May Flowers



My family and I had a dinner party this past weekend to celebrate Mother's Day. I picked up a centerpiece from Carither's Flowers. I love how this arrangement turned out, it reminds me of an English countryside garden. We kept the rest of the dinner simple with a pearl barley salad, grilled chicken, and a no-cooking-required dessert. Most of the dinner prep I did ahead of time, leaving very few last-minute details for Sunday.



 

Schedule:


Day Before...

  1. Grocery shop.

  2. Iron linens.

  3. Set the table.

  4. Pick up flowers.

  5. Marinate chicken.

Day Of...

  1. Make farro salad.

  2. Scoop ice cream into glasses and freeze until ready for dessert.

  3. Grill chicken.

  4. Serve dinner.

 


I am obsessed with Ina Garten's farro salad. Packed with fresh herbs, radishes, tomatoes, pistachios, and parmesan cheese, this makes a satisfying side. I like to add roasted chicken for a hearty lunch. This was perfect to enjoy on our screen porch. I didn't have any farro so I substituted equal parts pearl barley. Arugula and a lemon vinaigrette adds a bright and zesty flavor.


Get the Recipe: Barefoot Contessa's Charlie Bird's Farro Salad



This salad would be great to serve for a graduation party. You could make a big batch of it ahead to feed a crowd.



I previously shared the Charleston chicken recipe for Labor Day (see that post here). This marinade is a staple in our house. The chicken is best if you marinate it overnight. Usually my dad grills everything, but I tried my hand at grilling the chicken. There's room for improvement but it was surprisingly easy.


 

Charleston Chicken Marinade

From Courtney Dial Whitmore's The Southern Entertainer's Cookbook

For 3 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts


Serves 5-6


2 cups pineapple juice

1 cup dry sherry

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

4 garlic cloves, minced


Combine all ingredients in a measuring cup and whisk. Add chicken breast to a zip-loc bag, pour over marinade, and refrigerate overnight, flipping once.


Printable Version

 


For a no-cooking-required dessert, serve vanilla ice cream with ice-cold limoncello. Scoop the ice cream before dinner and keep in the freezer until ready to serve. Drizzle the limoncello over the ice cream and garnish with biscotti.


Atlanta Hot Tip: I picked up some baicoli Venetian biscuits from Pala Bakery in Buckhead. They are thin and satisfying - absolutely addictive. If you can't find baicoli, substitute biscotti.



 


Get the Look:


Y'all probably realize by now how much I love eating on our screen porch. The weather in Atlanta has been unseasonably hot; perfect for an alfresco dinner (with the ceiling fans going, of course). Since the Carither's arrangement is so colorful, I kept the rest of the table simple with a woven table runner, light pink napkins (yes, I think of pink as a neutral), French wine glasses, and white dishes.


 

Thanks for reading! And happy belated Mother's Day to all the moms out there.


- Sam

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