Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sara Jane: Memorial Day

Memorial Day

The older I get (I just turned 31....wahoo!), the more patriotic I seem to become.  I tear up when an ambulance, fire truck or police car goes ripping down the road with its lights on and sirens blaring (seriously!) because I am so grateful there are people out there who want to be there to protect and assist us.  I am so grateful for the men and women who have protected and fought for our country in the past and for those who do so today.  I will forever be indebted to them.

Growing up, Memorial Day always meant BBQ's, gardening and family.  My dad puts his garden in Memorial Day weekend.  Always has, probably always will.  My husband and I now do the same.  After a long day's work, a family BBQ just seems so appropriate.  

This year, we are probably not going to have a BBQ.  Over the last year, our meat eating has reduced significantly.  Not for any reason in particular but why load up on a ton of meat when you have a garden FULL of delicious food?  So, I decided this year we will have a picnic.  It will probably just be in our backyard and be just our little family but it will definitely include some delicious food.  

First up on the menu.... BLB....Bacon, Lettuce and Beet sandwiches.  The inspiration for these mouth watering sandwiches came from one of my favorite restaurants here in my town named Community Plate.  They offer a variety of comfort foods using local ingredients.  EXACTLY how I like to cook.
What you will need...
  • 3 to 4 medium beets, peeled, sliced and cooked (you can use the canned beets and they really are delicious.  I prefer to pick my beets from my garden and roast them in the oven.  I feel they are more sweet that way)
  • 1 lb bacon, cooked (see, I'm not vegetarian :)
  • lettuce
  • aioli  (if you need a good recipe, try this is delicious!)
  • Havarti cheese (if you aren't a big cheese person, you can omit this but we tried it for the first time last night and it was HEAVENLY!)
  • bread (I usually bake my own and use that....this is my favorite bread machine recipe, only I add extra honey...but you can use any bread YOU like.  Last night, we made the sandwiches on a baguette from our local bakery.  YUM!)
Putting it all together....

I think we all know how to put a sandwich together.  Add what you like, take out what you don't.  Maybe try something new...who could be the next great culinary creation!

A picnic is never complete without a cold salad.  Last summer I discovered the next recipe.  I think this salad really will change your world.  Okay, maybe not but it is pretty tasty.  It uses quinoa.  Ever heard of it?  It is a very tasty and versatile complete protein that is native to South America (but you can find it at any grocery store).  When cooking the quinoa, I suggest using chicken broth instead of water.  It gives the quinoa soooooo much extra delicious flavor.  Back to the salad...The name of the salad is the Mango Quinoa Salad from Our Best Bites.  I took pictures and was fully prepared to write out the recipe but, really, I can't compete with what those lovely bloggers do over at Our Best Bites.  So, just follow this link and it will take you there with step-by-step directions.  

Here is how my dinner looked last night....

Both my hubby and his little brother gave me two thumbs up.  I do have to mouth is sorta watering looking at these pictures.  It was definitely restaurant worthy!

Last night, oh around 10 PM, I decided to try to be crafty for this week's post.  I had earlier bought some fabric to make a patriotic table runner and napkins but then I had another idea.

Have you seen the tutorials around for paper bag skirts?  Just in case you haven't, here's one and here's another one.  I decided to make skirts for my girls.  I, thinking it was going to be a sinch and forgetting that I am NOT gifted in sewing, decided I could make it with no tutorial and went for it.  Well, two disasters skirts later, here is what I came up with for my little Bea.  I LOVE it!  For my older daughter's skirt, I used the blue and white polka dot fabric as the skirt and the red and white stripes for her belt.  Then I bought a cheap inexpensive tank top from Walmart.  I think it will be perfect for any Memorial Day outings we may attend and then we can even use it a month later for the 4th of July.

I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day.  Remember those who have made it possible for us to live in this incredible country of ours.  Remember the families of those who have lost loved ones protecting our rights.  Remember....


Sara Jane


  1. So cool, Sara! Little Bea is a beauty!! The skirt is awesome! And those recipes!! Mmm! I love beets in salads. I bet they are totally delicious in a sandwich! Love you!

  2. Wow... I need to come to your house for dinner! Look how healthy you are!! Love the food ideas and LOVE Bea's skirt! What a doll!!

  3. Man that looks delicious!! I'm hoping I get to taste your fine cuisine while I'm in Oregon!! And yes I did just invite myself over to eat. Also I love the skirt! I can't believe how big B is!

  4. Did we not get forced to eat the same nasty beets? How did I miss this love for beets? Gross!!! :)

  5. Um, I actually remember liking the beets :) They are like candy to me now...ha ha!

  6. And, yes Shauna... I must feed you while you are here. Let's experiment!

  7. They were pickled beets, Al. Try them raw. You might like them!

  8. I just gasped when I saw bea's skirt!! It's that cute! I want to make one for Nell. And I've been wanting to expirement with quinoa. Thanks Sara.

  9. Yummy! I have a new found love for beets (not the pickled kind) in the last few years and this looks awesome!! Thanks for the recipe! Sliced beets and goat cheese is one of my most favorite things to eat these days!