Last weekend, I helped several friends of mine throw a shower for a precious gal who is soon to marry the son of one of my very dearest friends.
We had so much fun putting this party together, which we had at my friend Rhonda’s beautiful home around the pool. She and I love to put a menu together, and we have been planning this one all spring.
It was a perfect day, besides being a tad windy, but everyone held onto their napkins while they enjoyed a light lunch and a chance to love on this happy couple.
We plated the food at Rhonda’s bar and set up a table where you could grab your drink and a cookie. I loved the way this flowed, and as is my preference, lots of this was all done ahead of time! This leaves more time for visiting with friends at the party.
Taylor and Hayley both have last names that start with “H”, so we used their monogram on everything, which was super fun. They also love Scrabble, so our decorating master made them a Scrabble pillow and she used Scrabble letters in all the arrangements. So cutie!
I’ve listed all the recipes below from the party, so you can recreate this yummy lunch if you want!
All these beautiful photos were taken by Whitney Loibner.
Loosely adapted from Crescent Dragonwagon’s Soup and Bread
2 cups dark beer
6 large potatoes
1 quart chicken stock
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
½ cup butter
1 large onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
Tobasco sauce to taste, optional
½ teaspoon dry mustard
12 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring potatoes to a boil in the stock and beer. Add the bay leaves, basil and oregano.
In a cast iron skillet, melt butter. Saute onion 10 minutes. Add celery, garlic and carrot. Cook 10 more minutes.
Add tomatoes and sauces. Cook until most of the liquid evaporates.
Make a paste with the flour and then gradually stir in the milk.
Add mustard and tobasco (if using).
Stir tomato mixture into the soup pot and add the cheese.
Allow the soup to heat back up after the cheese is added before serving.
8 ounces spring mix
1/2 cup toasted pecans
2 cups strawberries, halved
1/2 cup diced feta cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup trader joe’s orange muscat champagne vinegar OR regular champagne vinegar with a tablespoon of orange juice
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
I use a little hand blender to mix my dressing. It emulsifies it really well. This may be too much dressing depending on how much lettuce you use, but you can always refrigerate the rest and use it later.
Chicken Pasta Broccoli Salad
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast cooked and cut into chunks
1 cup chopped pecans, slightly toasted
8 bacon slices cooked and crumbled
8 ounce Fusilli pasta
1 pound fresh broccoli, chopped
2 cups red seedless grapes, halved
1 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
Boil chicken until done, about 30 minutes. Toast pecans for 5 minutes and set aside. Fry bacon and set aside.
Boil pasta according to package instructions, drain and rinse with cold water, drain again.
Add broccoli and grapes to pasta. Mix mayo, sugar, onion, vinegar, and salt together. Pour mixture into pasta. Combine well. Just before serving add pecans and bacon and mix well.
3 cups self-rising flour
1/2 cup sugar
12 ounces flat beer
1/4 pound butter melted (1 stick)
In medium bowl combine flour and sugar. Mix well. Stir in beer. Mix well. Pour mixture into greased, floured 9 X 5 inch loaf pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Pour melted butter over bread. Return to oven. Bake 15 more minutes. Removed from oven. Cool in pan on rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pan. Slice and serve.
46 ounce can pineapple juice
46 ounce can apple juice
12 ounce can frozen orange juice
2 quarts ginger ale
Combine juices. Mix until orange juice is thawed. Add ginger ale. Makes 40 8 ounce servings.
Red Zinger Mint Tea
4 red zinger tea bags
4 large sprigs of mint leaves
Makes 2 quarts.
Makes about 16 large cookies
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs.
Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla or lemon juice and zest. Wrap dough in plastic; chill for about 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 325°. On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Transfer to ungreased baking sheets; refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes. Bake until edges just start to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks; decorate as desired.