From The Family Kitchen.

This recipe is adapted from a long-time family favourite. Whether we were gathering for Christmas dinner, Easter lunch or just a casual dinner party, my Oma would be lovingly coerced to bring Cherry Delight. Failure to bring said dessert would result in chiding and lots of disapproving head shakes. I wouldn’t go as far to say that Oma would be denied turkey, but maybe not the choice slices.

For as long as I can remember Oma would make it in her tried and trusted vintage baking pan. The kind made of tarnished waffle-textured tin. We’d all wait patiently as the tea and coffee was poured and the heirloom spoons were distributed and fought over. We’d sit there salivating as the pieces were carefully sliced and passed around. We weren’t allowed to eat until everyone had their fair share, until piece after piece was passed down the table. My aunt always scraped off the cherry topping from her slice and handed it over to the closest wide-eyed cherry lover. My uncle eats his layer by layer. Oma always had a sliver and I would usually have two.

Graham cracker crust, simple cream cheese filling, topped off with cherry pie filling. Easy, fast, basic. To anyone else it’s just another no-bake cheesecake, nothing special. To us it’s an institution, a tradition, a phenomenon.

Many of the recipes I share with you are adaptations of family recipes. Opa’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. Grandma’s Grasshopper Pie. Oma’s Lemon Loaf. Mom’s Angel Icebox. I’ve even explored recipes my distant Dutch and Indonesian relatives would have enjoyed like Kue Lapis Legit and Speculaas Cookies.

Food is an integral part of our family history. Food is what brings a family together, be it at the end of a busy day or after years of distance. That’s why it pleases me to tell you I have a lovely book to give away on this very subject!

From the Family Kitchen by Gena Philibert-Ortega is a beautiful exploration of how food defines us and shapes us. It talks about how recipes handed down generation to generation have become treasured traditions and even guarded family secrets. These recipes, whether hand-scrawled on stained index cards or dictated and translated countless times, have a story to tell us over the decades and offer special insight on our genealogy. This book even includes several recipes from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries which demonstrate how much food changes with time, culture and circumstance. There’s also a recipe journal included for you to document your own family’s recipes and what special memories they’re attached to.

If exploring your family history and recipes is important to you, please enter to win your own copy of From the Family Kitchen! For inquiring minds, take a look at the digital preview.

The reason there are no photos of a slice is because lunch guests usually frown upon dessert that’s been already hacked up. When I learned my aunt and cousin were coming for a timely visit, I knew it was a perfect chance to make my version of this family favourite. And, wouldn’t you know it, even with my homemade Cherry Sauce, she still scraped the topping off and gave it to me!

How to Enter:

   1 . Leave a comment here telling me about your favourite family recipe and what memories it brings to mind. I’d love to         know!

Want more ways to enter? Sure you do!

   2 . Like Hot Polka Dot on Facebook and leave another comment here telling me you’ve done so.
   3 . Follow Hot Polka Dot on Twitter, tweet the giveaway (“What’s your favourite family recipe? Enter to win From the Family         Kitchen and explore your own food history! @Hot_Polka_Dot #giveaway”) and leave another comment here telling me         you’ve done so.
   4 . Follow Hot Polka Dot on Pinterest and leave another comment here telling me you’ve done so.

Contest Details:

   – If you’re already following me on Twitter, liking me on Facebook, or following me on Pinterest that’s ok! You’re entries still     count!
   – Only a maximum of four entries per person will be permitted in the ways I’ve designated above.
   – Anyone in the world is welcome to enter.
   – Upon winning please email me at hotpolkadot (at) live (dot) com to claim your prize and give me your mailing address to     receive the book.
   – All emails and addresses will be kept confidential.

Contest Deadline:

The contest will be open through the weekend and be closed on Monday September 10th at 9pm MST. I will close the comments at this time so make sure to get your entries in soon! The winner will be chosen at random and announced Tuesday morning. Make sure to get in as many extra entries as you can for a better chance to win!

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered and see who won here.

Cherry Delight

Makes 1 12 inch tart

Source: Adapted from my family recipe.

2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup salted butter, melted

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 8 oz container frozen whipped topping, thawed

3 cup bing cherries, pitted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp water

In a large bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar then incorporate the melted butter. Press evenly into a 12 inch tart pan and refrigerate.

In a separate bowl, cream together the cream cheese and icing sugar then fold in the whipped topping until it’s smooth. Spread the filling into the prepared graham cracker crust then return it to the refrigerator while you make the cherry topping.

In a medium sauce pan bring the cherries, sugar and cranberry juice to a boil on medium heat. Let it simmer for five minutes then mix the corn starch with water and stir it into the cherry mixture. Let it cool to room temperature before topping the cheesecake. Enjoy!

41 thoughts on “From The Family Kitchen.

  1. Tiffany

    My favourite family recipe is my grandmother’s stuffing. It was always perfectly moist and had just the right combination of add-ins…I’ve never had stuffing as good as hers anywhere else! It’s been years since my family has lived close enough to get together for holidays but I make mine as close as I can so every bite brings me back to the huge Thanksgiving dinners she used to host.

  2. victoria

    my fave family one is home made pancakes. i have never made them from a box. we even used to always get them in shapes of our initials. and i was be super disappointed if my mom forgot to make a “v”.

  3. Gena Philibert-Ortega

    Thank you so much for your kind words about my book, From the Family Kitchen. I believe recipes are such an important part of our family histories.

  4. Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily

    I came here to print out another recipe of yours and was greeted by this lovely recipe and give away! Score!! Funny, I would scrape of the topping and eat just that I looovveee cherries

  5. Gwen @SimplyHealthyFamily

    I like you on facebook already

    p.s. I would really love to read this book, sounds very interesting.

  6. Karen

    The best thing about a favorite family recipe is everyone has a different one but the very best are the ones you learned from your mother or grandmother or the ones you teach your children to make. My favorite recipe is boiled custard. I have so many memories of holidays and my family eating/drinking it. The debate over is it better hot or cold; over cake or as a drink. I remember the first time I made it by myself for Thanksgiving at my Granny’s. The sad part is my children do not like it–always hope for the grandkids though, so I can pass on my recipe & memories.

  7. Dee @ Sprinkle Some Sunshine

    My mom’s homemade dinner rolls! Mmmm…we had them every holiday & most holidays were celebrated at my Granny & Pap’s house with all of my aunts, uncles & cousins! Life was “right” at Granny & Pap’s!

  8. Katharina V

    My favorite family recipe, uh thats difficult… I think I like my mother’s Dampfnudeln the most. Some kind of Swabian (German) yeast dumplings that we eat with vanilla sauce or apple sauce. I have always loved them and it always was like Christmas for my brother and me when mom made them! Except for the fact that he always (!!) used so much sauce that I had to be quick to get some before he finished it…

  9. kita

    Oh, my family food that I would love to recreate are some of my mothers simple dinners. She would make a ‘candied ham’ with ham steaks and lots of brown sugar and a rigatoni bake. She passed long before I was cooking and I have no record. Someday I will master her recipes. In the mean time! Follow you on facebook twitter and pinterest. Love your presentation. And I hate to say it (as pretty as everything is), but I’d do the same thing as your aunt.

  10. Amy

    The best thing about memories that are entwined with food is that even when those people are no longer with us, or they are too far away to share our table, they are really only a mixing bowl, a pound of butter, and a couple of cups of sugar away from being in our hearts, and our minds, once again.

  11. kate C.

    So many fav family recipes. One that has sentimental value and reminds me of holidays with family is our tapioca fruit salad recipe.

  12. Sharon

    Sunday night dinner growing up was always meatloaf, smothered with tomato relish, served with peas and potatoes from the garden. The meatloaf recipe was my Aunt’s and I can make it by memory to this day!

  13. karen

    Sad to say my mother was not a cook, so I don’t really have any family favorites. But I think I have passed on quite a few to my daughter. She would kill me if I didn’t make sweet potatoes with bourbon every thanksgiving.

  14. Julia {The Roasted Root}

    Gorgeous pie! The crust looks so appealing and the fresh cherries are mouth-watering! My favorite family recipe is an old German cookie recipe called fatigmans…they’re pretty complicated to make and you actually deep fry them but my whole family gets together every year so make them together…it’s one of my favorite traditions!

  15. Andrea

    My recipe one thet my grandmother did, my mother and I do now and teach my son. Is swiss chard quiche and I love it.

    Easy, fast and healthy!

  16. candace

    my favorite family recipe is my grandmother’s italian beef sandwiches with peppers. i also love my other grandmother’s potato salad and my momma’s meatloaf. i could never pick just one

  17. Heather

    Making (and eating) my mother’s brown sugar cinnamon kringle is definitely top of the list for me. Just that smell sends me back to wonderful memories!

  18. Carmen

    Our family loves apple crisp. My mother makes it every fall – I can remember having to get it when it was available, since my sister would eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and any snacks she could get!


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