Meet the Cook: My mom used to make this hearty dish for family get-togethers. Now I do the same when our five grown children come to visit. My husband and I have a beautiful lake country home...and we enjoy fishing.
-Donna Torgerson, Park Rapids, Minnesota
Lea Ann Anderson
Here’s a quick and easy recipe familiar to most at reunions and other large gatherings. The sweet and hearty dish includes three kinds of beans and plenty of beef and bacon.
This comforting side dish makes a creamy accompaniment to most any main course. Not only can you double the recipe for larger crowds, but you can use reduced-fat or low-sodium ingredients if you prefer. —Lori Talamao
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
It's impossible to resist this cheesy casserole with a golden crumb topping sprinkled over colorful vegetables. A versatile side that goes with any meat, Mom has relied on this favorite to round out many family meals. For a taste twist, try varying the veggies.
-Lisa Radelet, Boulder, Colorado
This colorful side dish feels right at home with any entree. The veggies are coated in a buttery cheese sauce, then layered with cracker crumbs. Even kids who turn up their noses at broccoli will eat this up.
-Nancy Horsburgh, Everett, Ontario
WE rarely have the same main dish at Christmas each year, since I really enjoy trying new recipes. This corn, however, has a permanent place on our table. My whole family loves it, but my son, especially, would be so disappointed if I forgot to include this with our holiday meal.
-Deb Hauptmann, Mohnton, Pennsylvania
My daughter-in-law created this recipe and shared it with me. I was delighted, since my husband and I were cutting down on fried foods and that's the way I had always prepared squash. The recipe is versatile...it can easily be enlarged to serve for a family dinner.
-Sue Joyce, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
I prepare this sweet potato dish mostly around the holidays, but it's good anytime. For added convenience, you can prepare it the night before and just pop it in the oven the next day. It's a joy to serve this delicious fluffy casserole to my five children and their families.—Fay Miller, Denham Springs, Louisiana
Marcia Braun of Scott City, Kansas stir together corn bread mix, French onion dip and canned corn to make this super-moist side dish. "It went over so well at Thanksgiving one year that it's now served at all our holiday gatherings," she says with a smile.