Every family has that one recipe that everyone looks forward to at each special gathering—whether it’s a dish handed down from generation to generation or it’s something only Grandma can make just the way you like it. For some of us here at Ocala Style, food is the centerpiece of many of our family traditions. So from our families to yours, enjoy!
Kathy’s Family Recipe:
Grandma’s Banana Cake
“My grandmother, Goldie Bell, was born in the rich farmland of Kentucky in 1892. She married at an early age and had eight children, with my mother being the youngest. By the time I came along, my grandmother had turned 60, and thankfully, I had the pleasure of spending most of my summers on the farm, being taught many of her pioneer recipes, as her children had.
This recipe was one of my mother’s favorites. She usually made it on special occasions, so it has left me with warm memories of both her and my grandmother. I also cherish this photo of my grandmother and mother that was taken in 1938, and it reminds me of their close relationship and how important it is to appreciate your family.”
2 cups sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs, well beaten
1 1/4 cup salad (vegetable) oil
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 8-oz can crushed pineapple, undrained
3/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup black walnuts
2 cups chopped bananas
Combine all dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. › Add eggs and oil, stirring until all dry ingredients are moistened. Do not beat with a mixer. › Stir in vanilla, pineapple and nuts. › Add bananas. › Spoon batter into 3 well-greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans. › Bake in preheated oven at 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until cake test comes out clean. › Cool in pan for 10 minutes; then turn onto cooling rack. › Cool completely before frosting.
Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2cup butter, room temperature (must be real butter)
1 16-oz package of powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Combine cream cheese and butter. › Cream until smooth. › Add powdered sugar, beating with mixer until light and fluffy. › Stir in vanilla.
Cealia’s Family Recipe:
Granny’s Red Sangria
“Granny makes the best sangria I’ve ever tasted. Fifteen years ago, Martha Brannan’s—my granny—best tennis-playing friend gave her the recipe, and she made it for the first time at a holiday party. It made an outstanding impression and has yet to do otherwise.
Several years later, my dad made it for a party where he remembers it receiving ‘rave reviews.’ My husband and I finally got to taste it when we were planning our wedding. Impressed would be an understatement, and we immediately sent the recipe to our caterer as our featured cocktail hour drink.
Of course, we may be biased about this sangria, but odds are your next party could use it.”
3 cups Livingston Burgundy wine
1 1/2 cups 7UP
1/2 cup brandy
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp cointreau
2 tbsp grenadine
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
sliced oranges, lemons and limes
Mix all ingredients together in a punch bowl or large beverage dispenser. (Recipe is doubled in photo.)
Ellie’s Family Recipe:
Mom’s Rappini Broccoli Rabe
“This dish is commonly sold in the United States as rappini, but to Italians it’s broccoli rabe. It’s a green cruciferous vegetable that sometimes resembles its cousin broccoli. It’s a lot leafier and has a slightly bitter taste. It’s widely used throughout Italy and Greece. In southern Italy, where we are from, it’s either a side dish or added to pasta.
Of all the traditional Italian dishes my mother made, pasta and broccoli rabe was unique and her signature dish. She always told us her recipe was passed down from generation to generation through memory and never written down. It was unique because very few people I know ever heard of broccoli rabe. It’s simple, hardy, healthy and easy to make. Thank you, Mom.”
1 box spaghetti
1 bunch of rappini (broccoli rabe)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 large cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Add to a pot of boiled water 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 box of spaghetti. › Cook approximately 10 minutes. › Drain, but set aside 1/4 cup of the pasta water. › Cut off approximately 1 inch of the stems from the broccoli rabe. › Cut entire bunch in thirds. › Place in a large bowl with cold water, and rinse. › Drain, but make sure the broccoli rabe remains wet. › In a large sauce pan with lid, over medium heat, add olive oil; sauté garlic until translucent, and add red pepper flakes. › Add the entire drained bowl of broccoli rabe. › Add 1/4 teaspoon salt. › Give it a quick stir, and then add lid. › Stir gently at medium heat; then reduce heat to low, and cook for approximately 8 minutes with lid on but checking every few minutes. › The broccoli rabe will reduce as it cooks. › Leave the garlic in pan because it will cook down to a sweet taste in the dish. › Add the pasta to the sauce pan of cooked broccoli rabe, and stir well. › Add the drained pasta water. › Empty entire sauce pan onto a large platter. › Grate fresh Reggiano-Parmesan cheese over dish. › Drizzle with olive oil, and serve family style. › Serves 4.
Peggy Sue’s Family Recipe:
“When I begin to make my grandma’s stuffing recipe, the first thing I do is put on her apron. I’m so glad she gave it to me because I have fond memories of her wearing her many colorful aprons while preparing our Sunday luncheons and holiday meals.
Four generations are now using her stuffing recipe! Several of my cousins use this recipe as well with slight variations. Our grandma had time to cook decadent meals for us, and I am forever grateful to her for sharing some of her recipes with me. And I’m very happy that my daughters now use them, too.”
2 pounds of hamburger (can also be 1 lb hamburger and 1 lb pork sausage)
3 loaves of white bread
4 stalks of celery, chopped fine
1 large onion, chopped fine
3 tablespoons of sage
Approx. 2 cups of water
Salt/pepper to taste
Brown the hamburger and onion and celery together. › Tear up the white bread (fresh not stale) into chunks in roasting pan. › Pour the hamburger mixture, including the grease, into the roasting pan. › Add the sage, salt and pepper. › Add water a little at a time, and mash everything together. I use a hand-held potato masher to do this. You want just enough water to make the mixture slightly moist but not wet and standing in water. › Make a hole in the center of everything big enough to lay a 10-pound (or less) turkey. › Stuff the turkey loosely while the rest of the stuffing surrounds the turkey. Bake according to turkey instructions minus 25°F, and add cooking time if needed until the turkey is done. › If your turkey is over 10 pounds, do not cook the stuffing with the turkey or it will get overdone. Instead add the stuffing to the turkey during the last 2-3 hours of cooking. › Serves 10.
Kristy’s Family Recipe:
Granny’s Marbled Pound Cake
“This marbled pound cake recipe originates with my grandmother, my mother’s mother. Each year when Christmas rolled around, my grandmother did her very best to ensure that there was something under the tree for each of her six children, their spouses and her 13 grandkids. As a single parent, often that was no easy task. At some point in the late ‘80s, she turned to her love and talent for baking in order to have a gift for everyone come Christmas Eve. She spent every day of the two weeks preceding Christmas baking pound cake. She poured her heart into it, and it wasn’t just our family that benefited. She passed loaves of pound cake out to everyone: extended family, friends and neighbors. Essentially everyone she knew got at least one cake—and sometimes two.
In 2005, my grandmother unexpectedly and suddenly passed away. That first Christmas was difficult. Granny was a December baby and had an affinity for Christmas. Our family struggled with our holiday spirit that first year. In an effort to celebrate and honor her memory, we decided to spend her birthday together, baking pound cake. Every year since, we’ve gathered together on or around her birthday and spent the day baking a dozen or more pound cakes. This year will be our 12th year honoring her in this way. It’s our twist on an old tradition, and we all agree: It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a slice of Granny’s pound cake.”
Plain Pound Cake Batter
1 cup Crisco
1 stick butter
3 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
3 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 300°F. › Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. › In separate bowl, cream crisco, butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time. › Add vanilla to milk, and set aside. › Alternate adding dry mixture and vanilla/milk into wet mixture. › Mix until batter comes together. Do not over beat. › Set aside.
Chocolate Pound Cake Batter
1 cup Crisco
1 stick butter
3 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
Mix flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking powder. Set aside. › In a separate bowl, cream crisco, butter and sugar. Add eggs. › Add vanilla to milk, and set aside. › Alternate adding dry mixture and vanilla/milk into wet mixture. › Mix until batter comes together. Do not over beat. › Set aside.
Marbled Pound Cake
Make each of the above recipes. › In greased loaf pan, alternate dropping plain and chocolate batter by spoonfuls into the bottom of pan. (Should look like a checkerboard.) › For the next layer, drop alternating colors on top of the first layer. Repeat this, filling each pan 2/3rds full. › Once pan is full, take butter knife and insert into pan swirling batters. Do not over mix. › Bake at 300°F for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
*Each cake recipe makes approximately two pound cakes. Marbling batters will result in approximately four cakes total.
Karin’s Family Recipe:
Mom’s Cream Potatoes
“My mom was my best friend, and she was an amazing cook. Everyone said so. Holidays and family gatherings were her specialty and were always looked forward to.
This cream potato recipe has been in our family for some time. We all loved it when she made it and made sure to bring our own Tupperware so we could get leftovers to take home. We had to! She only made the potatoes twice a year at Christmas and Easter. She said they were just too rich and fattening to have all the time, and we needed something to look forward to. I intend to continue on with her traditions to always have a part of her with me. I think your family will love this recipe as much as mine does.”
3 lbs red potatoes
1 pint whipping cream
1/4 lb butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil red potatoes for 15-20 mins or until soft. › Slice potatoes. › Heat whipping cream and butter until butter is melted, stirring often. › Pour whipping cream and butter mixture onto potatoes in a casserole dish. Gently stir to cover potatoes. › Bake at 350°F for 1 hour.
Jessi’s Family Recipe:
Key Lime Pie
“A good portion of my traveling childhood was spent in tropical Key West, Florida. It was during my time there that Key West had a short secession from the United States union and became the ‘Conch Republic.’ Although this secession didn’t last, Key West remains unique in its culture, like nowhere else in the ‘mainland’ United States. A perfect example of this uniqueness is the Key lime, a famous namesake that is most popularly known for being the main ingredient in Key lime pie.
There are many variations of this world-famous dish that hails from the Conch Republic, but not many taste authentic. My recipe always takes me back to those slower, warmer days in the Keys—and while everyone else who tries it may not have the same memories, this tangy and refreshing treat is always gobbled up quickly at holiday gatherings that tend to have a lot of rich dishes. The ‘keys’ (no pun intended) to my recipe are the lime juice (must be from actual Key limes) and real, freshly whipped cream.”
Key Lime Pie
9-inch graham cracker pie crust
14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
3 egg yolks (whites not used)
1/2 cup Nellie & Joe’s Key West Lime Juice or juice squeezed from fresh Key limes
Combine condensed milk, egg yolks and lime juice. › Blend until smooth. › Pour filling into pie crust and bake at 350ºF for 15 minutes. › Allow to stand 10 minutes before refrigerating. › Refrigerate at least 2-4 hours before topping with whipped cream. › Garnish with lime slices.
Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup white sugar
Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until well blended. › Press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. › Bake at 375°F for 7 minutes. › Cool.
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
Place mixing bowl (preferably metal but any will do) and metal whisk/beaters into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. › Place the sugar into the mixing bowl, and add the whipping cream. › Whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks. › Store in the refrigerator until pie is cool enough.
Cindy’s Family Recipe:
Grandma’s German Beef Rouladen
“My grandmother, Irene, has always been one of my favorite people. She was a little Italian woman full of energy and a great cook, spending most of her time in the kitchen.
This recipe was one of our family favorites. When you caught a whiff of this, you knew you were in for an amazing treat! Her husband, Fritz (my grandfather), was German, and so she must have learned this recipe by his request, as it is widely known in Germany. There are many variations, and the traditional way to make this is with cut up pickles, but our family left them out by preference. She would serve it with freshly snapped green beans, mashed potatoes and fresh bread and butter. My husband loves this dish, and we now make it at least once a month—and every time we do, I think of her.”
8 4-oz pieces round steak, pounded to 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup Dijon Mustard (we use Grey Poupon)
1/2 cup minced onion
8 slices bacon cut in half
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 12-oz can beef broth
1 1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup warm water
Spread 1/2 tablespoon of mustard on one side of each piece of meat. › Place two slices of bacon side by side on each piece. › Sprinkle onions, salt and pepper over top, and then roll the steaks and tie them with cooking string. › Heat the canola oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Cook meat on all sides until browned. › Add the beef broth and water, and bring to a boil. › Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes. › Remove the meat rolls. › Strain the broth mixture, and return the liquid to the dutch oven. › Whisk together flour and 1 cup of water. › Slowly pour the flour/water mixture into the skillet, stirring continually until the sauce has thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. › Return rolls to the sauce, and serve.