I hope you are having a bright and cheery Thursday! It's been sunny and VERY unseasonably warm in my northwoods. Lots of snow melting today! But I finally wanted to share the lovely belated holiday/New Year's lunch I held for my Mom and my Aunt (one of my Mom's sisters). I wasn't able to see my Aunt over the holidays so it was a fun excuse to give her some gifts and get some quality time together. As well as eat some yummy eats! There will still be a lot of holiday in these photos as we had this gathering the week after New Year's and I kept all of my decorations up at the time. I'll share some recipes along the way with this post. I hope you enjoy!
Of course the fun part for holding any kind of tea or luncheon is decorating up the table a bit. Since it was just after New Year's I kept things kind of white bright & wintery feeling. I put down this white table cloth that had silvery threads in it. I kept the centerpiece that I had on my table for the winter and added a cute little snowman and lots of "safe" candles for extra glow. I also used this lovely Happy New Year card that my dear blogging friend Patsy sent me. She made it herself and she's very crafty! As well as she's the QUEEN of hosting luncheons. ;) She has such a fun blog you can find here.
Backside view - more candles. ;)
I still had all of my wintery decorations in my kitchen and candles glowing in there too.
I made my blogging friend Mari's awesome chicken wild rice soup recipe! It's SO good!! You can find her recipe for it and her blog here. It was excellent and got 2 thumbs up from all three of us!! Blogging friends are so wonderful aren't they? ;)
And I picked up some bakery crescent rolls and made some chicken salad croissant sandwiches. As well as a few with just some basic cold cut meats and cheeses. When I make chicken salad I shred up cooked chicken and put it in a bowl with some chopped celery, chopped apple, craisins, and some chopped walnuts or pecans. I don't really measure I just throw things in there until looks fairly balanced. I then add some mayo and a tiny bit of dijon mustard until ingredients appear "wet" enough. I season with a little salt, pepper, and some paprika. Chill until ready to make sandwiches. Yummy!
I then tossed together an easy fruit salad. I used some canned pineapple and some fresh berries and grapes. And I squeezed the juice of an orange over all and sprinkled 1 to 2 Tbsp of instant vanilla pudding powder over all as well. Tossed it together until it was all mixed and covered it and put in the fridge to chill until it was time to eat. Lots of easy make ahead here folks!
I had some chips and some pickles on the side for them to add to their plates as well. And of course crackers for the soup if they wanted. It was all pretty yummy if I do say so myself. ;) I sent them both home with leftovers and they were happy campers!!
For dessert I came up with this concoction based on a frozen layer cake by the Pioneer Woman which you can find here. I took a store bought pound cake and cut it in 1/2 horizontally. I then put some parchment paper in a bread loaf pan with the sides hanging over a bit. I placed 1/2 the pound cake on the bottom. I took some vanilla ice cream and had softened it and stirred in some M&M's. And I spread that over the cake. I then added the top 1/2 of the pound cake and "frosted" the top with some softened peppermint bon bon ice cream (wanted to have some holiday peppermint flavor in the mix). I covered it and froze it overnight (but you could do it day of as long as it's in there about 4 hours). Then take out about 20 minutes or so before you want to serve to thaw a bit. Lift out the cake with the parchment paper and slice.
And then for good measure I drizzled a little warmed hot fudge over the top before serving. Mmmmmmm Too bad I'm still working on my New Year's "goals" or I would be dreaming on making this again soon.
And I made almond bars - as they're one of my Mom's favorites at the holidays. I've shared the recipe for these before but you can find them in this former blog post.
And here's my sweet Aunt Susan enjoying the goodies (my Mom didn't want to be photographed that day as she had a cold and hadn't "fixed herself up" - Lol). These are the kinds of memories I enjoying making with my loved ones so much!!