Planning a Fabulous '50s party to surprise my sister for her birthday got me humming. Recalling popular songs from the decade gave me the idea for a clever name for the chili dogs I served. Like Elvis' tune, they were a big hit!
-Judy Nix, Toccoa, Georgia
To cut down on last minute preparation, Kyle Gray chops the vegetables from this rich soup the night before and stores them in the fridge. "It has become one of our favorite comfort foods," notes the Glendale, Arizona cook.
I like meals that are simple to prepare, yet offer maximum taste. Served in hallowed-out rolls, this hearty chili offers extra zip with two kinds of meat, beans and jalapeno pepper. Sometimes I serve the chili in one large round bread loaf. —Tonya Burkhard, Davis, Illinois
You'll need just five ingredients to stir up this quick-and-easy chili from Jane Bone of Cape Coral, Florida. "We like to use medium salsa for zippy flavor, but sometimes I use half mild and half medium," she notes. "Sprinkle hearty servings with shredded cheddar cheese and other tasty toppings," Jane suggests.
“This filling, hearty recipe comes from my grandmother,” writes Jenny Greear from Huntington, West Virginia. “It’s full of flavor, freezes beautifully and makes a complete, last-minute meal. I top it grated cheddar cheese and chopped black olives and serve tortilla chips on the side.”
JENNY’S TIP: “If I’m feeding a crowd, I increase the pinto beans to four cans to make the meat go farther.”
Meet the Cook: I started making my chili back when we lived near a huge farmers' market that sold all sorts of vegetables. Be as creative as you like with ingredients.
My husband loves chili, and this is a nice change from the traditional type. I've always enjoyed cooking - I grew up in a family with five girls. These days, I can count on our own youngsters (they're 4 and 2) to help me out!
-Judy Sloter, Charles City, Iowa