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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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