Labor Day Weekend feels like the last celebration of summer. It isn’t of course. Technically, summer continues until nearly the end of September but it FEELS like it. I, for one, am always ready for fall so I really like to celebrate summer on this “last weekend” since we will probably have chili or short ribs or pork roast on Tuesday.
Since our kitchen is done we decided (last minute) to throw a little bbq tonight. Then we are off to the farm on Sunday for the annual Horseshoe tournament. I need to bring a side to the farm. So I get to menu plan! One of my favorite things to do is menu plan; I have missed it so much! It got me thinking, what is everyone planning on making this weekend? Have you decided yet?
Just in case you need a little inspiration I thought I would do some brainstorming for you. Any of the options below are perfect for a summer celebration!
Let’s start with the main course… a grill should be involved. You could relax, take your time and slowly smoke some ribs. Ribs definitely scream summer. If you have a small group and want to keep it super simple just grill a steak (that’s what I’m doing tonight). Feeding a ton of people but don’t want to do too much work? Try beer-boiled brats. They are just different enough to impress your guests but without a lot of hassle. Want the whole meal in one go? Shish-Kebab it up! One big platter with all the food makes everyone happy!
Moving on to side dishes… I’m bringing cabbage and apple salad to the farm on Sunday. It is so good, easy, light and fresh. It goes great with pork, which is always the main course during the horseshoe tourney. Another great side option is Giada’s tri-colore orzo pasta salad. It is a little different and totally delicious (it is also my #1 blog hit)! But if you want tradition, is it really a party without some green bean casserole? I don’t know if it is. Everyone gets excited when they see strawberry pretzel jello on the buffet! Celebrate the bounty of summer with a simple side of sliced tomatoes. You can never go wrong and they go with everything. Want another side you don’t have to cook? This salad dressing adapted from Melissa D’Arabians recipe is perfect! It takes seconds to throw together and is great with just lettuce. Seriously, it is. If you are making it for a large crowd just triple the recipe.
Speaking of things you don’t really have to cook…. Don’t forget about the big platter and summer toasts. If it is going to be hot where you are, this will satisfy everyone without heating up the kitchen! You will have to boil noodles for Ina’s summer garden pasta but that is it. And it’s another way to partake in those great summer tomatoes and fresh herbs!
Live it up this weekend! Because next week, I”m starting on fall… ahhhhh….