We’re all so busy and pressed for time that I find myself creating recipes that are generally fast to prepare, proving that you don’t have to spend all day in the kitchen to obtain fabulous results. Here’s a favorite of mine that combines crunchy M&M's and gooey chocolate all nestled into a flavorful blondie.—Averie Sunshine, San Diego, California www.averiecooks.com
The inspiration for this cake came from one of my favorite flowers, the sunflower. The yellow peeps make eye-catching flower petals, and I carefully placed chocolate chips in a circular pattern to resemble the seeds in the middle of a sunflower. This cake is easy, but looks quite impressive. —Bethany Eledge, Cleveland, Tennessee
With power-packing oats, walnuts and blueberries, kids aren't the only ones that are going to love this sweet treat. Health-minded parents can feel good about these bars, too. —Dawn Onuffer, Crestview, Florida
This crispy, creamy dessert is perfect for a Fourth of July celebration! With patriotic colors and a light, fluffy filling, this summery delight will be the hit of your get-together. —Renae Moncur, Burley, Idaho
For my mother's 70th birthday and Mother's Day, I made two of these strawberry pies instead of a cake. Since it was mid-May in Texas, the berries were absolutely perfect. It was a memorable occasion for the whole family.
—Sue Jurack, Mequon, Wisconsin
Our striking "flag" salad drew plenty of attention at our Independence Day party. The shimmering stripes are formed with distinctive gelatin layers. It makes you want to salute before spooning some up! —Laurie Neverman, Green Bay, Wisconsin