Meet the Cook: It's been 20 years now since I adapted this from a recipe for beef stew. We like it so much that, in all that time, I have never changed any ingredients or amounts - unless it was to double them!
Our home's on a river, and my husband, our three boys - 12, 10 and 9 - and I enjoy camping and boating.
-Valerie Jordan, Kingmont, West Virginia
Romping in the national forest amid tall ponderosa pines around our home gives my husband and our two little boys big appetites. They like this savory stew. Because I'm a busy firefighter, I often make it ahead and serve it when I need a meal in a hurry.
-Linda Russell, Forest Lakes, Arizona
This delightfully different jambalaya is lighter than many of the traditional sausage varieties. Plus, it's a great way to use up leftover ham. I appreciate how easy it is to prepare, and I love the aroma while it's cooking.
My mom made this stew when I was young, and it was always a hit. Since it's not time-consuming to make I can fix it on a weekend for our children, who love the tender dumplings. —Becky Mohr of Appleton, Wisconsin
Come home to warm comfort food! This is based on my mom’s wonderful recipe, though I tweaked it for the slow cooker. Add a sprinkle of Parmesan to each bowl for a nice finishing touch. —Marcella West, Washburn, Illinois
"I love anything with Cajun spices, so I came up with this slow-cooker jambalaya that’s just as good as that served in restaurants," says Jennifer Fulk from Moreno Valley, California. "If you can’t find Andouille sausage, hot links, smoked sausage or chorizo will also work. I like to serve it with warm cornbread and garnished with sliced green onions."
This stew is perfect for warming up on a wintry day. It is a good dish to make when you're busy, since it's quick to prepare and doesn't need attention while cooking. Instead of noodles, I often serve it with rice.
Pork slowly stews with jalapenos, onion, green enchilada sauce and spices in this flavor-packed Mexican dish. It's great on its own or stuffed in a warm tortilla with sour cream, grated cheese or olives on the side.
When I was trying to duplicate a favorite restaurant recipe, I came up with this hearty stew. Pork, pasta, vegetables and beans in a thick tomato broth make it a warm and satisfying supper. My husband and I love the savory Italian flavor.