Celebrate life as often as you can
Red, White and You Make the most of Memorial Day and the summer days that follow with our timeless tips and ideas for an all-American BBQ.
Get Started Start your party off right.
Selecting and sending the right invite is the first step towards hosting an awesome Memorial Day celebration. Check out our expert tips below to ensure your invitation sends the perfect message.
Select an invitation that sets the tone for your event. Your invitation will immediately set guestsâ€™ expectations. Match the colors, motif, and style to your party, then finish with wording that communicates your theme.
Choose the invitation medium that works best for you. An electronic invitation allows you to easily track your RSVPs, while a print invite is a nod to tradition. Want both? allows you to send highquality printed versions of your invitations in addition to (or in lieu of) electronic ones.
View all of our patrioticthemed Evite invitations.4
Give guests plenty of notice. Summer is prime vacation time and guestsâ€™ social calendars can fill up fast. Try to send your invitations at least 2-3 weeks in advance or consider hosting on a weeknight when guests are less likely to be booked.
View all of our summer-themed premium invitations.4
Plan to add personal touches. Wowing guests is as easy as incorporating a few clever details into your menu and decor. The spa water at left features star-shaped apple slices while a Super Snack Pack pudding cup gets its own paintdipped spoon and a trio of mixins.
SPARK SOME SPIRIT Set the stage for a patriotic party.
You can never go wrong with red, white, and blue at a summer gathering -- this patriotic color scheme works perfectly for a variety of party styles and occasions from a Memorial Day BBQ to picnics, potlucks, and beyond. Add some embellishments per our tips below, and you’ll be set to host your loved ones all season.
Theme your food. A red-white-and-blue fruit salad or plate of skewered berries and bananas fits right into the color scheme... and there’s nothing more American than apple pie. Keep your theme in mind when choosing your menu, and your food can contribute to or complement your decor.
Double up Favors. Party favors can do double duty as decor elements. Arrange patriotic light-up rings on a plate, prop red-white-and-blue pinwheels on the table, and /or fill colorful pails with a variety of fun treats.
Use sign language. Signage instantly adds a chic touch to your table. Tape the print-out of your choice to two lollipop sticks and insert into your pie for a festive look; add a sign to your basket of treats; and/or add quotation tags to favors with decorative string. Pull quotes from patriotic song lyrics or poetry for an all-American touch.
Mix and match. Feel free to mix disposable tableware with table basics pulled from your kitchen. Paper plates look great on woven placemats, and metal flatware makes a nice contrast to heavy paper napkins. The paper products make clean-up easy and the lasting elements add a homey touch.
Personalize place settings. It’s always the little things that impress guests, and whether you use simple place cards or take a cue from our chalkboard tags, personalized place settings instantly elevate your event. 3
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MASTER THE GRILL
Nail our must-know techniques. Want people talking about your impressive grilling prowess long after the last piece of coal is extinguished? Put our BBQ tips into play, and you, too, can be known as a grill master this summer... and once you try our incredible BBQ sauce (recipe at right), you’ll never go back to the bottle(d) again.
Marinate your meat. The juicy goodness begins with a flavor-infusing marinade long before you fire up the grill. Fully immerse the meat in your favorite blend, and remember: The longer you let it soak, the better.
MIX IT UP WITH A DRY RUB. Another way to lock in serious flavor is to use a dry rub – basically a mix of spices of your choosing. The key to rubs is to cover the whole piece of meat (either by shaking the rub on or rubbing it in) and then wrap in plastic for a couple of hours. Spicy flavor punch!
Save the Sauce. What good is BBQ if it’s not covered in tangy deliciousness? Everyone has their favorite (ours is below), but grilling masters agree that it shouldn’t be added until the end of cooking time and should be used mostly as a condiment.
Sweet & Smoky BBQ Sauce Makes 2 1/2 Cups
1 can (6 ounces) organic tomato paste, no sugar added 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 tablespoon garlic powder 2 teaspoons dried mustard 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon liquid smoke (optional) 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses 1/4 cup honey 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/4-1/2 cup water
Directions In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use. The barbeque sauce will taste better if you allow it to sit for 24 hours.
TIP Make it your own by swapping out the balsamic for a different vinegar (such as red wine or apple cider); adjusting the heat by adding less or more cayenne pepper; or stirring in your choice of fruit spread in place of half the tomato paste.
A SWEET FINISH End your celebration with some easy-to-swing desserts brought to you by Snack Pack pudding. The parfait below features bright, lemony undertones, while the portable dessert opposite pairs rich chocolate with classic mix-ins for a creamy update on a national favorite.
PATRIOTIC PARFAIT 1 Creamy Vanilla Super Snack Pack 1/2 cup whipped topping 1 cup chopped strawberries Fresh blueberries 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind Sliced almonds Red decorating jimmies
Directions Toss the chopped strawberries with lemon juice and rind; set aside. Stir together pudding and whipped topping and spoon a layer into your parfait glass. Top pudding custard with an even layer of strawberries, then cover with another layer of pudding custard. Add an even layer of blueberries, and continue alternating layers of pudding custard with fruit until reaching the top of your glass. Top with a dollop or swirl of whipped topping and sprinkle with jimmies and a pinch of sliced almonds. Finish with a single blueberry. *Depending on the size of your glass, the amounts of listed ingredients may vary.
Sâ€™MORE PUDDING Offer Creamy Chocolate Super Snack Packs with mixins of graham crackers and marshmallows so guests can customize their desserts.
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For more great ideas, search social for #mixins
For more great ideas on summer, holiday, and year-round entertaining, visit Evite Gatherings.
Memorial Day! Brought to you by Evite Gatherings and Snack Pack Pudding
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Published on May 1, 2014