As the summer winds down to its unofficial end (sigh), it seems everyone is suddenly wildly busy: They're in back to school
mode, or hosting guests, squeezing in one last trip to the beach, or just plain busy at work and home. Here at KitchenDaily we're already deep into planning for Rosh Hashanah
and even Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The Labor Day weekend is a great opportunity to hang out with family and friends for a relaxed and casual -- low labor -- cookout. So we've put together an easy menu of dishes that can be prepared ahead and require little work. Put out some crackers and cheese and chips and dips, put together these simple recipes and you're good to go.
For more ideas, check out all of our barbecue and grilling features
This hummus recipe by Gail Simmons is a snap to make (just add chickpeas, tahini and a few other ingredients to the food processor and whir until smooth). The homemade pita chips are easy, too, but store-bought chips work nicely too.
Flank steak is a flavorful and relatively inexpensive cut of beef, so you can cook it for a crowd without breaking the bank. In this 40-minute recipe, the meat is briefly marinated in a simple mixture of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic and thyme, then grilled (you can use a grill pan or outdoor barbecue).
In this video, Chef David Kamen of The Culinary Institute of America demonstrates how to grill all sorts of vegetables, so you can add your seasonal favorites right alongside the steak. If you want to gussy up your veggies, add grilling Expert Elizabeth Karmel's Soprano Sauce
Greek yogurt adds creaminess and a tangy flavor to this potato salad -- make an hour (and up to a day) ahead to allow the flavors to meld.
This icebox cake can be made well ahead of time, since it will keep in the freezer for up to two months -- just let it soften in the refrigerator for 45 to 60 minutes before serving. (See our feature on Icebox Cakes
for more recipes.)