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Why buy store-bought when you can impress your guests with this homemade sauce packed full of flavor? Make up a batch of this ahead of time to let the flavors meld together. It’ll keep in a jar in the fridge for about a month.

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1 ½ cup honey

1 cup ketchup

1 6oz. can tomato paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. cocoa powder

1 tbsp. curry powder

1 tbsp. paprika

1 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp. Tabasco sauce

1 tsp. cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Makes about 3 cups.

It couldn’t be easier to infuse your grilled shrimp with tons of flavor with this easy marinade. Your backyard entertaining just got kicked up a notch!

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2 lbs. shrimp, uncooked, deveined, with tails on

Large resealable plastic bag

1 onion, finely chopped

1 cup peanut oil

2 tbsp. Cajun seasoning

1 tbsp. garlic, minced

2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. rosemary

1 tsp. thyme

Wood skewers, soaked in water

 

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Place shrimp in the plastic bag and pour marinade over. Refrigerate for 2 hours or so. Bring the grill to medium heat. Thread shrimp on wooden skewers and grill 5 to 7 minutes, turning and basting frequently with the rest of the marinade.  Serve with Cajun butter for dipping.

 

Cajun Butter

½ lb. melted butter

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. tarragon

1 tsp. Cajun seasoning

½ tsp. garlic powder

2 to 3 drops Tabasco sauce

Tired of serving the traditional macaroni salad at your backyard bar-be-que, this classic from Pasta and Co. is a brilliant deviation. Make ahead and keep in the fridge the day before if you’re short on time.

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Ingredients:

1 cup olive oil

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 cloves garlic, peeled and run through a press

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

20 grinds of fresh pepper- preferably green peppercorns

3 tablespoons whipping cream

1 pound fresh pasta

1/3 cup Myzithra cheese, grated

¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 cup chives or green onions, finely minced

½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

2 cups frozen peas, thawed and drained

2 cups blanched asparagus tips, cut no longer than 2 inches

Additional green onions sliced on the diagonal for garnish

 

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, red pepper flakes and ground pepper, and whipping cream. Set aside.

Cook pasta al dente in salted boiling water. Drain and rinse with cold water. Toss the pasta in the dressing and allow to cool at room temperature. Gently fold in the remaining ingredients and serve with additional green onions for garnish.

Always a crowd pleaser, pulled pork can be prepared the day before and warmed on the stove top or in a crock pot before serving. Use hoagie rolls for full sandwiches, King’s Hawaiian dinner rolls for excellent sliders, or, as the Pioneer Woman suggests in this recipe, serve with tortillas and lime wedges.

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Ingredients:

  • One 5-7 pound pork shoulder
  • 1 whole onion, cut into quarters
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons salt, or to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a food processor, combine the onion, chili powder, brown sugar, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, olive oil, and vinegar. Pulse until totally combined.
  3. Pour the mixture over the pork and rub it in well, covering every accessible part.
  4. Place the pork into a roasting pan or Dutch oven and add 2 cups water. Cover tightly and roast for 6 or 7 hours, turning once every hour.
  5. Check to make sure it’s fork-tender. Increase the heat to 425 and roast uncovered for 20 minutes or until the skin gets crispy. Remove from the oven and allow the pork to rest for 15 minutes.
  6. Shred the meat, using two forks to pull it apart. Place the shredded meat on a large platter lined with lime wedges.
  7. Pour the pan juices over the shredded meat. This will ensure that the meat stays extra tender.
  8. Serve with warm tortillas

Here at Monster House Plans, we offer a wide variety of house plans. We’re sure you’ll find one you’ll be excited about!

Memorial Day weekend is seen by many as a cause for jubilant celebration: the first three-day weekend of the year, the opening of the summer season, a social history of bar-be-ques and garden parties, and a good chance to get out of town for camping and other outdoor activities. Friends and family gather together and it’s an all-around good time for many.

As a designer of dream homes, what better way to celebrate building your custom home than to be able to host gatherings of loved ones there? I would never begrudge anyone for having a party this weekend, but I would suggest that we all interject a little thoughtfulness into our celebrations. There is, as we all well know, a patriotic element to this weekend that sometimes goes under-recognized. At its inception, Memorial Day was called Decoration Day, and families would decorate the headstones of the many men lost during the Civil War. Over the years the holiday has evolved to include those lost in all wars while serving in the United States’ Armed Forces, and now is often barely a mention amidst the fervor of the long weekend.

Decorated graves of U.S. soldiers

Decorated graves of U.S. soldiers

Take a few moments to remember those you have known and lost to the unthinkable horrors of war. Consider the incredible blessings bestowed upon us by our constitution, when so many people in this world do not enjoy such privilege. Offer a moment of gratitude for the simple joy of having your friends and family around you and, in this season of political mayhem, relish the opportunity we all have to formulate and share a unique opinion. Thank the heroes in your life for their service and, if they are willing, listen to their stories.

Bravery | Courage | Service

Bravery | Courage | Service

There is so much to be grateful for in this world, even in the face of difficulty and uncertainty. No matter how you choose to celebrate this weekend, make a little space to be thankful for the good things in your life, and tell the people close to you that you love them. Believe me, it makes all the difference.

Finding ways to give back for all the goodness I receive is a foundational issue for me. In honor of Memorial Day, MonsterHousePlans.com will donate $50 to the Gary Sinise Foundation for every We honor with our thanks.

We honor with our thanks.