A summertime favorite, Labor Day is the annual celebration of American workers. Whether you plan a party or not, there’s still that three-day weekend to sweeten the pot!
This year has not been without its challenges, so if you do decide to invite close friends and family to join you around your backyard pool for this time-honored tradition, perhaps you go easy on the entertaining this year. As in, make it easy on yourself.
There are plenty of simple recipes that are full of flavor but don’t add up to hours in the kitchen. If you don’t want to dedicate an entire day to prepping, we have some savory solutions for you.
Backyard Parties 101
- First off, being the ideal host means knowing the dietary needs of your guests. Your brother-in-law may be observing a vegetarian regimen, maybe your cousin is on a diet. The goal is to give everyone options while making those vegetarian and low-cal choices tempting for all. If you don’t feel you can serve an alternative menu, it is perfectly acceptable to ask a guest to bring a main course they like. It’s better NOT to stress about it while also making certain your guest finds culinary options that suit them.
- Secondly, there’s SO much to love about a theme. Again, if you want to keep it simple, go with a hat party. Not a bad idea to have a selection of backup gear from the party store so every guest has something to wear. Or…while ugly sweater parties are the rage in December, you can invite everyone to dress like the pop star they liked when they were a teenager. Giving your party a premise is fun for everyone and a great icebreaker for people who don’t know one another.
- Third of all, make the basic necessities available. Set aside a couple baskets with extra bottles of sunscreen and one with lush towels. A simple folding table and a couple of coolers filled with ice will serve as your beverage dispensing station. Wine and spirits, (or your signature punch recipe) can take center stage flanked by beer and soda on ice. Make sure there is plenty of water available so your guests may adequately hydrate throughout the day. Fill the pool with colorful floats that will make the deliciously cool water even more inviting. Make certain there are plenty of plates, cups, utensils, and amenities available. If your guests can easily navigate everything themselves, they will feel much more at home. It’s like a DIY Day!
If you put yourself in the position of being a guest, you can plan from their perspective and place everything at the ready. Intuitive people make excellent hosts. What’s also enticing about al fresco entertaining is that it’s inherently casual. You can certainly take outdoor dining up a notch with centerpieces and a jazz trio, but after a long week of work, it’s nice to be a guest at your own party!
Labor Day Recipes
This is another place for you to shine. You may absolutely love trying new recipes or serving up crowd-pleasing picks like your famous chili. But we found this amazing assortment of concoctions from the people at Country Living. We think you’ll enjoy their down-home, simple to prepare cuisine.
Mayonnaise-free and stepped up a notch with the bold taste of chives and Dijon mustard, you may never look back at the traditional version of this BBQ staple. With potatoes boiled until they are just tender, you simply puree the rest of the ingredients (olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper) along with the mustard and chives until smooth. A touch of flat-leaf parsley and this mixture will get these plain potatoes up on their feet! Fresh and easy, this may become your new go-to side dish.
If you’ve never tried these, you are in for a treat! Pickles are not just a burger topper; they make for a zesty snack and an easy appetizer. Shallots, mayonnaise, buttermilk, chives, and garlic powder are combined in a bowl with salt and pepper for a rich dipping sauce. The batter is just a mix of flour, cornstarch, cornmeal, baking soda, and club soda, seasoned with salt. Yes, they are fried so you’ll want to perhaps eat a salad first, but you will be hooked on these crunchy nuggets that can be served warm or at room temperature.
After throwing back some fried pickles, you will want to dive into this veggie-infused dish that gets its kick from jalapeños. Summer veggie favorites like zucchini and yellow squash are brushed with olive oil and placed directly on a grill lightly coated with canola oil. Just 3 or 4 minutes has them off the grate and on the plate! Sliced into 2-inch pieces they are bathed in a combo of lemon zest, jalapeño, honey, and olive oil. Seasoned with salt and pepper and topped with scallions and basil, you’ve got a blend of the best of summer!
Simplicity is beauty when it comes to these juicy burgers. And you’ll be serving them up in under 10 minutes. Basted with tangy Worcestershire, just deliver them on a platter with cheese, lettuce, pickles, and tomatoes alongside. What more do you need?
How about some easy to assemble triple berry pies? As a hand-held dessert, these pastries will be a hit. (And with packaged piecrusts, anything is possible!) Chockful of blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, these luscious fruits just need to be combined with sugar, salt, and cornstarch to make for a juicy filling. In 30-35 minutes, you’ll have a wonderful dessert you can adorn with ice cream.
Don’t miss the rest of this tantalizing array courtesy of Country Living!
- Grilled Sausages
- Chicken and Black Bean Nachos
- Hot Dogs with Quick Cast-Iron Beans
- Marinated Chicken and Onion Kebabs
- Cowboy Steaks and Potatoes with Broccoli and Cheddar-Scallion Spread
- Corn Cobettes With Basil Butter
- Charred Baby Peppers with Lime and Cashew Vinaigrette
- Green Beans with Crispy Chickpeas
- Green Beans and Crushed Salt-and-Vinegar Chips
- Parmesan Tots with Dipping Sauce
- Tossed Salad with Green Goddess Dressing
From our backyard to yours, we wish you and your family an extraordinary Labor Day gala!
Lyon Financial has been providing pool and home improvement loans since 1979. We love the difference we can make for families by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information about creating your version of Party Central.