The Unofficial End of Summer. For some, the Unofficial End of Grill Season. (Note: Neither is true - Summer ends on September 21, and Grill Season technically never has to end if you are die-hard about it).
Oh yeah, and a holiday dedicated to...working. Yeah. Real fun.
Whether it is the embracing of Autumn's arrival, a sad good-bye of Summer or the slap-in-the face realization that there are far too many years until retirement, we have to admit that Labor Day does give us the opporunity to celebrate with parties, friends, fireworks, cookouts and GOOD FOOD.
As promised, I've researched and compiled some good recipes together for a pretty solid Labor Day Cookout Menu. Some of the recipes, I will admit, I have not yet tried. But I am posting them because I stumbled across them and they looked so fantastic, that I intend to cook this exact menu for MY Labor Day Cookout...and why would I cheat you out of a good recipe??
So, here is the menu. Let me know what you think of the recipes! If YOU have good Cookout recipes that other people in the community could benefit from (read: recipes for those who hate the recipes I post, but are still searching for something good), then PLEASE email me or leave a comment!
[PLEASE leave a comment if you stop by this menu! I'd love to hear from you!]
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Peppery Sweet Cheese Block
- This is simple, but a crowd pleaser!-
- 1 block of Cream Cheese (light or non-fat is fine)
- 1 Jar of Pepper Jelly /Jam (for those who live locally, I recommend any of Chile Spot's Pepper Jam's available at the WCGM)
Place Cream Cheese block on a decorative serving platter. Spoon several tablespoons of Jelly/Jam over the Cheese (as much or as little as you'd like).
Serve with Tortilla Chips, Crackers or Pita.
Main Dish #1
- I caught this on TV the other day and it looked SO GOOD, I couldn't WAIT to try it (or post it)!-
- Serves 4-
- 1 1/2 lbs Ground Beef
- 1 packet Beefy Onion Soup Mix
- 2 TBS Ginger Teriyaki Marinade Mix (powder form, not liquid) - [recommend McCormick's Grill Mates]
- 1 (8oz) can Pineapple Rings (keep rings intact), drained and juice reserved
- Salt and Pepper
- 1/3 cup Mayonnaise
- 1 TBS wasabi paste
- 1 TBS soy sauce
- 4 Burger Buns
Combine Beef, Soup Mix, Teriyaki Marinade Mix, and 1/4 cup reserved Pineapple Juice. Form 4 patties slightly larger than bun. Gently press pineapple rings into tops of patties. Season burgers with salt and pepper. Place on grill, starting with pineapple side DOWN. Cook 8 minutes per side for medium.
Mix together Mayo, wasabi paste, soy sauce. Spread on buns. Place burger on buns. Top with lettuce, tomato, onion - or whatever toppings suit you!
Lettuce, Tomato, Onion (for toppings)
Main Dish #2
- As luck would have it, I came across another recipe using Pineapple juice! This would be a great compliment recipe to make alongside the burgers-
- 2-3 lbs of Chicken (any parts you choose - I usually use boneless, skinless breasts)
- 2 Cups Of Fresh Pineapple Juice
- 8 Fresh GRILLED Pineapple Rings (briefly grill over heat until slightly charred or grill marks show)
- 1/2 Cup Of Honey
- 1/2 Cup Of Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Teaspoon Of Garlic Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Of Onion Powder
- 1/8 Cup Of Whiskey (recommended: Jameson Irish)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Of Cayenne Pepper
In a blender, combine Pineapple Juice and Grilled Pineapple Rings until pureed. Pour into a bowl with a lid. Add remaining ingredients. Stir with a whisk until well combined. Seal bowl with lid. Chill marinade for 1 hour. After 1 hour, take out marinade and re-whisk until well combined again. Pour contents of bowl into a large freezer bag (ie: Ziplock). Place chicken into bag and seal. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours before grilling.
This marinade can be used with beef and seafood as well!
Tomato Mozzarella Salad
- This is a recipe I modified from Sorrento Cheese. The original recipe involves salad greens and was a bit oily. I cut back on the oil (sometimes I don't use oil at ALL), and I got rid of the lettuce. For original recipe, click HERE-
- 1 8-oz Mozzarella Ball, sliced into thin disks
- 3 ripe tomatoes, sliced into thin disks
- 2 Tbsp. Fresh basil, chopped
- 1/8 cup olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- ½ Tsp. Dijon mustard
- ¼ tsp. salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place mozzarella, tomatoes and basil onto a serving dish (I like to make rings, alternating Moz and Tomato, sprinkling with basil).
Whisk together dressing ingredients and pour over Mozzarella and Tomato platter.
Simple but tasty!
Note: I had a friend who one time grilled mozzarella cheese. I found a recipe HERE (if you are nervous putting the cheese slices on a grill, place in a pan on the grill).
- 2 C. Sugar
- 1 C. butter/margarine
- 15 oz. Ricotta Cheese
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 4 C. flour
- 2 TBS baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 - 1/2 C. confectioners sugar
- 3 TBS milk
Beat sugar and butter on low speed until blended, then high speed until fluffy (about 5 minutes). Mix ricotta, vanilla, and eggs at medium speed. Add flour, baking powder, and salt at low speed. Drop by tablespoon 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350º 15 minutes, or until golden.
For icing, mix confectioner's sugar and milk until thin. Spread icing on cookies while still warm, and sprinkle with jimmies/sprinkles (optional).
NOTE: I suggest ending your cookout with these scrumptious goodies! Serve with fresh fruit from your Local Farmer's Market and some good coffee!
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There you have it! A great recipe line-up for a great night of food and friends. Enjoy your Labor Day weekend, and optimistically welcome the celebratory season of Autumn!
Happy Labor Day!