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Vernalisa's Memorial Day Recipes

Some holidays find their beginnings in religion, others celebrate an important historical person, and still others celebrate a particular day or world culture. Memorial Day stands alone as a holiday that rose out of American soil in appreciation and remembrance of every person who gave their lives defending the United States. Although the holiday was officially proclaimed in 1868 by General John Logan, the official recognition does not mark the holiday's true beginnings. No one person or place can be credited with originating Memorial Day because many, many towns and communities were dedicating time to decorate the graves of American soldiers and arranging gatherings in remembrance of our nation's heroes well before Memorial Day was officially declared.

The Barbeque Season Starts

There could be no more fitting way to celebrate Memorial Day (the official kick-off for Barbeque Season) than with a cookout! Spend the afternoon hanging around the food table at your house, backyard or friend's houses. So get ready to warm up the coals, pull out the cooler, and toss some inventive summer salads!

You don't want to do anything too straining for this year's Memorial holiday. Relaxing in the yard, reading a good book, and (of course) eating delicious foods is likely just about the most you can handle. make the most out of your day off.

Grilled Asparagus

 This recipe is very simple.

Fresh asparagus with a little oil, salt and pepper cooked quickly over high heat on the grill.

 2 pound fresh asparagus

2 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


1 Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate.

2 Trim bottoms of asparagus. Lightly coat the spears with  the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3 Grill over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or to desired tenderness. 

Potatoes and Onion on The Grill

   8 potatoes, quartered and

   sliced 1/4 inch thick

2 red onion, sliced or sweet onions vadila

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 cup butter


1 Preheat grill for indirect heat.

2 Measure out 2 or 3 sheets of aluminum foil large enough to easily wrap the vegetables, and layer one on top of  the other. Place potatoes and onion in the center, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add butter or margarine.Wrap into a flattened square, and seal the edges.

3 Place aluminum wrapped package over medium heat, and cover. Cook for approximately 30 minutes, turning once.

   Serve hot off the grill.

Dilled Red Potato Salad

This yogurt-dressed salad is the perfect foil for the rich lamb burgers. We like to make the dressing one day ahead to let the flavors meld and develop, and then add the cooked potatoes to the dressing a few hours before serving. For a more substantial dish, mound the dressed potatoes on a large serving platter and surround them with quartered tomatoes and hard-boiled eggs, and black olives.

1/3 cup yogurt, drained for 30 minutes through a cheesecloth-lined sieve

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 pounds small, new red potatoes, halved, and cooked until tender but not mushy

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 small red pepper, diced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus extra for garnish

In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, sugar, salt, and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.Stir in the cooked potatoes, onion, red pepper, parsley, and dill. Chill, covered, for 2 hours before serving. Garnish with additional chopped dill and black pepper.

Lamb Burgers

Great on Sourdough Bread

The burgers may be mixed, shaped, tightly wrapped,for 2 hours before cooking

2 pounds lean ground lamb

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoon fresh minced parsley or mint

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

4 large slices crusty sourdough bread

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large red onions, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup grainy mustard

Preheat the grill and place the grill rack 6 inches from the heat. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground lamb with the garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into 4 burgers of equal size.

Grill the burgers for about 6 minutes per side for medium burgers, turning once. While the burgers are cooking, place the sourdough slices around the edge of the grill to toast; watch them carefully; they will require about 1 minute per side depending on how hot your grill is.

Remove the burgers to a platter and keep warm. Place a cast-iron skillet on the grill. When very hot, add the olive oil; when the oil is hot, add the onions and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the mustard until well combined.

Place 1 slice of toasted sourdough bread on each of 4 dinner plates. Place a burger on each toast and spoon equal portions of the onion mixture on top of each burger. Serve immediately.

Chicken -Pineapples Tenders

    1/2 pound chicken tenders

1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup light soy sauce


1 If using wooden skewers soak them in water before using.

2 In a small saucepan heat juice, brown sugar and soy sauce. Brush onto chicken tenders. Skewer the tenders on the soaked skewers and marinate for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

3 Preheat grill for medium heat.

4 Oil grate and place skewered tenders on grill rack. Cook each side for about 5 minutes. They cook quickly, so watch them closely. Enjoy! 

Garlic Marinated Steaks

This marinade adds an exquisite flavor to these  already tender steaks. The final result will be so tender and juicy, it will melt in your mouth.

    1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons garlic, minced

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring

1 pinch cayenne pepper

2 (1/2 pound) beef rib eye steaks


1 In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce,  garlic, honey, oil, ground black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, salt, liquid smoke and cayenne peeper.

2 Place steaks in a shallow, nonporous dish and pour the marinade over the steaks. Rub the liquid into the meat for optimum flavor. Cover and let marinade in the refrigerator for  24 to 48 hours.

3 Preheat an outdoor grill for medium high to high heat and lightly oil grate.

4 Grill steaks for 7 to 8 minutes per side, or until  internal temperature reaches at least 145 degrees


Margaritaville Party Pie

My all time favorite

This frozen pie is great for summer especially with grilled foods. You can also use frozen strawberrys

Makes 1 9 in.pie

( 8 servings).

  1-1/2 cups crushed pretzels

1/4 cup white sugar

2/3 cup butter, melted

1 (14 ounce) can sweetened

   condensed milk

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 cup tequila

1/4 cup orange liqueur

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

2 cups frozen whipped

   topping, thawed

2 drops red food coloring

2 drops yellow food coloring


1 Mix crushed pretzels, margarine, and sugar. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan, also coat the sides.

2 In a bowl mix tequila, orange liqueur, condensed milk, and lime. Pour half of the mixture in another bowl.

3 Add strawberries and a few drops of red food coloring  to one half. Fold in 1 cup whipped cream.

4 To other half, add only a drop or two of yellow food coloring and 1 cup whipped topping.

5 Spoon into crust, alternating colors. Freeze for 4  hours or overnight.

Strawberry Pie

1 cup water

3/4 cup white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon red food coloring

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup margarine

3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled use the biggest and sweetes you can find


1 Mix together the water, white sugar, salt, cornstarch

   and food coloring and cook in a saucepan for about 5 minutes or until thickened. Set aside to cool.

2 Make the crust by combining flour, margarine, sugar and vanilla - press this into a 9 inch pie pan. Prick all over  and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) until lightly browned.

3 When crust is cool, place berries in the shell and pour the thickened mixture over the top. Refrigerate. Serve  with a dollop of whipped cream or whipped dessert topping. 

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