My friend Mary served these lovely appetizers at a summer gathering several years ago, and I adapted it a bit to my taste. It's a great August recipe when tomatoes and herbs are at their freshest! —Susan Wilson, Milwaukee, WI
We’re of German heritage, so we love bold flavors. Cheddar and beer make a tangy dip to serve with pretzels, crackers, pumpernickel and brats. Choose a beer that you really enjoy the flavor of, as it will come through in your finished recipe. —Angela Spengler, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Dare to deviate from tomato salsa and try this tomatillo-based version for a deliciously addictive change of pace. It’s fantastic on its own with tortilla chips or served as a condiment alongside a variety of meats. —Lori Kostecki, Wausau, Wisconsin
These easy shrimp look impressive on a buffet table and taste even better! The zesty sauce has a wonderful spicy citrus flavor. I especially like this recipe because I can prepare it ahead of time. —Mary Jane Guest, Alamosa, Colorado
I used reduced-fat items to lighten up this Parmesan and bacon dip. Not only it is a snap to mix up the night before a party, but the proportions can easily by adjusted for smaller or larger groups. I get requests for the recipe whenever I serve it. —Pam Garwood, Lakeville, Minnesota
Classic empanadas from South America are stuffed pastries of beef or chicken, usually fried. That doesn't mean "classic" never changes. Chicken goes well with black beans, corn and jalapenos in this baked version with a Southwestern spin. —Jane McMillan, Dania Beach, Florida
Mexican fare only gets better when topped with Anna Yeatts' colorful Fresh Salsa. The Pinehurst, North Carolina cook uses ripe tomatoes, crisp onion and a touch of minced serrano pepper, making it just as good as a side dish or appetizer with crunchy baked tortilla chips!
After trying to make my own pies (and failing miserably with the crust), I decided to try something new with the same great pumpkin pie taste. I came up with this awesome creamy dip. —Christy Johnson, Columbus, Ohio