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Labor Day menus

ICDOCEAN1's picture

Okay, so the pool is under major reconstruction and the boat is in the shop for I don't know how much longer.  Therefore, it will be a food weekend with friends around here. 

I am just in the process of making somewhat of a meal plan...Since company arrives late on Saturday, dinner is always late.  I have some of MC's Senegalese soup in the freezer and I think that I will make favorablyimpressed's Grilled Cheese Tortilla Sandwiches with Mango-Lime Salsa for an appetizer.

With luck, Sunday we will have Fried Green Tomatoes with Shrimp Remoulade while sipping wine.  Dinner, crab cakes with some kind of corn salad and individual margarita cheese cakes for dessert.

Monday, Roasted peppers, olives, and artichoke hearts.  Grilled (FC BBQ) chicken, black bean and corn salad (using up the corn from the day before) sliced tomatoes and if anyone insists, potato salad.  I was looking at evelyn's Greek potato salad that is served warm.  

I might have to adjust the menu slightly...I hear I might get a few soft-shell crabs if they are available, so an appetizer with the left-over sauces...remoulade and tartar.

These are just my basic ideas at the moment...What is everyone else cooking up Labor Day weekend?

Edited 8/30/2005 10:58 am ET by ICDOCEAN1

dlish's picture

(post #31334, reply #1 of 55)

mmmm ... can I come over? Bummer about the pool and boat.

It should be about 112 here in Phoenix. I'll be inthe pool with a steady supply of frozen drinks. (I just got a new WaringPro blender!) I may try the BBQ pork recipe from a FC issue sometime last year.

Edited 8/30/2005 11:53 am ET by dlish

ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #31334, reply #2 of 55)

Major bummer, but the pool facelift will be done for another 12 years or better.  The boat is a warranty (motor) issue and the part is on its way from Japan...Can you say, slow boat from Japan?

Hopefully, the new ice cream maker will be here for the weekend and I just might hop on DH's Harley and ride down the beach highway...not my usual, gee I want to do...

Ah, Phoenix...the last time I was there it was 118!  Frozen adult beverages?

dlish's picture

(post #31334, reply #3 of 55)

>> Frozen adult beverages?

You bet! Are there any other kind?

Skyler's picture

(post #31334, reply #4 of 55)

It's pretty darn warm here in So. Cal. too.  We're having a party on Sunday and I decided to set up a "kebab bar" with chicken, beef, shrimp and lots of veggies.  We've done it before and it's always fun.  People pick out what they want for their kebabs, then I have a couple people skewer and grill them.  We're also grilling marinated new potatoes (hopefully on rosemary skewers).  I'll probably have a big platter of tomatoes (maybe a Caprese salad), a green salad, and sauteed fresh corn with basil.  Dessert will be homemade ice cream sandwiches.  I'm making chocolate chip cookies (with vanilla bean ice cream) and oatmeal cookies (with pralines and cream ice cream).  I'm still stuck on the hors d'oeuvres.  Maybe avocado and crab crostini and pesto stuffed cherry tomatoes(?).         


MadMom's picture

(post #31334, reply #5 of 55)

Ooooh, I wanna come to your house!  Sounds like a great menu, and a good idea for a party.

Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #31334, reply #6 of 55)

Wow!  I have the huge rosemary bushes skewer limbs...yes, bushes...I am already making revisions and exchanging days/menus as I add people...this is so much fun...whooduhthunk that improvisational planned menus could change and be fun much?

Skyler's picture

(post #31334, reply #7 of 55)

Sometimes improv can be the most fun.  Isn't it true that the simplest things turn out the best?  For example, after years of entertaining and spending lots of time on special desserts, those homemade ice cream sandwiches are about as good as popular/fun as anything gets.  I swear, they turn adults into kids.  Plus, you can make them well ahead, wrap well, store in the freezer and forget about until ready to serve.    

ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #31334, reply #11 of 55)

I forgot about ice cream sandwiches!  What a great idea.  I had a recipe from Ina Garten, but I am sure it is lost in the recipe pile and I will never find the recipe.  I have FC's recipe.  Is that the one that you make?

Skyler's picture

(post #31334, reply #19 of 55)

The ones I've made most often that seem to be the biggest hit with everyone are plain old Nestle's Chocolate Chip and Quaker's Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies (love them!).  Obviously, you can combine them with any ice cream you like.  However, Haagen Dazs Vanilla Bean and Baskin Robin's Pralines and Cream have been top favorites.  People just love them.  I guess it's because they aren't served homemade ice cream sandwiches often.  I have Ina's 4 books which I know have all her cookie recipes (just none for ice cream sandwiches) and will check FC.      

samchang's picture

(post #31334, reply #8 of 55)

I think we'll have a good old fashioned dinner of inari sushi, toro and hamachi sashimi, Japanese mushroom salad, cold soba, and perhaps a grilled mackeral.

ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #31334, reply #10 of 55)

Sounds really good to me! 

Do you have special dipping sauce recipes for soba noodles that you would like to share? 


samchang's picture

(post #31334, reply #12 of 55)

We're just using the old standby, a tsuki-jiru sauce, made with the usual suspects: dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and sugar. The dashi needs to be made the real way with bonito flakes added to it (as opposed to those granules or bags) in order to get that nice, smoky flavor, though.

ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #31334, reply #13 of 55)

I use Ajinomoto Hon-Dashi because it comes in a smaller package than everything else does.   It does have a little smokey flavor.

samchang's picture

(post #31334, reply #14 of 55)

That indeed is the problem when making dashi from kelp and bonito flakes--you invariably end up making a lot of it. Never a problem here, but I've known others who let it spoil in their 'fridge.

You can always add some dried bonito flakes to premade dashi packages.

ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #31334, reply #15 of 55)

I made some soba noodles for lunch yesterday...I can eat the whole small sleeve for lunch.  I added some hydrated dried seaweed and dried mushrooms along with some green onions.  It was a great lunch, but I am always lacking something in the dipping sauce. 

Now that I think of it, maybe the mushrooms and seaweed gave it a smokey flavor??? I just don't have the proportions right, I guess.

samchang's picture

(post #31334, reply #16 of 55)

You can try lessening the water when you make the dashi. Whether you're using soba or udon, noodles contain a surprising amount of water which tends to dilute the base.

Edited 9/1/2005 12:27 am ET by samchang

ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #31334, reply #17 of 55)

Thank you sweetie! Who knew about the water content...I knew that I was diluted!

Wolvie's picture

(post #31334, reply #9 of 55)

oh man - I haven't even begun to think about it - sort of late, eh?

sashimi tuna something for sure, grilled duck breasts something as well.

I think I'm going to try that corn/blue berry relish/salsa that everyone loved so much at some point over the weekend.

I feeling like white bean/rosmary/garlic spread with crostini will hit the table at some point as well.

I like the ideas - especially Sklyer's ice cream sandwiches - those sound fun. :-)

If, 2 1/2 years in, you don't control the only road linking your military airport to your headquarters, you don't control much of anything

Lewis Simons


Adele's picture

(post #31334, reply #18 of 55)

Had to go to the fish store.  I'm having:  Florida Spiny Lobster- tonight steamed with butter and perhaps a touch of garlic.  Tomorrow, cold with mustard sauce.  Will make stock with the shells tomorrow morning, will poach sea scallops tomorrow night in some of the lobster stock.  Cherry stone clams, also just simply steamed as I just don't like subbing chicken stock for white wine.  Oysters raw. 

Can't get the idea of those shish kebabs out of my mind and I have some lamb that I'd like to use, so I'll grill those, along with andouille sausages and that will do me for Sunday.  Leftovers on Monday. 

Oh gosh, how could I forget?  Brownies.  Doing the prescription strength with dried cherries (love those) and then the toffee brownies from Figs.  (I think it's Figs)

Not doing ice cream because then I'd have to buy cream, don't want that in the house.

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

But, but, it's SUPPOSED to taste like that!

SallyBR1's picture

(post #31334, reply #20 of 55)

Tomorrow we have a couple over for dinner - and menu will be lego-lamb, corn souffles (individual), a green salad to be decided.

Dessert - crepes with caramelized bananas

Sunday it's just Phil, me, twin #1 and girlfriend (or should I say partner, since they live together? :-) - not sure what we'll make

Monday we'll have another couple over for a late afternoon cookout - he is a born again vegetarian who eats fish - is there a name for that? Anyway, we'll grill some salmon, but not sure yet what will be the side dish.

Dessert? Also not sure. I better start thinking about the possibilities - it will be pretty low key, though. THey have two young kids, so dessert would have to be something they would enjoy too - chocolate mousse? Chocolate pudding? Chocolate cake?

Wolvie's picture

(post #31334, reply #21 of 55)

well - here I am and I still haven't decided - so it will be impromptu and fun.

On hand:

duck breast, shrimp, sashimi grade tuna, wild coho salmon, really thick aged strip steaks, baby bok choy, lots of fresh baby spinach, duck liver pate, cheeses galore, corn, green beans, baby eggplant, just picked edame, tomatoes, basil... going to cook by the seat of my pants, as it were. :-)

I love a no plan type of weekend.

If, 2 1/2 years in, you don't control the only road linking your military airport to your headquarters, you don't control much of anything

Lewis Simons


ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #31334, reply #22 of 55)

As usual, things change, but at least I have the goods for several meals.  I have had to rearrange meals and do a little adjusting here and there...

I was tempted to buy some fresh tuna, but decided to wait until the tourists leave (I don't want to go out this weekend).  I finally got hubby to look at a piece that was not well done.  I have never done tuna and I did not save the recipe that I looked at from whatever I was reading.  I can get fresh bluefin and yellowfin.  Any recipes that anyone has tried and liked would be appreciated.

Enjoy your weekend cooking by the seat of your pants...sounds fun and if I wasn't full of company this weekend, I would be doing the same thing. 


Wolvie's picture

(post #31334, reply #23 of 55)

I'll get together some of my fav tuna recipes and email them to you.

The best, to me, is raw, then seared rare, then a slow baked with spices, flaked and put in salad.

Several sauces, etc., to accompany the raw and seared.

Have fun with your company!!

If, 2 1/2 years in, you don't control the only road linking your military airport to your headquarters, you don't control much of anything

Lewis Simons


ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #31334, reply #24 of 55)

The same sequence except for the slow baked with spices...that is new to me.  I am looking forward to some tuna recipes, but no need to rush.  Thanks

Busy here this a.m. as I have just finished the Musky Melon Gazpacho and the Mango lime Salsa, Black Bean and Corn Salad, and now I am going to make some peach frozen yoghurt.  A lot of do ahead stuff that makes life a tad easier when there is a house full.



MadMom's picture

(post #31334, reply #25 of 55)

No Labor Day feast for me.  I plan to be at Reunion Arena in Dallas helping serve the refugees.  They suggest that people who bake should bring something...any good ideas?  I honestly wasn't going to turn the oven on until October, but this is a special event.  I'm thinking cookies or brownies...something people can easily eat.  We've been filling bags with things to donate.  Cecilia (DD) is volunteering at the Killeen Convention Center tomorrow...Texas has refugees everywhere, and we're hoping to try to make them feel a bit less homeless this labor day.

Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!
Gretchen's picture

(post #31334, reply #26 of 55)

I'd think cookies. They would be easy to keep for later, if that was appropriate. Good hearty oatmeal ones.


Jean's picture

(post #31334, reply #27 of 55)

Cookies!  The jumbo raisin oatmeal ones that FI posted are wonderful.

Veni, vidi, velcro        I came,  I  saw,  I stuck around.

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MadMom's picture

(post #31334, reply #28 of 55)

I have no raisins, but I do have both dried cherries and dried blueberries.  Do you think either could be substituted?

Not One More Day!
Not One More Dime! Not One More Life! Not One More Lie!

End the Occupation of Iraq -- Bring the Troops Home Now!

And Take Care of Them When They Get Here!

deejeh's picture

(post #31334, reply #29 of 55)

I've used the sweetened dried blueberries from Costco in these - they're amazing.  If you're using unsweetened dried blueberries, you might want to rehydrate them for a few minutes.  I don't know what the ones you get are like, but the ones available around here benefit from reydrating.


Jillsifer's picture

(post #31334, reply #30 of 55)

Yup. I do it all the time, especially when G is in one of his anti-raisin phases. Dried cranberries work well too.

Hey, BigCorp is toying with picking up the tab for SOME of us to go serve as volunteers for a few days. I signed up for "anywhere I'm needed" but would love to get picked for Dallas-Ft. Worth area. If they decide to let us go, I'll call you!



Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.

-- Washington Irving