When my husband and I were first married, he refused to eat meat loaf because he said it was bland and dry. Then I prepared this version, and it became his favorite meal. —Suzanne Codner, Starbuck, Minnesota
"My husband raved about this sweet bean dish after tasting it at a party, so I knew I had to get the recipe," recalls Jan Biehl, Leesburg, Indiana. "It's perfect for get-togethers because you can mix it up a day early and toss it in the slow cooker a few hours before your guests arrive."
The slow cooker makes this chili ideal for entertaining. A few minutes of prep and then it cooks away while you can attend to other party details. Your guests will really enjoy this nicely seasoned hearty dish.—Jan Wagner-Cuda, Deer Park, Washington
I created this recipe after ruining a dinner of Spanish rice. I tried to salvage the dish by adding more water, cilantro and green chiles. It was a hit with the whole family. It's hearty enough to be a main meal with the addition of a garden salad and some corn bread.—Marilyn Schetz, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Liquid Smoke gives a unique taste to this thick and hearty combination of beef and beans shared by Anita Curtis. "I serve it with a crisp salad to make a complete meal," notes the Camarillo, California cook.