Friday, June 28, 2013

The Party's Over....

Yesterday I mowed the lawn, hoping it would help to dry the grass since it was soooo wet and keeping my fingers crossed that any rains would hold out until after the Celebrate Summer Party on Friday.  Don't ya just love it when your plans actually happen??!!  It didn't rain all day yesterday, altho the skies got really dark while a girl friend and I were on our way to the Morton Arboretum to hear the Chicago Symphony Orchestra play John William's best know John Williams, the composer of Star Wars, ET, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws.  What a night, first time the CSO had ever performed at the Arboretum and it was glorious, wonderful music under the stars.  The threatening skies passed us by, leaving behind a beautiful night.  I even spotted a lightening bug, which I thought usually didn't appear until July or August.

The clouds drifted away....

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra in action (psst...don't tell anybody, we were asked to not take pictures during the performance....I snuck one, don't think they even noticed)

My friend, Bonnie...a most enjoyable evening we had together.

Today was pretty darn near perfect for an outdoor party.....sun shining, check....lower humidity, check....slight breeze blowing, check....grass dry, mosquitoes, check.  Can't get any better than this.  I rose early, needed to get the pasta chicken salad prepared, put stuff know that stuff that gathers and makes piles and then you have to get rid of those piles so people will think you are so neat and organized.  As long as they don't go to the garage, or to the spare bedroom, or the laundry room, or the basement...I might fool them.  Tee Hee!!

My "great" friend Marti arrived early, I was borrowing a table and some chairs from her...she immediately started in on the strawberries, cutting them up for dessert and then preparing the topping (sour cream & brown sugar....try it on top of fresh fruit ie strawberries, raspberries, it is delicious)  As other people arrived they all seemed to find little jobs to do...what great friends I have.

Everyone arrived and after chatting for awhile, grabbing a drink...lunch was daughter, Lisa & granddaughter, Bailey helped serve, I was so happy they came.  Not only were they a big help, but many of my friends had never met them.  And some that did, had not seen them in several years.

So much food....I really didn't want anyone to bring anything, but so many insisted, so we had more than enough food....

Let the feasting begin....

It seemed to be over way too soon....sorta like Thanksgiving, you prepare & prepare and then everyone sits down to eat and 30 minutes later, it's done.

And would you believe that it rained (hard) after everything was put away and everyone had left...we were living right today.

A Bonus Today....I am including the Chicken-Pasta-Salad Recipe that I have had in my stash since 1994.  Some recipes stand the test of time and this is definitely one of those....

Almond Chicken Pasta Salad

4 cups cooked, cubed chicken
1 Tbsp. Sesame Seed
2 medium apples, cored and coarsely chopped
1 tsp finely shredded lime peel
8 oz corkscrew or bow tie pasta-cooked & drained
3 Tbsp lime juice
8 ½ oz can pineapple chunks, drained
1 Tbsp honey
½ cup seedless grapes
2 tsp. grated fresh gingerroot (I used dried)
1/3 cup biased cut celery (about 1 stalk)
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup sliced green onion
½ cup toasted sliced almonds
¾ cup mayonnaise
Lettuce leaves
¼ plain yogurt, I used Greek
Avocado slices (optional
Diced sweet pepper (optional)

 In a large bowl toss together the cooked chicken, apples, cooked pasta, pineapple, grapes, celery, and onion.  For dressing, in a small bowl combine the mayo, yogurt, sesame seed, lime peel, lime juice, honey, gingerroot and salt.  Pour over the pasta mixture, toss gently to combine.  Cover & chill.  To serve, if necessary add several tablespoons of milk to moisten.  Toss gently.  Serve on lettuce-line plates.  Top with almonds.  If desired garnish with avocado slices & sweet red pepper.  

This recipes makes enough for 10 main-dish servings, perfect for a luncheon. 

I am truly blessed with the friends that I have surrounding me...I don't think I could have handled these last few years without my friends.  The song, "I'll Get By With a Little Help From My Friends" is definitely my theme song.

And one more tidbit...I would love it if you would hop over to my collaborative blog, Focusing On Life where I am remembering "How I Met Your Father"....!! 

Until next time.....


  1. What a wonderful party. Good food and wonderful friends are truly gifts from God.
    So glad the rained held off and you were able to be outside...Everything looked so beautiful...

  2. What a marvelous time you ladies had! It must be nice to have so many people who love you. Your daughter and granddaughter are beautiful. Lucky you that the rain missed your special time both days!!

  3. Dang, all day I kept thinking I'd forgotten something!

  4. Gosh - and to think I could have been there! Great portraits, Deanna. I love your sweet centerpieces. Thanks for the recipe. Send some rain my way, will you?

  5. What a delightful gathering - your yard and settings look marvelous and your collection of friends and family - just wonderful. I am glad Mother Nature was on board as well.

  6. SO glad you had good weather - and good company. :) and good eats!

  7. Looks like you ladies had a wonderful time! So glad the rain held off. Love the photo of your daughter and granddaughter.

  8. What a fun gathering! Thanks for the recipe too. Copying it and hope to try it out soon :)

  9. BEAUTIFUL photographs of a lovely girls get-together Deanna. I've saved your recipe for both the salad and also the strawberries. Roll on Spring/Summer to put them to good use

  10. I sure wish I lived closer, looks great! And the concert sounds incredible. Happy summer to you, Deanna. oxoxo Pam

  11. Looks like a great summer party for you and your friends. So glad the rain stayed away after all the planning for this and even including all of your cyber friends by mistake. :) Your life makes mine look pretty dull as all I did yesterday (which is always a highlight) go to Senior Stretch and Tone. :) I will just live through your life as yours looks better.

    Have a great weekend.

  12. It sounds like you have many wonderful people in your life.

  13. That looks so yummy and so pleased the weather held for you....

  14. What a wonderful day you had ... and so many wonderful people in your life.
    Thanks for the recipe ... will definitely try it out.

  15. OH wow! What a special time of good food, family and friends..

  16. What a fabulous party. Good food, good friends, good times!


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