I had the privilege of hosting a Welcome to Panama City party for my daughter-in-law Saturday along with dear friends Kristina Williams and Emmalyn Smith. Moving into a new town can be intimidating and with a new baby it is difficult to get out and make new friends.So, my friends and I put our heads together and invited some young women with children the age of Brittany and Drew's to help her get adjusted to her new home.
|Kristina, Crystal, Suzanne, Ashley, Cecily, Brittany and Pam|
We greeted our guests with wine and punch, served chicken salad in a white shell dish, Emmalyn's apricot congealed salad, tomatoes, watermelon and canteloupe slices and Basketcase carrot and raisin muffins, and finished things off with Kristina's specialty -- strawberry cake. Although there were name tags on the table for the first course, we switched tables for dessert so that everyone would be with a different group for conversation.
I happened to see Paula Deen make chicken salad the other day and so, inspired by her, I decided to make some also!
I bought 2 rotisserie chickens at Sams and chopped them up. Paula said she always broiled her chickens rather than boiled them because they were moister that way. I figured I could cheat a little and buy them already not only broiled, but rotisseried! I remembered a delicious chicken salad that I had once that was made with a combination of sour cream and mayonnaise which I mixed together and added a squirt of mustard and a squeeze of lemon juice. I halved grapes, chopped some Fuji apples, and toasted some pecans with butter and crushed them with a marble herb grinder and with some salt and pepper, mixed it all together.
Kristina made this delicious Strawberry cake:
- 1 (18.25-ounce) box white cake mix
- 1 (3-ounce) box strawberry-flavored instant gelatin
- 1 (15-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup water
- Strawberry cream cheese frosting, recipe follows
- Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 (10-ounce) package frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed and pureed
- 1/2 teaspoon strawberry extract
- 7 cups confectioners' sugar
- Freshly sliced strawberries, for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans.In a large bowl, combine cake mix and gelatin. Add pureed strawberries, eggs, oil, and water; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour into prepared pans, and bake for 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
For the frosting:
In a large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Beat in 1/4 cup of the strawberry puree and the strawberry extract. (The rest of the puree is leftover but can be used in smoothies or on ice cream for a delicious treat.) Gradually add confectioners' sugar, beating until smooth.
Spread frosting in between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with sliced fresh strawberries, if desired.
|Miss Lily is our oldest grandchild and our fashion goddess.|
|Sam, our youngest grandchild, is with Donna, his OTHER grandmother, and Alison, Kristina's mother and my new friend.|