Weddings. The colors. Flowers. Fancy dress. Food. The magic of the first kiss as husband and wife. Weddings are exceptional. I should know—I have been in 11 of them. I have stood as a bridesmaid nine times—a maid of honor two times—and twice been a reader. Yes, that is 11 dresses that I will never wear again.
Now, Southern though I might be—these 11 weddings do not hold a candle to the countless parties, showers, and get-togethers I have hosted. Bless my heart, I love throwing parties for every occasion. But weddings are special. They are important. It is an honor to be a part of someone’s special day. With the days getting longer, summer upon us, and our friends getting together, party guidelines are essential. And again—I do love any good reason to celebrate.
Salmon Tacos with Yummy Avocado and Tomato Salsa
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoons lemon zest
Salt and pepper
1 ½ pounds salmon fillet, no skin
Whisk together lemon juice, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Coat salmon and let marinate for 30 minutes (and only 30, otherwise the lemon will “cook” the salmon), turning once. Heat oven to 350˚ and bake for 10-16 minutes to desired doneness, turning once (salmon can also be cooked on the grill). Crumble and divide evenly among tortillas, top with salsa.
Avocado & Tomato Salsa
½ pint of cherry tomatoes, cleaned and halved
1 avocado, pitted, peeled, diced
¼ red onion, diced
1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and diced
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and pepper (I use Zatarain’s)
Cilantro to taste
Mix together, chill, serve over salmon.
Kelly O’s Guacamole
My girlfriend in Atlanta has the perfect guacamole recipe—it is quick, easy, and good. She has been kind enough to share, but warns that she has never measured, so just mix the following to taste.
2 avocados, pitted, cut up and mashed with a fork
Juice of ½ lemon
Garlic powder (don’t be shy)
Salt and pepper
Cayenne pepper, or Cajun seasoning
Dash of Tabasco
Lilies with Chutney and Cream Cheese
Many don’t know that not only are day lilies beautiful, but they taste wonderful as well.
Get a bunch of organically grown lilies—in different colors—around 16. (Or grow them yourself —just don’t use pesticides!)
One package of cream cheese, softened
A jar of chutney (I like mango—but pick one to your liking).
Wash out lilies and remove stamens. Mix equal parts of cream cheese and chutney.
Grilled Caprese Skewers
24 slices of a good bread—each slice about ½ inch thick (I like organic sourdough)
5 tablespoons olive oil
9 ounces of mozzarella cheese (I go all out on buffalo here—but part skim works, too)
1 ½ cups of basil leaves (set some aside for garnish)
1 pint of cherry tomatoes (or for a variation, slice up your favorite kind)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 200˚, trim bread and cut each slice into equal squares. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toast bread on both sides until golden. Skewer ingredients—one slice of bread, then mozzarella topped with a tomato or two and a basil leaf—repeat on skewer, ending with bread. Skewer all ingredients. Oven should still be on and heated. Place skewers on a baking sheet—drizzle with oil and vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 10 minutes. Garnish with remaining basil. Serve. >>>
1 package of wonton wrappers
1 pound of spicy pork sausage
2 cups of sharp chedder
½ green pepper, chopped
½ red pepper, chopped
½ yellow pepper, chopped jalapeño
2 bunches of green onions, sliced
¼ cup ranch dressing
Press wonton wrappers onto the bottom and up the sides of greased muffin cup pans. Bake at 350˚ for 5 minutes until the wontons are slightly browned. Season pork and in a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink, drain. Stir in the cheese, peppers, onions, and salad dressing. Spoon a rounded tablespoon into each wonton. Top each with one jalapeño slice.Bake for 6-8 minutes until heated through and serve. This serves a good many—you might want to cut the recipe in half.
Cut a ripe watermelon into chunks (take out seeds, or use a seedless melon) and freeze.
In a blender:
Use frozen watermelon as ice
3 mint leaves
Juice of one lemon
Juice of two limes
6 ounces tequila
One shot of Grand Marnier
Blend ingredients, garnish with mint.