Since appearing on the Today Show this week, I wanted to share some of the ideas I had from my segment + a few extras..enjoy the day and remember what a luxury it is to celebrate this holiday, thanks to the courage of others.
Entertaining for your friends and family this Memorial Day is all about easy and delicious recipes and fun, inexpensive design ideas to create a party to remember!
1.Make it an Outdoor setting-
A picnic table set up with umbrellas in red, or blue. Set as a buffet for guests to grab plates and napkins.
2.Make your ownTable runner in red and white check pattern - this inexpensive runner idea is actually just fabric cut with a pinking shears. Stack red, white and blue paper napkins in a small picnic basket.
3.Add a collection of jars filled with sand and blue votive candles - these glass jars can all be different. For an inexpensive and green stylist’s tip, reuse your empty jelly jars and glass containers in this design. Each jar will be filled with sand and a blue votive candle to unify the look and they will be placed down the table runner alternately with flag centerpieces- see # 4.
4.Centerpiece with small American flags in an enamel or galvanized bucket~ fill several enamel or galvanized buckets with sand, place several small American flags in the bucket (as you would flowers) and place on the buffet table with jar votives. You could use flowers with the flags, blue Hydrangeas are a great choice and then place flags into the flower cluster
5. Set up a self serve grill with“Chicken Grill-y Chili” - this is a summer chili with a hint of BBQ flavor and it can be served on a bun. Put the “Chicken Grill-y Chili” on the grill in an iron pot and stack chili bowls on the side of the grill with an enamel tray filled with corn wrapped in parchment, I know that chili is considered a winter dish, but this recipe is heavy on the bbq sauce and can be loaded into a bun.
BBQ Grill-y Chili
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound diced, cooked chicken meat
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (18.75 ounce) can tomatillos, drained and chopped
1 cup great jarred BBQ sauce
1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (7 ounce) can diced green chilies
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15 ounce) can white beans
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
In an Cast Iron Pot on a Gas grill:
Heat oil, and cook onion and garlic until soft.
Stir in BBQ sauce, tomatillos, tomatoes, chilies, and spices. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
Add chicken, and beans; simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with soft buns+ more BBQ sauce, on the side of the grill, much like a BBQ sandwich
Red white and Blue Coleslaw
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup Olive Oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 cup dried red currants or cherries
1 cup chopped raw almonds with skin
2 cups red cabbage, shredded
4 cups white cabbage, shredded
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
Whisk vinegar, oil and sugar in a large bowl, to the bowl, add shredded red and white cabbage, and sliced scallions, dried currants (or cherries) almonds, and toss with dressing and sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese
6.Buttered and salted corn on the cob in parchment paper- prepare fresh corn on the cob with butter and salt. Wrap the corn cobs in parchment paper, twist at each end, and then place on the grill to cook. About 15-20 minutes
7. “Mix and Match Raspberry Lemonade” offer flavored ice cubes, and fruit slices, to go with lemonade - i.e. mint, raspberry, or pineapple, lavender ice cubes and, slices of peaches, plums, fresh strawberries slices and blackberries.
Chill lemonade in a large pitcher (of course alcohol choices maybe offered as well like a sparking wine like Prosecco). And your guests can add their choice of flavored ice cubes and/or fruit slices to make their own custom “Mix and Match Lemonade”
8.Plan a fun activity! Pie-Eating Contest Station using mini pies~
Have a pie-eating contest, using miniature pies, apple, cherry, and lemon meringue, set up a contest for adults and kids. Using a timer set it for one minute and let the good times roll. (Make sure to place a glass of water next to each pie for participants)
9.Offer Each Guest A Poppy Pin in a basket at the door, maybe with a brief history printed and placed at the basket. The poppy pin a tradition that started during WWI, to remember and honor soldiers. http://www.cal-mum.com/poppy.htm
10. Bucket of small battery operated fans~ offer a bucket of small fans to guests to beat the heat in a enamel tray.