Summer has unofficially begun in my book! I’ve been waiting in anticipation for Memorial Day Weekend all year. Summer is my absolute favorite cooking season. Who doesn’t love to grill with a cold glass of sangria in their hand?! I couldn’t be more excited to dance, drink, eat, and play without worrying, now that we’re all vaccinated.

This year, I decided to host a pink-themed potluck party in the Hamptons for some of my closest friends. Well, 50 of my closest friends to be exact! As the party quickly approached, we realized the weather might not be on our side. Luckily, I have plenty of space to entertain inside. After working in the catering world for so many years, I’m always prepared for the worst case scenarios.  With the help of some of my talented friends, we turned my house into a pink and floral, springtime dream.

Ramona Singer and me!

Every table had its own theme. We had flower arrangements of pink peonies, roses, and rhododendron and gorgeous green glassware to match the springtime vibe.

Memorial Day Potluck Menu

Since this was a buffet-style potluck dinner, I asked everyone to bring a dish. I love the idea of hosting a potluck because it gives everyone the chance to participate and it always makes for the most wonderfully diverse menu. My friends brought everything from cheese to stuffed cabbage to grilled sausages to sushi.

My contributions to the feast were a couple racks of tender St. Louis-style ribs (both Asian-style sticky ribs and BBQ ribs), seafood and chorizo paella, roasted vegetables, and a gorgeous cheese board. The ribs and paella were definitely the highlights of this buffet. Everyone loved them so much, there wasn’t a rib left on the plate! We glazed half of the ribs with a sweet and tangy BBQ sauce and the other half with an Asian-style sauce, toasted sesame seeds, and chopped scallions.

My seafood paella was chock full of peas, juicy shrimp, mussels, and grilled chorizo. All of the seafood was cooked in my fragrant fresh tomato marinade with garlic, olive oil, and white wine.

I also made a few pitchers of my famous Flirting with Flavors White Wine Sangria. We loaded up the sangria with oranges, berries, mango, and kiwi. It wouldn’t be Memorial Day Weekend, or any summer party for that matter, without a pitcher of sangria!

I’m so lucky to have such a fun group of friends who know how to stick to a theme. Every single person wore pink, even my husband!

My beautiful friend Colleen Rein, the birthday girl!!

For dessert, we had an indulgent variety of cakes, cookies, and ice cream. It was my beautiful friend Colleen Rein’s birthday, so we had a cake for her. The night was filled with endless dancing and singing! I was so special to be together under one roof. I couldn’t have asked for a better night with my friends.

Here’s hoping that the next party will be outside! Now that I’ve officially ripped off the bandaid with my summer entertaining, I can’t wait to start planning my next event. Stay tuned for our next blog where I’ll share the recipe for the best ribs ever!