Beach party guide
The next time you have a leisure sun-basking weekend or dip your feet in warm beach sand again could be months away, so have one final beach-themed barbecue party complete with a crackling bonfire and gooey s'mores. (If you don't live at the beach, use an open grill or fire pot for the s'mores.)
Beach party decorations
In honor of Labor Day, encourage your guests to be ultra-relaxed by setting comfortable lounge chairs, hammocks, lawn blankets and lots of pillows around your yard or party area at the beach (if you are lucky enough to live by one).
Instead of decorating with red, white and blue (although that's fine, too) use warm fall colors such as yellow, gold, and orange. String up lanterns or twinkle lights if you plan on partying into the night. Be sure to have citronella candles around to keep away bugs.
If possible, bring in a load of sand if you happen to be inland. At the very least, decorate the tables and yard with seashells, miniature lighthouses, sunglasses and life preservers.
Beach party activities
Let your party games reflect what you and your guests do on the sand. Have a game of flag football, softball or volleyball. You can also set up an area to play horseshoes, sand croquet or bocce ball. Or simply kick back and enjoy the relaxation and visiting with your friends.
Beach party food and drinks
Celebrate the end of the warm and sunny season with all the food you love from summer. Have lots of fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Also, have plenty of foods you can throw on the grill for your final summer cookout and pair them with tasty chilled salads. Create fresh fruit smoothies for the kids and fruity blended alcohol-based drinks for the adults.
Beach barbecue recipes
Black Bean and Jicama Salad
Makes 4 servings
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed, drained
1 cup chopped peeled jicama
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup whole-kernel corn
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons diced green chiles
Whisk together vinegar, mustard, cumin, salt, lemon peel and garlic powder. Gradually whisk in olive oil. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss gently with dressing. Chill until ready to serve.
Surf n' Turf Kebabs
Makes 8 kebabs
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup dry Sherry
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons honey
4 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1-1/2 pounds swordfish, cut into sixteen 1-1/2 inch cubes
1-1/2 pounds boneless leg of lamb, cut into sixteen 1-1/2 inch cubes
8 plum tomatoes, halved crosswise
2 large peaches with skin, halved, pitted, sliced thick
16 green onion bottoms
1 large red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 16 squares
1 1-pound eggplant, cut into sixteen 1-1/2 inch cubes
3 small zucchini, trimmed, cut into sixteen 1/2-inch thick rounds
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 8 slices
- Whisk all ingredients for marinade together in a bowl. Place fish and lamb in two separate bowls and pour 2/3 cup of marinade, saving extra marinade, on each and gently toss to coat. Chill at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour, stirring a few times.
- Remove fish from refrigerator and thread 2 fish cubes, 2 tomato halves, 2 peach wedges and 2 onion bottoms on each of 8 skewers.
- Remove lamb from refrigerator and thread 2 lamb cubes, 2 pepper squares, 2 eggplant cubes and 2 zucchini squares on each of 8 skewers.
- Spray grill grate with nonstick cooking spray and preheat to medium-high. Move 1 cup of marinade to a small saucepan. Place kebabs on grill and cook until desired degree of doneness, about 8 minutes for fish and 10 minutes for lamb. Move kebabs to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
- Bring marinade to a boil and whisk in butter. Season with pepper. Serve sauce with kebabs.
English Summer Pudding
Makes 4 servings
1 dense, large, white bread loaf, thickly sliced, crusts removed
3 pounds of mixed red summer berries, washed, dried
1 cup of sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
- Line a buttered glass casserole dish with half of the bread slices, slightly overlapping, firmly pressing bread against dish and making sure there are no holes.
- Combine berries, sugar, and zest in a saucepan. Heat until simmering, about 5 minutes. Remove 3/4 cup of berry juice from pan and place in the refrigerator.
- Pour remaining fruit and juice over the bread. Top the fruit with the rest of the bread, pressing together to seal.
- Place a few plates on top of the bread to cover and place a weight of about 3 pounds on top. Refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to serve, spoon remaining juice over bread. Slice into wedges and top with whipped cream.
More Labor Day party ideas
5 Festive potato salad recipes
Labor-less Labor Day party tips
Labor Day recipe with an Asian twist