Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nothing to BAWK at

This past weekend we headed down to Iowa for Mike's mom's birthday bash.  It was a big one (though I'm not allowed to say which one it was) so we all wanted to try and make it special.  Kay has been feeling under the weather lately so we were hoping to make it special, but not something she had to leave the house for.

One night as we were going to sleep Mike joked, "You know, we had chicken for dinner just about every other night growing up.  I think her party should have a chicken theme and we should serve all chicken meals." 

As dorky as I am I sat up in bed and said, "I have THE BEST stamp set to make invites with!"

So, he called his brother the next day and we were off to the races with our "Chicken Themed" birthday.

First the invites went out:

Then there was a lot of planning phone calls back and forth to figure out menus and last minute decorating ideas.

The big day arrived and we all got to work.  Pat and Missy cooked up their meals in the comfort of their own home.  Mike and I had to "borrow" Kay's kitchen.  I'm not sure who was more frustrated with this set-up - Mike who felt like he was being micromanaged by his mom or Kay who was nervous we were going to burn down her kitchen.  Pat stood on the sidelines laughing at it all.  Missy had wisely bravely taken the kids to Chuck E. Cheese. 

When the kids got back, Amanda (our niece) and I got to work decorating the eating area.  This is my favorite part! 

See that tin can?  Here's the scoop: I had saved five small cans, but served chili to my family one night for the express purpose of getting a LARGE can of tomato juice to use the can for a centerpiece.  I washed it out, peeled off the paper and set them all in the garage.  I found them in the recycling bin two days later, took them out again and found them in the recycling bin the next day.  I took them out again and set them further aside.  The next day I found the big one...FILLED WITH GREASE...from the previous night's dinner.  Hence - no large tin for a centerpiece.

Can I just say how hard it is to find chicken decorations?  Darn near impossible.  Turkeys are everywhere this time of year, but not a single chicken.

I finally found the perfect vintage chicken on the internet.  The rest of the theme was more "farm" than "chicken" but it worked great because the food definitely covered the chicken angle.

And can I just say - that bowl above with the crackers?  The yellow one?  I asked Mike to get a bowl and he rummaged through his mom's stuff and came out with this.  He found a yellow one on purpose!  Is he a fast learner or what?!

I had mentioned to Missy that I thought it would be fun to have mason jars to drink out of.  She found these at their dollar store.  They were perfect!  I will be picking up a set of my own when we are down there next time!

We had 16 people at our party.  We invited Kay's sisters (and their husbands) and a very close friend of hers.  The menu consisted of Chicken Wild Rice Soup, Cranberry Chicken and Chicken in the Woods (and I apologize to Pat and Missy if I got that title wrong).  There were a couple sides and some biscuits from Missy's friend which were delicious!!

Dessert was cupcakes.  I owe this find to my sister - she forwarded this idea to me after I asked for any good party ideas on "chickens".

It was a tight sqeeze to get 16 people in this area, but it was all worth it to be able to be together to celebrate this special occasion. 

And because I've told about five people how much Maddie loved this soup - here's the recipe:

Crockpot Wild Rice Soup:

1 cup uncooked wild rice.  3 cups chicken broth.  Simmer 20 minutes.

In crockpot mix: 
2 cans cream of potato soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 quart half & half
1 cup chicken broth

Add wild rice.

2 cups cubed ham
5 slices bacon fried & crumbled
2 cups cubed chicken/turkey
Mushrooms with liquid.

Heat on low!

Note:  We didn't have a big enough crock pot so we cooked it on the stove and it worked great.  Just make sure to stir it every once in awhile so things don't get stuck to the bottom.  From the "optional" menu we added chicken (duh), bacon and mushrooms (we used an 8 oz can).

1 comment:

Missy said...

Thanks for the great party. We enjoyed making the chicken recipes. Loved visiting with everyone. I enjoyed taking the kids to chuck-e-cheese they had a ball. Can't wait to see you all again.