Cousin Ben celebrates his birthday this weekend -- and Brazil celebrates its own independence-from-Portugal day on September 7 -- so we're planning a festive birthday dinner for Ben and for Brazil at the Pousada do Capão.
If we were at home in Rhode Island this weekend, we'd be cooking up a festive meal, too. Unofficially, Labor Day weekend marks the end of "the season", and it's an all-out, traditional American feast.
Out come the Barbecue Bibles, the smokers, the chimney lighters. Hundreds of thousands of hamburgers sizzle on grills everywhere. Chickens cook under bricks, alongside hot dogs and brats, ears of corn and onion rings, and racks of ribs basted with sweet, smoky sauce.
Cole slaw and potato salad, macaroni and pasta salad, are de rigeur, and in New England, there are beans. Always beans.
If you're still working on your holiday menu, try some of these favorite recipes from The Perfect Pantry, each updated with a one-page, printer-friendly version.
Happy Labor Day, happy Dia da Independência, and happy birthday to Ben!
Salsa and shrimp stuffed avocado
Empanadas filled with chicken picadillo
Goat cheese and basil bruschetta
Cucumbers with peanut dipping sauce
Muhammara (walnut and pomegranate spread)
No-cook summer antipasto
Tequila-lime flank steak with cherry tomato salsa
Chicken shish kabob
Smoky beef ribs
New England shrimp boil
Tandoori-spiced grilled lamb
Pork tenderloin with lavender grilled peaches
Grilled chili-lime-ponzu chicken
Chicken with mango barbecue sauce
Spicy skirt steak
Cucumber ribbon salad
Potatoes with aioli dressing
Roasted vegetables with yogurt and tomato sauce
Quinoa salad with tomatoes, feta and parsley
Beet and fennel salad
Cold curried orzo
Bread salad with roasted tomato vinaigrette
Asian broccoli slaw
Fennel, pear and olive salad
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