Labor Day Feast!

by jerseygirl on September 2, 2008 · 33 comments

We are back from our vacation to Williamsburg and celebrated the last day of summer. Yesterday, we enjoyed our last day at our swim club but it was also “football opening day” for us. Rutgers played at 4pm which called for football food but we also needed food that celebrated the end of summer. We won’t talk about how the Rutgers game went but we will talk about the food. Hubby broke out the smoker to cook some wings and beef ribs.

Both the wings and ribs were dry rubbed and smoked for about 4 hours. The rub tends to be a mixture of salt, sugar and spices that we have on hand. Click here for how to make your own rub. A barbecue glaze was put on the last few minutes of cooking. I tend to jazz up bottled barbecue sauce by adding beer or juice, vinegar and extra spices. They were smoky and tender. Perfect for football watching. I made a pasta salad that celebrated the bounties of my garden. I was able to use the beautiful sun gold tomatoes that we grew. This is my favorite “go to” pasta salad. Whenever I go to a barbecue or pot luck that calls for pasta salad, this is what I bring. Unfortunately, we snacked too much to have room for pasta salad so that will be part of tonight’s dinner.

It was also my hubby’s birthday this past weekend so we had to have an ice cream cake. Happy Birthday, John! You are getting cuter and smarter the older you get! Last but not least, look at what the Daring Bakers made me do!

I craved, craved , craved eclairs and had to buy some! I was blog hopping Sunday night and kept coming up to all these beautiful looking eclairs. I am not daring enough to make eclairs especially on Labor day. However I ran to my nearest bakery to buy some. YUM! They are my favorite! There will be leftover pasta salad today and maybe some grilled fish. After the feast, this mom needs to fit in her jeans. Time to open the Cooking Light Cookbook and read it on the treadmill!

Caprese Pasta Salad
12 oz pasta (I used mini bow ties)
12 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cut in cubes
4 cups chopped tomatoes (I used 2 different types)
1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

2 TBS canola oil
garlic salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse in cool water. Put pasta in large bowl, Add cheese, tomatoes and basil. Pour the vinegar and oils over the salad. Toss well and add garlic salt and pepper to taste.

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Veronica September 2, 2008 at 3:46 pm

Wow! You have got a lot of tasty looking food going on there! I’m particularly impressed by those eclairs. I love eclairs, but I’ve never tried to make them-nice going, you daring baker, you.


Beth September 2, 2008 at 4:17 pm

You toms look great – mine died this year due to all the wet weather we’ve been having. Im writing down the pasta salad recipe…for next year when I try again!!


Barbara Bakes September 2, 2008 at 4:18 pm

That salad looks delicious! Sounds like a great feast!


Candy September 2, 2008 at 4:37 pm

Oh man those ribs look to good! I love pasta salad for tailgates. It just seems safer!



kat September 2, 2008 at 5:20 pm

that is some fine looking bbq, i’m laughing that all the eclairs online made you go buy some πŸ˜‰


Maria September 2, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Wow lovely feast, that pasta looks so good. And LOVE those eclairs!



Clumbsy Cookie September 2, 2008 at 5:29 pm

Lol! I’ll have to join you on the treadmil! That meat looks just amazing and I’m glad to know the daring bakers has such power, lol! Next time you should really try to do them, they’re mush simple than they look!


RecipeGirl September 2, 2008 at 5:41 pm

oooo my those ribs look so delicious! The Daring Bakers made you buy some Eclairs??? How funny πŸ™‚


Mommy's Kitchen September 2, 2008 at 5:45 pm

Those ribs look awesome and the pasta salad as well. I love pasta, so i know i will be making this salad.


Prudy September 2, 2008 at 7:13 pm

Lisa, you really outdid yourself. I wish I had my holiday with Jersey girl cooks.


Bunny September 2, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Your whole dinner looks so good, I really like the pasta salad cause a just love tomatoes!!!


Jenny September 2, 2008 at 8:22 pm

Wow girl, where to even begin, everything looks so great! Those eclairs are calling my name!

Congrats on your latest win!!


Proud Italian Cook September 2, 2008 at 8:38 pm

Hi Lisa, What a great meal! Mmmmm, smoked ribs and wings, and I love your pasta salad too. It just screams summer with those beautiful tomatoes!


Elle September 2, 2008 at 9:30 pm

In want all of that! And yay for the arrival of football season!


Stacey Snacks September 2, 2008 at 9:42 pm

I thought you were having a salad today?
Looks like we could both use some salads after this weekend!


Anj September 2, 2008 at 10:17 pm

That is some beautiful food there. I think your eclairs are some of the best looking ones I’ve seen in the challenge. Thanks for stopping my blog with a comment.


Tanya September 2, 2008 at 10:20 pm

Oh my, not a good idea to visit this post at this time of night…now I’m starving! It looks delicious, all of it!


hot garlic September 3, 2008 at 12:02 am

YUM! You’ve really done it this time, those ribs are about to send me over the edge. I am salivating like crazy. I don’t have a smoker though, what is a girl to do!?

Sorry about the Γ©clair cravings, and Happy Birthday to your hubby!


Emiline September 3, 2008 at 12:08 am

Mmm, pasta salad, BBQ, and eclairs! What a Labor Day!

Happy birthday to your husband.


Dee September 3, 2008 at 5:24 am

Lol, blog hopping also makes me do the darnest things πŸ™‚

Your tomatoes are beautiful; I’m so envious that you get to grow your own. And I love the ribs. We don’t have a smoker, just a barbie. That’s different, isn’t it?


Kirsten September 3, 2008 at 8:15 am

The wings and ribs look fantastic!


Aggie September 3, 2008 at 8:38 am

Lisa, everything looks wonderful! You’ve got quite a hubby there smoking those ribs and wings….they look awesome! Happy birthday to him!

Those Daring Bakers have me craving eclairs too! Too funny!

I love your pasta salad….those tomatoes from your garden look great!


Andrea September 3, 2008 at 9:14 am

Mmm that pasta salad looks so delicious! I think I’m going to have to make that this afternoon with the tomatoes my sweet neighbor keeps bringing over πŸ™‚ The eclairs weren’t really hard, it was more mind over matter, once you get over the fact that you are ‘making eclairs’ it was pretty easy, give it a try sometime!


Maria September 3, 2008 at 10:38 am

Glad you are back! Looks like you had a great holiday with tasty food. The pasta salad recipe looks great! And how funny you had to get eclairs!!


Bridgett September 3, 2008 at 11:33 am

Wow! What a feast! Those ribs are making me even more hungry. They look tasty.


Adam September 3, 2008 at 11:52 am

Glad your trip went so well πŸ™‚

I love just about everything in your BBQ. Those ribs look amazing, I dig the pasta salad, and those sun gold tomatoes are like candy, seriously.

Are you excited for tomorrow night? Big game for the Giants πŸ™‚


Margaret September 3, 2008 at 2:21 pm

Beautiful food.
We don’t as a rule use smokers here in the UK – if I had one I would borrow your recipe!


Paula September 3, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Now that’s a feast! I fear that I’d want to eat portions of both ribs and chicken! I’ve only recently discovered smoked bbq and I’m hooked! I can see why your pasta salad is your favorite go to one; it looks great. Hope your hubby had a great b-day and enjoyed the ice cream cake. Don’t even get me started on those eclairs! Would love to hear more about your grilled fish. YUM!


Jessica September 3, 2008 at 8:33 pm

Those tomatoes look so yummy! And I could just eat up that eclair right now!


Lisa September 4, 2008 at 12:40 am

Thanks for all the comments everyone. I really appreciate hearing from you. Since a few of you commented that you didn’t have a smoker, in the future I will blog about how you can smoke meat on a regular grill.


Rosie September 4, 2008 at 1:06 am

What a wonderful feast everything look amazing!

Rosie x


Pam September 4, 2008 at 2:27 am

The ribs and the salad look fantastic. What a great birthday meal.


Susan September 4, 2008 at 10:46 pm

This meal looks delicious. I love the pasta salad. I’ll have to try it with our tomatoes.


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