I used to have a catering business, and my specialty was comfort food. I once needed a gluten-free meatloaf and my clients went nuts over this. I often use an 8x8 pan or a loaf pan, but a muffin tin really cuts the cooking time. —Vangie Panagotopulos, Moorestown, New Jersey
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
“Make this versatile recipe your own, everyone loves it! It's also great made with leftover chicken from the previous night's dinner. You might prefer another hard cheese for the Parmesan…or just go with the cheddar and cornflake crumbs.”
Marian Pappas - Lake Stevens, Washington
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
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
"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."
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
When it comes to convenience, Darlene Markel has dinner in the bag. The Sublimity, 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."