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What's on the menu for the long weekend?

Hoping for good weather for the last long weekend of the summer and looking for some inspiration as I plan my menus.

So, what's on your menu?

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  1. Grilled pizza.
    My boyfriend has been wanting to make this for a long time, so I'm going to make the dough and toppings in the morning, then he'll grill in the evening (when it's dropped a little below 90, hopefully). I was planning on topping one with mozzarella and basil, the other with fontina, eggplant, and sausage. Should go well with a greek salad and some iced tea.
    Hope you have a great Labor Day!

    2 Replies
    1. re: KimberlySH

      Enjoy! One of my good friends made me grilled pizza last summer and it was wonderful!

      1. re: KimberlySH

        Hi Kimberly, the pizza sounds dee-lish! If you read this, pls let me know how your crust turned out. We did one on the bbq earlier this year and it stuck to the grill (charcoal). In the past I've only grilled on gas so I wasn't sure if this was an issue w the crust which was a new recipe. We prefer thin crust pizza so this was a first attempt.

      2. It feels like fall here, in fact some leaves are already turning so I making a pot of chili. I am really craving things like applesauce cake, cider glazed pork loin, roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes.

        3 Replies
        1. re: vafarmwife

          Farmwife, have you ever tried roasted squash with kale and olive oil and garlic? It's such a good savory take and now you're making me want some too.

            1. re: vafarmwife

              Me too!! I'm loving the cooler weather and looking forward to cooking some fall food this week.. I definitely want to bake something with apples, and sirloin and top and bottom rounds are on sale for $1.99 a pound,. so I may do a beef stew later in the week. Just got the fall issue of Fine Cooking and there are some great looking pumpkin recipes in there, as well.

            2. So far pumpkin chocolate chip cream cheese cake squares. It is 65° today and I am taking advantage of it. Plus the house smells AMAZING now. Rest of the weekend? Smoking pork shoulder and some chicken wings. Also picked up fresh tomatillos and tortillas, some chipotles and chihuahua cheese... yes you see where this is headed don't ya?

              Looking forward to braising weather coming up!

              8 Replies
              1. re: BodaciousGirl

                Making fresh veg soup to frezze so it's there when it gets cold. Frogmore stew out on the picknic table Sunday afternoon. Porterhouse on the grill for monday and maybe Mark Bitmann's (NYT) softshell crab pasta. Rum beverage all the way around sounds even better since I'm here at work on OT missing sat night.!


                1. re: BodaciousGirl

                  Yumm!! May I introduce myself so I can come for dinner? :-)

                  1. re: Chefalicious

                    LOl Sure! I hope you like heat because we seem to cook with a lot of it.

                  2. re: BodaciousGirl

                    I would love that recipe for the pumpkin squares!!

                    1. re: PumpkinHead

                      They turned out so good and lasted not long enough. Will share the recipe this coming week. That's a promise.

                    2. re: BodaciousGirl

                      Hello Bo-girl, thanks for the inspiration. I found some tomatilos at my local mkt today (rare here in Ontario Canada) and would love to know what you did with yours. Sounded like a salsa may have been in the works!

                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                        I spent 9 years in Arizona where tomatillos were prolific (in both the grocery stores and my garden) - now that I am back in the midwest I need to go to the international markets to get high quality fresh ones (at less they are half the price as well!) So I feel your pain.

                        And our plans for smoking the pork shoulder have changed and now we are going with carnitas! (YAY!) So my advanced purchase of the tomatillos was genius if I do say so myself. ;-) So yea a salsa was definitely in the works... here is my go to recipe.

                        Roasted tomatillo salsa verde

                        1 # husked, washed and halved tomatillos
                        1 white onion, quatered
                        3 cloves garlic
                        2 serrano peppers, halved and seeded*
                        2 jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded*
                        1/2 t fresh ground cumin
                        1/2 c fresh cilantro
                        1/2+ T salt
                        squeeze of lime

                        In a baking pan place tomatillos (cut side down), quartered onion, garlic and peppers. drizzle lightly with oil (I spray with oil.)

                        Roast in a 450° oven for about 20 minutes or until everything is lightly charred. Remove from oven and place in a food processor with any juices and the cumin, cilantro, salt and lime juice.

                        Pulse to process into a rough puree. Taste, adjust salt accordingly. Serve.

                        *I sometimes use red serranos and jalapenos - sure it takes away from the "verde" of the salsa but it looks rather awesome.

                        1. re: BodaciousGirl

                          Thanks so much Bo-Girl,

                          I first tasted tomatillos during a visit to Tucson and I've been craving them ever since!

                          Hubby decided to do pulled pork today so I will definitely be making your salsa, amazing timing!!! I have red Serranos btw so looks like I'll have the colourful version!! Thanks so much for getting back to me and sharing your recipe....can't wait to try it, love the fact that its roasted.

                    3. We splurged in a major way and bought a beef tenderloin that I'm going to wrap in herbs and bard, and a pork loin that I'll drug with garlic and herbs,AND a leg of lamb where Mr.'s taken a quick left and started a Moroccan marinade. We're doing an afternoon shindig on Sunday instead of Monday because some guests are out-of-towners so we want to give them a day's lead. The plan, because we do like to get jiggy at our own parties, is a big carving station in our backyard with a ton of rolls from the Cheeseboard Collective. Daughter's bringing a Ceviche, guacamole and chips, and prawn skewers with lime and cilantro, son's bringing his muy famoso chicken with white barbeque sauce, #2 son has made a rice salad with artichoke hearts and olives. I'm doing a regular Mormon potato salad and a French green-bean potato salad with shallots and sherry vinegar, and I saw a recipe for asparagus dressed with raisins and pine nuts that I'm going to try. Big-a** plate of herlooms with homemade mayo. And dessert, because today I refuse, is potluck, so whatever anybody brings. I'm hoping for at least a watermelon and some brownies. Strong Capirinhas all around, or whatever; My daughter makes a truly mean spiced rum punch with passionfruit and fresh-juiced pineapple and she'll be on hand for mixing duty.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: mamachef

                        I have never heard of Mormon potato salad. Is it like regular potato salad?

                        1. re: vafarmwife

                          You know, I wondered if someone would pick up on that!! It's a very eggy potato salad with sweet relish or chopped bread-and-butter pickles and a boiled dressing that contains celery ceeds and cider vinegar. My mother-in-law had a Mormon neighbor who was a fixture for her potato salad, and it was different enough from ours (onions, celery, olives, bell peppers- not so sweet) that we named it for her. It's also known as Namo's Neighbor Mrs. Parker's Famous Potato Salad. If you'd like exact proportions, I can send them, but it's basically 6 eggs to each pound of potatoes with enough pickle to really taste it, (I go a half-cup, mid-dice, per above quantities) very large cubed potatoes and large-diced eggs. We love this stuff; never lasts around here.

                          1. re: mamachef

                            KInda sounds like my deviled potato salad recipe which has a cooked dressing too along with diced boiled egg whites and mashed egg yolks in the dressing.

                        2. re: mamachef

                          Hey Mama, I had 2 questions (aside from what time shall I be over!!) and I see the one about the potato salad has been answered. So, can you say more about the "white" bbq sauce? That's a new one for me!!

                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                            Hi Breadcrumbs!! I'm Marci, and I'm sorry I got this so late. You would have been welcome here. Good people. Really good music. The host and hostess were superlatively charming beyond all reason. :D
                            Oh, and the food was really really good. We had some leftovers from the carving station and on the way home my daughter dropped them off at the Berkeley Women's shelter, along with a lot of desserts that showed up when we were stuffed to the gills already, so not only no harm done, but some good gets done.
                            Alabama White Barbeque Sauce was a special from the Big Bob Gibson restaurant. I think it may've been in Decataur, but then again it wasn't me that went to lengths to get this. The first time Dan made it, it was kind of a revelation, worlds away from traditional sauce. Then he told me what was in it, and had he let me see the raw product I might've figured out, but as it was, who the hell knew, except that it turns out exemplary grilled food and works as a dipping sauce. And it makes a ton and keeps well.
                            1 qt. mayo
                            3/4 qt. cider vinegar
                            1/4 c. lemon juice
                            2 T. freshly-grated horseradish
                            1/2 c. corn syrup or simple syrup, which I prefer
                            1 T. Pepper
                            1/2 T. Cayenne
                            I just use the food processor and do it in two batches. If you like things a little less spicy, correct the horseradish and cayenne to your taste, but if you do like spicy, I recommend leaving this the way it is. Especially good for pork and chicken on the grill, you can marinate in this or just baste w/ about 20 minutes time left on the grill.
                            Enjoy this. He just mentioned that he sometimes also grills roasted corn and tomatoes and bastes with this one. Ah, what they don't tell us, and by this time it's way too late to cut off his allowance.

                            1. re: mamachef

                              Wow!! mamachef, I'm even sorrier than ever that I missed this doo...love the idea of a carving station! Sounds like an amazing spread. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I would never have guessed its ingredients. I can imagine how good it would be on chicken and corn and I'll make a trip up to our local farm this week to pick some up and give this a try. Sounds delicious! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.

                          1. re: phoenikia

                            Hi Phoenikia, wow, its been ages since I've had ratatouille. My fave burger place used to serve one w a spicy ratatouille on top. Do you have a favourite recipe?

                            1. re: Breadcrumbs

                              I'll be winging it tonight, to use eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, zukes, and basil from the garden.

                              This is the general idea of what I'll be making, but I'll omit the tomato paste and button squash, add some green beans, and cook everything together in the same pot (rather than separately) to save some time.

                              1. re: phoenikia

                                phoenikia, thanks for the rec and the website! I love eggplant so this is a real find!! Maybe I'll find something here that will convert my hubby...he'll eat it but isn't a huge fan. Thanks for sharing!

                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                  If you like eggplant, this is also a tasty dish- something I made based on imam bayaldi. Not sure your husband will like it, though!

                                  2-3 tbsp olive oil

                                  1 eggplant, chopped, and sprinkled with a little salt

                                  1 lb green beans, cut into 2-3 inch pieces

                                  2 cups diced onions

                                  4 tomatoes, quartered

                                  1/2 bell pepper, diced

                                  1 tbsp chopped mint

                                  1 tbsp chopped dill

                                  2 tbsp chopped parsley

                                  3 tbsp raisins or currants

                                  1 clove of garlic, minced

                                  1 tsp cumin

                                  1/2 tsp sweet paprika

                                  1/2 tsp aleppo pepper

                                  1/4 cup dry white wine

                                  2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

                                  Saute eggplant in a couple tbsp of evoo until golden, then remove from heat. Meanwhile, in another large pan, saute tomatoes, onions, garlic, bell pepper & green beans, in a tbsp of evoo for a few minutes. Add cumin, paprika, aleppo pepper, currants, mint, parsley, and wine. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in reserved cooked eggplant and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in toasted pine nuts, and serve.

                          2. Camped out at the Grand Canyon this weekend- menu there was: Baked potatoes and corn in the coals after our first fire that nite. Baked potatoes and chili was dinner that day.

                            Breakfast the next am, in the cool green pines w/ a field of yellow flowers, was bacon and leftover, sliced, baked potatoes w/ the peel and pancakes fried in the bacon grease. Oh so crunchy, greasy and good.

                            Rest of chili was used over grilled Hebrew Nationals on buns for lunch.

                            For dinner we skewered peppers, cherry tomatoes, onions then sliced the corn off of the cobs and served w/ Barilla mini penne pasta which is a life saver when cooking up at higher elevations It was done in no time at all. SO made the comment "Um, no meat??" and I replied "Just eat - there's cheese if you want it". That was a really excellent meal. Even SO raved and had seconds.

                            Breakfast the next am was all the leftover grilled veggies heated up over cast iron, w/ some sausage to keep it going w/ eggs scrambled into it, cheese melted on top rolled up in tortillas. SO had to have another one, I would have like some salsa.

                            Not a very chowish menu but I was crunched to get out of town and happy that I had all of the food ready to go, in the frig and pantry.

                            Lunch was in Cameron, AZ at the Trading Post - Navajo Taco. It was so huge, we split one and neither one of us could finish our portion. Really good food, excellent service and the dining room is wonderful old feel of weavings hung on the walls, wood, tin ceiling and chairs and tables like your Grandmother used to have with high backs.

                            Munchies for the weekend were celery sticks w/ pb, cheese sticks and crackers and some 'Painted Desert' trail mix that we picked up at a local grocery store.

                            Oh wait - what's for dinner?? Tonight?? Long hot shower, start the laundry and double check the list for the next time we go camping - I forgot my tennis shoes and had to spend the weekend in my Doc Martin sandals that are truly showing their age - not like me! Ha!