My father is Cajun, and I grew up eating Cajun food. This easy recipe makes me think of happy childhood memories. Sometimes I use oysters or crawfish in addition to--or instead of--the shrimp. —Stacey Johnson, Bonney Lake, Washington
I created this fun sandwich for a picnic-style meal at a teddy bear theme baby shower. The cheerful, chubby bear is formed using a round bread and rolls filled with meats, cheese and a seasoned spread. When the guest of honor mentioned plans for a teddy theme in her nursery, I latched on to the idea for a gathering. -Susan Schuller, Brainerd, Minnesota
"I dreamed up these cheese- and vegetable-stuffed burgers for a family barbecue years ago," recalls veteran cook Betty Canoles of Atascadero, California. "They're delicious grilled or pan-fried. You bite into a surprise."
At the Victorian-theme bridal shower I hosted, I spread this dressed-up chicken salad on bread triangles. It's also appealing served on a lettuce leaf. Apples and dried cranberries add color and tang.
-Robin Fuhrman, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
For a refreshing summer meal, you can't beat this creamy tuna salad mounded into cucumber halves. Hard-cooked eggs make the salad extra hearty, and the crispness of the cucumber is delightful. It's an extra-special luncheon entree or light supper.
-Mildred Stubbs, Hamlet, North Carolina
Along with a refreshing beverage, I served these attractive hors d'oeuvres to guests at my Garden Party. The crisp cucumbers on these easy-to-fix finger sandwiches get their zip from being marinated for a short time.
Guests won't need much coaching to run for the sandwiches when they're served on tasty football buns, like those I baked for a theme party. They were part of a sporty dinner I planned for residents at a nursing home, where I head the food staff. Sister Judith LaBrozzi
This tender beef has become a tasty tradition when I cook for our harvest crews and for neighboring ranchers who come to help us sort our cattle. Those hungry folks have been a good testing ground for recipes. They let me know if a new one I try is a "keeper".
-Betty Sitzman, Wray, Colorado
"Our congregation is full of wonderful cooks, so we enjoy many potluck meals throughout the year," relates Becky Houston of Grand Junction, Tennessee. "I like to share this chewy and cheesy braid I got from a family friend."