I love an excuse to fire up the grill and entertain friends– and Memorial Day is the perfect holiday– it’s got an awesome theme (Thank you to the men and women who have sacrificed for our country!) and with a few simple recipes, you can really take your party to the next level!
Let’s start with the must-have accessories and then we’ll get to the delish….
I partnered with Lowe’s to showcase their Char-Broil Advantage 4 Burner Stainless Steel Gas Grill. What I like about this grill is that it is reasonably priced at $269 (and the purchase earns you a $50 gift card, so SCORE!) But it’s also a great size– not so monstrous that it’s intimidating– and it fits on patios or decks easily without taking up too much room. But there’s plenty of room to fit all of your favorite grilling items with those 4 burners, baby! While you’re shopping, check out these gas grills ratings and recommendations to get helpful advice.
Now that you have your grill ready to go, let’s talk patio accessories…. This is my new favorite patio set! It’s the Garden Treasures 3 Piece Lunburg Balcony-Height Patio set, on sale TODAY, but not later this weekend, so hurry up and pick it up with the discount!
The set works beautifully on my patio (my pitbull Tom thinks so too!) but it is also the perfect size for balconies in high rise condos. A lot of my friends have spectacular skyline views, and the raised height of this set is a must so you can take in the scenery! Plus, Lowe’s has a huge selection of patio pillows to dress up the chairs. I picked out these blue flower patio pillows that work perfectly with the burnt orange cushions.
Ready for Memorial Day eats? Let’s kick it off with sausage, y’all! I’m a huge fan of Johnsonville and have worked with them on a number of yummy segments over the last year. If you thought regular old burgers were good enough for your cook out, then hold the phone, y’all. Can we talk about bacon and cheddar IN the sausage? Um, yeah. Johnsonville’s got these new Grillers in the flavors you would normally have to make as a side dish or topping on the sausages….like Swiss Cheese and Onion and Buffalo Bleu. Hello, delicious! In full disclosure, I was grilling these up for my Atlanta & Company segment and I had to keep adding to the grill pan because, uh, I was eating them. More like CRUSHING them. Alone. In my kitchen at 2am. Yeah, that’s how I roll. So swap out the burgers for sausage– you won’t be sorry! A fun thing to do when serving your sausages is to set up a “Brat Bar” and have all the toppings your guests will love with their bratwursts and grillers….But honestly, you really don’t need anything else to top them with because the flavor of these new sausages is so freaking good!
This adorable family watched my segment live and tried the sausages for the first time….their reactions are priceless!
My go-to “grilling wine” is Wines of Sicilia DOC, which bring out the smoky, spicy flavors in the sausage. Sicily’s signature grape, Nero d’Avola is the perfect match for grilling season — as soon as you feel that smokiness with a hint of spice, there’s a surprising fruitiness that hits your palate. It’s divine and it transports me back to my travels through Italy when I was in college!
Now let’s get back to that cheesecake. One of my most pinned recipes is the Guilt Free Lemon Cheesecake. I decided to take it up a notch and do a layer of peanut butter cheesecake and strawberry cheesecake and make it “no bake,” because let’s be honest. Who has time for baking on a holiday weekend? It’s basically the love child of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and cheesecake! Look at those layers….OMG.
- 1 stick salted butter
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 (8oz) package of full fat cream cheese
- 1 tub of Cool Whip
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 Tb vanilla
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 (8oz) package of cream cheese
- 1 tub cool whip
- 2 cups frozen strawberries
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tb vanilla
- Whole strawberries (with the tops cut off)
- Melt 1 stick butter in pan.
- Add graham cracker crumbs and vanilla.
- Stir to combine.
- Cut out a circle of parchment paper and put it on the bottom of a springform pan.
- Spoon out the graham cracker crust on top of the parchment and press down (I use the bottom of a mug or measuring cup)
- Mix ingredients in food processor with paddle attachment until smooth. Pour over graham cracker crust.
- Freeze for 30 minutes before adding strawberry layer.
- Pulverize frozen strawberries in food processor until they are a puree consistency and set aside.
- Mix the rest of ingredients in food processor until smooth.
- Scoop out 1 1/2 cups of batter and put in fridge (this will be the top layer of the cheesecake.)
- Add frozen strawberry puree to batter and mix until smooth.
- Pour strawberry layer on top of peanut butter layer and wrap entire springform pan in tin foil.
- Put in freezer for at least 2 hours.
- Take cheesecake out of freezer 30-45 minutes before you want to serve it. Spread the 1 1/2 cups of topping on top of strawberry layer and decorate with strawberries and blueberries.
- Freezing the peanut butter layer is not totally necessary, but it helps keep the layers separate.
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- 2 tsp fresh ginger (I love the tubes of fresh ginger from Gourmet Garden)
- 1 tsp fresh roasted garlic smashed
- 1 tsp kosher salt (plus more to taste)
- 2 tsp curry powder
- Combine ingredients until smooth.
- Serve with fresh veggies or pita chips.
- For the roasted garlic, preheat oven to 375.
- Slice off the top 1/3 of a head of garlic. Put cut side (face side down) in a small baking pan with about a cup of water. Cover with tin foil.
- Bake for an hour.
- Let cool and squeeze out garlic-- it will come out like a paste!