Finding Great Recipes

Everyone knows that recipes are my "thing." I am blessed to have not only been born into a family of cooks, but also to have married into one as well. I have access to thousands of recipes from family members and friends, including the cookbook that my mother had published. While cookbooks are obviously a great resource for recipes, there are so many other places to find great recipes, too. Here are a few examples:


Your local newspaper: Our daily paper has a weekly column called "The Amish Cook." Talk about good recipes! If you have access to any kind of Amish recipes, I highly recommend you try them! There are quite a few Amish in our area and they are known for their cooking expertise. I have always thought what fun it would be to someday have the opportunity to go and spend a day with them just watching and learning from them. Who knows? Maybe I will get the chance yet!

Recipes can also be found on the back of food labels. I just got a lovely, super easy recipe for lasagna that I got off the back of a Campbell's soup can.

I have even found recipes in fiction books. These, of course, are not as easy to come by but they are still, many times, delicious recipes. Kind of a fun idea to include in the book, too, in my opinion.


Friends, relatives and neighbors are one of the best sources for recipes. I have hundreds of recipes from friends, relatives and neighbors that have been clipped from various other sources or have been written down on a 3x5 inch card, etc. This year for Christmas, I am making recipe "books" for both of my girls. They will include as many of their favorites as I can possibly think of. I will focus on inexpensive recipes and recipes that will stretch far for my oldest daughter because she has a family. For my youngest daughter, I will focus on the cheaper, easier fixing and easier freezing type recipes since she only has herself to cook for.

Recipes are everywhere if we will look for them. The places I have listed here are only a few of the places you will find them. I'd encourage you to keep your eyes open and you will be pleasantly surprised with what you will find!


Here are two recipes that I have found and I have listed where it was that I found them.

Grandma Ferrell's Caramel Apple Pie (Newspaper)

Crumb Topping:

  • 1 9-inch deep dish pie crust, frozen
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature


  • 5 medium - large Cortland or Ida Red apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. flour
  • 3 tsp. melted butter
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
Caramel Sauce:
  • 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. To prepare topping, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix by hand or with a pastry blender until crumbly. To prepare filling, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour into pie crust. Pile topping on top. Bake 1 hour or until a knife easily slides into the center of pie with no resistance. If pie is browning too quickly, reduce temperature to 350 degrees F after 30 minutes. Let cool.

To prepare caramel sauce, combine all ingredients, except vanilla, in a small, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 244 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool and drizzle 1 teaspoon over each apple pie wedge. You'll have caramel sauce left over. Serves 8.

Beef And Mushroom Lasagna

This came from the back of a Campbell's soup label.

  • 1 can Campbell's cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 cups Prego Fresh Mushroom Italian Sauce
  • 9 cooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup shredded Italian-blend or mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Stir soup and milk in small bowl until smooth. Cook beef in skillet over medium-high heat until well browned, stirring often to separate meats. Pour off fats. Stir in sauce. Layer 1/2 beef mixture, 3 noodles and 1 cup soup mixture in 2 qt. shallow baking dish. Top with 3 more noodles, remaining beef mixture, remaining noodles and remaining soup mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover baking dish. Bake 30 minutes or until hot. Uncover baking dish. Heat broiler. Broil 4 inches from heat 2 minutes or until cheese is golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes.

About The Author: Robin lives in Washington, Iowa. She is married to her high school sweetheart, Scott. They have two daughters, Jessica and Caitlinn, both of whom are grown. The oldest, Jessica, and her husband, just had a baby, Robin's first grandchild. They also have 3 dogs who are very much part of they family, Jazmin, Shelby and Libby. Her interests are cooking, computers, volunteering at our local animal shelter, working with the elderly and also children and music. She also is very involved in her church.

December 3, 20100 found this helpful

I've found excellent and inexpensive sources-yard sales! People just get tired of old cookbooks. I was indirectly blessed with my great aunt's cookbooks after she passed away. Pages were flagged with old receipts, shopping lists and handwritten notes to herself. The notes in the margins adjusting recipes to personal taste were great!

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Anonymous Flag
December 3, 20100 found this helpful

Wonderful advice to share with everyone. :-) Here is one of my absolute favorite finds. I have the actual clipping tucked away in my family memory box.

This was something found in my Grama Tampourlos' possessions when she passed away in the 1970's and given to me. It was cut out of a magazine and from the type of paper and the type of print I believe it to be from the 1930's or 1940's. I could post a picture of it but I think the print would be too small to read so will type it out as it reads :-)

The article was titled "In Cherry-Time"


Cover unpitted cherries with cold water. Simmer them until they are very soft. Drain them as for jelly. Measure the juice and add one half cup sugar to each quart of juice. Bring the juice to a boil and seal in clean hot jars. This juice is excellent in beverages and frozen desserts.

Cherry Punch

2 cups water

1 3/4 cup sugar

4 cups cherry juice (the recipe just above)

1/4 cup lemon juice

Boil the sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and add the cherry juice, the lemon and a small piece of ice to cool the mixture. When ready to serve, add a small spray of mint to each glass.

Cherry Ice

4 cups water

2 1/4 cup sugar

2 cups cherry juice (same as first recipe above)

Juice of one lemon

Make a sirup [sic] by boiling water and sugar together for ten minutes. Cool the mixture, add the lemon and the cherry juice and freeze.

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October 10, 20140 found this helpful

I have been getting rid of many of my cook books. I can get most recipes from "Google".

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