Do you have those foods that just never get old? They’re just so nostalgic, and they taste like home? In the Midwest, I feel like we all have our “party staples.” I love to cook, and it brings me so much joy to cook for others and create good food for my people. In my family, there are 3 recipes that will go down in history!
My parents have a cabin in Lake Delton and it’s pretty much the only place we are able to get the whole family together during the summer. My family isn’t large–just my parents, Hayden & me, and my sister, Haley, and brother-in-law, Billy. Summer is just so busy, making it hard to get together. Mom and Dad are usually fishing somewhere near the cabin. Hayden and I are always on our own adventures. Haley and Billy are usually off somewhere doing something epic (I think this summer they’re going on a road trip to Washington!). Despite the craziness, we usually find time to all get together at the Man Cave–yes that really is what our family calls this blissful summer spot. (It originated as my dad’s fishing paradise.)
I don’t know if this is the same for everyone, but when my family gets together, I can usually predict what my parents are going to cook up for us. I know Dad is going to grill, or serve some fish he caught (sometimes even the same day!). From mom–I can usually bet there will be at least one of three things there: the Famous Fruit Fluff, Beer Dip, or Cheerio Bars. All of which are perfect to devour around a campfire on a long summer day. Today’s your lucky day, because I am sharing these summer staples with you!
#1 of 3 Wisconsin recipes I can’t get enough of
Before I get into it, I need to start by saying that we are not sure of the original authors of these recipes. They have all come from my mom’s group of friends (shout out Ann & Karen!) and have been passed around a LOT. There are about a million variations of these across the internet, so again, I can’t credit an original author. But I am going to just go ahead and claim that these are the best versions out there!
This fruit dip is seriously the best and such an easy recipe! My mom used to always make this for basketball and volleyball tournaments, and my high school friends STILL love the fluff. It’s so good that I even asked my mom to make it for our bridal party to eat as we got ready for our reception! Serve it up with loads of grapes and strawberries, and you will not be disappointed.
12oz whipped topping* (thawed)
8oz container of strawberry cream cheese spread
7oz jar of marshmallow creme
Strawberries and grapes for serving
*It used to come in a 12oz container, but we can’t find that anymore, so now we just do one and a half 8oz containers.
Combine whipped topping, strawberry cream cheese, and marshmallow cream. Mix until smooth. Serve with strawberries and grapes.** **Definitely get creative on what to dip into this deliciousness! We love these two fruits, but have tried lots of different things in the past–apples, graham crackers, kiwi, Nilla Wafers, ect.
#2 of 3 Wisconsin recipes I can’t get enough of
Another easy recipe that is perfect for any gathering! Every summer picnic, Packer Party, and family party needs a beer dip.
2 8oz blocks of cream cheese
1oz packet of ranch seasoning
½ cup of beer*
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
Pretzels for serving
*You can use any beer you’d like, but we typically go with something light like Miller Lite
Mix all ingredients until combined. Serve with pretzels. (Pro tip: Hayden likes to smear this on his burgers!)
#3 of 3 Wisconsin recipes I can’t get enough of
I might start fights with this, but…Cheerio Bars > Scotcheroos! No shade to a Scotcheroo–I love them and eye them up every time I’m in Kwik Trip. But these Cheerio Bars are just…better! You still get the peanut butter-chocolate combination, but the volume the cheerios bring is unmatched. Don’t believe me? Try them for yourself!
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup*
1½ cups of peanut butter
1½ teaspoons vanilla
5 cups Cheerios
3 cups Rice Krispies
2 cups M&M’s
Nonstick cooking spray
*We buy Karo
Spray a 13x9 inch pan with nonstick spray. Heat sugar and corn syrup until it just starts to bubble. Turn off heat and stir in peanut butter and vanilla. Mix in Cheerios, Rice Krispies, and M&M’s. Press into the prepared pan. Let cool, cut, and enjoy!
Does your family have a staple recipe? Leave it as a comment below!