I’m in denial about the end of summer. I know that most people in the US consider Labor Day to be the unofficial start of fall, but since I live in Southern Virginia where the whether tends to stay warmer longer, I say that it is still summer until October 1. At least.
At least the end of summer marks the start of football season!
Anyway, Labor Day will be here in just a few days, so I wanted to do a quick recipe round-up of some of our favorite dishes for saying goodbye to summer with your friends and family. Without further ado, here are some awesome Labor Day recipes:
Harvest the rest of the yellow squash or zucchini from your garden for these awesome squash boasts. They’re hearty enough to be a complete meal, or you can serve them as a side dish. Personally, I love to eat these with a huge salad on the side. Which brings me to my next recipe…
Whatever is in season n your garden right now can go into a huge salad. This dressing is the bomb. It’s also great on chicken fingers for the kids, sandwiches, and more, so make a huge batch to use over the next few weeks!
Fire up the grill! Instead of boring burgers, thought, try this totally yummy chicken recipe. If I was naming a recipe of the year, this would be it. This is hands-down the best recipe I’ve tried all summer, and when the weather isn’t cooperating any longer for grilling, we’ll be making it inside in the oven.
Last year, I couldn’t believe that summer was ending already…and I suddenly find myself in the same situation. Grab one of the last watermelons of the season and make these yummy slushes. Spike with a little somethin’ somethin’ or learn it perfectly refreshing and virgin so the kids can enjoy.
Soon, we’ll be saying goodbye to days of endless sunshine, but that doesn’t mean your dessert can’t be bright and sunny! This Sunshine Wine Cake recipe is one we love, and you can use your favorite wine in the mix to give it a unique taste you love.
In addition to the above recipes right here on The PinterTest Kitchen, we’ve collected some of the best end-of-summer recipes from food bloggers around the world. Here are some that we’ll definitely be trying out in the near future:
- Ratatouille from Add a Pinch (@addapinch on Twitter and Pinterest)
- Lemon Blueberry Scones from A Foodie Affair (@afoodieaffair on Twitter and Pinterest)
- Cabbage and Pineapple Slaw Burgers from Alida’s Kitchen (@alidaskitchen on Twitter and Pinterest)
- Meat Lover’s Pasta Salad from Will Cook For Smiles (@willcook4smiles on Twitter and Pinterest)
- Heirloom Tomato Tart from Chocolate and Carrots (@chocandcarrots on Twitter and Pinterest)
- Sweet Tea Vodka Lemonade from The Wannabe Chef (@wannabechefevan on Twitter and thewannabechef on Pinterest)
- Jerk Shrimp from The Squishy Monster (@aSquishyMonster on Twitter and Pinterest)
- Coffee Granita from The Italian Dish (@italiandish on Twitter and Pinterest)
- Greek Portobello Mushroom Burgers from Chocolate Moosey (@chocolatemoosey on Twitter and Pinterest)
- Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze from Kitchen Joy (@kitchenjoymandy on Twitter and kitchenjoyblog on Pinterest)
What’s your favorite Labor Day recipe? Leave a link in a comment below!
Summer is here (well, for a few more weeks at least!). Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables are available from the gardens. What do you do with it all if you have your own garden? My mom is supplying me with tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, green beans and zucchinis. We freeze some of the fresh veggies, but we’re always on the lookout for recipes to use them before freezing.
What do I do with all the zucchinis? I’m not much for fried zucchini. I have a basic zucchini bread recipe (boring). So I look for dessert recipes to use the zucchini up, like the fudgy brownie recipe we recently posted or these zucchini cookies.
I found a chocolate zucchini bread recipe. I tried it and it was great – nice chocolate flavor. It’s great to make extra and freeze it for later. I made the smaller 2″ x 4″ loaves.
Makes a great gift. Make a variety of breads to give at Christmas in the small size. The Blueberry Lemon Bread, Pumpkin Bread, and Tropical Banana Bread can all be made in the small size and given as gifts.
You can also shred the extra zucchini and freeze in recipe size containers. After the shredded zucchini is thawed squeeze out the excess liquid before adding it to your recipe.
A great chocolatey twist to traditional zucchini bread!
I love a warm scone and tall glass of iced coffee in the morning. And trust me, I don’t love much in the morning. Until about an hour after I wake up, I speak more in growls and grunts than actual sentences, unlike my boyfriend and mother who both have the annoying gene that causes them to pop out of bed fully awake and ready to attack the day.
Hat tip to Marla at Family Fresh Cooking for the original recipe. Her version is vegan, so check it out if you’re interested, or simply substitute coconut milk for regular milk in the recipe below. Her recipe also called for some ingredients I didn’t have myself, so I improvised! The result: Yum…though I have to admit, nothing tops my apple pear scone recipe.
Also – it’s International Scone Week! Yum, look at all these awesome scone recipes rounded up on Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.
I love the banana flavor in these, because it isn’t too in-your-face. There’s just a little hint in the background that really brings these scones together. Yum! Here’s the printable recipe:
Okay, I’ll admit it. I originally pinned this recipe from Thyme for Cooking for stuffed zucchini because it looked pretty. But after I made it – YUM! This is definitely a winning recipe. The really great thing about this recipe is that you can customize it to your family’s tastes. Add some pepperonis and you have more of a pizza flavor. Some ricotta cheese on top would be delicious too, giving it more of a lasagna taste. You could try it with chicken instead of beef or leave out the meat completely for a hearty vegetarian meal. The original recipe uses quinoa instead of couscous, which would be delicious too.
Oh, and yeah…they look really pretty!
I made about two boats per person in this case, but it really depends on the size of your squash. Instead of summer squash, you could also use zucchini. (That is, if you haven’t used all you zucchini to make these fudgy zucchini brownies.) Depending on the size of your boats, you might need to make more or less of the filling – just adjust the ingredients a bit if necessary, and don’t worry if you make too much – the filling is good on its own too!
Mmmmm…take a bite! Here’s the printable recipe.
Gooey, fudgy brownies are the best. The. Best. I don’t mean to offend those of you who like more cake-style brownies, but you’re wrong.
This recipe is not only fudgy, but includes zucchini, which means it counts as a vegetable side dish. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself to avoid the all-too-appropriate fact that fudgy rhymes with pudgy.
On the plus side, I got new running shoes! So I’m allow to have another brownie, right?
We’re back again for another monthly meal plan to help you figure out what’s for dinner! This month, I’m featuring lots of recipes that are excellent on the grill. Time to get some quality grillin’ time in before summer comes to an end! (Don’t have a grill? Almost all of these recipes can be made on your stove top or in the oven instead.)
Without further ado, our recommendations for August:
Do you have a garden that is producing more vegetables than you can use at the moment? If you extra space in your freezer start freezing the vegetables. I pinned a site that offers hands on pictures and instructions. It also has instructions for freezing fruits and also for canning fruits and vegetables too. Take some time to check it out!
My mom, Lena, has a big garden and always has extra vegetables. Today she gave me an entire ice cream bucket full of green beans. I decided to freeze them. It had been awhile since I had frozen green beans so I looked on the site linked above to see how long to blanch them.
First start out by washing the beans. Next snap off the ends. Get the kids involved! They don’t need a knife to do this job. Once the ends are snapped, cut the beans into 1 1/2 – 2 inch pieces.
Now you are ready to blanch them. Fill a big pot (or use a blancher if you have one) just a little over halfway with water and bring to a boil.
Once the water is boiling pour in your green beans. Bring them to a boil and cook 3 minutes. Remove from the water and cool.
My husband bought me a vacuum sealer for my birthday so that’s what I used to pack them. (They’re on sale right now on Amazon – it’s a great deal.) If you don’t have a vacuum sealer get some freezer bags and put in the amount of beans your family usually eats. Put in the freezer in a single layer. Once they are frozen they can be stacked on top of each other.
It’s great to go to the freezer and get out vegetables that you froze yourself. And you saved a trip to the store and some money too!
Who else here freezes their veggies? What are your best tips and tricks?
From the end of April until the beginning of October, our grill doesn’t get much rest. We love cookouts with friends or even just grilling up some dinner for the two of us. And one of my favorite dishes is grilled chicken. I really love chicken in general, actually. (Try this OMG Sour Cream Chicken recipe if it’s too rainy or cold for grilling wherever you live.)
I’m always on the hunt for new chicken marinades that are perfect for grilling, and I think I have a new favorite! I mean, look at those awesome grill marks and the beautiful color. It’s making my mouth water just thinking about it. I love when chicken gets crisp and charred on the grill. YUM!
Now, if you are a total wuss about heat, don’t worry. I toned things down a little from the recipe I originally pinned (hat top to Handle the Heat). It wasn’t spicy at all when finished. The Sriracha just added another layer of bold flavor. If you are a heat fiend, double the amount of Sriracha in the recipe or even add a few dashes of hot sauce.
No grill? My soul is crying for you! But if it’s not in the budget or you don’t have the space, you could also make this recipe by searing the chicken in a pan and baking to finish in an oven. It’s much better grilled, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
Do you like lemon flavored desserts with lots of lemon flavor? Sometimes when I bake lemon desserts the lemon flavor isn’t as strong as I think I should be. And if it gets a lemon glaze, the lemon flavor’s a little too tart. I like to have a balanced flavor.
With blueberries getting ripe here in Pennsylvania, I started looking for some new recipes to use the blueberries. I make the Raspberry Coffeecake Muffins using blueberries which is my favorite muffin recipe and the Blueberry Snack Cake. I pinned a version of the blueberry pound cake from chef-in-training.com. I read through the recipe and it sounded like a flavorful and moist pound cake.
It’s that wonderful, lazy point of summer that I love. Time slips away sitting with my toes in the sand, and it seems like one of our friends invites us to a cook out every other day. I can’t get enough picnic food even on rainy days spent indoors, and I live for my next watermelon slush.
But what to take to all of those picnics? Showing up empty-handed is not an option! Today, I’ve collected our seven favorite summer side dishes, all of which are awesome to carry with you to any potluck, barbeque, or party you’re invited to attend over the next few months:
First up, Calico Beans. This dish is super colorful, but more importantly – it’s tasty! Every picnic needs baked beans, and this is a great spin on that traditional dish. Plus, bacon. Who doesn’t love bacon?
One of the first recipes I posted here on The PinterTest Kitchen was my Lick-Your-Plate Potato Salad. To this day, this is one of my favorite summertime recipes. It’s easy to customize with flavors you like (I’ve put everything in it from carrots to bacon). The secret ingredient is sour cream, which gives the sauce a tangy, mouth-watering taste. You’re going to want to make and extra-large batch!
Summertime has to include strawberries, right? Now, personally, I can’t stand strawberries, but I think I’m in the minority on that one. My boyfriend says that I must not like sunshine and happiness, because that’s what strawberries are! This Strawberry Spinach Salad has crunch onions and walnuts, as well as a perfect dressing. It’s refreshing and easy to make for your next picnic.
Microwave Potato Chips are fun to make with the kids. They do take a little time, but the process is easy. The hardest part is not eating them all as you make them so you have enough to take along to the picnic!
I just posted this Sweet Summer Slaw recipe earlier this month, and it is still making my mouth water. This is perfect as a stand-alone side dish or on top of hot dog, taco, or pork pork sandwich.
If you’re short on time, nothing is easy to take to a potluck than a salad. But a traditional salad, no matter what you add to the lettuce, is a little boring without an awesome dressing. This is that awesome dressing you need to wow everyone – Honey Mustard Dressing that’s a copycat of the dressing you can get from Chili’s.
Last but certainly not least: Spinach Artichoke Dip. It’s pretty. It’s easy to make, even the night before, and it’s a crowd-pleaser. What’s not to love?
So there you have it, seven awesome side dish recipes for your next summer cook out. Do you have a favorite recipe that you love for picnics? Share with a comment below!