Roasted butternut squash has a sweet, nutty flavor similar to pumpkin but is much easier to prepare. If time is a factor, buy pre-chopped squash that you can find in most grocery stores. —Nicole Hopping, San Francisco, California
Meet the Cook: As a pastor's wife, I cook for crowds often. This dish's always a hit. My own family - we have a daughter, 11, and a son, 10 - thinks the potatoes are a must with London broil or marinated grill chicken breasts. I frequently prepare them for guests, too. The recipe is very adaptable, and the results disappear.
-Michelle Grigsby, Beavercreek, Ohio
"My family wanted just a light brunch and coffee this year for Christmas morning, so I whipped up these sweet and fruity crepes that were a big hit with everyone! To save even more time, use pre-made crepes,” suggests Mary Hobbs, Campbell, Missouri.
I get rave reviews with this autumn salad. Guests say that it fills them up without weighing them down. Preparing the beets, sweet potatoes and salad dressing a day early allows me more time with guests. -Beth Royals of Richmond, Virginia
Meet the Cook: When my husband worked as a deputy ag commissioner, he'd bring me bushels of vegetables from area farms. This pretty side dish is the result - it's easy to fix but impressive enough for company. We're busy retirees with five grown kids and a menagerie ranging from show dogs to miniature donkeys.
-Judy Williams, Hayden, Idaho
This convenient and colorful party classic from Linda Austin in Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey, can be made several days in advance. In fact, it actually tastes better if prepared ahead so all the fresh flavors can blend together. Best served at room temperature with a crusty loaf of toasted French bread or your favorite crackers.
Guests at a barbecue we hosted last summer brought this cool, refreshing salad. Now it's a mainstay at most all our cookouts. The mingling of zesty tastes and textures instantly wakes up the taste buds.
-Sherry Duval, Baltimore, Maryland
Make your next brunch special with this fluffy, deep-dish quiche. Fresh rosemary enhances this delightful egg dish that's chock-full of savory garden ingredients. It cuts nicely, too.
Meet the Cook: "Delicious" and "filling" are the words friends I've served this soup to use to describe it. Alone, it makes for a tasty lunch...or you can have it with a sandwich or crackers. Like an even heartier soup? Simply cube some of your leftover cooked chicken or roast and add.
I've long enjoyed trying new recipes on my husband. He's a former agriculture minister of Saskatchewan...and my taste tester of 52 years! We have four grown sons and 11 grandchildren.