Memorial Day Favorites 2011

by Marla on May 28, 2011 · 54 comments

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Light and healthy appetizer, lunch or dinner recipe

Can you guys believe Memorial Day, the kick off to Summer is upon us? With a long three day weekend ahead people will head outdoors to BBQ’s, potluck parties and all kinds of get togethers. I hope you are planning on spending time with loved ones and friends. I am currently in Telluride, CO attending the Mountain Film Festival. I am looking forward to sharing this life changing, inspiring event with you.

Since you probably want to spend more time playing than in the kitchen I am sharing recipes that require quick trips to the market and simple preparation. Dig in and enjoy!


We all need a little something to sip while hanging out in the sunshine. How about some homemade Skinny Citrus Soda to start? A sugar-free, eco friendly alternative to the store bought stuff.

Homemade soda with citrus, stevia and fizzy water

For action packed afternoons cool off with a healthy Homemade Frappuccino. A sweet slushy treat made with only instant coffee, ice, a splash of milk, water and stevia.

Starbucks style coffee frappuccino


Here are a few appetizers that can be prepared ahead of time. The Grilled Cheese Bruschetta pictured at the top of this post is always a favorite!

Sundried Tomato Hummus with Crispy Chips is super quick, easy and delish! Vegan too….

Sun-dried Tomato Hummus Recipe

While you have that big bowl of chips out, how about Strawberry, Roasted Corn, Avocado Salsa? A sweet meets savory dip.

Fruit salsa recipe with strawberry, avocado, red onion, jalapeño, roasted corn and feta cheese.

A fun hand held goodie that I recently published is Mixed Berry Goat Cheese Mini-Pizzas. Make them the size I did for snacks or 1/3 the size for smaller bite-sized appetizer portions. They are very addictive so beware.

Mixed Berries and Goat Cheese Pizza on Family Fresh Cooking blogSALADS

A great big green salad is always a welcomed addition to meals whether entertaining or not. Don’t add the dressing until you are ready to serve. Better yet, put out a few dressings and let guests add their own if desired. It is always nice to have a tasty fruity olive oil and some freshly squeezed lemon juice handy.

This Raspberry Goat Cheese Salad was a huge hit last year at my friends beach side potluck celebration.

Potluck salad for entertaining and BBQ's

A giant Greek Salad is always great too.

Big greek salads for picnics, parties and BBQ's


Finally we can scrape off the grills and head outside to grill up favorites. Don’t limit yourself to meats, poultry and seafood. Everything tastes great on the grill from pizza to fruity desserts. Here is our go-to Lemon Garlic Chicken. If you have time to marinate it overnight, great. If not an hour or so will do. Make a lot for leftovers. This chicken is wonderful in salads and sandwiches too.


No meal is complete without a few sides. How about some Baked Sweet Potato Fries?

Nutty Coconut Rice with Golden Raisins and Pecans…..

A great side dish for family meals and entertaining.


Here are some sweets that can be enjoyed any time of day. They are great after meals or as breakfast or brunch too. Mixed Berry Parfaits look pretty and have the colors of the season.

July 4th creamy & sweet berry sauce yogurt parfait.

Gluten Free Sweet Strawberry Snack Cakes are fun too.

Gluten Free ratio rally mini cakes with strawberries and coconut milk

Let’s not forget our chocolate lovers. How about Double Chocolate Banana Scones that are also vegan & gluten free?

Healthy, low carb, diet Chocolate Chip Scones by Marla Meridith

I can’t resist blueberries. How about gluten free Very Blueberry Layer Cake with cream cheese frosting.

Gluten free layer cake with fresh blueberries and sauceAnd last but not least, cool Watermelon Frozen Yogurt Popsicles…….

Pink Frozen Yogurt Smoothie Pop

Remember to re-use and recycle packaging and disposables at this busy time. Have a super fun, enjoyable and safe Memorial Day weekend!

Recipe Links for Memorial Day



{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lauren at Keep It Sweet May 28, 2011 at 6:15 am

Ok, I want to make almost everything you have here! Have a great holiday weekend:-)


2 the urban baker May 28, 2011 at 6:17 am

what a great recap, Marla. Have fun in Telluride!


3 Cookin' Canuck May 28, 2011 at 6:45 am

This is a great round-up, Marla. You have so many fantastic recipes on your site! I hope you’re having a ball in Telluride.


4 Marla May 28, 2011 at 7:02 am

Dara, I love your recipe round up too! A great preview to summer. I bet you have tons of wonderful recipes lined up for the warmer weather ahead.


5 Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) May 28, 2011 at 7:36 am

Marla, oh my goodness….I LOVE all these pics! Most of them I remember the first time around but a couple I must have missed so seeing them is a treat.

And seeing all your glorious photography in one post like this is a treat…diff shoots, diff styles, diff bodies of work all on one page. Super fun to compare and contrast.

After we were emailing last night, I actually googled Telluride and found the link to the festival and thought to myself, yep, she’s in heaven. So happy for you!

And also random aside, I know you use Aperture and Im sure there’s a way for me to do it in Lightroom, but I love on the pics that you “write” on them with “baked not fried” or whatever is applicable, on some of them. Very cool feature!


6 Marla May 28, 2011 at 8:08 am

Averie, you and I have been blog buddies since the beginning. I think we met about 4 months into our blogging careers. Amazing huh!
My photography has changed a lot! These days I would never do that slanted perspective like the one in my natural soda shot. It is awesome watching our skills grow. Sometimes I want to take the old photos off the record, but that would be no fun 😉
I do all my retouching in Photoshop. The graphics you see were done in Illustrator. Glad you like them. Unfortunately I am not sure about the software you mentioned…have never used them.
Can’t wait to catch up for realz soon! Have a great weekend.


7 Faith May 28, 2011 at 8:09 am

I know, I can hardly believe summer is upon us again! I don’t want to wish summer away, but I am secretly longing for my favorite season again — fall! Lol, but I will definitely enjoy summer while it’s here. :) Love this round-up, Marla, everything looks so good! Those mixed berry parfaits are gorgeous!


8 Marla May 28, 2011 at 10:56 am

Faith, I always look forward to fall & winter foods the most. We can both enjoy the days of summer, but REALLY embrace when pumpkin, sweet potatoes and cinnamon spice are the all star ingredients of the season. (granted they always are over here!)


9 Amanda May 28, 2011 at 8:33 am

Fantastic round up Marla… this page needs to be bookmarked by everyone!!!


10 Rosa May 28, 2011 at 8:44 am

What fabulous food!

Have a lovely weekend.




11 Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather May 28, 2011 at 9:20 am

All those look mouth watering! Hope you have a great long weekend.


12 Debbie May 28, 2011 at 9:52 am

Everything looks so yummy! I’m going to try a few of these recipes. Thanks for sharing.

Happy Memorial Day to you!


13 Kristen May 28, 2011 at 10:10 am

So many great ideas here! Have a good one :)


14 Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner May 28, 2011 at 10:15 am

Oh my gosh!!! I have some bookmarking to do!!! :)


15 Lucy May 28, 2011 at 11:38 am

So much to choose from but I think berry parfaits get my vote! Happy Holiday Weekend – and here’s to the summer! LL x


16 Heather May 28, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Lovely roundup – now I’m starving!


17 Maris (In Good Taste) May 28, 2011 at 1:29 pm

This is a very delicious round up of recipes! Your photos as always are just gorgeous! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!


18 Liz May 28, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Wow, you need to start a catering busines with a spread like this, Marla!


19 Lora @cakeduchess May 28, 2011 at 6:43 pm

This all looks fabulous Marla:) I loved that strawberry salsa and Greek salad! Have a super time in Telluride:)


20 Betty @ scrambled hen fruit May 28, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Everything looks delicious here! I hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend! :)


21 Angie's Recipes May 29, 2011 at 12:07 am

What a great recipes round-up for memorial day!


22 Katrina May 29, 2011 at 1:55 am

I really like the look of that salsa right now. mmmm.


23 Lisa @ May 29, 2011 at 7:24 am

Gorgeous photos Marla!
Love the recap, I did the same on my site. Getting ready for BBQ beach season!
The Raspberry Goat Cheese Salad looks wonderful! I want some…

Do you ever think about opening a restaurant???

Happy Memorial Day!
Lisa 😉


24 Marla May 29, 2011 at 7:46 am

Lisa, I need to go check out what you are cooking & grilling up this summer.

As far as opening a restaurant – great idea in theory, but I could never handle the hours! I love working from home & remotely. Could never be tied down to one place.

I’ll cook for you anytime though :)


25 Kiran May 29, 2011 at 9:06 am

Everything looks so delicious Marla!!! Memorial day or not, it’s a foodie delightful recipes for any day :) Thanks for sharing.


26 Dana@TheSundaySweet May 29, 2011 at 10:59 am

What an awesome recap! So many of the pictures made me want to make them right now. Especially that guac. I can never resist that. :) Thank you for stopping by my blog, Marla. Made my day. Have a wonderful rest of the weekend!


27 Marla May 29, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Awww, Dana you are so sweet! You gotta try that Strawberry Avocado Salsa, so freaking good! I could down it by the spoonful. Have a wonderful weekend.


28 Georgia Pellegrini May 29, 2011 at 12:20 pm

These look delicious! We should have a cooking party together! Would be fun to cook together.


29 Marla May 29, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Georgia, a cooking party would be a blast! Could you imagine those nibbles 😉


30 Diane {Created by Diane} May 29, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Heading into summer, these make me anxious to for the sun to come out and enjoy. Great photos Marla!!!


31 Maria @ Scandifoodie May 29, 2011 at 1:42 pm

What a great round-up of delicious recipes! Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend so far!


32 claudia lamascolo May 29, 2011 at 4:05 pm

very cleaver photo’s more importantly this is magazine worthy! hope someone see’s this to promote these are fabulous!


33 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. May 29, 2011 at 6:27 pm

love all these! Happy holiday!


34 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen May 30, 2011 at 4:48 am

I still love that Anatomy of Hummus photo, it’s really creative. I’m going to make some soon!


35 Marla May 30, 2011 at 6:54 am

Sylvie, I got big plans for that blackboard. Love that thing….my kids always grab it! Let me know what you think of the hummus.


36 Lora May 30, 2011 at 8:06 am

That sun dried tomato hummus has my name one it. Then I would like to follow that up with a slice o the gorgeous, luscious blueberry layer cake and one or two of those chocolate banana scones. Wow!


37 Marla May 30, 2011 at 9:26 am

Lora, please report back if you try anything! Have a wonderful weekend.

Wishing I had a piece of that blueberry cake right about now.


38 Pudding Pie Lane May 30, 2011 at 9:50 am

I’ve literally just spent 20 minutes gawking at your photos – they are amazing!! I especially love the Sundried Tomato Hummus with Crispy Chips one :) I’ve got exams at the moment so I don’t have much time to poke around, but I’ve bookmarked to as one of the first blogs to visit come end of exams! 😀


39 Marla May 30, 2011 at 10:35 am

Pudding Pie Lane, I too just discovered your super fun blog this weekend. What a treat! Very glad that we found each others blogs, can’t wait to keep in touch. Keep making those awesome treats. Are you on twitter? Was trying to find you there. Best of luck on your exams this week.


40 LizAshlee May 30, 2011 at 10:27 am

Wow! Everything looks amazing!

Telluride is gorgeous!! I grew up a few hours from there and our family would camp there in the summers! Enjoy!!

I just got an email that I won the GF cupcake cookbook!!!!!! I am thrilled and SO excited to have a copy!! Thank U so much!!!



41 Marla May 30, 2011 at 10:33 am

Liz, I feel blessed that we get to spend so much time in such a magical place. I am excited to cook for us this summer using the bounty of the Telluride farmers market. I spent some time this weekend with a super cool rancher from Durango. Think I might head that way for a farm tour in August. I bet your memories of camping there are some favorites.


42 Charissa May 30, 2011 at 7:58 pm

All these recipes have me drooling…especially the coffee smoothie. Gaaaah, that’s what I want right now.
Happy Memorial Day to you too! As always, LOVE your blog!


43 Marla May 31, 2011 at 4:53 am

Charissa, I have one of those homemade coffee frappes at least once a day – year round. Love ’em! Hope you had a fantastic weekend!


44 Miri Leigh May 30, 2011 at 9:54 pm

This is a great lineup of food! Thanks for sharing!


45 aarthi May 31, 2011 at 1:47 am

This looks yummy….you have a lovely blog…


46 Nicole, RD May 31, 2011 at 8:11 am

I was already hungry…that post just made me starved! Those watermelon popsicles are a must-make for me! I just got a popsicle maker and I am loving it!!


47 Fresh and Foodie May 31, 2011 at 11:50 am

Wow! What an incredible spread! I especially love the avocado strawberry salsa and the chocolate banana scones. What lucky people who got to partake in this deliciousness!


48 Heavenly Housewife June 1, 2011 at 9:58 am

This is too much food 3x for one housewife to take ;), it all looks amazing. I wish I was there.
*kisses* HH


49 aarthi June 1, 2011 at 9:09 pm

This looks yummy….you have a lovely blog…I am having a giveaway in my blog..Y dont you check and join that


50 Lauren from Lauren's Latest June 2, 2011 at 6:48 am

That greek salad is calling my name. All these photos are gorgeous!


51 Nami @ Just One Cookbook June 3, 2011 at 12:19 am

Hi Marla, I’m new here and Oh my your recipes are AMAZING!!!!!!!!! I’m just so happy that I found your site. Well, not only you cook delicious meals but your photo skills are great too!


52 ournote2self June 3, 2011 at 6:34 am

I’m so excited to try some of these recipes! Thanks for sharing!


53 Liz June 3, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Such a fabulous collection of recipes…I’m copying quite a few to try :) The rasperry goat cheese salad looks phenomenal!


54 Marla June 3, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Liz, that raspberry goat cheese salad is one of my all time favorites! I hope you get to try it soon :)


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