Do Drop In: Entertaining With Ease

The welcome mat at Places In The Home is working overtime. Several of our family members are taking to the spring holiday road, and our house is do drop in central.  Good visits begin with good hosting and good hosting begins with a stress free host or hostess.  Entertaining is supposed to be a fun for guests and hosts alike, isn’t it?  I know I have a much better entertaining experience if I access and assign a theme, go with the entertaining with ease flow and keep the focus on comfortable surroundings, inviting touches and relaxing times.

Texas_bluebonnet_plant_lupinus_texensis_with_dark_blue_flowers_with_white_topTexas Bluebonnet

Texas times and family memories will be a hot topic of conversation.  Our company’s travels begin in Texas Bluebonnet country, and with Texas being the common denominator of our family tree, I played it up in theme and setting. Farmhouse chic makes an effortless foundation to build your theme upon.

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A simple arrangement of carnations mixed with greenery and placed beside an even simpler arrangement of apples and bananas in a milk glass center bowl provides a nice centerpiece in a farmhouse chic kind of way.

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Fresh flowers from the floral department of the local grocery store are my weakness, and when the word clearance enters into the picture my shopping cart runneth over.  You really get your money’s worth with carnations. Carnations can last for weeks with an every other day water change and a quick stem trim.  I use tepid water, scale back leaves from the stems to prevent contact with the water, and place a couple of drops of food coloring in the water.

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From recipes to table setting decor, I like to source from within meaning I like to use what I have on hand.  A great home decor clearance sale and dollar store items purchased in bulk can provide all the entertaining with ease elements needed for a well designed themed tablescape.

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kitsch
art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way.

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Into each case of design and decorating a little if kitchen kitsch is wrong, I don’t want to be right will fall.  The method to my madness lies deeply rooted in the from which I came from principle. I picked up several sets of rooster dish towels at the local dollar store back during the holidays knowing full well they would come in handy. Paired with copper napkin rings I found on clearance at Dillard’s a couple of years ago, the dish towels made great dinner napkins.

copper-napkin-rings

The Places In The Home gang comes from a long line of hen on nest dish collectors.  The women of our family felt no respectable kitchen and/or breakfast room decor complete without the addition of at least one hen on nest dish.

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Rubylane

On the menu front I aim to please.  Round our dinner table, quality rules over quantity which lines up perfectly with easy menu planning.  As long as the iced tea is sweet and I keep the serving sizes in just a bite territory it is all good and tasty. The culinary rule of KISS (keep it salad simple) always applies.

sideboard-partners

I set up a salad buffet for first course serve yourself ease.  Individual Mason jar salads layered with shredded iceberg lettuce, fresh tomato, chopped ham, green onion, Feta cheese crumbles, homemade buttermilk dressing and a dash of kosher salt and fine black pepper were a hit with the just a bite crowd.

salad

Biscuit BLTs with Peach Mayonnaise bring back memories of summers spent in Texas at my great-grandmother’s house.  Traditions tastes so good!

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Entertaining goes hand in hand with spring and summer, and entertaining with ease goes hand in hand with y’all come back now, ya hear!

Love your style!

 

Chicken Salad,Tomato, Peach And Avocado Stacks With Peach Puree

The summer salad series rolls on with this delectable dish.  Chicken Salad, Tomato, Peach and Avocado Stacks with Peach Puree is a fresh, light and made for summer days dish.

chicken-salad-tomato-peach-and-avocado-stacks-with-peach-puree

Chicken Salad, Tomato, Peach And Avocado Stacks With Peach Puree

Ingredients

For Chicken Salad:

4  skinless, boneless chicken breasts

1-1 ½  teaspoons teaspoon salt

1  teaspoon fine black or white pepper

2 teaspoons onion powder

4  teaspoons celery seed

½ – 1  cup  mayonnaise

For Peach Avocado Salad:

6  medium peaches, peeled and chopped

zest of  1 lemon or 1 orange

1-2  Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1  Tablespoon honey

3  medium avocados, diced

3  Roma tomatoes

3  green onions, chopped

fresh parsley

salt- I prefer Kosher or sea salt.

fine black or white pepper

Directions

For Chicken Salad:

Place chicken breasts in large pot. Cover with water.  Add salt,  pepper, onion powder, and 2 teaspoons celery seed.  Bring to boil over high heat.

Lower heat to medium-high and cook for approximately 45 minutes or until completely done with no red or pink.  Add more water if needed. Remove chicken from water and place into large mixing bowl.

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Use a knife and fork to shred chicken. For a little zip of fresh, I like to add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Now it’s ready for 2 teaspoons celery seed and any additional salt and pepper to your liking.  Begin with stirring in ½ cup mayonnaise to coat chicken. I always begin with only ½ cup mayonnaise, and add additional if needed.  Cover and refrigerate.  Serve cold.

For Peach & Avocado Salad:

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Peel and chop peaches. Stir together peaches with  fresh lemon juice and lemon zest.  Add ½ cup peaches and 1 Tablespoon honey together in food processor and pulse until smooth.

Season with Kosher or sea salt and fine black or white pepper to taste.  Peel and dice the avocados. Chop the green onions and fresh parsley, and slice tomatoes.  If you want to stack the layers in a rounded presentation, an empty tuna can thoroughly washed and with the top and bottom lids removed is a great round form.

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For the first layer, arrange tomato slices, green onion, and fresh parsley on chilled plate.  Lightly pepper to taste.  For the second layer: spoon 2 Tablespoons peach puree around the tomatoes, green onions and parsley.

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Next, top tomatoes, green onions, and parsley layer with  2 Tablespoons diced avocados and ½ cup of the chopped peaches. Sprinkle with Kosher salt to taste.  Add ½ cup chicken salad and top with desired amount of green onions and chopped fresh parsley. Repeat steps for each individual serving.  Serves 6.

enjoy-hydrangea