One of my childhood friends moved to Italy 20 years ago. During a recent visit to see her, I enjoyed a scrumptious salad made with tortellini and fresh vegetables. I fell in love with the dish and have been trying to recreate ever since. How'd I do? —Kelly Mapes, Fort Collins, Colorado
Start your picnic right with this delicious macaroni salad. It's loaded with diced veggies and bacon, and coated with a zesty dressing similar to one you'd use for German potato salad. —Kay Bell, Palestine, Texas
"I created this salad one weekend to take to a friend's house, and everybody loved it," notes Debbie Graber of Eureka, Nevada. "It's become a much-requested favorite at gatherings." TIP: "Dice up some reduced-fat pepperoni and add it to the salad," recommends Debbie.
Peaches and bacon? Oh, yeah. I made this family favorite for a big summer party. It was so easy to prep the parts separately, then toss it all together right before chow time. —Megan Riofski, Frankfort, Illinois
Sharing this mouthwatering vegetable medley, Patty Kile of Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania assures, "The delicate flavor of the fresh green beans really comes through."—Patricia D Kile, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania.
"I was getting ready to prepare a Caesar salad with chicken strips when I discovered I didn't have enough chicken breasts in the freezer," explains the Lake Zurich, Illinois cook. "So, I substituted frozen chicken nuggets.
"My family was delighted with the results, "Martha notes. "So I substituted frozen chicken nuggets.
"My family was delighted with the results," Martha notes. "In fact, my husband enjoyed three generous helpings!"
Served warm, this satisfying salad combines pasta, chicken, lettuce, mandarin oranges and romaine and is tossed with a slightly tart dressing. From Coos Bay, Oregon, Diane Conrad comments, "My daughter-in-law gave me a basic dressing recipe, and I adapted it to suit our tastes."
A tart lemon-pepper dressing accents this colorful vegetable combination. Mom doesn’t always add the asparagus spears, but I think the steamed stalks make it twice as good.—Emma Rea, Columbia, South Carolina