Memorial Day is always the last Monday in May.  It is of course the day to remember all the brave men and women who gave their lives in service to this great nation.

But it is also marks the beginning of summer, Yay!

Traditionally it’s the first day one can wear white colored pants (remember back in the day when wearing white pants was only acceptable between Memorial and Labor Days?).  It’s a day of rest and relaxation; a day to spend with family and friends; and a day to barbecue!

A Memorial Day barbecue was something I always looked forward to growing up in New York.  It was the first day my dad would fire up the backyard grill and the women would bring out all sorts of meats to grill, tons of side dishes, and my favorite part all the dessert!  Yes Memorial Day was a big deal at our humble home in Queens.

I’m not too sure if it was a big deal  because my grandfather was a Captain in the Philippine/American Army led by General MacArthur during WWII, or that my great uncle survived the forced march to Corrigedor with his fellow soldiers (American and Filipino) during that same war, or if we were just a house full of first generation immigrants thankful for the welcome we received from our newly adopted country and all the opportunities it offered.  Whatever the reason my family took to celebrating Memorial Day (and all the other American holidays) with a gusto only grateful immigrants can muster.  So for us a Memorial Day barbecue was a definite must!

Now a Memorial Day barbecue doesn’t mean you’ll just throw some hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, although you can if you like, it can be so much more fun!  You can decorate using a patriotic theme, grill all sorts of meats, have all types of sides, and whatever desserts your heart desires.  Think of your Memorial Day Barbecue as a trial run for the big event…your 4th. of July Barbecue!  Here are some ideas and recipes to get you started!

Decorate the front door (or anywhere) with a basket of flags!

Just grab a bunch of small flags from Walmart or Target and fill up a small basket and tack it to your door.  Or if you prefer grab some larger flags and fill up a basket you can place on the table top or even on the ground.

You can even stick the flags in potted plants!

Wood Pallets

Paint wooden pallets of any size in patriotic colors.  You can add a wooden star, or not, or paint on the stars if you’re so inclined.

You can get small pallets at craft stores or even Walmart’s craft department.  They make great wall or door plaques.

You can find larger pallets at home improvement stores or ask your local stores if they have any from their deliveries.  They’ll more than likely be happy to give you a pallet or two just so they don’t have to throw them away.

 

Mason Jars

Paint mason jars in patriotic colors using acrylic paints.  They make great vases and utensil caddies for your table.

Painted Cans

You can also paint cans to use as utensil caddies, napkin holders, vases, centerpieces, etc.

This is a cute and inexpensive way to decorate for your Memorial Day Barbecue.

 

 

Colored Water Vases

Don’t want to paint?  No problem turn clear jars or bowls into patriotic vases with food coloring.  So simple yet so pretty!

 

Of course the most important part of any Memorial Day Barbecue is the food!  Here are some yummy recipes you can try for your Barbecue!

Butter Burgers

Try these Butter Burgers they are the best burgers ever!

 

Click here for the recipe!

 

 

 

Kalbi Beef Kebabs

Looking for something other than burgers and dogs?  Try these Kalbi Beef Kebabs, they are awesome!

You can even use them to fill small corn tortillas.  Add some shredded cabbage and sprinkle with chopped green onions and you’ve got the perfect Kalbi Street Tacos!  Click here for the recipe!

Chipotle Lime Corn On the Cob

No barbecue is complete without some corn on the cob.

Try these Chipotle Lime Corn on the Cob, they are super delish!

Click here for the recipe!

 

 

 

 

 

Skillet Frozen Corn

Prefer your corn off the cob?  Try this Skillet Corn dish using frozen corn.

Use the same seasoned butter used in the Chipotle Lime Corn on the Cob (click here for that recipe)

Melt the seasoned butter in a cast iron skillet.

Add Frozen Corn

Sprinkle with 1 Tbs. Smoked Paprika and 1 Tbs. Chipotle Pepper Powder

Keep mixing the corn so it doesn’t burn and evenly distribute the seasoning.

When the corn is cooked sprinkle with chopped cilantro and squeeze the juice of 1/2 of a lime over all before serving.

Garlic Parmesan Asparagus Spears

Take advantage of summer veggies like asparagus.

These Garlic Parmesan Asparagus Spears are super easy to make in the oven.

Just take 2 lbs. spears with bottom ends cut off and arrange them in a baking pan.

Mix together: 1 Tbs. Lemon Pepper, 2 Tbs. Olive Oil, 1 Tbs. Minced Garlic and drizzle over asparagus spears.

Sprinkle with 1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake in 425º oven for 15 -20 minutes.

Click here for more Memorial Day Barbecue ideas and recipes!