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'Tis the seasons for weekends away, and outdoor gatherings, it seems! What are your favorite things that you make for casual summer entertaining or to bring with you when you're invited to someone's house or for a picnic or tailgate? My standby is veggies with dip (adapted from the Knorr packet recipe - it is always a huge hit), but would love to hear what others do!
 

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I always bring my carrot, mint, and goat cheese pastry puffs, yum <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Eat">
 

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I love a nice bean salad. There are some truly delicious recipes in the Rancho Gordo Heirloom Beans cookbook...
 

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I used to like to bring dessert, but I found that other people do too. So I've been to a few gatherings where there's lots of desserts, but very little substantial dishes.<br><br>
Now I usually offer to bring a salad, and I'll try to make something other than the ubiquitous Caesar. In spring, I like an asparagus and strawberry salad, in summer I have a Nigella Lawson recipe for watermelon, olive, feta and mint salad that's delicious. Some others are broccoli salad, sweet potato salad, melon, watercress and prosciutto salad.
 

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I try to find out what course the host would like something brought from. And I LOVE to use gatherings to test out new recipes (eaters beware! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">) but these are some of the things I'll bring often:<br><br>
appetizer/snack: salsa bean dip and corn chips (really easy, mix your favorite salsa with a can of rinsed black beans and some thawed (or drained canned) corn.<br><br>
side dish: BBQ Macaroni Salad (cooks country recipe)<br><br>
Dessert: Peach Crumble bars (cooks country recipe) or my new favorite Homemade Hostess cupcakes (you know the kind: chocolate cupcakes with cream filling, chocolate ganache frosting and the white squiggle icing decoration on top? I made these for Memorial Day for the first time and want to eat them every day they were SO GOOD!)
 

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Grape salad is a MASSIVE hit around here.<br><br>
Big huge platter of homegrown 'maters!<br><br>
Big huge fruit platter w/strawberries, watermelon, canteloupe, grapes, blueberries--it gets HOT here so one can never have enough juicy fruit. One July 4 I spent most of my time replenishing the watermelon and tomato platters. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"><br><br>
apple enchiladas<br><br>
grain salad (quinoa, wheat berries, millet, etc.) w/lots of chopped veggies and dried fruit or fresh fruit that will hold up (mango is good) and pine nuts<br><br>
roasted garlic and goat cheese stuffed portobellas (sp?!) topped w/toasted pine nuts and Italian parsley<br><br>
cream cheese stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon<br><br>
salad made of red onion/zucchini or yellow summer squash, tomatoes, garlic, and lots of either parsley or cilantro, salt/pepper and sometimes a minced jalapeno<br><br>
salsa w/chopped veggies or fruit and tortilla chips<br><br>
hummus and pita<br><br>
I could seriously keep going. A big platter of sushi is a good thing, too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Crab dip, whipped cherry cheesecake, or a simple green salad (mixed greens or spinach, mandarin orange pieces, almonds, vinegarette) are our usual choices, depending on what is needed and the season.
 

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Homemade icecream is always good too<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Eat">
 

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Mango salsa.
 

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I have made this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Strawberry-Fields/Detail.aspx" target="_blank">green salad with strawberries and feta</a> for a number of potlucks and it has always gone over very well. I am making it this weekend for our church campout.
 

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These two are def. my stand bys: layered taco dip and chips, and hummus and veggies/pitas/pretzels. If I don't have time to put something together I'll make a nice cheese plate with some fresh yummy bread and bring a bottle of wine.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SpuglyRoo</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15472202"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">...my new favorite Homemade Hostess cupcakes (you know the kind: chocolate cupcakes with cream filling, chocolate ganache frosting and the white squiggle icing decoration on top? I made these for Memorial Day for the first time and want to eat them every day they were SO GOOD!)</div>
</td>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Eat"> Recipe, please? I'm now dying to try these!
 

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Oh, and SpuglyRoo, could you please post the peach crumble bar recipe too, please?<br><br>
Thanks,<br>
alsoSarah
 

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Can you all come to my house and bring everything you just listed? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Seriously, it all sounds delicious!<br><br>
I'd love the Grape salad recipe <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Grilled Panzanella Salad.<br><br><a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/grilled-panzanella-recipe/index.html" target="_blank">http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/i...ipe/index.html</a>
 

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homemade herb bread if i have time or veggie or fruit platter. for a main dish i like to do bbq roast beef sandwiches in the crock pot because it so easy, inexpensive, and yummy!
 
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