As a end of school thing, I had some girlfriends over for a pool party. Surprisingly the water was cold and left us with goosebumps and shivers but fun nevertheless. I tried to keep the food light and this is what my menu looked like:
Chicken Spinach Orzo Salad
Funnel Cakes! (yes, you don’t have to pay $10 for them at carnivals!!)
Please pardon the photography as my photographer wasn’t unavailable at the time.
For the Mango Salsa, I got beautiful directions from this blog which had step by step directions with pictures. I try to do that, but my hands are always a mess and I’d probably spend more time on washing my hands and taking pictures then actually making food. I finally mastered the technique of properly dicing onions through this blogs directions as well as mangoes.
I usually like to do everything fresh, but I succumbed to a packet of seasonings that you get at the grocery store for my Guacamole. I used three large avocados and mashed them with a fork. In addition to adding the packet seasonings, squeeze in juice of one lime, a quarter of a red bell pepper, diced and red onion, diced and mix!
My salad was very light and refreshing that can be used as a side or a simple lunch that doesn’t take very long.
Chicken Spinach Orzo Salad (adapted from here)
6 pieces of boneless chicken breast
1 tsp Italian herbs
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1 lb fresh spinach (you can get the baby spinach that’s in pre-washed bags to make it easier)
1/2 cup feta cheese
zest of two lemons
2 tomatoes, chopped
1.5 cups orzo pasta
24 basil leaves
1-2 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbs toasted pine nuts
Wash your chicken and pat it dry. Marinate it with salt, pepper, 1 tsp olive oil, cayenne pepper, and Italian herbs. Line a pan with foil and place the chicken in the pan. Bake chicken at 350 F until meat has turned white (15 min). While chicken is baking, boil a large pot with water and liberal amount of salt. Add the orzo to the boiling water and cook till el-dente (8-10 min) Drain the water and set aside. Once the chicken is done, shred chicken one it has cooled.
In a large bowl, shred the spinach and basil with kitchen scissors. Zest the lemon and add to the spinach with the chopped tomatoes. Toast your pine nuts over the stove in a non-stick frying pan if they aren’t already toasted. Just add the nuts straight to the pan and stir them around until they’re are golden. Layer the chicken, orzo, pine nuts, and feta cheese. Add in olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Toss before serving.
For my Jell-o Popsicle, I mixed one packet of jell-o with 2 cups boiling water. Stir until dissolved. Slightly cool and pour into Popsicle molds and freeze over night. To take them out of their molds, run some warm water over the molds and the Popsicle will slip right out.
I wasn’t planning on making funnel cakes for this lunch but one of my girlfriends mentioned that she’s never had one before and I told her that was completely unacceptable! I had been wanting to make them for a while and thought this was the best time to give it a try. And as silly as it sounds, we found out that they’re called funnel cakes because you pour the batter through an actuall funnel!
Funnel Cake (adapted from here)
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
vegetable oil, for frying
powdered sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar, honey for toppings
Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla together and then add the milk slowly and beat. Add dry ingredients till smooth. The consistency of the batter shouldn’t be too thin or thick. In a large cast iron pot, or any deep frying pot, heat 2 in of oil. Pour the batter into a funnel, keeping one finger to plug the hole. When the oil is hot (test by dropping in some batter) release your finger from the hole and slowly move the funnel around the pot to make designs. As one side cooks, flip it over to cook the other side. When both sides are golden, remove it from the pot and drain on a plate lined with a paper towel. Add desired toppings.
You can also make chocolate funnel cake by adding in a little bit of unsweetened cocoa
Someone had also brought fresh strawberries and dipped them into some chocolate for us. They were gone in a blink of an eye!
We probably ended up eating more dessert than actual food but it was too scrumptious to pass up.