Friends are coming over today! I can't wait. I've been looking forward to this all morning. The thing about friends coming over in the middle of the day is that it's an interesting adjustment to have a conversation with someone who says more than "dee dah" or "how come?" in return. But I bet I'll manage. When they ring the doorbell I'll try not to open the door and say "Well helloooooooo wittle munchkins!!" in a really high pitched voice.
When company comes over for lunch I have a sure-fire menu I like to use. Chicken Salad Croissants, Strawberry Spinach Salad, and some fruit. Yum. It's a bill of fare that is full of fresh ingredients and adds a rich palette of colors to the table.
First you chop up 1/4 cup each of celery and onion. Pretty!
Then add 1/2 cup each of golden raisins and dried cranberries.
Then 3/4 cup mayonnaise. Does mayo gross you out a little? It does me, if I think about it for too long. So let's not think about it anymore. Just add it and move on.
Add some salt and pepper and then you mix it all together. This is what it looks like. Chicken salad has never been a favorite of mine, but this recipe changed my opinion. If you feel the same way, just try it. Give it one chance. That's all I ask of you. Anywhere you go let me go too! Love me, that's all I ask of you! (Ahem. Sorry about that. Phantom of the Opera suddenly overwhelmed my senses). Back to chicken salad.
You alone can make my song take flight! Help me make the music of the night...
Good gracious, forgive me! I can't get a hold of myself.
This chicken salad is salty and sweet at the same time and there's delightful bits of crunchiness throughout. It really is a treat. You'll be pleasantly surprised that a chicken salad could win you over. And make you sing Phantom of the Opera songs out of the blue. We'll put it on some sinfully flaky croissants with a layer of green leaf lettuce. It's gonna be wonderful. Just wait til I show ya.
Okay. Now. Since friends are joining us today, I had to put my indentured servants to work. The twins were given dish duty, of which they tackled with zeal.
I love when they touch each other. So sweet. In reality, Dee is probably about to shove Bex out of her way or squeeze his tender arm skin until he screams, but for the sake of this picture, I like to think she's just lovin' on her big brother. They do that sometimes.
Once, I think.
Or maybe I just dreamed that.
Oh yeah. Here we go. The fun's just beginning. A twinado's about to touch down. Oh wait. The twinado got sidetracked by his own reflection. He'll marvel at himself there for a while. You know, like 2 seconds. That's a long time in baby concentration time. A perfect companion for the chicken salad croissants is Strawberry Spinach Salad. You don't like spinach? You do now. I guarantee it or your money back. Look at these dark green baby spinach leaves. Even if you don't care for spinach, you have to admit, the color is gorgeous. Add some toasted almond slices. I put my almond slices in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes and nearly burned them. Live and learn. Wait. No, burn 'n learn. HA! I'm so clever! (eyes rolling)
Slice up and add a bunch of strawberries. (Don't be intimidated by my technical measurements).
Okay, now for the dressing which is the part that's going to make you a believer. 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon worcesteshesteshesteshestashire sauce (more eye rolling)1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds (both poppy seeds and sesame seeds can be found on the spice rack at the supermarket. I know you knew that. I was just saying that for the other people who didn't know that).
Shake up all ingredients and pour over the salad. Toss.
I like mini croissants. They're so perky. But big'ns would work out just dandy too.
Any summer fruit pairs nicely with this lunch.
Here's the sandwich assembled into a perfect little treat for your mouth. You can savor it with approximately 12 delicate little bites
or you can hork it in about 3 huge unlady-like bites. I know you couldn't guess, but I choose 3.
Wanna see it up close? No problem.
They're heeeeeerrrrrre! This is Roxann and Sara, mother and daughter. They are beautiful. And sweet. And funny. They're just good people. People you want in your life. Nice people.
Nice is such a generic word.
What I mean is gentle, kind, gracious, warm. You know. Nice.
(among other things, like photographer, Close To My Heart consultant, creative mastermind, and chocolate chip pancake maker extraordinaire,
The kids gravitate to her. And Sara! She's just a natural born mom. She loves kids and kids love her.
Grace thinks Sara is quite possibly the best thing to ever happen to her.
(They're enjoying a plastic citrus picnic here)
If Bug had her way, Sara would still be sequestered in Bug's room (for the next 8 years) and Bug would still be ordering her around on how to play dollhouse.
I found an anonymous quote to sum up the afternoon:
Good friends are cheaper than therapy.
That's what the visit was like--therapy!
We talked about Cricuts, scrapbooking, The Bachelorette, babies and blogging. We ate, we played, we laughed. Truly, is there anything more to this life?
And just so you didn't mistake the summery outfit Bug was wearing earlier as a corner turned, here is a photograph I took literally minutes after Sara and Roxann left. Honestly, I don't think their car had even turned out of our neighborhood. Ahhhh....winter clothes. All is right with the world now.
On another topic, I'm worried. When I typed "worcesteshesteshesteshestashire" sauce in the recipe above, my spellchecker said this: "no suggestions". Those two words looked so forlorn. Usually it gives me a hopeful list of 2 or 3 words, optimistic that I might choose one, even though I rarely do. But this time, it has given up on me. My spellchecker is depressed! It's like it realizes it has lost the battle it once waged with me on made-up words.
I'm sorry spellchecker. I'm sorry I've saddened you. Dismayed you. Frustrated you to the point of resignation. I'll try to be better. Here, watch. I can be rehabilitated. Look, here's one of my favorites: "butterific". Okay, spellchecker. I'll change it to traffic, just like you like it. There, there. Traffic....traffic...