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Red, White and Blue Sides for a Patriotic Memorial Day Picnic

We’ve found the key to being patriotic inside and out: eating the combo of red, white and blue, as well as wearing it. You don’t need to break out food dye to make Sunny Anderson’s red, white and blue mashed potatoes (pictured above) with bacon, Gorgonzola cheese and garlic, or an equally colorful side dish like blueberry and pomegranate salad.

Check out four more of our favorite red, white and blue side dishes below, perfect for a Memorial Day picnic.

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The Cake Hunters Premiere Will Cake Your Breath Away

Sometimes not even Southern charm can get you out of a sticky situation. In the premiere of Cake Hunters, Vanessa and Tim worked with multiple bakers to find a cake that balanced her idea for a garden-centric, Savannah-inspired confection and his desire to show their love story without being too feminine or flowery.

Watch the full episode below to see which designer won out and whether flowers took the cake. Cake Hunters airs Wednesdays at 10pm ET on Cooking Channel.

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Dive Into a Full Episode of Beach Bites with Katie Lee

It’s time to get a taste of paradise. On Katie Lee’s new show, Beach Bites with Katie Lee, she is crossing sand and surf in search of the best beachside food with a view. In the pilot episode, Katie takes us island-hopping from St. Thomas to Mackinac Island, Mich., to sample treats like Caribbean Stewed Kitchen and Ahi Tuna Nachos. It’s not just about soaking up the sun or sinking into the sand, though — Katie is working for her food.

Watch her kayak to shore for a unique burger and harvest her own oysters for Oyster Escabeche in the full episode below, and check out even more of her seaside adventures in her scrapbook. Beach Bites airs on Thursdays at 10pm ET, starting June 2..

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Pasta Salads That Go Beyond Mayonnaise

It’s time to reinvent the pasta salad. Use your noodle to think outside the mayonnaise bottle for your next picnic, with interesting flavor combinations like Giada De Laurentiis’ orecchiette with mixed greens and goat cheese (pictured above) and zesty green-onion dressing tossed with bowtie pasta.

Check out four more of our favorite pasta salad recipes below — only one of which uses mayonnaise for creaminess — and get more camping recipes and picnic ideas here.

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Beat the Clock with Easy, Under-15-Minute Side Dishes

If you’re always running around your kitchen to get dinner together after a hectic day at work — hopefully not while holding a knife — sit down. We have six timesaving recipes for you.

Check out our favorite easy side dishes that can be made in 15 minutes or less, including a Roasted Peanut Slaw (pictured above) and a lightning-fast fried rice.

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It’s All Right, Because We’re Saved by Tiffani Thiessen and Mark-Paul Gosselaar’s Reunion

Forget about Fuller House — this year’s most-nostalgic house is Tiffani Thiessen’s. On the May 11 finale of Dinner at Tiffani’s, Zack and Kelly reunite for a double-date dinner party that puts The Max’s food to shame, and we have some exclusive behind-the-scenes photos from the big bash.

While wearing matching denim shirts, Tiffani and Mark-Paul Gosselaar cooked a romantic lobster dinner together — for their real-life spouses, Brady Smith and Catriona Gosselaar, respectively — and goofed off in Tiff’s celebrity photo booth.

Transport yourself back to Bayside High with the pictures below, and tune in to Dinner at Tiffani’s on Wednesday, May 11 at 8pm ET. (It will rerun Sunday, May 15 at 10pm ET if you miss it.)

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6 Twists on Mashed Potatoes That’ll Have You Dancing in the Kitchen

It’s time to do the mashed potato. No, we don’t mean breaking out your ’60s moves, but these new twists on the humble spud may inspire you to dance around the kitchen.

It’s not hard to learn how to make mashed potatoes — boil, drain, take out your aggression with a masher or ricer, and season — but sometimes it’s tough to get out of a food rut. Reinvent the classic side dish with a mix of vegetables, like Chuck Hughes’ root vegetable mash (pictured above), in which potatoes pair well with carrots, parsnips and salsify — or completely swap out taters for sweet potatoes instead.

Check out five more of our favorite spins on mashed potatoes below.

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A Make-Ahead Game Plan for the Ultimate Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

This Cinco de Mayo, give your friends something to taco ’bout with a festive Mexican fiesta. Unlike a Thanksgiving turkey or an Easter ham, the food for this holiday doesn’t take all day to cook — in fact, you can even start to prepare the feast a few days in advance.

Check out our game plan for an easy Cinco de Mayo party with the best Mexican recipes, from tangy margaritas to creamy guacamole.

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Alternative Fries That Will Make Everyone Want to Eat Their Vegetables

TGIF isn’t only for kicking off the weekend — any day can be fryday if you put your mind to it. Classic french fries are deep-fried until crisp, sprinkled with salt and devoured instantly, but other vegetables can be made equally craveworthy for side dishes with less guilt.

Check out five of our favorite alternative fries, like Tia Mowry’s zucchini sticks with ranch dip (pictured above) — which are still fried, but made of squash instead of potatoes — and oven-fried potato wedges that may convert you from your fast-food favorites. They’re also a great way to coax your kids into eating vegetables without even realizing what’s under the crunchy batter. Ladies and gentlemen, start your ovens.

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Feast Your Eyes on 4 Roasted Carrot Recipes

Roasting is usually associated with the cold winter months, but as the temperature fluctuates and spring showers have us staying inside, it makes sense to crank up the oven. Bring out the natural sweetness in vegetables like carrots with a slow roast in the oven, allowing them to get tender and crisp while you save time preparing meals for the week.

An easy starter recipe is Tiffani Thiessen’s Honey-Roasted Carrots with Sesame Seeds (pictured above), which are coated with honey so they blister and get a little sticky in the oven, and then are tossed with soy sauce and sesame seeds for great umami flavor.

Check out more of our favorite ways to use roasted carrots below.

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