Blue Lifestyle

Home of James Beard Foundation Award winner Anthony Dias Blue, one of the most influential food, wine, spirits, and lifestyle personalities in the United States.

Labor Day Recipes

Now as I’m sure you’re well aware — and perhaps have already started celebrating — this holiday weekend is Labor Day, that much-needed reprieve from your 5-day work week that aptly falls somewhere in between the ubiquitous stars and stripes of July 4th and the family-filled feast of Thanksgiving. You still have a couple days to prepare for Monday’s festivities, so here are some quick and easy recipes!

A classic crowd pleaser is lemon spiked iced tea, a recipe from Emeril Lagasse. Begin by bringing 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan and add 6 orange pekoe tea bags. Remove the pan from the heat, cover it, and allow the tea bags to steep for 5 minutes. Remove and discard the tea bags. Add 1 ½ cups sugar to the saucepan and stir until dissolved. Add 3 more cups of water and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a pitcher, and add 1 1/3 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 cup high-proof golden rum, such as Bacardi 151. Chill thoroughly before serving, then serve over ice in tall glasses garnished with mint sprigs. This recipe serves 10. 

Not a big fan of tea? Opt for this thirst quenching thyme-infused lemonade. Begin by making your herbal simple syrup. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup water, 1 ½ cups sugar and 1 bunch fresh thyme to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stir in 2 cups fresh lemon juice — which will probably call for about 10 lemons. Add in 1 cup of gin or vodka if you want a little boozy buzz. Refrigerate until cold, for at least an hour and up to a week. Serve over ice, garnished with thyme. This recipe serves about 8. 

Burgers, hot dogs, and skewers are always a great bet for Labor Day entrees, especially since it’s one of the last opportunities to enjoy open-air grilling before the weather takes a turn for the nippier. But no cookout would be complete without a simple pasta salad, so boil up some bags of rotini noodles and add in some diced onion, cucumber and bell pepper then slice up some grape tomatoes and black olives. Throw in some mozzarella chunks and toss with Italian dressing and season with salt and pepper to taste. You can’t get much more classic than that. 

However you end up celebrating this Monday, be safe and enjoy your day off! You deserve it.


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