An All American BBQ

The Table and The Menu Combined Create a Holiday to Remember


The Patriots (Napkin Rings)

Branded & Seared (Placemats)

Rin Tin Tin (Glasses)

Ticking Tac Toe (Chairs)

Cactus Round-Up (Centerpiece)

Hide & Stud (Table)

Rope ‘em In (Table)


Chili Rubbed Flank Steak

Lone Star Cole Slaw

Skillet Corn Bread with Jalapeno and Pecans

 Red White and Blue Almond Short Cakes
Lone Star

Brand the Mats

You Need

13″x 18″ plywood rectangles
1″ wooden stars
Wood burnishing tool & tip
Leather shoe string
1″ roofing nail
Glue gun & glue sticks

Get Started

  1. Write your guests’ names  2″-4″ from the top of the place mat with your wood burnishing tools.
  2. Hammer a nail ½ way into the wood in each of the four corners.
  3. Tie off one end of your leather shoestring to the upper left nail — then wrap the length of the additional string around the perimeter – wrapping around each nail head once.  Continue this process around the place mat until you reach the upper left nail head again – tie off.  Remember to leave a bit of length after you have tied off the final corner – it’s fun in a rawhide sort of way.
  4. Place a dab of hot glue on the nail head of the upper left nail and press on your pre-cut wooden star.

Hints & Clues

  • If you have different sized plywood cut into squares lying around, don’t be afraid to use them as place mats.  Mix and match/big and small…it is a great way to make scraps of wood useful.
  • If you want to make it more like a ranch and less like a place card, use your initials and burnish them into your place mats or if your home has a name write that out—i.e. Ponderosa.

The Patriots

Napkin Rings

You Need

Small American flags (approx. 4” X 6”)
1′ leather shoelace strips

Get Started

  1. Roll each napkin lengthwise, giving them a sturdy baton feel.  
  2. Wrap flags around each rolled up napkin. (Keep the stripes vertical.)
  3. Tie a piece of leather shoelace around the center of each flag.
  4. Tie the two tails off in knots to give the ring a finished look
Hints & Clues
  • If you can’t find small flags, look for use small flags on  sticks;  simply  remove the flags from the sticks for use.
  • You may have to trim each flag to better show off both Stars and Stripes.


Did you know that the American flag flies over the White House only when the president is in residence?

Rin Tin Tin

You Need

2 ½ – 3 yards vinyl Pleather
Tin Cans
Leather shoestring

Get Started

  1. Cut a piece of pleather that covers the entire circumference of the tin can, leaving an extra inch on the top and bottom and leaving an extra ¼ inch where the seams join.
  2. Fold a one inch border along one length of pleather creating a smooth edge.
  3. Puncture holes approx. ½” apart along the entire length using the awl.
  4. Repeat this process along the opposite edge  as well as along the width seams.
  5. Thread your needle with a leather shoestring.
  6. Whipstitch the hems at the top and bottom.
  7. Join the seams by whipstitching them together to create the sleeve.  (This is a good time to test your desired width, remember you don’t want it too tight or too lose, but just right.  We found it’s best to leave these ends untied until you have placed the sleeve on the can, that way you can adjust accordingly.)
  8. Place a glass inside the can and fill it up.

Hints & Clues

  • Collect tin cans that fit your glasses of choice.  We chose a medium sized soup can to fit our pint glasses. 
  • Remember to carefully fold or bend any sharp edges with pliars – this will make it easier and a bit safer to clean out your can

Ticking Tac ToC

You Need

Bed pillows –preferably firm
1 yard mattress ticking  
Thin gauge silver wire
Upholstery needle

Get Started

  1. Wrap a pillow with mattress ticking leaving excess trim as you would when wrapping a gift to create neat folds.
  2. Thread the needle with the thin gauge wire.
  3.  Visualize the face of the pillow as a grid.  Create the checker board pattern by piercing each section with a piece of wire and pulling it through the fabric, through the pillow and out the other side. Pull it taught, tie off in a knot, creating a tufted surface.
  4. Roll the ends inward on both sides, until the roll meets the pillow.
  5. Secure the ends with wire. (Make you place the wire on the roll along the same lines as the other wires in the grid, therefore continuing the checkerboard pattern)
  6. Put pillows on the ground around the table as seats.

Hints & Clues

  • This is a great way to make use out of old pillows!
  • When you are  working with the wire you may want to wear protective gloves

Cactus Round UP

You Need

4″ terra cotta pots
4″ cactus Potting soil
3′ leather shoestrings
Dried bunches of wheat  
Glue gun
Thick gloves

Get Started

Preparing the Pots:

  1. Cut wheat stalks to measure the height of the terra cotta pots.
  2. Hot glue the wheat stalks all the way around the pots.
  3. Trim the uneven edges along the top and bottom with shears. (The bristles should extend 1-2 inches above the lip.)
  4. Wrap a leather shoestring 2-3 times around each wheat-covered pot and tie to secure, leaving 2” tails.
  5.  Tie finishing knots at the end of the tails.

Potting the Cacti:

  • Put the cacti in the wheat wrapped pots . (Wear gloves!)
  • Add soil and water. (Remember to allow for proper drainage.)
  • Place potted cacti down the center of the table.

Hints & Clues

We used all different varieties of cacti for textures!


Did you know that many cacti are edible?  In fact, in Texas a cactus salad might be listed on any menu!


Hide & Stud

You Need

Hollow  unfinished 3’x8′ door
3 ½’ x 8 ½’ brown pleather
1″ roofing nails  
Scissors or shears
Staple gun  

Get Started

  1. Cover the door with the vinyl fabric and staple gun it to the underside. 
  2. Hammer roofing nails every 4″-6″ around the perimeter of your table top.
  3. Place table-top on cinder block legs.

Hints & Clues

  • We used roofing nails because they are big and round and give the table a western feel

Rope ‘em InTable

Supplies                                               Tools

4 cinder blocks                                                  Medium gauge spool wire

1 bail of hay

4 American flags (Approx) 5″x8”

12 yards medium gauge rope – approx. ½”.

Get Started:

  1. Cover the cinder blocks with hay by wrapping the hay around the blocks and securing it with wire.
  2. Put the blocks in place.
  3. Slip an American flag vertically between the hay and a couple of the wire wraps to help secure it.  (Don’t forget to make sure the flag faces outward.)
  4. Cover the wire by wrapping it with rope and tying a big knot in front.

Chili Rubbed Flank Steak

Serves: 8

You Need

Ingredients:                                                         Amounts:

Flank Steak                                                        2 sides

Garlic                                                                  5 cloves

Cumin                                                                  ½ teaspoon

Cilantro                                                     ¼ cup

Red Chipolte chilis, canned                         7oz can – just  the chilis

Olive oil                                                      2 Tablespoons

Salt                                                               1 teaspoon

Pepper                                                                  1 teaspoon

Get Cookin’

Making the Rub:

  • Place garlic, cumin and cilantro in food processor and blend until it is roughly chopped.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and process until they are smooth.

Preparing the Meat:

  • Rub the mixture onto the flank steak and let sit in refrigerator overnight or let stand at room temperature 2-3 hours.  (If you refrigerate, allow the meat to come to room temperature before grilling.)
  • Grill over hot flame for about 5 minutes per side for medium rare.

Hints & Clues:

  • Use a spoon or spatula to put on the rub, to avoid getting the spicy rub all over your hands.
  • You can substitute canned jalapenos or other red chilis if chipotles are not available.


Did you know that Christopher Columbus brought the first chili pepper to Europe from the New World?

Lone Star Cole Slaw

Serves: 8

You Need

Ingredients                                              Amounts

Pre-shredded cabbage             4 cups

   for cole slaw             

Carrots                                           3, peeled and shredded

Radishes                                         2 bunches, sliced thin in rounds


Mayonnaise                                                1 ½ cups

Mustard                                          1 tablespoon

Apple cider vinegar                              ¼ cup

Sugar                                                            1/3 cup

Tabasco                                           ½ teaspoon

Cayenne Pepper                           ½ teaspoon

Salt                                                   to taste

Pepper                                                         to taste

Get Cookin’

  • Mix together the cole slaw mix, carrots and radishes.
  • Mix all ingredients of the dressing together in a large bowl with a whisk until smooth.
  • Add the dressing to the slaw and toss.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.

Hints & Clues

  • You can make the coleslaw a day in advance. Taste and season before serving.
  • The sweetness of the coleslaw should balance the spicy chili rubbed flank steak and jalapeno cornbread.

Skillet Cornbread with Jalapeno and Pecans

Serves: 8

You Need

Ingredients:                                                         Amounts:

Yellow coarse ground cornmeal                2 cups

Baking powder                                        4 teaspoons

Sugar                                                                        1/3  cup

Salt                                                               1 teaspoon

Egg                                                                 1

Buttermilk                                                           1 ½ cups

Crisco                                                                      2 Tablespoons

Jalapeno, minced                                                2 tablespoons

Pecans, roughly chopped                              ½ cup

Butter                                                                     3 tablespoons, melted

Get Cookin’

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Place a 9-inch skillet with Crisco in the hot oven while you make the batter.
  • Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  •  In another bowl combine the wet ingredients.
  •  Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring just until blended.
  • Add the butter and then stir in the jalapenos and pecans.
  • Pour batter into the hot skillet. 
  • Return to the oven and bake until the top is golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.

Hints & Clues

  • The cornbread can also be made in an 8″ or 9″ square pan.
  • Preheating the pan makes a real difference in the browning and crust of the bread


Corn-bread is as all-American as you can get…you would be hard-pressed to find it in another country.  But while you’re in this one…the best cornbread is at Mesa Grill in New York!

Almond Shortcakes

Serves: 8

You Need

Ingredients:                                                         Amounts:

Bisquick                                                     3 1/3 cups

Milk                                                              ¾ cups

Sugar, plus more for sprinkling               4 ½ Tablespoons

Butter, melted                                        4 Tablespoons

Almond Extract                                       2 Tablespoons

Almond slices                                                       ¼ cup


Strawberries, hulled & sliced                               1 pint

Blueberries, washed & picked over                     1 pint

Sugar                                                                        3 Tablespoons

Lemon Juice                                                           1 lemon

Whipped cream                                        half pint

Sugar                                                                        1 Tablespoon

Get Cookin’

  • Pre-heat oven to 425. 
  • Stir all the ingredients for the shortcakes together. 
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times, till dough comes together.
  • Using a floured rolling pin, roll dough out to a ½” thickness and then cut out 2 ½” rounds with a cookie cutter. 
  • Place on  an un-greased cookie sheet, 1″ apart, sprinkle with sliced almonds and sugar.  Bake for 15 minutes or until shortcakes are golden on top and light brown on the bottom. 
  • Let cool. 
  • To serve, slice the shortcakes in half horizontally and spoon compote and whipped cream on bottom layer and top with the top half.

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