Janet's Notebook
Prepare for Memorial Day Weekend With Make-Ahead Recipes

Club BLT Dip Brandy's Way

Cookout season kicks off with Memorial Day weekend and I'm hosting the first bbq of the season. I've put together a menu that I think will be a memorable one. I wanted to share it with you in case you are hosting and want help planning or need inspiration on what to bring to a cookout. The best part of these recipes - besides being delicious? They can be made ahead of time.

I like to have an appetizer ready for friends as they arrive. Not too much since we'll have TONS of food later in the day. Dips are usually my go-to and I love Brandy Male's (Mustang, OK) Club BLT Dip Brandy's Way.

"This is so easy yet gets rave reviews," says Brandy. "I wanted to mock a club sandwich in a dip and think it was a success."

Adding smoked turkey to mock the flavors of a club sandwich is genius. If you love a club sandwich, you'll love this easy recipe. Let's be honest... sprinkling cheese and bacon on top of a dip is never a bad thing.

Eileen Hineline (Coolidge, AZ) shared her recipe for Juicy Burgers that are perfect for a Memorial Day cookout.

"Fresh is always best but I have been buying frozen pre-made ones for a while now," explains Eileen. "I decided to make some but my way. The kids loved them - very flavorful and juicy."

Thanks to the milk and hot water, these are some juicy burgers! Packed with seasonings, these will be delicious at your next cookout. Mustard is an unusual ingredient to add but it gave a little zing to the meat. Letting them chill for a while in the fridge, ensures the burgers hold their shape. When it's time to eat, just throw them on the grill.

Creamy, simple and delicious, Jamie Beecham's (Nashville, NC) Johnnie's Simple Potato Salad recipe has all the classic potato salad flavors and will be great for a party.

Jamie's potato salad recipe includes dill pickles and onion so there is a slight crunch in every bite. The pickles add a little tang to the salad too. The longer this sits, the more the flavors meld together and the potato salad gets even tastier.

Barbara Kingsley (Cambridge Springs, PA) always has to "double or triple the Sweet Macaroni Salad recipe and still never has leftovers." I think this would be popular at your barbecue too.

Marian Peters (Jeannette, PA) made this salad for a family reunion and everyone loved it. "It was quick and easy to make," thought Marian. "I added a few extra ingredients - eggs, cucumber, and celery; I'll definitely make it again." Sweet and creamy, it's got a surprising flavor that's sure to be the talk of the afternoon.

Even if it's something small, I love to put out a dessert or two towards the end of the day.

"This recipe was originally introduced to me by my aunt," shares Tara Pacheco (Fall River, MA). "It was her signature dessert she would bring to our family get-togethers."

Tara's Chocolate Disgust is anything but disgusting... it's definitely disgustingly good as Tara jokes. As chocolaty and scrumptious as this dessert is, it's neither too heavy or too sweet. The Kahlua-soaked cake melds with the whipped cream and pudding for a spoonable taste of heaven.

Cookies are a great dessert option because people can just grab a little something sweet. Connee Sheckler (Baltimore, MD) shared her Black & White Chunk Cookies and they're a chocolate lovers dream.

"These cookies are moist, delicious and definitely appeal to all lovers of chocolate," thinks Connee. There's chocolate and there is CHOCOLATE. These cookies are pure awesome. I bet you won't be able to just have one.

Let's kick off summer on a tasty note and hopefully, these recipes will help put together a menu. Have your favorite cookout classics? Post them to Just A Pinch. Happy Pinching!

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