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The Best Recipes from California

We found the best recipes from California—all shared by local home cooks. These dishes showcase fresh ingredients from across the Golden State, like lemon, avocado and seafood.

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California Lemon Pound Cake

Citrus trees grow abundantly in California, and I'm always looking for new recipes which use the fruit from the orange and lemon trees in my yard. This is one of my favorites! My mother passed this recipe down to me. —Richard Killeaney, Spring Valley, California
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Fantastic Fish Tacos

Searching for a lighter alternative to traditional fried fish tacos, I came up with this crispy, crunchy entree. It's a hit with friends and family. —Jennifer Palmer, Rancho Cucamonga, California
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Slow-Cooked Southwest Chicken

This dish needs just 15 minutes of prep, so you'll be out of the kitchen in no time. The delicious low-fat chicken gets even better with a garnish of reduced-fat sour cream and fresh cilantro. —Brandi Castillo, Santa Maria, California
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Avocado Romaine Salad

This salad truly represents my state, since avocados and almonds are grown in such abundance here. Plus, I love it because I can toss it together in minutes. —Jeanne Ellermeyer, Walnut Creek, California
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California Dream Smoothie

It's sunshine in a smoothie! This one's a true California treat, sweet and tangy from start to finish. —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California
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Chicken Piccata with Lemon Sauce

Once you've tried this tangy, yet delicate lemon chicken piccata, you won't hesitate to make it for company. Seasoned with parmesan and parsley, the chicken cooks up golden brown, then is drizzled with a light lemon sauce. —Susan Pursell, Fountain Valley, California
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Cheese & Herb Potato Fans

It's downright fun to make and serve this potato recipe. The fresh herbs, butter and cheeses are just what a good potato needs. —Susan Curry, West Hills, California
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Lemon Angel Cake Bars

A neighbor gave me this recipe years ago and it's been in flavor rotation ever since. It can be made ahead and serves a bunch, so it's perfect for parties and potlucks. —Marina Castle, Canyon Country, California
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Egg-Topped Avocado Toast

We always have avocados on hand, so it's easy to make this quick breakfast toast for my husband and me. It's really tasty! —Kallee Krong-McCreery, Escondido, California
10 / 29
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Grilled Cauliflower Wedges

This meal is incredibly easy, yet is packed with flavor and looks like a dish from a five-star restaurant. The grill leaves the cauliflower cooked but crisp, and the red pepper flakes add bite. —Carmel Hall, San Francisco, California
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Sweet Potato and Egg Skillet

I try to incorporate nutritious sweet potatoes in my meals as often as possible, especially with breakfast. This recipe originated with the purpose of feeding my family a healthy, hearty breakfast...and it worked! —Jeanne Larson, Mission Viejo, California
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Smoky Spanish Chicken

After enjoying a similar dish at a Spanish tapas restaurant, my husband and I were eager to make our own version of this saucy chicken at home. If I want to make it extra healthy, I remove the skin from the chicken after browning. —Ryan Haley, San Diego, California
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Lemony Garbanzo Salad

Everybody goes for this super fresh salad with the cumin-coriander dressing, especially on warm days. —Sonya Labbe, West Hollywood, California
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Lemon Blueberry Drop Scones

I enjoy serving these fruity scones for baby and bridal showers. They're a bit lower in fat than most other scones, so you can indulge with little guilt. —Jacqueline Hendershot, Orange, California
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Chicken Tacos with Avocado Salsa

A few people in my family have special dietary needs, but luckily, these chicken tacos work for all of us. I toss up a simple green salad and have a meal we can all enjoy together. —Christine Schenher, Exeter, California
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Mushroom Asparagus Quiche

Loads of asparagus pieces add color and flavor to this hearty, creamy quiche. And its easy crescent roll crust means you'll have dinner ready in a snap! —Sharon A. Fujita, Fontana, California
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Balsamic Chicken Pasta Salad

I love all the colors and flavors of this quick and easy dish and serve it often in summer, to the delight of my guests! You can't beat the combination of Gorgonzola and bacon. Leftover grilled shrimp makes a tasty substitute for chicken. —Terry McCarty, Oro Grande, California
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Lemon-Butter Brussels Sprouts

Kick up these stovetop lemon Brussels sprouts with fresh lemon zest. Even my toddler will eat this up! — Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California
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Asian Slaw with Steak

Main-dish salads are so perfect for summer, especially this one with its Asian-inspired dressing—my favorite's favorite flavor. The colorful slaw and juicy steak combo is super quick and wonderful for breezy weeknight dinners. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Chicken Vegetable Curry

This comfort dish gets fabulous flavor when I add chicken, sweet red peppers, coconut milk and the all-important seasoning, curry powder. —Roxana Lambeth, Moreno Valley, California
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Rosemary Lemonade

A friend suggested I add a sprig of rosemary to lemonade. The herb makes the drink taste fresh and light, and it's a pretty garnish. —Dixie Graham, Rancho Cucamonga, California
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Slow-Cooked Caribbean Pot Roast

This dish is definitely a year-round recipe. Sweet potatoes, orange zest and baking cocoa are my surprise ingredients. —Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California
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Avocado Goat Cheese Truffles

Give guests the VIP treatment with luxurious truffles you can make in your own kitchen. The goat cheese is mild, and red pepper heats up each bite just a bit. Crackers are the perfect accompaniment. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, California
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Barbecued Chicken Pizzas

So fast and so easy with refrigerated pizza crust, these saucy, smoky pizzas make quick fans with their rustic, hot-off-the-grill flavor. They're perfect for impromptu cookouts and summer dinners on the patio. —Alicia Trevithick, Temecula, California
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Lemon Snowdrops

I save my snowdrop cookies for special occasions. The crunchy, buttery sandwich cookie has a puckery lemon filling. —Bernice Martinoni, Petaluma, California
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Pork Chile Verde

Pork slowly stews with jalapenos, onion, green enchilada sauce and spices in this flavor-packed Mexican dish. It's wonderful on its own or stuffed in a warm tortilla with sour cream, grated cheese or olives on the side. —Kimberly Burke, Chico, California
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Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Cake

Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Cake

I lightened up this quick and easy dessert by making a few substitutions. Because the treat is so sweet, no one will know it's healthy, too.—Roxanne Chan, Albany, California.
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Rosemary-Lemon Grilled Chicken

Here's a simple dish with big bold lemon and rosemary flavors that's made with very few ingredients. It's great by itself but can also be used on top of salad greens as another creative dinner option. —Debbie Carter, Kingsburg, California
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Lemon-Dill Salmon Packets

Grilling in foil is an easy technique I use with foods that cook quickly, like fish, shrimp, bite-sized meats and fresh veggies. The options are endless—and the cleanup is easy. —A.J. Weinhold, McArthur, California

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.

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