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.
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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
Just like the macaroni necklace and the finger-painted masterpieces you gave her years ago, something homemade is always the key to Mom’s heart, especially on Mother’s Day. Before you place that order for another wilted, mass-produced delivery bouquet, stake out your kitchen to make an opulent homemade gift that will make Mom weep with joy: a cake. Frosted or naked, tiered or single-story, boxed-up or sliced on the spot, each of these decadent cakes is a thing of beauty that shows Mom how you feel with every slice.
Ree Drummond’s Strawberry Shortcake Cake (pictured above) oozes with sweet strawberries, and we can’t cut into this cream cheese-frosted beauty soon enough. Instead of plunging candles in it like it’s her birthday, present it to Mom with plump strawberries nestled in the icing for a most-beautiful celebratory cake. Plus, with a bit of help, even Mom’s little ones can get involved in the creation of this cake. Ree’s girls helped with each of the steps.
Before they’re ready for margaritas and garlicky guacamole, we’re introducing our kids to a handful of starter Mexican recipes like these. Each one is simple and straightforward enough for busy parents who still love a delicious meal on a festive day.
Rachael Ray’s Mexican Lasagna (pictured above): With spinach tortillas in place of pasta, this 5-star recipe packs chicken breasts, black beans, corn, cheese and more into a dish you can make (and even freeze) ahead of time and then throw in the oven for a rich and bubbly Cinco De Mayo dinner.
Slow-Cooker Shredded Chicken Tex-Mex: Sometimes the best family meals are the ones that are easiest to make. This slow-cooker meal comes together while the kids are in school, politely waiting to be topped with sour cream, guacamole or salsa when the whole family is ready.
In the spirit of Cinco de Mayo, get ready to reignite the age-old debate of what really makes a taco a taco. Many will argue that it’s all about the tortilla, while others claim it’s the filling that counts. And, of course, there are the endless topping options, including avocado, pico de gallo and fresh cilantro. But let’s not forget the essential herbs and spices that lend a taco its sought-after savory quality. With hints of garlic, onion, chili powder and sometimes cumin, this aromatic blend is synonymous with Mexico’s signature hand-held treat. With the right spice combination, you can have taco-flavored anything. (Think taco pizza or taco potatoes.) Try switching up your Cinco de Mayo menu with any of these clever takes on the authentic Mexican flavor.
We’re just days away from Cinco de Mayo. Have you bought your tortilla chips yet? If not, there’s still time to shop — and make salsa — but perhaps the more important question is whether you’ve dug out your blender from the back of the cupboard. You’ll be using that trusty appliance to whirl together the only cocktail you need on Cinco: a frozen margarita. While a margarita on the rocks will surely get the job done, frozen margaritas are a bit more indulgent and worthy of a celebration, if you ask us, and thanks to the blender, they’re a cinch to pull together in a hurry. Start with Food Network Magazine’s easy recipe for a lime-flavored classic, then dress up the tequila-spiked original with flavorful, fruity add-ins.