After a very busy Friday, Saturday and Sunday of prepping for, tailgating and cleaning up after tailgating, we opted for a low-key Labor Day this year.  I entertained my immediate family using recipes from an old Southern Living from 2011.

All raved about each dish, so I decided to share on my blog.  I was having too much fun with my family to take pictures of my preparation, but I’ve adjusted here and there things that worked better or deleted some unnecessary things (like trying to locate yellow watermelon) from the original recipes.  But it was such a great meal, that I want to make sure it’s readily available to me and to my family and friends in order to make it again!  It’s chock full of fresh herbs and citrus flavors – delish!

Here is the menu:

Grilled Tri tip with Citrus Chile Butter

Garlic Shrimp

Sauteed Squash and Tomatoes

Southwest Watermelon Salad

Lemony Herb Potatoes


Photo Credit: My Recipes
I love tri-tips!  I have to order them from my butcher, because they are not readily available in my area, but it’s worth the call.  They are just so good and easy to grill.  Slice them up thinly and they are moist and tender and delicious.  Even more so when topped with this decadent citrus chile butter!
2 (2-lb.) tri-tip steaks
2 tsp salt, divided
1 1/4 tsp pepper, divided
1/4 cup red wine
2 TBSP worchestershire
Citrus-Chile Butter
1 bunch of green onions, diced
3 TBSP olive oil

Preheat grill to 350° to 400° (medium-high) heat. Sprinkle steaks with 1 1/2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper and pour wine and worchestershire over.   Let marinate an hour or so.  Grill steaks, covered with grill lid, 9 to 12 minutes on each side or to desired degree of doneness. Remove from grill, and rub 3  TBSP Citrus-Chile Butter onto steaks. Cover steaks with aluminum foil; let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile saute the green onions, in a bit of olive oil for 1-2 minutes.
Uncover steaks, and cut diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Top with sautéed green onions.
*Beef strip steaks (about 2 inches thick) may be substituted.

1 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons lime zest
2 tablespoons lemon zest
3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon seeded and minced jalapeño pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Stir together butter, lime zest, lemon zest, minced garlic, jalapeño pepper, and chopped fresh thyme. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Cover and chill until ready to serve, or shape into a log with plastic wrap, and freeze up to 1 month.

Photo Credit: Healthyrecipesblogs
I make shrimp all the time, but this recipe really tasted yummy – very lemony.  Love the addition of fresh thyme and shallots to the mixture as well.  The shrimp burst with flavor.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined, large raw shrimp
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup butter
4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons jarred minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Garnish: lemon zest

Season shrimp with salt and pepper. Melt butter with 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add shrimp, thyme, and next 2 ingredients, and sauté 2 to 3 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Add lemon juice and parsley. 


Photo Credit: My Recipes
This side dish was wonderful.  The addition of a splash of red wine vinegar at the end made it pop.
3 thick hickory-smoked bacon slices
1 cup chopped sweet onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 bay leaf
4 cups sliced zucchini
4 cups sliced yellow
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Garnish: bay leaf

Sauté bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat 8 minutes or until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving 2 Tbsp. drippings in skillet. Sauté onion and next 4 ingredients in hot drippings 4 minutes or until onion is tender. Add zucchini and yellow squash; cook, stirring often, 10 -15 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in butter and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with crumbled bacon.

Photo Credit: My Recipes
This dish is a wonderfully refreshing one on a hot day in the summer.  The fresh jalapeño pepper gives it just a bit of kick.
6-8 cups seeded and cubed red watermelon
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lime zest
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon seeded and thinly sliced jalapeño pepper
1 tablespoon thinly sliced shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large glass bowl. Stir in next 6 ingredients. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately, or cover and chill up to 2 hours.

Photo Credit: My Recipes
These potatoes are great and can be made a littler earlier in the meal process and then served at room temperature.
3 pounds assorted small potatoes, halved
3/4 cup assorted chopped fresh herbs
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced

Bring and salted water to cover to a boil in a large saucepan. Cook 10 to 15 minutes or until tender; drain. Toss potatoes with chopped fresh herbs, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and minced garlic.