DIY Traditional New England Clam Bake

Today, typical clambake fare includes lobster, clams, potatoes, and corn, wrapped and steamed in seaweed (a menu and preparation similar to that of ancestors). Spending a day on the beach recreating this American pastime makes the perfect top off to your beach vacation. 

Digging the Pit

Before hosting a clambake, make sure it's legal to cook on your preferred beach. Then, invite tons of friends and family and start digging. The ideal pit size for accommodating your various crustaceans and veggies should measure approximately 3-feet deep and 4 to 5 feet in diameter. Once the pit is dug, line the bottom of your pit with large stones that are 6 to 8 inches around. Tackle this preparation in the early morning, before the sun is high and the sand is hot. 

Building the Fire

Next, build a fire on top of the rocks using hardwood you brought from home, bought from a general store, or collected on the beach. Driftwood also works well in a pinch. Allow your fire to burn for several hours (and most of the afternoon), re-stoking it, as needed. In the final hour before cooking, as a hack, add charcoal to your bed of embers to ensure ample heat for cooking your food. If you choose to omit the charcoal, test your heat source by splashing water on the rocks—the water should sizzle and evaporate upon contact. When your fire dies down to just embers and charcoal, it's ready to cook on. Rake out any extra wood and ash, and then cover the hot rocks and charcoal with a 3-inch layer of wet seaweed.

Preparing the Food

The quantity of food you cook depends on the crowd size. An intimate feed for 6 to 8 people calls for at least one 1 1/4-pound lobster per person, 2 pounds new potatoes, 6 pounds littleneck or cherrystone clams, and 1 ear of corn per person (husk on). If you're expecting more, bump up the quantities to the sufficient amount of food needed—your fire pit can handle it. Purchase your lobster and clams live, and on the day of cooking, and keep them chilled until you're ready to steam them. Rinse and scrub the clams in a sink, prior to cooking, and wash and pierce the potatoes with a knife. Then, wrap the corn and potatoes individually in foil and load all the food items into a cheesecloth sack, placing it on top of the embers. Cover the food with another 2 inches of wet seaweed and watch it steam.

(Note: Have a few buckets of seawater on hand to drizzle over the pit for a good steam. Having water available also serves as a safety precaution, in the event of a fire gone out of control.) 

Steaming and Serving the Meal

Cover the entire pit with a burlap sack or large piece of canvas that has been soaked in seawater. Secure the sides of the sack with heavy rocks or sand to seal in the steam. Let the entire ensemble cook for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. And don't forget to melt 1 pound of butter for dipping. This can be done in a pot at the edge of your pit or at home on the stove, prior to serving. 

When done, lobsters will turn red, clamshells will open, and potatoes should be easily pierced with a fork. Use oven mitts or leather fire gloves to remove the food from the pit. Place the food sack on a tarp in the sand or on a picnic table and serve it buffet style, with individual cups of melted butter. Accompany your meal with cold beer, white wine, or Prosecco.


DIY Hot Dog Bar

What a fun idea! Set up a DIY hot dog bar for your next bbq or party! 
This theme is super easy to pull together. Aside from the shopping, which we did most of the day before, this entire theme was put together & shot in a single day – including the design of the printables!
Target and Walmart are great sources for BBQ supplies. Be sure to check the dollar section first.
  • chili
  • corn chips 
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • guacamole
  • diced onions
  • pickle spears
  • tomato slices
  • mustard
  • hot peppers
  • sweet peppers
  • coleslaw
  • deli mustard
  • ketchup

This was more than enough and offered guests a range of combinations to choose from.


(click on a link to download the high-res pdfs. ENJOY!)

– Blank Food Labels (can also be used as Place Cards)
– Water Bottle Labels
– “Drink Up” Sign
– Hot Dog Recipe Signs
– “Make Your Own Hot Dog” Sign





Build Your Own Burger Bar


The possibilities for toppings are almost endless! How big or small you want your options to be is totally up to you. Have your buns, hamburger patties, and toppings spread out on a big buffet table so your guests can choose what they like. Have the table placed next to the grill if you’d like to serve the patties as they’re done cooking. 

Here are some topping ideas!


  • Cheddar
  • Swiss
  • Pepper Jack
  • Blue


  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Red onions
  • Caramelized onions
  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Bacon
  • Pickles
  • Jalapeño peppers


  • Mayonnaise
  • Yellow mustard
  • Dijon mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Ranch
  • BBQ sauce

Summer Bucket List


Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

1 1/2 pounds strawberries, stemmed and quartered
5 tablespoons sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Mix strawberries with 3 tablespoons sugar and refrigerate while juices develop, at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add heavy cream and mix until just combined. Place mixture in an ungreased 8-inch square pan and bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes.

Remove shortcake from pan and place on a rack to cool slightly. Cut into 6 pieces and split each piece in half horizontally.

Spoon some of the strawberries with their juice onto each shortcake bottom. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and then the shortcake top. Spoon more strawberries over the top and serve.