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Community Cook Joan Hallford’s All-Time Best Recipes

Among the top-ten most published contributors in the history of Taste of Home magazine, Joan Hallford's recipes are sure to please.

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Taste of Home

Meet Joan

Celebrating her 20th anniversary as a Community Cook, Joan is a legend among the Taste of Home editors. A proud Texan, she is a diehard TSU Horned Frogs fan and adds a little Texas flair to all of her recipes. (Get more of her cooking advice here.) She is a strong believer in giving back to her community and spends her free time volunteering at local food pantries and community closets in her neighborhood. Her recipes have been loved over and over by our readers. Click through to check out her recipes for yourself. 

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Southwestern Star Dip

I enjoyed this sensational dip at a holiday party and begged for the recipe. No others are the ones begging me! —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Texas Chili Fries

The delicious chili goes together in minutes and then cooks while you run errands. The only way to make it even better is to pour it over crisp french fries and sprinkle with cheese. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Chiles Rellenos Breakfast Bake

My family loves anything with a Southwestern flavor, so I turned classic chiles rellenos into a breakfast casserole. They became fans in an instant. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Southwestern Casserole

I've been making this mild family-pleasing southwest casserole recipe for years. It tastes wonderful, fits nicely into our budget and, best of all, makes a second one to freeze and enjoy later. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Praline Ice Cream Cake

Melted ice cream is a key ingredient in this delectable golden cake. It's been a family favorite for years and we love the pecan praline flavor. It's also a joy to serve to company since it's not tricky to fix but always wins raves! —Joan Hallford North Richland Hills, Texas
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Southwestern Fish Tacos

These bright tacos take me on an instant trip to sunny Southern California. The recipe has been on my family's most requested list for years. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

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Pork and Asparagus Sheet-Pan Dinner

When time is of the essence, it's nice to have a quick and easy meal idea in your back pocket. Not only is it delicious, but you can clean it up in a flash. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Beef 'n' Bean Torta

This zesty dish is a favorite of mine because it has a wonderful Southwestern taste and is easy to prepare. I serve it on nights when we have only a few minutes to eat before running off to meetings or sports events. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Santa Fe Strip Steaks

We love Southwestern flavor, and this recipe certainly provides it. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas.
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Asparagus Spinach Salad with Chicken

We love all the fresh fruits and vegetables that are available in the summer. This salad is one of our favorite because it packs in so much great produce, plus it's quick and easy on a warm summer day. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Broccoli-Pork Stir-Fry with Noodles

I combined several recipes to come up with this dish that my family loves. It is not only quick and delicious but also healthy. I sometimes substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts for the pork. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Slow-Cooked Summer Squash

We love squash, but I got tired of fixing just plain squash and cheese. I decided to jazz it up a bit. This was a huge hit with the family. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Apple Walnut Slaw

A co-worker shared this slaw recipe with me. Now it's a favorite at my house, too. Apples, walnuts and raisins are a fun way to dress up coleslaw. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Key Lime Bread

I first tried this deliciously different bread at a friend's house, and she graciously shared the recipe with me. It's so easy to make and it tastes absolutely yummy! —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Cheesy Fiesta Beef Casserole

Over the years I’ve tweaked this recipe to end up with a wonderful, quick weeknight meal. Feel free to spice it up with jalapenos, if you prefer a little more heat. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Mexican Layered Salad

Here’s another popular dish I like to prepare in advance, adding the cheese and chips just before serving. It’s a slightly different version of the traditional layered salad.—Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Homemade Ranch Dressing and Dip Mix

Give this versatile mix in a decorative jar with instructions for making dip or dressing. Then tuck it into a gift basket along with a pretty serving bowl and snack crackers or chips. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Mom's Citrus Buttermilk Cake

Everyone raves over this lovely lemon cake. It's divine with fresh raspberries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Low and Slow Huevos Rancheros

We love Mexican food, especially for breakfast. My slow cooker version of a favorite, huevos rancheros, is rolled into flour tortillas. It's a perfect way to serve a breakfast crowd. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Citrus-Marinated Salmon

"This is the perfect thing to make for a speedy, healthy meal. I sometimes prepare the marinade in the morning and put the salmon in when I get home from work, and within 30 minutes, they're sizzling on the grill. Add a salad and dinner's ready!" Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, TX
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Pumpkin Milk Shakes

My son loved this festive milkshake growing up—it's nicely spiced and tastes like pumpkin pie. I like cutting off both ends of a licorice twist and serving it as a straw.—Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Chili Queso Dip

I’ve had this recipe for more than 42 years, but have updated it from time to time. This is an easy party favorite, and everyone loves the taquito dippers. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Yummy Apricot Pecan Bread

Every time I prepare this yummy bread, I always receive raves. It’s perfect with coffee or as a gift, plus it’s really quick and easy to prepare. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Fresh Peach Lemonade

Looking for a new twist on lemonade? Fresh peaches lend a fruity flavor to this summertime must-have. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Cranberry Scones with Orange Butter

My tempting cranberry scones brighten up a holiday brunch or tea. The yummy orange butter served with them is hands-down irresistible. —Joan Hallford, Fort Worth, Texas
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Texas Citrus Salad

Light and refreshing, this mixed citrus salad is perfect to serve at barbecues and cookouts. The dressing makes it glisten with goodness.—Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Migas, My Way

Quick, easy and delicious, this egg scramble gets a big thumbs up from my family. Sometimes I substitute fresh corn tortillas for the chips by cutting the tortillas into strips and sauteeing them with the pepper and onion.—Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Company Green Salad

I partially put this salad together and take the remaining ingredients (candied nuts, seeds, rice noodles and dressing) to mix in at the potluck. Works perfectly every time. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Croissant Breakfast Casserole

Turning croissants and marmalade into a classic overnight casserole makes a wonderful treat for family and guests around the breakfast table. — Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Daughter's Apple Crisp

My mom’s apple crisp is the best in all of Texas, honest! I tweaked it slightly, though, and now I spend less time in the kitchen and more time catching up with my spry 92-year-young mother. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Cheese Manicotti

Cheese manicotti was the first meal I cooked for my husband, and all these years later, he still enjoys it! —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Mom's Spanish Rice

My mom is famous for her Spanish rice recipe, the ultimate comfort food. When I want a taste of home, I whip up this dish. Punch up the flavor with a little lime and extra chili powder. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Cleo's Potato Salad

My mom, Cleo Lightfoot, loved cooking all kinds of different recipes, but her favorite meal was one she made when hosting backyard barbecues in the summer. She would make her famous ribs, baked beans and this delicious potato salad. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Easy Cheesy Loaded Grits

A tasty bowl of grits inspired me to develop my own with sausage, green chilies and cheeses. It just might be better than the original. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Slow-Cooker Spiced Fruit

My aunt who lived in Hawaii gave me this cherished recipe. She would prepare a traditional tropical meal for us whenever we visited, and this fruity side was always included. I always think of her when I make it, whether it’s for the holidays or an everyday meal. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Tex-Mex Cheesesteak Sandwiches

We adore cheesesteak sandwiches and anything with southwestern flavor, so I combined the two. If you crave even more firepower, add chopped jalapenos. —Joan Hallford, Fort Worth, Texas
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Patio Pintos

Any time Mom had the gang over for dinner, she made these pinto beans. Once she made a batch for my cousin’s birthday, and he ate the entire thing. —Joan Hallford, Fort Worth, Texas
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Easy Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

When I got my ice cream maker, a friend shared her dreamy freezy cheesecake recipe. For guests, I scoop this into tart shells. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Streusel-Topped Blueberry Waffle Casserole

I had company coming and needed a new breakfast casserole, so I made up this nutty idea using waffles. My neighbors and husband were happy taste testers. —Joan Hallford, Fort Worth, Texas
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Homemade Guacamole

Nothing is better than freshly made guacamole when you're eating something spicy. It is easy to whip together in a matter of minutes and quickly tames anything that's too hot. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Pineapple Upside-Down Muffin Cakes

A friend submitted this recipe to a cookbook our school district was compiling. The first time I made them, the whole family declared the recipe a winner. Delicious and healthy to boot, they remain favorites to this day. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Watermelon-Strawberry Cooler

My family gulps this frosty cooler because we love, love, love watermelon. The strawberries give it an extra pop. This is a perfect drink for Texas heat. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Pizza Soup with Garlic Toast Croutons

This comforting soup satisfies our pizza cravings. It's super versatile, too, and I sometimes substitute light Italian sausage for the chicken or add a little Parmesan cheese. Go nuts and add all your favorite pizza toppings! —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, TX
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Fresh Strawberry Breakfast Tacos

When our son was growing up, this was one of his favorite breakfasts. I've used low-fat ingredients in the past with good results, too.—Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Blueberry-Cinnamon Campfire Bread

A neighboring camper made a bread so tempting, I had to ask for the details. Here’s my version, best enjoyed with a steaming cup of coffee by the campfire. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Cranberry Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie

I've been using this rich pecan pie recipe for 30 years, changing it up when the mood strikes. We love it any way I make it! It's awesome baked a day ahead, too. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Italian Sausage Pizza Soup

My mom’s friend shared this recipe with her more than 50 years ago. I've tweaked it over the years, and it's still a family favorite. Warm garlic bread is heavenly on the side. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Chili Queso Dip

I’ve had this recipe for more than 42 years, but have updated it from time to time. This is an easy party favorite, and everyone loves the taquito dippers. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Broccoli Pork Stir Fry With Noodles Exps Thfm18 200032 B09 14 4b 6

Broccoli-Pork Stir-Fry with Noodles

I combined several recipes to come up with this dish that my family loves. It is not only quick and delicious but also healthy. I sometimes substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts for the pork. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas

Sue Stetzel
Sue has been part of the Taste of Home family for over 16 years. Her collection of magazines dates back to the premier issue in 1993. When she isn’t writing, she’s answering your burning cooking questions and working with our team of Volunteer Field Editors.

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