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41 Recipes We Learned from Our Mother-in-Law

She knew her way around the kitchen and we couldn’t be happier she shared her recipes with us.

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Slow-Simmered Burgundy Beef StewTaste of Home

Slow-Simmered Burgundy Beef Stew

My mother-in-law shared this recipe with me many years ago. Ever since then, it’s been a go-to whenever I need good food without a lot of fussing. —Mary Lou Timpson, Colorado City, Arizona

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Old-World Puff PancakeTaste of Home

Old-World Puff Pancake

My mom told me her mother-in-law showed her how to make this dish, which became popular during the Depression, on their "get acquainted" visit in 1927. At that time, cooks measured ingredients in pinches, dashes and dibs. But through the years, accurate amounts were noted. My wife and I continue to enjoy this dish today, particularly for brunch. —Auton Miller, Piney Flats, Tennessee

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Southwestern Sauteed CornTaste of Home

Southwestern Sauteed Corn

My mother-in-law came up with this corn skillet dish one night for dinner. Everyone who tries it absolutely loves it! —Chandy Ward, Aumsville, Oregon

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Blueberry-Lemon Upside-Down CakeTaste of Home

Blueberry-Lemon Upside-Down Cake

I was young when I married, so I watched my mother-in-law to learn baking. This cake with fresh blueberries is one of her beauties. —Bonnie Roberts, Newaygo, Michigan

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Beef Tenderloin in Mushroom SauceTaste of Home

Beef Tenderloin in Mushroom Sauce

Just a skillet, a couple juicy steaks, fresh mushrooms and a few simple ingredients prove it doesn't take much fuss to fix a special meal for two. —Denise McNab, Warminster, Pennsylvania

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Chocolate Angel CakeTaste of Home

Chocolate Angel Cake

When I was married in 1944, I could barely boil water. My dear mother-in-law taught me her specialty—making the lightest angel food cakes ever. This chocolate version is an easy, impressive treat. —Joyce Shiffler, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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Big Batch Cheeseburger SoupTaste of Home

Big Batch Cheeseburger Soup

When my mother-in-law gave me her recipe for cheeseburger soup, I changed it a little to make it my own. You can use turkey meat instead of beef or add bell peppers or jalapenos for a little kick. —Christina Addison, Blanchester, Ohio

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Pumpkin CharlotteTaste of Home

Pumpkin Charlotte

My mother-in-law gave me this recipe a while back and I just love it! I make it for my husband and his friends during hunting season and it's a big hit. —Lorelle Edgcomb, Granville, Illinois

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Tomato Juice CocktailTaste of Home

Tomato Juice Cocktail

This recipe came from my mother-in-law and many say it’s the best tomato juice they’ve ever tasted. It has a little eye-opening kick to it that’s wonderful! —Beverly Cottrell, Ipswich, Maine

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Shortcake with Fresh Rhubarb SauceTaste of Home

Shortcake with Fresh Rhubarb Sauce

Every spring when her rhubarb was ready, my mother-in-law chopped it up for this moist cake. If your rhubarb is too tart for the sauce, just add in some strawberries. —Rena McCalment, Sharpsville, Indiana

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Sweet and Golden Easter BreadTaste of Home

Sweet and Golden Easter Bread

It is an Italian tradition to make this sweet, golden braid at Easter. This family heirloom recipe came from my mother-in-law and was passed down to her from her mother. If you're not a fan of raisins, the bread is just as wonderful without them. —Kathi West, Canton, Michigan

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Mama's Million-Dollar FudgeTaste of Home

Mama's Million-Dollar Fudge

No other fudge I've tasted comes close to the smooth, chocolate taste of this recipe, which my mother-in-law introduced me to one Christmas (I've never been able to make it as good as she does, though). Since it makes such a large batch, I always save some for last-minute gifts. —Gloria Heidner, Elk River, Minnesota

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Mexican LasagnaTaste of Home

Mexican Lasagna

I collect cookbooks and recipes (this one is from my son's mother-in-law). My husband teases me that I won't live long enough to try half of the recipes in my files! He loves this easy Mexican lasagna. —Rose Ann Buhle, Minooka, Illinois

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White Texas Sheet CakeTaste of Home

White Texas Sheet Cake

This cake gets better the longer it sits, so I try to make it a day ahead. My mother-in-law introduced this deliciously rich sheet cake to me. With its creamy frosting and light almond flavor, no one can stop at just one piece! —Joanie Ward, Brownsburg, Indiana

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Freezer Sweet CornTaste of Home

Freezer Sweet Corn

People ask me how to freeze corn on the cob because my frozen corn tastes as good as fresh! This way it stays crisp-tender and now I can have "fresh" corn any time of the year. —Judy Oudekerk, St. Michael, Minnesota

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Spinach Turkey MeatballsTaste of Home

Spinach Turkey Meatballs

Our children call these "Gramby Meatballs" because the recipe came from my dear mother-in-law. It's a great way to make spinach palatable. I usually make a triple batch, bake them all and freeze the extras for a quick meal later. —Mimi Blanco, Bronxville, New York

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Bohemian KolachesTaste of Home

Bohemian Kolaches

This kolache recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law, who received it from her mother! It was a standard treat in their family, made nearly every week. Now I make these kolaches for my own family for special occasions. —Maxine Hron, Quincy, Illinois

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Iced Cinnamon Potato RollsTaste of Home

Iced Cinnamon Potato Rolls

This recipe comes from my mother-in-law, who remembers making these rolls often. Now I make them often. Maybe they'll be a hit with your family, too! —Jonas Schwartz, Berne, Indiana

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Mediterranean Broccoli & Cheese OmeletTaste of Home

Mediterranean Broccoli & Cheese Omelet

My Italian mother-in-law taught me to make this omelet years ago—she would make it for breakfast, lunch or dinner and eat it on Italian bread. This is one of my favorite ways to use up leftover broccoli. —Mary Licata, Pembroke Pines, Florida

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Pork Medallions with Brandy Cream SauceTaste of Home

Pork Medallions with Brandy Cream Sauce

I adapted this easy, elegant main dish from a recipe my mother-in-law cooked for our family. Cayenne lends a bit of heat to its rich, creamy sauce. —Judy Armstrong, Prairieville, Louisiana

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Gingerbread Cookies with Buttercream IcingTaste of Home

Gingerbread Cookies with Buttercream Icing

When it’s time to start the cookie-baking season, this recipe always kicks off the festivities. My mother-in-law first shared it with me, but it’s too good to keep to myself! You can tint the buttery gingerbread cookie icing a cheery pink or green and pipe it on with a decorating tip. —Ann Scherzer, Anacortes, Washington

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Blueberry SlumpTaste of Home

Blueberry Slump

My mother-in-law used to make slump with wild blueberries and serve it warm with a pitcher of farm cream on the table. My husband and I have been eating it for 58 years, but the recipe is even older! —Eleanore Ebeling, Brewster, Minnesota

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Easy School Lunch Ideas-Fruit ParfaitTaste of Home

Gran's Granola Parfaits

When my mother-in-law (Gran to our kids) had us over for brunch, I especially enjoyed her yogurt parfaits. They were refreshing, light and wholesome. I made a few changes to her recipe and came up with this sweet, crunchy and nutty variation. Yum! —Angela Keller, Newburgh, Indiana

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Pork Chops & MushroomsTaste of Home

Pork Chops & Mushrooms

My mother-in-law gave me this recipe years ago, and I have used it ever since. My family loves the sweetness with a little kick.—Hilary Rigo, Wickenburg, Arizona

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Cinnamon-Pear Rustic TartTaste of Home

Cinnamon-Pear Rustic Tart

I was lucky enough to spend the holidays with my husband's family in Montana. I loved the rustic simplicity of each dish we tasted, especially this rustic pear tart my mother-in-law made. —Leah Waldo, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

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Christmas Sandwich CookiesTaste of Home

Christmas Sandwich Cookies

My mother-in-law gave me the recipe for these lovely melt-in-your-mouth cookies. They're a Christmas tradition at our house. —Elizabeth Klager, St. Catharines, Ontario

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Zucchini Crust PizzaTaste of Home

Zucchini Crust Pizza

My mother-in-law shared the recipe for this unique pizza with me. It's just right for brunch, lunch or a light supper. Loosen the nutritious zucchini crust from the pan with a metal spatula. —Ruth Denomme, Englehart, Ontario

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Raspberry SwirlsTaste of Home

Raspberry Swirls

My mother-in-law shared the recipe for these old-fashioned cookies. Swirls of raspberry jam give them a yummy Yuletide twist. —Marcia Hostetter, Canton, New York

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Gingered Pepper SteakTaste of Home

Gingered Pepper Steak

This wonderfully tender steak is a treat even for folks not watching their diet. When my mother-in-law shared the recipe, she said it cooks up in no time...and she was right! —Susan Adair, Somerset, Kentucky

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Heavenly Surprise CupcakesTaste of Home

Heavenly Surprise Cupcakes

The recipe for these filled and frosted cupcakes was handed down by my mother-in-law, who taught this fledgling cook what to do in the kitchen. She's no longer with us, but baking these treats reminds me of our good times together. —Judie Heiderscheit, Holy Cross, Iowa

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Gnocchi with Meat SauceTaste of Home

Gnocchi with Meat Sauce

This dish from my mother-in-law is the Italian version of a meat-and-potatoes meal. I recently served it to friends who immediately wanted the recipe. —Karin Nolton, Ortonville, Michigan

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Baked Elephant EarsTaste of Home

Baked Elephant Ears

My mother-in-law handed down this recipe from her mother. They’re a special treat—even better, I think, than those at a carnival or festival. And (shh!) they're baked, not fried. —Delores Baeten, Downers Grove, Illinois

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Cheesecake Pumpkin MuffinsTaste of Home

Cheesecake Pumpkin Muffins

My mother-in-law came up with these tender treats by combining a few of her favorite muffin recipes. Chock-full of pumpkin, they feature both a sweet cream cheese filling and crunchy praline topping. —Lisa Powelson, Scott City, Kansas

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Home-Style Sausage Gravy and BiscuitsTaste of Home

Home-Style Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

My mother-in-law introduced me to her hamburger gravy, and I modified it slightly. We have this every weekend. —Michele Bapst, Jacksonville, North Carolina

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Contest-Winning Gingerbread with Lemon SauceTaste of Home

Contest-Winning Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce

I asked my mother-in-law for this recipe once I learned it's my husband's favorite. Now I bake it whenever he needs an extra-special treat. Spice cake topped with lemony sauce makes us both smile. —Kristen Oak, Pocatello, Idaho

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Nana's Rocky Road FudgeTaste of Home

Nana's Rocky Road Fudge

We make rocky road-style fudge every Christmas and it’s a tradition, but why wait until the holidays for a recipe this good? —Ashley Berry, Montgomery Village, Maryland

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Turkey Enchilada StackTaste of Home

Turkey Enchilada Stack

As a child, my husband was one of the pickiest kids around, but my mother-in-law could always get him to dig in to this enchilada dish. —Ashley Wolf, Alabaster, Alabama

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Brownie TorteTaste of Home

Brownie Torte

My mother-in-law first shared this recipe, and now it's often requested for birthdays and other special occasions. I like to serve it at Christmastime on an antique platter surrounded by ornaments for decoration. —Candace McClure, Brookville, Indiana

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Skillet Blueberry SlumpTaste of Home

Skillet Blueberry Slump

My mother-in-law made a slump of wild blueberries with dumplings and served it warm with a pitcher of farm cream. We’ve been enjoying slump desserts for 60 years. —Eleanore Ebeling, Brewster, Minnesota

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Grilled Honey Balsamic-Glazed FruitTaste of Home

Grilled Honey Balsamic-Glazed Fruit

One summer my mother-in-law made us grilled peaches basted with a sweet and tangy sauce. These are so good I'm always tempted to eat the whole batch. —Kristin Van Dyken, West Richland, Washington

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Double-Chocolate Toffee Icebox CakeTaste of Home

Double-Chocolate Toffee Icebox Cake

My mother-in-law taught me that anything tastes good if you use enough chocolate or cream. This no-bake dessert proves she was right. Sometimes I use chocolate graham crackers and stack up the layers in a 9-inch square pan. —Bee Engelhart, Bloomfield Township, Michigan

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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