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34 Recipes Teens Should Know by Heart

Do you have a preteen that loves spending time in the kitchen? Start off their solo cooking career with these yummy recipes that they'll be able to master in a flash.

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Cheesy Quesadillas

We serve these quesadillas as chili dippers or load them up with salsa and sour cream for a super starter. —Terri Keeney, Greeley, Colorado
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Pigs in a Blanket

These baked hot dog sandwiches appeal to kids of all ages. Even my husband, Allan, admits to enjoying every bite! We like to dip them in ketchup and mustard. —Linda Young, Longmont, Colorado
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Lunch Box Pizzas

When you have these fun-to-make mini pizzas, it's no challenge finding lunch fare that the kids enjoy. Plus they pack nicely in sandwich bags and travel well, so there's no mess. —Rhonda Cliett, Belton, Texas
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Ranch Snack Mix

This is a wonderful fast-to-fix munchie. The recipe makes tons and doesn't involve any cooking. It's a cinch to package in individual snack bags, it keeps its crunch and it's a savory alternative to the cakes and pies usually offered at bake sales. —Linda Murphy, Pulaski, Wisconsin
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Chocolate Cinnamon Toast

You might want to sit down for this one. Cinnamon bread gets topped with chocolate and fresh berries, then toasted in a skillet. That's real love. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Frozen Banana Cereal Pops

When we want a healthy snack, we dip bananas in yogurt, roll 'em in cereal, then freeze. Ta-da! —Scarlett Elrod, Newnan, Georgia
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Frozen Berry & Yogurt Swirls

I enjoy these frozen yogurt pops because they double as a healthy snack and a cool, creamy sweet treat. —Colleen Ludovice, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
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Quick Chili Mac

This combines chili with one of my favorite pasta dishes. I often serve it for company or potlucks and occasionally add taco seasoning or use beanless chili and add black beans. —Lee Steinmetz, Lansing, Michigan
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Pepperoni Roll-Ups

Here is a fast appetizer recipe that goes over well at my house. Each bite has gooey melted cheese and real pizza flavor. Try serving them with pizza sauce for dipping. —Debra Purcell, Safford, Arizona
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Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Cinnamon Honey Syrup

This is a great breakfast for special days, but it mixes up so fast that it's perfect for busy mornings as well. —LeeAnn Hansen, Kaysville, Utah
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Cherry Fruit Smoothies

You need just four ingredients to blend together these super-fast smoothies for breakfast. Try whipping them up on a hot summer day for a cool and refreshing treat. —Macy Plummer, Avon, Indiana
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Super Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Heat up your indoor grill to make these ooey-gooey grilled cheese sandwich recipes. They're delicious served with soup! —Debbie Murray, Fort Worth, Texas
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Spinach and Tortellini Soup

A simple tomato-enhanced broth is perfect for cheese tortellini and fresh spinach. Increase the garlic and add Italian seasoning to suit your taste. —Debbie Wilson, Burlington, North Carolina
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Blueberry Graham Dessert

When you're short on time but long for cheesecake, try this fruity dessert. Ricotta and cream cheeses give every bit as much flavor as cheesecake without the effort. Instead of making individual servings, you could layer the ingredients in a glass serving bowl. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Turkey Wafflewiches

Who knew sandwiches could be so fun? This medley from our Test Kitchen will bring smiles to the whole table with its fantastic taste and whimsical fun. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Mini Chocolate Wafer Cakes

I first made these cakes for a friend when I lived in the dorms at college and had no access to appliances. Little did I know I would be making them 20 years later for my children! —Lara Pennell, Mauldin, South Carolina
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Very Vanilla French Toast

These French toast slices have creamy vanilla flavor from convenient pudding mix, plus a hint of cinnamon. We like to top them with syrup or powdered sugar and fresh berries. —Linda Bernhagen, Plainfield, Illinois
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Turkey Club Sandwich with Chipotle

We’re crazy for turkey club sandwiches. A nearby roadside stand carries gorgeous tomatoes every summer. We load up, then stuff our sandwiches with the usual suspects, plus smoked turkey and cheese. —Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, West Virginia
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Quick Pork Chili

A dear neighbor gave me a pot of this delicious chili, and I asked for the recipe. The pork sausage is a nice change from the ground beef many chili recipes call for. —Janice Westmoreland, Brooksville, Florida
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Dogs in a Sweater

For a new twist on an old favorite, try these skewered hot dogs wrapped with breadstick dough and baked. They're fun to dip in ketchup, mustard or ranch dressing. The dressed-up dog recipe comes kid-tested from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Pizza Sandwiches

I give grilled cheese a special treatment by using slices of mozzarella cheese and adding delicious extras like pepperoni and fresh tomatoes. Dipped in warm pizza sauce, this will be a fast favorite! —Mary Monaco, Columbus, Ohio
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Refried Bean Tostadas

For a change of pace, you can substitute purchased tostada shells for tortillas or add more lettuce and use taco salad shells. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Cream Cheese & Chive Omelet

The first bite of creamy filling lets you know this isn’t any old omelet. Make it once, and we suspect you’ll be fixing it often. —Anne Troise, Manalapan, New Jersey
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Quick Tomato Soup

There's nothing like a steamy bowl of classic tomato soup on a cold February day. The addition of sugar puts a sweet spin on this version. For extra loveliness, top with homemade heart-shaped croutons. —Jane Ward, Churchville, Maryland
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Granola Trail Mix

My family has always enjoyed this crunchy four-ingredient snack. When we go camping, each person includes one additional ingredient like mini marshmallows, corn chips or cookie pieces. The taste is never the same, and we're often surprised by the combinations. —Shelley Riddlespurger, Amarillo, Texas
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Garlic-Cheese Flatbread

Unless you plan to make two, don't count on leftovers. As an appetizer or side, this cheesy flatbread will be devoured in less time than it takes to bake. And that's not long! —Suzanne Zick, Maiden, North Carolina
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Homemade Guacamole

Nothing is better than freshly made guacamole when you're eating something spicy. It is easy to whip together in a matter of minutes and quickly tames anything that's too hot. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Slow-Cooker Meatball Sandwiches

Our approach to meatball sandwiches is a simple one: Cook the meatballs low and slow, load them into hoagie buns, and top them with provolone and pepperoncini. —Stacie Nicholls, Spring Creek, Nevada
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Chunky Applesauce

There's just something extra special about a homemade applesauce recipe like this one. This simple dish is tart and not too sweet. It makes the perfect side, especially with pork chops or a pork roast. —Deborah Amrine, Grand Haven, Michigan
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Weeknight Ravioli Lasagna

My husband and I love lasagna, but it's time-consuming to build and we always end up with too much. Using frozen ravioli solves everything. —Pamela Nicholson, Festus, Missouri
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Easy Cake Mix Bars

I take this dessert to work for Friday pick-me-ups. It's one of my favorite yellow cake bar recipes. I love to share them because they're so easy to eat, easy to make and easy on the wallet. —Amy Rose, Ballwin, Missouri
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Chicken & Apple Waffle Sandwiches

Have breakfast for dinner! These fun, hearty and convenient waffle sandwiches make a delicious meal in no time. —Deb Williams, Peoria, Arizona
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Hot Cheese Dip

When a colleague brought this cheesy dip to school for a teachers potluck, I immediately gave it an A+. I had to have the recipe for this irresistibly creamy recipe to make for my family! —Ardyce Piehl, Poynette, Wisconsin
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Chocolate-Hazelnut Banana Crepes

Here is a simple and delicious treat featuring a thin, tender crepe stuffed with a creamy chocolate-hazelnut spread and bananas lightly sauteed in brown sugar and butter. It tastes elegant but takes so little effort. —Cathy Hall, Lyndhurst, Virginia

Kristine Hansen
A former editor of a regional home and garden magazine, where she edited the entertaining section, Kristine writes for national travel, design and food outlets about culinary trends. Her book on Wisconsin cheese serves as a love letter to her adopted state of Wisconsin and she loves to travel in search of regional cultural foods.

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