“Clean up as you go so there won’t be a pile of dirty dishes in your sink by the time company comes over.”
“Always clean your baseboards. You never know who will look at them!”
“Have all your platters and serving pieces out and ready.”
“Try to do as much as you can before your guests arrive. They came to eat but they also came for your company.”
“Etiquette is important but it’s more important to make your guests feel comfortable.”
“Take out those candlesticks that your grandmother got you for your wedding. You know she’ll be looking for them!”
“Clean your front porch, it is your first impression.”
“Serve at least one ‘store bought’, simple item.”
These are just a few of the pieces of advice that have been instilled in me from my mom, my aunt and my mother-in-love. There is truly nothing I love more than sitting around my dining room table with people that I love. I have prayed many prayers over my home but the most important prayer has always been, “Lord, help me to use this home for Your glory.”
I read somewhere that the hostess sets the tone for the dinner party. If I’m running around and stressing out over my meal, my guests will feel like they are in the way. I want to be as present with them as possible, not worrying if my dessert is melting or if my chicken is too dry. It is an honor and a joy of mine to serve the ones I love.
One of the most important things that I have learned is to plan ahead! Write out a schedule and stick to it. It also helps if you can make part of your meal ahead of time. One of my favorite desserts is Oreo Dirt Cake Trifle, doesn’t it just sound good? It’s one of those desserts that is so simple to make and assemble, yet pleasing to the eye.
Drew and I had a few friends over this past weekend and I was able to make the trifle a day before they came. Needless to say, it was a hit! Oreos, cream cheese, sugar…what’s not to love? Most of the men at the table had two helpings…
· 1/3 cup butter, softened
· 3 ½ cups milk (I used whole milk)
· 1 8 oz. container of Cool Whip
· 1 package Oreos
· 1 cup powdered sugar
· 2 packages French Vanilla Instant JELL-O pudding
· 1 8 oz. container Cream Cheese, softened
What advice has been passed down to you? How do you create a comfortable environment for your guests?
Sarah Kathryn Marlowe
Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Dip filled with chicken, cream cheese, black beans, corn and enchilada sauce is sure to be a hit at your next get together!
I made this dip last week and it was amazing! It yields enough to make two pie dishes so I made one for me and one for my mom to take to school for her teacher friends. Not only was it a popular dish at my house (Drew ate almost half in one sitting), but my mom and her friends loved it!
It’s one of the dishes that include things that you probably already have in your kitchen. The original recipe called for Rotisserie Chicken but we buy frozen chicken breasts in bulk so I just decided to use three of those. I cook the chicken on low in my slow cooker for about three hours. I just dump the chicken in; pour a little salsa over it and some fajita seasoning. Three hours later you have moist, flavorful chicken. I throw the cooked chicken into my Kitchen Aid mixer and it shreds up in no time. You can certainly use a Rotisserie Chicken in this recipe or even leftover grilled chicken.
· 3 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
· 2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
· 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
· 1 can yellow corn, drained and rinsed
· 1 small can medium enchilada sauce
· 2 tbsp. fajita seasoning
· 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, beans, corn, enchilada sauce and fajita seasoning.
3. Stir in the chicken.
4. Pour the mixture into a greased 9x13 casserole dish or pie dish (this mixture would make enough for 2 pie dishes).
5. Top with the shredded cheese.
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese in the center is bubbling.
7. Top with sour cream (optional).
Anybody else love Valentine’s Day? I don’t know if it’s the pink or the hearts or the candy (pretty sure it’s the candy), but I love it when February rolls around. Not only do I love Valentine’s Day but I love Puppy Chow, mix those two together and you’ve got a winner!
This recipe is a perfect treat for this special holiday. Garnish it with cute sprinkles and M&Ms to make a perfect snack for your Valentine! Enjoy!
Red Velvet Puppy Chow
· 5 cups Corn or Rice Chex Cereal
· ¼ cup Chocolate Chips
· ¾ cup White Chocolate Chips
· 1 cup Red Velvet Cake Mix
· ½ cup Powdered Sugar
1. Measure our Chex cereal and place into a large bowl.
2. Measure out cake mix and powdered sugar and pour into a large Ziploc bag.
3. Melt both kinds of chocolate chips in the microwave. Be careful not to burn!
4. Pour melted chocolate over Chex cereal and stir until coated.
5. Dump the cereal into the Ziploc bag and shake until coated!
6. Pour the puppy chow onto a cookie sheet and let cool.
7. Garnish with valentine M&Ms, pink sprinkles, whatever you want!
3 (9 ounce) packages refrigerated 3-cheese tortellini
1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Cook tortellini according to package directions, drain. Spread out tortellini on paper towel-lined rimmed baking pans and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.
2. In large bowl, combine tortellini, asparagus, and bell pepper.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together Champagne vinegar, tarragon, shallot, salt, and pepper. Add to tortellini mixture, tossing gently to combine. Serve immediately.
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