Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to host a barbeque! Since it's just around the corner, we're sharing our top tips and hacks to make your gathering the perfect goodbye to summer. From planning to picking a fun theme to three of Tanya’s go-to recipes, we have your holiday weekend covered!
Location, Location, Location!
Choosing the location for your barbecue is just the first step. A backyard, a park, or even a beach are all great options for potential places to host. Make sure to have plenty of fun outdoor games for your guests to participate, and if you want, you can even make it a competition between teams! Some of our favorite lawn games are bocce ball, ladder toss, corn hole, and jumbo Jenga! Games are such a fun and easy way to get all of the family and friends involved in a group activity.
Pro Tip: If you’re planning to host your barbecue somewhere like a beach or park, check online to make sure you don’t need to reserve a spot ahead of time. Spots may fill up quickly!
Choose a Theme
You definitely don’t *have* to choose a theme, but honestly, who doesn’t love a themed party?? You can get decorations, ask guests to come dressed up, and have the food be related to the theme if you want to go all out. Here are a few options to get you started brainstorming:
Send Cute E-Invitations
Want to set a festive tone? Email your guests a fun e-invitaiton! If you chose a theme for your Labor Day barbecue, you can design your invitations around that theme. If not, no problem! Just don’t forget all of the key details: location, date, and time! If you’re a beginner and don’t know exactly how to design an invitation, we love how easy Canva is to use. It provides tons of templates and the ability to download your invites to send as a text or email.
Make sure you have the right accommodations to make your guests feel at home and comfy! That means plenty of seating, coolers to keep drinks cold, easily visible trash cans (you’ll thank us for that one), outdoor lighting, and bug repellent.
Host Hack: Keep sunscreen on hand and available for your guests to reapply throughout the day. You don’t want to send the kiddos off to school with a sunburn.
Plan the Food Ahead, Way Ahead!
Build your menu and do your grocery shopping a few days early. There are sure to be tons of parties and barbecues happening during Labor Day weekend, so you want to make time to shop before supplies run out! The worst thing is when you leave the grocery shopping until the last minute and the supermarkets are out of your secret ingredient in your favorite dish to prepare. If you are planning to do a potluck-style barbecue, remember to coordinate who is bringing what with your guests and give them plenty of time to plan and prepare.
Speaking of food, Tanya shared a few of her favorite recipes to have on hand for hosting your Labor Day barbecue! Be sure to tag us on Instagram @inkwellpress if you make one of these classic dishes!
Grilled Potato Salad with Bacon
2.5 lbs of small new potatoes, scrubbed
8 oz bacon, diced
1/2 C buttermilk
2 T mayo
2 T sour cream
1 T dijon mustard
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 canola oil
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Put the potatoes in a pot of salted cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender but not cooked through, about 8 minutes. Drain the potatoes and let cool before cutting them in half.
While the potatoes are cooking, cook the bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat until golden brown and crisp, 8 -10 minutes. Remove the bacon and drain it on a paper towel.
Whisk together the buttermilk, mayonnaise, sour cream, and mustard in a large bowl. Season with salt, pepper, onion & garlic powders.
Heat your grill to Medium. Brush the potatoes on both sides with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the potatoes on the grill, cut side down, and grill until lightly golden brown, about 3 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and continue grilling until just cooked through, about 3 minutes longer.
Transfer the potatoes to the bowl with the dressing, add the bacon and green onion, and toss to coat. Serve warm. Cover and refrigerate it until cold if desired (at least 2 hours). I think this salad, though, is best served warm!
1 lb shrimp, cooked & chopped
1/2 C mayo
1/4 C white onion, diced
3/4 C celery, diced
1.5 T white wine vinegar
1.5 T fresh dill, minced
1 t tarragon (dried)
1/4 t salt
1/4 t dijon mustard
1/4 t fresh ground pepper
Whisk together salt, vinegar, mayo, mustard, pepper, and dill. Combine with shrimp. Then add onion and celery. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour. If you let it sit overnight, it gets even better!
Roasted Vegetables w/ Herbed Feta
1 lb carrots, chopped in 1 in chunks
1 lb brussel sprouts, halved
1 lb mini creamer potatoes
2 t salt
1 t black peppers
1 t coriander seeds
8 oz feta
3 T greek yogurt
1 T honey
1 lemon, zest, and juice
¼ C mint, chopped
¼ C parsley, chopped
2 T chives, chopped
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Add veggies, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with coriander, salt & pepper. Toss to coat, then spread in an even layer. Roast for 30 - 40 minutes, flipping veggies once.
Meanwhile, add feta, yogurt, honey, lemon juice, and zest to the food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy. You may need to add a little water to loosen! Add herbs and use until just distributed (don’t turn the mixture green!)
Spread feta mixture on a platter and arrange roasted veggies on top. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and roasted pistachios if desired.