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Cooking with Liz: Memorial Day must haves

If you haven't noticed in my previous posts, I love to throw themed parties. And celebrating our country and its' heroes is one of the best reasons to throw a party that I can think of - so I thought I'd share some red, white and blue, Memorial Day-inspired party tips! Food Hot dogs, hamburgers and all the fixin's are normal Memorial Day staples, but making one specialty dish that's all your own (or secretly borrowed from an awesome blog, cough cough) will make your Summer Kick-off BBQ stand out!

My favorite meal to make on the grill is homemade Buffalo Turkey Burgers. Form patties out of ground turkey meat mixed with some spices (I use 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp old bay, 2 tsp chili powder, 2 tsp breadcrumbs, 1 egg and a squirt of ketchup) and cook on the grill until the meat is 165 degrees F inside and crispy outside.

Then dip entire patty in your favorite buffalo hot sauce. Place hot sauce-drenched patty in between a potato bun along with grilled onion, tomato slice, lettuce and blue cheese crumbles and serve with your favorite sides.


Another great recipe that's a little different than plain ol' hot dogs is Larry's Grilled Flatbreads - keep an eye out for Larry's post. He'll be sharing his secrets in the first week of June!

Drinks Both of these drink recipes are refreshing, festive and delicious!

Blue Margarita * 1 oz blue curacao * 2 oz tequila * 3 oz sour mix OR fresh lime juice, fresh lemon juice and simple syrup (1 oz each) * Rim glass with red Pop Rocks and garnish with lime wedge

Cut a lime into 4-6 wedges and coat glass rim, then dip rim in red pop rocks - they'll give it a festive look and a firework-like pop! Mix all parts in a shaker. Shake vigorously. Pour in rimmed glasses and enjoy!

Cherry lemonade * 2 oz cherry vodka * 4 oz lemonade * Splash of grenadine * Garnish with maraschino cherry Simply pour all ingredients over ice and enjoy!

And I didn't forget the kids, check out this red, white and blue mocktail made especially for them.

Fun garnishes: use the same star-shaped cutter used for the brownies (below) to cut out some pineapple or melon to put in drinks for an extra star-spangled touch.

Desserts My favorite dessert recipe for a patriotic holiday is one I found on Pinterest - brownie kabobs! Simple to put together and super festive - stick some strawberries, blueberries, marshmallows and star shaped brownies on a stick, drizzle with chocolate and viola! A beautiful, delicious and festive treat!

Decorations Get some great decorating ideas - everything from creative drink trays to a unique hot dog buffet table - at our Barbecue Fun Pinterest board. There are also additional recipes and BBQ ideas if you're looking for more inspiration.

Games So, you have the look, delicious food and drinks, but now what to do? Break out the games! Ladderball, bocciball and cornhole are my favorite backyard games. If you're crafty like my fiance, you can even make your own cornhole set up. Otherwise, ladderball can be found at most sporting good stores.

Also check out Brian's National BBQ Month post for some great recipes!

What do you have planned for the summer kick-off weekend? Share some of your ideas here!

School's out for summer!!!!

The century mark