Whether you're a parent, student, teacher, or spouse/sibling/friend of any of those three, new schedules tend to require a little shuffling of daily routines, so it's a relief to have a long weekend to regroup. One of my cousins headed off to college this past week and, boy, does the entire process sound exhausting. If that's the case for you, make it two (or three) cookies!
It's going to be an extra long weekend since Monday is Labor Day, and I took Tuesday off as well. Pitt college football kicks off its season on Monday night, so I snagged an extra day to relax and soak up what will hopefully be the first of cough many cough wins this season. I've looked forward to tailgating for months, and our group is sticking with a simple summer cookout theme for this game. Much to Matt's delight, hot dogs are on the menu!
Since Labor Day is the unofficial end to summer for many folks, I started thinking about what foods I absolutely must have one last time before my brain shifts to comfort foods and pumpkin anything. It's that thought that inspired today's Friday Five. Here goes!
1. Tomatoes - As soon as I have the first farm-fresh tomato of the season, I'm both overjoyed and saddened. Overjoyed because there is nothing sweeter or more delicious than an in-season tomato! And saddened because... there is nothing sweeter or more delicious than an in-season tomato. Sigh. I'm determined to get my fill of tomatoes in any form while they're at their peak. Check out my latest tomato recipes for inspiration!
2. Corn - The penultimate summer crop. Get it before it's gone! Mix it with zucchini or gnocchi, make a chowder out of it, boil it or simply toss it on the grill. I'm going to pick up a few ears this weekend and tinker with flavored butters before it's too late. Cilantro lime, garlic chive, and double cheese. Yum!
3. Fresh berries - If there's been food group that's flooded my diet over the past few months, it's gotta be berries. Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and, my current favorite, blueberries. Sweet, tart, and in abundance this year. I've developed a radar for blueberries that's been fine-tuned over the past few months. Whenever I find them on sale for 99 cents per pint, I stock up and freeze them. Perfect for smoothies, yummy blueberry boy bait cake, oatmeal, muffins, and the cutest individual flag cake cups!
4. Salads & slaws - It's easy to label summer as the season of grilling and ice cream, but I really think slaws and salads are the unsung heroes of the hotter months. For me, a picnic isn't really a picnic without an abundance of cool side dishes. Macaroni salad, pasta salad, fruit salad, cole slaw, and even classic tossed salads; I crave cool dishes the most! I discovered a deep love for sides this summer, like this sweet and crunchy broccoli slaw and this tangy three bean salad.
5. S'mores - Last weekend, a friend mentioned the idea of a s'mores party, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. My head is swimming with possibilities! Thankfully, s'mores season goes along with campfire season, so we can enjoy them for a little while longer. Classic s'more sandwiches are good, but I'm especially partial toward these outrageously decadent s'more cupcakes. Go on, you know you want to!
Have yourself a tasty, relaxing, and sunny (fingers crossed!) Labor Day weekend, y'all. And, of course, Let's Go Pitt!