With warmer temperatures and longer days come many more opportunities for gathering and entertaining with company of all kinds! From friends, to family, to the employee get-together, chances are good you will be in the position to prepare some tasty vitals for others. Don't stress to impress when the time comes, as our Vintage Nest team took it upon ourselves to try out some innovative ways to use our in-store food products to create a light springtime food arrangement that is perfect for all occasions from picnics to brunch with the in-laws. Best yet, our selection errs on the side of easy to prepare, so these dishes will allow you plenty of time to prepare in other ways...like picking the perfect outfit or... cleaning the guest bathrooms! Who knows, we are sure you will find else to spend your time on. That said, read on to learn how to craft a delicious "Country Club Chicken Salad", award-winning tasting Bruschetta, and Asparagus that is kid-certified, "as good as pizza!"
I . "Country Club Chicken Salad"
Okay, so to begin, we are going to tackle the more involved part first, so we will start preparing our Country Club Chicken Salad first! We are using a recipe from Wind & Willow (check out their website for more great tips on how to use their products to prepare tasty dishes!) that uses their BLT Cheeseball & Appetizer mix as the primary seasoning for some pretty awesome chicken salad.
Step 1: So, step one, grab you a packet of "The BLT" mix by Wind & Willow from the speciality food section of our shop! (Note: this mix is NOT Gluten-Free, we will feature some Celiac-friendly food spreads later on in our blog <3!!!)
Step 2: Cook one whole roasted chicken. I roasted Chicken Breasts with Rib Meat for my recipe, and this was a perfectly fine substitute as well. You will need approx. 5 Chicken Breasts if you want to go this route. I also roasted my chicken using my Ninja Foodie AirFryer & Grill, which perfectly roasts Chicken in about 15 minutes~ LOVE IT!!!
3.) Step 3: Cut Chicken into small cubes or shred the chicken and place in a separate bowl. We like more "Artisanal- style" Chicken Salad in my house, so I went with a roughly chopped cubes on my end when preparing.
4.) Step 4: In a separate bowl, combine 1 cup mayonnaise (I used Duke's Mayo from Aldi's) with Wind & Willow Cheeseball & App Mix. Fold mayo mixture and 1/2 of the W&W topping mix (you will use the rest of the topping mix later!) into the Chicken, ensuring an even coating on all pieces.
5.) Step 5: Chop approximately 30 red or green grapes (more or less if you please) in half and fold into the Chicken and mayo mixture.
6.) Step 6: Chop 1/2 cup walnuts (or buy pre-chopped like I did!) and fold into the burgeoning Chicken Salad mixture. (*** You can also in 2 sliced or diced celery stalks, however, in my house, we skipped this step since the kiddos despise celery!!!)
7.) Step 7: Sprinkle the rest of the BLT Topping Mix over your Chicken Salad, and refrigerate until you are ready to serve and enjoy!!! This Chicken Salad pairs great served with Croissants or the toasted bread of your choice.
***Pro Tip: This recipe works great with other Wind & Willow Cheeseball & App mixes! Flavor pairings that mesh well with this recipe include: Tuscan Olive; and the Cheesy Bacon Dip Mix (mmm...yesss... the bacon flavor is my favorite part of the BLT mix!!!)
I vividly remember eating fresh, sun-warmed tomatoes out of my garden when I was a child. Something about remembering the juicy goodness running down my face and nourishing my tummy still brings a smile to my face some twenty-five years later. This recipe is perfect for people who want to recreate moments like this around their porch or kitchen table, but that don't have a lot of time to do so!
Step 1: We are keeping this real simple for you...Select the Bruschetta mix by Wind & Willow from our Speciality Food Section!
Step 2: Select approximately 4 ripe tomatoes. I think the recipe calls for about a pound of tomatoes specifically, but I couldn't find my kitchen scale, so I used 4 medium-size beefsteak tomatoes and it turned out great!
Step 3: Dice your tomatoes into even cubes. I like to dice the tomatoes pretty finely for Bruschetta, but make sure to use ripe and good quality tomatoes, otherwise you will get more of a tomato mush!
Step 4: Add the Wind & Willow Bruschetta mix to the tomatoes and fold together.
Step 5: Serve or pack up and refrigerate to take to your next outdoor event! We brought ours to our daughter's track meet, and it was a sure crowd-pleaser!!!
*** Pro Tip: Serve with toasted Crostini's or pita points for a stellar pairing!
III: Citrus Pepper Roasted Asparagus:
Step 1: Pick out the Urban Accents (by Stonewall Kitchen) Citrus Pepper Veggie Roaster from our Speciality Food Section.
Step 2: Buy the amount of fresh Asparagus that you need for entertaining! I cooked about 1.5 lbs for my family dinner the other night, which served the six of us pretty easily. Also, note, that when picking out Asparagus, it is best to go with the more slender options, preferably with a nice snap/crispness to the stalks.
Step 3: Prep the Asparagus prior to cooking. This means cut off the ends of the Asparagus and pour 1.) 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 2.) 1 Tablespoon Melted Butter over your Asparagus in a bowl.
Step 4: Season the Asparagus with the appropriate amount of Citrus-Pepper Veggie Seasoning. The instructions recommend using 1 packet of seasoning per 1 lb. of Asparagus.
Step 5: Roast Asparagus on 400 degrees for approximately 25 minutes. (Cooking time may vary slightly based on your oven and/or crispness preference for vegetables.)
Lastly, Please eat and enjoy!!! Share! And entertain more often!
We hope these recipes help you create the perfect Springtime speciality food spread to enjoy with all those in your world. Please don't forget to comment below to share your experiences, feedback, or personal tips and tricks for improving and building upon these ideas! We can't wait to hear from you soon and wish you all the best until next-time!
With love and much appreciation,
The Vintage Nest