Friday, September 4, 2015

“Italian Stuffed Peppers” & “Colorful Corn Salad” For Labor Day Weekend

Coming to terms with the end of summer is a rough thought for some people. Were did it all go? Yesterday seems like we were just staring the month of June and here we are starting September already! Parents all over are getting prepared with supplies for their children to start another year of school. Before school begins and we start packing up the beach gear, lawn chairs, pool supplies, plus our grills, we have one more weekend of summer time fun which is called Labor Day! Personally, nothing says Labor Day weekend to me like a family BBQ or cookout. Labor Day is on Monday September 7th this year, and I’m sure we are all looking forward to a long enjoyable weekend as we start the month of September. This weekend celebrates the “unofficial” end of summer. Everyone is going to the beach, having picnics, going to fairs, and enjoying the last weekend of their summer activities.

You may ask, what is Labor Day and why do we celebrate this day? So here are some facts about the holiday. Labor Day is an American Federal Holiday that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers. We pay tribute to the achievements of the American workers. It is also supposed to be a day of rest and considered a workingman‘s holiday. The first Labor Day was held on September 5th 1882 in New York City. Then on June 28th 1894 it became a Federal holiday, stating that the first Monday in September of each year would be legal holiday in all U.S. territories. Non-essential federal employees and schoolchildren are given the holiday off. There is no delivery of mail, but most businesses choose to stay open for Labor Day. In addition, Labor Day marks a great day for stores to have “End of Summer” sales.

In Italy, many Italians observe Labor Day as well. It is called "La Festa dei Lavoratori." They observe this nationwide holiday on May 1st each year. A holiday that was connected with agricultural cycles and still celebrated in some regions throughout Italy. Farmers and workers traditionally took the day off. They relaxed and had parties with food, drinking, and dancing. This was to show their support for the labor union movement’s social and economic achievements on this day.

So before you bid this summer farewell, go out with a bang on this Labor Day! Whether you are heading out of town, staying in the city, spending the day quietly at home relaxing, or enjoying one final celebration of the summer, be sure to relish the day with your family and friends. Remember, Summer is unofficially over but your memories will last forever!

This week I have two recipes to share with you. I remember a recipe that my mom taught me called “Italian Stuffed Peppers.” They were made by stuffing Cubanelle peppers with a bread crumb filling topped with tomato sauce and baked. Cubanelles are a long slender banana-shaped sweet pepper, also known as Italian frying peppers. You can use this recipe as a side-dish.

The other dish is my rendition of a recipe I found in a magazine which I call “Colorful Corn Salad.” The combination of all the ingredients mixed together is not only colorful but also is harmonious in your mouth. These two recipes will be hits on your Labor Day table as you BBQ, have family gatherings, or even at home relaxing.

                                                 “Italian Stuffed Peppers

6 Cubanelle peppers, tops & seeds removed
3 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
3 cups unflavored bread crumbs
4 Tbsp of chopped fresh parsley
2 Tsp of minced garlic
1 cup grated cheese (Pecorino Romano)
Salt & pepper to taste
Olive oil

Cut 1/2 inch from the top of a washed pepper and remove the seeds. Mix the bread crumbs with parsley, minced garlic, grated cheese, salt & pepper. Add a small amount of oil and mix with hands. When it feels like a sandy consistency then you are ready to fill the peppers. Fill the peppers with mixture (do not fill to tightly as it will become dry) Put about a 1-1/2 cups of tomato sauce on bottom of a baking dish so they will not stick. Place peppers in the baking dish, cover with remaining 1-1/2 cups of tomato sauce and sprinkle a small amount of olive oil on top of the peppers. Bake the peppers at 350° for about 30 minutes. Can also be eaten at room temperature.

                                                   “Colorful Corn Salad” 

3 cans of sweet corn niblets (water drained)
1 can of black olives (pitted) & chopped
3/4 cup of chopped grape tomatoes
1/2 cup of chopped green pepper
1/2 cup of chopped red pepper
1/4 cup of chopped onion or scallions
1/2 cup of ranch salad dressing or your favorite 

In a large salad bowl, combine all vegetable ingredients, and then add the salad dressing. Stir till all coated, cover and refrigerate until serving. Serving is for 8 people or more, depending on how much of the ingredients you use. You can also add another ingredient or take one of them out. Your choice…just enjoy and Mangia Tutti!

Till The Next Time……………………….

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  1. Good morning Dottie ,
    A very interesting post with lots of great information .I enjoyed this post very much .
    My father-in-law celebrated Labor Day in Italy this year , he gets a kick out of it , he says he celebrates the day twice a yearras much as possible .
    I'll have to try the stuff peppers , I have stuffed bell peppers and banana peppers , love the ingredients .Family loves salads year round , this one is a winner ... I bet it would be delicious as a meal with shredded chicken breast and garlic bread with maybe some cheese sticks on the side ..
    Great post my friend.
    Have a wonderful weekend . Nee :-D

    1. Dear Nee,
      Thanks dear friend for your comment...ALways learn something new when I do my research. Good for your Father-in-law, it is fun to celebrate 2x a year. Yes, these bell peppers are delicious with the stuffing inside them and the sauce over them. Yummy! I didn't have a chance to take a photo of the finished product before the last one was in my families mouth. Next time have to have a photo of what they look like. The corn salad is awesome especially if you use the fresh veggies from the garden or market. I like your chicken breast idea..Thanks for your visit, enjoy the long weekend...
      Dottie :)

  2. Dear Dottie, what a lovely recipe!
    I just had corn for lunch. It is now in season in Europe too. In Italy it was in August and over here in the UK in September. In my region in Northern Italy the main crop is corn (or mais to make polenta). My dad picks the first cobs which are tender and great in soups or cooked in the oven. My children are mad for them!
    Your salad is healthy and really nice and your mum's stuffed peppers look divine!
    It was interesting reading about labor day. I hope you had a good day. All the best. I am thinking of new recipes for autumn now.. lots of soups I think. Ciao.

    1. Dear Alida,
      thanks for your visit and your comment...Yes, corn is in season now here and so glad that you just had some..can't get enough of that sweet corn! Sounds like your dad's corn is amazing! I love it no matter how it is prepared. Glad that you liked this post and the recipes. They really are super to eat and look so pretty on a table...very colorful and tasty. I agree with you thinking about the fall, I just wish the weather would get a little cooler here...still so hot! Hope that you have a wonderful weekend, Ciao Bella!
      Hugs x Dottie :)