Charoset with apples, walnuts and spices has a special meaning for the holiday. It represents mortar used for brickmaking when the Israelites were in Egypt. The sweetness represents freedom. —Gloria Mezikofsky, Wakefield, Massachusetts
Looking for ways to use up cukes from your garden? Our Test Kitchen home economists suggests this refreshing side as a cool addition to backyard barbecues and picnic lunches. A hint of dill and lemon nicely seasons and the crunchy cucumber, fennel and sweet onion slices.
Talk about versatility! This herb-infused oil has many uses. Spread over halved French bread and broil until toasted, toss with hot pasta, or simply use as a full-flavored dipping oil. —Dawn Embry-Rodriguez, Florence, Colorado
Tip: Could use 1 tablespoon of diced pimientos instead of red pepper, but add it just before serving. (The reader does this.)
Dorothy Bateman of Carver, Massachusetts says she relies on this savory stir-fry when time is short. “It’s wonderful made with a combination of brown and white rice,” adds Dorothy.
You can prepare soup, make dips and even season meats with this handy mix from June Mullins of Livonia, Missouri. "My grandchildren really enjoy it as a coating on oven-roasted potatoes," she says. "It's an inexpensive substitute for the envelopes you get at the store."
Christmas dinner wouldn't be the same without this colorful side dish. We love the interesting combination of vegetables including red potatoes, brussels sprouts and parsnips covered with a zippy sauce.
—Mary Jane Jones, Williamstown, West Virginia
My dad has been making a basic version of this family favorite for years. I've recently made it my own by spicing it up a bit with hoisin sauce and red pepper flakes. Sometimes I let the chicken and sauce simmer in my slow cooker. —Brigette Schroeder, Yorkville, Illinois
This recipe is pretty simple as is, but to save even more time, leave the block of cream cheese whole and let your guests spoon up what they'd like. If you can't find crystallized ginger, simply substitute with a 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger. —Lori Stefanishion, Drumheller, Alberta
A hint of balsamic vinegar gives a fresh taste to this simple side shared by Glenda Malan. "Sliced almonds dress up green beans tastefully when company's coming," she relates from Lake Forest, California. "I can't think of an entree this dish doesn't complement."