“One night I didn’t have any noodles for my chicken soup, so I gave it an Asian twist with wonton wrappers. It was great! Don’t skip the celery leaves; they bring great flavor to this soup.”—Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota
"A steaming bowl of this soup hits the spot on a cold rainy or snowy day, which we have in abundance here," writes Linda Fox of Soldotna, Alaska. Oregano adds fast flavor to the pleasant combination of tender vegetables, pasta spirals and ground beef.
Meet the Cook: Especially to guests who enjoy the variety of Chinese cooking, this is a treat. I like serving it with fried noodles or rice as a side dish. I am a widow with two daughters, both grown, and a grandson. Music is a favorite pastime. I've been the founder and director of a seniors band called "The Happy Has Beens", and I perform for clubs, church groups and seniors as the "Hat Lady", singing about my travels through our state.
-Louise Johnson, Harriman, Tennessee
This tasty soup has a surprisingly short simmering time. Leftover turkey has never tasted so good! If you don't have frozen mixed vegetables on hand, stir in extra veggies from your Thanksgiving meal until heated through.
This tangy chili from Linda Charlier of East Cleveland, Ohio, is chock-full of beef, beans and rich tomato flavor. Linda suggests serving it over cooked brown rice, a baked potato or with a crusty loaf of warm bread. “If there are any leftovers, it freezes well and also makes yummy omelets or filling for homemade burritos,” she adds.
Meet the Cook: I started making my chili back when we lived near a huge farmers' market that sold all sorts of vegetables. Be as creative as you like with ingredients.
My husband loves chili, and this is a nice change from the traditional type. I've always enjoyed cooking - I grew up in a family with five girls. These days, I can count on our own youngsters (they're 4 and 2) to help me out!
-Judy Sloter, Charles City, Iowa