Labor Day is a time to relax, stuff your gullet and be thankful that you have worker rights in the United States. Emphasis on the relaxing and eating, of course.
As millions of Americans douse the charcoal in their grill liberally, throw a match on top and sip on their beverage of choice while the flames slowly die down into perfect embers, they are no doubt looking forward to whipping up their favorite recipes for the occasion. But don't worry: if you happen to be lacking in the recipe department for your party, you've come to the right place. Here are several recipes that might help out:
Patriotic Dirt Cake: Yes, this is jumping straight to dessert. You're on a three-day vacation, live a little! To make this, you're going to need a few ingredients:
- One large container Cool Whip
- One cup powdered sugar
- One teaspoon vanilla
- Half-a-package of "summer blue" Oreos
- Half-a-package of "strawberry creme" Oreos (alternately, if you're not set on the patriotism, just get a whole package of Oreos)
- Eight ounces of cream cheese
- Half-a-cup of margarine or butter
- Three cups milk
- Two boxes of white chocolate or vanilla pudding
Here's what you do: Crush those Oreos up and put them at the bottom of a 9X13 pan. Separately, mix the cream cheese and butter until it's smooth, then mix in the powdered sugar. In another bowl, throw in the pudding, milk and vanilla. Put this into the cream cheese whipping. Pour that mixture over the crumbs, then add more crumbs on top. Refrigerate. Eat... Or just eat.
This recipe is by Lil'Luna.
Cheesy Grilled Potatoes: Maybe you're an savory person, not a dessert person. Not to worry, this one is pretty easy -- and you do it on a grill! Here's what you'll need:
- Seven medium red potatoes (cut into wedges)
- Six slices of ready-to-serve and fully cooked bacon (chop it up)
- A quarter cup of green onions (thinly sliced)
- 3/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/8 teaspoon of pepper
- Two tablespoons of butter
- A cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- Two double-thicknesses of heavy-duty foil, greased (18 inche squares)
Here's what you do: Grab yourself a large bowl and mix everything except the dairy. Divide all of this between the two double thickness foil squares. Add the butter on top, and then fold the foil around the mixture. Grill it, covered, for 40 to 45 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Open foil (carefully), add cheese, grill for up to five more minutes until its melted. Voila. This recipe is from Taste of Home.
Green Bean-Tomato Salad With Herbs: If you're looking for something a little bit more healthy seeming, this is the side dish for you. Pretty easy and light, it's the perfect companion to see the summer months out in style. Here's what you'll need:
- Two pounds of green beans
- One-and-a-half teaspoons of Dijon Mustard
- Two tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- About four tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and fresh ground pepper
- One tablespoon chopped tarragon
- One tablespoon snipped chives
- Half-a-teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
- Half-a-pound of cherry tomatoes
Here's what you do: Boil water and add the green beans; cook them until "crisp-tender" or for about five minutes. Drain them, rinse them under cold water to cool them off, and dry them. Separately in a large bowl, whisk together the mustard and vinegar, gradually add the olive oil, salt and then pepper. Finally add add everything else except the tomatoes, then toss. Add the tomatoes, then toss again. Bon appetit! This recipe is from Delish.
Maple Glazed Ribs: So you're not a dessert person, and you're not that into veggies. No problem, check out these ribs. Here's what you'll need:
- Three pounds of spare ribs cut to be eaten
- One cup of maple syrup
- Three tablespoons of orange juice concentrate
- Three tablespoons of ketchup
- Two tablespoons of soy sauce
- A tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- A tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- A teaspoon of curry powder
- One garlic clove
- Two green onions (mince these babies)
- One tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds
Here's what you do: Heat your oven to 350 degrees and put the ribs in with the meat side up on a 13X9 inch greased pan. Tightly cover it with foil and bake it for 75 minutes. While that's cooking, combine everything else except the sesame seeds in a saucepan, bring it to a boil over medium heat and reduce heat to simmer for 15 minutes while stirring occasionally. When done, drain the ribs and put them back into the pan. Pour the sauce on and cook it for 30 minutes until the meat is tender (baste occasionally). Sprinkle with seeds and serve. This recipe is from Taste of Home.
Watermelon Martini: Finally, you're going to want to have a cocktail. Why not have a watermelon martini to quench your thirst while feeling particularly classy while still eating the above ribs? Per each martini:
- One-and-a-half ounces of vodka
- One-and-a-half ounces of watermelon pucker
- a splash of sweet and sour mix
Combine these ingredients together in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish it with a wedge of watermelon if you're so inclined. Get this recipe at CocktailsDrinkRecipes.com.