My father was a cook in the Army and taught me the basics in the kitchen. My childhood baby-sitter inspired my love of cooking, too...in fact, she gave me this recipe. —Julie Brendt, Antelope, California
I combined a few great-tasting meat loaf recipes to create this flavorful version, which my husband loves. And because it's made in the microwave, the entree is ideal for busy nights. —Deb Thompson, Lincoln, Nebraska
For me, football, cool weather and chili just seem to go together. Whether I’m cheering on the local team on a Friday night or enjoying a Saturday afternoon of Oklahoma Sooner football with some friends, I enjoy serving this chili on game day. —Chris Neal, Quapaw, Oklahoma
Tangy barbecue sauce, fluffy biscuits and cheddar cheese combine to make these hearty muffins. Try them with ground turkey or other shredded cheeses to vary the flavor. —Karen Kenney, Harvard, Illinois
Our kids—Garrett, 10, and Heather, 5—love to roll the ground beef and pork mixture into these moist meatballs. We enjoy them prepared in a creamy gravy. But the frozen meatballs also are great additions to soups and stews, or to stir into spaghetti sauce and serve over pasta.
A dear friend first brought over this casserole when I was recovering from an accident. Now I take it to other friends' homes and to potlucks, because it's always a big hit!—Beverly Austin, Fulton, Missouri
A good recipe for Salisbury Steak is hard to find! I remember enjoying it often when I was growing up, but when I decided to add it to my recipe collection, I wasn't able to find it in my modern cookbooks. I came up with these ingredients on my own and experimented until it tasted like I recalled. It makes a hearty meal when served with mashed potatoes. —Faye Hintz
A friend showed me how to make stacked enchiladas years ago. I took it even further to create this filling casserole. I serve it with Mexican corn or chips and dip. I love the rave reviews I get every time I make it.—Deana Briggs, Maud, Texas
When it comes to convenience, Darlene Brenden has dinner in the bag. The Salem, Oregon cook measures dry noodles and a mixture of spices into separate plastic bags, then stores them in a paper bag with canned stewed tomatoes. This "pantry kit" gives her family a head start on a hearty meal. "Since I work late occasionally," she says, "they just have to brown ground beef, and soon dinner is simmering."