You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism. ~Erma Bombeck
Easter is sure late this year…..hard to believe it is April 9th and Easter is still more than a week away!
And still….he daffodils in the yard haven’t peeked up through the leftover snow piles quite yet….but they are available in abundance at the grocery store for very little money…..
They are a little luxury that I treat myself to!
And if you have vistited Sweetwater Style before….you know that I plant an awful lot of wheat grass…..it just makes me feel good to see a little green around here!
I also had this Easter Egg wreath that came from Goodwill long ago….in fact so long ago that it was getting pretty shabby looking!
I took it apart and tucked the little eggs away….knowing that they would find a use one day!
A good friend from school retired this week. JoAnn and I worked together for more years than I want to admit to. We celebrated with great stories! This is the little gift I gave her….
The fun story about the little frame is that the tiles that are glued on to the simple frame are some that I rescued from the school that we worked at together for all those years…..I scored a bucket of these little tiles from the trash when the school was being remodeled….and now JoAnn has a little piece of her history to put on a shelf!
Our new car arrived…..luckily we were scheduled to pick it up on Monday…when we didn’t have school because of the cold! Why you ask? Well, it took over 2 hours for them to teach me how to push all the buttons so I can drive it! Go Figure!!! Then it sat in the garage on Tuesday because of another cold day off! I thought Mr. S was going to cry on Wednesday morning when it was time to drive to school for the first time…..there was a SNOWSTORM during morning rush! Long story short…I love it….or will when I figure out all of the new technology!
I planted some wheat grass…..it is happily sprouting in the front window along side the Holiday Poinsettias! I hate that they still look too nice to throw away…..but really….it IS February…..maybe I need to hang some hearts on the and call them Valentine Plants!
Anyway…..the wheat grass is a little bit of summer in the house!
Today I am going to do a little Valentine’s decorating….the nice thing about blogging…I have a pictorial history of what I have done in the past…..hmmmmm…..maybe I will just totally copy last year’s decor!
Christmas Eve….Christmas Day….A Cocktail/Fondue Party…and finally a Pasta Buffet yesterday…
We had lots of fun through it all….
In fact….this might just become a go to menu for future gatherings!
- Best recipe for chicken strips for the Pasta: Buy them…..Already cooked….in a package…. The texture and taste of the already prepared chicken strips from CostCo were more than acceptable when covered with sauce!
- DON’T blanch your broccoli ahead of time….I thought this was smart and did it to save time….except I left it in the pan with the cover on and ended up with mushy over cooked vegetables….won’t do THAT again!
- Cook the pasta ahead of time and keep it in the oven with the absolute lowest temp….in fact…I kept turning the oven off to just have the tiniest bit of heat. The pasta was in those aluminum catering trays. A little pasta water poured over the pre-cooked noodles brought them “back to life” when it was time to put the pasta on the table. (a warming tray kept the temp “lukewarm”) This also allowed an easy replenishing of the pasta when needed.
This Sweet Kale Salad from CostCo is a new favorite at Sweetwater. It comes with all the fixings. Just pour into a bowl…add the dressing and “stuff” that is included and enjoy! It was simple enough to make a second batch when it ran low during the party….maybe people thought a little crunchy greens would make for something “healthy” given the decadence of all the pasta!
- The Bolognese sauce was “almost homemade” by using prepared Spaghetti sauce with meat and spices added. I really made this for the kids….but the “big” kids seemed to enjoy it too!
- I sort of stressed out about finding the “perfect” Alfredo Sauce that could be made ahead! This recipe worked very well….in fact the teenage boys at the party told me they thought this would be great for their own sports “Pasta/Carbo loading parties….which I took as a “high compliment”
This sauce stood the test of sitting for more than 4 hours on the buffet without losing texture or taste!
It is definitely a KEEPER!
- Mr. S decided that pouring frozen bags of prepared meatballs and adding mushroom soup and beef broth would NOT do for this buffet. He painstakingly prepared meatballs from SCRATCH using a recipe from his mom’s Swedish Woman’s Cookbook! I have to say they were delicious! (maybe I can convince him to write a guest post and share the recipe with you some day!)
- Add some crusty sliced bread and butter…..A bowl of nice Parmesan Cheese and you are DONE!
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The basket of greens got some illumination when one of the strings of lights was half unlit….no one can see the tangle of unlit bulbs under the greens!
The little twig tree was a find at Bon Volanté (although I did pay $8)…but I knew it would be perfect with the wire chicken!