Cookout recipes for your Labor Day!

How did September get here so fast? Although I am ready for the crisp breeze and color change of Fall, I am still not quite willing to let summer go. In this, what is widely known as the last summer weekend, I suggest livin' it up with some friends, some fun and some good food. Here are just a few of the many great cookout/summer get-together recipes that don't taste nearly as good in the middle of February (can you even find melons in February?). Live deep and eat well! Happy Labor Day!

Marinated Tomato Salad from Gonna Want Seconds

One of the best times of the year is when a zillion types of tomatoes start to show up at the farmers market! Buy them all and then make this delicious salad. This salad can get very watery, so do not skip the salting/resting step, don't stir it too much and serve it pretty quickly. You won't want to wait anyways!

Balsamic Melon Salad from The First Mess


During the summer, I have a watermelon in the fridge at all times. There is nothing better than drizzling it with some balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of sea salt. I like to step it up a notch for get togethers with this melon salad. Honey dew and cantaloupe add some depth of flavor. This dish can be tossed together and served in a bowl, but drizzling the vinegar on a tray (as suggested in the recipe) and then laying the salad on top insures just the right amount of balsamic in every bite!

Garlic-Marinated Cucumber Chips from hogwash

These cucumber chips are excellent as a snack, a side dish or a garnish. I love to put them in sandwiches in place of pickles. They are especially wonderful on veggie burgers and also veggie sandwiches with hummus. Try them on any burger, meat and non-meat for a fresh kick of vinegar! They get even better with age and last in the fridge for about a week! 

Deviled Eggs 3 Ways from an anonymous southern expert

My life motto is "if there aren't deviled eggs, you really shouldn't call this a party." In that vein, here are three variations on a cook-out classic. 

Basic deviled eggs usually involve mayo, mustard and relish. It is very much a "to taste" process that involves adding ingredients little by little, mixing and then tasting to determine the correct amount. Always boil your eggs with a bit of baking soda, and if possible use older eggs because they peel more easily. Eggs are one of the most versatile foods and the deviled variety are no different. If you would put it in scrambled eggs or a frittata, you can put it in deviled eggs too! 

The basic prep for any deviled egg is always the same. Boil eggs and then run under cold water or soak in a ice bath. Peel eggs and cut in half (long ways). Remove yolk and place in a bowl for mixing. Add mayo and yellow mustard to desired taste and consistency. It is best to add extra ingredients after you have mixed the mayo and mustard. Play around! Some variations taste better with little to no mustard or less mayo than others. After you have created your filling, spoon mixture into a plastic bag, cut off tip and pipe into egg white halves. You can garnish with some of the fresh ingredients that were used in the mix, or simply sprinkle paprika on top.

Spicy eggs

Add either chopped jalapenos or sriracha to yolk mix

Bacon and Chive

Add chopped, crisp-cooked bacon and chives to yolk mix

Dill and Crab

Add fresh dill and crab meat to egg yolk (if you wanna get real fancy)

You can also try this pickled deviled egg recipes!