During a long Midwest winter, I crave greens and tomatoes from the garden. These leaf lettuces and grape tomatoes have a fantastic out-of-the-garden taste. Thank goodness we can get them year-round. —Jasmine Rose, Crystal Lake, Illinois
These impressive loaves really sparkle on the buffet. You can't just eat one slice of this treat with its rich filling peeking out of sweet yeast bread. Once you drizzled on the glaze and savor that first piece, you'll know the extra work is worth it.
-Mary Anne McWhirter, Pearland, Texas
"I make this extra-special banana bread only once a year to celebrate Christmas," says Sandra Bonow of Lewiston, Minnesota. "It's loaded with scrumptious ingredients such as coconut, mandarin oranges, dates, cherries, chocolate chips and almonds."
I made these moist muffins to take to the office, and they were a hit. Sugared almonds give them a crunchy topping. When strawberries aren't in season, I use individual frozen cut strawberries directly from the freezer.
I tasted this light dessert 7 years ago at a potluck and got the recipe from my mom's dear friend. I've made it dozens of times since for my family and friends, who go wild over it. This is a terrific way to end a heavy meal.
-Debby Chiorino, Pt. Hueneme, CA
I modified the original recipe for this chicken salad to make it healthier. The ingredients are so flavorful that my changes didn't take away from the taste. This refreshing salad never lasts long at our house. Even if I double the recipe, my husband asks, "Why didn't you make more?"
-Kristi Abernathy, Lewistown, Montana
I write a food column for our local newspaper, and I consider myself a pretty good judge of recipes. But I'll admit I was surprised by this one—I didn't think the usual ingredients would go together as well as they do. I enjoy all kinds of cooking, especially recipes with pork or pasta. —Connie Blommers, Pella, Iowa
Field editor Lavonne Hartel of Williston, North Dakota chuckles as she relates, “Our nephew recently told me this salad is his favorite, but the first time he ate it at my house, he thought I was cleaning out the refrigerator!“
It's hard to improve on the taste Mother Nature gives to fresh green beans, but Mom has for years using this recipe. I have always thought the crunchy almonds were a super addition.
-Brenda DuFresne, Midland, Michigan