Labor Day Gourmet Grilling Party Menu

Our neighborhood’s Gourmet Group gathered for a dinner party last weekend. Nineteen of us celebrated & toasted the summer’s end.
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Our hostess used a rubber band to wrap asparagus around formula (or coffee) cans, stuck a glass inside and arranged flowers in the glass.  Raffia wrapped around the asparagus cleverly covered the rubber band.  Aren’t they wonderful centerpieces?

Our menu:
The featured beverage…
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Blueberry Margaritas (edged in sugar): Yum!

The appetizers…
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Herbed Lima Bean Hummus: This was very, very good. You have to play with the spices a bit to get the flavor that you’re looking for, but it’s unique and summery and perfect with veggies or pita chips or crackers.
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Fresh Blueberry Salsa: It sounds unusual, but it’s a very summery approach to an appetizer, and it works. Dip a chip or two in this stuff & you might have trouble stopping.

The starter…
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Chilled Zucchini Soup with Lemon- Cumin Shrimp & Cilantro Cream: These were served in small tea cups.  We dunked the shrimp and then sipped the soup out the cups. It was a gorgeous soup for an extremely hot day- great choice.

The main meal:
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Gorgonzola- Stuffed Beef Burgers with Sauteed Wild Mushrooms & Caramelized Red Onion Marmalade: Oh My! Everything about these burgers was perfect- the mushrooms, the marmalade and the hint of gorgonzola… these were definitely gourmet, and no extra condiments were needed.
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Grilled Corn Salad: This is my new favorite salad recipe. It has a creamy vinaigrette that completely makes the salad. Everyone sitting at my table asked for another scoop.
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Watermelon & Avocado Salad: The classic mix of watermelon, feta & greens, but it also has avocado added in- as well as a raspberry vinaigrette. A very good summer salad.

The dessert…
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Fresh Peach Ice Cream with Vanilla- Scented Peaches: A creamy, creamy ice cream loaded with fresh peach flavor (not frozen peach chunks), and topped with peaches that have marinated in a vanilla bean-wine simple syrup. Oh yeah!

All recipes were fantastic, and each would be a welcome addition to a Labor Day Barbecue.  Have a terrific holiday weekend of grilling, eating, relaxing & hanging out with friends, and be sure to try out a new recipe or two.

All recipes listed can be found by clicking on the recipe titles above.

Leave a Comment




36 Responses to “Labor Day Gourmet Grilling Party Menu”

  1. 1

    Barbara — September 3, 2009 @ 3:27 AM

    The fresh blueberry salsa looks great….I’m going to try it. I’m on a blueberry kick right now. And yes, the centerpiece is lovely. Fun to use vegetables with flowers.

  2. 2

    Aimee — September 3, 2009 @ 3:29 AM

    Wow, wow. What a menu! Definitely some inspiration for the weekend.

  3. 3

    VeggieGirl — September 3, 2009 @ 3:37 AM

    AWESOME menu!! I’m all over that hummus and peach dessert, especially :-D

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    kellypea — September 3, 2009 @ 4:58 AM

    What a great summery menu! I love the color and the unusual idea of the blueberry salsa. Great idea! Beautiful centerpieces, too. Wish it was *actually* the end of summer, though. So hot lately : /

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    Michelle — September 3, 2009 @ 4:58 AM

    How fun to be part of a group like that! The menu looks wonderful and I love those centerpieces…so creative and pretty!

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    Kelsey/TheNaptimeChef — September 3, 2009 @ 5:07 AM

    Umm, can I come over for Labor Day, what a great menu! :) I love the asparagus centerpiece, once I saw one with an artichoke in the middle of a bouquet of purple cabbage and I’ve been trying to recreate it ever since!

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    Maria — September 3, 2009 @ 5:14 AM

    Great menu ideas! I love the center piece. I may have to make that blueberry salsa this weekend!

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    Curt McAdams — September 3, 2009 @ 5:16 AM

    I love the neighborhood gourmet club.. I just wish I had neighbors!

    The asparagus centerpieces look good, but I’d rather have the asparagus wrapped in proscuitto! :)

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    Kay Little — September 3, 2009 @ 5:37 AM

    wonderful menu…including the centerpieces…lots of inspiration for me! I enjoy your blog so much…

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    Jenny — September 3, 2009 @ 6:49 AM

    Wow Lori, what an arrangement you’ve got here! I love all of it! Fabulous post my dear!

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    Jessica — September 3, 2009 @ 7:04 AM

    Wow…YUM! I want to try the burgers, hummus and corn salad. Thanks for sharing!

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    Phoo-D — September 3, 2009 @ 7:25 AM

    What an incredible line up! Love the centerpieces, what an excellent idea! The burger, oh heavens. We are going to have to give that one a try.

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    patsyk — September 3, 2009 @ 8:54 AM

    The gorgonzola burgers have my drooling! I recently had a bleu cheese burger and was thinking that stuffing a burger with gorgonzola would be so mouth-watering.

    Love that centerpiece idea!

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    Paula — September 3, 2009 @ 10:51 AM

    Wow I wish I lived in your neighborhood! Everything looks absolutely wonderful! I love your centerpieces. So original!!

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    Doreen — September 3, 2009 @ 11:24 AM

    Yumm!! I too wish I lived in your neighborhood. The meal and the setting looks fantastic!

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    Barbara — September 3, 2009 @ 11:46 AM

    Wow – I wish our neighborhood parties were more like this!

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    Lynda — September 3, 2009 @ 12:53 PM

    Now that’s a gourmet group – lucky you! I love all the blueberries and will have to try the margarita.

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    noble pig — September 3, 2009 @ 1:51 PM

    Beautiful…everything…and very clever centerpiece!

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    southern hostess — September 3, 2009 @ 3:18 PM

    What a fabulous menu! Everything looks amazing!

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    Rhyleysgranny — September 3, 2009 @ 3:59 PM

    Now that is one party I would like to have attended. Fabulous food

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    Hugging the Coast — September 3, 2009 @ 6:18 PM

    That sound you just heard is my tummy grumbling! Great menu!

    By the way, I’ll be retweeting this tomorrow (@huggingthecoast on Twitter) as part of a special Labor Day Weekend Twitter Marathon.

  22. 22

    Justopia — September 3, 2009 @ 6:20 PM

    This food looks GREAT! It’s so vibrant and festive. Enjoy.

  23. 23

    Deborah — September 3, 2009 @ 7:14 PM

    Those centerpieces are amazing! And that spread of food looks amazing as well.

  24. 24

    ingrid — September 4, 2009 @ 9:08 AM

    Wow, all of it looked terrific! Where do you live? :-)
    ~ingrid

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    Annette — September 4, 2009 @ 9:12 AM

    That sounds delicious!

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    megan — September 4, 2009 @ 1:31 PM

    What a meal! I was just telling a coworker about your gourmet club. What a blast. I’m all over that burger and ice cream!

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    April Marie Claire — September 4, 2009 @ 11:52 PM

    Now that is what I call a centerpiece!!!

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    Gaby — September 5, 2009 @ 6:54 AM

    everyone looks perfect and so delicious!

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    Joan Nova — September 5, 2009 @ 11:20 AM

    Where do you live? I’m call the moving van so I can join your gourmet group.

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    Louise — September 5, 2009 @ 1:17 PM

    Do cooking groups do cook-offs or show downs? This menu would beat the best of the best!!! This is Summer Sunshine in all its glory! Thank you for letting us share, Heather:)

    P.S. My Recipe Girl Button is acting up. Any ideas???

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    Colleen — September 6, 2009 @ 12:00 PM

    This all looks fabulous! A nice twist on traditional dishes.

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    Nick — September 7, 2009 @ 6:39 AM

    Wowser, those burgers look huge! What an awesome food lineup.

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    Velva — September 7, 2009 @ 7:33 AM

    The Gourmet Club menu looks stunning! It is funny, how I stumbled upon your food blog as I just posted our Cooking Club evening.
    Your evening screams summer and it all looks so beautiful! I have made a note about the floral arrangement. I need to do that next time.

  34. 34

    Laurie — September 7, 2009 @ 8:18 AM

    What a beautiful spread.. and your photo’s are fabulous Lori!!

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    maris — September 7, 2009 @ 7:59 PM

    I’m intrigued by the Herb/Lima Bean Hummus. I love hummus and have never heard of this kind; I have no doubt that it’s great though!

  36. 36

    Marie — September 7, 2009 @ 8:03 PM

    I love that centerpiece, I might have to borrow that. Lori all the food looks fantastic but I really want a sip of that margarita!