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Perfect Recipes for your Memorial Day Menu

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Whether you are hosting a picnic or attending one, I’m sure you have some cooking to do. If you aren’t cooking, I’m sure you will be picking up something pre-made at your local grocery store. I’m here to stop you from doing this! You will be surprised at how easy and affordable it can be to make up your own dish instead of buying one pre-made. I know that it’s tempting, but please try to have some self control! I know you can do it. We decided to spice things up today and provide a compilation of our favorite recipes for picnics, pot lucks and barbecues. We also have a brand new deviled eggs recipe that’s perfect for a picnic. It’s usually a crowd pleaser at any picnic I’ve ever attended. Also, if you are hosting a picnic, it’s important to know exactly what you will need without breaking the budget. Don’t worry. I’m here to help you each and every step of the way =).


If you are hosting:

The Food: We will start with food, since this is obviously the most important part. As you are the host of this get together, I find it best to always provide the meat, the essentials (such as condiments), rolls, maybe a side dish (or dishes) and a dessert. Then, when your RSVPers ask what they can bring, you ask them to bring another side dish and/or a dessert. I tend to enjoy themes. The last time we had a get together, we had a slider bar. We had chicken burgers, buffalo burgers and vegetarian sweet potato burgers (it’s always important to have something vegetarian if you know an attendee is vegetarian). We provided the condiments, rolls and essential veggies. Feel free to make a side dish or two, but have faith in your guests. They may just surprise you!

The Drink: Always provide non-alcoholic beverages. Plenty of water is necessary, as well as some juice and soda. I think it’s always fun to make a non-alcoholic cocktail. A couple of weeks ago we made a Cucumber and Mint Cocktail! Try it out…with or without alcohol! You can certainly do a BYOB. I think this is probably the best way to go if you are going to have a lot of drinkers, but I also don’t think it’s a bad idea to have a 12-pack of good beer on hand as well as a bottle or two of white and red.

The Decor: This is totally dependent on your personal preference. I don’t like to overdo it. I do, however, like to make sure the garden/yard/patio looks nice. Make sure all of those weeds are plucked. If you want to decorate for a picnic, I suggest picking up some planters and throwing some flowers inside. Flowers are such a fun and natural way to make a beautiful presentation. If you want a table setting, fresh cut flowers work perfectly, and I think those red checkered tablecloths are absolutely adorable. As far as cutlery, plates and cups are concerned, I am a big advocate of not using plastic products. I usually just end up using whatever plates, cups and utensils are in my kitchen cabinets. Yes, I do spend about an hour washing dishes. We have smaller parties though, so this tends to be doable when you don’t have as many plates to clean. I completely understand if you want to go the paper route, just make sure everything is recyclable and everything will be awesome sauce =).

The When: The day of the Holiday perhaps? In this case, Memorial Day Monday? I don’t think I need to go into depth on this. The Saturday or Sunday before will also work. =)

The Who: Be aware of how many people you want in your house or backyard at one time. We tend to like smaller picnics: between 10-20 people, but we just have more fun this way. If you want to go with higher numbers, then go for it! Just remember that you will need to provide for these people, but then again you will get more side dishes and desserts in the end! This part I will leave totally up to you! Also, spouses, families and puppies should always be invited along with the invitee!

The Dress Code: Dress code? No. That’s dumb. There should be no dress code, unless of course there is a chance of rain or the temperature randomly plummets to -10 degrees F. In this case, I would recommend you instruct your guests to bring a parka, umbrella and/or rain boots. Also, if you have a pool…well you get the point.

Perfect Recipes for your Memorial Day Menu

Cucumber and Mint Cocktails

Mini Crab Cakes with an Asian Plum Sauce

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Mexican Style Lamb Burgers

The Farmstead Cheese Board

Melon and Prosciutto Salad

Greek Style Couscous Salad

Turkey Meatball Sliders

Deviled Eggs with Hot Peppers…and Bacon =) (Recipe Below)

You can’t get anymore picnicky than deviled eggs, and we love them around here. We made a special batch yesterday with hot pepper, bacon and avocado sprinkled on top. Next time you make deviled eggs, get creative! It’s fun!

When you are going to select beer for a picnic (and specifically for this deviled eggs recipe) go for something that exemplifies Summer. Avery’s Karma Belgian Pale Ale is the perfect Summer beer. It’s light and refreshing, but doesn’t lack in flavor. Pick up a couple of 6-packs for your next together. Your guests will be super impressed =).

Well I hope this has helped in getting you prepared for your next picnic! Hope everyone has had a great weekend and has a great week!



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I’m the voice, author, creator, and photographer behind Cooking and Beer. We started things about 10 years ago and Cooking and Beer has morphed and grown into what it is today: providing hundreds of recipes to thousands of people.

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Hello! I'm Justine.

I’m a blogger and web developer from the beautiful state of Oklahoma, where my loving husband, two adorable kids, and two mischievous dogs keep me on my toes 24/7. My idea of heaven includes endless summer days, getting lost in a good book, and whipping up some delicious homemade bread.


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