Log in

Top Stories        News         Sports

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

061823 food column

Bite by Bite
Conquering My Culinary Bucket List One Dish at a Time
By Emily Banks Wooten

As yesterday was Father’s Day, it seemed the perfect time to tell you all about the sweetest little baby shower we recently attended. My oldest nephew, Evan, and his wife, Kodi, are expecting a new son around early July. This will be son number three and his name will be Crew. He will join brothers Conley and Cannon.

Angela, Kodi’s colleague, and James, my middle nephew, threw the shower and let me just say they pulled out all the stops. It was a co-ed, family-oriented affair and there was so much attention to detail. The decorations were beautiful and the food was amazing. There were some fun, and unique, party games. But one of the show-stoppers were the original and well-thought-out party favors for the guests.

The first thing guests saw as they entered was a gorgeous and colorful charcuterie board on the coffee table, followed by an area of the living room that had been curated to create the perfect spot to take photos.

The table of food was a captivating sight to behold. It was a beautiful array of both sweet and savory, all laid out and displayed on wooden serving pieces, creating a rustic farmhouse vibe. There were doughnuts topped with blue icing, beautiful fruit pastries, a platter of fresh fruit and a regal, towering six-layer vanilla cake with a buttercream and cream cheese frosting. (While it may look like a three-layer cake in the photo, I know for a fact it was six layers because I was given the task, er honor, of cutting it. Yikes!)

And for the savory lovers like myself, there was a veggie platter with spinach dip and hummus along with several other dips, macaroni salad, melted ham and cheese sliders, chicken salad sandwiches on croissant rolls and two of the very best pasta salads I’ve ever put in my mouth. Unfortunately, I failed to get photos of the pasta salads but Angela graciously shared the recipes with me and I’m sharing them with you today. (You can thank me later.) Topping it off was a drink station with no less than six different fresh fruit juices, in addition to tea and water.

I mentioned earlier that we played a couple of baby shower party games. In the first, a skein of yarn and a pair of scissors were passed around the room and everyone was tasked with cutting a piece of yarn they thought may be commensurate with the circumference of the mother-to-be’s belly. I had played that same game at a baby shower many years ago in which a roll of toilet paper was used instead of the yarn.

The other party game, which I’d never heard of before, was a scream. Four different disposable diapers containing melted candy bars were passed around individually and we had to attempt to guess the identity of the candy bar. Needless to say, this game elicited lots of laughter as well as a few gasps as we passed around the warm diapers. I think the best anyone did was correctly guess two of them. As it turned out, one was a Snickers bar, one was a Baby Ruth bar, one was a Turtles bar and the other was a Hershey bar with almonds. I’m pretty confident that if I were in a blind taste test I would be able to correctly identify a Snickers and a Baby Ruth. However, melted in a diaper proved considerably more challenging.

As the guests began to leave following the happy and fun event, everyone was instructed to take one of each of the party favors. On top of a console table near the door were three beautiful and clever displays. The first was a variety of little six-inch-tall succulents wrapped in burlap and tied with twine. Stuck in each one was a little wooden baby onesie that said, “Watch me grow - Baby Banks - July 2023.” The second was a basket filled with individually wrapped bags of blue and white popcorn – coconut and regularly lightly salted – with little tags that said, “Thanks for poppin’ by! Crew’s Baby Shower 2023.” The third was a selection of little terra cotta flower pots with plantable seeds inside and a little tag that said, “Baby Crew is about to bloom.”

The shower was all so sweet and meaningful. And it was very apparent by all the effort that went into it, as well as the large turnout of friends and family, that Evan, Kodi and Baby Crew are very much loved. So here’s wishing a very Happy Father’s Day to Evan and all of the fathers out there – new fathers, seasoned fathers and those fathers no longer with us earthly, yet very much still in our hearts.

Italian Pasta Salad
By Angela Garza

In a large mixing bowl combine the following ingredients: 
—1 16-oz. box cooked veggie rotini
—1 8-oz. sharp cheddar, cut into cubes
—1 8-oz. colby jack, cut into cubes
—1 8-oz. pepper jack, cut into cubes
—1 red bell pepper, chopped
—1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
—1 orange bell pepper, chopped 
—½ cup chopped red onion
—10 oz. hard salami, sliced ¼-inch thick, then chopped
—10 oz. pepperoni, sliced ¼-inch thick, then chopped
—8 oz. Kraft light zesty Italian dressing

•Mix together, cover, refrigerate for one hour and serve. 

Greek Cucumber Salad
By Angela Garza

In a large mixing bowl combine the following ingredients: 
—2 tablespoons olive oil
—1 tablespoon lemon juice
—1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
—Garlic salt, to taste 
—1 English cucumber, quartered and thinly sliced
—½ medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
—⅓ cup pitted Kalamata olive, cut in half
—⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
—½ cup cooked veggie garden delight pasta

•Mix together, cover, refrigerate for 1 hour and serve. 

Say something here...
symbols left.
You are a guest
or post as a guest
Loading comment... The comment will be refreshed after 00:00.

Be the first to comment.