Summer is winding down and autumn will be here before we know it. Labor Day pays tribute to all the contributions and achievements of American workers. This September holiday also signals the end of summer festivities and the start of the fabulous fall season, with cooler temperatures, changing leaves, and evenings with friends and family gathered around the fire pit. Are you planning to throw a big bash to celebrate the end of summer this Labor Day? Don’t wait to get started on your party preparations – we’ve got some great Labor Day party ideas on ways to usher in the fantastic days of fall.
First of all, you don’t have to do all the work yourself. Why not host a back yard barbeque that’s BYOD (bring your own dish)? You can provide a main dish and a couple of sides, but encourage your friends to bring their favorite dish, too. You just might discover a new favorite of your own! Your main dish doesn’t have to be expensive, either. Consider doing something simple, delicious and filling that will take care of a lot of people, like a big pot of homemade chili. You can put everything in a slow cooker and let the wonderful aroma fill the house during the day as you prepare everything for your guests. For a couple of side dishes that go really well with chili, check out these popular recipe suggestions from Sunset Magazine:
Crunchy Napa Cabbage Slaw
This recipe feeds approximately 15 people, so it’s a great choice for feeding a big crowd, and it’s super easy to put together. We think that makes this recipe a “win/ win”!
2 quarts (about 1 lb.) coarsely shredded Napa cabbage
12 ounces snow peas, strings removed, thinly sliced
1 1/3 cups thinly sliced radishes
1 1/3 cups thinly sliced green onions (including green tops)
1 1/3 cups lightly packed cilantro leaves
2/3 cup slivered toasted almonds
How to Make It:
In a large bowl, combine cabbage, snow peas, radishes, green onions, and cilantro. Add about three-quarters of dressing and the almonds to cabbage mixture; mix to coat. Taste and mix in more dressing if you like. Pour into a serving bowl. Eat and enjoy!
For another really cool side dish to complement your homemade chili, or any other main dish, try this refreshing twist on a classic potato salad that will have your guests coming back for seconds. The bright, fresh taste comes from the combination of cucumber and dill. Yogurt, mayonnaise, and vinegar combine for a delightful dressing that’s both creamy and tangy.
Cucumber Potato Salad
1 1/2 pounds small red thin-skinned potatoes
1/2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup olive oil mayonnaise or regular mayonnaise
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups slivered red onion, rinsed and patted dry
1 English cucumber, very thinly sliced (for the thinnest slices, use a mandoline)
How to Make It:
Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a saucepan. Set whole potatoes in a steamer basket and steam in pan, covered, until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool in ice water, then pat dry. Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, dill, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl to combine. Quarter potatoes and put in a large bowl. Add onion, cucumber, and half the dressing; gently stir to coat. Add more dressing if you like or save to use as a dip. Chill potatoes and dressing separately and slice cucumber just before serving.
Are you looking for some colorful decorations to add fun and festivity to your fall gathering? Check out our Patriotic décor – it’s not just for the 4th of July! We’ve got everything from Stars & Stripes Windsocks to grab everyone’s attention to a warm, cozy American Flag Throw to cozy up in incase the day turns chilly. What other Labor Day party ideas do you have?