Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Heirloom Recipes

Heirloom Recipes

Heirloom recipes are the treasures of the kitchen. If you are lucky enough, you have your grandmother's recipe box full of stained cards with annotations. Or perhaps you've written them down yourself with your own notes.

If you haven't already done so, call every relative you know and get them to tell you the family stories that occurred around the dinner table. Ask if you can make a treasured family recipe with him/her so you can recall their technique or ask questions about why they do things a certain way. You'll be surprised how much is taken for granted. So, stop waiting. Do it now! Email us when your done and we'll feature you on the radio show and blog!

  • Linguine with Clam Sauce aka Seaweed Macaroni

    When I was little, I named this dish seaweed macaroni.  I think it was the abundance of parsley married with the clams that sparked my creative naming of this dish!!  This is another one of my Nana’s...
  • Heirloom Stuffed Mushrooms

    Perhaps one of my most vivid memories growing up was being the taste tester for the major family meals. I would stand by the stove and study my Mom and Nana while they made course after course, and I...
  • Eric William’s Granny’s Peach Cobbler

    It’s hard to forget conversations about food (well, at least for me anyway). Last year when I was explaining what Heirloom Meals is all about to Eric Williams, he launched into the story about his...
  • Chocolate Bread Pudding

    Bread pudding is comfort food.  This recipe was inspired by a college friend's Portuguese bread pudding that she made with sweet bread.  I decided to change it up for Valentine's Day.  I adore sour...
  • Heart Healthy Muffins

    Inspired by Rebecca Narum's blueberry bran muffins, I thought that Valentine's breakfast could start on a heart healthy note!  I changed canola oil to walnut oil and used whole wheat flour. These...
  • Gluten Free Chocolate Heart Cake

    My friend Erin Gernon shared her family recipe for a chocolate birthday sheet cake.  She told me that this cake was a staple at every birthday party.  So, I thought I would take the basic premise of...
  • Italian Wedding Soup According to Carole

    Maybe I wanted to make Italian wedding soup because I had just met with my friend Andre Pupek who is getting married to an Italian in June….or maybe because the flu is rampant and it’s true comfort...
  • Herb-Crusted Rib Roast

    As far back as I can remember, we had Rib Roast for Christmas. It was the crown jewel of beef...juicy, indulgent and that special treat that made our Christmas dinner amazing! Mom and Nana always...
  • Helga Kaiser’s Dumplings

    Traditionally served alongside her Christmas Goose, Helga's dumplings are perfect for soaking up all the delicious drippings still running off the goose.  While it may take some time to get your own...
  • Our Christmas Cookie Basic Mix and Variations

    Making Christmas cookies was and still is the highlight of the Christmas season in our house.  My Mom, as many of you know is a mad baker! And 'tis the seaon for baking and baking and baking. My...
  • Cabot Creamery Cheddar and Jalapeno Biscotti

    The christmas season is truly a season of sweet indulgence....between the eggnog and the cookies I know I start looking for something savory to nosh on.  Cabot Creamery Cooperative, a Christmas and...
  • Ruth Ann Galvin’s Mocha Rounds

    Just up the street from me where I grew up in Pelham Manor, NY Ruth Migilorelli Galvin and her sister, Carol were her mother’s elves while making dozens and dozens of Christmas cookies. Ruth has...
  • Ruth Ann Galvin’s Lemon Star cookies

    Another one of the delicious cookie recipes Ruth Ann and Katie Galvin whip up by the dozens each year is their lemon star cookies.  
  • Ruth Ann Galvin’s English Nut Bar Shortbread

  • Frijoles con Chorizo

    Frijoles con chorizo are a typical sidedish to tamales in the Christmas Eve Mexican celebration Nochebuena. 
  • Ensalada de Nochebuena

    This beautiful and colorful salad is an integral part of the Mexican Christmas Eve tradition "Nochebuena"  and was shared with us by Heirloom Meals' Christmas Special guest Darlene...
  • Croquembouche

    Among my favorite of the sweets on my family's hospitality table were the cream puffs. My Mom took pride in these. She was and still is a baking perfectionist. She knew exactly how the batter should...
  • Stuffed Artichokes

    Among the many items we feasted on during a long meal were the stuffed artichokes or carciofila as I remember it spoken. And boy were these loved. I remember standing next to Nana as she cut off the...
  • Baccala Salad

    My memories of my grandfather’s guttural pronunciation of BACCALA still resonates in my head and makes me giggle. As a kid, who would think of eating something that sounded awful and started out as a...
  • Mexican Hot Chocolate

    Heirloom Meals' Christmas show guest Darlene Tenes shared her recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate to accompany her tamales in completing your Nochebuena celebration.  Taza stoneground chocolate is the...
  • Struffoli

    Growing up in a three generation household with my Italian grandparents was a gift. My Christmas time memories are so vivid. My grandmother set up a round folding table with a green wool skirt with a...
  • Alex Elman’s Plum Pudding

    Alex Elman shared this treasured family recipe with us.  What I love about the story is how the plum pudding is lit on fire and then passed over the heads of all the friends and family at the table....
  • Jack Simko and AnneMarie DeFreest’s Hungarian Kifli

    This father and daughter team from Waitsfield, VT share their wonderful connection around their Christmas baking traditions. Jack recalls how his family scrimped for several months leading up to...
  • Darlene Tenes’ Tamales with Shredded Pork and Pasilla Chile Sauce

    Darlene is a native Californian from San Jose. In Darlene Tenes’s family, Christmas isn't Christmas without making and eating tamales!
They gather in warm kitchen at the break of dawn in an assembly...
  • Scott Keough’s Eggnog

    Would the Christmas season be complete without eggnog? Many of us have only known eggnog out of a carton, but true homemade eggnog will transport you to eggnog nirvana. Scott Keough’s eggnog recipe...
  • Anne Maxfield’s Lollipops

    Anne Maxfield is an entrepreneur who lives in the New York City area. When Anne shared her family’s unique Christmas tradition of lollipop making, Carole just knew that she had to have Anne on the...
  • Elle Green’s Sweet Potato Cake

    Elle Green is a personal chef from Memphis, Tennessee. Elle’s all-time favorite thing to make during the winter holidays is her Grandmother Ruthie's sweet potato cake, using her "special"...
  • Katja Rowell’s German Red Cabbage

    Katja is a medical doctor and family feeding and nutrition expert from the Twin Cities. Katja shares a heart-warming story of a simple red cabbage dish that is a perfect side to Helga’s...
  • Charity Kahn’s Super Duper Turkey Dressing Recipe

    This one is from my mom’s mom, Grandmother Jane Vaughan.  It’s absolutely delicious and I love her vague instructions and measurements and advice to “hope for the best!” at the...
  • Paul Finnerty’s Cranberry Pie

    This cranberry pie, from Jim's brother Paul Finnerty, has become a family tradition for the Thanksgiving Holiday.   In fact, "Uncle Paul" fancies himself as a pie afficionado. And, I think you'll...
  • Caramelized Pearl Onions or Shallots

    A quick, easy and delicious side dish to add to your Thanksgiving spread!
  • Meatballs and Gravy

    Growing up, tomato sauce was known as gravy in our household and pasta was called macaroni. It's funny to think about it now.  But that's what's so great about memories. Also, there was NO recipe...
  • Helga Kaiser’s Christmas Goose

    Viennese-born Helga Kaiser shares her Christmas goose recipe with Heirloom Meals.  Helga now lives in New York City and Stockbridge, MA.  Helga clings to her European traditions of awaiting Kris...
  • Jo Murko’s Chocolate-Dipped Cherry Almond Biscotti

    Carole’s mother, Jo, was born in Claverack NY but grew up in New York City where she learned to cook from her mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Carole and Jo’s Italian heritage has a strong...
  • Zucchini Boats

    I used to wonder why my Nana would stuff the large zucchini that came out of the garden.  And of course, it's because, other than baking with them, they've grown too large to enjoy any other way....
  • Sour Cream Pie Crust

    Here is my family's sour cream pie crust recipe, it's my go-to recipe anytime I am in the pie making mood. It is simple and sure to please lovers of pie no matter the flavor of pie. Enjoy!
  • Ruth Migliorelli’s Blueberry Buckle

    Ruth sent in her delicious Blueberry Buckle recipe that she like's to share with her entire family when they come to visit.  It is a recipe that links her fond childhood memories to those of her...
  • Scott Keough’s Blueberry Custard Pie

    This is a heirloom recipe from Scott Keough, the only difference is that we used my famiy's sour cream pie crust recipe. The rest of this creation is totally on Scott!  He was teaching his six year...
  • Mary Vaughan’s Blueberry Muffins

    This is a recipe from one my interns Mary Vaughan. Since we had the blueberry recipe contest going on for the month of July, I had to have her mother's family recipe for the contest. They are so...
  • Carol Narum’s Blueberry-Bran Breakfast Muffins

    Rebecca Narum is one of my summer '12 interns.  We are so into blueberries right now that when I mentioned it was national blueberry muffin day, Rebecca quickly called her Mom for the their recipe...
  • Ally Hemming’s Patriot

    The Patriot was an entry in our Heirloom Blueberry recipe contest submitted by the amazing Ally Hemming. The story she shared with us highlights  an annual 4th of July party Ally attends every summer...
  • Madeline Finnerty’s Blueberry Cake

    During our Heirloom Blueberry recipe contest, Madeline Finnerty entered this heirloom recipe and story. The story behind this yummy cake is a fond memory of the summers her parents spent on Cape Cod...
  • Almond Fingers

    These cookies are simple, pretty and delicious!  They were among the staples of our Christmas cookie arsenal.  There's something special about them - the texture is light and crumbly; the taste sweet...
  • Canelazo (Spiced cinnamon rum drink)

    Andres Lima Saeteros brought two delicious and traditional Ecuadorian recipes to the Heirloom Meals Solstice Party.  He claims his grandmother made these two dishes for his family's enjoyment.  The...
  • Llapingochos (Potato cakes filled with cheese)

    Andres Saeteros came to the Heirloom Meals Solstice Party with two Heirloom recipes which he shared his grandmother has made for his family's enjoyment!  The Llapingochos is a famous dish in Ecuador....
  • Coarse Simple Salsa

    As Chris Blair reflects on his favorite family recipes from his childhood he realizes the list is so short that the foods he has come to appreciate he acquired as an adult.  He says he has gained...
  • Hummus at home

    When Chris Blair reflects his his favorite family recipes from childhood he realizes the list is so short that the foods he has come to truly appreciate he acquired as an adult.  He's gained...
  • 7-Layer Salad

    Rebecca has been helping her mother make this 7-layer salad for big family gatherings and parties since she was a child.  Growing up in the mid-west, family reunions were frequent along with any...
  • Sour Milk Spice Cake

    Nancy's grandmother used to make little cup-cake sized spice cakes that came out of the oven hard but delicious!  However, when her mom made the recipe she tweaked it a little and used oil instead of...
  • Ants Climb a Tree

    This traditionally Chinese recipe is one of Mathew Lawrence’s family’s favorites.  Being that Mathew is a Qigong instructor it could have influenced his choice to make this dish many years ago which...
  • Lisa Newmann’s Purple Summer Salad

    Lisa owned a Bistro in Boston for a fare amount of years and when she was starting out she was searching for different recipes to put on her menu.  Her mom handed over this Purple Summer Salad recipe...
  • Doug Ferguson’s Cincinnati Chili

    Recently we had Doug Ferguson from the Surburban Cookbook on Heirloom Radio. While on the show he shared his recipe for Cincinnati Chili, a memory from his childhood. Doug shared with us the story...
  • Nana’s Creamy Potato Salad

    Nana and Mom always made the best potato salad.  And not surprising, there was NO recipe.  They just knew what to do and made it sort of the same every time.  The basic ingredients were potatoes,...
  • Grace Young’s Chinese Trinidadian Stir-Fried Shrimp with Rum

    This recipe comes from Grace Young's book Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge: The Ultimate Guide to Mastery, with Authentic Recipes and Stories. This particular recipe comes from a visit to Trinidad,...
  • Grace Young’s Vegetable Lo Mein

    Grace Young was recently featured on our radio show, and she said we could share her recipe from The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen: Classic Family Recipes for Celebration and Healing. Here is some...
  • Ouida Moorehead’s Peanut Butter Cookies

    This summer I decided to feature heirloom family recipes inspired by food holidays. When we were looking at June, it featured National Peanut Butter Cookie Day. I would soon find out that my intern...
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

    We love strawberry season. And we love rhubarb season.  We wanted to make a strawberry rhubarb pie and sent a request out into the social sphere.  We only received one recipe.  The filling recipe is...
  • Roasted Asparagus Four Ways

    I think we all have roasted our asparagus at one time or another.  So it's nice to have all these similar yet different recipes.  I thank you all for sending them in!  I left them just as they were...
  • Brent Wasser’s White Asparagus with Goat Milk Bechamel Sauce

    Brent wrote the most wonderful description of this dish.  Although we are not quite sure who Vivianne is , we can tell that she left an indelible impression on Brent with this dish.  As such, Brent...
  • Mary Leverette’s Ladies Lunch Asparagus and Shrimp Rounds

    This was one of the winners of our Asparagus Recipe Contest. Not only is the recipe wonderful but Mary shared the recipe's provenance and how she adapted it - a true Heirloom Meals recipe - savoring...
  • Abhishek Duggal’s Yellow Heirloom Tomato Caprese with Asparagus and Green Beans

    Abhishek did not provide a story with this recipe but I love the idea of adding asparagus and spring beans to a traditional caprese salad.  We had it as a luncheon salad and it was devoured with...
  • Florence Mim’s Asparagus Rolls

    Florence Mim's shares, "These rolls were made by my grandmother. I have seen similar recipes but always come back to this one. It is a delicious recipe for asparagus rolls." And I love that Florence...
  • Asparagus Polonaise

    In the worn steel pan with black handle, my Mom would boil the water for the asparagus. Curiously, there were always 2 lone eggs in the pan while the water was coming up to a boil, that were then...
  • Oregon’s Kosher Maven’s Honey Cake

    Honey Cake, which is traditionally eaten on the eve of Yom Kippur, represents the sweetness of the New Year.  While Dottie doesn't have a family recipe this is the recipe she recommends!
  • Budin de Pan Puertorriqueno (Bread Pudding)

  • Hans Morris’ Linguine with Clam Sauce

    This is quite tasty for a non-Italian!
  • Hans Morris’ Sticky Buns

    "Grandma making these for us every other week AND letting us play with the fat under her arms almost made it worth cramming into the station wagon for church each Sunday."  This quote from Hans'...
  • Michael Wang’s Soba Noodle Soup

    This is the perfect dish for an overcast spring day - simple to make and deliciously satisfying.
  • Kathy Mangan’s Irish Soda Bread: Swinford Spotted Dog (from her Grammy Mangan)

    Kathy Mangan tried to learn how to make this recipe with her Grandmother but never mastered it before her Grandmother passed.  She later journied to the area of Ireland where her family came from and...
  • Hans Morris’ Apple Cake (Teddie’s Apple Cake)

    Hans shared a few coveted recipes from his family's treasure trove of recipes.  This is one that he mentioned was one of his favorites.  I actually made it with my Mom and she was so funny - she...
  • Agnes Djaha’s Kibbee

    Again, Agnes Djaha tells us that Kibbee is one of the mainstays on the Syrian table along with grape leaves.
  • Agnes Djaha’s Yebret (Stuffed Grape Leaves)

    Agnes Djaha generously shares this omnipresent dish on the Syrian table. As Agnes recounts the many meals, feasts and holidays, she said there were 2 dishes that were always served - grape leaves and...
  • Turnip and Potato Gratin

    This is a wonderfully simple dish and an excellent accompaniment to a roasted chicken, a braise, meatloaf and even an Easter ham. My memories are of my grandmother slicing the potatoes and turnips...
  • Baccala Salad

    My memories of my grandfather’s guttural pronunciation of BACCALA still resonates in my head and makes me giggle.  As a kid, who would think of eating something that sounded awful and started out as...
  • Pignoli Cookies

    These cookies represent the essence of the holidays to me.  My Nana would bake them around Christmas and again around Easter.  In fact, my favorite cookies to buy when I am in Little Italy in NYC, or...
  • The Lanzetta/Murko Thanksgiving Stuffing - Italian Bread and Sweet Italian Sausage

    Everyone loves our stuffing.  And, I confess, until this week, there was no recipe. Nana and Mom just made it with more or less the same ingredients each year, and, of course, had one of the kids as...
  • Chadwick Boyd’s Chipotle Pumpkin Pie with Candied Ginger Double Crust

    Chadwick’s recipe embodies everything that an heirloom recipe should be - an ode to the past with a nod to the future.  Chadwick’s grandfather liked a hearty crust so his grandma, Clara developed a...
  • Barnes Family Baked Chocolate Pudding & ‘Ice Cream’ Sauce Topping

    This cake elicited from Loring Barnes, “I am having a food memory.”  This is the essence of Heirloom Meals - making and eating food that transports us to a great memory! I confess, this may be my...
  • Ellie Markovitch’s “Paeo de Queijo” - Cheese Bread

    Known as the national treasure of Brazil, this cheese bread recipe is amazingly simply.  Ellie adapted it from her mother’s recipe because we don’t have the same ingredients here in the US that are...
  • Cooper Boone’s Turkey

    Turkey can be made so many different way.  Roasted, deep fried, barbequed, brined, infused...you name it!  I, for one, have tried all as my family didn’t have a go-to turkey recipe.  So, when I found...
  • Loring Barnes’ Acorn Squash Stuffed with Cranberries

    This is a lovely and simple dish to prepare that uses an indigenous fruit, cranberries.  Loring had initially sent us a recipe that she thought was her Aunt Laurinda’s, but as it turns out, Loring...
  • Cooper Boone’s Blue Ribbon Cornbread Stuffing

    Cooper Boone’s enthusiasm for cooking is infectious.  Here’s his twist on stuffing - he replaces the traditional bread (hamburger buns according to his grandmother’s recipe) with his corn bread...
  • Jill Gernon’s Swiss Green Bean Casserole

    What fun I had learning about this classic 1950’s recipe with a Jill Gernon twist!  Green bean casserole was developed by the Campbell’s Soup Company to be a quick and easy recipe that used 2...
  • The Ansari’s Recipe for sweet and sour TORSHEE (Persian Chutney)

    Ali Ansari shared his Persian recipe for chutney.  What is wonderful about Ali (half Persian and half German) is he credits his time in the kitchen as a child for developing his creative artistic...
  • Fattoush Salad

    Try this delicious salad from Marilyn and Nabih Nejaime, whose amazing adventure took them from Lebanon to the Berkshires.
  • Humous

    This wonderful Lebanese recipe comes from Marilyn and Nabih Nejaime. While on Heirloom Meals Radio, they shared their amazing story; from falling in love in Lebanon to making and marketing their...
  • Janet Hall’s Blueberry Cake

    Blueberries are such a delicious summer treat. And what better way to have them than in a cake? This recipe comes from Rae Bradbury's grandmother's cookbook. Enjoy it!
  • Gram Tripp’s Doughnuts

    From the way Rae Bradbury described them on my radio show, these doughnuts sounded delicious! Like any good heirloom recipe, her grandmother only wrote down the minimum, relying on memory and skill...
  • Alchie Cake

    "The plum pudding originally came from England as a Christmas cake," my guest Shoshanna Levy's grandmother wrote. "In Jamaica, it became known as alcohol cake to us children! We look forward to the...
  • Garlic Scape Potato Salad

    Once again, I grew up in the land of no recipes. My nana and Mom were/are the great concocters. They knew instinctively how much of this and how much of that was needed...potato salad was no...
  • Asparagus Chicken with Black Bean Sauce

    This recipe is from my friend, Lauren Zivyak, who fondly recalls how her mother learnt this dish in a high school cooking class. It soon became one of Lauren's favorite meals, not only because it was...
  • Custard Cornbread

    This wonderful recipe is from Gina Hyams, and she shared it with us on the radio show. This custard corn bread is an heirloom, not only because it was her mother's signature dish at dinner parties,...
  • Nana’s Lentil Soup

    Lentil soup seemed to be an easy and often served soup growing up. Nana always doctored it up with what she had on hand - be it dried salami, pancetta etc. and it was always served with Pecorino...
  • Risotto Cakes or Balls

    This dish is also known as "Arancini," which means small oranges in Italian. Try these risotto balls as a special Italian treat!
  • Jen’s Simple Pizza

    My sister is the queen of concoctions. She has a company called the Lavash Chef, where she uses lavash to make everything from pizza to napoleons. Here's one of Jen's famous pizza...
  • Spag Bol

    Really, it's spaghetti bolognese. I had an old British boyfriend that called it spag bol, and it stuck. Leave it to a Brit to rename a tasty Italian dish. 
  • Chicken Breasts

    Here's the chicken recipe that is show-stopping delicious and from, believe it or not, my dad's side of the family. This is Cousin Ruthie’s Divine Chicken Breasts served with heirloom tomatoes...
  • Manicotti

    When I think of our quintessential family heirloom recipe, the one that comes to mind has been handed down from my great grandmother to my grandmother to my mother to me.  This is the essence of...
  • Eggplant Parm

    Eggplant Parm....is my FAVORITE food! I'll share 2 ways of preparing it - the way my Mom (and Nana) do (did) it and a gluten-free version.
  • Nana’s Sore Throat Elixir

    I don't know what it is about old wives' tales and concoctions but many of them are truly useful and actually work. I, for one, will always go for a natural remedy as I think we are an...