Memorial Day Barbecue Ideas & Recipes

Memorial Day Barbecue Ideas & Recipes

Memorial Day Barbecue Ideas

Memorial Day rings in the first days of summer which means it’s time to fire up the grill!  Many folks like to take advantage of the summer months to bring entertaining outdoors.  I’m fortunate enough to live in Hawaii where it’s always summer so we do most of our entertaining outdoors year round.

Barbecues can be as simple as throwing burgers and dogs on the grill or as elaborate as grilling ethnic specialties.  You can grill just about anything, meats, seafood, and veggies.  If you’re looking to ramp the your barbecues and are looking for something other than burgers and dogs here are some ideas for your next barbecue.  Click on the photos for recipes!



Memorial Day Barbecue IdeasBefore you toss that first steak on

the grill you may want to brush up on your grilling skills.  Here’s some grilling tips from Real Simple, it covers everything from grilling burgers to veggies.

Chicken is one of my favorite things to grill, here’s a yummy recipe from the Proud Italian Cook.

This yummy looking chicken dish is grilled upright on beer cans.  A novel way of grilling a whole chicken by Cooking with Sugar.
Somehow grilled meats, seafood, and veggies always seem tastier when skewered on sticks.
Here’s one of our favorite Greek dishes, Chicken Souvlaki.  This recipe tastes just like the ones we have at a Greek Taverna whenever we’re in Greece.  The


chicken is tender, moist, and tasty.  The secret’s in the marinade!Memorial Day Barbecue IdeasHere’s my easy recipe for Beef Kabobs.  You can whip it up in minutes.Makes 12 Skewers3 lbs. Filet Mignon or Sirloin – cut into 1′ cubes
1 container mushrooms – washed and dried
1 Green Pepper – cut in large pieces
1 large onion – cut in chunks
1/2 cup. Olive oil
1 tsp. Rosemary
2 tsp. minced garlic
Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper to tasteAlternate meat cubes with the veggies on metal or bamboo skewers.
Baste with oil mixture as you grill.  Cook to desired doneness.  Serve immediately.This Korean BBQ Shish Kabobs from Menu Musings is one of my favorites.  Served with white rice it’s delicious!I’ve also made this into mini tacos, they taste just like my favorite Korean Beef Tacos from the food truck in LA!To make into tacos marinate the whole flank steak and grill without cutting.  Cut into small pieces after it’s cooked, place in fresh small corn tortilla and garnish with shredded raw cabbage.  Yum!For more tender meat I use boneless beef shortribs.  Click here for my kalbi kebobs!

Or skip the sticks and grill bone-in beef shortribs.  Here’s a recipe from Big Flavors From a Tiny Kitchen.

If chops are more your thing try this Lemon Basil Grilled Pork Chops from Bitz N Giggles.

Moo Ping, grilled pork, is a popular Thai street food.  Here’s a recipe from Cool Cat Hot Food.

If pork tenderloin is more your thing try out this Bacon & Jalapeno Stuffed Pork Loin from Spiced Blog.

These Garlic Balsamic Lamb Chops from Rock Recipes look tender and tasty.

I don’t eat lamb, I don’t even like to prepare it, but my family all love lamb.  This Lamb Souvlaki recipe from Jo Cooks may have changed my mind.  It’s marinated in Greek spices then grilled, taking away some of the gaminess I smell when preparing.  It looks just like the ones my family eats in Greece!

I may not like lamb, but I sure do love lobsters!  This simple recipe for grilled lobster from Lobster Lovers Blog is one of my favorites!

Another on of my favorites is grilled shrimp.  This super easy pShrimp Kebob goes great with my Beef Kebobs for a Surf n’ Turf dinner.  Here’s the recipe!Makes 6 Kebobs1/2 lbs. jumbo shrimp – shelled and deveined, leave tail on
1/2 cup Italian salad dressingMarinate shrimp in dressing overnight.
Put marinated shrimp on skewers.
Grill until they turn pink.  Do not over cook, shrimp will shrivel up and get hard.
Serve immediate.  Totally yummy!

For lighter fare try this Grilled Salmon with Dill Butter from Simply Recipes.

Here’s an interesting way to eat watermelon from Stay at Home Chef.  Cilantro – Lime Grilled Watermelon.  Looks fabulous!

Try this grilled Halloumi Cheese Skewers from Kalyn’s Kitchen as a side dish or main course.

If you’re grilling steaks then mushrooms are a must.  These Mushroom Skewers by Dinners and Dreams would be perfect!

Memorial Day Barbecue IdeasKraft RecipesDon’t think you can only grill meats and Kabobs, you can grill whole meals.  These foil wrapped shrimp and rice dinners from Kraft Recipes are not only yummy they make clean up a breeze.





Memorial Day Barbecue IdeasLife Made

DeliciousTake a page from a camper’s recipe book and grill meals wrapped in foil.  Try this Grilled Pineapple Chicken Kabob Pack from Life Made Delicious.



Memorial Day Barbecue IdeasSavvy Nana’s CornerSometimes even the best steaks need a little sauce. Try
my Balsamic Vinegar & Mushroom Steak Sauce, it is delish!









Memorial Day Barbecue IdeasGrilled Blueberry Lemon Pie from Electic Recipes, sure looks like summer to me!Share some of your favorite grilling recipes with me!  I love to try new things!













12 Meatless Recipes for Lent

12 Meatless Recipes for Lent

We are definitely in the Lenten season.  Lent is the 40 days (not counting Sundays) before Easter Sunday.  Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday.

To many Christians Lent is the season for fasting, abstinence,moderation, repentance, and spiritual discipline.  Not all Christian churches observe lent, but I know Catholics definitely do.  Growing up in a Catholic family meant that Lenten traditions were always observed.  In my family fasting and abstinence were mandatory every Fridays during Lent.  This means that on Fridays during Lent one fasted and abstained from eating meat.

I’m all for meatless Fridays!  We have at least one meatless day every week so abstaining on Fridays isn’t a hardship.  What is a hardship is finding meatless dishes that everyone in the family will enjoy.  Many people think that meatless mean one can only eat vegetables, not so.  During Lent one must abstain from eating meat; beef, pork, lamb, and chicken.  But one can eat fish, shellfish, and of course veggies.

To me meatless days whether it be during Lent or not, is a time to try new recipes and different types of cuisine.  Meatless, to my grandson’s delight, does not mean Vegan.  Here are 12 of my favorite meatless meals.  They’re yummy during Lent or anytime of year.

LentSpinach & Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shells

This is very popular with my grandsons, specially Devon who never eats anything green!  Once the shells are smothered in pasta sauce and topped with a layer of mozzarella cheese you can’t see the spinach.  He actually loves it.

I serve it with garlic knots for an extra yummy meal.  Click here for recipe! [spacer height=”-20px”]





LentBaked Manicotti

If you can’t find large pasta shells then try this Baked Manicotti.  It’s really the same thing as the Spinach & Cheese Pasta Shells, just a different shaped pasta.

Click here for recipe!  [spacer height=”-20px”]




LentEscabeche – Filipino Sweet & Sour Fish

This delicious Filipino dish is a bit fussy to make, but it’s well worth the effort.  My son-in-law Joel loves it!

Click here for recipe!  [spacer height=”-20px”]




LentSalt & Pepper Shrimp

This crunchy shrimp dish is a family favorite.  It’s a big hit at parties too!

Click here for recipe!  [spacer height=”-20px”]




LentBaked Shrimp Scampi

Here’s a new twist on a time honored recipe.  I love it because you can prep it in advance.

Click here for recipe!  [spacer height=”-20px”]




LentTorta Talong – Filipino Eggplant Omelette

This is a beloved Filipino comfort food.  It’s meatless and delicious.  Not to mention pretty easy to make.

Click here for recipe!  [spacer height=”-20px”]




lentShrimp Sour Soup – Sinigang na Hipon

Surprisingly this soup is one of my grandson Devon’s favorites.  He even eats the green veggies!  In English it’s called a soup, but it’s really a Filipino main dish served with rice.


Click here for recipe!  [spacer height=”-20px”]



lentShrimp Braised in Peanut Sauce – Kare- Kareng Hipon

I love Kare-Kare anything!  This Filipino stew can be made with beef, pork, chicken, seafood, or just veggies.  The shrimp version is one of my favorites!

Click here for recipe!  [spacer height=”-20px”]






LentCrab in Coconut Milk

This is a delicious crab boil, that is if you don’t mind cracking crab.  I love the dish but hate cracking crab.  That’s why I think it’s an appropriate Lented dish for me, it’s meatless and cracking crab can be a penance for the day!

Click here for recipe!  [spacer height=”-20px”]


LentSquid Adobo

This might be way  beyond your comfort zone.  But if you’re an adventurous foodie you may love this squid dish.  It’s pretty good with steamed white rice.

Click here for recipe!  [spacer height=”-20px”]


LentCauliflower Fritters – Em Shaat

This simple Middle Eastern dish is a family favorite.  Have it with Arabic Salad for a filling meal.

Click here for recipe!  [spacer height=”-20px”]






lentVeggie Stir Fry

I love this veggie dish!  It’s colorful, tasty, and healthy.  It’s made with fresh veggies, yummy!


Click here for recipe!





The Perfect Roast Beef

The Perfect Roast Beef

Roast BeefHave you ever wondered why your Roast Beef has never come out perfect?  No matter if you followed every step of the recipe the Roast Beef still ends up just a bit overdone, a bit dry, or too bloody and not quite how you expected?

I know there are tons of recipes out there using all sorts of methods.  Some insist you cover the roast in foil during baking to keep the juices in; others insist you don’t salt the meat until after it’s cooked; then there are those that say slow roasting at lower temperatures is best for a tender juicy roast; some give you a chart of roasting times based on the weight of the roast; and still others require the use of a thermometer to determine the interior temperature of the meat.

Yup it gets complicated and confusing.  Cover the meat or not?  Stick in a thermometer or not? That is assuming you have a meat thermometer, and you really should!  Salt or not?  Well worry no more I have the answer and the method to help you make the perfect Roast Beef!  I’ve been doing this for years and it hasn’t failed me yet!

Let me begin by saying most folks who followed the recipe didn’t realize that one important step they took for granted is the reason why the roast beef is just a bit overdone or not done enough!  Most recipes or charts give you oven temperature, roasting time, and standing/resting times.  That’s all good, but most folks aren’t really sure why Stand/Rest times are important.  (By the way even grilled steaks need to rest before serving!)

Yes, REST!  Many of us don’t realize that meat continues to cook internally even AFTER we remove it from the oven.  So if the roasting chart says cook your 4 pound roast beef in a 350° oven for 2 hours then let rest or stand for 20 minutes that means that your roast isn’t done when you take it out of the oven, it continues to cook during the rest time.  In fact the internal temperature goes up 10° during the resting time.  Or if you poke at the roast (admit it most of us do) and see bloody juices leak out you decide it’s underdone and leave it in the oven a bit longer, trust me  by the time you serve your roast beef it will be overdone and dry.

Ok, now that you know about resting let’s make the perfect roast beef!  No need for roasting charts and not need for thermometers (unless you really want to know the meat temperature before serving).

Here’s what you need:

Roast Beef – any size, any type will work.  I prefer bone-in rib roasts when I can find it, otherwise boneless rib roasts work just as well.

Roasting pan

Roasting rack

Seasonings – I use garlic powder, rosemary, sea salt, ground black pepper

That’s it!

What to do:

If meat is frozen thaw it out in the refrigerator 2 days before you need to cook it – this depends on the size of the roast, the larger the roast the longer the thawing time.  So time it that the meat is thawed by the night before you cook it.

1.  The night before cooking the roast beef unwrap the meat, but save the label that has the weight on it.  You will need to know the weight!

2.  Place the meat on a tray fat side up.  Leave meat uncovered in refrigerator overnight.  This will dry out the surface and helps make that nice crust on the roast beef.

3.  3 Hours before cooking remove the meat from the refrigerator and let stand on the counter uncovered.  This will bring the meat to room temperature.

4.  Pre-heat oven to 500° and keep it at this temperature for 30 minutes before you cook.  Once the oven reaches 500° set your timer for 30 minutes.

5.  Now figure out your roasting time.  To do this you’ll need the weight of the meat (remember we saved the label with the weight on it?).  Remember the number 5, this is the number you will multiply the weight by.  The answer to this simple math equation is the number of minutes you will keep the meat in the oven with the oven turned on at 500°

For example:  Meat weighs 6 pounds.  Multiply: 6 x 5 = 30.  Your meat will be in the over at 500° for 30 minutes.

6.  Season your meat.  I like to rub generous amounts of the spices I use over the fat to form a nice crust.  I also rub the spices all over the meat.

7.  Place your roasting rack in your pan and place meat fat side up on the rack.

8.  By now your oven should have been at 500° for 30 minutes.  So place the pan of meat in the oven and shut the door.  Set the timer for the number of minutes you figured out in step 5.

9.  When the timer rings turn the oven off.  DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR!

10.  Leave the roast in the hot oven for 2 hours.  DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR AT ANYTIME DURING THIS 2 HOURS.

11.  Remove the roast beef from the oven and serve.  Because it has been sitting in the oven for 2 hours this roast does not need to rest it should come out of the oven slightly medium rare.

This method is great if you want your roast beef medium rare, which is really how roast beef should be served in my opinion.  If anyone wants it more done it’s easy enough to throw that person’s piece in a frying pan and cook it til it’s done how he or she prefers.  In short it’s better to under cook than over cook.

roast beef


Mother’s Day Tea Party – FREE Recipes

Mother’s Day Tea Party – FREE Recipes

Mother's Day Tea PartyI think my most favorite meal is afternoon tea even though it’s a meal I rarely get a chance to indulge in these days.

On childhood visits to my grandparents house in the Philippines my grandmother always made sure everyone was home for “merienda”, the Filipino version of afternoon tea.   The light meal was always served on her wrought iron kitchen table at 4:00 p.m.  I don’t recall actually having tea, I think my grandfather did, but kids were served juice or hot chocolate.  I do have fond memories of small savory sandwiches which must be eaten before one could move on to the sweet treats.

These days afternoon tea for me is a decadent indulgence.  The only time we ever have a real tea complete with finger sandwiches, petite fours, and scones is when we’re on vacation, a birthday, or Mother’s Day.  I love it when my kids take me to tea on Mother’s Day.

This year instead of taking mom out to an overcrowded restaurant why not host an elegant tea party?  It can be an intimate tea for 2 (mother/daughter) or an elegant tea party for all the moms (mom, grandmas, aunts, etc.).  Hosting a tea is one of the simplest events to host, it doesn’t take too much prep time and best of all once the table is set the hostess can sit down and enjoy the meal with her guests.

Afternoon tea doesn’t have to be extravagant, it just needs to have the basics served in pretty dishes and tea cups:  tea, finger sandwiches, small sweets, scones, jam, and clotted cream, and of course lemon, sugar, and cream for the tea.  Turn these basics into an elegant meal by serving the tea in pretty teapots and dainty china tea cups and setting out the finger food on tiered stands and cake plates.  (You don’t have to invest in expensive cake or tiered stands, to learn how to make them click here!)

Here are a few ideas and recipes for your own tea party!

Mother's Day Tea Party

The Perfect Cup of Tea

Honest Cooking will show you how to make and serve the perfect cup of tea. They also have tips and ideas on hosting a very British Tea Party.  Click here to read more.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

Mother's Day Tea PartyDainty Finger Sandwiches

Traditional teas always seem to serve cucumber sandwiches; the cucumbers are briefly bathed in white vinegar to bring out the delicate flavor.  To make the Traditional British Cucumber sandwiches click here!

Or try this alternative from Chew Out Loud, Lemony Cucumber Cream Cheese Sandwiches.  [spacer height=”-20px”]

Mother's Day Tea Party

Aside from cucumber sandwiches you can offer a variety of sandwiches; different fillings on different types of bread looks pretty and yummy.

These finger sandwiches from Southern Living are curried shrimp, ham salad, cucumber strawberry, and orange cranberry.  Click on the sandwich for the recipes from My Recipes.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

Mother's Day Tea PartyAdd some interest to your tea party by mixing in a couple of open face sandwiches.  These Salmon Cucumber sandwiches from Cin Cin, Let’s Eat look too pretty to eat.  For recipe click here!

You can make many types of open face sandwiches using different fillings including egg salad, roast beef, or whatever your favorite fillings are.[spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

Mother's Day Tea Party

Sweet Treats

Along with savory sandwiches sweet treats are also served at tea time.  You can include cookies, petite fours, truffles, and any of your favorite bite sized sweets.  These mini tarts from Salad in a Jar will make a great addition to your tea table.  For recipe click here![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]

Mother's Day Tea PartyFrench macaroons add an elegant touch to a tea table.  You can purchase them the bakery, but that can be pretty pricey if you need plenty, or make them at home, I hear that’s pretty challenging.  I buy the frozen ones from Trader Joe’s, they’re very good and cost only $4.99 for a box of 12.

To learn how to make French Macaroons from Juneberry Lane click here!  [spacer height=”-20px”]

Mother's Day Tea PartyScones!

Don’t forget the scones, a tea party wouldn’t be complete without them!  Here’s the basic recipe from First Home Love Life, you can doll it up with dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc.
For recipe click here!

Remember to put out bowls of jam and clotted cream. Click here to learn how to make your own clotted cream from The View from the Great Island. [spacer height=”-20px”]


Mother's Day Tea PartyYou can also offer lemon curd along with jams.  Here’s a recipe for homemade lemon curd  from
Love Bakes Good Cakes! [spacer height=”-20px”]

Whatever you decide to serve remember that once the tea is
brewed most of your hard prep work is done, so sit down with your mom and enjoy a nice visit over a delicious tea!

Mother's Day Tea PartyHere’s a FREE printable Banner & Party Kit from Oh Happy Day.  You can use it to spruce up your Mother’s Day Tea!

Click here for printable!

20 Easy Peanut & Peanut Butter Recipes

20 Easy Peanut & Peanut Butter Recipes

March is National Peanut Month and March 1 is Peanut Butter Lover’s Day.



When we think peanut and peanut butter we usually picture PB&J sandwiches on fresh white bread, peanut butter cookies, peanut brittle, boiled or roasted nuts, and other candies and snacks.  But there is much more to peanut and peanut butter than that; peanuts play a major role in many types of cuisine, special Southeast Asian cuisine.


In honor of National Peanut Month and Peanut Butter Lover’s Day here are some recipes for you to try. Just click on the picture or name for recipe.


Peanut Butter
Crock pot Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal


Peanut Butter

Rainbow Peanut Noodles


Peanut Butter

Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing



Peanut Butter

5 Ingredient Thai Peanut Beef



Peanut Butter

Grilled Peanut Chicken


Kare – Kare (Braised ox tail in peanut sauce)

I make this dish using either short ribs or chicken. Click here for my  Braised Short Ribs in Peanut Sauce recipe!



Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter Cookies



Peanut Butter

Microwave Peanut Brittle



Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter Brownies



Peanut Butter

DIY Peanut Butter Cups



Peanut Butter

Two Ingredient Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream



Peanut Butter
Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie



Peanut Butter

Low Carb 5 Minute Peanut Butter Mousse



Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter Rice Krispies