2bz19 38348 C12 19 6b 2 22

Seasoned Oven Fries

The next time you’re craving fries, opt for these speedy, health-conscious wedges that bake in the oven. They’re just as tasty as deep-fried versions and made with less mess. —Pat Fredericks, Oak Creek, Wisconsin
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Fresh Heirloom Tomato Salad

This tomato salad is a summertime must. A standout dressing takes the tasty ingredients to a brand-new level. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Onion Brie Appetizers Exps Bmz17 21302 B10 28 2b 7

Onion Brie Appetizers

Guests will think you spent hours preparing these cute appetizers, but they're really easy to assemble, using purchased puff pastry. And the tasty combination of Brie, caramelized onions and caraway is terrific. -Carole Resnick, Cleveland, Ohio
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Herbed Potato Salad

Calcium-rich cheese, and potatoes and peppers packed with vitamin C make this picnic-and-potluck favorite something to smile about! —Judy Grebetz, Racine, Wisconsin
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Cherry Cheese Cupcakes

Our church Christmas party always includes these pretty cupcakes as my home-baked contribution. The holidays were the sweet inspiration for their cheery garnish of cherries. —Leanne Beagley, Rochester, New York
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Chocolate Almond Drops

So much rich, chocolaty flavor, so little time! My trufflelike cookies are deceptively easy to make and look so elegant on a party tray. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota
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The Best Ever Grilled Cheese Sandwich Exps Thso18 222725 D03 06 4b 6

The Best Ever Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Spreading a mixture of mayo and butter on the bread creates a delightfully crispy crust with the well-loved, wonderful flavor of butter one expects on a grilled cheese sandwich.—Josh Rink, Taste of Home Food Stylist
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Emily S Honey Lime Coleslaw Exps Thjj17 201853 C02 02 4b 10

Emily's Honey Lime Coleslaw

Here’s a refreshing take on slaw with a honey-lime vinaigrette rather than the traditional mayo. It’s a great take-along for all those summer picnics. —Emily Tyra, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Gingerbread Oatmeal Cookies Exps Thfm17 198281 C09 22 1b 14

Gingerbread Oatmeal Cookies

Cookie butter and ground ginger add a new layer of flavor. The recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies, and they go fast. You may want to make a double batch. —Carole Resnick, Cleveland, Ohio
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Smoked Trout Pate

This tasty spread is easy to make in a food processor, and it’s a guaranteed winner at any party. The recipe is versatile, so feel free to substitute other favorite smoked fish.—Judy Walle, Toledo, Ohio
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Pistachio Quick Bread

I love making many of these special loaves to give away for the holidays. They also freeze well so it is easy to pull out for unexpected guests. —Judy Fischer, Green Bay, Wisconsin
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Chicken Veggie Soup Exps Scbz1806 41334 E06 28 4b 6

Chicken Veggie Soup

This satisfying veggie soup hits the spot at lunch or dinner. Add a side salad and some whole grain bread for a delicious, nutritious meal. —Amy Cheatham, Sandusky, Ohio
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Flaky Cheddar Chive Biscuits Exps82730 Th133086c07 23 3bc Rms

Flaky Cheddar-Chive Biscuits

These wonderful, buttery biscuits complement any dinner. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Chard & Bacon Linguine

I use Swiss chard every way I can, and that includes stirring it into this breezy linguine. When you’re short on time, this dish keeps life simple. —Diane Nemitz, Ludington, Michigan
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Carrot-Cranberry Spice Cake

I love carrot cake and those made with cranberries. Using leftover cranberry sauce, I add carrots to make one marvelous cake that’s tangy and sweet. —Elizabeth King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Black Forest Tart

Cherry pie filling and a melted chocolate drizzle top a rich, fudgy cake made from chocolate cookie crumbs. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Nutty Cheesecake Squares

I grew up on a farm and have had a lot of good recipes handed down to me. This is one of my favorite desserts to serve when guests come over or at family gatherings and church suppers. —Ruth Simon, Buffalo, New York
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Dad's Favorite Pizza

Our daughter, Stephanie, makes this pizza for her dad whenever he has a craving for it. Meat eaters will definitely get their fill with a slice of this deep-dish delight.—Nancy Jo Leffler, DePauw, Indiana
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Best Ever Banana Bread Exps Tohdj20 3309 E07 31 7b 53

Best Ever Banana Bread

Whenever I pass a display of bananas in the grocery store, I can almost smell the wonderful aroma of my best banana bread recipe. It really is amazingly good! —Gert Kaiser, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Country Brunch Skillet

Using frozen hash browns and packaged shredded cheese shaves minutes off the prep time of this skillet egg dish, making it an appealing meal you can put together quickly. —Elvira Brunnquell, Port Washington, Wisconsin
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Pistachio Thumbprints

These mild pistachio-flavored cookies disappear in a wink. —Liz Probelski, Port Washington, Wisconsin.
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Loaded Baked Potato Dip

I never thought of using waffle-cut fries as a scoop for dip until a friend of mine did at a baby shower. They’re ideal for my cheesy bacon and chive dip, which tastes just like a baked potato topper. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Cherry Kiss Cookies Exps130401 Sd142780c08 13 1bc Rms 5

Cherry Kiss Cookies

Topped with a chocolate kiss, these cherry-flavored cookies look super cute on a dessert tray. Share them with family and friends. —Joy Yurk, Grafton, Wisconsin
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Chicken Casserole Exps4527 Codm2447924d10 04 2b Rms 4

Chicken Casserole

The original old family recipe for this chicken casserole called for the sauce to be made from scratch. Through the years, I developed this version that takes less time to prepare and still tastes great. It's an attractive main dish. —Ruth Van Dyke, Traverse City, Michigan
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Orange Sugar Cookies

I make these citrusy cookies for parties and special occasions, and we always get to eat the ones that don't come out perfectly. Eventually I had to start making extra "mistakes" to keep my family happy! —Myrrh Wertz, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Comforting Beef Barley Soup

When the weather outside is nippy, we want a bowl of soup that’s chock-full of beef, barley and veggies. It's the most delicious way to warm up. —Sue Jurack, Mequon, Wisconsin
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Spring Green Risotto Exps174214 Sd143204c12 05 3bc Rms 5

Spring Green Risotto

Once a week I create a new recipe for my blog, An Officer and a Vegan. I first made this risotto when I needed something cheerful and comforting. It would be fantastic with asparagus, zucchini or summer squash, but use whatever veggies are in season. —Deanna McDonald, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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S More Pudgy Pie Exps112476 Sd1999448a02 25 5bc Rms 3

S'more Pudgy Pie

"Simply sinful" is how testers described this fresh take on s'mores. —Joanne Surfus, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
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Homemade Potato Chips Exps Wrsm17 39614 C03 22 1b 8

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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Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower Bites Exps Thfm19 200797 E09 25 3b 15

Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Try these savory bites for a kickin' appetizer that's tasty and healthy, too! —Emily Tyra, Traverse City, Michigan
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Celebration Cheese Balls Exps38774 Uh132930d05 23 1bc Rms 4

Celebration Cheese Balls

A handful of simple ingredients that go together in minutes, three fun flavorful options…these creamy cheese balls from our Test Kitchen are a darling, do-ahead delight for busy holiday hostesses! Why not whip up several batches? —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.