Memorial Day is almost here, so now is the time to plan the menu for your upcoming celebration. If you’re hosting the get-together this year, don’t miss adding these tasty items to your party.
Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday of May, honors the men and women who have died while serving in the U.S. Military. It began in the years following the Civil War and first became an official federal holiday in 1971. With this history in mind, add some flag-inspired foods to your Memorial Day menu. Here are a few tasty options:
American Flag Pie. American Flag Pie is a stunning dish. Made from a mix of red fruit (raspberries, strawberries, or currants, for example) and blue fruit in the upper left-hand corner, this dish is sure to please the eyes as well as mouths and bellies. Find the recipe here.
Red, White, and Blue Cupcakes. Rather than a tedious pie, you could whip up a batch of cupcakes and frost them in festive red, white, and blue colors. Arrange them together on a plate in the shape of the flag in order to convey the patriotic vibe with your cupcakes.
American Flag Cheese Spread. If you love cream cheese and crackers, fix up this cheese spread to serve at your upcoming barbecue. It’s easy to bring in the flag theme by adding a few stripes of salsa or (another condiment) and some carefully placed olive slices in the left corner.
Though the recipe calls for plain cream cheese, why not customize the ingredients? Here a few ideas to get you started:
Italian Style Flag
Cream Cheese Mix-in:
Sliced Black Olives
Taco Style Flag
Cream Cheese Mix-in:
Salsa & Guacamole
Black Olives or Jalapenos
Alaskan Style Flag
Cream Cheese Mix-in:
Chopped Dill and Scallions
Smoked Salmon Strips
The great thing about Memorial Day picnics (besides the fact that they’re outdoors) is that they don’t require a great deal of fussing. For this reason, keep the menu simple so you can enjoy the weather and your loved ones:
Fruit Salad. Easy to toss together from a mixture of grapes, melon, berries and more. Consider skipping the forks and skewer the fruit on kabobs for a nutritious, beautiful and fun dessert.
Potato Salad. Dress up this classic dish with a bit of dill and half the serving of mayo. Throw in some chopped hard-boiled eggs or smoky bacon for an extra punch of protein. In the event that you are short on time, buying baby-sized tots will by-pass chopping and peeling.
Chips and Dip. Party dips are a Memorial Day must-have, but they require a sturdy chip! Today, we’re fortunate to have a variety that includes heartier chips, chip scoops/cups that are better suited for dipping.
Pasta Salad. Served cold, pasta salad is an appetizing side, yet hearty enough to stand-alone. Add proteins like diced chicken or ham, and sneak in veggies like grape tomatoes or roasted broccoli. Stir in some Italian vinaigrette or mayo with a ranch packet and watch the crowd go wild.
Cole-Slaw. Immunity-boosting cabbage offers a variety of nutrition and wellness benefits. For this reason, slaw is a smart idea. Soak shredded cabbage, carrots, and thinly sliced peppers overnight in a red wine vinaigrette and top on sandwiches or enjoy a classic mayo-based recipe as a side.
If you live in a place where Memorial Day also marks the start of some delicious local delicacy, be sure to serve that up at your barbecue, as well.
Fresh local fruit, veggies, produce, and other products can make your Memorial Day celebration that much more memorable. Additionally, seasonal food is great for adding some local flair, as well as a rustic touch.
Pro-Tip: Sweet and juicy blueberries are in full bloom, and even have a star in the center. It doesn’t get more festive or delicious than that.
The drinks are just about as important as the food for any Memorial Day celebration. By all means, be sure to offer up a few varieties, and a couple signature cocktails, like the following:
Watermelon Sangria. The balance of crisp white wine, tart watermelon flavored liquor and fresh crushed watermelon is a summer-sipping favorite. The pale pink color looks gorgeous with a slim triangle melon slice on the rim. Find our recipe here.
Spiked Pink Lemonade. A grown-up twist on a summertime classic, this tart and tangy option stands up to a spike of citrus vodka, silver tequila or a berry liqueur. Garnish with lemon wheels in a pitcher or sit them on the rim. Here’s the recipe we love.
Blackberry Mojito. Cool off with the iconic taste of freshly muddled spearmint leaves. With a seasonal berry spin, this blackberry mojito starts with rum and is balanced by a simple cane sugar syrup and a fizzy soda water topper.
Now that you’ve got the menu set, ensure your party goes off without a hitch with these smart tips. It’s important to realize that keep it simple, makes it fun. For this reason, don’t try to do too much. Instead, keep your guest list, plans, and menu straightforward. This creates a more positive experience for everyone:
- Save yourself some work of by asking friends and loved ones to bring dishes.
- Use paper plates to cut down on your cleanup and ensure the supply count is enough for your guest count.
- Set everything up for self-serve and make utensils or other needs easy to find by using labels.
- If you’re planning an outdoor party, plan for crappy weather. This may mean renting a tent or being prepared to move the party inside.
- Plan a few fun games to keep your guests entertained at your Memorial Day celebration: Lawn games, a scavenger hunt or relay races work for all ages.
An Unforgettable Memorial Day Weekend
If you’re planning a Memorial Day party, these smart tips can help you stay organized and happy throughout. By celebrating the history of the event, offering plenty of tasty food and drinks, and keeping your guests occupied, you can throw a memorable Memorial Day party that your guests will be talking about for years to come.
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