Having a Labor Day Picnic this Weekend?

So today I’m giving everyone a few great recipes to make for your Labor Day picnic this weekend! I tried to put a bunch that I haven’t seen before so everyone can try something new! My favorite one is the grilled corn! Yum! Has anyone done that? I think it’s the best way to make corn on the cob and we don’t make it any other way at my house! So try some of these recipes this weekend and let me know how it goes!!

Balsamic Grilled Chicken and Vegetables


  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 red potatoes, quartered lengthwise and cooked
  • 2 red onions, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 sweet yellow pepper, cut into 2˝ strips
  • 1 sweet red pepper, cut into 2˝ strips


  • In a shallow baking dish, combine the vinegar, oil, garlic, rosemary, oregano, and pepper.
  • Add the chicken, turning to coat with the marinade. Cover the chicken and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Add the potatoes, onions and peppers to the marinade.
  • Coat the grill rack with cooking spray.
  • Preheat the grill on medium heat for 10 minutes. Arrange the chicken and vegetables on the grill, reserving the marinade.
  • Cook, turning the chicken and vegetables occasionally and brushing with the reserved marinade, until the chicken is no longer pink inside (test with a sharp knife) and the vegetables are tender.
  • Makes 4 servings

Chili-Lime Grilled Corn


  • 8 ears fresh sweet corn
  • 3 Tbsp butter
1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 1 Tbsp high-quality chili powder, plus more to taste


  • The grill should be moderately hot and the rack no more than 4 inches from the heat source.
  • Peel back (but don’t remove) the husks of the corn and remove the inner silk.
  • Smooth the husks back into place.
  • When the grill is ready, cook the corn, turning occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • As the ears start to brown, remove the husks.
  • Coat the corn with the butter and return to the grill, turning occasionally, until the ears are nicely browned, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Squeeze lime juice on the corn, sprinkle with chili powder, and serve immediately.

Makes 8 servings

Sweet and Spicy Coleslaw


  • 2 lb green cabbage
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup mustard
  • 2 tsp apple-cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Quarter the cabbage and remove the core, and cut the carrots and onion into chunks. Grate the vegetables in a food processor, using the large-holed grater attachment. Then toss them together in a large bowl.
  • For the dressing, whisk together the remaining ingredients.
  • Toss the dressing with the vegetables, add salt and pepper to taste, and chill at least 2 hours.
  • Makes 6 to 8 servings

Pulled Pork Sandwiches


For the Pork:

  • 6 tablespoons paprika
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Scant tablespoon onion powder
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 10-to-12-pound boneless pork shoulder or Boston butt, rinsed anddried
  • 12 soft hamburger buns, split
  • Coleslaw, for serving

For the Barbecue Sauce:

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup


  • If using a gas grill, preheat to high on one side; put soaked wood chips in a smoker box. Once smoking, reduce the heat to maintain a temperature of 275 degrees F and cook the pork, covered, on the cooler side of the grill.
  • Make the Neelys’ go-to barbecue seasoning: Mix the paprika, sugar and onion powder in a bowl. Transfer 3 tablespoons seasoning to a separate bowl, add 2 tablespoons salt and 3 tablespoons pepper, and massage onto the pork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to 1 day. (Reserve the remaining barbecue seasoning.)
  • Soak 6 cups wood chips in water, about 15 minutes, then drain. Don’t oversoak, or the wood will snuff out the fire.
  • Fill a smoker or kettle grill with charcoal and light. (Pat uses lighter fluid; you can also use a chimney starter.) When the coals are mostly white, spread them out with tongs. Spread 1/2 cup of the wood chips over the coals (use 1 cup for a kettle grill). The temperature of the grill should be about 275 degrees F.
  • Place the pork fat-side down on a rack in the smoker or on the grill. Cover and cook, rotating the pork every hour or so, until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 165 degrees F, about 6 hours total.
  • As the pork cooks, add more charcoal and wood chips to keep the temperature between 250 degrees F and 275 degrees F and to maintain the smoke level.
  • Meanwhile, mix the ketchup, 1 cup water, both sugars, 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, the onion and mustard powders, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, corn syrup and 1 tablespoon of the reserved barbecue seasoning in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, at least 2 hours. Let cool, then reheat on the grill when ready to use.
  • Transfer the pork to a rimmed baking sheet (you’ll want to catch all the flavorful juices) and let stand until cool enough to handle. Shred into bite-size pieces, pile on a platter and pour any juices from the baking sheet on top.
  • Mound the pork on bun bottoms, paint with a little barbecue sauce, top with slaw and cover with the bun tops.

Chili Glazed Pork Ribs


  • 2 racks pork spareribs (about 6 pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 3 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce


  • Make shallow cuts between the ribs on the bone side with a sharp knife, piercing just the membrane.
  • Mix 1 tablespoon salt, the brown sugar, garlic, thyme, chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and the cayenne in a bowl. Rub the spice mixture evenly over the ribs.
  • Place the ribs on a rack in a roasting pan, loosely cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Meanwhile, combine the cider, ketchup, mustard and Worcestershire sauce in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer until reduced to about 2 cups, about 30 minutes. Cover and set aside.
  • Preheat a grill to low heat on one side.
  • Cook the ribs bone-side down on the cooler side of the grill, covered, until tender, about 2 hours 30 minutes. (If using a charcoal grill, add more charcoal as needed to maintain the temperature.)
  • Continue to cook, uncovering every 10 minutes to baste with the sauce, until the ribs are glazed, about 40 more minutes.
  • Remove from the grill and cut into pieces.

Potato Salad


  • 2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
  • 5 hard-cooked eggs
  • 3/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup julienned sweet red pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley


  • Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 12-14 minutes or until tender. Drain; cool for 30 minutes.
  • Slice eggs in half (discard yolks or save for another use). Cut the whites into 1/2-in. pieces.
  • In a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper. Add the potatoes, egg whites, onion, celery, green onions, red pepper and parsley; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled.

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