Everyone loves a great meal on Memorial Day, and it’s the unofficial beginning of grilling season. On this important day of remembrance, we honor those who served in the armed forces, as Memorial Day is, most importantly, a day to honor the veterans that gave the their lives for their country. At cookouts and celebrations across the nation, and as people are serving their guests many a red, white and blue-themed dish, we hope everyone remembers how our service men and women proudly served us. Happy Memorial Day.
The season of cookouts, pool parties and patriotic commemorations begins on Memorial Day weekend as we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country. We decorate our porch railings with American flag bunting and festive swags as friends and family make their way over for a day of themed parties and food to match. This important day informally marks the beginning of summer in our minds, as grills fire up and cook everything from burgers to chicken to steak.
On the 4th of July, we celebrate again as we watch fireworks, post photos of pretty much any food donned with festive flag favors, and grill all-American hot dogs. Then comes Labor Day, the grand finale of summer. We celebrate one last patriotic holiday before we pull the grill back in the garage, where it sits until next year’s rotation of potluck parties featuring red, white and blue trifles.
This year, we wanted to shake up the traditional red, white and blue dishes with something fun, creative and delicious, so we created an impressive patriotic Neapolitan ice cream using strawberry, vanilla and blueberry flavors. A little extra food coloring goes a long way in creating the perfect colors of the American flag in three simple layers that will wow everyone at your party.
Just make one flavor at a time in your ice cream maker. Freeze and then top with the next layer. When you’re finished, pop the ice cream loaf out of the mold and cut it into pieces to serve. This unique patriotic play on the traditional Neapolitan ice cream is a fun dessert for Memorial Day, the 4th of July or Labor Day. And if you switch up the flavors and colors, you can use this recipe technique for any holiday, baby shower, bridal shower or birthday party!
Smart design touches make Hamilton Beach® Ice Cream Makers easy to use, even if you’re a beginner. Simple-to-follow recipes are included with these popular ice cream makers, so your family can make all kinds of delectable treats right from the start.
April Aceto is the author of Food n’ Focus, a blog devoted to bringing a variety of cuisines together in one photogenic place. She works in advertising sales by day and behind her camera at night. Her passions for food and photography come from her extensive travel around the country and the world, exploring new cuisine and landscapes. April can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Flickr.
For as long as I can remember my mom has always been the type to put the needs of others before her own. She always is willing to lend an ear or hand when someone is in need and goes out of her way to make someone’s day a little extra special. I like to think this is a quality I received from my mom.
I think this character trait is what makes my mom really great at hosting and entertaining guests. When I was a child my mom would always throw the best themed birthday parties, paying attention to each and every detail all the way down to the smallest of details. I also like to think this is a trait she passed along to me.
1. Espresso drinks scream “party” for hot or cold drinks, cocktails and more. The Hamilton Beach Espresso Maker ($90, hamiltonbeach.com) is perfect for entertaining. 2. My mom always taught me a sweet smelling home sets the stage for the perfect party, so she’d love this Capri Blue Jar Candle in Volcano ($28, anthropologie.com). 3. My mom would love this Blanc Cake Stand ($30, surlatable.com), because every party needs dessert. 4. We’re from Wisconsin, so cheese served on a Slate Cheese Board ($20, 12” x 12”, crateandbarrel.com) is a requirement at any social gathering. 5. These Apilco Octogonal Porcelain Serving Platters ($60-70, williams-sonoma.com) are perfect for serving appetizers, entrees or desserts. 6. My mom could throw great summer parties on the patio with this book of 101 Sangrias & Pitcher Drinks ($17, worldmarket.com). 7. These Kate Spade Larabee Dot Balloons Wine Glasses in Clear ($50, set of four, katespade.com) would be perfect for cocktail parties. 8. Every hostess needs an apron as cute as this Botanist Knoll Apron in Multi ($28, anthropologie.com).
With Mother’s Day coming up I have been thinking about what the perfect gift would be for the mom that loves to entertain and host, must like my own mom does. Browsing the internet, I came up with a variety of pretty little gifts perfect for hosting any kind of party or event. On the top of the list is the Hamilton Beach Espresso Maker. Whether you’re hosting a brunch or serving cocktails at a party, this is the ideal gift for the entertaining mom. More on that later!
There are a few key items I think every host should have: a fancy set of wine glasses, beautiful serving platters and a pretty little kitchen apron. The apron should be something that puts you in the mood to cook and also looks cute even if you’re still wearing it when your guests arrive! Hosting to me is such an art. It’s not just about what you’re serving, it’s about how you’re serving it and your guests will notice if you put in the extra effort.
These Espresso Juleps were inspired by the Kentucky Derby this past weekend but I thought they would be nice to serve at a brunch or as an after-dinner cocktail if you wanted to include a coffee liqueur or vodka. The light flavors of mint and basil in the simple syrup make them the perfect summer sipper. By using the Hamilton Beach Espresso Maker, it was really easy to put together two drinks. Since you are serving these drinks chilled, you can easily make enough espresso ahead of a large group party and chill it in a pitcher in the refrigerator.
If you have a mom that loves to entertain much like my own does, you should consider some of the fun items included on my gift guide. And of course, if you get her the Espresso Maker she can try out these drinks for herself.
With Easter right around the corner and daffodils blooming, it’s definitely carrot cake season. Nothing conjures the warmth and excitement of Spring quite like the traditional flavors of carrot cake, but this year, we decided to put a twist on the classic and make cupcakes.
Upon further inspection, it seems odd to add healthy vegetables to dessert cakes, but carrot cakes (and zucchini breads and the like) are so delicious and sweet, we usually don’t think twice about it. Instead, it’s a great way to justify eating cake!
To make these adorable cupcakes, we use our tried and true carrot cake recipe, which calls for shredded carrots, pineapples and pecans. We quickly and easily shred the carrots in a food processor, then mix everything together using a stand mixer before baking. The recipe makes exactly 24 moist, fluffy cupcakes.
After they’ve had a chance to cool, we top each cupcake with cream cheese frosting using a large round piping tip. (See more tips and tricks on How to Frost a Cupcake.) Then, we top it off with a candy carrot decoration or sprinkles and arrange them on a platter for everyone at our Easter brunch or dinner to admire and enjoy.
Whether you are cooking for two or prepping a large family meal, the Hamilton Beach® Stack & Snap™ 10 Cup Food Processor takes the guesswork out of food processing with a simple function guide that shows you which blade to use and which button to press. Designed to be uniquely simple – there’s no twisting, turning or locking required when assembling the food processor.
Deviled eggs are an Easter must-have, and they’ll be showing up on every potluck, brunch, shower and cookout table through Labor Day. Classic deviled eggs are a no-fail favorite, but if you’re looking to jazz up the basics this year, we have just the recipe for you.
Pimento cheese has been on our minds lately, and we shared our favorite recipe with you Monday. We stand by what we said then: pimento cheese is good in just about everything. Deviled eggs are no exception. In the South, it’s not surprising to see this delicious spread mixed into egg yolks for a cheesy twist on the standard deviled egg.
The most common questions we get asked about making deviled eggs are these: What is the best way to cook hard boiled eggs? and What is the best way to peel hard boiled eggs? Well, we like to save time (and our sanity) by using the Egg Cooker. It takes less time than cooking eggs on the stove and they peel easily every time. This gadget has quickly become one of my home’s favorites.
After preparing your eggs, add the pre-made pimento cheese spread to the yolks and give it a good stir or a couple rounds with a hand mixer to make sure all the ingredients are well-combined. Pipe or spoon the filling into the egg white halves and top each deviled egg with a small slice of juicy bacon. It’s the perfect bite of savory, cheesy goodness, and it’s sure to be a hit at your next get-together.
The Hamilton Beach Egg Cooker makes perfect eggs every time. It has a 7 egg capacity when cooking perfect “hard boiled” eggs, and it also contains a 3-egg nonstick poaching tray. Now you don’t have to worry about peeling eggs that look and taste great every time.