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I count on my slow cooker to do the honors when I have a house full of summer guests. Teenagers especially love DIY nachos. Try cola, ginger ale or lemon-lime soda if you’re not into root beer. —James Schend, Taste of Home Food Editor
I made a healthier spin on my favorite celebrity chef's recipe by using hearty vegetable broth and less cheese. To top crostini, use less broth for a paste-like pesto. For use on pasta, add more broth for a sauce-like consistency. —Amber Massey, Argyle, Texas
For something cool on a hot day, we mix shrimp and crabmeat with crunchy veggies straight from the garden. Look for adobo seasoning in your grocery’s international section. —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
I have a huge fig tree that produces an abundance of figs. One year I tried drying some and developed this sweet and smoky recipe as a result. Now it's a regular at family gatherings. —Greg Fontenot, The Woodlands, Texas
I love fresh strawberries, and I try to enjoy as many as possible during the season. Because so many strawberry recipes are quite sweet, I wanted to start the meal with something savory, so I came up with strawberries, cheese and good bread.
This party hit was inspired by a dish I ate at a restaurant. It’s best served chilled and should marinate for a few days—the longer the better. My daughter likes to put the mozzarella on her antipasti platters. —Mary Ann Lee, Clifton Park, New York