Labor Day Must-Haves, Recipes, and More!

As the end of summer rears its head and Labor Day is upon us, it’s the perfect time to fire up the grill and make your favorite summer recipes, from hotdog cookouts to BBQ classic favorites. Take in the last hazy, warm, idyllic dog days of summer with these must-try Labor Day recipes. 

Hot Dog Cookout

Celebrate the warm weather with a hot dog cookout! Create memories with the whole family, as you gill some of the best hotdogs anyone’s ever had. We’ve added one of our favorite hot dog recipes for you to try.

Recipe: Chili Dogs 

A timeless family favorite, these chili dogs will be a family favorite and will probably be requested to be added to the next cookout menu. 

Ingredients (all of which can be found at your local Caputos):

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 8 hot dogs
  • 8 hot dog buns, split
  • Add-ons of your choice: Shredded cheddar cheese and chopped onion


Make your chili on a skillet on the stove. Cook your beef thoroughly and drain. Chop beef until it’s small, fine pieces. Then add beef back into the pan and mix in the seasonings and ketchup. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook the hotdogs and serve your chili dogs on some of your favorite Caputio’s hotdog buns. 

Canning Week

Preserve the summer produce you’ve grown, picked, or bought by canning your favorites. Make canned jams, salsas, preserves, pickled veggies, and more! We recommend trying to canning some of the beloved go-tos like canning tomatoes, canning green beans, canning peaches, canning supplies, and salsa canning. 

Other Labor Day Cookout Favorite Dishes 

Are you looking for more of your favorite Labor Day cookout menu ideas? Try some popular, easy Labor Day dishes for your next outdoor summer celebration. Beyond the tried-and-true hotdog and burgers, try some other classic BBQ favorites like BBQ chicken, short ribs, or wings. Pair your main dish with popular dishes, sides, and desserts to complete your Labor Day picnic. Some recommended dishes include potato side, green beans, watermelon, corn, and more. Shop Caputo’s for all your Labor Day cookout menu ingredients, and take advantage of Caputo’s Labor Day deals now.

Back To School Check-List for the Adults

Snacks On Snacks

As the kids prepare to return to school, get ahead of schedule with some early preparations. You can’t go wrong with school snacks like easy grab-and-go pre-packed single-serving items like chips and fruit snacks. Find healthy school snack options, like the kid’s favorite vegetables and fruits, with yummy dips like yogurt, chocolate, peanut butter, and more. 

Don’t Forget the Coffee

But most importantly, don’t forget the coffee! While shopping for the kids, stock up on what you need, especially your favorite cold brew and coffee creamer. Avoid crashing and drink caffeine early in the day to prepare for school drop-off. Keep within the recommended 400 milligrams (about 4 cups of brewed coffee) of caffeine daily to avoid jitters and crashes. Shop Caputo’s specialty coffee beans here. 

Shop Caputo’s back-to-school specials, including snacks, coffee, and more, so you are ready to make lunches for the upcoming weeks quickly and easily. Or save time by having your groceries delivered or picked up to focus on other back-to-school to-do necessities.

A Spritzy Saluté

Are you wondering what the orange drinks that have been taking over your Instagram and Facebook feeds? One of Italy’s most popular drinks has been taking the world by storm and rightfully so. The Aperol Spritz is the drink of the summer because of it’s refreshing and fruity flavor. 

Aperol is an aperitivo or aperitif, an alcoholic drink taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite. Aperol was created in Padua in the 1910s by the Barbieri Brothers after inheriting the company from their father. Aperol is still the same recipe from 1919, but the aperol spritz did not gain popularity until the 1950s. Since then, the drink has grown in popularity. A great thing about this drink is the simple ingredients and how easy it is to make it!

Heres how to make it:

1. Fill a glass with ice

2. Add the  Aperol and Prosecco

*the amount of Aperol and Prosecco you adds depends on your personal preference. If you prefer sweet drinks to bitter drinks, add more Prosecco than Aperol. Aperol is a bitter*

3. Add a dash of soda water

4. Garnish with an orange slice

You can never go wrong with a classic Aperol Spritz, but there are a few variations that are fun to try! Here are 4 other ways for to enjoy Aperol

  • Aperol Mimosa
    • replace the soda water in the classic spritz with some orange juice! The sweet OJ pairs great with the orange bitter and makes for a great mimosa option
  • Aperol Margarita
    • Add a splash of Aperol into your favorite margarita recipe!
  • With Rose’
    • replace the Prosecco with your favorite Rose’ for a still refreshing, but slightly sweeter spritz
  • Add St. Germain
    • Not crazy about how bitter the spritz is? Add some St. Germain! This elderflower liqueur is incredibly sweet and contrasts the bitter Aperol to make this cocktail take a sweeter flavor

You can add other juices, mixers, fruit… the options are endless! Have fun experimenting with this versatile cocktail!

From Our Family To Yours

Melrose Peppers

One of the best parts of summer is all the seasonal produce that comes with it! There are the classic peaches, plums, prickly pears, etc. Another summer classic, especially if you’re from Chicago, is the Melrose Pepper!

A melrose pepper is a type of sweet pepper. It is said that the Melrose Pepper came to be when an Italian immigrant coming to Chicago brought with him some seeds from his hometown to start his garden in his new life. One type of seeds he brought with him would turn into the melrose pepper– a sweet pepper! The Melrose Pepper has come to be a beloved summer staple. 

It’s simplicity, delicious flavor, and ease to combine with any dish makes it a must try. Want to make a dish with melrose Peppers and not sure what to do? Here are 3 ways to enjoy melrose peppers

Pan Fry

The classic was to enjoy melrose peppers is to simply pan fry them. It’s a simple way to enjoy this delicious bite. You start by putting the peppers in a pan with olive oil and topping them with salt and pepper. Let that cook while you have some garlic and halved cherry tomatoes cooking in another pan. Once the pepper has a nice char, combine all the items in one pan and let the flavors merge together. Pair it with your favorite bread and enjoy a delicious sandwich!

With Barese Sausage

Just like the pan frying, you’re going to start by cooking the melrose peppers and the tomatoes and garlic. Meanwhile, on a grill or stove, cook some Barese sausage. Combine all the ingredients and you have a simple and satisfying dish. There are few things that make a better combo than Melrose Peppers and Caputo’s Homemade Barese Sausage

Stuffed Peppers

For our stuffed Melrose Peppers, we like to slice the pepper in half long ways and remove all the seeds. We lay them down flat in a pan with the cut middle facing up (almost like stuffed pepper boats). For our stuffing, we combined Caputo’s bulk sausage, chopped onions, mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, breadcrumbs, parmesan, and a dash of salt and pepper. Mix all these items together, fill the pepper with the mixture, and put them in the oven!

These suggestions all call for simple ingredients that provide satisfying dishes with this Chicago pepper! How do you enjoy your melrose peppers?

From Our Family To Yours