Last Christmas, my aunt and uncle left a special gift on my parents’ doorstep: a spiral-bound book labeled “Grandma Schubach’s Recipes.” It contained scanned versions of the typewritten notecards and magazine and newspaper clippings that composed my late grandma’s robust recipe collection—dishes that were staples at the family birthday parties and holiday gatherings of my childhood. As I flipped through the book’s pages, I could practically taste the sticky sweetness of her Oatmeal Cake (Grandpa’s favorite), and I winced at Cottage Cheese Salad, an off-putting concoction of orange Jell-O, cottage cheese, and canned mandarin oranges that my family called Orange Stuff. I laughed at the cheeky name of Man-Catcher Brownies and squinted at my grandma’s annotations jotted down in her cursive scrawl.

These recipes are a good reminder that memories and traditions are often built around homemade meals and full bellies, and that certain dishes have a way of becoming ingrained in family stories for generations. You’ll find this sentiment echoed throughout the pages of this Kitchen Issue: For instance, local food blogger and recipe developer Lola Wiarco Dweck shares her twist on a traditional Mexican recipe that her grandmothers and aunts often made, and chef Linda Hampsten Fox notes how inherited cookbooks have influenced the dishes at her LoHi restaurant, the Bindery.

You’ll also find a number of smart Colorado kitchens that will provide design inspiration and ideas for your own cookspace—and who knows, maybe even encourage you to put it to work by dusting off an old family recipe. (Just not the Orange Stuff.)