Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Should You Labor or Not for Holiday Cookout? Labor Day Spread Should Be Labor-Free

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Should You Labor or Not for Holiday Cookout? Labor Day Spread Should Be Labor-Free

Article excerpt

Why should you have to labor in the kitchen on Labor Day?

It's a holiday, after all, and so shouldn't it be about eating good, memorable foods that can be made in a jiffy and don't require any fussing, or a thousand ingredients?

I realize it's a day that is dedicated to the achievements of the workers who have led the country to prosperity, but how about keeping the spread relatively labor-free, especially after a summer of cookout after cookout.

Labor-free does not have to translate to placing a takeout order or rushing to the precooked, frozen-food aisles in grocery stores. You can make foods with items from your refrigerator and pantry that don't require advance prep work, or involve froufrou ingredients, and still get rave reviews from family and friends.

For starters, consider the mini turkey burgers with blue cheese. It takes about 15 minutes to prepare, requires seven ingredients and a muffin pan, and the result is delicious. A simple spaghetti studded with tomatoes and topped with grated Parmesan cheese is a filling entree for the stomach, and a feast for the eyes.

Look no further than the No-Bake Nutella Pretzel Squares for dessert. They are no ordinary squares, and are made with pretzel crumbs instead of graham crackers. I adapted the recipe from Trisha Yearwood's cookbook, "Trisha's Table," and used Nutella instead of peanut butter and Kit Kat bars instead of milk chocolate chips because that's what I had in my pantry. Mrs. Yearwood says "the best part is that they only take about five minutes to put together. The hard part is waiting the 30 minutes for them to get cold enough to slice," and I can't agree more.

Finally, give a toast to your labor-free spread with a grape smoothie that takes all of five minutes to make. Then kick up your heels and savor the holiday.

EASY MINI BLUE CHEESE BURGERS

PG Tested

1 pound ground turkey

1 large onion, chopped

cup crumbled blue cheese

2 teaspoons ketchup

1 cup Bisquick mix

cup milk

2 eggs

1 can (2.8-ounces) fried onions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12 regular-size muffin-cup pan. …

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