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100 Family Reunion Recipes to Look Forward to All Year

When all the relatives are gathered in the park pavilion for the family reunion, you know there’s gonna be some good eatin’.

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Crispy Fried Chicken Exps Tohjj22 6445 Dr  02 03 11b 9

Crispy Fried Chicken

If you've wanted to learn how to make crispy fried chicken, this is the recipe for you. Always a picnic favorite, this deep fried chicken recipe is delicious either hot or cold. Kids call it my Kentucky Fried Chicken! —Jeanne Schnitzler, Lima, Montana

Get tips for how to plan the best-ever family reunion.

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Bacon Pea Salad

My husband absolutely loves peas. My middle son isn't the biggest fan, but he loves bacon. So, I combined the two, and it was perfect! This pea salad is an awesome side dish, especially for barbecue. —Angela Lively, Conroe, Texas
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Best Deviled Eggs

Herbs lend amazing flavor to these deviled eggs, which truly are the best you can make! The recipe includes tasty variations that feature bacon, chipotle peppers and crab.—Jesse & Anne Foust, Bluefield, West Virginia
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Mamaw Emily's Strawberry Cake

My husband loved his mamaw's strawberry cake recipe. He thought no one could duplicate it. I made it, and it’s just as scrumptious as he remembers. —Jennifer Bruce, Manitou, Kentucky
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Three-Bean Baked Beans

I got this recipe from my aunt and made a couple of changes to suit our tastes. With ground beef and bacon mixed in, these satisfying beans are a big hit at backyard barbecues and church picnics. I'm always asked to bring my special beans. —Julie Currington, Gahanna, Ohio
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Summer Orzo

I’m always looking for fun ways to use the fresh veggies that come in my Community Supported Agriculture box, and this salad is one of my favorite creations. I like to improvise with whatever I have on hand, feel free to do the same here! —Shayna Marmar, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Aunt Marion's Fruit Salad Dessert

Aunt Marion's Fruit Salad Dessert

Aunt Marion, my namesake, is like a grandma to me. She gave me this luscious salad recipe, which goes to all our family reunions, hunt club suppers and snowmobile club picnics...and I go home with no leftovers! —Marion LaTourette, Honesdale, Pennsylvania
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Orange Gelatin Pretzel Salad

Salty pretzels pair nicely with the sweet fruit in this refreshing layered salad. It’s a family favorite that is a slam-dunk at potlucks. —Peggy Boyd, Northport, Alabama
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Creamy Macaroni Salad

When we grill, my mother asks me to make this creamy macaroni salad. To make it extra creamy, I like to keep a small amount of dressing separate and stir it in just before serving. —Carly Curtin, Ellicott City, Maryland
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Cherry Bars

Whip up a pan of these festive bars in just 20 minutes with staple ingredients and cherry pie filling. Between the easy preparation and the pretty colors, they're destined to become a holiday classic. —Jane Kamp, Grand Rapids, Michigan
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Melon-Berry Salad

The best way to cool down on a warm day is with a chilled fruit salad. Serve this one for breakfast, brunch or dessert. Yogurt and coconut milk make the creamy dressing even more decadent. Wait until just before serving to garnish the salad. Otherwise the toasted coconut will get soggy. —Carrie Hirsch, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
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Maryland Corn Pops

Fresh-picked sweet corn is a big thing in Maryland. Here’s my homespun version of Mexican street corn that brings in local bay flavors. —Kristie Schley, Severna Park, Maryland
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Peach-Chipotle Baby Back Ribs

My son and I collaborated in the kitchen one day to put our own unique twist on classic baby back ribs. We added a sweet peachy glaze and a little heat with chipotle peppers. It was a great bonding experience, and now we have a keeper recipe for fall-off-the-bone ribs. —Rebecca Suaso, Weaverville, North Carolina
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Bacon Avocado Salad

Everyone in my family loves this bacon and avocado salad—even the younger kids! I serve it at pretty much every get-together I've hosted, and at this point, the recipe's been shared too many times to count. —Noreen McCormick Danek, Cromwell, Connecticut
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Zucchini Panzanella Salad

I learned how to make panzanella from my friend's grandmother. Once I discovered how to make the perfect vinaigrette, it became a dish I crave during the summer. It's also a great way to use day-old bread and your garden's bounty of zucchini. —Felicity Wolf, Kansas City, Missouri
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Pina Colada Zucchini Bread

At my husband's urging, I entered this recipe at the Pennsylvania Farm Show—and won first place! You'll love the cakelike texture and tropical flavors. —Sharon Rydbom, Tipton, Pennsylvania
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Aunt Frances' Lemonade

My sister and I spent a week each summer with our Aunt Frances, who always had this thirst-quenching lemonade in a stoneware crock in her refrigerator. It makes a refreshing drink after a hot day of running around. —Debbie Reinhart, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania
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Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake

Although my coffee cake makes a large pan, it never lasts very long! It's great for a Sunday brunch after church and nice to bring to family reunions, too. —Dorothy Morehouse, Massena, New York
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Creamy Dilled Cucumber Salad

This creamy cucumber salad, a Norwegian favorite, was a staple at all of our family holidays. —Patty LaNoue Stearns, Traverse City, Michigan
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Picnic Fried Chicken

For our family, it's not a picnic unless we have fried chicken! Chicken, deviled eggs and potato salad are all musts for a picnic as far as my husband is concerned. This is a golden oldie recipe for me—I've used it any number of times. —Edna Hoffman, Hebron, Indiana
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Iced Raspberry Tea

Frozen raspberries lend fruity flavor and lovely color to this pretty iced tea that's good throughout the year. The recipe calls for just a few common ingredients and offers make-ahead convenience. —Lois McGrady, Hillsville, Virginia
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Chocolate-Peanut Butter Sheet Cake

I love peanut butter and chocolate, so I combined recipes to blend the two. This chocolate peanut butter cake is heavenly served plain or topped with ice cream. —Lisa Varner, El Paso, Texas
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Peachy Jalapeno Guacamole

Fresh jalapenos and summer-ripe peaches give this creamy guacamole so much flavor. It's got a little kick, but I love that it's not so spicy it burns off my taste buds! —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Pickled Green Beans with Smoked Salmon Dip

I came up with this appetizer for my son, who's big on delicious but healthy food. The lighter beans-and-dip combo has won over even finicky eaters. —Dinah Halterman, Harmony, North Carolina
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Minty Watermelon Salad

My 4-year-old twin grandchildren love to cook in the kitchen with me. Last summer, the three of us were experimenting with watermelon and cheese, and that's where this recipe began. It's amazing for picnics, at neighborhood gatherings or as a healthy snack on a hot summer day. —Gwendolyn Vetter, Rogers, Minnesota
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Glorified Hash Browns

You'll be surprised at how quick and easy it is to put together this dressed-up potato casserole! When a friend made it for a church supper, I had to have the recipe. It's great for parties, potlucks and family reunions. —Betty Sitzman, Wray, Colorado
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Cape Cod Blueberry Pie

We Northeasterners have been baking this pie since the 18th century. Settlers would’ve used little wild blueberries and topped it with cream. I do, too. —Nancy O'Connell, Biddeford, Maine
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Scalloped Pineapple Casserole

My family can't get enough of this sweet and satisfying side dish. This casserole disappears quickly whenever I prepare it.—Judy Howle, Columbus, Mississippi
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Broccoli Slaw with Lemon Dressing

Our family absolutely loves broccoli, so I'm so happy there's finally a slaw mix in stores that uses broccoli stems. I like this slaw best after 20 minutes or so to allow the flavors to meld. —Donna Marie Ryan, Topsfield, Massachusetts
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Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs with Dill

My family is of Danish heritage, and my husband makes our smoked salmon. To use it, I came up with these dilly deviled eggs. They're a real treat and nice addition to any meal. —Charlotte Giltner, Mesa, Arizona
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Favorite Barbecued Chicken

Is there a place better than Texas to find a fantastic barbecue sauce? That’s where this one is from—it’s my father-in-law’s own recipe. We have served it at many family reunions and think it’s the best! —Bobbie Morgan, Woodstock, Georgia
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Crunchy Ramen Salad

For potlucks and picnics, this ramen noodle salad is a knockout. I tote the veggies in a bowl, dressing in a jar and noodles in a bag. Then I just shake them all together when it's time to eat. —LJ Porter, Bauxite, Arkansas
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Honey-Orange Broccoli Slaw

When you need coleslaw quickly, here's a fantastic choice. Hints of honey and citrus make it special. —Debbie Cassar, Rockford, Michigan
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Orange Lemonade

This juice is a favorite at our place. I'll often double the batch and send a jar next door to my mother-in-law! I was looking for a way to sweeten lemonade without using more sugar when I came up with the recipe. —Wendy Masters, Grand Valley, Ontario
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Summer Squash Mushroom Casserole Exps Mrrmz16 43402 C09 16 3b 3

Summer Squash Mushroom Casserole

This rich, creamy squash and zucchini casserole, with its crunchy topping would make a wonderful dish to take to summer potlucks and picnics, or to pair up with a wide variety of entrees. You'll love the buttery flavor of these "comfort veggies!" —Jennifer Wallace, Canal Winchester, Ohio
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Jalapeno Mac and Cheese

Many years ago after I had had knee surgery, a friend brought me a big casserole of mac and cheese along with the recipe. I have fiddled with the recipe over the years, most recently adding jalapenos at the request of my son. What an awesome spicy twist! —Teresa Gustafson, Elkton, Maryland
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Mango and Jicama Salad

This pretty salad has become part of my regular summertime rotation because of its freshness and versatility—it's great with everything from grilled chicken to seafood! Try it with coconut-flavored vinegar for a fun tropical twist. —Carla Mendres, Winnipeg, Manitoba
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Patchwork Quilt Cake

This cake has a great homemade flavor and tender crumb. Be sure to pile on the buttery frosting, which adds a burst of vanilla. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Colorful Cornbread Salad

When my garden comes in, I harvest the veggies for potluck dishes. I live in the South, and we think bacon and cornbread make everything better, even salad! —Rebecca Clark, Warrior, Alabama
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Sweet and Tangy Ranch Beans

This sweet and tangy side dish uses lots of convenient canned goods, so it’s a snap to throw together. The recipe was sent to me by a friend and it’s nice to serve at a group picnic. —Barbara Gordon, Roswell, Georgia
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Honey-Mustard Potato Salad

Honey-Mustard Potato Salad

Whenever there is a picnic or cookout, I am asked to bring my potato salad. It’s tangy and a little different. —Alicia Quadrozzi, Escondido, California
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Layered BLT Dip

When I throw a party for friends, I whip up this addictive layered three-cheese dip. Somehow, it’s always gone within the first 20 minutes. —Jade Bennett, Kingwood, Texas
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Apple Walnut Slaw

A co-worker shared this slaw recipe with me. Now it's a favorite at my house, too. Apples, walnuts and raisins are a fun way to dress up coleslaw. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Southern Pimiento Cheese Spread

A classic southern comfort food, this spread is used as an appetizer with crackers, corn chips or celery. It is also smeared between two slices of white bread for sandwiches and as a topping for hamburgers and hot dogs. —Eileen Balmer, South Bend, Indiana.
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Roasted Tomato Salsa

Our family's all-time favorite salsa, this recipe is the reason we grow a huge garden every summer. We make gallons of it and share with our neighbors. You might find yourself eating it right out of the bowl with a spoon. —Donna Kelly, Orem, Utah
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Balsamic Three-Bean Salad

Here's my little girl's favorite salad. She devours it just about as fast as I can make it. I suggest preparing it ahead of time so the flavors can get to know each other. —Stacey Feather, Jay, Oklahoma
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Brandy Slush

This slush with a hint of citrus keeps you cool on hot summer days. Even if you're not a tea lover, you'll likely find the mix of flavors pleasing. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Jim's Secret Family Recipe Ribs

For more than 30 years, my brother-in-law Jim kept his famous rib recipe a secret. When he finally shared it, we just had to pass it along because we loved it so much. This one's for you, Jim! —Vicki Young, Brighton, Colorado
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Grandmother's Corn Pudding

My grandmother always served this pudding for holidays and family reunions. Everyone loves it. Corn pudding is a popular side dish on Maryland's eastern shore. —Susan Brown Langenstein, Salisbury, Maryland
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Ruby Raspberry Slaw

Ruby Raspberry Slaw

Give ordinary coleslaw a "berry" tangy twist. It's sure to get raves at your next picnic or potluck. —Deborah Biggs, Omaha, Nebraska
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Grilled Firecracker Potato Salad

I can eat potato salad like crazy. A little spice is nice, so I use cayenne and paprika in this grilled salad that comes with its own fireworks. —Ashley Armstrong, Kingsland, Georgia
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Party Franks

These tiny, tangy appetizers have broad appeal. I prepare them often for holiday gatherings, weddings and family reunions. They're convenient to serve at parties since the sauce can be made ahead and then reheated with the franks before serving. —Lucille Howell, Portland, Oregon
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Aunt Murna's Jam Cake

I remember Aunt Murna telling me that she created her jam cake recipe as a young girl. She made improvements over the years, such as soaking the raisins in crushed pineapple. This cake is a favorite at our annual family reunions. —Mrs. Eddie Robinson, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
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Vibrant Black-Eyed Pea Salad

My black-eyed pea salad reminds me of a Southern cooking class my husband and I took while visiting Savannah, Georgia. People go nuts for it at picnics and potlucks. —Danielle Lee, Sewickley, Pennsylvania
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Strawberry, Cucumber & Honeydew Salad

Strawberries and cucumbers together—I just love this combination! We used to eat a lot of cucumbers growing up in upstate New York. We'd get them, along with strawberries and melons, from fruit and veggie stands to make this sweet and tangy salad. —Melissa Mccabe, Long Beach, California
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Creamy Pineapple Pie

Creamy pineapple pie is a light and refreshing dessert that's quick to make and impressive to serve. This is one of our favorite ways to complete a summer meal. —Sharon Bickett, Chester, South Carolina
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Blueberry Cream Pops

Blueberry and cream pops are such a fun after-school snack. Make them in the morning so the pops are ready to go when the kids come in the door. —Cindy Reams, Philipsburg, Pennsylvania
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Mom's Tangy Potato Salad

This chunky potato salad is a great dish for a family picnic or on a night when you're grilling out. The homemade dressing makes it extra delicious. —Michelle Gurnsey, Lincoln, Nebraska
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Cheesy BBQ Beef Dip

Barbecued beef dip is a holiday staple in our house. My husband can't get enough! —Selena Swafford, Dalton, Georgia
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Jalapeno Popper Corn Salad

I created this recipe for a wedding I was catering, and it's a good thing I made buckets of it, because I couldn't stop eating it! This chilled creamy salad combines all the best flavors of jalapeno poppers with the delicate sweetness of fresh corn. —Amanda Miller, Hutchinson, Kansas
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Rhubarb Citrus Punch

Rhubarb grows abundantly in our large farm garden. I'll make this punch for summertime gatherings or for special occasions with our extended family. —Ina Frey, St. Clemens, Ontario
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Almond Cherry Cobbler

This bubbling cherry cobbler is one of my favorite dishes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. —Melissa Wagner, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
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Dr Pepper Drumsticks

If you love Dr Pepper as much as I do, try it in my barbecue sauce for grilled chicken. It adds zip to the ketchup, bourbon and barbecue seasoning. —Shannon Holle-Funk, Venedy, Illinois
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Lemon Rice Salad

This salad makes a refreshing side dish for a special occasion meal. I take it to holiday potluck suppers and other family gatherings. People enjoy the combination of flavors, and I like that it can be made ahead. —Margery Richmond, Lacombe, Alberta
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Spicy Crab Salad

My creamy crab salad gets a boost of heat from Sriracha and a tangy touch from lime. It’s ready fast, leaving me more time with guests. —Patti Lavell, Islamorada, Florida
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Layered Garden Bean Salad

For easy entertaining, cover and refrigerate the salad a few hours before guests arrive so you don't have to bother with last-minute assembly. Turn it into a light lunch by adding sliced rotisserie chicken, salmon or tuna. —Melissa Wharton, Cincinnati, Ohio
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Lime Angel Food Cake

For my husband's family reunion, I took a store-bought angel food cake and turned it into this special dessert with a lovely lime cream frosting topped with toasted coconut. It went over big! —Nancy Foust, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania
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Berry White Ice Pops

Nothing says summer like an ice pop. Kids and adults alike love this fruit-filled version. —Sharon Guinta, Stamford, Connecticut
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Strawberry-Lime Bars

Our family loves fresh strawberries, so I look for different ways to use them. This tempting, yummy dessert has sweet strawberries, tart lime and salty pretzels. —Alexandra Barnett, Forest, Virginia
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Potato-Bean Salad with Herb Dressing

My veggie garden inspired this creamy combo of beans, potatoes and fresh herbs. I toss them with a ranch-style dressing sparked up with Creole mustard. —Chris Cummer, Bayonne, New Jersey
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Fruit Salad Salsa with Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

Salsa with strawberries, blueberries and nectarines makes a refreshing side dish. We scoop it up using tortilla chips sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. —Adan Franco, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Candy Bar Apple Salad

This creamy, sweet salad with crisp apple crunch is a real people-pleaser. It makes a lot, which is good, because it will go fast! —Cyndi Fynaardt, Oskaloosa, Iowa
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Cashew-Chicken Rotini Salad

I’ve tried many chicken salad recipes over the years, but this is my very favorite. It’s fresh, fruity and refreshing, and the cashews add wonderful crunch. Every time I serve it at a potluck or picnic, I get rave reviews—and ( always come home with an empty bowl! —Kara Cook, Elk Ridge, Utah
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Company Fruit Salad

We first tried a cream cheese fruit salad like this at a local deli. Since I couldn't get that recipe, I started mixing up different dressings until I hit on this one. Now I make this refreshing delightful salad for every picnic and get-to-gether. It can be a snack, side dish or dessert. —Connie Osterhout, Napoleon, Ohio
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Grilled Vegetable Orzo Salad

Vegetables that are in season make great additions to this orzo salad. It's the perfect side dish for a picnic, it can easily be doubled for a crowd, or you can add grilled chicken to make it a filling entree. —Danielle Miller, Westfield, Indiana
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Kansas City-Style Ribs

Our family recipe for ribs has evolved to near perfection. These country-style beauties are a legend in our close circle. —Linda Schend, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Tangy Watermelon Salad

The refreshing blend of watermelon, red onions and a splash of citrus always does me proud at picnics and potlucks. I like to prepare it a day ahead so the flavors have a chance to blend, and I use the rind as a colorful serving bowl. If you're short on time, simply substitute any bottled citrus vinaigrette. —Alisha Duncan, Blanchard, Oklahoma
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Fresh Cucumber Salad

Crisp, garden-fresh cukes are always in season when we hold our family reunion, and they really shine in this simple salad. The recipe can easily be expanded to make large quantities, too. —Betsy Carlson, Rockford, Illinois
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Mom's Italian Beef Sandwiches

My mom made the best Italian beef. I’ve added to it over the years, but it’s still her recipe. She made these sandwiches for family reunions, and there were never leftovers. —Mary McVey, Colfax, North Carolina
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Creamy Red Potato Salad

We love red potatoes for color and shape in a perfect combo with radishes, green onions and a touch of vinegar. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota
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Cajun Boil on the Grill

I came up with these everything-in-one seafood packets for a family reunion, since the recipe can be increased to feed a bunch. The foil steams up inside, so open carefully. —Allison Brooks, Fort Collins, Colorado
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Summertime Slaw

As a change from mayonnaise-laden slaw, I created this refreshing alternative. It uses many of the garden vegetables I grow, so it's also economical. I serve it at our family reunion each Fourth of July, and it's always a big hit at get-togethers. —Sharon Payne, Mayfield, Kentucky
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Broccoli and Apple Salad

Even my picky daughter loves this one! My yogurt dressing on crunchy veggie salad makes a cool and creamy side dish. —Lynn Cluff, Littlefield, Arizona
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Blueberry Cornmeal Cobbler

Cornbread, blueberries and maple syrup give this special dessert a flavor that’s different from any cobbler you’ve had before. I came across the recipe many years ago. —Judy Watson, Tipton, Indiana
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Slow-Cooker Peach Crumble

I look forward to going on our beach vacation every year, but I don't always relish the time spent cooking for everybody. This slow-cooker dessert (or breakfast!) gives me more time to lie in the sun and enjoy the waves. Melty ice cream is a must. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Tangy Baked Seven Beans

Everyone needs a go-to side dish for school events, picnics and potlucks. Here's mine. Freeze leftovers for future outings. —Rod Lundwall, Tooele, Utah
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All-American Sheet Cake

My sweet and tangy sheet cake piled with fresh whipped cream and juicy fruit is so good, you might just want to eat it for breakfast. —James Schend, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
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Matt's Jerk Chicken

Get ready for a trip to the Islands. You may think jerk chicken is complicated but, really, all it takes is time. Throw on some tunes, grab an icy drink and prepare to be transported. Have a smoker? You can smoke the chicken first and finish it on the grill. —Jenn Hall, Collingswood, New Jersey
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White Chocolate Fruit Tart

It takes a little time to make, but this tart is absolutely marvelous, especially in summer when fresh fruit is in abundance. —Claire Darby, New Castle, Delaware
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Ambrosia Fruit Salad

My mom's ambrosia salad, with its tasty combination of fresh fruits and creamy yogurt, is a family favorite, and a great addition to a backyard barbecue. —Colleen Belbey, Warwick, Rhode Island
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Barbecued Beef Ribs

These tender, slow-cooked beef ribs with a tangy sauce are a cinch to make. They’re great for picnics and parties. —Erin Glass, White Hall, Maryland
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Cucumber and Red Onion Salad

This cucumber and onion salad is one of the first recipes I came up with myself. It's a great salad for picnics or potlucks. I always come home with an empty bowl! —Brynn Steckman, Westerville, Ohio
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Best Ever Fresh Strawberry Pie

Next time you get a pint or two of perfectly ripe strawberries, make my favorite pie. It combines fresh berries and a lemony cream cheese layer. If you’re in a hurry, use a pre-made pie shell. —Janet Leach, Granger, Washington
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Seasoned Turkey Sandwiches

This savory turkey tucked in homemade buns steals the show at any potluck or family reunion. It’s been a huge hit at football dinners, graduation parties and more. I like to add tomato and lettuce for crunch and color. —LaVonne Hegland, St. Michael, Minnesota
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Vermicelli Pasta Salad

I started making this salad because it's loaded with peppers, my husband's favorite. Don't be surprised when there are no leftovers to take home after the family reunion, picnic or church potluck. —Janie Colle, Hutchinson, Kansas
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Tropical Carrot Cake

I look forward to August because our family reunion means fun and great food, like this classic cake with the special flair it gets from pineapple. My great-aunt gave me this recipe, and I always make it for the reunion. —Victoria Casey, Enterprise, Oregon
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Gooey Chocolate Caramel Bars

These rich, gooey bars are my most requested treats. They're popular at school functions, family barbecues and picnics. We like them alone or topped with a scoop of ice cream. —Betty Hagerty, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Fruit Salad with Apricot Dressing

When I serve this lovely refreshing salad for picnics and holidays, the bowl empties fast. —Carol Lambert, El Dorado, Arkansas
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Cottage Potatoes

I often make this crunchy and colorful potato dish for our family reunions. It's my cousin's recipe, and we always know we'll never have any leftovers. —Mary C. Sholtis, Ashtabula, Ohio
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Summer Harvest Tart

One of my favorite bakeries makes this scrumptious tart that uses fall and summer fruit, so I created my own version. I like to serve it warm with whipped cream or ice cream and with a cup of coffee on a cool autumn night. —Sarah Knoblock, Hyde Park, Indiana

Emily Racette Parulski
Emily Racette Parulski is a Senior Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in email newsletters. When she’s not writing about food, she’s baking something sweet to feed her chocolate obsession.