My Family Recipes {Cooking on the Tradition}


Every family has some recipes that have become staples over the years. Things that you enjoyed as a child, and as an adult, you not only enjoy them, but they bring a feeling of warm nostalgia. Here are four recipes that have always been special to me, and as soon as my 6-year-old outgrows his picky phase (which he’s been in for about four years), I hope they become special to him.


Cream Cheese Bars

My mom would make these for a special occasion breakfast or for dessert.

Ingredients: Two 8 oz packages of cream cheese, two packages of crescent rolls, 1 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, 1 separated egg, 1/3 cup sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  • Grease the bottom and sides of a 9×13 casserole dish.
  • Roll one package of rolls along the bottom and up the sides.
  • Cream together the cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar; add the vanilla and egg yolk.
  • Spread the cream cheese mixture over the dough.
  • Stretch the other package of rolls to cover the cream cheese mixture, making sure to seal it with the rolls on the sides.
  • Beat the egg white until frothy, then brush it on top of the dough.
  • Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture on top.
  • For a glass pan, bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes; for a metal pan, bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Sausage Balls

These were a staple at parties when I was growing up.

Ingredients: 16 oz of breakfast sausage (whichever variety you like), 8 oz package of cream cheese, 1 1/4 cup of Bisquick, 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese


  • Mix all ingredients until well combined (a dough hook on a stand mixer works well).
  • Roll into 1 inch balls and put on a greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until brown.

Potato Skin Casserole

I remember my mom bringing this to many family gatherings.

Ingredients: 8 boiled and diced potatoes (peel if you don’t like the skin, which I personally do not), 1 lb of cubed Velveeta, 8 oz cooked and crumbled bacon (use more if you like!), 1 sliced stick of unsalted butter, salt and pepper


  • Put potatoes into a greased casserole dish.
  • Cover with cheese, bacon and butter.
  • Season with salt and pepper; gently stir to combine.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Great Grandma’s Salad

Most people refer to similar recipes as ambrosia, but this is what we’ve always called it.  My Great Grandma would always bring this to family gatherings on my dad’s side, and after she passed away, the rest of us started taking turns making it. Usually, there are two bowls of it – one with coconut and one without. Important note: prepare this the day before you plan on serving it.

Ingredients: 1 large can of drained mandarin oranges, one 20 oz can of chunk pineapple (mostly drained and also cut up), 1 cup of sour cream, 1/2 bag of miniature marshmallows (or more if you like), 3/4 of a jar of maraschino cherries, a small amount of shredded coconut (as much as you want!), 1 or 2 sliced bananas


  • Mix together all ingredients, except for the bananas, the day before you plan on serving it.
  • The day of, add the sliced bananas on top.

I hope your family enjoys these recipes as much as mine has! What are some classic recipes that your family has passed down?


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