Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Patio Dinners

Tonight I had my sister Chandra, niece Brentli, and my (ex) sister-in-law Krista and Betty (Chandra's cousin through Buzz's side of the family, her husband)  over for dinner on the patio. I don't know what it is about summertime, but I love to have people over and entertain and cook for people.

We love Krista, when she and my brother chose to get a divorce, it broke my heart. They had been married for many years and they were the only family members, other than my grandma & grandpa, that I really admired what they had when it came to a marriage. (where I'd like to say I supported my mom in her decision to get married to another guy after she & my biological dad got married, that would not be the truth because in my life, I've never hated any one more, and I realize hate is not a good way to describe feelings towards the guy, but he was a horrible horrible person) When things with Sam & Krista didn't work out, we kind of lost touch, but it never changed the way we felt about Krista. For so many years, she was our big sister, she was the mother of our nephews that we love so much, she was the cool girl we always wanted to be, and hello... she was the one who introduced me to freakin' Sheryl Crow! - awesome

Krista is happily remarried to Skip and he's a very nice guy! We are so glad she is happy and we have no hard feelings towards since things didn't work out between her & Sam. That's life, sometimes, things just don't work out.

Krista was really close to mom. Mom loved Krista too. We all got together to just kind of reminisce and talk about what mom would say about this or that. I know I feel lucky to have someone like Krista who can give us advice that Mom gave her when Krista was our age. It's very special to have that because if you think about it, we were young and unexperienced in things in life, such as cooking, love, children, marriage, work issues, etc. We had a really good time catching up with eachother.

On to the menu- I baked lemon pepper chicken (it's kind of my favorite) and sauteed squash & zucchini, pasta salad, a side caesar salad and I whipped up a quick dessert (thanks to the jello package) called Angel fluff, seemed perfect for the summer time.

Lemon Pepper Chicken
Chicken Breast thawed
Sliced Lemon squeezed all over the chicken
Lemon Pepper Seasoning sprinkled on top
( I marinate all of the meat I make the night before so that it can soak in all the juices for the night before I cook it)
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes

Sauteed Zucchini & Squash
2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
2 Tbsp of Chopped Onion
Salt & Black Pepper
Toss until fully sauteed and serve right away

Pasta Salad & Caesar Salad
 Just buy a box of pasta salad (bag of caesar salad) and follow the instructions, if you mess this up, then God help you, you can't cook ;)
Angel Fluff
1 box of vanilla jello instant pudding
1 box of angel food cake
1 20 oz can of crushed pineapple
1 cup of cool whip
(whatever your fruit of preference is to top it off with - i used strawberries)

Bake the angel food cake accordingly (I chose to use two 9 inch cake pans)
Mix the pudding mix and crushed pineapple in a bowl, once it's mixed fully, stir in 1 cup of cool whip

Layer the two angel food cakes with the mixture in between the layers, top with fresh fruit, I went with strawberries, mmmmm.

After the girls all left, my brother Sam came over for a cocktail and we hung out on the patio. He rode with me to pick up W from the airport and showed me some shortcuts, which I'll have to remember the next time I'm running late to a flight... which happens EVERYTIME I fly. W's HOME, missed him much much lots much. Yesterday marked 11 years since my mom has passed away... a little bit of an emotional in to the night as I set and talked to W about all of that... glad I have him to talk to though. 

Apparently Vegas wore this boy out, he had to wear earplugs and an eye mask because I wanted to watch the real housewives before falling asleep.. this picture cracks me up!!!

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