Friday, September 3, 2010

Labor Day Recipes You'll Love

Instead of posting a new recipe today, I thought it would be fun to share a list of foods worthy of your Labor Day cook-outs this weekend. I love Labor Day weekend, although I’m always a little sad that summer is ending for another year. Our family always utilizes the grill in a big way, and after a delicious mid-afternoon meal we go swimming, then visit the flea market, so Labor Day really is like summer’s last hurrah for us. Here are a few (okay, 13; it was really hard to narrow them down!) of the dishes I thought would be just perfect for a late-summer cook-out.

Cowboy burgers. These savory burgers are topped with caramelized onions that have been drowned in steak sauce. They’re messy and taste amazing, and definitely one of our favorite burgers.

Summertime hot dogs with Dr. Pepper BBQ sauce. Use any kind of meat you like, it really doesn’t matter; the BBQ sauce is the star here. And the Dr. Pepper is the star of the BBQ sauce. It adds a really deep, sweet, syrupy taste that I just love. (Not surprising, since Dr. Pepper is my biggest vice.)

Foil-packet potatoes. So much flavor in such a compact package. These are endlessly adaptable, easy to make for a crowd and grill up in no time. And the best thing about them? They’re mouth-wateringly good.

Potato salad. This is one of the most-requested recipes from my family. My mom’s potato salad was a staple at all of our family gatherings growing up, and now that she’s gone, the torch has been passed to me. Every cook-out needs a good potato salad, and this is definitely better than good.

Wonderful pickles. This is another classic family recipe. Crunchy cucumbers are combined with onions and sweet peppers and drenched in a sweet, tangy dressing. I always have this in my refrigerator all summer long, and since it doesn’t contain mayonnaise, it’s the perfect cook-out food.

Pesto pasta salad and deviled egg pasta salad. I’m including both of these in the list because if you put a gun to my head, I don’t think I could choose which one of these I like better. They’re so different, but they’re both so delicious. If you’re going for something a little more upscale, try the pesto version. If you just want a pasta salad that’s plain old delicious, go for the deviled egg version. I honestly don’t think you could go wrong either way.

Broccoli salad. This salad is seriously so good. It’s a great thing to make ahead of time so the flavors can really combine. This is one of the dishes I’ll be taking to our cook-out this year.

Summer fruit salad with creamy lime dressing. I sang the praises of this salad earlier this week, and it really is perfect cook-out food. Blueberries, strawberries, and cantaloupe are still in season and readily available at the markets (and cheap!), so this is a great way to utilize them before they disappear.

Grape salad. I could write love poems about this salad, I love it so much. Our entire family is crazy about it, and it’s the second dish I’m taking to our cook-out this weekend. Everyone insisted.

Sour cream peach pecan pie. This isn’t your typical peach pie, but it’s still an incredible way to highlight the flavor of those delicious, juicy peaches that are just falling off the trees right now. My favorite part is the buttery, crispy, streusel-like topping. I could probably eat an entire pie made up of just that and be perfectly happy.

Rich chocolate chunk brownies. I mean, c’mon, how much more American does it get than a gooey, fudgy brownie? Top it with some homemade vanilla ice cream (another staple in our family) and it’s pretty much Heaven in a dish.

Peanut butter pie. This is my mom’s recipe, and the third and final dish I’m making for this weekend. If you like peanut butter pie, you’re going to love this version. Instead of topping the pie, fresh whipped cream is folded right into it, resulting in a light, creamy texture. And the crust? It's made from peanut butter Oreos. You won’t believe how good this pie is. Mmmm. Delectable.

Have a great long weekend!


Monica H said...

Cassie, you're killing me here!

Julie said...

Your foil packet potatoes leave me drooling. I'm a cheese and potatoes kinda girl :)

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