Best Recipes of 2011
Fireside Beef Stew with Root Vegetables
Cranberry juice makes a surprise appearance in this slow-cooker main dish. The juice adds a little sweetness to the veggie-packed soup.
Chicken and Corn Hash Brown Bake
This comfort food hotdish offers a new twist on the usual hash brown casserole. Try it for everyday meals as well as potlucks!
Crumb-Topped Apple Trio Pie
Crisp on top, sweetly tender inside, this pie blends tart and sweet apples—Granny Smith, Jonagold and Braeburn—with sugar and cinnamon under a brown-sugar and walnut crumb topping.
Cheesy Potato Soup
Potato, bacon and cheese -- all the flavors you love in a bowl of soup! The American cheese keeps the soup from curdling while it slow cooks. Mashing cooked potatoes a bit gives the soup some body, while the bacon adds a smoky-salty taste.
Caramel and Chocolate Kettle-Corn Crispie Bars
This sweet-salty bar cookie won the grand prize of $10,000 in our first annual Best of the Midwest® Recipe Contest. Judy Reynolds of Bloomington, Indiana, started with a Hoosier staple—popcorn—and stirred together these snack bars. Homemade caramel sauce makes them a standout.
Cream cheese, wine and soup combine to form a complex-tasting sauce -- smooth with delicate seasoning -- for slow-cooked chicken and mushrooms.
The BMC 2
This bacon-topped muffin was developed by Jill Drury of Chicago. Jill, a pharmacist, used a scientific-formula approach to name her creation based on its ingredients: bacon, maple syrup and cinnamon (squared).
Suncrest Gardens Farm's Pesto Pizza
Heather Secrist, owner of Suncrest Garden Farms in Cochrane, Wisconsin, uses kale in her pesto for this tomatoey creation, featured in a story about Wisconsin pizza farms. "Pesto can be frozen in ice cube trays for use throughout the year," Heather says. "Once frozen, place the cubes in a freezer bag to pull out as you need them."
Beef Short Ribs with Cranberry-Port Gravy
Short ribs slow-cook to mouthwatering tenderness in this meaty main dish spiked with cranberry sauce and rosemary. The recipe is from Diane Sparrow of Osage, Iowa.
Summer Corn Chowder
Sweet corn and soybeans bring a taste of summer to this hearty, healthy chowder that goes together with only a little chopping. Creamed corn adds body to the colorful bowl of soup.
Spiced Pear-Cranberry Cobbler
You can almost remember a misty-morning trip to the orchards and bogs when you taste this riff on a Midwest favorite. A pumpkin-cornmeal biscuit crowns the sweet-tangy fruit duo.
Fresh Corn Risotto with Wild Rice and Pancetta
This dish is perfect for entertaining. Get guests involved: One can stir the risotto while another tosses a salad. Don't rush risotto; it takes time and stirring.
Roast Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Fall Fruit
Apples, pears and cranberries mix with caramelized onions in a luscious tumble over chicken breasts. Why leave the skin on and bones in? Trust us; you'll notice the extra flavor.
Triple Peanut Butter Streusel Bars
Dry-roasted peanuts, peanut butter-flavored pieces and peanut butter bring triple flavor to this make-ahead bar cookie.
Pear-Shaped Sake Cheese Ball
Cream cheese, Camembert and cheddar bring big cheese flavor to this appetizer with a hint of sake, the Japanese rice wine. Let the cheese and butter come to room temperature for easy mixing.
Orange-Ginger Cookie Sandwiches
A round cookie cutter with scalloped edges creates a nice shape for these cookies, but bell, tree, heart or star cutters would also be good choices.
The Ultimate Chicken and Noodle Casserole
Cremini mushrooms, asparagus, roasted peppers and almonds update this classic hotdish.
Make a weekend breakfast extraordinary with a stack of these cakes featuring ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, molasses and fresh-picked apples sliced paper-thin.
BLT Chicken Sliders
If you haven't embraced chicken burgers yet, this mini burger will change your mind. Barbara Estabrook of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, grills white cheddar sliders and crowns them with bacon and her cranberry ketchup.