With Memorial Day weekend just days away now, we know your brains are abuzz with bbq ideas and anticipation of relaxing in the sun with friends and family. We’ve scoured the blogworld for the best and brightest ideas we’ve seen for warm weather gatherings to kick off your summer season with some DIY delights.

1. Easy Peach Tea

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 9.56.58 AM

(Photo by Passion for Savings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 Peaches, fresh
  • 3 Tea Bags
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 7 C Water

Instructions: Brew the tea hot, once it starts to simmer, add sugar and chopped peaches until it cools completely. Refrigerate. Place in cute bottles and serve.

Now look at that beautiful goodness. Drink up!

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 9.56.30 AM

(Photo by Passion for Savings)

2. The Picnic Loaf

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.12.16 AM

(Photo from The Simple Things)

Ingredients: (Serves 6)

  • 1 round bread loaf (the crusty round one)
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 2 tbsp pesto (from a jar is fine)

For the filling:

  • 2 zucchini, sliced lengthways
  • 2 red and 2 yellow peppers, seeded and sliced in thick lengths
  • 2 tbsp or so olive oil
  • ~7 oz cheese (whatever you can find locally – a soft-rind/mozzarella/goat’s cheese)
  • ~7 oz sliced charcuterie meats of your choosing
  • a good handful salad/spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves
  • salt and pepper
Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.15.52 AM

(Photo from Recipe Shubs)

1. Carefully cut the top off the bread loaf (save this for later) and hollow out the middle to leave a shell. Don’t make the walls too thin as it won’t stay crisp.

2. Toss the zucchinis and peppers in the olive oil and put on a preheated griddle or BBQ grid. Cook for about 4–5 mins on each side until soft and lightly charred. Put to one side to cool.

3. Rub the cut garlic clove over the insides of the bread shell, then use a spoon to spread the pesto all around the inside walls and under the lid. The more pesto, the better! Use as much as you like!

4. Blot the grilled vegetables with paper towel and then slice the cheese.  Season both well with salt and pepper, then start building up layers of vegetables, cheeses, meats and salad leaves. Finish with a layer of basil leaves. The hollow in the bread must be filled well.

5. Put the top of the bread back on, then wrap the whole thing tightly in plastic wrap.  Put a plate on top and weigh down with something heavy to let the flavors fuse together for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight, in the refrigerator.

6. Cut into thick, cake-style slices to eat now, or pack in your lunch-box and take on your adventures to enjoy later!

3. Tomato Cucumber Salad with Olives & Feta

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.37.18 AM

(Photo from Five Heart Home)

Ingredients:

Dill & Garlic Dressing:
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Salad:
  • 1 pound tomatoes (cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half, or about 3 large tomatoes, seeded & chopped)
  • 1 pound cucumbers (approximately 2 large or 4 small), diced
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, drained, pitted, & chopped
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, for garnish

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.37.36 AM

Photo from Five Heart Home

For the Dressing:
In a medium bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients until thoroughly blended. Alternatively, you may place ingredients in a jar, tighten the lid, and shake until incorporated.
For the Salad:
  1. In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients. Toss with dressing until everything is evenly coated.
  2. Cover salad and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, removing from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. Drain off any excess dressing and garnish with dill, if desired.

This dish is perfect for a little crunch and something a little healthy!

4. Patriotic Strawberry Cheesecake Bites

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.28.27 AM

(Photo by The Kitchen is My Playground)

Ingredients:

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cream cheese
  • Powdered Sugar

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 11.28.14 AM

(Photo by The Kitchen is my Playground)

Instructions: Cut strawberries in half and place on a platter (its okay to leave the leaves!). Then pipe a bit of the cream cheese confectioner’s sugar mix onto the strawberry halves. Place blueberries in a row on top of strawberries. Enjoy!

Follow any of these summer fun recipes—or others that inspire you this season—and you’re sure to be the hit of the soiree. Happy 3 day weekend!