Thursday, June 21, 2012

al fresco dining...

One of my favorite things about summer is dinner on our deck with friends.
We're having guests on Saturday who haven't ever been to our home,
that means I can serve one of my go-to menus, it's perfect if you'd like to serve
 something a tad more upscale than burgers. 

Everything can be prepared ahead except grilling the chicken and
dressing the salad.

The Junior League of Denver cookbooks are the best, I have several and have tried
 many of the recipes over the years, some of my favorites are included in my menu:


Grilled Sesame Chicken
 Spinach and Berries Salad with Dill
 (shown on the cover above, recipe here)
Cold Sesame Asparagus
Key Lime Pie

 My simple Bruschetta recipe & Key Lime Pie  I shared here.

I use boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

I know it sounds like I'm gong overboard with the 'sesame,' but the asparagus
doesn't have sesame seeds and has a much different flavor than the chicken.
They compliment each other nicely.

Sesame grilled chicken
photo courtesy of
Sesame Asparagus Recipe

Cold Sesame Asparagus

2 lbs. fresh asparagus
1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1/2 t. salt
1Tbsp. sesame oil

Blanch asparagus in boiling water about 1 minute. Drain, immerse in ice water.
Drain again and pat dry. In large bowl combine soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, salt and
sesame oil. No more than 1 hour before serving add asparagus to soy sauce
mixture and toss. Chill at least 30 minutes.

As always, simple and easy to prepare dishes, so you don't miss out on the party!

Hope your weekend includes some al fresco dining...
be it dinner with friends, a casual picnic, or a hot dog at the ball park!


Anonymous said...

I always aim to make dishes where much can be prepared in advance. There is nothing worse than sitting there alone while your host and hostess disappear for ages.
This sounds like a perfect menu. I hope you have a lovely time.

Ispirato Design said...

Perfect summer menu! So weird- I've been trying to think of the name of that Lime juice- I first saw it about twenty years ago in CA. I'll have to search online to see where I can buy it because I've had that pie recipe- it's awesome!

Lissa (Bellenza) said...

Your menu sounds so light, refreshing and healthy! Have a wonderful dinner!

Sew a Fine Seam said...

Yum! Wish I lived close enough to crash the party!!!

Julie Taylor and Danni Greenwalt said...

sounds so good. I will have to try it..

Lori said...

I too am a big fan of the CO Jr. League books and I've made the sesame chicken before- delicious. I want to try your asparagus. Have a wonderful time.

Leslie said...


Your dinner sounds perfect and it's fun to share recipes from our Jr. League cookbooks!

Have a nice weekend.


Dana Frieling said...

I'm looking forward to trying your asparagus recipe. Sounds delicious! Enjoy your weekend, friend.

Peggy said...

OH I love Creme de Colorado! I bought it way back in the day... when I still lived in Denver. I do miss the Junior League cookbooks and just might have to ask my cousin to keep an eye out for some used ones.

And isn't the grilled sesame chicken just wonderful?! In fact I do believe I am going to have to make it up some time when the the whole family will be here.

Thank you for sharing these recipes! Enjoy your lovely summer days! (i confess i am a little envious as i love colorado so much....and i miss being around family.)

Enjoy your company!!

Katie B. of said...

I love sesame so I don't think it's going overboard so much as going perfectly together!

Bethany [at] Powell Brower Home said...

Im back from the beach and ate carb overload, so this looks amazing, although I wouldn't trade my boardwalk fries and caramel popcorn for anything. This meal looks PERFECT! Happy weekend. xo

Holly Gruszka said...

I love sesame anything - and thanks for that sesame chicken recipe. I've never made that and would like to try it. Hope you had a great dinner party - actually I know you had a great dinner party!

thistlewoodfarm said...

You have inspired me today. Not with the asparagus ( know I can't cook) but with the alfresco dining. We need to eat out on the porch more!

Have a blessed and wonderful day!

Jennifer @ Dimples and Tangles said...

Now that I see you photo, I think I actually own that Creme de Colorado was a wedding gift almost 20 years ago! I'll have to dig that one out, this looks delicious! Would you believe I've never ever made asparagus?

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