Host Labor Day Party!

The best part of being a homeowner is entertaining your family and friends! End summer with bang by hosting a festive Labor Day Party! Martha Stewart has tips and recipes to take the “labor” out of planning!

Planter Centerpiece
centerpieceThe table is not complete without a creative centerpiece! Fill a metal planter with ice and flowers to turn it into a bright beverage cooler. For an easy centerpiece, tuck fresh-picked wildflowers into empty bottles among the cold drinks.

Seersucker Napkins

One of the simplest ways to summerize basically anything is seersucker fabric. The best part that the napkins do not even wrinkle! Mix and match red, white and blue napkins to give the table a fun patriotic theme!

Thyme Lemonade

lemonadeThe flavor of thyme in this lemonade lends an unexpected grown-up flair to a summer favorite.

In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, thyme, and 1 cup water to a boil; stir until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, gin (if using), and 6 cups cold water; strain into a large pitcher. Refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour (and up to 1 week). Serve over ice, garnished with thyme sprigs, if desired.

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 bunch fresh thyme, plus sprigs, for garnish (optional)
2 cups fresh lemon juice (from about 10 lemons)
1 cup gin (optional)

Guacamole Hummus
Can’t decide between hummus and guacamole? Have it both ways in this bright, creamy dip.

In a food processor, combine chickpeas, cilantro, garlic, and avocado. Process until finely chopped. With machine running, add olive oil in a slow, steady stream, then add lemon juice, and then add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with lemon wedges and tortilla chips.

1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 cups fresh cilantro leaves
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 ripe avocado, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Lemon wedges
Tortilla chips

Coconut Cake with Berries and Cream
Summer berries are the perfect complement to this sweet, light cake.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. cakeGenerously butter a 9-by-13-inch glass baking pan. Whisk together egg whites, baking soda, and salt in a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment on medium speed, until soft peaks form, 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add egg yolks to egg-white mixture, and whisk until completely combined. Gradually add sugar, and whisk until combined. Fold in butter and coconut with a rubber spatula.
  3. Sift 1/4 cup flour onto mixture; fold to combine. Repeat with remaining flour, folding in 1/4 cup at a time. Pour batter into pan; bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk together 1 cup heavy cream, the coconut milk, and condensed milk. As soon as cake is removed from oven, pour cream mixture over cake. Let cake cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cover cake with plastic wrap, and refrigerator at least 5 hours and up to 8 hours.
  5. Just before serving, whisk remaining cup heavy cream until soft peaks form, and spread over cake. Serve with mixed berries.


1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for pans
6 large eggs, separated
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup flaked unsweetened coconut, toasted and finely ground
1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 can (13.75 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
3 cups mixed fresh berries (about 12 ounces), for serving