Monday, May 12, 2008

Casual Entertaining

This past weekend we decided to throw together a little backyard shindig for no particular reason. No birthday. No holiday. We just wanted to let our hair down with friends--relax without any agenda.

So, we set up the fire pit in the back yard. I threw together some salads, fried chicken and hot dogs. Some guests also brought some yummy grub to share. Delicious and fun!

We told people to come any time after 4pm. We didn't actually get to bed until close to midnight. It was so enjoyable around the fire, that no one wanted to leave and we didn't want them to either!

The children played in the tree house and all over the yard. About 10:30pm I put on some VeggieTales for them so they could simmer down and give the neighbors a little break from the hysterical laughter and playful screaming. :-) A little winding down before they went home.

Here are some not-so-great pictures of the food. Trust me, the food was better than the pictures!

The best fruit salad! The sauce is what totally makes it addictive!

Red or white?

See those glasses on the table. I'm so excited about them. See, I have some lovely and delicate stemware that I did not want to take outside to the bonfire. So, on Friday I went to the thrift store just to see if there was anything there. I knew I couldn't spend much, so I prayed that God would lead me to a great deal. I found plain (and a little bit sturdier) stemware--12 pieces for $6.00! What a blessing!

Also if you notice the very beautiful and clever chiller the bottles are in....I got it from Taste of Home Entertaining. My mother is a rep. Everything there is both beautiful and clever. Visit her website here.

Buttermilk Twice-Dipped Fried Chicken Tenders

Also in the background you can see Chinese Cashew Cabbage Salad.

Here are the recipes:

Fruit Salad

Prepare the dressing:


2 T. butter

4 Tablespoons lemon juice

3 T. cornstarch

1 cup sugar

1 1/4 cup water

3 egg yolks

Heat in a saucepan over low heat, until thick, stirring constantly. (This scorches easily. So, do not leave it for a second!)


Dilute with heavy cream to desired consistency.

While sauce is cooling prepare a bowl of fruit. The sauce is enough for a very large bowl.

Pour sauce over prepared fruit, stir gently to coat. Serve.

Cabbage Salad

1 package ramen noodles, crushed (Throw away seasoning packet!)
10 ounces cashew pieces
1 head green cabbage, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoon soy sauce

Toss together cashews, cabbage and green onions. In jar with tight fitting lid shake together sugar, oil, vinegar and soy sauce. Pour over salad. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let flavors blend. Before serving mix in ramen noodles and toss well.

(Don't add the noodles too early if you like that fun crunch!)

Buttermilk Twice-Dipped Fried Chicken Tenders

(I usually play with a recipe so much that I don't feel I need to site the original source. What it ends up being doesn't really resemble the original recipe much. However, this recipe is completely take from Rachel Ray. It's great! Yummy hot or cold. I think it's a perfect picnic food. Click here for the recipe.)


Leona said...

FUNNY, Im so glad I came on your site and saw these recipes, Ive been wanting to make cabbage salad AND here it is:) YUMMMMMY I wish I was there, it all looks so good!!!!!!!!

Andrea Rooks said...

yum yummy yum yum! I can't wait to try the recipes!

Suzanne said...

Gonna try this chicken. I am from the South and I have yet to make what I remember my momma making and was it good! I trust ol Rachel, so this sounds good! Thanks, girlfiend! :)