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95 Praiseworthy Summer Church Potluck Recipes

Stir up summer's glorious bounty in potluck dishes so good, everyone at the cookout will feel blessed.

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Grandma's Potato Salad

Our Fourth of July feast wouldn't be complete without this chilled old-fashioned potato salad. It's my grandma's treasured recipe. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Deviled Eggs with Bacon

These yummy deviled eggs went over so well at our summer cookouts, I started making them for holiday dinners, too. Everyone likes the flavorful addition of crumbled bacon. —Barbara Reid, Mounds, Oklahoma
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Caprese Salad Kabobs

Trade in the usual veggie platter for these fun kabobs. In addition to preparing these for get-togethers, I often make these as snacks for my family. And because assembly is so easy, the kids often ask to help. —Christine Mitchell, Glendora, California
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Matt's Jerk Chicken

Get ready for a trip to the Islands. You may think jerk chicken is complicated, but really, all it takes is time. Throw on some tunes, grab an icy drink and prepare to be transported. Have a smoker? You can smoke the chicken first and finish it on the grill. —Jenn Hall, Collingswood, New Jersey
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Layered Garden Bean Salad

For easy entertaining, cover and refrigerate the salad a few hours before guests arrive so you don't have to bother with last-minute assembly. Turn it into a light lunch by adding sliced rotisserie chicken, salmon or tuna. —Melissa Wharton, Cincinnati, Ohio
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Rainbow S'moreo Cookies

Homemade Oreo-style cookies are pretty great on their own, but they're even better when you add graham cracker crumbs to the cookie dough, stuff them with marshmallow creme, and then roll them in sprinkles. You can change the color of the sprinkles depending on the holiday or occasion you're baking them for. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Barbecue Brats & Peppers

We live in brat country, and this barbecue-style recipe feeds a crowd. The sauce gives it a welcome change from the same old grilled bratwurst. — Maria Zrucky, Kronenwetter, Wisconsin
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Dilly Potato & Egg Salad

Everyone has a favorite potato salad, and this is mine. As a young bride, I was eager to learn how to cook and make things that my husband would love. I combined my mom's and his mom's recipes, and this is the delicious result. —Angela Leinenbach, Mechanicsville, Virginia
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Favorite Bread & Butter Pickles

I made these pickles while growing up and love them because you can eat them with just about anything. Now, both of my children love these pickles, too. I think you'll enjoy them as much as we do! —Linda Weger, Robinson, Illinois
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Patriotic Gelatin Salad

Almost as spectacular as the fireworks, this lovely salad makes quite a "bang" at our July Fourth meal. It's exciting to serve, and our guests loved the cool fruity and creamy layers. This salad really added to my patriotic theme. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Cool Strawberry Cream

This fruity, luscious dessert makes a wonderful ending to a special dinner. When fresh strawberries are not available, substitute two packages frozen unsweetened strawberries, thawed and drained, for the fresh. —Joyce Cooper, Mount Forest, Ontario
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Party Spinach Spread

This appetizer is delicious, easy and pretty, too! Everyone who tries it asks for the recipe. The spread keeps for several days, so it's great for making in advance for a party. But once you put it out, it won't last long! —Maire Macy, Fort Collins, Colorado
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Orange Lemonade

This juice is a favorite at our place. I'll often double the batch and send a jar next door to my mother-in-law! I was looking for a way to sweeten lemonade without using more sugar when I came up with the recipe. —Wendy Masters, Grand Valley, Ontario
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Cherry Chewbilees

This is a good dish to carry to potlucks and parties. It's a hit at home, too - my husband rates it as one of his favorite desserts. —Debbi Smith, Crossett, Arkansas
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Fresh Fruit Bowl

The glorious colors of the fruit make this a festive salad. Slightly sweet and chilled, it makes a nice accompaniment to a grilled entree. —Marlon Kirst, Troy, Michigan
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Chocolate Mint Brownies

One of the best things about this recipe is that these mint chocolate brownies get moister if you leave them in the refrigerator for a day or two. The problem at our house is that no one can leave them alone for that long! —Helen Baines, Elkton, Maryland
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Juicy Watermelon Salad

This fruit salad has such a surprising yet fabulous mix of flavors that friends often ask for the recipe. Combine seedless watermelon varieties in yellow, red and pink for a colorful twist. —Heidi Haight, Macomb, Michigan
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Red, White and Blue Dessert

I changed a recipe I found and ended up with this rich, fresh-tasting dessert. Decorated to resemble a flag, it's perfect for the Fourth of July or any other patriotic occasion. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Texas Taco Dip Platter

When I'm entertaining, this colorful dish is my top menu choice. My friends can't resist the hearty appetizer topped with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and olives. —Kathy Young, Weatherford, Texas
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Ham Salad

I first made this for a shower, and everyone raved about it. Now when I go to a potluck, I take it, along with copies of the recipe. —Patricia Reed, Pine Bluff, Arkansas
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Summer Dessert Pizza

My family enjoys this dessert pizza recipe anytime of the year, but it's especially refreshing during the hot months. You can use whatever fruits are in season. —Ida Ruth Wenger, Harrisonburg, Virginia
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Avocado Salsa

I was planning a party and thought it might be fun to try a different kind of avocado salsa. This recipe was an absolute success. Scoop it up with chips, spoon it over chicken or steak, or eat it on its own! —Susan Vandermeer, Ogden, Utah
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Snack Mix Squares

A fun snack mix pressed into chewy bars, this treat is popular with kids of all ages. Someone is always asking me for this quick and easy recipe. —Lisa Byler, Millersburg, Indiana
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Zippy Chicken Enchiladas

Leftover chicken gets an awesome makeover in this rich and creamy casserole. This colorful dish is loaded with flavor. It's a nice change of pace from beef enchiladas. —Julie Moutray, Wichita, Kansas
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Grilled Jalapenos

When barbecuing for friends at home, I also use the grill to serve up hot appetizers. These crowd-pleasing stuffed peppers have a bit of bite. They were concocted by my son. —Catherine Hollie, Cleveland, Texas
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Quick Antipasto Salad

I always told my sister, Karen, I'd marry a cowboy—and I did! Patrick and I had a festive farm-style wedding. My mother prepared all the side dishes, including this tongue-tingling salad. —Kendra Waterbury, East Thetford, Vermont
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Chocolate Pudding Pizza

My sister Brenda and I made up this recipe while talking on the phone! My family loved the classic pairing of chocolate and peanut butter presented in a whole new way. —LaDonna Reed, Ponca City, Oklahoma
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Root Beer Float Cake

I add root beer to both the cake batter and fluffy frosting of this summery dessert to get that great root beer float taste. Serve this moist cake to a bunch of hungry kids and watch it disappear! —Kat Thompson, Prineville, Oregon
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Glazed Chicken Wings

I received this easy wing recipe from a cousin on Vancouver Island during a visit there a few years ago. They're an appealing appetizer, but also a favorite for Sunday lunch with rice and a salad. —Joan Airey, Rivers, Manitoba
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Cucumber Canapes

I always get requests for the recipe for these canapes whenever I serve them. They're delicate finger sandwiches with a creamy herb spread and festive red and green garnishes. —Nadine Whittaker, South Plymouth, Massachusetts
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Broccoli Salad Supreme

People can't get enough of the sweet grapes and crunchy broccoli in this colorful salad. I appreciate its make-ahead convenience. —Terri Twyman, Bonanza, Oregon
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Fourth of July Ice Cream Cake

This eye-catching dessert is actually easy to prepare and keeps well in the freezer for days. It's nice to be able to serve cake and ice cream in one slice.—Anne Scholovich, Waukesha, Wisconsin
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Sweet & Tart Lemon Jell-O

With its sunny lemon color, this gelatin mold brightens up any table. I usually make two molds for parties because it disappears so quickly. —Patricia Ryzow, Thousand Oaks, California
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Bacon Macaroni Salad

This pleasing pasta salad is like eating a BLT in a bowl. Filled with crispy bacon, chopped tomato, celery and green onion, the sensational salad is coated with a tangy mayonnaise and vinegar dressing. It’s a real crowd-pleaser! —Norene Wright, Manilla, Indiana
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Blueberry Lattice Bars

Since our area has an annual blueberry festival, my daughters and I are always looking for new berry recipes to enter in the cooking contest. These lovely, yummy bars won a blue ribbon one year. —Debbie Ayers, Baileyville, Maine
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Pepperoni Pizza Spread

Loaded with popular pizza ingredients, this cheesy concoction is wonderful on crackers of all kinds. —Connie Milinovich, Cudahy, Wisconsin
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Grilled Corn with Dill

I like to peel the husks back and rub ears of sweet corn with delicious dill butter before putting them on the grill. The butter melts over the golden kernels as the corn steams inside the husk. —Jeannie Klugh, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
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Shredded Steak Sandwiches

I received this recipe when I was a newlywed, and it's been a favorite since then. The saucy steak barbecue makes a quick meal served on sliced buns or even over rice, potatoes or buttered noodles. —Lee Deneau, Lansing, Michigan
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Lemon Chiffon Blueberry Dessert

This cool and creamy no-bake dessert is perfect for hot summer days. I sometimes replace raspberries for half of the blueberries to make it look more patriotic. —Jodie Cederquist, Muskegon, Michigan
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Seasoned Turkey Sandwiches

This savory turkey tucked in homemade buns steals the show at any potluck or family reunion. It’s been a huge hit at football dinners, graduation parties and more. I like to add tomato and lettuce for crunch and color. —LaVonne Hegland, St. Michael, Minnesota
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Honey-Mustard Potato Salad

Whenever there is a picnic or cookout, I am asked to bring my potato salad. It’s tangy and a little different. —Alicia Quadrozzi, Escondido, California
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Berry-Patch Brownie Pizza

I just love the combination of fruit, almonds and chocolate that makes this brownie so unique. The fruit lightens the chocolate a bit and makes it feel as though you are eating something sinfully healthy. —Sue Kauffman, Columbia City, Indiana
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Baked Chicken Nachos

This chicken nachos recipe is delicious and so simple. Rotisserie (or leftover) chicken keeps it quick, and the seasonings and splash of lime juice lend fantastic flavor. My husband enjoys this snack so much that he often requests it for dinner! —Gail Cawsey, Geneseo, Illinois
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Almond-Coconut Lemon Bars

Give traditional lemon bars a tasty twist with the addition of almonds and coconut. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Shrimp Pasta Salad

I adore shrimp, so discovering it in this pasta salad recipe was a real treat for me. The lemon-dill sauce is light and bright. It's one of our favorite cold pasta salad recipes! —Traci Wynne, Denver, Pennsylvania
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Curry Cheese Spread

I made this creamy spread with my students and it was a big success. It is easy to make and the flavor contrasts make it interesting. Toasty bread slices are the perfect compliment. Paula Englert, Louisville, Kentucky
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Chopped Garden Salad

This recipe is always requested by my children for their birthday meal or any other get-together. The flavor combination is so yummy.—Anna Sutherland, Camp, Arkansas
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Sesame Chicken Dip

I can't tell you how many times I'm asked to bring this easy dip to holidays, birthday parties or girls' weekend getaways. It's fresh and light, and it has the Asian flavors that make it stand out. The rice crackers are a must! —Dawn Schutte, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
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Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

My family is always happy to see this fruit and veggie salad on the table. If strawberries aren’t available, substitute mandarin oranges and dried cranberries. —Irene Keller, Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Veggie Ranch Tortilla Pinwheels

These terrific bite-size appetizers are always a hit wherever I take them. They're easy to make ahead of time, and are a great addition to other party fare! —Lori Kostecki, Wausau, Wisconsin
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Slow-Cooker BBQ Chicken

Of all the recipes I make in my slow cooker, this Crock-Pot BBQ chicken is my most treasured. If you enjoy your BBQ sweet with a little spice, this will be your new favorite, too. —Yvonne McKim, Vancouver, Washington
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Balsamic Green Bean Salad

Serve up those green beans in a whole new way–with a green bean salad recipe! The tangy flavors and crunch of these balsamic green beans complement any special meal or holiday potluck. —Megan Spencer, Farmington Hills, Michigan
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New England Baked Beans

For a potluck or picnic, you can’t beat this classic side that starts with a pound of dried beans. Molasses and maple syrup give it a slight sweetness. —Pat Medeiros, Tiverton, Rhode Island
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Southwestern Nachos

Guests will go crazy when you serve this cheesy nacho casserole with tender chunks of slow-cooked pork. The recipe makes two heaping pans, and you don’t need to worry about filling the chip bowl—the tortilla chips are conveniently baked right in the dish! —Kelly Byler, Goshen, Indiana
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Spicy Chunky Salsa

Vinegar adds a refreshing tang to this sweet tomato salsa. It's wonderful as is, but for more heat, leave in some hot pepper seeds. —Donna Goutermont, Sequim, Washington
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Refrigerator Lime Cheesecake

I made this for a Father's Day party, and it was a hit! I guarantee compliments when you serve this fantastic dessert. —Cher Anjema, Kleinburg, Ontario
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Pickled Mushrooms for a Crowd

Serve tangy pickled mushrooms alongside a steak, as an appetizer with toothpicks, in a salad or as part of an antipasto platter. However you present them, you can’t go wrong! —John Levezow, Eagan, Minnesota
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Crisp Cucumber Salsa

Here's a fantastic way to use cucumbers. You'll love the creamy and crunchy texture and super fresh flavors. —Charlene Skjerven, Hoolpe, North Dakota
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Peanut Butter Custard Blast

"Ooey, gooey, great!" is how friends and family describe this chocolate-peanut butter dessert. I appreciate the make-ahead convenience. —Marilee Evenson, Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
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Campers' Coleslaw

Crispy and crunchy, this old family slaw recipe makes a refreshing side dish for picnics and parties. —Kimberly Wallace, Dennison, Ohio
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Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Everyone gets a kick out of this fun take on the popular red velvet cake. Take a shortcut and use packaged cream cheese frosting for the filling. —Judi Dexheimer, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
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Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

This recipe was inspired by my daughter's favorite food—Buffalo wings! It tastes as if it came from a restaurant. —Melissa Millwood, Lyman, South Carolina
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Raspberry-Rhubarb Slab Pie

"Slab pie" is a pastry baked in a jelly-roll pan and cut in slabs like a bar cookie—or a pie bar, if you will. My grandfather was a professional baker and served pieces of slab pie to his customers back in the day. Here is my spin, featuring rhubarb and gorgeous red raspberries. —Jeanne Ambrose, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Refrigerator Garden Pickles

Canning isn't necessary for these crisp-tender, tangy pickles. Keep them in the fridge and eat them up within a month. —Linda Chapman, Meriden, Iowa
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Kansas City-Style Ribs

Our family recipe for ribs has evolved to near perfection. These country-style beauties are a legend in our close circle. —Linda Schend, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Lavender Honey Cheesecake

I love the scent of lavender, and the edible flowers make this cheesecake one of the most spectacular I've tasted. You can use lavender honey in this recipe for extra flavor, but even without it, the lavender is very distinct. —Julie Palmer, Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania
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Strawberry Bliss

You'll love this homemade puff pastry crust topped with a soft-set pudding layer that has a hint of strawberry flavor. This dessert needs to chill for at least an hour, so it's a fabulous make-ahead dish. —Candace Richter, Stevens Point, Wisconsin
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Mexican Roasted Potato Salad

My husband is the No. 1 fan of this south-of-the-border potato salad. The leftovers make an awesome late-night snack, straight from the fridge. —Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Balsamic Three-Bean Salad

Here's my little girl's favorite salad. She devours it just about as fast as I can make it. I suggest preparing it ahead of time so the flavors can get to know each other. —Stacey Feather, Jay, Oklahoma
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Honey-Lime Berry Salad

I picked up this dish a couple of years ago, and really like the mint and fruit combo. Cilantro is one of my summer favorites so sometimes I use it instead. Turns out, this recipe's really two in one! —Kayla Spence, Wilber, Nebraska
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Heirloom Tomato & Zucchini Salad

Tomato wedges give this salad a juicy bite. It's a great use of fresh herbs and veggies from your own garden or the farmers market. —Matthew Hass, Franklin, Wisconsin
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Fresh Broccoli Salad with Lemon

The slightly sweet flavor of this salad's dressing is a great contrast to the rich bacon. You can substitute cauliflower for the broccoli if you prefer. —Janet Roth, Tempe, Arizona
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Mediterranean Cobb Salad

I'm a huge fan of taking classic dishes and adding some flair to them. I also like to change up heavier dishes, like Cobb salad. I've traded out typical chicken for crunchy falafel that's just as satisfying. — Jenn Tidwell, Fair Oaks, California
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Red, White & Blue Potato Salad

Tossing the cooked potatoes with stock and wine right after you drain them infuses them with flavor. The liquid absorbs like magic. —George Levinthal, Goleta, California
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Pickled Brussels Sprouts

This year, when I asked my brother what he wanted for his 31st birthday, he answered, "pickled Brussels sprouts." I had never even tasted a pickled Brussels sprout before. It's hard for me to say "no" to my younger brother, so he got his wish and thought the Brussels sprouts were delicious! —Heather King, Frostburg, Maryland
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Candied Jalapenos & Garlic

If you love spicy food like we do, then these tasty candied jalapenos and garlic bits are for you! You can save the syrup to baste roasted chicken or grilled salmon, or mix it into salad dressings. Jars of this dynamite condiment make a great gift. —Rita Ladany, Edison, New Jersey
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Beef & Veggie Sloppy Joes

I’m always looking for ways to serve my family healthy and delicious food, so after I started experimenting with my favorite veggies and ground beef. I came up with this favorite that my three kids actually request! This healthy take on sloppy joes reminds me of my own childhood. —Megan Niebuhr, Yakima Washington
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Brat & Bacon Appetizer Pizza

Chopped bratwurst and maple bacon are a fabulous way to start a pizza. I jazz up this treat even more with apricot preserves and honey mustard. The snack-sized slices win over even the toughest critics. —Colleen Vrooman, Waukesha, Wisconsin
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Overnight Layered Lettuce Salad

This layered salad is a family favorite from a church cookbook I've had for 40 years. The bacon adds a fabulous crunch. —Mary Brehm, Cape Coral, Florida
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Avocado & Artichoke Pasta Salad

A squeeze of lime, a sprinkle of cilantro and a little avocado make this a creamy and zingy pasta salad. —Carrie Farias, Oak Ridge, New Jersey
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Honeydew & Prosciutto Salad

For parties, I turn melon and prosciutto into an easy salad with a honey mustard dressing. To add zip, stir in fresh basil and mint. —Julie Merriman, Seattle, Washington
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Lime-Chipotle Carnitas Tostadas

Here's a terrific recipe for your next weeknight dinner. Set out various toppings and garnishes so your family members can customize their own tostadas with the lime-kissed shredded pork. —Jan Valdez, Chicago, Illinois
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Summer Salad by the Lake

I came up with this recipe to show appreciation to all the teachers at my son’s school. The dish had to be as special as the teachers, who always go the extra mile for their students. I think this salad did the trick! It's hearty, earthy, sweet and loaded with nothing but good stuff. —Ramya Ramamurthy, Fremont, California
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Peas & Pepper Pasta Salad

I often serve a pasta salad for a buffet. That way, there’s no need for a side salad. Any leftover pasta salad is fantastic stuffed in halved and cored plum tomatoes. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
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Grilled Leek Dip

Smoky leeks from the grill add punch to this creamy appetizer with veggies and chips. If baby Vidalia onions are available, I use those. —Ramona Parris, Acworth, Georgia
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Grilled Chicken, Mango & Blue Cheese Tortillas

Here's a fantastic outdoor appetizer to kick-start your summer get-togethers. We double or triple the ingredients when we host parties. —Josee Lanzi, New Port Richey, Florida
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Dar's Coconut Cream Pie

When I whip up a toasted coconut cream pie, my family goes wild and the pie vanishes. —Darlene Bartos, Shoreview, Minnesota
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Strawberry-Lime Bars

Our family loves fresh strawberries, so I look for different ways to use them. This tempting, yummy dessert has sweet strawberries, tart lime and salty pretzels. —Alexandra Barnett, Forest, Virginia
89 / 95

Lisa's All-Day Sugar & Salt Pork Roast

My family loves this tender and juicy roast, so we eat it a lot. The salty crust is so delicious mixed into the pulled pork. —Lisa Allen, Joppa, Alabama
90 / 95
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Island Mango Slaw

The cooling effect of mango and Greek yogurt meets jalapeno spice in this snappy take on a slaw. To ensure ripeness, you may want to buy your mango a day or two ahead. —Jenn Hall, Collingswood, New Jersey
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Mango and Jicama Salad

This pretty salad has become part of my regular summertime rotation because of its freshness and versatility—it's great with everything from grilled chicken to seafood! Try it with coconut-flavored vinegar for a fun tropical twist. —Carla Mendres, Winnipeg, Manitoba
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Melon-Berry Salad

The best way to cool down on a warm day is with a chilled fruit salad. Serve this one for breakfast, brunch or dessert. Yogurt and coconut milk make the creamy dressing even more decadent. Wait until just before serving to garnish the salad. Otherwise the toasted coconut will get soggy. —Carrie Hirsch, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake

Years ago, I added some zucchini to a peanut butter bar I had created, and this time I wanted to try it with a cake. The zucchini makes it super moist but doesn’t get in the way of the chocolate and peanut butter goodness.—Marilyn Blankschien, Clintonville, Wisconsin
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Zucchini Panzanella Salad

I learned how to make panzanella from my friend's grandmother. Once I discovered how to make the perfect vinaigrette, it became a dish I crave during the summer. It's also a great way to use day-old bread and your garden's bounty of zucchini. —Felicity Wolf, Kansas City, Missouri
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Sicilian Potato Salad

Fresh basil is the star of this mayo-free, Italian-inspired take on potato salad. —Sue Falk, Warren, Michigan

Kristin Sutter
A big fan of homegrown cooking, Kristin has been a writer and editor for nearly 20 years. She has mastered the art of learning from her inexpert riffs on other people's truly good recipes.

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