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65 One-Step Summer Sides

These easy summer side dishes are lifesavers on busy nights. Find salads, veggies and so many other goodies that come together in a snap.

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Sour Cream Cucumbers

We have a tradition at our house to serve this creamy cucumber salad with the other Hungarian specialties my mom learned to make from the women at church. It’s especially good during the summer when the cucumbers are freshly picked from the garden. —Pamela Eaton, Monclova, Ohio

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Grilled Mediterranean Zucchini Salad Exps Ft20 251835 F 0722 1 6

Grilled Zucchini Salad with Mediterranean Dressing

This grilled zucchini salad with Mediterranean salad dressing is the perfect side dish. I also like to add summer squash, when it's in season, for a variation, or crumbled goat cheese when I want creaminess. —Rashanda Cobbins, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Caprese Salad Exps Ft20 50347 F 0610 1 Home 3

Caprese Salad

My husband and I love Caprese salad, but not the high prices we pay for it in restaurants. Here, we created our own version which tastes incredibly close, if not better, than any restaurant version we've tried. —Melissa Pearson, Sandy, Utah
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Zesty Sugar Snap Peas Exps Cwam19 19124 B01 04 7b 2

Zesty Sugar Snap Peas

Lemon pepper and garlic make these crisp-tender sugar snap peas flavorful and a nice accompaniment to a variety of entrees. You'll come to rely on this six-ingredient recipe. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Tomato Melon Chicken Salad Exps Fttmz19 86278 E03 15 4b Rms 3

Tomato-Melon Chicken Salad

Nothing says summer like picking watermelon, tomatoes and raspberries, then tossing them together in a salad. The addition of grilled chicken makes it a satisfying yet still summery meal. —Betsy Hite, Wilton, California
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Stir Fried Zucchini Exps Thjj21 15350 B02 11 11b 4

Stir-Fried Zucchini

I plant many vegetables to use in cooking. Tomatoes, cucumbers and zucchini are among our favorites. That is why this zucchini stir-fry is so popular at our house. —Deborah Elliot, Ridge Spring, South Carolina
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Ruby Raspberry Slaw Exps Sdjj18 71634 D02 15 13b 6

Ruby Raspberry Slaw

Give ordinary coleslaw a "berry" tangy twist. It's sure to get raves at your next picnic or potluck. —Deborah Biggs, Omaha, Nebraska
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Garlic Creamed Spinach

This creamed spinach side goes with just about anything. Try it with pasta, roasted pork or baked chicken. —Debbie Glasscock, Conway, Arkansas
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Sauteed Garlic Mushrooms Exps Sdfm19 33520 C10 10 10b 3

Sauteed Garlic Mushrooms

These tasty garlic butter mushrooms are so delicious served with steak, chicken or pork. The sauteed garlic is the secret! —Joan Schroeder, Mesquite, Nevada
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Tasty Marinated Tomatoes

My niece introduced me to this colorful recipe some time ago. I make it when I have buffets or large gatherings because it can be prepared hours ahead. This is a wonderful way to use a bumper crop of tomatoes. —Myrtle Matthews, Marietta, Georgia
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Skillet Cabbage

I use this dish often when the schedule gets tight and I need a "hurry up" vegetable to cook. It adds plenty of substance to a simple meal. —Charmaine Fricke, St. Charles, Illinois
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Creamy Jalapeno Corn Exps Scbz18 49990 B07 25 1b 3

Creamy Jalapeno Corn

This comforting and creamy corn side dish is appealing to almost everyone. It gets its spicy kick from jalapeno peppers.—Judy Carty, Wichita, Kansas
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Saucy Baked Beans Exps Qebz20 27819 E01 28 4b 5

Easy Baked Beans

My family enjoys this easy baked beans recipe with cornbread, but it also rounds out any cookout. Canned pork and beans make meal prep quick. —Phyllis Schmalz, Kansas City, Kansas
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Lemon Rice Pilaf

No need to buy premade pilaf mix when you can easily make your own in 20 minutes. The lemon zest adds a welcome burst of tang. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Pomegranate Splash Salad Exps Thca19 130161 B01 31 3b 2

Pomegranate Splash Salad

The sparkling pomegranate gems make this salad irresistibly beautiful. My family loves it at holiday gatherings when pomegranates are in season. Even the children can't get enough of this antioxidant-rich delight. —Emily Jamison, Champaign, Illinois
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Sesame And Soy Glazed Green Beans Exps Tohon19 241497 B06 11 3b 3

Asian-Style Green Beans

These Asian-style green beans are a tasty addition to any meal. The flavors of sesame oil and soy sauce work so well together! —Susan Bickta, Kutztown, Pennsylvania
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Marinated Broccoli

This festive side dish couldn't be easier to throw together. But because it's so pretty, it's perfect for special occasions. —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
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Corny Green Bean Casserole Exps Ft20 9641 F 0923 1 6

Corny Green Bean Casserole

Crushed crackers and french-fried onions create a fast and flavorful topping for this home-style green bean casserole with cheese. It's the perfect cheesy dish to take to potluck dinners. —Dorothy Bahlmann, Clarksville, Iowa
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Minty Peas And Onions Exps Thca19 4008 E01 31 1b 10

Minty Peas and Onions

Mother could always rely on peas and onions when she was in a hurry and needed a quick side. Besides being easy to prepare, this dish was loved by everyone in our family. It was handed down to my mother by my grandmother. —Santa D'Addario, Jacksonville, Florida
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Fiesta Red Potatoes Exps Tohas21 34869 E04 13 5b

Fiesta Red Potatoes

“My son-in-law, who is very creative, came up with these potatoes,” says Pat Pennell of El Dorado Springs, Missouri. Use only one jalapeno or serve these fiery potatoes with sour cream to cool them off a bit.
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Parsnip-Carrot Medley

Paired with bright carrots, rosemary and just a hint of heat, the natural sweetness of parsnips shines in this easy side. —Taryn Kuebelbeck, Plymouth, Minnesota
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Baked Sweet Potato Fries Exps Thso17 87885 B04 20 3b Basedon 15

Air-Fryer Sweet Potato Fries

I can never get enough of these air-fryer sweet potato fries! Even though my grocery store sells them in the frozen foods section, I still love to pull sweet potatoes out of my garden and chop them up fresh! —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas
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Mixed Veggies And Rice Exps Tohedscodr21 179454 E04 28 2b

Mixed Veggies and Rice

To add variety to sides for those who don't care for potatoes, I came up with this colorful dish. It's an easy slow-cooker recipe that you can put right onto the buffet table. —Judy Batson, Tampa, Florida
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Green Beans In Bacon Cheese Sauce Exps Mtbz2002 49709 E02 27 3b 3

Green Beans in Bacon Cheese Sauce

I like to take this side dish to potlucks because it is easy to make and is always popular with everyone who tries it. —Karen Lewis, Pleasant Grove, Alabama
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Nutty Green Salad Exps Cf2bz20 32150 B11 15 2b 5

Nutty Green Salad

This is a deliciously different summer salad just for two. You’ll want to try the light curry-orange dressing! —Barbara Robbins, Chandler, Arizona Beach, Florida Delray Beach
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Carrots And Snow Peas Exps Cimz19 41502 C01 10 6b 6

Carrots and Snow Peas

This is without question my favorite side dish, both for flavor and ease of preparation. Sherry adds an amazing spark to the vegetables. —Cheryl Donnely, Arvada, Colorado
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Roasted Radishes Exps Cwam17 41146 C12 14 3b Basedon 2

Air-Fried Radishes

Radishes aren't just for salads anymore. These fried radishes make a colorful side for any meal. Plus, they're quick to make in your air fryer. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Colorful Avocado Salad Exps Cf219 40110 C12 14 7b 5

Colorful Avocado Salad

I appreciate the crisp, fresh vegetables and bright colors in this nutritious salad. The avocado adds a delightful creaminess. A friend gave me the idea for this recipe while we were discussing salads. —Bev Lehrman, Jijoca, Brazil
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Black Eyed Peas With Collard Greens Exps Sddj19 87268 E07 20 3b 8

Black-Eyed Peas with Collard Greens

Time to gather round the table, y'all! This dish has special meaning on New Year's Day, when Southerners eat greens for future wealth and black-eyed peas for prosperity. —Athena Russell, Greenville, South Carolina
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Skillet Red Potatoes Exps Cf219 10453 B12 18 2b 5

Skillet Red Potatoes

When I'm in a hurry to prepare potatoes, I resort to this recipe for skillet potatoes that I created myself. The mix of seasonings is just right and makes a delicious, attractive side dish. It's been a family favorite for a long time and fits with most any meal. —Lois Collier, Vineland, New Jersey
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Creamy Red Potatoes Exps Scmbz18 9667 D01 10 1b 4

Creamy Red Potatoes

This rich and creamy potato side dish is my go-to for potlucks. It’s super easy to double, so I usually do. Folks almost always take seconds, and I almost always get compliments. —Shelia Schmitt, Topeka, Kansas
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Salsa Corn Exps Tohon19 241495 B06 11 11b 9

Salsa Corn

All you'll need for this corn salsa recipe is corn and pico de gallo—a simple and effective solution for last-minute guests. —Danielle Lee, Sewickley, Pennsylvania
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Summer Zucchini Pasta Exps Thjj21 259692 B02 11 10b 59

Summer Zucchini Pasta

I'm always experimenting when my garden is cranking out zucchini and summer squash. This simple and healthy summer zucchini pasta is one of my latest wins. It's meatless, but you can add shredded chicken or grilled salmon for a heartier dish. —Beth Berlin, Oak Creek, Wisconsin
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White Beans And Spinach Exps Sdfm18 9600 B10 06 4b 3

White Beans and Spinach

This skillet side is a variation of a recipe I received from my Italian mother. I've prepared spinach this way for years—because my children eat it happily! —Lucia Johnson, Massena, New York
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Cheddar Basil Cauliflower

If you grow your own basil or like to keep it on hand, you'll want to save some for a side of flavorful, versatile cauliflower. I love how this dish not only warms you up in winter but also is delicious in summer made with garden-fresh produce.—David Harper, Clackamas, Oregon
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Seasoned Fries

These fries are always popular with my meat-and-potatoes bunch. The cheesy seasoning can easily double as a flavorful baked potato topper, too.—Maribeth Edwards, Follansbee, West Virginia
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Italian Tomato Cucumber Salad

This yummy medley of vegetables is a cool complement to zesty dishes like my fish, and also barbecued meats and poultry. —Florine Bruns, Fredericksburg, Texas
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Macaroni and Cheese for Two

This is one of those dishes that our family calls "a Mama recipe." My mother rarely consulted a cookbook, so when asked for a recipe, she could only estimate. I've worked out the ingredients to make it for two, but it can easily be doubled. It's simply a good, wholesome dish most folks seem to enjoy. —Betty Allen, East Point, Georgia
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Asian Cucumber Salad

This colorful Asian cucumber salad makes a simple, cool side dish when we have stir-fry for dinner. —Tari Ambler, Shorewood, Illinois
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Balsamic Asiago Salad

Balsamic Asiago Salad

You can toss this tasty Balsamic Asiago Salad together in 10 minutes flat. Simply drizzle bottled dressing over the colorful blend of greens, tomato and peppers, add a quick sprinkle of garlic-seasoned cheese…and serve.
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Cheddar Mashed Cauliflower Exps Cimz19 73100 E09 04 6b 4

Cheddar Mashed Cauliflower

Want an alternative to mashed potatoes? Try cauliflower jazzed up with cheddar cheese and rosemary. —Chrystal Baker, Studio City, California
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Green Salad with Tangy Basil Vinaigrette

A tart and tangy dressing turns a basic salad into something special. It works for weeknight dining but is good enough for company and pairs perfectly with just about anything. —Kristin Rimkus, Snohomish, Washington
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Bok Choy Toss Exps Ft20 50785 F 0318 1 3

Bok Choy Toss

Chop some fresh veggies, add a gingery bottled dressing and savor this unique bok choy salad that’s big on flavor and crunch. How cool is that? —Andrew McDowell, Lake Villa, Illinois
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Broccoli Cauliflower Combo Exps Cimz19 37554 E08 31 4b 6

Broccoli Cauliflower Combo

Shallots, basil and broth rev up the taste of this nutritious vegetable medley. The bright color and fresh flavors will dress up your plate! —Clara Coulston, Washington Court House, Ohio.
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Garlic Asiago Cauliflower Rice Exps Ghtjm17 205416 C07 18 5b 7

Garlic Asiago Cauliflower Rice

The garlic seasoning and Asiago really pack a punch, making this five-ingredient low-carb side dish a real weeknight winner. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Festive Corn N Broccoli Exps Cimz19 41184 C01 10 10b 5

Festive Corn 'n' Broccoli

This recipe is delicious and versatile. I often substitute a tablespoon of minced fresh basil for the dried, and two to three ears of sweet corn (about a cup cut fresh from the cob) for the Mexicorn. —Lucile Throgmorton, Clovis, New Mexico
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Candy Bar Apple Salad Exps Hplbz18 36667 C05 17 6b 9

Candy Bar Apple Salad

This creamy, sweet snickers salad with crisp apple crunch is a real people-pleaser. It makes a lot, which is good, because it will go fast! —Cyndi Fynaardt, Oskaloosa, Iowa
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Cheesy Crumb Topped Broccoli Exps Tohon19 241493 B06 11 13b 5

Quick Cheesy Broccoli

Topped with crumbs, this cheesy broccoli is a decadent side dish for any occasion. Plus, it can be on the table in just 10 minutes! —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Bacon Cabbage Stir-Fry

For a flavorful side dish, try this fried cabbage and bacon. It's not only delicious, but fast to fix when you need to get dinner on the table quickly. —Lori Thompson, New London, Texas
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Arroz Con Gandules Rice With Pigeon Peas  Exps Diyd20 133177 B09 17 1b 2

Arroz con Gandules (Rice with Pigeon Peas)

Feed a crowd with this authentic Arroz con Gandules recipe, which was handed down to me from my mom. It's a staple with the "familia" at all our gatherings. —Evelyn Robles, Oak Creek, Wisconsin
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Sweet Pepper Skillet

If you're looking for tasty sweet pepper recipes to go with spaghetti or meat loaf, this is it. The easy pepper medley is a snap to saute on the stovetop. —Sundra Hauck, Bogalusa, Louisiana
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Baked Vidalia Onions

Baked Vidalia Onions

Vidalia onion recipes are some of my favorites to whip up. Served alongside any of a variety of fish and meats, these tender onions are a nice change of pace. Folks find it a fun and flavorful side dish. —Norma Durham, Rogersville, Tennessee
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Smoky Cauliflower Bites Exps Thd17 188282 B08 11 2b 3

Smoky Cauliflower Bites

These healthy little treats work well as a side or as fun bite size appetizers. Roasting the cauliflower adds deep flavor and gives it an irresistible crunch. —Courtney Stultz, Weir, Kansas
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Spanish Rice Exps Ft19 1107 F 1017 1 5

Spanish Rice

You'll find my easy Spanish rice is better than any boxed mix in grocery stores. Best of all, it can be prepared in the same amount of time as those so-called "quick and easy" boxes. —Anne Yaeger, Washington, DC
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Simple Maple Baked Beans

I came up with this recipe in a pinch after running out of baked beans at our oldest daughter's birthday party. I dressed up canned beans with maple syrup and a few other ingredients to produce this sweet, saucy version that tastes like homemade. They're so easy to fix that I rarely make baked beans from scratch anymore.
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Broccoli Rice Casserole Exps Ft20 1082 F 0818 1 2

Broccoli Rice Casserole

This hearty broccoli rice casserole is my usual choice to make for a potluck. With the green of the broccoli and the rich cheese sauce, it's pretty to serve, and it makes a tasty side dish for almost any kind of meat. —Margaret Mayes, La Mesa, California
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Glazed Julienned Carrots Exps Fttmzj21 35137 E03 04 5b 3

Glazed Julienned Carrots

There's just enough butter and sugar in this glazed julienned carrots recipe to bring out its natural sweetness. With just five ingredients, this recipe is ready to serve in minutes. —Mary Lou Boyce, Wilmington, Delaware
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Colorful Couscous

We love it when side dishes pop with color, like the bright pepper accents you'll see in this light and fluffy couscous. It's a scrumptious and welcome switch from baked potatoes or rice. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Bacon And Garlic Sugar Snaps Exps Tohon19 241496 B06 11 7b 4

Bacon and Garlic Sugar Snap Peas

This flavorful side dish calls for only four ingredients! Feel free to use fresh sugar snap peas if you'd like. —Tami Kuehl, Loup City, Nebraska
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Glazed Carrots With Green Grapes Exps Tohedscodr21 132546 E04 28 6b

Glazed Carrots with Green Grapes

This slow-cooker side is enjoyed by all throughout the year. The dish is so colorful and is a delightful addition to any meal. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Exps152908 Sd153322c05 15 2b Basedon 5

Garlic-Herb Fried Patty Pan Squash

The first time I grew a garden, I harvested summer squash and cooked it with garlic and herbs. This fried patty pan squash recipe is a creative twist. —Kaycee Mason, Siloam Springs, Arkansas
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Fried Cabbage Exps Sdfm19 28300 C10 10 4b 12

Fried Cabbage

When I was young, my family grew our own cabbages. It was fun to put them to use in the kitchen, just as I did with this comforting side. With potatoes, deviled eggs and cornbread, fried cabbage tastes like home. —Bernice Morris, Marshfield, Missouri
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Savory String Beans

I love making this dish when I can pick the beans right out of the garden and put them into the pot. The fresh taste is unbeatable. I've also made it with beans purchased at the store. Either way, you'll find this recipe a winner. There's no need for any extra seasonings at the table. —Ina Reed, Kingman, Arizona
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Parmesan Herbed Noodles

Looking for a quick, tasty side dish that goes well with all kinds of meats? Try my recipe for tender noodles. For a colorful variation, sometimes I add slightly cooked red and green peppers and a quarter cup of peas. —Denise Elder, Hanover, Ontario Elder
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Broccoli Apple Salad Exps Sscbz18 69007 B10 18 2b 3

Broccoli and Apple Salad

Even my picky daughter loves this one! My yogurt dressing on crunchy veggie salad makes a cool and creamy side dish. —Lynn Cluff, Littlefield, Arizona

Caroline Stanko
As an Associate Digital Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.
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