I find it very relaxing to spend a morning or afternoon in my kitchen trying new recipes. This recipe is one of my favorites-it won first prize in a statewide contest! The salsa is a fun and zippy addition.
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
Meet the Cook: Like most farmers, my husband loves chili. And with all of the vegetables, cheese and meat in it, this quick dish makes a real meal-in-one. I serve it frequently in fall and winter.
I began cooking young. My mom taught me a lot...so did years of 4-H!
My husband and I have a dairy farm, and we also make maple syrup. I'm the mother of two small boys. They don't care for the olives in this recipe - but the rest they eat right up!
-Katherine Brown, Fredericktown, Ohio
The first time I made these beef fajitas, my family couldn't get enough. The next time I had to make a double batch so everyone had enough. This is a favorite evening meal for me because it fixes up quick. It would be a good one for entertaining, too—the avocados add a nice dash of color. —Marla Brenneman, Goshen, Indiana
Meet the Cook: My "policy" in the kitchen is to try to fix something totally new at least once a week. This recipe came out beautifully on the first try! Ever since, in between experiments, I've made it often.
I usually fix Meaty Spanish Rice for family meals - but it's also great for doubling if unexpected company comes and the cupboards are all nearly bare!
My husband and I own a small engine repair service. Someday soon, we plan to retire to the farm 70 miles west of here that we also operate. We have three grown children and five grandchildren - and I spend as much time with those little ones as I can!
-Margaret Shauers, Great Bend, Kansas
Anyone living in or visiting the Southwest knows green chilies are a staple. I grew up on this delicacy and thought everyone must know how delicious it is. It seems to be even more popular now in this area.
Ever hear of "carnitas"? They're easy-to-make pork crisps that are very popular in Mexico.
The secret to this recipe is the citrus and quick frying. Be sure the meat is well drained before it's place in oil, though, or it will splatter and pop.
My husband works at a timber mill. Logging is an important industry here in the mountainous northeast part of our state, and there are also numerous wheat and grass seed farms. In addition to cooking and canning, I enjoy fishing, gardening and crafting. —Patricia Collins, Imbler, Oregon
I like to "spice up" my meat dishes with peppers, and this Basque Piperade—adapted from a Spanish recipe—is a family favorite. The bright red and green peppers look especially good with meats like pork, chicken or seafood...but I use the sauce to season beef when I cook that, too.