Favorite family recipes and the stories that make them memorable

Stu Haley, Maureen O’Reilly, Lisa Hovis and Miriam Armendariz/Collage by NPR

Stu Haley, Maureen O'Reilly, Lisa Hovis and Miriam Armendariz Piccolo share their family recipes.

Stu Haley, Maureen O’Reilly, Lisa Hovis and Miriam Armendariz/Collage by NPR

All Things We’re Cooking is a series featuring kitchen gems from you, our readers and listeners, and the special stories behind them. We’ll continue to share more of your recipes throughout the holidays.

When making Thanksgiving dressing, Grandma Monnette had one simple rule

Rather than stuffing the turkey, Rebecca Monnette made dressing balls with a few simple ingredients that safely cook apart from the bird. Her grandson carries on the tradition.

She loved Mom’s picadillo but never got the recipe. TikTok moved her to get creative

Miriam Armendariz Piccolo/Collage by NPR

After her mother died, with tips from her aunts, Miriam Piccolo re-created a dish that tastes like home to her. Coming home from school to this meal meant that her mom had been thinking about her.

Friends and family flip over these krumkake cookies

Lisa Hovis/Collage by NPR

Lisa Hovis shares a family recipe for krumkake.

Lisa Hovis/Collage by NPR

Lisa Hovis learned to make these traditional Norwegian cookies by baking alongside her grandmother. The recipe and fond memories remain.

The ‘human cannonball’ is gone, but his lasagna recipe lives on

Jennifer Wright/Collage by NPR

Jennifer and Wayne Wright share a family recipe for lasagna.

Jennifer Wright/Collage by NPR

A circus performer known for being fired out of a cannon liked to make dinner for the people he worked with. One of them still makes his inspired lasagna today, and it has some surprising ingredients.

It took clever thinking to write a recipe for this Irish soda bread, a family favorite

Maureen O’Reilly/Collage by NPR

Maureen O'Reilly shares a family recipe for Irish Soda Bread.

Maureen O’Reilly/Collage by NPR

Maureen O’Reilly wanted to make the treat for her husband, but first she had to watch his grandmother make it — and measure out each ingredient rather than just eyeballing it.

Her husband’s love of crispy prosciutto transformed a green bean casserole

Becky Ellis shares a family recipe for green beans.

Becky Ellis/Collage by NPR

Becky Ellis shares a family recipe for green beans.

Becky Ellis/Collage by NPR

Parmesan cheese and panko breadcrumbs round out this dish. Just don’t expect any cream of mushroom soup or fried onions in this twist on a traditional recipe.


All Things We’re Cooking is a series highlighting family recipes that have special meaning to you, our readers and listeners. Earlier this year, we asked you to share your most prized recipes and explain why these dishes evoke such fond family memories. Working in collaboration with NPR member stations, we received responses from across the country. We’ve been interviewing some contributors and will continue to share their stories through the holiday season. All recipes and photos were provided by NPR audience members.

Reporting by Wynne Davis, with Isabella Gomez Sarmiento and Maison Tran
Editing by Desiree F. Hicks and Pam Webster
Design and art direction by Daniel Wood, Emily Bogle, Kaz Fantone and Alyson Hurt
Development by Daniel Wood
Project management by Caroline Kelly
Social media engagement by Matt Adams
Audio versions of stories produced by Rose Friedman and Isabella Gomez Sarmiento, with assistance by Maison Tran
Additional editing by Gerry Holmes, Nicholas Charles and Neda Ulaby
NPR member stations collaboration by Franklyn Cater

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