Since my sweet little Annie has still been on break...and also has been working on her cooking skills - we decided to plan a fun cooking and baking lunch. Today was the day! So we put together a menu that Annie felt good about helping to execute. Then we called Nana and told her we were planning a luncheon for the end of the week and wanted her to be part of it. ;) Finally, we set to work! So here are the 5 parts of a girlie luncheon:
The first step we did was to pick out a theme and make the table and everything look pretty. We had a beautiful bit of Valentine goodies we had received from my dear blogging friend Patsy - so we knew we wanted to use some of those items. We thought red, Valentine-ish, and "love" would be our main theme. We put down the pretty red runner and sparkly jewels from Patsy. As well as the pretty ribbon around some fresh flowers I had picked up at the grocery store. We then used a valentine sign I already had about how much we love family. And finished the centerpiece off with some flameless red tealights I had. WE set the table with our every day dishes as they're already a pretty cranberry kind of red.
Next, we got to work on our menu. Annie has gotten pretty good at making pasta (with supervision yet) - so we made lasagna pasta, salad boats, and garlic bread. We all drank peach iced tea with our meal. I usually make lasagna pasta with farfalle (bow tie) pasta as they have the ruffley edge like a lasagna noodle. But didn't have those on hand so we went with elbow macaroni. Lasagna pasta is basically pasta in a red sauce (with meat or without depending what you want), but with a bit of sour cream and shredded mozzarella mixed in to make it a little cheesy and a little creamy. I have the recipe for this under my recipe tab above. We had easy garlic bread in the freezer so just baked that up. And then we used strips of romaine filled with veggies as our salad. Just add dressing of choice, sunflower seeds, croutons etc. They're fun to eat as you can just pick up your "boat" and nibble. It was yummy and the pasta was a pretty blush red to fit our theme.
No girlie lunch is complete without dessert of course! So for our next luncheon step we made a cherry cola poke cake. Which is basically a vanilla cake mix made according to its 13x9 directions. Once baked let it cool for 15 minutes. Then take a 6 oz cherry jello packet and empty it into a bowl. Add a 12 oz can of coca cola and 1/2 cup of cold water. Mix together for a couple of minutes. Poke holes all over top of the cake. Pour the cherry jello/cola mixture all over cake to soak into the holes. Chill in the fridge for 1/2 and hour. Then take it out and make frosting. Take a 3.5 oz instant vanilla pudding mix and put in a bowl. Add one cup of milk and a dash of vanilla extract. Mix until smooth. Then stir in an 8 oz tub of cool whip. Frost cake and chill at least 3 hrs or overnight. To serve: cut a piece, top with chocolate sprinkles and a maraschino cherry.
For our next step - we decided to spend the rest of our girlie day visiting, listening to music and coloring. Nana liked coloring in the pretty flower coloring books. Annie and I decided to color in a sticker coloring book we had -and used the stickers we colored to help make her some cards that she could bring home as her takeaway for being our guest (even if she is just Nana). ;) So we used the coloring book stickers, doilies to glue on, washi tape, lace etc and had a creative blast! Nana was thrilled with her "gifts" - as well as leftovers to take home.