Honor Our Troops!
Let this Memorial Day be a time to honor those soldiers who are now, have, and will fight for our country! Isn’t that what Memorial day is all about!? We can make this day a patriotic time to remember and support those men and women who fought for our freedom with some backyard summer BBQ fun!
My first thought before putting my table setting together was why we even celebrate Memorial Day. We often get lost in the anticipated three day weekend, which I’m not complaining about. However, I take this holiday to heart because I have many relatives, and friends who have fought or are currently at war. And to think of all those honored soldiers I’ve never met who have been willing to risk their lives to keep my freedom..what an honor!
Yellow came to mind, especially those popular ‘Support Our Troops’ ribbons. These flowers, although not real, gave a whole lotta meaning to my table.
I wanted to keep with the red, white, and blue and while being a BBQ, I wanted to keep it simple. A plain white plastic table cloth came in handy with clean up. Blue plates showcased my supportive star sugar cookies and one of my favorites, the red handkerchief as a napkin. I think the red, blue, and yellow worked well together for our Memorial Day BBQ!
Each guest received a special treat at their place setting. I made star sugar cookies frosted yellow and wrote a variety of patriotic words to fit our theme, to let each guest remember the true meaning of this party!
Start up the Grill!
Burgers and Hot dogs were on the menu. However, this time we tried a few special added touches to our plain ol’ burgers. When preparing my ground beef, I added some cooked chopped bacon (not too crisp since it will be cooking again on the grill). Then, of course some chopped onion, garlic, and seasoning all to taste. I formed my patties and then added a scoop of shredded cheese right in the middle. I topped with another patty, sealed, and placed on the grill. I was worried about the cheese oozing out but surprisingly most stayed in. I’m definitely experimenting with this one again!
When BBQ-ing, never forget the salad! There’s the traditional potato or macaroni. There are quite a few summer pasta salads that I’ve been wanting to try myself. This is one I found in a magazine article that looked to good to ignore, especially when you can pull a few of the ingredients right from your garden… if you have one!
- 1/2 pound dry conchiglie or penne
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 9 ounce box frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and quartered
- 2 cups green beans, cut into 3-inch pieces (6 oz.)
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup kalamata or black olives, crushed or quartered
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon chopped oregano
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 10 ounces orange, yellow and variegated tomatoes, cut into wedges
1. Cook pasta in lightly salted water and drain. Heat 1-1/2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add artichoke hearts and cook, stirring occasionally until golden, about 4 min.
2. Transfer artichokes to a large bowl, then cook green beans in skillet for 2 min. add beans to artichokes, and remove skillet from heat. To make vinaigrette; stir together vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in skillet, gathering browned bits from bottom of pan. Whisk in remaining olive oil.
3. Add pasta, olives, onion, oregano, thyme, and parsley to bowl with artichokes and beans and toss. Coat with vinaigrette, then gently stir in tomatoes. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
Berry Pineapple Slushy was a refreshing treat…and easy too!
In your blender, add 2 cups berries (I added a mixture of 1/2 strawberries and raspberries), 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 (20 oz. can pineapple, drained).
Puree in blender until smooth and then pour into a baking dish. Freeze overnight. Pull out 20 minutes before using. Scrape with a spoon and add desired amount to your cup. Add enough sprite or ginger ale to make your slushy!
Sweet treats must never be forgotten! I was proud not to over do it myself this time with the sweets. I made an adult treat and quite a special one for the kids!
Ice Cream So much Better!
I loved this idea and knew it was a must at our BBQ. The ‘sprinkle your cone’ idea can be used for any kid or adult party. Just fit to your color theme and the kids won’t be able to wait.
Also if you need a quick display, just use a regular dinner plate and mini tin to present like I did!
Anything that can put a smile on their faces is worth the extra effort!
While looking through my cookbooks, that most often sit on the shelf and are forgotten from time to time, I found this treat! It’s an Apple Pie sheet cake! It was easy and quick… just what I like. Since I’m not so great at making Grandma Grace’s famous deep dish apple pie, this one made me feel a little more confidant, especially for a bigger crowd.
Cookie Sheet Apple Pie
3 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cups shortening
3 eggs lightly beaten
1/3 cup milk
8 cups sliced peeled tart baking apples
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup crushed cornflakes
1 egg white beaten
In a large bowl combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add eggs and milk and mix to form a dough. Chill for 20 minutes.
Divide dough in half and roll 1/2 out to fit the bottom and sides of a 15x10x1 inch baking pan. Arrange apples over crust. Combine sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cornflakes and sprinkle over apples. Roll remaining dough to fit the top of pan and place over apples. Seal edges and cut slits in top. Brush with egg whites and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce to 350 degrees and bake for additional 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Happy Memorial Day