End Summer Right with Great Food for Last Summer Bash

Labor Day is this weekend, bringing the end of summer and the beginning of school (well, still a few weeks away for us college kids). After this weekend, the numbers at the beach will dwindle, people will drag themselves back to work and school from vacation, the temperatures will slowly begin to cool and you won’t be able to wear white anymore. To send summer off in style, here are some amazing recipes for your party or just your family to enjoy the best tastes that are quintessentially summer giving you something to look forward to next year.


courtesty of creaturecomfortsblog.com

Strawberry Lemonade

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 TBSP grated lemon peel
  • 1 cup  lemon juice
  • 1 pint strawberry halves
  • 2 cups cold water
Boil sugar and 2 cups of water together. Once the mixture has reached boiling point, bring it to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Then, stir in the lemon peel and juice. Next, let it cool down to room temperature and then pour it into a pitcher. Next, puree the strawberries in a blender and then add to the pitcher. Next add the 2 cups of cold water and then, refrigerate.
recipe originally found here.
Blackberry Sage Coolers
  • 15 crushed sage leaves
  • 4 TBSP sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup club soda
Boil the water and sugar on high until the sugar dissolves. Then, add the sage leaves and let the mixture boil for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, blend the blackberries and the strain through a strainer. For each serving, add a TSP of the blackberry blend  to the bottom of a glass.Then, add a TBSP of the syrup once simmered. Finally, pour in the club soda for a delicious homemade pop!
recipe originally found here

Fruit Water

Pizazz up your water with fruit! Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and kiwis work the best and give off just enough flavor, but use your imagination!


Fried Green Tomatoes

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup self-rising cornmeal mix
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1/2 TSP pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 medium green tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
  • Vegetable oil
TO PREP: Whisk the egg and buttermilk together in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the salt, pepper and 1/4 cup flour in another bowl. Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour over the tomato slices, then dip them into the egg and buttermilk mix. Then sprinkles the mixture of salt, pepper and flour over them.
TO COOK: Cover a skillet with about 1/2 inch of oil. Heat between medium and high. Fry the tomatoes in the hot oil for 2 minutes on each side or until crispy, golden. Once fried, put them on a few paper towels to let the excess oil drain out. There are many dipping sauces that go with this as well.
recipe originally found here

courtesy of seriouseats.com

 Spicy Sweet Potato Fries with Blueberry Ketchup
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 TSP chili powder
  • 1 TSP garlic powder
  • 1/4 TSP cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 TSP cumin
  • 1 TSP kosher salt
  • 1/2 TSP black pepper
  • 4 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP minced shallot
  • 2 TBSP minced ginger
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 2 cups blueberries
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 TSP kosher salt
Cut the sweet potatoes into 1/2 inch strips. Coat the fries in olive oil evenly. Combine all of the spices in a separate bowl and then toss the fries in the spices. Then, lay them on a coated baking sheet and bake at 450° for about 20 minutes or until golden.
For sauce, heat the oil over medium in sauce pan until bubbling. Add the shallot in until soft, but not brown, which takes about 4 min. Then, add in the ginger and garlic. Cook for 30 seconds. Next, mix in the blueberries, vinegar, brown sugar and salt. Let it simmer for 30-45 minutes until thick. Then, let it cool down to room temperature.
recipe originally found here

courtesy of the-girl-who-ate-everything.com

Ham and Cheese Sliders
  • 24 rolls
  • 24 slices of honey ham
  • 24 slice Swiss cheese
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 miracle whip
  • 1 TBSP poppyseeds
  • 1 1/2 TBSP yellow mustard
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 1 TBSP minced onion
  • 1/2 TSP Worcestershire sauce
Mix the mayo and miracle whip in a bowl. Spread onto each side of the rolls. Place a slice of ham and cheese in each roll. Set aside.
For sauce, mix all the sauce ingredient together in a bowl. Spread the sauce on each of the sandwiches evenly. Let the sandwich soak in the sauce for about 10 min. Place them on a baking sheet, cover it in an aluminum sheet and then bake at 350° for 15 min. Uncover the sheet and bake for another 2 min to slightly brown them. Then, serve!
recipe originally found here
Main Course

courtesy of thenovicechefblog.com

Vertical Pear Salad
  • 4 skinned pears
  • 2-3 cups watercress
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans
  • 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
  • vinaigrette dressing
  • honey
  • lemon juice
Cut the pear horizontally into 4 slices. Use paring knife to cut out the pear core. brush the pieces of pear with lemon juice to keep them from browning. In a bowl, toss the watercress, pecans and blue cheese with the vinaigrette. Assemble with pear with the mixture in between the pear slices. Then, drizzle the assembled pear with honey.
recipe originally found here
Penne Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce
  • 2 cups penne pasta
  • 8 chop sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
  • 2 cups (8 oz) shredded Italian cheese blend
  • 1 TSP basil
  • 1/4 TSP garlic powder
  • 1/4 TSP black pepper
Boil the pasta. Add the tomatoes to the boiling pasta during the last 2 min of the boiling. In a saucepan, mix together the evaporate milk, cheese, basil, garlic powder and pepper. Cook over medium, stirring occasionally until cheese is melted. Then, add the pasta to the saucepan and thoroughly mix. Serve!
recipe originally found here

courtesy of thewednesdaychef.com

Roasted Corn with Manchego and Lime

  • 2 ears of unhusked sweet yellow corn
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 TSP crush red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 juiced and zested lime
  • 1/2 oz finely grated Manchego
  • kosher salt and black pepper

Bake corn on a baking sheet at 450° turning occasionally until crisp, usually about 15 min. Let it cool, then shuck it and cut the kernels from the cob. In a skillet, heat oil on high until bubbling. Then, fry the kernels for 5 min or until lightly golden. Season with salt and pepper as you like. Next, pour the corn into a bowl and sprinkle with the red pepper. Finally, sprinkle lime juice, lime zest and cheese over the corn. Mix and serve!

recipe originally found here


courtesy of the-girl-who-ate-everything.com

Spicy Honey Chicken
  • 8 boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts
  • 2 TSP vegetable oil
  • 2 TSP granulated garlic
  • 2 TSP chili powder
  • 1/2 TSP onion powder
  • 1/2 TSP coriander
  • 1 TSP kosher salt
  • 1 TSP cumin
  • 1/2 chipotle chili powder


  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 TBSP cider vinegar

Mix the spices together in a bowl. Trim excess fat from the chicken, coat in oil then toss the chicken in the spices. Then, grill the chicken for about 5 min. for each piece. Heat the honey in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to make it somewhat soupy. Stir in the vinegar well. Then glaze the chicken and grill for a few seconds longer.

recipe originally found here


courtesy of quick-dish.tablespoon.com

Pulled Pork Sandwich

  • 2 lb pork tenderloin (pork shoulder or butt can also be used)
  • 1 can (12 oz) root beer
  • 1 bottle (18 oz) of BBQ sauce
  • 8 buns
Place the pork in a slow cooker an pour root beer over it. Cover with the lid and cook for 6 hours. After 6 hours, drain the root beer and shred the pork with a fork and place back in the slow cooker. Pour BBQ sauce over it and stir. Keep the pork in the slow cooker to keep it warm until you serve on the buns.
recipe originally found here

courtesy of bakersroyale.com

White Sangria Popsicles
  • 12 oz. white nectarine
  • 6 oz. grapes
  • 12 oz. Pinot Grigio
  • 4 oz. triple sec

Puree the nectarines and grapes in a blender. Then, add the Pinot Grigio and triple sec. Blend together thoroughly. Next pour the misture into popsicle mould for 2 hours. After 2 hours, place a popsicle stick in each popsicle and let them freeze completely overnight.

recipe originally found here

courtesy of theglitterguide.tumblr.com

Lemon Bars

  • 6 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 TBSP grated lemon zest
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup flour
  • powdered sugar
  • 1/2 lb unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/8 TSP kosher salt

For crust, mix the butter and sugar together (preferably with an electric mixer) until light. Then, add the flour and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined. Next, empty the dough onto a floured surface and form it into to ball. Flatten dough with floured hands and press into into a greased baking sheet 1/2 inch thick. Put it in the refrigerator. Once chilled, bake for 15-20 min, until lightly browned, then let it cool.

For the lemon bars, whisk together the eggs, sugar, zest, lemon juice and flour. Pour over the baked crust and bake for 30 min. Let it cool to room temperature and then sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

recipe originally found here

courtesy of kissthegroom.com

Peach Cake

  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 3 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 1/2 TSP baking soda
  • 1/2 TSP kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup cooked peaches
  • more peaches for garnish
  • 1 lb sliced peaches
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 TSP ginger
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 16 oz cream cheese
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 lb powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup peach syrup (syrup left over after cooking peaches)
  • 1 cup sugar
To cook peaches, in a skillet, place the peaches and the butter on medium heat. Stir in the ginger and salt. Cook until there is 1 1/2 cups worth of excess juice. Then, set aside.
For the cake, mix the butter and sugar until light. Add eggs one at a time combining each thoroughly. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Then add this mixture to the first mixture and stir well. Next, mix in the sour cream and vanilla. Fold the peaches into the dough evenly. Pour the cake batter into 2 pans and bake for 45 min. Set aside to cool. For frosting, mix the cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar together in a large bowl. Then, mix in leftover peach juice.
For sugar shards, prepare a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper. In a large stainless steel sauce pan, pour the sugar in and heat on medium. The sugar will start to melt and turn brown, but don’t stir it. Once completely melted and medium brown, pour the sugar onto the paper lining the cooking sheet. It will harden quickly. Set aside to let it cook down completely.
Coat each cake in frosting and then place one on top of the other. For garnish, add some slices of sauteed peaches. Then, break pieces of the sugar glass and place on top of the peaches.
recipe originally found here.

Now you have my personal favorite collection of recipes to end your summer right. Enjoy them and these last few days of summer before it’s too late. Have some fun in the sun this weekend. Happy Labor Day!

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