My Favorite Recipes

I have a lot of recipes. Some marked with post-its in cookbooks, others dog-eared in magazines, a few filed in Grand Helen’s wooden recipe box, many organized (in some fashion) in my spiral recipe holder on the counter, and in my counter top recipe binder that says “Holly’s Kitchen” – that was before the Diner opened.

There are recipes I use, recipes I think sound good, recipes that someone has shared with me and recipes I know I will never attempt.

Then there are my treasured recipes from family and friends. The ones that you can find under “Recipes” at the Diner are “*”. The others will be appearing at the Diner in the future. Here are my well seasoned, treasured favorites:

Art’s Special Sauce*
Anna’s Cranberry Waldorf Salad*
Mom’s Lasagna*
Mom’s Cherry-O Cream Pie
Mike’s Favorite Cocoa Cookies (Nana’s recipe)*
Jane’s Broccoli Salad*
Laurie’s Albondigas – Mexican Meatball Soup*
Laurie’s Chinese Cabbage Salad
Fran’s Roast Beef, with Beef Stroganoff as a left-over
Joyce’s Potato Salad
Gary’s Potato Salad
“Just Joan’s” Buena Vista Stew
Uncle Larry’s Frito Pork Roast*
Chila’s Black Bean Soup
HH’s World Famous Macaroni Salad*
Diane's Chicken Mole*
Nana’s Chicken & Rice*
Pat’s Chicken Soup

And the newest addition doesn’t even have a title written on it. It arrived a few days ago, Anna stopped by the Diner to share it. She was going through Aunt Mary’s Joy of Cooking (although I am not sure why because she will tell you she doesn’t cook any more.) She found this recipe by accident and gave me the original copy, so generous!

This recipe was written 13 years ago. The paper is yellowed and a bit brittle. The recipe was used once, and deemed delicious. The handwriting is ever so familiar. My Daddy wrote out this recipe.

Anna tells me it’s a cookie recipe, so let’s name it Daddy’s Cookies, that Daddy discovered by accident. Daddy and Anna were out “looking for treasures” one Saturday morning, i.e., garage saling. They stopped at one house in the neighborhood and the kids in the family were selling cookies. Daddy bought a few and enjoyed them so much he went back and asked for the recipe. Daddy wrote the recipe himself, copying it from the original baker.

Anna said she came home from work shortly after that day and Daddy had baked the cookies as the recipe stated – there were 14 dozen cookies sitting on the counter!

This story is so much my Daddy, I can’t even tell you! Trying something new, loving the treat, going back to let the cook know how much he enjoyed it and asking for the recipe.

The point of these written recipes, for me, has never been about the recipe itself. The point is about the person writing them and having a familiar written record of their heart and soul with me forever. I feel comfort and warmth for each person, and the food I am fixing, when I prepare one of these recipes. It is about the love.

If you have a written recipe you would like it add to the list, send it to the Diner, we’ll try it out soon and keep it in a“treasured” place.


  1. Cute story about the cookie recipe. The kids should have sold it too him instead like the old Neiman Marcus cookie urban legend;)

  2. From what I was told, he bought enough cookies intially to make it well worth their while to just give him the recipe!