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Memorial Day is known as the unofficial start of summer. After all, the long weekend is filled with barbecues, pool parties, and celebrations with family and friends. Whether you’re hosting a Memorial Day cookout or attending someone else’s party this holiday, we’ve got plenty of fresh ideas that will make your Memorial Day weekend way more delicious this year.
But, remember that although Memorial Day typically marks the start of summer fun, the holiday honors the service men and women that protected our country over the years. Before jumping into the pool this year, think about the people in your life that served in the military and how you can say thanks. For example, while it’s not technically a celebration of veterans, giving gifts to veterans is common on Memorial Day. Our collection of fresh fruit arrangements and delicious boxes of chocolate-dipped fruit are irresistible. Any veteran with a sweet tooth will appreciate an arrangement featuring juicy, fresh fruit dipped in real, gourmet semisweet chocolate. Plus, you can choose from an array of arrangements that include your veteran’s favorites. From chocolate dipped pineapple daisies, chocolate dipped strawberries, and chocolate dipped bananas, say thanks with any combination of delicious fruits.
Memorial Day Cookout Ideas
From patriotic themes to simple pool parties, the first part of any Memorial Day cookout is the decor. For example, after a winter spent inside, many people want to break loose and enjoy the sun. The team at Bustle reminds us, Memorial Day can be fun and patriotic.
“You can finally bust out the grill, summer clothes, and patio furniture — just to name a few. And if you’re lucky enough to have a pool, your bathing suits can finally see the light of day. Score. Of course, it’s still extremely important to keep in mind the significance and purpose of Memorial Day. Consider attending a Memorial Day service or watching one on television during the party. Scatter facts about Memorial Day around your house or patio for an educational get together. Hopefully, this will remind you and your guests the true meaning of this patriotic holiday.”
Add a Patriot Centerpiece
Festive table décor will help set the Memorial Day party scene. A patriotic fruit arrangement makes a unique holiday centerpiece that everyone will enjoy. Plus, not only does it look beautiful, it’s also a tasty snack for guests. For example, our beautiful Blooming Daisies® is bursting with fresh strawberries, pineapple daisies, cantaloupe and more! This arrangement is carefully crafted to create an eye-catching (and delicious) presentation, this statement-making centerpiece is sure to leave an impression.
Set Up a Hot Dog and/or Hamburger Bar
Summer means grilling. And grilling usually means hot dogs and hamburgers. So, embrace the standard summer grilling menu, but add a small twist. Instead of standing over the grill all day, set up a “bar” with all of the fixins’ so your guests can enjoy any style dog or burger of their choice. For more, The Spruce offers a few details to create the perfect DIY meal option.
“A hot dog with all the toppings is hard to beat. Grill some quality dogs and let your guests choose from an array of toppings. An elaborate hot dog bar is a fun way to turn a classic Memorial Day food into something new and exciting (and is a great way to please picky palates). If burgers are your go-to cookout staple, host a slider party instead. Not only are these mini burgers totally adorable, you can offer guests a few different options to choose from like bacon-and-cheese stuffed burgers or spicy jalapeño sliders. Bonus: serving a fraction of a burger means you’ll have plenty of room for dessert!”
Decorate with Pineapple Sparklers
Nothing says summer like fruit and fireworks. Kick off the summer with a combination and decorate your Memorial Day cookout with pineapple sparklers. Fruetcake shares the simple steps to create these DIY decorations.
“So, let’s celebrate the sparkler in all of it’s crazy glory! Here’s a simple way to turn pineapples, sparklers and a couple cans of paint into wildly fun and very festive centerpieces…Spray paint pineapples using red, white and blue paint & primer in one. Allow to dry completely before continuing. Next, insert sparklers into pineapples tops. Stick the “handle” of the sparkler down into the soft fruit leaving space between the fronds of the pineapple and the “sparkler” portion of the stick. You may have to wiggle them a bit to stick them into the fruit. Then, touch up any chipped paint with a paintbrush as needed but do not spray paint pineapple once sparklers are inserted.”
Delightful Memorial Day Dishes
Memorial Day cookouts are about the food! However, the best barbecues include more than hamburgers and hot dogs. Regardless of your culinary skill set, add a few new dishes to the Memorial Day cookout this year and impress your friends and family!
Celebrate with the Summer’s Freshest Fruits
Is there anything more summery than fresh fruit? Serve up these refreshing fruit favorites at your Memorial Day cookout to kick off the season. For example, the Delicious Party platter includes all of the best summer fruits (and big enough for your party!).
“Perfect for all occasions, the Delicious Party® is a beautiful display of fresh fruit, including pineapple daisies, strawberries, cantaloupe and more. Artfully arranged into an eye-catching presentation, this tasty treat is perfect as a gift or as the centerpiece of your celebration!”
Simple Pasta Salad
Memorial Day cookouts are known for ample amounts of grilled chicken, steak, burgers and dogs. So, what goes great with these grilled feasts? Pasta salad. The Healthy Foodie offers a simple recipe, which also creates some great leftovers for the next day.
“This also happens to be a terrific salad for summer, as it comes together in just about the same time that it takes to cook pasta, gets eaten cold, keeps for a few days in the fridge and is also highly portable! To make it, you basically prep all your ingredients while your pasta is cooking…And you don’t even have to be fancy about it either. Simply throw everything in a shallow bowl or plate and stir well. Then, as soon as your pasta is cooked, you want to drain it and rinse it briefly under cold running water. Add that cold pasta to the rest of the ingredients and toss to combine. You are now ready to serve your salad, but I find that it greatly benefits from spending a couple of hours in the fridge, so all the flavors have a chance to meld and fully develop. In fact, I think it tastes even better the next day. How perfect is that? Means you can make it ahead of time and take it to a picnic, potluck dinner, or have a serving tonight and take the leftovers for lunch the next day.”
In addition to fresh fruit, summer provides ample amounts of vegetables. And one of the most common summer veggies is the zucchini. However, beside some grilled zucchini with your steak or chicken, most cookouts do not feature this versatile veggie. But, The Messy Baker shares a simple recipe and love for the veggie with these zucchini fritters.
“While many people complain that zucchini is bland, I argue it’s one of nature’s most accommodating vegetables. Its mild flavor allows herbs and spices to shine. Prep is easy since you don’t need to spend time peeling. And best of all, unlike its thick-skinned winter cousins Butternut and Acorn, tender zucchini doesn’t require a meat cleaver to dice. If you can get past the sheer volume a single plant can produce, what’s not to love?”
Delicious Memorial Day Desserts
Nothing finishes off a great Memorial Day cookout like a dessert platter. From cookies and ice cream to apple or blueberry pies, there are plenty of patriotic desserts. But, for something a little different, here are a few simple and delicious desserts.
No-Bake, Gourmet Dessert
A box of chocolate Dipped Fruit™ is a simple and sweet Memorial Day dessert idea. For example, our Signature Indulgence Box offers a no-bake, but still gourmet dessert option.
“The arrangement includes the sweetest combination of fresh fruit and real, gourmet chocolate. Plus, each banana bite is hand-dipped in mouthwatering semisweet chocolate on one side and rich, smooth white chocolate on the other, while each of our strawberries and Granny Smith apple wedges is carefully dipped in melt-in-your-mouth semisweet chocolate. Perfect for any holiday and especially Memorial Day because every bit delivers pure happiness.”
Stuffed Strawberry Cheesecake
We love fruit and dessert dishes. After all, the combination of juicy and fresh fruits in the summer offers a sweet and refreshing treat. In addition to some great chocolate dipped fruit, how else can you incorporate some fresh dessert dishes? Dessert Now Dinner Later shows a simple and sweet stuffed strawberry dish that will delight your friends and family.
“These cheesecake stuffed strawberries couldn’t be easier! I’ve seen so many versions out there. Some of which make you cut off the top and bottom of the strawberry and scoop out the centers. Why would you give yourself more work to do and waste yummy fruit like that?! Not me! Nuh-uh! Simply cut off the stem so you have a flat end, cut an “X” in the tip, and pipe the filling inside. It opens up as you fill it. Don’t go wasting that fruit!”
Patriotic Rice Krispie Treats
Baseball, apple pie and rice krispie treats are quintessential Americana! Add to the patriotic flair at your Memorial Day cookout with these simple treats. Cookies and Cups offers a few directions (and short cuts) so you can focus on the fun and not spend too much prep time in the kitchen.
“Some treats are a no-brainer. So easy and simple that they basically make themselves. This isn’t exactly that. The idea is simple, and really so are the steps, but whenever there are candy melts involved I hit a hiccup. I wish I were an expert candy-melterer like Bakerella. But somewhere between the melting and the tapping something gets lost in translation. So I settle for a more “rustic” candy coating. Textured, if you will. Especially trying to cover a bumpy krispie treat in smooth candy coating. I dare you to make it work. Anyway, let’s talk Patriotic Krispie Treats. Easy idea, and if you can embrace the rustic finish, like I have, you’re golden! All you have to do is make your krispies. I used these Brownie Batter Krispies. Using a star cookie cutter I cut my krispies out. I melted some red, white and blue candy melts and “painted” it on the krispie. If you made plain krispie treats, you could even omit the white candy melts. And if you want you can put them on a stick…just press the stick in when the candy melts are still wet. That’s it!”
Make the Most Out of Memorial Day
Memorial Day is a time for feasting with friends and family. To keep everyone in the summer spirit, consider bringing the host or hostess a gift. After all, Memorial Day parties usually involve a lot of food, so it isn’t uncommon for those invited to bring a dish to be shared at the party.
Fortunately, Edible Arrangements® features a wide variety of delicious arrangements that are perfect for Memorial Day cookouts. Plus, many of our arrangements come in a variety of sizes, so you can choose the best option for your needs and budget. Not only does a fresh fruit arrangement from Edible Arrangements® make a mouth-watering appetizer or dessert, but makes for a stunning table centerpiece, too. You can stop by your local Edible Arrangements® store to grab a box on your way to a cookout this weekend or, if you’re the party host, have a couple boxes delivered at home to make things even easier!