The Weekend Cook: Labor Day

Chicken Melon Salad. Linda Larsen

In America, Labor Day is the last blast of summer. The day, which celebrates workers and laborers of all levels and experiences, occurs on the first Monday in September. Backyard barbecues and picnics are traditional, to wrap up summer and start the busy fall season.

The long weekend means that you should do your planning and shopping before Saturday, so you can relax and enjoy the holiday. These easy and delicious recipes and menus will help you make the most of your time off and still feed your family and friends wonderful food.

Teach your kids the importance of valuing America's workers, fly your flag, put lots of pop, fizzy water, fruit drinks, and beer in a cooler, and enjoy the holiday with these easy menus!

Friday Night Supper

  • Crockpot Chicken Curry
    I think it's essential that the weekend start off with dinner waiting for you when you get home. This fabulous curry recipe is the perfect meal to start your weekend.
  • Baked Onion Rice Pilaf
    Pair the curry with a baked pilaf that is super easy and so delicious.
  • crusty french bread and butter
  • Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars
    I love this easy bar cookie, and so will your family. A creamy topping and crunchy peanuts cover a tender bar cookie. Yum.

Saturday Breakfast

  • Blueberry French Toast Bake
    Blueberries are so good for you, and so delicious in this overnight breakfast recipe. Serve it with maple syrup and powdered sugar for a wonderful treat.
  • orange juice, coffee, milk
  • Heavenly Cheese Molded Salad
    The gorgeous color of this easy gelatin salad will make your breakfast table look like a Monet painting; plus, it's made ahead so you have almost no work in the morning.

    Saturday Lunch

    • Grilled Ham Sandwiches
      Pull out your George Foreman grill and make these easy sandwiches for a quick lunch.
    • grapes and melon wedges
    • More Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars (see above)

    Saturday Dinner

    • Chicken Melon Salad
      This is the most beautiful recipe, and it tastes fantastic too. Tender chicken is mixed with a sweet strawberry dressing, juicy melon cubes, and tender pasta.
    • Soft Garlicky Breadsticks
      These easy breadsticks are perfect served warm with the cold salad. The combination of flavors and textures is fantastic.
    • Chocolate Oatmeal Cake
      This menu is turning out to be a collection of my favorites! This delicious cake is the perfect end to this celebratory meal.

    Sunday Brunch

    • Breakfast Strata
      The nice thing about make ahead recipes is that you feel you're one step ahead of the game. It's just so wonderful to wake up knowing breakfast is on the table just by putting something in the oven.
    • orange juice, coffee, milk
    • Frozen Fruit Salad
      This frozen fruit salad is the perfect complement to the hot and savory strata.

    Sunday Dinner

    • Raspberry Glazed Chicken Breasts
      This fresh and beautiful entree combines juicy and tender grilled chicken with sweet raspberries. If you can't find raspberries this time of year, use strawberries instead.
    • Toasted Garlic Bread
      Use your favorite bread in this easy and flavorful recipe.
    • Strawberry Spinach Salad
      I love this salad; the combination of textures and flavors is just perfect. 
    • Lemonade Pie
      Use pink lemonade in this easy recipe for a nice change of pace.

    Monday Breakfast

    • Crockpot Cobbler
      Use your crockpot again to make this delicious recipe overnight while you sleep. What luxury.
    • coffee, orange juice, milk
    • Divinity Frozen Fruit Salad
      This wonderful old recipe is really the perfect breakfast food; you must make it ahead, and it's sweet, creamy, and rich all at once.

    Monday Lunch Picnic

    • Salmon Croissant Sandwiches
      These perfect sandwiches have the best flavor and texture. You can use canned tuna if you'd like instead of the salmon.
    • BLT Wrap Sandwiches
      This wonderful sandwich is an easy way to make and eat the classic BLT.
    • potato chips and tortilla chips
    • M&M Candy Cookies
      These cookies are the perfect picnic food. They pack and travel well, and the flavors are wonderful.

    Labor Day Cookout Dinner

    • Fresh Corn Salad
      I love the flavor and texture of this lovely salad; you will too!
    • In a Hurry Potato Salad
      Frozen hash brown potatoes, with a special dressing, make a spectacular potato salad with very little work.
    • Lemon Angel Food Dessert
      This light and luscious dessert is the perfect end to your holiday weekend.