Summers Last Hurrah

Sunday, September 6, 2009

last-hurrah-2

Sadly but truly, the lazy days of summer have come to an end, for this year at least.  This Monday is Labor Day, founded in the United States over a hundred years ago as a “workingmen’s holiday”.  According to History.com, “As the Industrial Revolution took hold of the nation, the average American in the late 1800s worked 12-hour days, seven days a week in order to make a basic living. Children were also working, as they provided cheap labor to employers and laws against child labor were not strongly enforced.

With the long hours and terrible working conditions, American unions became more prominent and voiced their demands for a better way of life. On Tuesday September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers marched from city hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first-ever Labor Day parade. Participants took an unpaid day-off to honor the workers of America, as well as vocalize issues they had with employers.”

Although Labor Day was originally meant to be a celebration of our country’s labor movement and its achievements, it has come to be celebrated as the last, long summer fling before Autumn starts rolling in.  These days, instead of attending parades and political events, most people observe the holiday with beach parties, backyard barbecues and shopping the big sales at the malls.

Whatever your plans are for this Labor Day, here are some great recipe ideas from the SGCC archives to help you celebrate Summer’s last hurrah in style! 

Sumptuous Strawberry Soup

Sumptuous Strawberry Soup

Fresh, ripe strawberries are blended with yogurt, sour cream, lime juice and honey to make this Sumptuous Strawberry Soup. The result is a cross between a rich mousse and a smoothie. Sublime!

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Edamame and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Edamame and Heirloom Tomato Salad

This fresh and vibrant Edamame & Heirloom Tomato Salad is full of beautiful heirloom tomatoes of assorted shapes, colors and sizes, tossed with a light lemon-miso vinaigrette along with steamed edamame, scallions and a chiffonade of shiso leaves.  It not only tastes wonderful, but it’s so pretty too!

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Oven Baked Corn Flake Crumb Chicken

Oven Baked Corn Flake Crumb Chicken

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My Oven Baked Corn Flake Crumb Chicken is the perfect dish for any picnic.  It’s super simple to make and can be served either hot or cold.  It’s one of my ultimate “feel good” foods!

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Smoky Chipotle Sliders

Smoky Chipotle Sliders

These Smoky Chipotle Sliders are made just like regular burgers, except smaller.  I add some pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to them for a distinctive warm heat and subtle smoky flavor.  They’re the perfect size for a barbecue buffet.

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Grilled Steak Fajitas

Grilled Steak Fajitas

I make these Grilled Steak Fajitas with skirt steak marinated in a robust mixture of orange and lime juices, olive oil, garlic, jalapeno and cumin.  They’re served with a big pile of sautéed onions, peppers and mushrooms with some cool and creamy homemade guacamole.  Fantastico!

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Ribeyes with Spicy, Smoky Cacao Nibs Rub

Ribeyes with Spicy, Smoky Cacao Nibs Rub

Got your heart set on some thick, juicy steaks this weekend?  Then, you can’t go wrong with these Ribeye Steaks with a Spicy, Smoky, Cacao Nibs Rub.  The dry rub is a blend of crushed cacao nibs, smoked paprika, cumin and other spices mixed with some brown sugar and dry mustard, that takes these steaks to a whole other level.   Carnivore heaven!

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Pacific Rim Burgers

Pacific Rim Burgers

If beef is not your thing, try these Pacific Rim Burgers made with ground chicken and some spicy good stuff.  They are painted with a honey-teriyaki glaze and grilled.  Then, the burgers are smothered with an utterly magical ginger-based mayo, topped with crunchy, fresh cucumbers and served on toasted sesame seed buns. These burgers are so moist, flavorful and delicious that you will forget you’re eating ground chicken. Honest!  You’ll never miss the beef!

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Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

What celebration is ever complete without a scrumptious dessert?    Nothing says summer celebration better than berries, berries and more berries!.  This Strawberry Shortcake is quick and easy to prepare and is sure to wow your guests.  Plus, it tastes absolutely divine!    My version calls for a traditional biscuit base overflowing with luscious fresh strawberries and sweetened whipped cream.  Use the freshest and sweetest berries you can get your hands on and I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

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Blueberry Almond Crumble Bars

Blueberry Almond Crumble Bars

Blueberry Almond Crumble Bars have a buttery, crumbly shortbread-like crust filled with plump, sweet and juicy blueberry goodness.   These bars are flavored with gentle hints of orange, ginger and almond for a little extra “oomph”.  You can serve them warm with a scoop of ice cream on top or cooled on their own.  Either way, they are to die for!

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Drunken Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

Drunken Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream

While it’s a little late in the season, I’m still seeing lots of lovely Bing cherries in the markets.  Although my favorite way to enjoy them is digging into a bowl and eating them out of hand, putting them into a dreamy, creamy ice cream is another top choice.  My Drunken Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream is a Philadelphia-style ice cream, which is one that contains no eggs yolks, instead, relying heavily on cream. This type of base is foolproof and is my preferred method for making fruit-based ice creams.  The cherries become “drunk” by getting a soaking in some cherry brandy or kirshwasser.  Teetotalers can skip this part and still have a deliciously rich and smooth frozen treat!

Have a delicious (and safe) holiday!

21 responses to Summers Last Hurrah

  1. On September 06, 2009 at 2:39pm, Colleen said...

    And hello Spring this side :o) Stunning post Susan. Well done and such gorgeous recipes.. i shall be trying some of them as soon as our weather is warm and our berries are in season……hugs to you xxx

  2. On September 06, 2009 at 3:00pm, Bellini valli said...

    Labour Day marks the turnover of the seasons for me, although we will still have plenty of time to enjoy delicious dishes like these Susan.

  3. On September 06, 2009 at 3:27pm, Jennifer said...

    I LOVE the pics of everything, but especially the strawberry soup!!! YUM!!!!

  4. On September 06, 2009 at 3:46pm, Lucy said...

    Ooh I just re-read all those posts – that was a happy time spent reading! The blueberry almond crumble bars particularly look gorgeous :D

  5. On September 06, 2009 at 5:00pm, snooky doodle said...

    wow how many delicious recipes. I really can t choose .

  6. On September 06, 2009 at 5:14pm, Rosa said...

    A gorgeous roundup!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  7. On September 06, 2009 at 5:32pm, Jen @ MaplenCornbread said...

    What an awesome roundup!!! GOODBYE summer (Im very happy!)

  8. On September 06, 2009 at 8:55pm, Veron said...

    oooh…Susan, that oven baked corn flake chicken looks so droolworthy. I can just imagine the satisfying crunch on that!

  9. On September 07, 2009 at 3:50am, nina said...

    Thx for sharing all these wonderful recipes. Have a lovely day!!!!

  10. On September 07, 2009 at 10:35am, noble pig said...

    I want those fajitas!!

  11. On September 07, 2009 at 2:56pm, ingrid said...

    I’m actually giving your roasted peaches ice cream a try though I don’t have any preserves. I’m sure either way will be tasty!

    Happy Labor Day!
    ~ingrid

  12. On September 07, 2009 at 3:06pm, Carol, Simply...Gluten-free said...

    Ahh but summer doesn’t really end for us Florida residents. Hope you had a great holiday weekend!

  13. On September 07, 2009 at 10:05pm, annie said...

    What a great list of recipes to try. I can’t even believe we are talking about the end of summer. It seems like it just started. Oh well, I love fall anyway. So bring it on!

  14. On September 08, 2009 at 1:46pm, Natasha - 5 Star Foodie said...

    Terrific summer dishes!

  15. On September 08, 2009 at 7:27pm, Eliana said...

    Great collection of recipes. Hope you had a great holiday weekend.

  16. On September 09, 2009 at 2:49am, Jamie said...

    We don’t have Labor Day like this in France and my husband still works a 12-hour day but I’ll take any of this food anytime. Luscious roundup of flavors!

  17. On September 09, 2009 at 8:56am, Teanna said...

    Can I just tell you, I was JUST asking why we celebrate Labor day and how it came about? And now to hear that it happened in my city! Well, I’m just so proud! Haha! Thanks for all of those awesome recipe suggestions. I need to make that drunken cherry ice cream!

  18. On September 09, 2009 at 12:34pm, Rachel (S[d]OC) said...

    Beautiful roundup. Next time I invite myself over. I can also vouch for those blueberry crumble bars as I made them last summer. Super super good! Those sliders look awesome. I love chipotle in burgers.

  19. On September 10, 2009 at 8:45am, Pigpigscorner said...

    ahh hate to say bye bye to Summer =( great round-up!

  20. On September 10, 2009 at 6:07pm, Cakelaw said...

    Our summer is just coming, so I can use some of these ideas for the coming months.

  21. On September 21, 2009 at 6:37am, Janet @ bigjobsboard.com said...

    Wow! Amazing! Lots of food..Delicious..I will prepare this for summer. Thanks for sharing it.

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kiss the cook!

Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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