Memorial Day

Waffle Fry Burger Bites!

Waffle Fry Burger Bites

Waffle Fry Burger Bites are perfect for patriotic noshing since we pledge allegiance to small bites, allowing us the freedom of snacking over the long holiday July 4th weekend!

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They’re good anytime in the summer too for a small bite to satisfy a burger craving, if you want to save calories on bread, or for those that are Gluten-Free since the waffle fries are the bun!

I found this idea for the ‘fry’ bun on Pinterest so I can’t take credit for this fun fry-burger-bite idea :)

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I used Ore-Ida frozen waffle fries for the convenience. I did have to pick through the bag to find the right size ‘buns’ but that means there are more fries for snacking, not a problem for a French Fry-oholic :)

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Follow the direction on the package for baking your frozen fries in the oven. I baked my fries 15 minutes at 425 degrees F instead of 450 as directed on the bag.

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 Top your fries with your preferred burger toppings or allow your guests to build their own! We made these several times of the course of the weekend, making our hamburger paddies and baking our waffle fry-buns as needed. Caramelized onions are a delicious addition too along with bacon.

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Fourth of July Sipping: Red, White and Blue Sangria!

Red, White & Blue Sangria

 In anticipation of celebrating the Red, White & Blue,

I mixed some sangria with patriotic sipping

and celebrating in mind for Independence Day!

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This is an easy beverage for summer sipping & serving,

adjusting the flavors and fruit to your

palate, party, and guests!

It only takes five minutes to assemble in a large pitcher. You can mix it an hour to two in advance of serving if using berries, or up to 24 hours if using less delicate fruit like peaches, apples or oranges, to infuse the sangria with their fruity flavor.

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I found this handy Anatomy of Sangria chart,

courtesy of Wine Enthusiast Magazine for a quick

reference for mixing your

next batch of summer sangria!

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The combinations are endless with your choice of mixers, fruit, juice, wine & liquor. Most sangria calls for brandy, rum or triple sec, I used a citrus vodka for this Fourth of July batch.

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To celebrate the Red, White & Blueberry

here’s a refreshing combination

that I highly recommend . . .

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Red, White & Blue Sangria

Ingredients

2 – 3 cups mixed berries (I used strawberries & blueberries)

1 bottle Pinot Grigio, or white wine of choice

1/2 cup Pomegranate juice

1/2 cup citrus flavored vodka

16 oz bottle of lemon-lime soda (I used diet)

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Slice strawberries and add blueberries to a large pitcher. Add wine, juice and vodka. Refrigerate until serving, 1 – 2 hours or up to 24. (Berries look & taste best if served within 1 to 2 hours).

Just before serving add chilled lemon-lime soda to pitcher and mix well. Fill glasses half full with ice, add sangria and fruit.

You can find a printable recipe here.

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I prefer drinks that aren’t too sweet so the diet lemon-lime soda added just enough sweetness for me, but exercise your Freedom and Independence and add additional sweetener, agave, simple syrup or sugar if desired :)

 Happy Summer Sipping

and Independence Day!

Red, White & Blue Sangria

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Anchors Aweigh for Memorial Day: Red Velvet Cupcake Sailboats

Red Velvet Cupcake Sailboats

I’m Weighing Anchor and Sailing into

Memorial Day Weekend

with Red Velvet Cupcake Sailboats

for a sweet & patriotic bite!

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Memorial Day kicks off 

boating season at the lake and

is the unofficial start of summer!

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So it seemed only fitting to hoist paper sails for a regatta of red, white and blue cupcakes! Sails are scrapbook paper squares, folded into triangles, and bamboo knot picks make a handy mast.

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I’m a fan of doctored cake mixes, so I used a Duncan Hines Red Velvet mix for the cupcakes, substituting buttermilk for the water, 4 eggs instead of 3, and the same amount of oil called for in the mix.

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Follow the directions on the box and fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. I use an ice cream scoop for easy filling. Bake cupcakes according to the directions on the box, 16 – 19 minutes until they test done with a toothpick inserted in the center. You can find a 5-star rated cream cheese frosting here, or if you don’t object to frosting in a can, I like the convenience and taste of Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Cream Cheese Frosting.

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In case you’re in need of more recipes

or ideas to float your boat :)

click on the links for the recipe or a taste!

Lemon Basil Shrimp Salad

with Basil Leaf Sails

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Watermelon, Pecan, and Gorgonzola Salad

Cobb Salad Boats with Basil Leaf Sails

Cobb Salad Boats

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Watermelon Fruit Boat

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Caprese Stacks, topped

with Basil Leaf Sails

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However you celebrate,

remember and give thanks

for those who serve & protect us.

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Wishing you a Safe & Happy Memorial Day. . .

From Our Boat to Yours!

Red Velvet Cupcake Sailboats

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Celebrating the Red, White and Blueberry: Patriotic Berry Trifle

Patriotic Berry Trifle

Patriotic Berry Trifle is a quick and easy dessert

to celebrate the Red, White and Blueberry!

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Trifle is my go-to dessert, I usually make one or two, a couple of couple times a year to send to my hubby’s office for birthdays. It’s an ideal dessert for me to send since it’s make-ahead, easy to assemble, and a crowd-pleaser! Best of all, no baking is required when you pick up a ready-made pound cake or angel food cake in the grocery. You can assemble it as far ahead as the night before it’s being served or just a few hours in advance.

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With Memorial Day on the horizon, I used a medley of strawberries in season, blueberries and blackberries.

No recipe is required and it’s easy to customize your trifle with fruit, cake flavor, and vary the layers with your choice of custard, pudding, lemon curd, whipped cream or a combination!

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Start with an angel food or pound cake

from your grocery store bakery.

Cut your cake in cubes, layer with berries. . .

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I used alternating layers of whipped cream and a mixture of lemon curd and light cream cheese.

For two cups of lemon curd, I mix (2) 8 ounce packages of light cream cheese. Use room temperature cream cheese for easier mixing. Adjust the ratio of cream cheese to lemon curd to your taste, whether you want it more cream-cheesy or more lemony. 

Easy Microwave Lemon Curd

You can find an easy microwave

lemon curd recipe here.

Patriotic Berry Trifle

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Berry Caprese Bruschetta

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Berry Caprese Bruschetta is a perfect

summer appetizer with berries in season. . .

Perfectly Patriotic too with the red, white & blue

from the strawberries, mozzarella and blueberries!

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I adapted Southern Living’s recipe for Strawberry Caprese Salad to celebrate the Red, White and Blueberry! The addition of the blueberries adds a little sweetness and color just in time for your July 4th celebration.

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Quick and easy to throw together with an hour or two of chilling time to allow the flavors to meld.

Slice and grill or toast a baguette and serve with a bowl of your berry-mozzarella medley and let your guests help themselves!

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Ingredients

3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 small garlic clove, minced (I omitted and used a garlic pepper seasoning blend instead)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1 (8-oz.) tub fresh perline “pearl-size” mozzarella cheese balls
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
2 cups fresh blueberries

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Preparation

Whisk together white balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, brown sugar, salt, and freshly ground pepper in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved. Add olive oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until smooth.

Add 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil and mozzarella cheese balls; toss to coat. Cover and chill 2 hours. (I was impatient and hungry and only chilled mine an hour :)

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Stir in strawberries; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve with toasted French bread baguette slices.

Garnish with additional thinly sliced fresh basil.

You can find the original recipe from Southern Living here.

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Cobb Salad Boats

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We’re Sailing into the Summer

with Cobb Salad Boats!

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Mini Cobb Salad bites of romaine leaves, with Cobb salad ingredients~ diced or shredded chicken, bacon, blue cheese, avocado, egg, and tomato.

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Topping our boats with

Basil Buttermilk Dressing

and a Basil Leaf Sail!

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Basil Buttermilk Dressing Ingredients

Makes about 1 cup, or 4 to 6 servings

1 small garlic clove

Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup well-shaken buttermilk

1/3 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

Mince garlic and mash to a paste with salt using a heavy knife.

Whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, basil, and garlic paste in a small bowl. Chill, covered, 1 hour to allow flavors to develop.

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To keep our boats from capsizing, I used half a grape tomato under the boats and moored :) them with a toothpick!

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Wishing You Smooth Sailing. . .

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and Calm Seas as You

 Sail into Summer!

boats

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Red Velvet-Berry Cobbler

Red Velvet-Berry Cobbler

 Red Velvet-Berry Cobbler was in the Lazy Day Cobbler section

in last year’s July issue of Southern Living Magazine.

I was too lazy to cobble one together last year,

so I made Almost Red Velvet Berry Cobbler instead. :)

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It was definitely on my list of summertime favorites

 to make this year, so with Memorial Day

and the kick off to summer on the horizon,

I cobbled one together!

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Quick, oh so good, and the star of your Memorial Day or July 4th celebration with its red, white, and blue if you top it with Vanilla or Cream Cheese Ice Cream!

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Start with 6 cups of fresh berries~

whatever ratio you prefer.

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Toss the berries with a mixture 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.

Spoon into a lightly greased 11 x 7-inch baking dish.

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Mix your batter and pour over your berries.

Bake at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes and let stand on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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Ingredients

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 1/4 cups sugar, divided

6 cups assorted fresh berries (I used mainly blackberries,  blueberries, and 1 cup of raspberries)

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons red liquid food coloring

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

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Preparation

 Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together cornstarch and 1/2 cup sugar. Toss berries with cornstarch mixture, and spoon into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.

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 Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy; gradually add remaining 3/4 cup sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Stir in red food coloring and vanilla until blended.

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 Combine flour, cocoa, and salt. Stir together buttermilk, vinegar, and baking soda in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. (Mixture will bubble.)

Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

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Beat at low speed until blended after each addition.

Spoon batter over berry mixture.

Red Velvet Berry Cobbler

Bake at 350° for 45 to 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake topping comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes.

You can find a printable recipe, here.

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However you celebrate Memorial Day,

remember our military men and women

who protect and serve us!

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Anchors Aweigh for Memorial Day

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Memorial Day kicks off the summer 

boating season on the lake! 

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Although we generally refrain from boating on major holidays to avoid the crowds, we have been known to weigh anchor early in the morning or enjoy a late evening cruise.

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 In anticipation of the holiday, I’m setting sail into summer with  appetizer boats and wooden buoys from Pottery Barn for a nautical and patriotic table!

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A “ready-refill” at Lowe’s was proudly hailing its patriotism with a combination of  white petunias, red verbena, and blue lobelia.

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   Drop your refill in your pot, and anchor some flags for quick decorating & smooth sailing into the holiday weekend!

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I found an Americana Plaid Seersucker Tablecloth from Kohl’s to top a red quilt for the table. Baskets serving as chargers were brought ashore from HomeGoods several years ago.

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Flatware, resembling rope, adds a nautical

touch along with mini glass buoys.

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Red, white & blue striped napkins from World Market are casually knotted on the port side of the basket.

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We filled our boats with a recipe from Southern Living’s collection of Quick & Delicious Summer Salads for an easy summer meal after watching a regatta on the lake last summer.

Help yourself to a taste of Lemon Basil Shrimp Boats~

 Shrimp Salad with a Lemon-Basil Marinade.

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 And Watermelon, Pecan, and Gorgonzola Salad~

 A refreshing summer salad and a combination I have had before, with the exception of Pepper Jelly Vinaigrette~ a  surprisingly delicious addition, which added just a little heat in contrast to the salty cheese and sweet melon!

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The newest ship added to our fleet,

found docked at HomeGoods~

a boat cooler for beverages.

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Of course Memorial Day has a much more important significance than boating & picnics. . .  it commemorates U.S. soldiers who died while in military service.

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First enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War, it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.

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A day to recognize, reflect, and remember

how fortunate we are to live in freedom.

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Anchors Aweigh Table Details:

Dishes/Food Network™ Cafe Red & Blue Dinnerware, Kohl’s

Americana Plaid Seersucker Tablecloth/ Kohl’s

Goblets/ Dollar Tree

Flatware & Napkins/ World Market

Baskets & Boat Cooler/ HomeGoods

Buoys, Appetizer Boats/ Pottery Barn

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Wishing you a Safe & Happy Memorial Day!

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Celebrating the Red, White, and Blue

We Celebrated the Red, White, & Blue

with a Memorial Day Picnic~

Stars and Stripes were the Guests of Honor!

And a little retro fun~ plaid & portable~ was provided by this metal picnic basket I found at World Market~

  Mini MoonPies and vintage-style seltzer waters arrived, but unfortunately RC Colas were unable to attend :)

 Parchment paper checked basket liners, and galvanized metal pails, also from World Market served up snacks and drinks~

A galvanized bottle caddy from Pottery Barn, is fitted with jars so it can tote napkins, flags, flatware, & flowers with ease~ and  gets pulled into service frequently!

You can see it Picnicking with Pumpkins here, and here, toting BBQ Sundaes last Memorial Day.

(World Market also has a 4-bottle caddy available now, you can find here.)

I found patriotic baskets at Dollar Tree~ just the right size for serving a sandwich & chips or jars of salads~ along with a side of Sparklers and a MoonPie :)

Our salads in jars are not traditional Memorial Day fare, but a little less filling so there’s room for dessert!

Tarragon Chicken Salad ~ chicken, halved red seedless grapes, tarragon, chopped pecans, celery, and mayo~ mixed to your ratio of preference, and seasoned to taste.

And pasta salad~ pasta with chopped sundried tomatoes, black olives, marinated artichoke hearts, feta cheese. Toss with vinaigrette or Italian dressing.

Patriotic Berry Trifle~

Layers of angel food or pound cake, berries, and pudding.

Instead of pudding, I like to mix a jar of lemon curd with 8 oz. of light cream cheese to layer between the cake and berries.

 While we had our fun in the sun, Memorial Day is more than picnics and recreational boating~

A day to recognize, reflect, and remember

how fortunate we are to live in freedom.

Thank you to all our military men and women who protect and serve us~

We are humbled and grateful for you and your families’ sacrifices.

Celebrating the Red, White & Blue Picnic

 Plaid Picnic Basket/ World Market

Checked Paper Basket Liners, Galvanized Buckets, Round Tray, RW&B Striped Napkins/ World Market

Patriotic Baskets, RW&B Straws/ Dollar Tree

Galvanized Picnic Caddy/Pottery Barn

Flatware/ HomeGoods, several years ago

Hope your celebration was happy!

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How Dogs Celebrate Holidays

A little boating~

Some snacking . . .

These special treats courtesy of this bonnie lass, Sadie~

Sadie, whose mom Sarah, knows cinnamon & oatmeal and

peanut butter & blueberry are the best flavors

at Woof Gang Bakery :)

Thank you Sadie & Sarah!

Wishing you a Safe & Happy Memorial Day

with plenty of treats!

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