Perfect Salads, Sides and Desserts for Entertaining this Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Menu Ideas

      This year Memorial Day weekend is a little extra special for Dan and I we are expecting our first child and as of right now he's a week overdue.  So.... Monday night at 7 pm I have to check in to the hospital to have this baby!  Excitement and nervousness I guess are the best words to express how we're feeling but I don't think there are any true words to sum up how we feel right now.  
    The last few months have been a little hard so I have not posted many new recipes but I have a stack of recipes in the works and once i figure out what I'm doing being a new mom I'll be back to sharing what I've been cooking at home.
Wish me luck and any advice all would be much appreciated!  

I have compiled my favorite picnic style menu items that would be perfect for this weekends entertaining or for occasion this summer!  

Just click on the recipes titles for complete recipes! 

Grilled Poblano Fingerling Potato Salad

This is not your mother’s potato salad! I boosted up the flavor with this wonderful
dressing made with blended grilled poblano peppers and jalapeno. It has great heat which balances nicely with the vegan mayo and lime.

Summer Panzanella Salad

I can’t think of a better salad to make with your summer vegetable surplus. So simple and elegant  -summer vegetables, some delicious crusty day old bread and good extra virgin olive oil...Perfection.  
I've made this for catering, at home and on vacation..It’s always a hit!
Make sure you use good quality bread, you want a boule or a type of bread that has a great crust something that will hold up to the vinaigrette.  This is a same day type of salad,  it’s really losses a lot of  it’s texture overnight in the refrigerator.  This recipe make about 3.5 quarts, it’s perfect for a crowd.

Grilled Fresh Corn With Smokey Chile Aioli

Grill that delicious corn right on the grill, this way the sweet corn kernels get a smoky-grilled flavor, there’s no need to blanch it first, stovetop grill or outside grill- just peel, remove silk and place right on the grill. Simple as that! Then top the hot grilled corn with a homemade chile lime mayo and fresh cilantro. In the worlds of a great American Yum-o! 


Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes With Lemon Frosting

Lemon and blueberries...  A classic combination and reminds me of early summer.  Delicious lemon “pound cake” with a layer of fresh blueberries and creamy lemon frosting and it’s vegan.  This is a great cake recipe, I’ve doubled it for layer cakes, substituted lime, pink grapefruit  or orange... Works great with all!  
When I was catering in 2004 there were no vegan bakeries or cupcake shops, we did it all in house.... Birthday cakes for kids with allergies, vegan weddings, bridal and baby showers, I alway took great pride in saying “sure we can do that!” and then hanging up and thinking how am I going to do that....There were lots of long nights, tear and cakes ending in the trash but you can’t give up and you learn from your mistakes and at this point after twelve years  I think I could make any dessert vegan and taste just as delicious as the original.  I hope you like this one.

Peach and Biscoff Brown Betty

The Betty is very simple -layered fruit and a crumb mixture and then baked in the oven...That’s it, easy.  Any and every seasonal fruit would work, pears for the fall, cranberries for winter, strawberries for spring, stone fruits for summer.  The crumbs are traditionally made with day old bread and it makes a fantastic crust but think about pretzel crumbs, cookie crumbs, dried pound cake crumbs, use what you have on hand.     

I wanted to make a Brown Betty with peaches that I just picked up from the farmers market on Saturday and when I think of peaches I think of warm spices like cinnamon and ginger.  So I thought of Biscoff  Cookies, the cookie of choice on Airlines in the 1950s. They have a wonderful flavor spice flavor of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and are naturally dairy free.   I can find them at my local supermarket but if you can’t find them graham crackers would work great as well!


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