Grace and I are still recovering from quite an eventful weekend. She spent Sunday with dad while I enjoyed some much needed friend time at the Raleigh Food and Wine Fest with a gal pal. Saturday was packed with Kirby Derby, a famous Raleigh neighborhood block party, and our friends Keta and Steve celebrated their daughter Sailor’s first birthday with a “Fairy Garden” themed party. Keta made the cutest teapot flower arrangements, cupcakes and a gorgeous carrot cake. I prepared several dishes and per request am sharing the recipes. Grace was more interested in the play room filled with toys than the other babies at the party but I think she enjoyed herself and even had a nice helping of my ginger chicken salad!
I wanted to come up with menu items that were light and fresh, highlighting summer ingredients and somewhat kid friendly. I settled on blueberry biscuits, fruit sandwiches and for a hearty protein option, chicken salad. To the chicken salad, I added a kick of ginger for something different. We have a surplus of blueberries in our yard currently so I’m putting them in everything. Recipes and photos below!
Open faced fruit Sandwiches:
Serves: A crowd
- 1 loaf wheat berry or bluerberry bread, toasted
- 1/2 pack cream cheese, brought to room temperature
- Jam or preserves of choice (strawberry works lovely here)
- 4 peaches, peeled and sliced
- 2 mangoes, peeled and sliced
- 1 bunch mint, thinly sliced
- Slice bread in half, diagonally.
- Blend jam and cream cheese together.
- Gently spread cream cheese mixture on the bread.
- Place sliced mango and peaches on top and garnish with mint.
- Note: Even though the bread won’t stay warm once toasted, it will firm up and help hold these open-faced sandwiches together. Do take the time to toast them.
Blueberry Buttermilk Biscuits:
- 2 cups flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- Generous pinch sugar
- Pinch salt
- 1 and 1/2 cups blueberries
- 1/2 stick plus 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
- 1 cup buttermilk, divided use
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and sugar.
- Add blueberries, gently crushing a few with the back of a wooden spoon.
- Use a cheese grater to shred butter over flour mixture.
- Use a pastry cutter or fork and knife to incorporate butter into the flour until it resembles course bread crumbs.
- Drizzle in about 3/4 cup buttermilk. With your hands, incorporate everything together until you have a thick, sticky biscuit dough.
- Scoop dough onto cookie sheet using your hands or an ice cream scoop. You will end up with 12-15 average medium sized biscuits or 17-20 small biscuits.
- Brush the remaining buttermilk over the biscuits and bake about 13 minutes until tops are lightly golden but insides are soft and flaky.
Ginger Chicken Salad:
Serves: a crowd!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons ginger powder
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 celery stalks
- 2 golden delicious apples
- 3 green onions
- 1 cup walnuts
- A few heaping spoonfuls of yogurt or good quality mayonnaise
- 2 heaping spoonfuls of Ginger Spread
- Tenderize and marinate the chicken in the olive oil, ginger powder and crushed garlic for about 20 minutes.
- Bring chicken to room temperature before cooking. In batches, cook the chicken in a cast iron skillet with a lid on medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes per side. Once chicken is browned on all sides but still pink in the middle, turn the heat down to medium and put the lid on the skillet. Let the chicken steam inside the skillet for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, either finely chop the apples, celery, green onion and walnuts or pulse it all together in the food processor.
- Similarly, once the chicken is cooked and cooled, pulse in food processor or use a knife and fork to shred it.
- Add everything to a large mixing bowl and stir in the mayonnaise and ginger spread. This is best made the day before to let all the flavors join together and make their debut.
- Serve with assorted party crackers and enjoy!
My people. This one is becoming quite the daddy’s girl!
Serious teething going on over here.
Keta made this carrot cake and although we had to head out before they cut into it, I heard the birthday girl quite enjoyed it! She shared these pics below.