VIP DINNER- MENU #2 JUST IN TIME FOR MEMORIAL DAY


Chicken Florentine Lasagna photo by Susan Scarborough

photo by Susan Scarborough

As mentioned in my previous post, I  think all of us have favorite go to recipes  we always fall back on when it comes to entertaining.  One of my favorite authors, the late Julia Reed who passed away last year, called a  favorite menu The Visiting Dignitary Dinner.  In her cookbook, “Julia Reed’s South…Spirited Entertaining and High Style Fun All Year Long” she writes about using tried and true recipes; ones you would bring out for special occasions, family get togethers, and when VIPs come to visit.  I don’t know how many dignitaries I have coming to dinner, but I like to think all our parties and family gatherings are very important!  See V.I.P. Dinner #1 here.

I have 2 VIP menus, depending on my mood and time of year. This is my #2 Menu.  I swap out several go to appetizers and will include in the 3rd post.

I’m posting this in time for Memorial Day!  In case you are tired of always serving hamburgers and hotdogs and want to try something a little bit different.

The Menu #2

Chicken Lasagna Florentine

Columbia Salad

Deanni’s Bread

Blueberry Pecan Cobbler

My go-to Chicken Lasagna Florentine…always a surprise and treat for newcomers. This lasagna has so much flavor and the pecans on top make it fabulous.

Chicken Florentine Lasagna photo by Susan Scarborough

photo by Susan Scarborough

Chicken Florentine Lasagna 2 photo by Susan Scarborough

photo by Susan Scarborough

Ingredients

  • 6 lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 1 (10-12 ounce) package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and pressed dry between paper towels.
  • Sometimes I add more spinach.
  • 2 cups cooked, chopped chicken. ( I use a rotisserie chicken)
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup ( I like to use low sodium).
  • 1 (8 ounce) carton sour cream
  • 1 (8 ounce) can sliced mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

For the Topping

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Drain thawed spinach and squeeze out as much water as possible, using paper towels.
  3. Combine spinach, chicken and next 11 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir well.
  4. Arrange 2 noodles in a lightly greased large rectangular baking dish.
  5. Spread 1/3  of chicken mixture over noodles.
  6. Layer 2 noodles on top and spread with 1/3 chicken mixture.
  7. Repeat with last 2 noodles and chicken mixture.
  8. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and Butter- Pecan topping.

For the Topping

  1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add pecans and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Cool completely.
  4. Sprinkle on casserole over parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until hot and bubbly
  6. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

Notes

This is delicious and a crowd pleaser. It is wonderful as a tailgating main course. To keep warm at a tailgate, cut and wrap in foil. Transport with a Pyrex microwaveable Hot Pack in a Pyrex Portable Container.

By KathyMillerTime

KathyMillerTime

Recipe Printed from www.kathymillertime.com

Last post I used the La Scala salad…but I must say that this one is a favorite also.  The 1905 Salad from Columbia Restaurant.

Columbia Restaurant's 1905 Salad photo by Kathy Miller

1905 Salad from The Columbia Restaurant photo by Kathy Miller

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce or romaine lettuce
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, cut in eighths
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Swiss cheese, cut in julienne strips
  • 1/2 cup ham, cut in juilienne strips (I add ham if using as a main course)
  • 1/4 cup green Spanish olives, pitted
  • 2 teaspoons Romano or Parmesean cheese, freshly grated

Dressing

  • 1/8 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Toss together all salad ingredients except cheese.
  2. Mix garlic, oregano, and worcestershire sauce in a bowl.
  3. Beat until smooth with a wire whisk.
  4. Add olive oil gradually to form an emulsion.
  5. Stir in vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Pour dressing on salad to your liking and toss.
  7. Add lemon and Parmesean cheese and toss one more time.

Note

I like to add the lemon last just before the cheese. The Columbia Restaurant in St. Augustine tosses this salad tableside which always makes it taste better!

By KathyMillerTime via The Columbia Restaurant, St, Augustine, Fl

KathyMillerTime

Recipe Printed from www.kathymillertime.com

This bread is decadent!  Worth the effort when you want your guests to really love the bread.

Deanni’s Bread

Deanni's Bread with butter, French dijon mustard and poppy seeds photo by Kathy Miller

Photo before baking…the butter and Dijon mustard make it!

Deanni's Bread before baking photo by Kathy Miller

DEANNI’S BREAD

Serving Size: 8-12

INGREDIENTS

  • loaf of French bread
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 10 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, sliced
  • poppy seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Melt stick of butter.  Cut loaf of French bread diagonally, then crisscrossed.  Do not cut through.
  2.  Mix melted butter and Dijon mustard.
  3. Drizzle butter and mustard on top.
  4. Press cheese into cuts of bread.
  5. Sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  6. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Kathy Notes... how many recipes do you have in your recipe file that has someone's name associated with the recipe?   And you don't know who they are....This is one of those, but I sure like Deanni's bread! Yikes!  

By KathyMillerTime

KathyMillerTime

Recipe Printed from www.kathymillertime.com

My favorite dessert for Memorial Day and the 4th of July  is this Blueberry Pecan Cobbler. The pecans in the center make it ultra special.

Blueberry Pecan cobbler yummy goodness

Blueberry Pecan Cobbler photo by Kathy Miller

Blueberry Pecan Cobbler photo by Kathy Miller

Ingredients

  • 4 pints fresh blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 15 ounce package refrigerated pie crusts, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • Vanilla ice cream

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Bring first 7 ingredients to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat; stir until sugar melts. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
  3. Spoon half of blueberry mixture into a lightly greased 8-inch square pan. Roll 1 piecrust to 1/8 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface; cut an 8 inch square. Place over blueberry mixture; sprinkle with pecans.
  4. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Spoon remaining blueberry mixture over baked crust.
  5. Roll remaining pie crust to 1/8 inch thickness, and cut into 1 inch strips. Place in lattice design over blueberry mixture. Place pan on a baking sheet on middle oven rack. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until golden.
  6. Serve with ice cream.

Notes

I made this in a souffle dish. Turned out perfectly. The pecans and center pie crust give this cobbler a unique twist.

By KathyMillerTime
Adapted from from a long ago Southern Living

KathyMillerTime

Recipe Printed from www.kathymillertime.com

Hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day!  Here’s to the Red, White and Blue.

Come celebrate with me.  I’ll save you a seat at the table.

4 Comments

  • Laura Huffman says:

    I love your chicken lasagna florentine and have even made it myself! This meal looks delicious.

    • Kathy Miller says:

      Should have had your blueberry pie in the menu. Will do that for the 4th of July. Going to Cashiers soon?

  • Janet says:

    Oh. WOW,
    You have just given me all new menus for Camp Winape
    The Chicken Lasagna will be on our list for the next decade.
    Love the blueberry desert. If Canada is open we will go there to pick.
    Your paintings are fabulous!!! You do need to join the Gallery!
    You are my mentor Now.

    • Kathy Miller says:

      Thank you Janet! I am honored that you will serve some of my recipes at Camp Winape this summer! Such a special place. I know you will get to paint there this summer. Lots of inspiration. I remember your dinner on the picnic table with your beautiful flowers We should paint that

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