One summer I worked at a health food store that sold sandwiches. We were close to a college campus, so I made lots of these fresh filled pitas for the students. Crunchy with crisp vegetables and nutty sunflower kernels, they're a fast-to-fix lunch when you're on the go.
-Linda Reeves, Cloverdale, Indiana
This convenient and colorful party classic from Linda Austin in Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, can be made several days in advance. In fact, it actually tastes better if prepared ahead so all the fresh flavors can blend together. Best served at room temperature with a crusty loaf of toasted French bread or your favorite crackers.
This eye-appealing combination is an interesting twist on mixed vegetables. Topped with herb butter and Parmesan cheese, the crowd-pleaser is an ideal addition to buffets. Divide the ingredients between two plates if your microwave can't accommodate one large platter.
-Patricia Vandiver, Tucson, Arizona
I created this dish to make the most of an overabundance of yellow squash and zucchini from our garden. It was a hit with the whole family. It's so easy to ladle the homemade sauce over quick-cooking frozen ravioli for a satisfying dinner.
-Teri Christensen, West Jordan, Utah
“Here’s a simple side that lets fresh fruit shine. I’ve taken it to several picnics, where it’s always well received. Any combination of fruit will work equally well.” —Claire Watson, Cape Girardeau, Missouri
My family enjoys this fast and refreshing salad. It's jazzed up with a beautiful blend of red apple, pear, dried cranberries, toasted pecans and Swiss cheese. No matter when I serve it, the light dressing and fruity flavor remind me of springtime.
-Helen Petisi, Palm Coast, Florida
I got bored with the same old breakfast casseroles I'd see at our monthly moms' meeting, so I decided to create something new. Judging by the reactions of the other moms, I think I have a winner. —Shannon Koene, Blacksburg, Virginia