Perfectly Patriotic Recipes for Memorial Day: Snacks, Sweets & Sips

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Nothing kicks off summer better than a Memorial Day BBQ, complete with sweet and savory summer snacks, treats and cocktails.

Not only is Memorial Day a time to gather with friends and family to welcome to warm summer months, it’s also an important holiday that recognizes the members of our troops who have died in the line of duty. In honor of our fallen soldiers, and to show some American pride, I’ve rounded up some of our favorite patriotic recipes that are perfect for Memorial Day.

So get out those red, white and blue cups, plates and napkins. Hang up your flag, and get inspired to honor our troops (and kick off summer!) with these delicious themed sweets, sips and treats.

For a salty snack, try making your own tortilla chips instead of relying on those plain old bagged ones. This Star-Shaped Homemade Tortilla Chips recipe from our Kitchen Living expert Coryanne Ettiene is the perfect thing to snack on for Memorial Day. Dunk in some guac, salsa or your favorite cheesy dip for a satisfying snack.

For a fun, fruit dessert that makes an impressive display, try these Berry Trifle Shots. They look gorgeous displayed in glass shot glasses, and are delicious individually-served treats. A simpler dessert option are these cute Red, White and Blue Ice Cream Bars. Just dunk your favorite ice cream sandwiches in some colorful sprinkles for a patriotic treat!

And don’t forget about the cocktails. This Raspberry Bellini is a delicious and fruity sip . Who doesn’t love sangria? Instead of the standard red variation, try this patriotic Red, White and Blue Berry Sangria recipe. The berries give it a patriotic kick, and the sangria itself won’t stain your beloved summer clothes!

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Red, White & Blue Mason Jar Salads

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Memorial Day has always been one of my favorite holidays. The weather is the perfect temperature, friends and family are happy to have a day off of work to spend together, and people pause to remember the important things in life: things like freedom and liberty that we are all so thankful for.

These Red White and Blue mason Jar Salads are the perfect easy way to celebrate this Memorial Day! Easy to transport and oh so delicious, they’re fun for the entire family!

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups spring mix lettuce
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 4 tablespoons poppy seed dressing
  • 2 mason jars

Directions

To assemble your mason jars, start by pouring in 2 tablespoons poppy seed dressing. Top with 1/2 cup strawberries, 1/4 cup feta, 1/4 cup blueberries, and finally 1 cup lettuce. Repeat with the second mason jar.

To eat, pour mason jar contents into a bowl and toss if necessary.

Makes: 2 servings

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More Fun Patriotic Ideas:
American Classic Buttercream-Frosted Cookies from Cheryl’s
Patriotic Popcorn from The Popcorn Factory
Flag Cake from Harry & David

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Skinny Cinco de Mayo Cocktails: Low-Cal Margaritas & Daiquiris

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Indulging in some delicious tequila cocktails and chips and salsa is one of the best parts of celebrating Cinco de Mayo. But sipping on a delicious frozen strawberry daiquiri or margarita on the rocks doesn’t have to be diet suicide.

Some of our favorite Mexican-inspired cocktails can easily be made skinny with a few minor adjustments. Cutting back on unwanted sugar and calories not only makes for a lighter drink, but also an easier cocktail to sip on (without the risk of a pesky sugar-induced stomach ache). Although you can easily buy some ready-made low-cal margaritas, such as Skinnygirl’s original or white peach margarita, mixing up your own drink at home allows for some delicious customizations. Take a look at some of our favorite skinny Cinco de Mayo cocktails, and get inspired to make some for you and your besties this year. (Bonus: These taste so good, your guests will have no idea they are low-cal!)

Super Skinny Margarita

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A margarita is the quintessential drink of Cinco de Mayo. And if you prefer your lime and tequila beverage on the rocks rather than frozen, then this Super Skinny Margarita recipe from Family Fresh Meals is for you. This simple cocktail is made with fresh-squeezed lime and orange juice, and Sparkling ICE Lemon Lime water for a low-calorie, yet delicious cocktail.

Frozen Strawberry Peach Skinny Margarita

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If frozen margs are more your style — and you like a little fruit infusion — then this Frozen Strawberry Peach Skinny Margarita, also from Family Fresh Meals, is the perfect option. The “skinny” in this recipe comes from the frozen strawberries and peaches (easily found at any grocery store), and some sparkling water. Add some tequila and crushed ice, and you’re good to go.

Skinny Strawberry Daiquiri

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Another favorite frozen treat is the strawberry daiquiri, which is usually packed with sugar and calories. Luckily the tasty rum-based drink gets a light makeover from bell’alimento, with a little help from Bacardi Light Strawberry Daiquiri Mix and some fresh additions.

Skinny Sunrise Cocktail

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A tequila sunrise looks as good as it tastes. But the colorful layers of orange and red come from orange juice and grenadine — two high-calorie cocktail ingredients. Lighten it up with this recipe from Iowa Girl Eats. It uses fresh ingredients diluted with club soda, for a taste that’s delicious but not too sweet.

Skinny Beer-Garita

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Sometimes, I’ll order a frozen beer-garita on Cinco de Mayo just because I like drinking a frozen cocktail with a beer bottle sticking out of it. Classy, I know. But you can avoid that diet-killing restaurant version with this Skinny Beer-Garita from Eat Yourself Skinny. It’s made with homemade frozen limeade, light beer (I like Corona Light) and Stevia. Serve in a cute mason jar or tumbler (obnoxious beer bottle not needed).

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Breakfast in Bed is So Over: 8 Ways to Upgrade Your Mother’s Day Brunch

Moms deserve to be celebrated every day, but especially on the one day of the year that’s all about them – Mother’s Day! Make sure it’s extra special by celebrating early in the day with a thoughtful brunch.

Show mom just how much you appreciate her love and compassion over the years with a full brunch setup, complete with fresh flowers, colorful cocktails and delicious recipes. Check out all of our favorite ideas for upgrading your typical (read: boring) into something fun and special she’ll never forget.

1. Set up a Bellini Bar


 
Brunch isn’t complete without mimosas and bellinis. But why limit your bubbly to just one flavor? Set out a variety of fruit purees and sparkling wines in a beliini bar so mom can mix and match her very own cocktail.

2. Create Specialized Wine Labels


 
You’ll need sparkling wine for those mimosas, right? Make the bottles even more special by creating specialized wine labels. It will be a fun surprise when she notices a custom label just for her right on the bottle!

3. Craft the Ultimate Bloody Mary


 
If Bloody Marys are more of mom’s speed, make the ultimate bloody mary complete with her selection of fun garnish. Start with a tasty homemade Bloody Mary mixer, and give her the option of liquors. We recommend jalapeno tequila for a Jalapeno Bloody Maria. Better yet, set up a Bloody Mary Bar for mom to make herself. (We like DIY bars, can’t you tell?)

4. Make Bite-Sized Chicken and Waffles


 
Chicken and waffles are a standard brunch dish, but bite-sized chicken and waffle sliders are creative and tasty. With mini waffles and chicken nuggets, you can assemble these tasty bites. Drizzle with maple syrup and serve on a skewer for the ultimate brunch treat.

5. Serve It in a Skillet


 
Skillet dishes are pretty trendy right now (and they make for great Instagram photos, if we’re being honest). Make something that’s not only delicious, but also looks great to serve, like this Raspberry French Toast Casserole. Plus, by baking it and serving it in the same dish, you back down on prep and clean-up time. That’s more time you can spend with Mom!

6. Use Flowers as a Gift & Decor


 
Fresh flowers make for the perfect present for mom, but they shouldn’t be limited to just a gift. Incorporate them into your brunch table, like we did with this Floral Embrace arrangement from 1-800 Flowers. Feel free to break up the arrangement into smaller arrangements.

7. Jazz Up Your Arrangement with DIY Vases


 
Keeping in theme with dressing up your brunch with flowers, make it even more special by making these Gold-Dipped Vases. Your colorful flower arrangements will really stand out, and the vases double as gifts for mom.

8. Finish it off With a Colorful Dessert


 
Don’t forget to serve something sweet for mom! These mini fruit pizzas are chocolate chip cookies topped with cream cheese and fresh fruit for a colorful and delicious dessert.

More Ways to Make Mother’s Day Special:

Send a Simple Sophistication arrangement from 1-800 Flowers

Pamper Mom with a Spa Gift Basket from 1-800 Baskets

Feed Mom’s sweet tooth with the Traditions Tower from Fannie May

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Bold, Bright, & Beautiful: How to Host a Sunny Springtime Celebration

Spring is the perfect celebration season! Check out some of our favorite springtime ideas to host the perfect bright and sunny family celebration!

The beginning of spring is one of my favorite times of the year: I can break out the florals, bright yellows, and pretty pinks! It’s the perfect time to celebrate with family and friends, too. The weather’s getting warmer and the days are getting longer! It can be tempting to have a garden party–but even though the sun is stronger, it might not be quite warm enough to keep everyone outside just yet! Follow these tips to bring the outdoors in, and celebrate the start of spring with a bang!

Don’t Be Afraid of Whimsy

Part of the magic of spring time is that it’s whimsical–there’s a natural buzz in the air! Capture that with some beautiful, whimsical decorations. Don’t worry: we’ve got plenty of DIY options so you’re not shelling out tons of cash!

Balance with Pastels

A good vibe is all about balance: make sure that you’re balancing your bright colors with pretty pastels! We’ve got all the ideas you need here.

Fresh Food and Drinks

Spring for me is about finally taking a break from hot or heavy foods–soups, pot pies, and decadent slow-cooker meals can be put on the backburner for a while. Introduce some new, light recipes and delightful drinks with your celebration (bellini recipes get a special nod)!

Add a Little Charm

Small touches are what bring any party together; this Southern luncheon was riddled with tiny touches that helped to amplify the springtime theme! Check it out for some inspiration!

Spring-ify your Desserts

Cookies and cakes never go out of season! Keep your desserts festive with a little help from Cheryl’s: their adorable arrangements, like this “flower” jar set, are perfect for any springtime dessert table! Don’t ! worry–if cookies aren’t your thing, we’ve got more ideas here!

Embrace Spring Wreaths

Wreaths aren’t just for the fall and the winter! a pretty wreath on your door can help guests know exactly what type of celebration they’re attending, and help spread even more cheer! Check out our favorite spring wreaths here.

Don’t Forget the Flowers!

Flowers are the best way to seal the deal with springtime decorating. Hit up 1800Flowers for all of your arrangement needs–like this warm sunset bouquet, or this watering can arrangement. The flowers will help bring your entire table together!

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Marbleized Easter Eggs: Step-by-Step Dyeing Tutorial

Dyeing Easter Eggs is one of the most fun activities to enjoy with your family during the Easter season. If you’re looking to wow your friends and family with a new and fun way to dye Easter eggs, these marbleized eggs will do the trick. They look totally impressive, but they’re actually pretty easy to make!

There is just one quick extra step in creating these eggs compared to traditional dyed Easter eggs, but the step is simple, fast and completely worth the outcome.

To create these Marbleized Easter Eggs, all you need to do is dye your eggs one color, and then after allowing them to dry, dye them again in a different, darker color. The addition of oil in the second dye with allow the egg to create a marbleized look. Either dye the eggs yourself and set them out as beautiful decor, or involve your friends and family and allow them to create their own unique marbleized eggs! It’s a fun twist on a classic family Easter activity, and even the kids can help out!

SUPPLIES

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Shallow containers or cups
  • Warm water
  • White vinegar
  • Food coloring
  • Vegetable oil
  • Spoon
  • Drying rack

DIRECTIONS

Step 1: Place 3/4 cup of warm water in a shallow container. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar and about 10 drops of food coloring to the water. Use a lighter color food coloring for this batch.

Step 2: Place the egg into the container and make sure it is completely submerged. Allow the eggs to sit in the dye for 5 minutes.

Step 3: Remove the egg from the dye and place it on the drying rack to completely dry.

Step 4: In a different shallow container, place 3/4 cup of warm water. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, and about 10 drops of a different color food coloring to the water. Be sure to use a darker color food coloring for this batch.

Step 5: Submerge the egg into the container and roll it around in the dye. Then carefully pick up the egg and spoon the dye over the complete surface of the egg.

Step 6: Place the egg on the drying rack and allow the dye to dry completely. Because of the vegetable oil, the outside of the egg will continue to look wet even after the dye dries. Once you know the dye is dry, use a paper towel to wipe the oil off the egg (I recommend waiting at least 30 minutes).

Step 7: Repeat with as many different colors and combinations as you like.

More Family-Friendly Easter Activities

Easter Cookie Decorating Kit from Cheryl’s Cookies

Popcorn Egg Decorating Kit from The Popcorn Factory

Chocolate Easter Egg Hunting Kit from Harry & David

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Keep it Eggciting: 8 Easter Egg-Inspired Treats

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Easter eggs are perfect in many forms; hard-boiled and dyed, colorful plastic and filled with treats, or even ceramic collectibles. But if you were to ask us our favorite way to enjoy Easter eggs, it would be to eat them.

No, not the actual eggs (although peeling off the colorful shells and eat them hard-boiled is certainly plausible); there has been a recent surge of sweets, treats and recipes all inspired by colorful Easter eggs. From frosted cookies to surprise Rice Krispies Treats, we have rounded up our favorite ways to enjoy the best treats of the Easter season – all in egg form!

1. Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

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Dipped in dyed white chocolate and covered in pretty icing designs, our Easter Egg Chocolate-Covered Strawberries make for an impressive Easter treat. Who says chocolate-covered strawberries are just a romantic dessert?

2. Popcorn-Dipped Eggs

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Popcorn balls shaped like eggs? How cute is that? These Popcorn-Dipped Eggs from The Popcorn Factory are a mix of salty and sweet with popcorn dipped in sweet confectioners coating and sprinkles with colorful sprinkles.

3. Colorful Kids Easter Egg Punch

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Egg treats don’t necessarily have to have an egg shape. This kid-friendly punch recipe is inspired by the tie-dyed colors of Eater eggs, all in one delicious drinkable glass. Serve in a clear cup or mason jar to really show off the layered colors!

4. Egg Carton Cutout Cookies

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These buttercream-frosted cookies are sweet enough, but the egg carton packaging just makes them irresistible. The collection of pastel-colored Egg Carton Cutout Cookies from Cheryl’s will make a pretty edition to any Easter celebration.

5. Surprise Easter Egg Rice Krispies Treats

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Not only are these Rice Krispies Treats shaped like Easter eggs, they also come filled with some surprise candy, just like the plastic Easter eggs you found as a kid! Drizzle with colored icing and sprinkles for a fun, festive treat.

6. Mini Brownie Cakes

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If you aren’t a pro in the baking department, then these Easter Egg-Shaped Mini Brownie Cakes from 1-800 Baskets are right up your alley. Perfectly iced in bright pastel colors and designs, an order of these will really impress your family – and make the Easter Bunny jealous!

7. Chocolate Macaroon Nests with Easter Eggs

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Chocolate macaroons are surprisingly easy to make, especially in the shape of nests. Top these chocolate nests with some small candy Easter eggs for the perfect themed and seasonal treat.

8. Chocolate Marshmallow Eggs

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Marshmallow and chocolate is a common pairing around Easter, and we can see why. Fluffy marshmallow covered in delicious milk chocolate, what could be better? Order these Milk Chocolate Marshmallow Eggs from Fannie May for a more sophisticated (yet equally delicious) Easter egg dessert.

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Dirt Pudding Cup Dessert Bar

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Pudding dirt cups are the quintessential kids treat. Chocolate pudding serves as the mud, crushed up chocolate cookies for the dirt and gummy worms and candy as the creepy-crawly toppings. So what can be better than a delicious pudding dirt cup for your kids? A dirt cup bar!

Let your kids (and hungry adults) mix and match their favorite toppings to layer on top of the “dirt.” For this DIY bar, I assembled the chocolate pudding and crushed cookies ahead of time, and set out a variety of candy toppings to stay in theme with Easter; gummy worms, jelly beans and marshmallow bunny Peeps. I also left out some candy for the grown-ups, such as Fannie May Dark Mint Chocolate pieces.

The final result are these adorable candy cups that look fun and festive, and are just as delicious to eat as they are to make! Display some already made so guests can get some creative inspiration.

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Heart Rice Krispies Treat Pops

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There are so many things I love about the idea of a Rice Krispie Treat on a stick. It’s a sticky treat that is even easier to devour when it’s on a lollipop stick so you can forgo some of the mess.

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Plus, Rice Krispie Treats are super easy to whip up, and transforming them into a fun and pretty Valentine’s Day treat is just as simple. Cut them into a heart shape with a heart cookie cutter, and decorate these to your heart’s desire. I went with simple sprinkles and I love how these turned out. They could be wrapped in individual bags and given out as Valentine’s; everyone loves a Rice Krispie Treat!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package of pink marshmallows
  • 6 cups of Rice Krispies
  • 4 tablespoons of butter
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • 9×13 pan
  • Sprinkles (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Melt butter and marshmallows in a saucepan.

Put 6 cups of Rice Krispies in a large bowl and add the melted butter and marshmallows into the bowl. Mix until well coated.

Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray.

Spread the Rice Krispie mixture into the pan. Add sprinkles if you want. Cool slightly.

Use cookie cutter to cut out heart shapes.

Place lollipop sticks into the heart treats.

Makes: About 10 pops

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More Heart-Shaped Valentine’s Day Treats:

Buttercream Frosted Valentine Cutout Cookies from Cheryl’s

Rich and Delicious Heart-Shaped Brownie Cakes from 1-800 Baskets

Champagne Truffles in a Heart Box from Fannie May

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Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Inspired Dessert Cocktails

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On Valentine’s Day, nothing is as romantic (and delicious!) as a box of chocolate-covered strawberries. Whether you’re planning to send them to your sweetheart or as a little present to yourself, try pairing a tasty chocolate-covered berry with one of these signature dessert cocktails.

Recently I had the opportunity to taste some Fannie May Chocolate-Covered Strawberries. Juicy, huge strawberries dipped in famous Fannie May Chocolate tasted delicious! I got the Love and Romance Box, which has all the best flavors in one.

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With so many delicious flavors in one box, I was inspired to create some tasty dessert cocktails to complement the chocolate-covered berries. These cocktails are rich and sweet, which means they are perfect as a dessert drink to enjoy along with your berries!

Strawberry Champagne Martini

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One of the prettiest berries in the box was the Pink Champagne-Infused White Chocolate Berries with Gold Sugar. And not only did they look amazing, but they tasted great too. I decided to take the more delicate flavors of champagne and strawberry, and infuse them together in one bubbly, beautiful cocktail. I came up with the Strawberry Champagne Martini, which is light enough to enjoy before or after dinner – with your berries, of course!

White Chocolate Cream Martini

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I am a huge white chocolate fan, so it was a no-brainer coming up with a tasty white chocolate cocktail insppired by the White Chocolate Covered-Strawberries with Dark Chocolate Drizzle. The little hint of chocolate syrup was all it took to transform this White Chocolate Cream Martini from good to amazing.

Double Chocolate Swirl Martini

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The Tuxedo White and Milk Chocolate-covered berries are always a huge hit because they equally pair the best of both worlds: white chocolate and dark chocolate. Although it’s hard to achieve that perfect contrast in a glass, I mixed white and dark chocolate liqueur together to create the Double Chocolate Swirl Martini. As your pour the drink together, watch the colors swirl in the glass. It makes for a rich, decadent dessert drink!

More Strawberry Bliss:

Strawberry Floral Margarita from 1-800-Flowers.com

Strawberry and Vanilla Cream Popcorn from The Popcorn Factory

Edible Strawberry Bouquet from Fruit Bouquets

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