Menu planning is next on my list of things to do. My friends enjoy main course salads and I think Ina Garten’s Roasted Butternut Squash salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette, with a few additions, will work perfectly. Because I want to make this a main course salad I’ll grill some chicken tenders, cut them in bite sized pieces and add this to the salad. I marinate the chicken tenders for about 30 minutes using a packaged herb marinade that is available in most markets. This gives the chicken extra flavor and keeps the tenders, which are much smaller than a typical chicken breast, moist.
I also want to add some apples (the apples can be sliced and will keep their color if you put them in ice water with a squeeze of lemon), and substitute candied pecans instead of the recipe’s walnuts. The squash is perfect for fall and the dried cranberries make it very festive. I will serve a warm baguette (cut into individual portions) and serve it with a crock of butter.
The salad and bread are filling and I’m preparing carrot cake for dessert so I will keep the menu simple. The cake can be made the day before the lunch and the salad can be assembled the morning of. This will make things easy. I like to allow time to set up the beverage station and to put any finishing touches on the house.
I set the table Wednesday evening so I am ready for my guests.
To be continued…
As I mentioned a few days ago, I am planning a birthday party for a good friend. I will host a ladies luncheon to celebrate and my first concern is to get out an invitation as soon as I can. I have emailed the friends I hope can attend. Now I want to send a hard copy of the particulars.
Paper Source, a wonderful store for paper goods (duh, as the name implies), has some wonderful ideas for invitations that can easily be created and printed on the computer. There are ideas galore and the staff at the store are not only willing to help you find items, they all have creative ideas for the design. I should mention, if you don’t have a store near you you need not despair. The website not only has ideas but there are “how to” videos that you can watch that will help with the creative process.
The invitation envelop I selected is what they call their ‘scallop’ envelop. This, as you can see from my picture, has a 5″ x 5″ center with 4 scalloped sides that fold in on each other to create a flower like envelop. A sticker holds the center folds together. The inside center is where you place a 5″ printed paper that has the party details. I plan on sending the invitation out about 3 weeks prior to my lunch. I know this invitation will serve as a reminder as well as set the mood for the table setting and theme of colors and details to follow.
To be continued…
I love the fall. I guess I prefer cooler temperatures and have often felt I should be living in a cooler climate…my husband agrees, fortunately. Odd, since we both grew up in Southern California and should love the sun. In any event I gain a burst of energy during October that doesn’t usually subside until early May.
I find that the first cool night (55 degrees or so) starts me planning for cozy fires in the fireplace, soups, casseroles, comfort food and baked goods. I also begin planning for entertaining friends and family.
One of my dear friends and fellow cooking/entertaining enthusiasts is having a birthday this month so about 3 weeks ago I decided I wanted to host a ladies lunch in celebration of her birthday. Since the planning is at least half the fun I began by emailing the people I wanted to invite to make sure they would be available on the proposed date. Then I started the process of creating the invitation, menu, what dishes I would use, table linens, flowers and a little gift for each guest.
To be continued…