If this summer season was your first with a backyard pool, then you know it was one of the best decisions you ever made for your family. Your friends are probably JUST as appreciative as you are now likely the owner of the “holiday house” – the place where parties sizzle around that glistening centerpiece.
Depending on where you live, your pool weather is not coming to an end any time soon. But if you reside in Maine, New Hampshire, or Vermont, the leaves will start transforming from green into those vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges around late September. (There are ways to extend the pool season, no matter the climate!) Still, the annual Labor Day party may be one of your last big blasts of the year. Make it count!
You might be a practiced party-thrower who can crank out the most delectable dishes every time. Then maybe you’d like to try some new ones. Or maybe this is your first season as a “pool home” so you want to establish signature specialties. What better time than with a party that celebrates the hard-working people of our country?
If you’ve never made certain dishes before, you may not want to test them out at the big party. Too much pressure and you don’t want to be focusing on why the hor d’oeuvres were dried out or the cheese-filled puff pastry didn’t exactly bake up light and airy! When you have some confidence, then you can instead focus on being a guest at your own party.
We recommend calling some friends over a month or so before the party and trial new dishes. Your family is also the ideal set of guinea pigs – and they’ll likely be quite honest about the success of your gastronomic attempts!
Ingredients for the Best Labor Day Parties
It’s obvious that besides a sparkling pool filled with colorful floats the guest list is the foundation of the best parties. It is always fun to mix up your groups of friends too.
How about inviting your work friends, and your neighbors, and those in your close circle? A national holiday is also a great opportunity to roll in some single people who are interested in meeting other single people.
Instead of a double-date or a set-up, the party atmosphere lends itself to a more casual connection where no one is put “on the spot.” Your Labor Day bash could be the “how we met” story they tell when two good friends announce their engagement. You never know.
As for what to serve, there is a dizzying array of recipes from which to choose. The first rule ,though, is to offer options that are vegetarian as well as gluten-free. If your guest list is long and there are additional food preferences to accommodate like Kosher or vegan and you’re feeling overwhelmed, it is fine to ask those guests to bring a dish of their own making if you are not versed in that cuisine. If you send your invites via Facebook, for example, you can ask about special menu requirements and then take conversations offline to make certain there’s food your guest can eat. Most people on restricted diets are accustomed to thinking ahead when attending an event at someone’s home.
No matter how simple the dishes you create, using fresh ingredients is the way to go. Fragrant basil leaves and pungent garlic sprung from a shelled clove elevates any meal. Not to say you can’t skimp here and there to save money, but if a certain type of cheese is the star of the dish for example, then it should be of excellent quality.
You can buy the perforated crescent rolls to fill with ham and cheese and baby spinach, so there is no need to necessarily make your own dough! But juicy seasonal fruits and savory spices are the stuff of legendary desserts and appetizers.
This recipe delivers the best of both tasty worlds with its sweet and spicy edge. A hearty marinade of brown sugar and allspice is offset by jalapeño, a bunch of green onions, and a couple garlic cloves.
While marinating the chicken for at least two hours is recommended, an overnight marinade session gets it out of your way and ready for the grill when you are.
Just grill for 10 minutes on an oiled grate and then move to a cooler part of the grill. Brush with leftover marinade and cover to grill another 10-15 minutes or until cooked through. A meat thermometer is never a bad idea, especially when cooking chicken. You don’t want to over or undercook it.
With salmon fillets and this spicy Asian-infused glaze, you’ve got an easy to prepare dish that looks pretty fancy. With a rich hoisin sauce that brings its own sweet/salty personality, you combine rice vinegar, soy sauce, mirin, garlic chili paste, ginger, lime juice and zest, and garlic powder. No marinating required, just grill and glaze.
Besides being extraordinarily aromatic, the thinly sliced green onions and sesame seeds add a smashing garnish for a gorgeous presentation.
One of those dishes that looks as good as it tastes, this is a splash of the flavorful ingredients of a charcuterie board blended into the perfect al dente fusilli. Another helpful aspect of this summer salad recipe from Delish is that it provides excellent tips for making the perfect pasta along with variations on the core formula to shake things up a bit.
Bursting with cherry tomatoes, artichoke hearts, baby spinach, salami, black olives, and mozzarella balls, this concoction is dressed in a tangy dressing seasoned with a garlic clove, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and Italian seasoning all spun into a mix of aromatic olive oil and red wine vinegar. And it will only take you about 20 minutes to put it together!
THIS is going to be your new favorite dessert. Not for the most calorically conscious as it is chockful of heavy cream, sugar, whole milk, cream cheese, bananas, Nilla Wafers, and Cool Whip but… make a couple for your guests and save a slab for your diet cheat day. With some disposable pie tins, 20 minutes of prep time, and then an overnight in the fridge, you will create quite the banana buzz with this culinary confection.
Throw in some hotdogs, hamburgers, salsa, chips and dip – and voila! You’ve got a Labor Day party!
As home improvement financing experts since 1979, it’s special to us that friendships and families are celebrated in and around backyard pools. At Lyon Financial we are proud of the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information.