Grilled Chicken Salad Bar for a Ladies Lunch

I co-hosted a lunch meeting for a group of twenty women at my son’s school this week.  My cohort and I decided to present a Grilled Chicken Salad Bar and it was a big hit.  Plus, assembling the whole meal was relatively easy and didn’t require a great deal of prep time.  We did it all from baking to location set-up in just a few hours the morning before the lunch.  Be sure to feature at least one really special salad dressing.  Our star was the Braswell’s.  We coordinated the tablecloths, serving dishes and flowers for a simple seasonal presentation.  Next time you have to host a lunch for the gals, give this menu a whirl!

Here’s the plan
-Fill two big salad bowls with mixed greens (include some spinach and purple lettuce)
-Marinate, grill and slice boneless chicken breasts; keep warm on a covered platter on the “salad bar”
-Set out bowls of all your favorite toppings with spoons.  We served candied walnuts, sliced strawberries, dried cranberries, feta cheese crumbles, gorgonzola cheese crumbles, and diced red onion.  You could also add apples and croutons.
-Braswell’s Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing, Olde Cape Cod Wasabi Soy & Ginger dressing, Wishbone Light Balsamic Vinaigrette
-Gourmet Crackers
-Pasta Salad
-Extra fruit (we had a plate of grapes)
-Homemade Pound Cake

Here’s the Pound Cake Recipe

heavenly pound cakeHeavenly Pound Cake
3 cups sugar
2 sticks butter
5 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
½  tsp baking powder
8 oz sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp lemon extract
½ tsp dark rum or rum extract
Glaze (1/2  tsp lemon juice, 1/4 tsp. rum extract and enough powdered sugar to make a thick drizzling consistency)
Garnish:  Toasted sliced almonds, optional

Bring butter and eggs to room temperature (set out for 30 minutes).  Cream together butter and sugar.  Add eggs one at a time.  In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking powder.  Add to the batter mixture, alternating with sour cream, starting and ending with flour.  Don’t overbeat.  Stir in vanilla, almond, lemon and rum.  Pour into prepared Bundt pan and bake at 325 degrees 60-70 minutes or until center is done.    Cool 45 min.  in the pan on a wire rack.  Turn out onto cake plate.  Drizzle glaze over top of cake, letting it run down the inside and outside of Bundt shape.  Top with toasted almonds.

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