I have pretty routine Memorial Day weekends year after year. I like to be by the water, whether it’s on a friend’s boat or at the pool. It doesn’t really matter which one (or both!), but I like to be feet away from some sort of cool-down option with a refreshing cocktail in hand. To me, there’s no better way to kick off summer. Here’s what I’ll be concocting over the break.
4 Refreshing Cocktails to Try
As handmade cards, floral perfumes, silk scarves, and mimosa filled afternoons are harvested by mothers around the country, I recommend flipping to the “B” side of the annual celebration record. Make plans to skip brunch and serve a delicious lunch instead. Try making this delightful menu composed of a soup, salad and open faced sandwich. It retains a lot of the delicious flavors of the standard holiday meal, just minus the eggs and syrup.
Get the Full Menu
I know a lot of people “dipped” into the guacamole and tequila early and celebrated Cinco de Mayo over the weekend, but it’s not too late to gather your friends and whip up a festive Monday night fiesta. Or you can simply make a batch of homemade fiesta-ready cocktails. Either one sounds good to me.
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Come back every Monday for an inspirational mood board. Miss a day? See all the posts here.
Moms are the best. Show yours just how much she’s appreciated by making Mother’s Day all about her.
Host an outdoor afternoon tea party for the girls. Pull out the china, set the table and make a spread of decadent sweets fit for a spring soiree. Get inspired >>
Celebrate moms of all generations. Invite family over for a vintage-inspired lunch to celebrate Mom, Grandma and Great-Grandma. Display family heirlooms to set the perfect tone for honoring moms from past to present. Get inspired >>
More Ideas She’ll Love
2 Cups Heavy Cream
2 Cups Fresh Mint Leaves
1 Cup Whole Milk
1/2 Cup of Sugar
1/2 Cup of Condensed Milk
1 oz (normal jigger) King’s County Bourbon
1 Tsp of Bourbon Vanilla
1 Pinch of Salt
Yield: 1 Quart
1. Place the mint leaves in the bottom of a large bowl and coat with a small amount of the sugar. Gently muddle the mint macerating it slightly. Add the heavy cream and whole milk to the bowl and stir gently. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and let the mint steep in the cream mixture overnight. [Alternative: If you want a quicker way to extract the mint you can heat this mixture over the stove for 5 minutes and then move to the next step; however, steeping the mint provides a unique and superior flavor.]
2. Stir the mixture thoroughly. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a 4-quart saucepan and discard the mint leaves. Heat the mixture over medium heat. Whisk in the remaining sugar, condensed milk, vanilla, and salt. Heat for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Remove from heat, add the bourbon, and then place the mixture in an ice bath and let cool for approximately 30 minutes.
3. Add the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. We have used a KitchenAid stand mixer with their ice cream attachment here. Setup KitchenAid stand mixer with ice cream attachment (Note: you must leave the ice cream attachment in the freezer overnight for the product to freeze properly). Turn the KitchenAid to the “Stir” setting and pour the cold mixture into the ice cream attachment. The product should begin to thicken within 20-30 minutes and once the attachment begins to slip is when the product is ready to be removed.
4. Remove the product from the mixer into a storage container. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm, about four hours. The flavor contains bourbon so the consistency will naturally be slightly softer than a normal vanilla homemade ice cream, but it should be firm and hold shape when scooped.
**Recipe by Steve’s Ice Cream
More on Derby Week:
I may have technically outgrown an Easter basket in my family circle, but that doesn’t mean I don’t spoil myself with bag(s) of candy. But then, of course, my eyes are bigger than my stomach and I’m left with loads of leftover Milky Ways, Cadbury Creme Eggs, jelly beans and Peeps just staring at me. Before, my solution was to pawn it all off on other people, but these ideas are much, much better.
Cadbury Egg-Stuffed Cupcakes: I literally have ZERO words to describe this. Except that I can’t stop looking at it, and I want it right now. GET THE RECIPE HERE >>
Butterscotch Bird Nests: Sweeten pretzels with a yummy butterscotch coating, then top with chocolate eggs. They’re adorable and delicious! GET THE RECIPE HERE >>
Easter Bunny Bark: Take all your leftover Easter candy, crush it up and turn it into a mouthwatering dessert that’s perfect for packaging as spring gifts … or hoarding. I choose the latter, personally. GET THE RECIPE HERE >>
Candy Bar Blondies: Use your favorite leftover candy bars (assuming there are any left) to make these quick and easy blondie bars. They’re gooey, chewy and oh-so-chocolate-y. GET THE RECIPE HERE >>
Peeps S’mores: Turn those leftover chickies into candy-colored s’mores in seconds. GET THE RECIPE HERE >>
The Jelly Bean Cocktail: Here’s a grown-up way to enjoy a classic Easter candy. Plus, you can create all the colors of the rainbow by substituting various liqueurs. (Vodka, Midori and sour mix will create a nice shade of green, for example.) GET THE RECIPE HERE >>
Like many people, it wasn’t until I moved away for college that I realized how much my mom did for me. Suddenly her frustrations about not having enough hours in the day to go to work, keep the house clean and figure out what to cook for dinner every night make a lot more sense. And I don’t even have kids yet!
I’m not sure how she did it, but I’ll be eternally grateful. So even though there aren’t enough gifts and cards in the world to show my appreciation, I figure these are a good start. Check out what made our 2014 Mother’s Day gift guide and tell us what you’re planning to do for Mom this year in the comments below.
P.S. Don’t forget stepmothers, grandmothers and in-laws! They deserve your appreciation, too!
Get gift ideas!
My favorite Easter activities include decorating eggs, filling baskets with yummy treats and surprises, and my all-time favorite — eating brunch with my family. Whether you’re hosting an extravagant brunch or making a simple meal for your family, we have easy, sweet and savory recipes that will please even your pickiest of guests.
Hatching Chick Egg
Great for the kids’ table, transform an ordinary hard-boiled egg into an adorable hatching chick.
Get the Full Recipe Here>>
Flatbread Pizza With Eggs, Tomatoes and Arugula
This healthy, protein-packed flatbread is a perfect main course for brunch.
Get the Full Recipe Here>>
Carrot Cake Cookies
Spread the cream cheese frosting between two cookies to make a sandwich. Just do it, trust me.
Get the Full Recipe Here>>
Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
You can assemble this casserole the night before, giving you more time to spend Easter Sunday with your family.
Get the Full Recipe Here>>
Easter Egg Cookies
I’m obviously on a cookie kick. These are so easy to make — just bake your favorite cookie recipe and place dyed shredded coconut and egg-shaped candy on top.
What are your favorite Easter recipes?
I’m sure you’ve thought of a plethora of clever items and creative eggs to fill your kids’ Easter baskets with, but have you thought of the actual basket? Sure, an ordinary pastel wicker basket filled with shredded basket filler is cute, but here at HGTV, we don’t take the boring route. We have ideas ranging from edible baskets (yes, you read that correctly!) to free printable baskets.
Paper Flower Basket (With Free Printable Pattern)
Get the Full Instructions Here>>
Get More Fun Basket Ideas
Easter is this Sunday, and if you celebrate it I would bet you have plans to do some egg decorating this week. Vibrant dyes make quite an impact, but did you know you can get amazing colors with fruit and vegetables? Head to the crisper and put a pot of water on to boil, it’s time to make some natural Easter egg dyes. Watch the video to see our favorite colors:
I still can’t get over the deep teal color that boiling red cabbage gives you. Who knew that Easter egg dye doesn’t have to come from a bottle or a tablet?
Want even more great egg-decorating ideas? Learn how to make Baker’s Twine-Wrapped Eggs, or check out how your favorite HGTV Stars decorated eggs this year!