Our Go-To Beach Weekend Menu

When preparing to leave for a weekend away, menu-planning can be an item on the to-do list that can get particularly stressful. Especially when traveling with a larger group, the coordination required for selecting the right recipes to make, gathering the grocery list for all the ingredients, and then planning to prepare the meals themselves can feel daunting. 
Our family frequents our home away from home at Alligator Point, Florida and we admittedly experience the same pressure when planning the menu, no matter how short the trip.  
Taking a cue from that old saying, “Why fix what ain’t broke?” {and as a similar to our approach to our Thanksgiving menu, over time we’ve found a few go-to recipes that are family favorites and can easily fill at least a couple of spots, leaving fewer holes to fill with new ideas or recipes to try – a much less daunting feat! 
In the spirit of the summer season, and as a continuation of sharing a little more insight into our entertaining and lifestyle at our beach house, we’re sharing our Go-To Beach Weekend Menu with you to inspire you with some of our favorite recipes to make at the beach in hopes that you can alleviate some pressure for yourself, too! 


What’s on our Go-To Beach Weekend Menu? 

Wondering what to cook at the beach? Try these unforgettable recipes for your next beach week menu: 


Our Go-To Beach Weekend Menu Favorites:  

  • Boat Sandwiches 
Not only is this delicious beach menu full of tried-and-true recipes, but they all have fairly short ingredients lists and simple instructions – a winning combination for the beach lifestyle when you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen for extended periods of time! 


Best Things to Cook for Each Course: 

For Breakfast: Sausage and Egg Casserole Recipe 

There is nothing better than waking up to a prepared breakfast casserole that just needs to be popped in the oven and served. Whether you have a busy schedule or you are looking to mix up your usual breakfast recipe, this overnight Sausage and Egg Casserole recipe is the one you are looking for. 


For an Appetizer or a Snack: Boiled Peanuts 

Boiled peanuts are not only considered a well-known southern delicacy, but also a beach weekend must-have for our family during the months Valencia Green Peanuts are in season {which luckily overlaps with the height of beach season!}. Whether we pick them up at a roadside stand en route, or make our own, there simply has to be a double bowl set-up within arms reach at our beach house. 

To share our original Boiled Peanut Recipe, we called on our very own connoisseur, Laura’s husband, Milton who is infamous for his homemade Boiled Peanuts in our family! 


For an Appetizer or a Snack: Smoked Fish Dip 

It’s too easy to stop on the way down to the beach to pick up this favorite from a local seafood stop, Mineral Springs. Since you may not have as easy access to our local stop as we do, they were generous enough to share their recipe with us so you can make a batch for your own beach trip! 


Smoked Fish Dip 

Serves 8-10, Yields 2 Cups  


1 cup smoked fish  

¾ cup mayonnaise  

2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish 

2 tablespoons celery, minced 

½ cup sweet onion, grated 

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder  

Salt & pepper, to taste 

Saltine crackers 

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with saltine crackers. 

Note: Shop your local seafood market for smoked fish. Try mullet, amberjack, even salmon... any smoked fish will work. Call ahead to check for the best selection and availability. 


For an Appetizer or a Snack: Salmon Carpaccio with Crispy Capers 

This simple appetizer features everything you love about smoked salmon but with added ingredients that make it irresistibly delicious. 


For Lunch: Go-To Boat Sandwiches 

Ok, so these don’t have to be enjoyed on a boat, but we make them so often, their official nickname is “Boat Sandwiches.” Extremely simple assembly makes a high quantity count a much more achievable task before loading up and heading out. Plus, there’s something about their combined flavor after being wrapped up tightly that just hits the spot when you’re knee-deep in the water somewhere. 


Go-To Boat Sandwiches  

Makes roughly 24 sandwiches  


1 pack of 24 Hawaiian Rolls, Original   

1 pound Sweet Ham, shaved  

¾ pound Swiss Cheese, thinly sliced  


Cling Wrap at the ready  

Individually break apart rolls and slice in half lengthwise almost all the way through, leaving a small piece connected so it opens flat like a book. Spread a layer of mayonnaise on both the top and bottom halves of the rolls.  

Pile handfuls of ham onto each roll's bottom half. Tear a slice of cheese in half and fold one of the halves to fit on top of the piled ham.   

Close the sandwich by closing the roll and sandwiching the ham and cheese between. Gently press down. Wrap 1 or 2 individual sandwiches in a piece of cling wrap.  

Place all individually wrapped sandwiches into a container within the cooler to keep until ready to eat. 


For Dinner: Head-On Shrimp  

The perfect casual, just-dig-in, recipe for summer nights when you don’t want to scarf down something super heavy, and don’t want to skimp on flavor either.  


For Dinner: Fried Fish 

A dear family friend of ours, John Thomas, developed this recipe method and allowed us to share it with you. Trust us, once you learn how to fry fish with the steps laid out in this recipe, you will never fry anything another way! 
For Dessert: Peach Cobbler 

A favorite recipe of ours because of its nimble nature – you can make it with a variety of fruits, not just peaches! It’s also a very simple recipe to make and easy to remember... the Rule of 2s! All this Peach Cobbler recipe calls for is two cups of each ingredient and two sticks of butter. 
For Cocktails: Classic Margarita 

Where fresh lime meets tequila in a complementary cocktail that only pairs best with crisp tortilla chips and freshly made salsa. This Classic Margarita recipe features all the staple ingredients you know best. 
For Cocktails: Perfect Paloma 

This zesty citrus-infused update to a classic lime margarita is the perfect balance of tart and sweet, plus it’s easy to prepare and so delicious your guests will be searching for seconds. 


Tips for Meal Planning 

Since the nearest grocery store is about a 30-minute drive away, we do most of the prep work ahead of time in the form of recipe research, menu planning, and delegating meals to different individuals to divide the opportunity to host for the evening (as well as the responsibility to clean up!) 

Use the ‘Shared Note’ feature in your phone 
Ahead of the next beach trip, the host or someone who is willing to take a little leadership should prompt the group and physical set up the Shared Note to include the grocery list and the menu and share it with all contacts.  
See how we set up our own Shared Note here. 
Divide and conquer 
Then, each guest or family should start by signing up for their dishes or menu items, then add their recipes’ individual ingredients in with quantities they’re shopping for as well as their name or initials. As each ingredient is shopped, the owner of that ingredient marks it with a handy little checkmark tool (in place of a bullet) that allows you to check off as you've purchased the item.   
Sharing the load makes each person’s contributions a little lighter and the overall process much more enjoyable. 
Start with your Go-To Recipes then fill in with new ideas 
Have a few go-to recipes of your own? Take our cue and start there! Then layer in a few new recipes you’ve been wanting to try.  

Pro tip: Breakfast, Lunch, Cocktails, and Appetizers are usually the easiest meals to experiment with because they’re less of a commitment than dinner. 
One of the ways to extend the at-ease feeling of vacation a little ahead of actually arriving at your destination is to find small ways to make the prep stage a little easier and more enjoyable. Through sharing our Go-To Beach Weekend Menu and a few tips and tricks for meal planning, we hope to have made a difference in at least that step in planning for your next beach trip! 


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