"A pastor's wife shared her recipe for this colorful all-in-one skillet meal that she frequently brings to church dinners," writes subscriber Gene Pitts from Wilsonville, Alabama. "Hearty chunks of smoked sausage and canned tomatoes with chilies add just the right amount of zip to a packaged rice mix."
Cumin spices up this crunchy sandwich filling from Ann Bergstrom of Warrenville, Illinois. In addition to garden-fresh vegetables, it calls for time-saving ingredients such as prepared salsa, canned olives and shredded cheese.
From Niceville, Florida, Diane Hixon shares a tasty topper for tortilla chips. Chili powder and sassy salsa season a zesty mixture of ground beef and refried beans that's sprinkled with green onions, tomatoes and ripe olives.
Meet the Cook: This recipe came with me from New Mexico, where I lived years ago. It's been a hit at everything from a simple family supper to a church fellowship!
Our three daughters are 19, 17 and 6. My husband's a truck driver, and we live in town. But we also have an 80-acre farm, filled with pine trees, that belonged to my great-granddad - one day, we hope to build a house there.
-Patti Henson, Linden, Texas
Most people expect a certain flavor when they bite into a Swiss steak, so this dish is a real surprise! It is a wonderful alternative to regular Swiss steak. My family really likes Mexican food, and this is one of their favorites.
"I sometimes treat my friends at work to these peppy pitas at lunchtime," relates Helen Overman from Pottsboro, Texas. "I prepare everything in advance, so the spicy sandwiches can just be zapped in the microwave."
Amy Martell of Canton, Pennsylvania knows how to heat up the dinner table on a cold night. Her zesty chili is chockfull of ground beef, beans and south-of-the-border flair. Whip up the stovetop sensation when you're feeding a crowd, or make sure to save leftovers for the following two recipes.
"When I need to get dinner on the table fast for my husband and three children, I fix these filling fajitas," relates Elaine Keith of Mineral Wells, West Virginia. "With beef, chicken and shrimp, they satisfy everyone's tastes. They're wonderful with Spanish rice," she adds.