Happy Memorial Day! (with recipes)

by Kassandra Lamb (on behalf of the whole gang)

Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington Cemetery

Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington Cemetery (public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

Memorial Day in the U.S. is all about honoring the men and women in our armed forces, past and present. And most especially we honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for this country.

There are no words sufficient to express our gratitude!

Memorial Day is also the unofficial kickoff of the summer season. Children’s laughter rings out; splashing noises can be heard coming from neighbors’ pools (or your own); the air is redolent with delectable odors from backyard barbecues.

We decided that this year we’d share some of our favorite (and easy) summer recipes. We’re going to take you from cocktails to dessert. But since the desserts need a little time, either in the oven or the fridge, we’ll start with those.

July2012-063-1024x768First up: red, white and blue strawberries! (from Kathy Owen)


  • 2 lbs of strawberries, washed and blotted dry
  • 12oz pkg of white chocolate chips
  • blue decorating sugar, poured into a small bowl


Line a baking sheet or jelly roll pan with aluminum foil.  Melt chips in microwave, according to package directions (you may need to stir in between cycles and add more time) until smooth.  Dip strawberries 2/3 of the way into the melted chocolate, then 1/3 of the way into the blue sugar.  Place on foil.  Put the tray in the fridge for about 2 hours, or until chocolate hardens.

A couple of things to keep in mind:

1) It’s really important to dry the strawberries thoroughly before dipping; otherwise, the chocolate won’t stick to them very well.

2) Don’t make ahead; plan to use them that day.  The strawberries will start releasing water, which will get into the sugar’s blue dye and create a drippy mess.  (They still taste good, though!)

Our other dessert: Grandma Weiss’s Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie (from Kirsten Weiss, of course)

strawberry rhubarb pieIngredients:

1 ½ cups flour
1 TBSP Sugar
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup ice water
1 tsp grated lemon peel
½ cup unsalted butter

1 ½ pints sliced strawberries
2 cups diced rhubarb
1 cup sugar
2 TBSP kirsch
1 TBSP tapioca


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
For pie crust: Mix flour, sugar, salt, ice water and grated lemon. Cut in butter (or use fingers), until dough is mealy. Roll out 2/3 of the dough to line the pie pan. Refrigerate remaining dough, which will be used for lattice.
Mix strawberries, diced rhubarb, sugar, kirsch, and tapioca. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Roll out remaining dough and cut into strips for lattice. Fill pie with strawberry-rhubarb mix and top with lattice. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until crust is golden.

And now that the desserts are setting up or baking, it’s time for cocktails!!

a margarita, with lime

(photo by Akke Monasso, CC-BY-SA 3.0 Wikimdia Commons)

Vinnie Hansen offers up her main character’s favorite drink recipe: Carol Sabala’s Margaritas

Put lots of ice cubes in a container for mixing. Coat the rims of margarita glasses with fresh lime juice and dip in salt (ground sea salt preferred.) Fill the glasses with ice cubes.
In the mixing container add to the ice cubes:

● 3 oz. of Hornitos Tequila Sauza (or higher shelf)
● 3 oz. of Controy (This is the secret ingredient, a Mexican orange liquor that I’ve never found in the U.S. A good Triple Sec is a fair substitute.)
● 1 oz. fresh lime juice

Shake or stir and pour over the ice in the glasses.

Guacamole_y_nachos pub domain wiki

(public domain, Wikimedia Commons)

These are potent, so enjoy with plenty of chips and guacamole!

The best guacamole is simply smashed avocados, a dollop of your favorite salsa, and a squirt of lime. Some folks might need to add salt and pepper. That’s it. NO MAYO!

Okay, before you have that second margarita, you’d better stir up this side dish, which needs to chill for a while.

Shannon Esposito’s Summer Orzo Salad recipe:

orzo salad

(photo by Vegan Feast Catering, CC-BY 2.0, Wikimedia Common)


-1 cup of orzo
-1 cup of baby peas or edamame
-1 diced red pepper
-1 diced green pepper
-handful cherry tomatoes halved
-2 TBSP lemon juice
-2 tsp olive oil
-sea salt/pepper to taste
-fresh cilantro (I use cilantro but you could use dill, basil or rosemary instead)

-Cook orzo for 5-6 minutes in boiling water
-Add all other ingredients and mix well

Like revenge, this is a dish best served cold. 😉

Okay, is your stomach growling about now? Mine is!

Our main dish comes from my husband, since I, like my main character Kate Huntington, am not the world’s best cook. Tom makes the best hamburgers (and steaks) I’ve ever tasted, even in restaurants!

His secret is the seasonings, and it’s really quite simple (although they don’t taste nearly as good when I make them; I hope you have better luck duplicating his touch).

Tom’s Best Hamburgers Ever


● 1 lb. Lean ground beef
● McCormick’s Grill Mates Hamburger seasoning (sub their Steak seasoning for steaks)
● Morton’s Season All
● McCormick’s Grill Mates Barbecue seasoning
● McCormick’s Grill Mates Mesquite seasoning


(public domain, Wikimedia Commons)


Form ground beef into 4 patties. Place them on a preheated grill. Sprinkle a moderate amount of Hamburger seasoning and Season All on the top of each patty. Sprinkle Mesquite and Barbecue seasoning on each with a lighter touch. Immediately flip burgers over and sprinkle the seasonings on the other side. Cook to desired level of doneness, turning frequently.

Grab a bun and your favorite condiments and dig in!

What’s your favorite summer recipe?

Posted by Kassandra Lamb on behalf of the entire group. We blog here at misterio press once (sometimes twice) a week, usually on Tuesdays. Sometimes we talk about serious topics, and sometimes we just have some fun.

Please follow us so you don’t miss out on any of the interesting stuff, or the fun! (We do not lend, sell nor otherwise bend, spindle or mutilate followers’ e-mail addresses. 🙂 )

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  • Reply
    Nancy Levine
    May 24, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    The recipes all look delicious. I need to get to the grocery. Thanks to my dad who was a medic in WWII and liberator of concentration camps and to all the other men and women for their service!

    • Reply
      Kassandra Lamb
      May 24, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      Amen, Nancy! What would we do without those brave men and women?

      Don’t those strawberries look yummy! Unfortunately strawberry season has already come and gone down here in Florida.

      • Reply
        Nancy Levine
        May 25, 2015 at 12:39 am

        I’ve got to try those strawberries–season just started here in Ohio.

        • Reply
          Kassandra Lamb
          May 25, 2015 at 1:03 pm

          Eat a couple for me, Nancy. Now I can’t wait until next year’s strawberry season.

          • Nancy Levine
            May 28, 2015 at 5:55 pm

            They turned out great, Kait. I couldn’t find blue decorating sugar, so I bought some sprinkles in the shape of stars–and I’m using the dessert for my secondary characters’ wedding reception in my…oh, it’s not a WIP anymore–a little more editing and it’s done…latest novella.

          • Kassandra Lamb
            May 28, 2015 at 8:12 pm

            That’s awesome, Nancy! And congrats on the new novella!

  • Reply
    Vinnie Hansen
    May 24, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Here’s to my deceased father, a WWII vet decorated with a Silver Star and Purple Heart!

    • Reply
      Kassandra Lamb
      May 24, 2015 at 9:34 pm

      Bless him and all those who fought in that war, Vinnie. They truly were the Greatest Generation!

  • Reply
    shannon esposito
    May 25, 2015 at 9:53 am

    YUM! Happy Memorial Day, everyone! I will lift one of Carol Sabala’s margaritas in a virtual toast to the brave men and women who have fought, and are fighting still, to keep the rest of us safe and free. Cheers!

    • Reply
      Kassandra Lamb
      May 25, 2015 at 1:05 pm

      It’s so sad that the fight seems to be perpetual. Definitely a toast, and more thanks than we can ever express to these brave men and women.

  • Reply
    K.B. Owen
    May 25, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    We are indeed so blessed to have people willing to commit their all in the service of our country. As Shannon said, Vinnie’s margaritas would be the perfect cocktail to raise in salute!

    • Reply
      Kassandra Lamb
      May 28, 2015 at 8:12 pm

      Amen, Kathy! Did you see Nancy’s comment about how well the strawberry recipe turned out? And she used them in one of her stories!

  • Reply
    Pernette Wells
    June 3, 2015 at 8:37 am

    God Bless America and all of our veterans especially the ones who paid the ultimate price. Veterans are very near and dear to my heart. Thank you for all of the recipes. I can’t wait to try them.

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