Sprinkles elevate an everyday dessert like this simple chocolate mousse into something special. Glittery red cinnamon sugar and vanilla mini marshmallow bits add a kick of flavor, while the subtle color of these pretty blue jimmies comes from natural dyes. So sprinkle without abandon and make even everyday celebrations sparkle like it’s the 4th of July.
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Who needs fireworks when you can celebrate America’s birthday with a sweet bite of red, white and blue? These flag desserts will make the perfect patriotic conclusion to your backyard gathering with family and friends.
Ina Garten’s Flag Cake (pictured at top)
Topped with rich cream cheese frosting and seasonal summer berries, this cake is the best centerpiece for your July Fourth celebration. Make the easy vanilla sheet cake ahead of time, and decorate it with berries and frosting just before serving.
If there’s one thing that dads seem to love, universally, it’s meat. Following closely in second place would be beer (or maybe beer comes first if he’s a vegetarian or other type of meat abstainer). So a lager-filled barbecue is a no-brainer for the ideal (if obvious) Father’s Day celebration. But if Dad isn’t aware of the magically transformative powers of beer in cooking, you just might knock his socks off by braising some meats in his favorite brew.
Beer Can Chicken
Beer can chicken is the sort of classic you might not think to serve when Dad’s got steak on the brain. But trust that he won’t be disappointed by the incredibly moist, crackly-skinned chicken that results from this silly-looking yet effective cooking technique.
Don’t be late to the game: Father’s Day is right around the corner, so it’s time to start planning a thoughtful meal to impress your favorite guy. If he’d rather be outside and your home lacks outdoor space, then pack up the spread and take it to the park for a picnic. You’re guaranteed to win him over with a hearty main, a classic drink and an indulgent dessert. Find out how to put a picnic-friendly spin on some timeless recipes that Dad is sure to love.
Barbecue Pulled Pork (pictured above)
Spending Father’s Day in a hot kitchen is no picnic, so choose a main dish that’s quick and easy. This aromatic batch of pulled pork requires only 20 minutes of prep work, and your Dutch oven (or slow cooker) will take care of the rest. Treat the pork to a variety of sweet and spicy seasonings, like brown sugar and chili powder, then let it cook up in a flavorful bath of chicken broth and tangy apple cider vinegar. When building the sandwiches, throw in a crunchy element by topping each with Dad’s favorite slaw.
No matter how you choose to spend your Memorial Day, eating red, white and blue foods is a good way to get in the patriotic spirit, especially when you start it off at breakfast. Gather together with family and friends over the long weekend and dig into our favorite flag-inspired dishes all day long.
On a day like Memorial Day, classic American dishes deserve special attention. And since no cookout is complete without a bevy of seasonal sides, it’s only right to show your patriotism by including a national staple: pasta salad. Celebrate the holiday weekend with any of these five summer pasta salads guaranteed to feed a crowd. Planning a picnic? No problem. These recipes are mayo-free and perfect for toting to the park.
Garden Pasta with Bocconcini (above)
When it comes to pasta salad, campanelle, Italian for “little bell,” is often overlooked. This pasta has a lovely flower-evoking shape that’s incredibly festive for a summer party or picnic. Though campanelle may look delicate, it’s just as hearty as penne and fusilli — the more-common pasta salad stars. Here, it’s tossed with substantial vegetables and bocconcini for an ample summer side.
Grilling season officially kicks off next weekend, and we’re here to make sure your Memorial Day cookout is better than ever. Start with one of the simplest things you could possibly throw on the grill: hot dogs. There are probably a million possible hot dog combinations. First you’ve got your bun options: honey wheat, potato, bolillo, baguette. Then you’ve got your options for sauce, cheese, veggies and other toppings. Finally, you’ve got your choices for the dog itself: veggie, chicken, Ball Park Frank, organic grass-fed beef … and sausages, oh, the sausages! Actually, all hot dogs are sausages, but we tend to put the spicier variety in its own category.
Summer party spreads like picnics and potlucks are an excellent opportunity to put your creative snacking skills to use and experiment with inventing new and exciting hot dog combinations, or host a summer soiree with a preloaded DIY hot dog bar to get your guests’ juices flowing.
Check out the full gallery for all 12 unexpected hot dog toppings.
The Pioneer Woman says it herself: Fried chicken is the perfect picnic food. Once it’s fried to crunchy, juicy perfection, this classic Southern favorite is just as good at room temperature as it is hot, so pack it up for your very first picnic of the season for on-the-go eating.
Just in time for Memorial Day, the inaugural day of outdoor eating, Ree Drummond’s Fried Chicken recipe gives you the golden, moist fried chicken you crave. By coating buttermilk-soaked chicken in seasoned flour that’s combined with buttermilk and milk, then frying the pieces in oil at the perfect temperature (360 degrees F, that is), you get the most crispiest, most-delicious fried chicken ever. After watching the video above, do it Ree’s way once and you probably won’t take your fried chicken any other way again. It takes just one bite, while you’re sprawled out on a picnic blanket outside, to see why Ree’s fried chicken is the recipe to rely on all season long.
If you’re lucky enough to spend Mother’s Day with your mom, or if you are a mom and get to spend it with your kids, a special meal is in order. Decadent brunches, picnics, teas and cookouts will abound across the country this Sunday. What should you make this year to truly spoil Mom? Get some inspiration from FoodNetwork.com staffers and our varied Mother’s Day traditions. Read more