Adventures in Drool: Make it a Labor-free Day

September 3, 2012
Enjoy s'mores with the family this week! SOURCE IMAGES

Happy Labor Day droolers!

Most of you likely are enjoying some family time today, but here I sit at my computer working away. Here's hoping for clear weather tonight for a backyard BBQ!

I am so proud of my family - we have made it through summer, still slimming down and only slightly worse for wear. I am proud to say my husband is now down 40 pounds! I am down 30 pounds and Droolface is up to 24 pounds at his ripe old age of 14 months.

Celebrate your family with some delicious grilling recipes like the ones I've included below. Note: If you have never tried a grilled salad, now is the time to do it! Grilled romaine is so delicious - and it's still lettuce, so it's somewhat healthy.


Grilled Salad

3-4 heads of romaine lettuce (use the tender centers only by ripping off the tougher outer leaves or look for products labeled romaine hearts)

Onions, halved or quartered

Olive oil

salt and pepper

Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Clean and prepare the romaine and onions, rub them with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on the grill for about a minute (not too long!) and flip to the other side for a minute or less.  You might want to leave the onions on a bit longer. Remove, sprinkle with Parmesan, and dive in. Yum!


The main event: Burgers!

We generally go for turkey burgers or black bean burgers at my house, but for Labor Day (after a particularly rough month) we are going whole-hog ... um, I mean beef.

Try these burgers with garden toppings to still feel good about getting something healthy into your family's body.

Burger topped with veggies

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 tsp. snipped fresh thyme

1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper

1 pound 90% lean ground beef ( I actually use 80/20 for a juicier burger)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 medium yellow summer squash, cut lengthwise into 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick slices

2 to 4 oz. blue cheese, cut in wedges

4 hamburger buns, split and toasted

Arugula or lettuce

Tomato slices (optional)

Red onion slices (optional)

Pickle slices (optional)


For the dressing, in a screw-top jar combine olive oil, vinegar, thyme, and pepper. Cover and shake well. Set aside.

In a large bowl combine ground beef, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Shape ground beef into four 3/4-inch-thick patties. Brush squash slices with some of the dressing mixture. Set remaining dressing aside.

For a charcoal grill, grill patties on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 14 to 18 minutes or until meat is done (160 degrees F), turning once halfway through grilling. Place squash slices along side beef patties. Cook over medium coals for 7 to 10 minutes or until tender, turning once. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place patties on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.)

To serve transfer cooked beef patties to buns. Drizzle cut side of bun tops with remaining dressing. Top burgers with arugula, squash, blue cheese, tomato, red onion, and pickle slices.

(Source: Better Homes & Gardens)


Close the festivities with s'mores!

We have a small tabletop fire pit that is perfect for s'mores. But, with mosquitoes we are often running for cover indoors. The best bet is to either prepare the yard with some torches or bug repellant or set up your s'mores bar inside with a lovely view of the fire pit, so that the family can just spend short periods of time outside.

Set up a s'mores bar with graham crackers, chocolate bars, a bowl of peanut butter, butterscotch chips, sprinkles, and whatever else your family likes. Make sure to have plenty of plates and napkins ready to help clean up the mess. Sit around and tell favorite family stories or play games.

Labor Day was meant to be enjoyed, and with very little labor, it can be fun for the whole family.

Have a great week Droolers!

  • Real Parents. Real Food. Real Fun.

    Welcome to Adventures in Drool! Talking about green living, getting rid of plastics and toxic chemicals in our homes and raising happy kids on a budget. Join the conversation ( and don't forget to Like us on Facebook!

    Rachel Swick Mavity, author of the blog, lives with a reformed drooler (Droolface), who at age 3 loves to get muddy, drink homemade smoothies, giggle and flirt with old ladies. Her current drooler (Birdy) enjoys spitting up on work clothes and leaving drool trails as a way of showing her love.

    Mavity previously worked as a journalist for seven years at newspapers from Pennsylvania to Maryland and Delaware. In Sussex County she worked for several newspapers, including the Cape Gazette. She lives in Lewes with her husband, Ryan Mavity, their son, "Droolface," and daughter, "Birdy."