potluck party

This Memorial Day, we decided to have some friends over for a casual potluck party.  The weather was perfectly warm — not too hot, with an occasional cool breeze — and a clear blue sky overhead.  It was a good time with good friends and good food.  Here are some of the dishes we enjoyed that day, starting with a beautiful fruit salad above.  You may also find a recipe or two in this post.  🙂

I made ginger lemonade which turned out to be a big hit!  I also made a pitcher of my mom’s cucumber and lemon water which is always so refreshing on a nice hot day.  I also used an idea that I saw on Pinterest where I froze lemon slices in a large muffin pan to make large ice cubes.

To make the ginger lemonade … start by making the ginger simple syrup: put 4 cups of sugar and 3 cups of water into a pot and bring it to a low boil.  Peel a medium sized piece of ginger, then cut into small chunks.  Add the ginger to the sugar water and reduce to a simmer.  Let it cook for about thirty minutes, then turn the heat off.  Let it cool completely, then drain into a measuring cup or whatever storage container you plan to use.

Squeeze the juice of about 10 lemons into your serving container and strain it for seeds and pulp as you do so.  (Don’t be a dummy like me!  Make sure the spigot is closed while you do this!)  Add 12 cups of water and 2 cups of the ginger simple syrup (or more or less to taste), then stir well.  If you want to be on the safe side, add less of the syrup and taste it as you go adding more if needed.  You can also keep the leftover syrup (there will be a lot leftover) available on the side in case someone wants it sweeter, etc.

A delicious pasta salad made with arugula that was homegrown and picked that morning by our friends.  Tossed with some lemon juice, garlic, and parmesan cheese – this disappeared quickly!

I made my broccoli and cucumber salad with cider vinegar, shallots, garlic, and olive oil.  Unfortunately I forgot to take it out of the fridge to serve with everything else so not everyone got to try it.  Luckily my husband and I enjoy this with just about anything because we now have a lot of it to eat this week.

Another delicious fruit salad with watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, and blueberries.

Grilled chicken thighs made with Soy Vay teriyaki sauce.  That stuff is crack.  🙂

Grilled garlic and herb chicken skewers from Whole Foods.  Not photographed are the Tofurkey hot dogs and the regular hot dogs.

Delicious mini whoopie pies made by our super baker friend, Jeff.  So so good.

I made some little chocolate dipped pretzel rods with semi-sweet chocolate.  Some were dipped in unsweetened coconut flakes.

And another idea I snagged from Pinterest were these s’mores-on-a-stick.  Basically you take a large marshmallow, dip it in melted chocolate, then dip it in ground graham cracker crumbs.  Simple and yummy!

I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating Memorial Day too.

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