Memorial Day Weekend: The Unoffical Welcome to Summer!

Summer

Memorial Day Weekend is upon us.  Time to celebrate those who fought for our freedom with family and friends.

While summer doesn’t offically begin until June 21, Memorial Day has become the unofficial start to the summer.  It’s been 90’s here in Charlotte and as we say bring on summer, patios, cocktails, and fun with family and friends!

I love using traditional patriotic colors, but also mixing it up with bright colors.  This tablescape from an event I hosted is the perfect combination of spring and summer colors.  You can’t go wrong with mixing and matching costal, pastels, and classic colors like blue and white.

Memorial Day Weekend Celebration

Everything is in bloom, so use what you have in your yard as a floral centerpiece. You could even add a flower to each place setting as a special touch.

Memorial Day Weekend

Guests were served shrimp cocktail with avocado and a cheese platter as starters. Then dined family style with grilled salmon, grilled squash, zucchini and bell peppers with roasted rosemary new potatoes.   Add fresh bread from your local bakery with a side of olive oil.

Memorial Day Weekend Celebration

One of my favorite and easy summer time desserts is homemade cookie ice cream sandwiches! Adults and kids a like love this one.  You can find the recipe here.  Another favorite is any berry or peach cobbler. You can find my healthy and light recipe here.

The grilled salmon recipe is a family favorite created by my father, Zuheir Sofia, and modified over the years.

Grilled Salmon Filet – Serves 5-6 People

Ingredients

2 lbs salmon filet

1/2 cup Marzetti’s light slaw dressing

1/3 cup of Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon dill

1/2 teaspoon dry or fresh rosemary

1 teaspoon dry or fresh chopped parsley

1/2 teaspoon dry oregano flakes

Pam Olive Oil Spray for grill

Wash filet in cold water. Pat dry. Check for occasional bones in filet. Mix slaw dressing, Dijon mustard, and spices in a small bowl.  Then spread the mixture over the top of the filet. (the skin goes on the bottom).  Put fish directly on outdoor grill, which has been slightly oiled.  Cook over a medium heat for 8-12 minutes until fish begins to flake.  Do not turn.  Skin should peel off easily when filet is removed from grill.  Divide into individual serving and serve immediately.

Wishing everyone a happy Memorial Day Weekend and start to the summer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Scream You Scream We All Scream For Ice Cream Sandwiches!

Homemade ice cream sandwiches are the perfect dessert for kids and adults on a summer’s night or for a festive party!  Bake your favorite cookie, one of mine is Tollhouse Chocolate Chip and Oatmeal, and let them cool.  Turn cookies over and add two scoops of vanilla or coffee ice cream to the bottom of a cookie and place the other cookie on top to make sandwich.  Add sprinkles for a dash of color.

Light Summer Desserts

Summer is the perfect time to be creative with your food and make delicious but healthy choices.  Two of my favorite desserts that we had this past week while enjoying some R&R on Lake Norman are peach and blueberry cobbler (shown above) and grilled peaches.

Peach-Blueberry Cobbler

Ingredients: Serves 20

  • 5 peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (make sure they are not too ripe)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup of splenda, divided
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • Pam cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup light butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries or 1 container
  • 2 tablespoons of splenda for top

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place peaches in a large bowl.  Drizzle lemon juice and add 3/4 cup of splenda, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons flour to mixture and toss.  Spray Pam on 13 x 9 inch backing dish and pour mixture evenly.  Combine 1 1/2 cups of flour, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and baking powder in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.  In another bowl, place the remaining 1/4 cup splenda and butter and beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).  Add eggs one at a time to mixture; stir in vanilla, then add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to butter mixture.  Stir in blueberries.  Spread mixture evenly over peach mixture; sprinkle top with 2 tablespoons of splenda.  Bake for an hour or until topping is golden.  Less than 200 calories if cut for 20 servings.  Serve with low/reduced calorie vanilla ice cream.  Note, you can use sugar instead of splenda.

Grilled Peaches

Ingredients: Serves 8

  • 8 peaches, peeled, pitted and halved (make sure they are not too ripe)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon light butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons splenda brown sugar blend
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat grill to high then reduce to medium/low depending on grill.  Combine lemon juice and butter in a bowl and add peaches.  Toss to coat.  Place peaches on a large piece of tin-foil.  Stir together splenda brown sugar blend, water, vanilla, cinnamon,and salt.  Brush over peaches.  Fold foil to form a packet, crimping edges to seal.  Grill covered for 10-15 minutes.  Slice peaches and divide among 8 bowls.  Top with low/reduced calorie vanilla ice cream.  Note, you can use brown sugar instead of the splenda substitute.