MY HUSBAND likes stuffed peppers, but my old recipe made too much. I devised this recipe to accommodate just the two of us. It helps to use a small-size casserole so the peppers won't tip over while baking.
For color, I serve steamed carrots with the peppers, rounding out the meal perfectly. —Elaine Carpenter
Horseshoe Bay, Texas
I often end up with a bumper crop of basil and here's a favorite way to use some of it. These burgers feature great Italian flavor. And who can resist their gooey, cheesy centers or the scrumptious topping? —Virginia Kochis, Springfield, Virginia
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
Our family loves this hearty stew. I like to serve steaming helping in old-fashioned soup plates with thick crusty slices of homemade bread. To get the 11 cups of chopped cabbage for this stew, you'll need to start with a small head of cabbage, about 2 to 2-1/2 pounds. Or for quicker prep, substitute coleslaw mix from the produce department.—Karen Ann Bland, Gove, Kansas
"For a change from sandwiches, we like burritos-something many people don't consider in a brown-bag lunch," says Rhonda Cliett of Barton, Texas. "They're good cold or easy to heat if a microwave's available."
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."
Shepherd's Pie takes a testy twist with this version. Between the fluffy mashed potato topping and the savory ground beef base is a bed of tender, green asparagus. Even my kids ask for big helpings.
—Steve Rowland, Fredericksburg, Virginia
My family loves meat loaf—and this one in particular. I created the recipe after trying and adjusting many other recipes over the years. Cheddar cheese tucked inside and a flavorful bacon topping dress it up just right for Sunday dinner! —Sue Call, Beech Grove, Indiana