Roasted red peppers and fresh herbs basil, chive and thyme add notes of sweetness, licorice and a hint of peppery finish in ways that will surprise you. Add a drizzle of oil just before serving, and pass the pita chips. —Laura Julian, Amanda, Ohio
This savory cheese loaf is great sliced in thin wedges to go with soup, salads or casseroles. I've served it to large crowds and received many compliments. One year, I gave it to our neighbor for Christmas.
-Evelyn Bear, Kingston, Idaho
Meet the Cook: A friend gave me the recipe for this pate after she'd served it at a formal wedding reception. But I make it most often to spread on crackers at picnics, potlucks and other casual get-togethers.
My family - my husband, son and I - live on a small acreage. We all enjoy gardening (I grow my own herbs and vegetables). Hunting for antiques is a frequent activity of ours, too!
-Melissa Sullivan, Iuka, Kansas
As a salad or appetizer, these tangy mushrooms are a welcome addition to any meal or party buffet table. It doesn't take long for a whole bowlful to be devoured. I love to cook with fresh mushrooms - a crop our state is well known for.
-Sandra Johnson, Tioga, Pennsylvania
We live on the beach and love to eat seafood. A stay-at-home mom, I also love to experiment in the kitchen. I came up with this savory spread as a special appetizer.—Christy Hughes, Sunset Beach, North Carolina