Living in California, the “salad bowl” of the United States, I’m inspired to cook nutritious meals like cioppino. Whenever my friends and I get together, it's the main request. —Cleo Gonske, Redding, California
“After dating my husband for a month, I wanted to impress him with my cooking," recalls Lindy Bonnell of Loveland, Colorado. "When I fixed this recipe, it convinced him I was ‘the one’! We’ve been married for several years.”
Capers are actually pickled flower buds. Look for them near the pickles and olives in your grocery store. They’re very salty and should always be rinsed before using. Don’t have any capers? Chopped green olives make a good substitute.
My mom's deep-fried rice balls, flavored with traditional Italian cheeses, make a hearty main dish. She serves them with her special spaghetti sauce - my favorite - featuring ground beef and artichoke hearts.
-Concetta Maranto Skenfield, Bakersfield, California
Strudel through history and you’ll find origins for this sweet layered pastry in Austria. Bring it over to the savory side with Tuscan influences of tomatoes, mushrooms and pesto. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
My family loves artichoke spinach dip, so I thought I could turn this popular appetizer into a chicken entree. The sourdough bowl makes a fun presentation. I love that with this recipe I can make one for dinner and wrap one for the freezer!—Merry Graham, Newhall, California
“Every year my sisters and I have a “Sister's Day” which includes a special lunch. This fast and easy pizza is one of our favorites. Served with a garden salad this makes a light and nutritious meal.”
-Deborah Prevost of Barnet, Vermont
Green chilies add a bit of zip to this rich cracker spread from Victoria Casey of Coeur d' Alene, Idaho. "I serve this appetizer often because it's tasty, quick to make and looks so pretty with the red tomatoes and green onions on top."