Memorable Memorial Day Menu: Appetizers, Burgers, Sides and Desserts
Memorial Day is headed our way this Monday.
Do you have plans?
Most years around here some sort of BBQ is underfoot with hotdogs and burgers searing on the grill, side dishes galore, patriotic colored desserts being devoured, and Frisbees and Baggo bean bags being flung. This year, weather permitting, will be no different.
I’m still mulling over what I’ll make. Most likely a Thai pasta salad, a big, creamy bowl of potato salad and flaky cherry hand pies that are like the Hostess cherry pies of old, only with 100% fewer preservatives.
My recipe mulling lead me to pondering about posting a recipe recap full of dishes that are perfect for BBQs, picnics, and the like. And so here we are.
Let’s start at the very beginning. It’s a very good place to start.
How about trying these two simple dishes on for size? They’re both easy to pull together and receive rave reviews.
Honestly, I’ve been making this dip for over 25 years. It’s delicious and is one of those “dump, dump, stir” recipes that elicits way more “Oohs” and “Aahs” than the creator deserves since they hardly lifted a finger. But, for goodness sakes, don’t let on that it’s that simple. You’ll ruin it for all of the rest of us! Tell them that they deserved all of the trouble you went through, and quickly walk away.
Yum, yum, and yum again! There something incredibly deep, dark, and addictive with a smoky cheese. Serve it with crunchy veggies, and it’s a winner every time!
Sides and Salads
Next course – all of those lovely dishes that accompany the grilled meat. For me, these dishes are what the meal is all about. You can take your burgers and your hotdogs. Give me a few side dishes, and I’m a very happy girl.
These smoky chipotle baked beans are the . . . okay, yeah, again with the smokiness. I know. But sometimes smoked flavor just takes it to the next level. And sometimes, heading up to the next level is the only acceptable direction to go.
Try it, you’ll like it. Even Mikey would like it.
I made this for the first time a couple of years ago for a group of friends at Ravinia, a local picnic/concert arena. We packed a whole wagon full of supplies and food, got all set up and then realized that the bag of crushed up Fritos was still sitting on the counter all forlorn-like. Regardless, the salad was delicious even without them. Add the corny, crunchy topping, and it’s da bomb-diggity! (I’m really not in any way hip enough to be using that phrase, yet just see if that’ll stop me!)
This salad was born with BBQs in mind.
If you’re worried about a mayonnaise-based dish lasting out in the sun, this pasta salad with vinaigrette dressing is your friend. It’s tasty as all get-out too. And you know what, if there’s something in it that you don’t care for, just leave it out. It’s very flexible.
As I mentioned, I’m a “sides and salads” type of person. So, if I’m going to eat a burger, it had better be darn delicious. With jalapeños mixed inside the burger itself, and a super cilantro sauce drizzled over everything, this burger really fits the bill. It’s spicy and creamy and is topped with a toasted bun and crunchy bacon: a perfect choice for a holiday BBQ.
It’s Memorial Day: a day to remember and honor those who served in our military to protect our country. One way people tend to do this is to go all out Red, White and Blue. I’m not suggesting you release your inner Betsy Ross or anything, merely consider making this pretty, red Jell-O pretzel dessert. If you promise to restrain yourself, you can even add a few blueberries into the mix to get the full flag effect.
Do you promise?
Sweet and salty, crunchy and creamy – this retro dish has it all!
And last, but by no means least, take a look at this Snickers Cheesecake in a Jar.
It travels well, and is super tasty to-boot. I once made it for two picnics in one week, it’s that darn delicious.
What’s not to like about chocolate, caramel, whipped cream and cheesecake?
So there you have it. Any of these options are sure to be a hit at your upcoming celebration.
Do you have exciting plans? Are you watching a parade or two? Honoring a loved one who fought for our freedom? Noshing with friends and family?