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80 July 4th Picnic Food Ideas

Planning a 4th of July picnic? Look no further than these portable and delicious recipes. We have ideas for appetizers, mains, desserts and more that will please picnic-goers of all ages.

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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
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Red-White-and-Blue Berry Delight

Loaded with fresh strawberries and blueberries, this luscious JELL-O is perfect for any Fourth of July celebration! —Constance Fennell, Grand Junction, Michigan
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Back Porch Slow-Cooker Meatballs

This slow-cooker meatballs recipe came to me while sitting on the back porch. The combination of meats and ingredients in the sauce makes meatballs unlike any I've ever had before. —Justin Boudreaux, Walker, Louisiana
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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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Watermelon Feta Flag Salad

Our family celebrates the Fourth of July with a watermelon salad that resembles the flag. Here’s an all-American centerpiece that’s truly red, white and blue. —Jan Whitworth, Roebuck, South Carolina
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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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Red, White and Blue Summer Salad

Caprese and fresh fruit always remind me of summer. In this salad, I combine traditional Caprese flavors with summer blueberries and peaches. I also add prosciutto for saltiness, creating a balanced, flavor-packed side dish. —Emily Falke, Santa Barbara, California
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Summertime Watermelon Punch for a Crowd

I attended a patio party years ago where the hostess had a clever watermelon “bowl” with a scalloped edge and filled with this punch. It was the hit of the party, and she was kind enough to share the delicious punch recipe with me. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Slow-Cooked Baked Beans

My friend suggested this recipe when I needed a new dish to bring to a barbecue. It was an incredible success, and I've been making it ever since. —Jodi Caple, Cortez, Colorado
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Sugar Cookie S'mores

Change up traditional s'mores with the use of sugar cookies and candy bars. The sweetness cannot be beat!—Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Cola Burgers

A friend who's an excellent cook shared this hamburger recipe with me, and it has since become a family favorite. The unusual combination of cola and French salad dressing added to the ground beef gives it fabulous flavor. The mixture is also used as a basting sauce on the moist burgers. -Melva Baumer, Millmont, Pennsylvania
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Fire-and-Ice Pickles

These sweet and spicy pickles are great on a sandwich or all by themselves as a snack. The recipe is an easy way to dress up store-brought pickles and make them a special treat! —Myra Innes, Auburn, Kansas
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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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Dad's Lemony Grilled Chicken

Lemon juice, onions and garlic add tangy flavor to chicken when firing up the grill. —Mike Schulz, Tawas City, Michigan
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Patriotic Potatoes with Mustard Sauce

Show your true spirit with a bowl of red, white and blue potatoes dressed with bacon and sour cream. They’re tops in my hit parade of patriotic dishes. —Julie Murphy, Peachtree City, Georgia
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Peach Cobbler Cookies

My sister brought me fresh peaches one year, and we decided to make these fruity cookies. They also make fantastic ice cream sandwiches—just put some vanilla ice cream between two cookies for a delicious summer treat! —Anna Miller, Churdan, Iowa
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Confetti Macaroni Salad

The bits of bright red and green in this easy macaroni salad remind me of fun confetti. The inspiration for the dish came from a recipe I found in a church cookbook when I was a young writer responsible for a newspaper’s food section. —Renee Page, Rochelle, Illinois
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Grilled Green Beans

I cook almost everything outdoors, including green beans. I prepare this snappy side dish while the entree is cooking. The recipe has won over my picky eaters. —Carol Traupman-Carr, Breinigsville, Pennsylvania
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Red and Blue Berry Lemonade Slush

This delightfully sweet-tart beverage showcases fresh raspberries and blueberries. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Homemade Guacamole

Nothing is better than freshly made guacamole when you're eating something spicy. It is easy to whip together in a matter of minutes and quickly tames anything that's too hot. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Peach & Blueberry Trifle

This crowd-pleasing summer trifle recipe can be made the night before. I love that you can be flexible with the ingredients. Add any in-season fruit you like! —Raymonde Bourgeois, Swastika, Ontario
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Smoked Deviled Eggs

??Give all those leftover Easter eggs a flavor upgrade. Grilling these smoked deviled eggs gives them a distinctive taste that will have everyone talking. —Catherine Woods, Lexington, Missouri
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Sweet Tea Boysenberry Shandy

I love an ice-cold beer on a hot summer day. I also love sweet tea, so one day I got the great idea to mix the two. Wow! It was absolutely delish. I experimented with different flavorings, and this combination was my favorite. —Kelly Williams, Forked River, New Jersey
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Juicy Watermelon Salad

This fruit salad has such a surprising yet fabulous mix of flavors that friends often ask for the recipe. Combine seedless watermelon varieties in yellow, red and pink for a colorful twist. —Heidi Haight, Macomb, Michigan
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Red, White & Blueberry Poke Cake

A sweet treat in the summer, this patriotic poke cake with dazzling red and blue stripes is a fun one to make with the kids. —Elisabeth Schulz, Blossvale, New York
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Cola Hot Wings

These delectable wings are so easy to make, and they offer year-round versatility, from summer cookouts to autumn tailgates. My husband likes them so much he'll stand out in the snow to grill them! —Lisa Linville, Randolph, Nebraska
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Strawberry Corn Salsa

This recipe makes art in a bowl! All the colors of summer are captured in this salsa with a fresh, light flavor perfect for snacking between swims or to kick off a backyard barbecue. This can be served with chips or alone as a side dish. —Catherine Goza, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Patriotic Pops

My kids love homemade ice pops, and I love knowing that the ones we make are good for them. We whip up a big batch with multiple flavors so they have many choices, but these patriotic red, white and blueberry ones are always a favorite! —Shannon Carino, Frisco, Texas
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Marinated Mozzarella & Tomato Appetizers

Inspired by a dish I had at a restaurant, this simply sensational combination should marinate for at least three hours—the longer the better. —Mary Ann Lee, Clifton Park, New York
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Club Roll-Ups

Packed with meat, cheese and olives, these roll-ups are always a hit at parties.
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Black-Eyed Pea Tomato Salad

Spending time in the kitchen with my late aunt was so much fun because she was an amazing cook and teacher. This black-eyed pea salad was one of her specialties. It's easy to make and is a nice alternative to pasta or potato salad. Add cooked cubed chicken breast to make it a meal on its own. —Patricia Ness, La Mesa, California
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Bacon-Wrapped Corn

After one bite of this grilled corn on the cob, you'll never go back to your old way of preparing it. The incredible flavor of roasted corn combined with bacon and chili powder is sure to please your palate and bring rave reviews at your next backyard barbecue. —Lori Bramble, Omaha, Nebraska
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Key Lime Cream Pie

I am very proud of this luscious no-bake beauty. It's so cool and refreshing—perfect for any summer potluck or get-together. Wherever I take this pie, it quickly disappears, with everyone asking for the recipe. —Shirley Rickis, Lady Lake, Florida
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Root Beer Apple Baked Beans

All nine men in our family love roughing it outdoors. My beans with bacon and apples is a "must " to keep their outdoor energy going. —Nancy Heishman, Las Vegas, Nevada
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Apple Snickerdoodle Dump Cake

With an apple farm just down the road, I'm always looking for creative ways to use up those bushels. We love this cozy cake with caramel drizzle and a scoop of vanilla or cinnamon ice cream. —Rachel Garcia, Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Blue Cheese & Grape Coleslaw

Dishes like coleslaw beg for a fresh approach. I update mine with almonds, grapes, blue cheese and bacon for a grand bowl of color and crunch. —Jeannine Bunge, Hartley, Iowa
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Berry-Patch Brownie Pizza

I just love the combination of fruit, almonds and chocolate that makes this brownie so unique. The fruit lightens the chocolate a bit and makes it feel as though you are eating something sinfully healthy. —Sue Kauffman, Columbia City, Indiana
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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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Contest-Winning Barbecued Chicken

When our neighborhood has a cookout, I always take along this chicken and watch it quickly disappear! My family loves this recipe because of the zesty seasoning blend and no-fuss barbecue sauce. —Linda Scott, Hahira, Georgia
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Creamy Layered Blueberry Ice Pops

These delicious ice pops can also be made with raspberries or blackberries. The rosemary sprig and lemon zest bring another layer of flavor. The pops are quick, easy, kid-friendly and freezable. —Gloria Bradley, Naperville, Illinois
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Wagon Wheel Pasta Salad

Summertime gatherings aren't complete without a refreshing pasta salad. This tasty version features a mayonnaise and picante dressing. It may become one of your favorite side dishes for tacos, too! —Kathryn Donahey, Oil City, Pennsylvania
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Sweet Onion & Red Bell Pepper Topping

As soon as the spring Vidalia onions hit the market, this is one of the first recipes I make. I use it on hot dogs, bruschetta, cream cheese and crackers. It is so versatile. —Pat Hockett, Ocala, Florida
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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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Barbecue Brats & Peppers

We live in brat country, and this barbecue-style recipe feeds a crowd. The sauce gives it a welcome change from the same old grilled bratwurst. — Maria Zrucky, Kronenwetter, Wisconsin
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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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Minty Watermelon-Cucumber Salad

Capturing the fantastic flavors of summer, this refreshing, beautiful watermelon-cucumber salad will be the talk of any picnic or potluck. —Roblynn Hunnisett, Guelph, Ontario
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Healthy Spinach Dip

I needed something healthy and low in fat to take to a get-together, so I experimented and came up with this dip. It's packed full of flavor and color. Served with assorted veggies, bread or crackers, it's always a hit. People ask for the recipe every time. —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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Crispy Star Pops

These patriotic pops are a hit at our annual Fourth of July get-together. Serve them as an after-picnic dessert. Or slip them into cellophane bags, tie on ribbons and give them as favors. —Colleen Sturma, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Grilled Sweet Corn

Since we have plenty of fresh sweet corn available in our area, we use this recipe often in summer. Parsley, chili powder and cumin accent the corn's just-picked flavor. —Connie Lou Hollister, Lake Odessa, Michigan
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Rosemary Walnuts

My Aunt Mary started making this recipe years ago. Each time we visited, she would have a batch ready for us. The use of cayenne adds an unexpected zing to the savory combo of rosemary and walnuts. When you need a good housewarming or hostess gift, double the batch and save half for yourself. —Renee Ciancio, New Bern, North Carolina
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Five-Star Brownies

There's a bit of my state's history behind these brownies' name and shape. In 1990, when I entered them at our state fair, Kansas was celebrating the 100th birthday of a famous native son, Dwight Eisenhower. In fact, that occasion was the theme of the fair. So I renamed my brownies, in honor of the rank he'd achieved as a general and cut them out with a star cookie cutter. They ended up winning a blue ribbon! —Pam Buerki Rogers, Victoria, Kansas
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Spicy Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dip

These fall-off-the-bone-tender wings have just the right amount of heat. The cool blue cheese dressing creates the perfect flavor combination for dipping. —Kevalyn Henderson, Hayward, Wisconsin
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Bomb Pop Cookies

The sound of the ice cream truck has even my husband running out to the curb with money in hand. Our neighborhood has a big potluck on the Fourth of July, so I decided to make cookies that resemble Bomb Pops. These were a big hit! —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Beefy Chili Dogs

For years, people have told me I make the best hot dog chili out there. It’s timeless, it’s family-friendly, and I carry the recipe with me because people ask for it. —Vicki Boyd, Mechanicsville, Virginia
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Turkey Pepper Kabobs

This is a summertime favorite at our house. While the turkey is a nice change of pace and tastes great with the sweet basting sauce and pineapple, the recipe also works well with cubed chicken.—Traci Goodman, Paducah, Kentucky
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Marinated Three Bean Salad

Fresh herbs and cayenne pepper provide the fantastic flavor in this marinated salad featuring fresh veggies and canned beans. —Carol Tucker, Wooster, Ohio
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Fudgy Patriotic Brownies

A rich chocolate frosting makes these brownies really tasty. I always come home with an empty pan when I take these to potlucks. —Julie Moyer, Union Grove, Wisconsin
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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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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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Cheese Tortellini with Tomatoes and Corn

Fresh corn and basil make this dish taste like summer. I think it's a good one for bringing to picnics or gatherings, but it's great along with any side dish for a weeknight dinner! —Sally Maloney, Dallas, Georgia
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Bite-Sized Apple Pies

These little bites are fun for kids to make. Simply wrap strips of pastry around apple wedges and shake on some cinnamon-sugar. Then just bake and watch them disappear! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Pina Colada Fruit Salad

Give friends a taste of the tropics on warm summer days with this refreshing fruit blend. For a little extra punch, you might add a splash of coconut rum. —Carol Farnsworth, Greenwood, Indiana
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Strawberry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

My family is always happy to see this fruit and veggie salad on the table. If strawberries aren’t available, substitute mandarin oranges and dried cranberries. —Irene Keller, Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Yummy Cracker Snacks

These treats are my family’s favorite. In fact, it seems no matter how many I make, they always disappear too soon! —D. Weaver, Ephrata, Pennsylvania
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Spicy Lemon Chicken Kabobs

When I see Meyer lemons in the store, it must be spring. I like using them for these easy chicken kabobs, but regular grilled lemons still add the signature smoky tang. —Terri Crandall, Gardnerville, Nevada
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Burger Americana

Go on a burger road trip in your own backyard. Grill the patties and load them sky-high with your favorite toppings. For instance, peanut butter and bacon make them southern style; coleslaw and tomatoes, a northern version. —Susan Mahaney, New Hartford, New York
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Bourbon Candied Bacon Deviled Eggs

At our house, it doesn’t get any better than deviled eggs with bacon—bourbon candied bacon, that is. See if you can resist them. We can’t. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Loaded M&M Oreo Cookie Bars

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)
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Minted Fruit Salad

Filled with the season’s best and freshest fruit, this salad shouts summer. The hint of mint adds a refreshing note to the colorful compote.—Edie DeSpain, Logan, Utah
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Raspberry Lemonade Concentrate

Here's a concentrate that allows you to enjoy a refreshing summer beverage any time of year. Sweet raspberries balance the tartness from lemons. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Blueberry Zucchini Squares

I saw a bar recipe on a box of muffin mix using apple and lemon zest. I tried it from scratch with shredded zucchini and fresh blueberries instead. It’s a tasty combo. —Shelly Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
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Cucumber-Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Besides being tasty, these little tomato poppers are extra awesome because you can make them ahead of time. At parties, I often triple the recipe because they disappear fast. —Christi Martin, Elko, Nevada
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Bacon Macaroni Salad

This pleasing pasta salad is like eating a BLT in a bowl. Filled with crispy bacon, chopped tomato, celery and green onion, the sensational salad is coated with a tangy mayonnaise and vinegar dressing. It’s a real crowd-pleaser! —Norene Wright, Manilla, Indiana
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Raspberry-Rhubarb Slab Pie

Slab pie is a pastry baked in a jelly-roll pan and cut into slabs like a bar cookie—or a pie bar, if you will. My grandfather was a professional baker and served pieces of slab pie to his customers back in the day. Here is my spin, featuring rhubarb and gorgeous red raspberries. —Jeanne Ambrose, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Jersey-Style Hot Dogs

I grew up in northern New Jersey, where hot dogs with grilled potatoes were born. It's a combo you’ll love. —Suzanne Banfield, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
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Root Beer Cookies

When it's too difficult to take along root beer floats on a picnic, take these cookies instead! I've found the flavor is even better the next day. The hard part is convincing my family to wait that long before sampling them.—Violette Bawden, West Valley City, Utah
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Italian Sausage and Provolone Skewers

My husband made sausage and veggie kabobs when we didn't have buns to make classic sausage bombers. Grill ‘em up, then add cheese cubes. —Cindy Hilliard, Kenosha, Wisconsin
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Easy Cinnamon Thins

When a co-worker’s husband came home from Iraq, we had a potluck for him. These cookies with coarse red sugar matched our patriotic theme. —Janet Whittington, Heath, Ohio
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Blackberry Lemonade

Here's a special drink that's perfect when blackberries are in season. It has a tangy, refreshing flavor. —Rich Murray, Nevada, Missouri
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S'mores Crispy Bars

My aunt always brought s’mores-style bars to our family's summer cottage. Plain or frosted, they’re perfect for eating on the run. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.
Annamarie Higley
Annamarie Higley is an Associate Print Editor for Taste of Home magazine, as well as the brand's special issue publications. A midwestern transplant originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she enjoys hiking, trivia-ing, and—you guessed it!—all things cooking and baking.

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