Labor Day Luau!

Summer isn't over yet and although labor day weekend traditionally symbolizes the "end" of the season, here at our house we are celebrating by hosting a luau! To continue celebrating with summer flavors and to welcome in fall with open arms, I have created a fun menu complete with Fre alcohol-removed pina coladas and fluffy white coconut cake! Labor Day weekend does not need to feel like an end, but instead a joyful beginning. 

I love Labor Day weekend for two reasons. It was Labor Day weekend in 2015 when my now husband proposed to me. We spent the weekend at home, went to the beach every day, and cooked and cocktailed to the wee hours of the night! This long weekend holds a special place in my heart because of the incredible memories that I have associated with this end-of-summer holiday. The other reason that I love Labor Day weekend is because I LOVE fall. I am so eager to get into the pumpkin spice and apple cider and this feels like my last weekend to really celebrate summer versus welcome in the warm and cozy.

Virgin Pina Colada with Fre Alcohol-Removed Moscato

My husband and I went to Mexico a few years ago and ever since then I have had spontaneous cravings for pina coladas! There is a reason that they are the perfect drink for a hot day. They are slushy, cold, sweet and festive! I made this lightened-up version with Fre alcohol-removed moscato, one of my favorites, so that I too could enjoy the magical frozen treat on this holiday weekend.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lite coconut milk
  • 2.5 cups pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup Fre Moscato

Directions:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (about 30 seconds). Pour into chilled glass. Garnish with an orange slice, a pineapple wedge, or a maraschino cherry.

Grilled Pineapple and Shrimp Skewers

I don't know about you, but grilled shrimp and pineapple remind me of summer! This is a super simple dish that can be served as a main course, or an appetizer at your next get-together!

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil, for grilling
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 pound large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails left on)
  • 1/2 pineapple, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 bunches scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces

Directions:

  1. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Clean and lightly oil hot grill. Whisk together honey, soy sauce, and vinegar. Reserve half the sauce for serving.

  2. Skewer shrimp, pineapple, and scallions onto skewers. Grill until shrimp begin to turn opaque, 2 minutes. Brush with sauce, flip, and brush again. Grill until shrimp are opaque throughout and pineapple and scallions are lightly charred, about 3 minutes. Serve with reserved sauce.

Scallion Yogurt Potato Salad

The only potato salad recipe you need! And, it is relatively healthy! Using yogurt instead of mayonnaise lightens things up and gives it a nice tang!

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

  1. In a medium pot, bring potatoes to a boil in salted water over high. Reduce to a simmer and cook until tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool briefly.

  2. Halve potatoes (quarter if large) and add to a large bowl along with parsley, scallions, mayonnaise, yogurt, and lemon juice. Toss and season with salt and pepper.

Coconut Cream Cake

And of course, cake. Because a party without a cake is just a meeting. And we are here to party! This is super simple. Just a vanilla cake topped with Cool Whip and coconut. It is as light as it is fluffy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, plus 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Cool whip and coconut for frosting

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center. Lightly coat three 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. 

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternately with milk in 2, beginning and ending with flour. Mix until just combined.

  3. Divide evenly between prepared pans. Place pans next to each other in oven and cook until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

  4. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges; invert cakes onto a rack. Let cool completely before assembling.

  5. Assemble the cake: place one layer of cake on a cake stand. Top with Cool Whip and add another layer of cake on top. Add more Cool Whip and top with final layer of cake.

  6. Spread 2 cups Cool Whip over top. Sprinkle 2 cups coconut over cake.

Mango Sorbet

Rounding out our meal with a sweet little taste at the end. Mango sorbet is very easy to make and is a great way to cool off after playing lawn games out back!

Ingredients:
4 mangos, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 cup simple syrup
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Directions:

  1. Place cubed mango in a food processor, and puree. Pour in simple syrup and lime juice, and puree until smooth.Place in an ice cream maker. Freeze thoroughly.

I am having so much fun creating mocktails with Fre wines. Stay tuned for more recipes this fall, including a slow cooked apple cider. To learn more Fre wines and their process, please click here! 

This post is sponsored by Fre Wines. The content and opinions expressed here are my own.