Friday, September 2, 2011

Summer Recipe Roundup: The Weekend Gourmet's Favorite Recipes for Labor Day Parties

It's finally here...the long Labor Day holiday weekend! Work has been pretty hectic this week, so I was very excited when it was 330 and time to get the extra-long weekend underway. I don't really have any special plans:  mostly staying inside, where it's cool. I know the calendar says September, but someone forgot to send Mother Nature the memo. It was 100 degrees here in San Antonio this afternoon, and tomorrow is going to be 104. I don't have to tell you how very wrong that is...even the low 90s would feel like an Arctic blast after the summer we've had this year!!

I'm sure many of you have some parties and cookouts planned for this weekend, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorite summer party recipes from past posts. I'll also include links to the original recipe so you can easily find it if you'd like to cook one for your upcoming weekend celebrations. I picked an appetizer, two easy side dishes, an original burger recipe, and my favorite easy-as-pie oven required! Let's get going...

Two-Step Greek Ranch Dip:  Creamy homemade ranch dip with cucumbers, green onions, roma tomato, and feta cheese added in. This yummy dip pairs perfectly with pita chips.

Bright and Sunny Potato Salad:  This is the kind of potato salad my mother-in-law makes...flavored with mayo and a healthy dose of yellow mustard. It tastes even better the second day, so try to make this a day ahead. Would Tyler Florence ever steer you wrong?!?!?

South of the Border Burgers:  Ground turkey seasoned with salsa and Mexican spices. Topped with avocado, jack cheese, a cooling cilantro-lime crema, and more salsa. This burger is full of flavor!!

Decadent Nutella Raspberry Pie:  This pie is SO good, and SO easy to make! Layers of Nutella, raspberries, a creamy chocolate layer, and a topping with Nutella and berry jam?'s decadent, but in the best way possible.

I'm going to share a recipe with you for a dish that can be a side dish OR a really good salsa with tortilla chips: Black Bean Confetti Salsa. It's very versatile and always popular when I share it at parties. You can whip it up the morning of the party and let it chill in the fridge for a few hours...the longer it sits, the better it tastes!! There are tons of variations on this recipe out there, but this is my personal spin on it. I really like the flavor and texture that avocado adds. This is a great option if you have vegan/veg friends and family!!

Black Bean Confetti Salsa

Step 1:  Add the following ingredients to a large bowl:
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 2 diced roma tomatoes
  • 2-3 sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup finely diced purple onion
  • 1 finely diced seeded Serano pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated
  • juice and zest of one lime
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
Step 2:  Stir well to combine and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Just before serving, add 1 diced avocado and gently stir. We're not making guacamole here, so be gentle with the avocado so you don't break it up. 

This can be served as a side dish -- it's great with grilled chicken and fish. It also makes a fantastic salsa with the scoop-shaped tortilla chips. It's a little spicy, a little tangy, and quite filling for something so light. Best of all? It's really healthy!! Have a wonderful holiday weekend...and don't forget to enter my Whoopsies! Gourmet Whoopie Pies giveaway if you haven't have until Monday to enter. I'll be back on Sunday or Monday with a fun recipe to share. See y'all then!!

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