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
"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."
Margaret Wilson of Hemet, California shared the recipe for this yummy mainstay. Pineapple juice, ginger and soy sauce lend a slightly tangy flavor to the chicken strips and veggies in this pretty blend. A package of frozen vegetables speeds along the prep time, making this a quick meal for busy weeknights.
Cooked in the microwave, this fast fudge is a sweet addition to any holiday gathering. “I make this when I need a quick treat for a school party or to take to a neighbor,” says Shellie Tucker from Hendersonville, Tennessee.
Here's a real gem! After tasting a similar soup at a popular restaurant in the Twin Cities, I came up with my own version. Everyone who tastes it says it's wonderful. Adding the almonds at the end gives the soup a fun crunch.
-Nicole Weir, Hager City, Wisconsin
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
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 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
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!“