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37 Easy Recipes That Kids Can Help Make This Summer

Now that the kids are out of school, why not have them help with the prep?

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Mini S’mores

Combine marshmallow creme, chocolate, graham crackers and more for a summery delight at any time of year. —Stephanie Tewell, Elizabeth, Illinois

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Garden Fresh Grilled Veggie Pizza Exps Sdjj18 215090 B02 13 3b 5

Garden-Fresh Grilled Veggie Pizza

I have four gardens and, between them, I grow a pretty good spread of veggies. I created this loaded-up pizza as a fun summer appetizer using some of my best garden goodies. —Dianna Wara, Washington, Illinois
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Avocado Fruit Salad with Tangerine Vinaigrette

On long summer days when we just want to relax, I make a cool salad with avocado, berries and mint. The tangerine dressing is refreshingly different. —Carole Resnick, Cleveland, Ohio
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Quick Icebox Sandwiches

My mother liked making these cool, creamy treats when I was growing up in the States because they're so quick to fix. Then I made them for my three kids.—Sandy Armijo, Naples, Italy
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Antipasto Kabobs

My husband and I met at a cooking class. We have loved creating menus and entertaining ever since. These make-ahead antipasto skewers are always a hit. —Denise Hazen, Cincinnati, Ohio
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Green Bean and Potato Salad

For family reunions, my mom would make everybody's favorite green bean and potato salad. Now I'm the one who brings it. —Connie Dicavoli, Shawnee, Kansas
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Summertime Fun Cookies

Use this basic sugar cookie recipe to make the perfect poolside treat. Kids (and adults) won't be able to get enough. —Coleen Walter, Bancroft, Michigan
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Avocado & Artichoke Pasta Salad

A squeeze of lime, a sprinkle of cilantro and a little avocado make this a creamy and zingy pasta salad. —Carrie Farias, Oak Ridge, New Jersey
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No Churn Blueberry Graham Cracker Ice Cream Exps Thjj19 233903 E02 20 10b 1

No-Churn Blueberry Graham Cracker Ice Cream

This sweet and creamy no-churn ice cream features a fresh blueberry jam swirl and graham cracker pieces. You can use raspberries instead of the blueberries for a different berry flavor. —Heather King, Frostburg, Maryland
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Cool & Crunchy Chicken Salad

When the weather sizzles, get your chill on with a cool chicken salad. Mine uses grapes, pecans and celery for that signature crunch. —Sarah Smiley, Bangor, Maine
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Jalapeno Popper Mexican Street Corn Exps Thjj17 200632 C02 08 6b 5

Jalapeno Popper Mexican Street Corn

One of the best things about summer is fresh sweet corn, and this recipe is a definite standout. We love its creamy dressing, crunchy panko coating and spicy jalapeno kick. If you're really feeling wild, sprinkle these with a bit of cooked and crumbled bacon! —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Layered Cornbread Salad

When the garden comes in, we harvest the veggies and layer them with cornbread and sweet relish for this snappy salad. Everyone wants seconds. —Rebecca Clark, Warrior, Alabama
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Cannoli Dip

Ricotta is one of my family's favorite ingredients. I made up the cannoli filling and broke up some ice cream waffle shells to use as "chips and dip"—it was an instant hit! It's also good served slightly warm. —Ann Marie Eberhart, Gig Harbor, Washington
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Sesame Chicken Slaw Salad

I tasted many types of Asian chicken salad in California. When I moved back to Georgia, I wanted more. Here’s a gingery-sweet recipe using wonton strips. —Michelle Mulrain, Evans, Georgia
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Caribbean Chipotle Pork Sliders

Our favorite pulled pork sliders combine the heat of chipotle peppers with cool tropical coleslaw. The robust flavors make these a big hit with guests. —Kadija Bridgewater, Boca Raton, Florida
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Tropical Layered Chicken Salad

This is a fresh and delicious recipe that is a big hit whenever I take it to a potluck—always the first to go! —Frances Pietsch, Flower Mound, Texas
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Giant Peanut Butter Ice Cream Sandwich

I created this giant peanut butter cookie cake for my husband, adding light and low-fat products to the cookie dough. It was so fantastic that I fixed it with conventional ingredients for guests. Since it can be made ahead of time and frozen, it cuts stress for busy hostesses. And really, who doesn't love peanut butter ice cream? —Joann Belack, Bradenton, Florida
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Cornmeal Pancakes

I like to joke that these pancakes are so light, you have to hold them down! When we have a chance, we make them with freshly ground cornmeal bought at local festivals. —Betty Claycomb, Alverton, Pennsylvania
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Zucchini & Cheese Roulades

My husband enjoys this recipe so much that he even helps me roll up the roulades! You can change the filling any way you like—I have used feta instead of Parmesan, or sun-dried tomatoes in the place of the olives. —April McKinney, Murfreesboro, Tennessee
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Caprese Salad Kabobs

Trade in the usual veggie platter for these fun kabobs. In addition to preparing these for get-togethers, I often make these as snacks for my family. And because assembly is so easy, the kids often ask to help. —Christine Mitchell, Glendora, California
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Broccoli Veggie Pasta Primavera

Chock-full of veggies, this simple, colorful pasta makes a filling dinner. In smaller servings, it works equally well as a side dish. —Stephanie Marchese, Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
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Spring Pea & Radish Salad

Winters can be very long here in New Hampshire. I always look forward to the first veggies of spring and making some lighter dishes like this fresh salad. —Jolene Martinelli, Derry, New Hampshire
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Blue-Ribbon Apple Pie

This pie is special to me because I won a blue ribbon for it at the local fair and was able to compete at the state farm show. —Collette Gaugler, Fogelsville, Pennsylvania
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Lemonade Iced Tea

I have always loved iced tea with lemon, and this irresistible thirst-quencher takes it one step further. The lemonade gives this refreshing drink a nice color, too. —Gail Buss, New Bern, North Carolina
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Summer Buzz Fruit Salad

For picnics, cookouts and showers, we make a sweet salad of watermelon, cherries, blueberries and microgreens. No matter where I take it, it always delivers on the wow factor. —Kaliska Russell, Talkeetna, Alaska
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Ham & Potato Salad Sandwiches

These little sandwiches with zingy toppings are super simple to pull together. This classic version originated in a deli in Prague, where they're a really popular winter party food. —Cara McDonald, Winter Park, Colorado
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Summer Vegetable Cobbler

Here’s a comforting vegetarian main dish that uses a lot of garden produce. Try different squashes like pattypan and crookneck or zucchini. — Elisabeth Larsen, Pleasant Grove, Utah
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Avocado Salsa

I was planning a party and thought it might be fun to try a different kind of avocado salsa. This recipe was an absolute success. Scoop it up with chips, spoon it over chicken or steak, or eat it on its own! —Susan Vandermeer, Ogden, Utah
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S'mookies

S'mores are one of my favorite desserts. I wanted to create a cookie to replace the graham cracker—that's when my s'mookie was born. Just as delicious as the classic.—Maria Davis, Hermosa Beach, California
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Colorful Corn Salsa

This colorful salsa is worth the extra time it takes to grill the ears of corn. The flavor goes well with barbecued meats, but it's also tasty served with chips. —Nancy Horsburgh, Everett, Ontario
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Classic Texas Caviar

I adapted this texas caviar from one in a cookbook I received a long time ago, and now, I can't imagine a get-together at my house without this quick and healthy appetizer. —Becky Oliver, Fairplay, Colorado
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Broccoli Slaw

Here's my favorite twist on broccoli salad. It's so easy to make and has an irresistible tangy crunch. —Konny Thomas, Citrus Heights, California
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Mini Phyllo Tacos

For a winning appetizer, serve crispy phyllo cups filled with taco-seasoned ground beef and shredded cheese. These handheld bites will be a surefire hit with a hungry crowd. —Roseann Weston, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania
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Barbecued Chicken Pizzas

So fast and so easy with refrigerated pizza crust, these saucy, smoky pizzas make quick fans with their rustic, hot-off-the-grill flavor. They're perfect for impromptu cookouts and summer dinners on the patio. —Alicia Trevithick, Temecula, California
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Mint Watermelon Salad

I invented this refreshing fruit salad one sultry afternoon while my friends were gathered around my pool. It was quick to prepare and disappeared from their plates even quicker. Even the kids loved it! —Antoinette DuBeck, Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania
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Lemony Shrimp & Tomatoes

I created this recipe for my family because they love grilled shrimp. I love it because it's quick, delicious and good for us. —Lisa Speer, Palm Beach, Florida
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Pineapple-Papaya Slaw

This is no ordinary coleslaw! Bursting with flavor from fresh fruit, cilantro and red bell pepper, it just may become your new picnic mainstay. For easier preparation, buy packaged shredded cabbage. If you can't find papaya, substitute mango. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Laura Denby
Laura is a New York-based freelance food writer with a degree in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education and a degree in Journalism from Penn State. Her work has appeared in Taste of Home, Chowhound, the Culture Trip and Patch.
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