Friends that found me oodles of models, friends whose children were the models and friends who spruced up my garden prettier than it's ever been or ever will be again.
I wanted to thank them in some special way for all the help they gave, and last week we were able to get together for a little thank you lunch by the pond. It was a beautiful, warm day and we ate and visited and ate some more. A perfect day in my book.
It's always such a let down when a party is over and I wasn't quite ready to put everything away, so I raided my kitchen of linens and place settings and played with my food for a while after everyone left. That explains to the party guests why some of the above pictures really don't look anything like the lunch they attended!
We had a trio of chick-food salads, summer pie, fresh blueberries and chocolate mousse for dessert.
So, to follow the old saying...life is short, give the dessert recipe first.
This is my sister's recipe and it's relatively easy and ridiculously delicious.
4 oz. milk chocolate
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (chocolate chips)
1/4 cup strong coffee
3/4 stick butter
3 eggs, separated
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
Melt chocolates with coffee in the microwave. Stir till smooth and then stir in butter and egg yolks. Cool slightly.
Beat egg whites, and when soft peaks form, sprinkle sugar and continue to beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into chocolate mixture. Fold in whipped cream and spoon into individual dishes. Chill several hours.
Even though I know the entire world has this broccoli salad recipe, I will share it anyway. It's one of my very favorites ever.
Five cups broccoli, cut into small pieces - I probably used six cups
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
2/3 cup diced sweet white or red onion
10 strips of crumbled bacon
1 cup sunflower seeds - I use dry roasted
3 tablespoons sugar
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
It's a keeper.
Next up, Pea Salad. I don't usually see this one on the circuit, so maybe it will be new to some of you.
1 32 oz. pkg frozen petite peas, thawed
1 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
Crumbled bacon - I don't have an amount listed, but seriously, could you have too much bacon?
Shredded cheddar cheese - see bacon above
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
Yes, bacon and mayo played a prominent role in this luncheon.
And last but not least, Rice Artichoke Salad.
I found it impossible to snap an appetizing photo of this salad, so don't let the picture scare you away. It's very different and another of my favorites.
Rice Artichoke Salad
1 package chicken Rice-a-Roni, prepared and cooled. I use a tiny bit less water than called for on the box.
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped, with liquid reserved
1/2 cup diced green pepper
2 green onions, sliced
The following have no amounts....sorry. I just add whatever looks good!
sliced green olives
toasted slivered almonds - a must in my book
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
I feel this is too much dressing, so add it slowly to your taste.
I love the background flavor of curry, the bite of the green olives and the crunch of the almonds.
Good stuff, my friends, good stuff.
So, there you have it - all the makings for a summer lunch. Just add a group of your best girls, and you're good to go.
And, if you have a favorite lady lunch food of your own, I'd love to hear about it.