While fall officially arrives on September 22nd, the unofficial goodbye to summer in the US is Labor Day weekend. The kids are back in school and Labor Day is the last hot three-day holiday weekend until Thanksgiving.

Labor Day’s origins are about celebrating the American worker’s contribution to society, although I’m not sure the idea rings true anymore since so many American’s have to work on Labor Day. Regardless, the day and weekend have shifted into a time for families to get together and spend time with each other on the last days of summer.

Grilling is a common cooking theme on Labor Day weekend, but some are cooked in the kitchen and are the perfect accompaniment for your Labor Day meals. Hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, ribs and plenty of summer vegetables manage to find themselves in tasty dishes all across America on Labor Day weekend.

I’ve brought together a dozen of my readers’ favorite Simply Sophisticated Cooking’s summertime recipes. The dishes range from salads, dressings and appetizers to meats, side dishes and desserts. What better way to end your summer than with spicy jalapeño poppers, tender baby back ribs, spectacular salads, and tasty stone fruit cobbler or fresh blueberries with lemon curd tarts.

1 My Copycat Chipotle’s Honey Chipotle Dressing

Chipotle's Honey Chipotle DressingMy tangy copycat Chipotle’s Honey Chipotle Dressing  recipe is not only great for salads but works well for marinades for fish, meat and poultry as well. If you aren’t already making this tangy dressing, you’re missing out!

2 Summer Salad with Zucchini and Corn

Summer Salad with Grilled Zucchini & CornSince you’ve already made the Copycat Chipotle’s Honey Chipotle Dressing, why not use some of it in this Summer Salad with Zucchini and Corn recipe.

3 No Mayo Grilled Pasta Salad

Bowl of Grilled Pasta SaladIf you’re looking for a mayo-free pasta salad to take to the BBQ, then you’ll love my Grilled Pasta Salad recipe loaded with plenty of spicy Italian flavors.

4 Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo with ChipBe the life of the party with this fresh Pico de Gallo recipe guaranteed to make everyone happy.

5 Jalapeno Poppers

jalapeno poppersNo end of summer party is complete without tossing a few of my once top-secret jalapeño poppers recipe on the grill.

6 Goat Cheese stuffed Peppadew Peppers

Goat Cheese stuffed Peppadew PeppersStuff your mouth with spicy, sweet Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppadew Peppers hot from the grill.

7 Blackened Chicken Tacos

Blackened Chicken Tacos with Grilles Peach & Avocado Salsa, Asian Slaw and Goat CheeseEveryone loves tacos so fire up the grill and make your taco bar the life of the party with my Blackened Chicken Taco recipe.

8 Slow Cooker Cuban Sliders

Slow Cooker Cubano SlidersIs the kitchen too hot to cook this Labor Day? Pull out the crock pot and keep cool with my Slow Cooker Cuban Sliders recipe.

9 Grilled Baby Back Ribs

Grilled Babyback Ribs and Heidi's BBQ SauceNo BBQ is complete without sinking your teeth into a few Grilled Baby Back Ribs prepared with my smokey and spicy Dry Rub Seasoning.

10 Spanish Chorizo, Jalapeno and Lime Seafood Packets

Spanish Chorizo, Jalapeno and Lime Seafood PacketsCleanup is easy when you fire up my gourmet Spanish Chorizo, Jalapeno and Lime Seafood recipe on the grill, campfire or in the oven.

11 Blueberry Topped Lemon Tarts

Blueberry topped lemon curd tartsStay cool with lemon curd and fresh blueberries in this easy to make Blueberry Topped Lemon Tarts recipe.

12 Boozy Stone Fruit Cobbler

Boozy Stone Fruit CobblerSince it’s an American holiday, celebrate the workers of America with a piece of my Boozy Stone Fruit Cobbler recipe and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

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