Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Christy's Oriental Chicken Salad

I was lucky enough to discover this scrumptious grilled chicken salad when my sweet friend Christy served it several years ago. It was love at first taste and has become one of my favorite go-to dishes ever since.
I recently served it over the holidays to our weekend guests and once again it was a huge hit and a nice change from all the heavy holiday food. I love that everything can be prepared ahead of time leaving you free to concentrate on your guests and be the perfectly hip hostess!

I like to serve all the accompaniments in individual dishes and let my guests help themselves. Pretty presentation for a buffet or simply set everything in the middle of the table for a family style meal.

Christy's Oriental Chicken Salad
3 TBS Honey
1 1/2 TBS White Vinegar
4 TBS Mayonnaise
1 TBL Dijon Mustard
*1/8 TSP Sesame Oil

*This is very strong flavor so I only add a drop at a time & taste in between
Blend all ingredients with whisk. Store in refrigerator till ready to serve.
May be made a day ahead.

2-4 Boneless Chicken Breasts (skinless)
3 Cups chopped Romaine Lettuce
1 Cup chopped Red Cabbage
1 Cup chopped Napa or Savoy Cabbage
1 Cup chopped Green Onions
1/2 Cup sliced Almonds
1 Cup Chow Mein or Rice Noodles
1 can sliced & drained Water chestnuts

Cut chicken into cubes.
Grill the chicken with olive oil, add salt & pepper to taste.
*You can easily do this earlier in the day and store in refrigerator.
Toss lettuce and cabbage together.
Place green onions, almonds, noodles, & water chestnuts in separate dishes.
Serve dressing on the side.

Now for the perfect ending...
My French Mother- in- law's
Fresh Orange Salad
Simply peel and slice fresh Navel Oranges.
Add a few teaspoons of sugar to taste and a splash or two of this...

Gently combine the oranges, sugar and Grand Marnier.
Let is sit for a bit and serve at room temperature.
Voila! A tasty, fresh & impressive meal with little effort & big impact.
Hope you enjoy!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Vintage Baby Love

Our family will soon be blessed with a little bundle of joy and thought I would share the "Baby Shower" I hosted for our daughter over Thanksgiving weekend. She and our son in law are expecting a baby girl and we are just tickled pink!

My daughter and I collaborate on almost everything, but this time I kept the details to myself so when she arrived it would all be a suprise. She knew the day & the time, but that was it. I knew she loved soft colors, simple looks, and vintage elements, but I also wanted to include a bit of the "bird on a branch" theme she is using in the nursery.

The setting could not have more perfect. A restored victorian home on the grounds of a local golf course, now a restaurant and banquet venue. The room was overflowing with charm: exposed brick walls, painted white windows and columns, brass sconces and beautiful upholstered chairs. It was almost too good to be true.

After making way too many trips to thrift stores, searching and shopping on Etsy, and let's not even talk about all the Rustoleum "Blossom White"spray paint, I was able to get the exact look I wanted and hoped my daughter would love.

Here's how it all came out with a few tips on where to buy and how-tos.

The seating cards were simple tags tied with ribbon and then hung from a branch I found in the woods. The ribbon I used was actually Wright's hem tape available at most fabric stores. Since I needed a bunch I ordered it HERE I learned how to give the ribbon that vintage crinkled look HERE

This little alcove was the perfect setting for the sweets table. The "bebe" letters were my version of something I saw on Martha Stewart. You'll find it HERE

I found the sweet vintage baby cards HERE on Etsy

Ribbon trimmed Cake Pedestals from Home Goods made pretty little centerpieces and whoever had the most pennies in their purse, got to take it home. I covered a block of styrofoam with reindeer mose, then added a miniature crib I found HERE The birds were another great catch from numerous goodwill hunting trips. Along with the cribs, they got a nice coat of "Blossom White." Voila! Instant upcycled elegance!

All the ladies went home with one of these little lovelies:
Charming key chains made from vintage silverware. I think this was my favorite element of the shower and they were such a huge hit with our guests. Each included a card with the pattern name and date it was introduced. The shop owner at Mon Petit Chou Boutique did a custom order for me and was so sweet to work with. She also crafts the most exquisite vintage jewelry.
You'll find her HERE on Etsy.

The favor boxes were simple chipboard, topped with a little ribbon & vintage look "Merci" cards. Little effort, big impact & I loved the look! Another great Etsy find:

Such sweet memories. My loving grandmother made this
dress for me 50 plus years ago. Fine organdy with delicate little pink rosebuds.

I wore it, my daughter wore it, and now our sweet little
granddaughter will soon wear it too.

We only played 2 games. I tried to keep short & sweet.
"Tiny Babies"
I couldn't resist swaddling them up nice & cozy. As they arrived, each guest picked a baby, but they could not leave their baby unattended. Not for the bathroom,or the buffet line. Nor could they say the word Baby. If they did they had to give up their baby to the guest that caught them in the act. Of course, the lady with the most babies at the end of the shower won the prize. A lot of fun, and a lot of laughs.

This one is pretty self explanatory. Guess how many...
I cleaned out some olive oil bottles, topped with muslin and ribbon. My daughter actually took these home and has them in the nursery.

The guest of honor and Mommy-to-be.

This photo pretty much says it all.
Just as my grandmother did, and my mother still does for me, from mother to daughter, this truly was a labor of love.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Welcome 2011

We're ringing it in with STORE WIDE SAVINGS

and for extra sparkle...

Use Promo Code HHNY
for an additional 10% OFF!

Start your shopping HERE