A Baby Shower Lunch Menu

Baby Shower Lunch Menu // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-31t)

Nate, Gail (Nate’s mom) and I hosted a baby shower for Laura (Nate’s sister) and her husband Jeff last Sunday. I was in charge of food and decor. I will be going over the whole menu below and have another post about decor next week.

Baby Shower Lunch Menu // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-31t)

Gail put together co-ed approved games and prizes. She did a great job finding games even the boys would try. We had to draw a baby face on a plate while it was on our head (I won!), scoop cotton balls into a plate (also on our head) while blindfolded and estimate the size of Laura’s belly with toilet paper (my mom used my dad to measure).

Baby Shower Lunch Menu // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-31t)

I had a very busy morning prepping for the shower. Tasks I had hoped to accomplish on Saturday didn’t happen, so I was a little rushed getting ready, BUT it all worked out in the end. It’s it amazing how that happens? You just have to have trust that you will get it done.

Baby Shower Lunch Menu // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-31t)

It was a beautiful day and we had a great time celebrating the newest addition to the family. Congratulations Laura and Jeff! We can’t wait to meet the little man very soon.

Sunday Lunch Shower Menu

Baby Shower Lunch Menu // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-31t)

Below are the recipes for the three salads I served along with turkey roll-ups from Costco (such a great product!) and homemade cupcakes. All serving sizes are for 10-12 people. 

Pasta Salad with feta, spinach, red onion and walnuts

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds whole-wheat fusilli
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup diced red onion
  • 3 cups chopped baby spinach
  • 4 tbsp walnut oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper

Day before the party:

Pasta salads are usually better the day after you make them so you can prep the whole salad or just the pasta depending on your timeline.

Prep the pasta. Boil a pot of water and cook the paste according to the directions on the package. Drain the pasta, rinse it under cold water, and put it in the refrigerator to chill.

Toast the walnuts. Heat a saute pan and add the walnuts until they begin to smell delicious and nutty. Remove them from the pan, let cool and then chop them. (If you are making the spinach salad below, make the almonds right after the walnuts!)

Prep your dressing. mix the walnut oil, red wine vinegar, garlic and mustard together in a jar and shake. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Mix all your ingredients together. Toss the chilled pasta, walnuts, feta cheese, onion, spinach and dress together in a large bowl to combine. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Recipe adapted from Ellie Krieger

 

Spinach Salad with Asparagus, Strawberry and Candied Almonds

Ingredients

  • 4-5 cups baby spinach
  • 2 bunches asparagus
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • salt and pepper

Day before the party:

Prep the candied almonds. Chop up the almonds into big chunks. Head a saute pan over medium heat and add the chopped almonds and 1/8 c of sugar. toss and mix until the sugar caramelizes. Transfer the almonds to a sealable container, let cool then store.

Prepare your dressing. Mix the rice vinegar, olive oil, 1/8 c sugar in a jar and shake. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Morning of the party:

Blanch the asparagus. Boil a pot of water and prepare an ice water bath. Snap off the bottoms of your asparagus  and then blanch them in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes until they turn bright green. Remove from the water and submerge in ice water.

Prep the rest of your salad ingredients and mix together. Dry off the asparagus and cut into 1 inch pieces. Mix the spinach, asparagus and strawberries together with the dressing. Pour the sugared almonds on top and mix right before serving.

Recipe adapted from DanaMadeIt.com

 

Watermelon and Cantaloupe Salad with Mint and Basil Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 2 mini watermelons
  • 2 cantaloupe, cut in half, seeded
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons basil leaves
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 1/4 cup simple syrup

Day before the party:

Make simple sugar. Pour 1/4 c sugar in 1/4 c water and heat on stove until it dissolves. Let cool.

Prep the melons. Using a melon baller, scoop all melons into a separate bowl and chill.

Morning of the party:

Make the vinaigrette. Blend the chilled simple sugar with the mint and basil leaves and lemon juice until smooth.

Mix ingredients together. Toss melon balls with the vinaigrette and chill until ready to serve.

Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

All the salads were well received. The spinach and strawberry was a favorite and many went back for seconds and even thirds! Do you have a special “event” salad you serve or bring to parties? Tell me about it. I love to try out new recipes.

Cheers,
AZ

Kitchen Grout Makeover

Kitchen Grout Makeover // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-2UD)

What did you do last Friday night? Go out for a drink? Stay in and watch a movie? Me?? Well I painted my kitchen tile grout. (Note: This post is was written in January, so make sure to visualize me working on this in January not March below.)

Kitchen Grout Makeover // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-2UD)

Here’s the story. We had major grout problems. Stained and murky grout plagued my kitchen counters since we moved in FOUR YEARS AGO. No matter how much bleach and other cleaning agents I used to scrub them would remove the staining. I am sure many others have had this same issue.

Kitchen Grout Makeover // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-2UD)

When I heard about this product and I wondered if this could solve my problem. As I say about all my kitchen posts, is I am just trying to maintain until we remodel down the road.

Kitchen Grout Makeover // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-2UD)

So on Friday night, I stood against the counter with a paintbrush and a bottle of beer and painted grout for hours. Then I wiped off the excess with a rag.

Kitchen Grout Makeover // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-2UD)

You can see it isn’t perfect, but it’s so much better. I purposely picked a color that blended into the tile.

Kitchen Grout Makeover // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-2UD)

I don’t want my eye to see the counters at all. I’d rather you focus on the few bright-colored details we have in the room instead.

February 2014 Recap

February 2014 Recap // Our Concrete Home (http://wp.me/p1Ax0a-2XR)

1. Olympics are back! Celebrated with torched ice cream made by my husband.
2. We had another fun LPGC dinner.
3. I went on an epic bridesmaid dress shopping trip.
4. I gave up running for the time being (stupid knee!) and watched NFL hopefuls do it instead.
5. We cut our cable.
6. I am bringing back flannel…
7. and took home so many macaroons after D+D’s engagement party.
8. Gail moved in with us after back surgery…
9. and Nate’s started a honeymoon can drive.