Great food and warm fellowship infuse church suppers around the Midwest. Cincinnati's Sacred Heart Church is known especially for its meatballs, part of the church's traditional Italian suppers. Add these meatballs to your favorite pasta sauce, and serve over hot cooked noodles.
This recipe was inspired by a favorite menu item at Pinky's Bar and Grill in Courtland, Kansas. Pounding tenderizes round steak, an economical cut of meat. After cooking the meat, reserve the pan drippings to make milk gravy to serve over the meat and, if you like, mashed potatoes.
The famous St. Louis dessert gets a makeover from Emily Hobbs of Springfield, Missouri. She adds pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice to the moist cake. The recipe was one of the finalists at Midwest Living's first Best of the Midwest cook-off.
This hearty soup, an update of an Amish favorite, comes from an Iowa City, Iowa, reader and football fan. Flavored with bacon and onion, it's a great soup for family dinners or tailgate parties.
Iowa Corn Chowder 
Like any good cook, Mary Jo Smith of Hidden Lake Bed and Breakfast in Jonesboro, Illinois, adjusts her recipes as she prepares them over time. She has fine-tuned the custard layer for Peach Kuchen and added spices to the peaches. If you're in a hurry, substitute a single refrigerated unbaked piecrust for the Kuchen Crust.
Peach Kuchen 
The Coney Island Lunch Room in Grand Island, Nebraska, has served its all-American chili dog since 1933. In honor of this Cornhusker State edible institution, we cooked up Beefy Chili Dogs. Stewing the hot dogs in the seasoned meat mixture makes them extra juicy. Top them with cheese.
Beefy Chili Dogs 
Greek favorites phyllo and feta stand out in this appetizer from Hellenic Cuisine: Secret Greek Recipes, a community cookbook featuring recipes passed down through three generations of the Ladies of St. Nicholas Greek Church in St. Louis.
Phyllo Cheese Straws 
You'll need two hands and a hearty appetite to tackle this king-size sandwich of battered and fried pork tenderloin. It's our version of the oversize deli tenderloin sandwiches popular in pork-producing states such as Iowa, Illinois and Indiana.
German chocolate cake is a staple on most restaurant menus in the northern Midwest, where German and Scandinavian immigrants settled. This recipe from Wisconsin is extra moist and chocolatey, with a rich coconut topping.
This traditional German appetizer, popular in northeast Ohio, comes from the Hey Hey Bar and Grill in Columbus. Even if you're not usually a sauerkraut fan, you may love the sweet-sour tang of mustard and kraut inside crispy deep-fried shells.
Sauerkraut Balls 
Fry bread is a Native American tradition, known throughout the tribes of South Dakota. Our recipe uses frozen dinner rolls, but for the authentic Lakota Sioux taste, you can order bread mix from woodenknife.com. Serve with savory taco meat sauce or a sweet cinnamon-sugar topping.
Easy Fry Bread 
Brisket is a tough cut of meat that's transformed into heavenly tenderness with slow, low cooking. That's how we went about bringing together beef and barbecue, two essentials of Show-Me State cuisine, in Smoky Brisket Sandwiches. Serve on crusty ciabatta rolls. If you like morel mushrooms (and can find them!), try them here.
Pasties (PAST-ees) were introduced to Michigan's Upper Peninsula more than a century ago by wives of the area's Cornish copper and coal miners as an easy take-along lunch. They're still a popular comfort food that can be found across the UP.
These waffles get their name from the fact that they're served on a stick, like corn dogs. They're a staple at the Minnesota State Fair, where Granny's Kitchen makes fresh Belgian waffles, dips them in chocolate and tops them with whipped cream and crunchy sprinkles, strawberries or candies. Our version uses frozen waffles, but you can trek to Minnesota for the real thing.
Honors for creating the Reuben sandwich may go to Reuben Kulakofsky and his poker pals at the former Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, where the sandwich was first served in the 1920s. Here's our version of the corned beef-and-sauerkraut classic.
The Regal Reuben 
These recipes for Rolled White Cookies and Sandbakkels (Norwegian shortbread) both won prizes at Minnesota's Pennington County Fair. Traditional sandbakkels use a sandbakkel mold, available from specialty kitchen shops and online stores. Or you can substitute 1 3/4-inch tart tins or muffin cups.
Rolled White Cookies 
Steep your grilled brats in this onion-and-herb beer mixture for an easy way to keep them warm while entertaining. Beer-Braised Brats get a liberal dose of cranberry-pickle relish for extra color and tang. This is a Badger State meal in a bun.
Beer-Braised Brats 
Enjoy more of our favorite recipes in any of our free printable cookbooks.