Tuesday, September 9, 2008

For the Love of Kylee

The daughter of a friend from church, Kylee's sweet spirit and pure heart have endeared her to the ladies in my dinner group. So in celebration of her 13th birthday, we planned a surprise party in her honor. I hope our evening of fun reminded Kylee how special she is to all of us. And even more, I hope it showed her she has a support group of women who will be there for her through her teenage years and beyond.

A pink and green color palette set a table that was festive, feminine and fresh.

Little touches brought this fun tablescape together. Decorator fabric cut with pinking shears made a lovely tablecloth. Name tags tied to the stems of our tea glasses served as place cards, but allowed us to take our drinks from the table without confusing glasses. And using preppy argyle-patterned paper and dotting our I's with hearts added youthful details. Pink and white balloons hung over the table and tied to Kylee's chair added punches of color. Lake photos of Kylee taken by my friend Allison and glued to card stock brightened each guest's place, while a keepsake party invitation on Kylee's plate let our honoree in on the surprise. Apples, candles and fabric-covered boxes added color to the table. And our showstopping centerpiece was Kylee's cake, a luscious strawberry cake covered in ruffles of buttercream icing ribbons and topped with green leaves, pink rosebuds and 13 peppermint striped candles.

The Menu
Apples and Caramel Dip
Creamy Onion and Pepper Dip with Tortilla Chips
Frozen Strawberry Salad
Poppy Seed Chicken Casserole
Green Beans
Mashed Potatoes
Pineapple au Gratin
Yeast Rolls
Strawberry Cake with Buttercream Icing
Strawberry Swirl Ice Cream

The Recipes
A few of you have requested the party recipes. I kept this party simple with easy appetizers and several make-ahead dishes. And Kylee's mom, Jamie, brought her famous mashed potatoes. You can find my frozen strawberry salad recipe in a previous post. I serve this refreshing salad often because I can make it days before the party, and it adds a sweet touch of pink to the table.

Here are the recipes for poppy seed chicken, pineapple au gratin and buttercream icing. Poppy seed chicken is a creamy chicken casserole. Some might find it bland, but it is the ultimate comfort food to me! Pineapple au gratin is a delicious accompaniment to nearly any meal. And it is quick to put together in a pinch. It took two recipes of the buttercream icing recipe below to complete Kylee's cake, but all those fluffy, feminine ruffles were definitely "the icing on the cake" for our meal -- a perfect southern celebration!

Poppy Seed Chicken
6-8 chicken breasts
2 cans cream of chicken soup
16 ounces sour cream
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 stick margarine or butter, melted
Boil chicken, and shred into bite-size pieces. Mix soup and sour cream, and stir in chicken. Spoon mixture into a greased 9" x 13" casserole dish. Sprinkle crushed crackers over the chicken mixture, then sprinkle poppy seeds over the top. Drizzle melted margarine over the top. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly. (This is a great make-ahead dish, and making it the night before enhances the flavor. In our area, many people serve poppy seed chicken over white rice.)

Pineapple Au Gratin
2 large cans pineapple tidbits in own juice, well drained
1 cup sugar
5 T. flour
1 ½ cups grated medium cheddar cheese
¾ cup crushed Ritz crackers
1 stick margarine, melted
Combine flour, sugar and pineapple. Pour into a greased baking dish (2 qt.). Sprinkle cheese on top, and cracker crumbs on top of cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Buttercream Icing
1 cup shortening
2 sticks margarine
3 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons clear imitation vanilla extract
2 lb. 10X confectioners sugar
With an electric mixer, cream shortening, margarine, milk and vanilla. Gradually beat in sugar until smooth.

Photos of Kylee by Allison Hilyer


Suzy said...

So girly, cute and fancy. Great job!


Kristi said...

What a special thing to do for her! This will be a birthday that she will never forget!

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

What a lovely table! Every little special touch looks so perfect! :)

Tina Foster said...

I remember when she was born!!!
What a VERY SPECIAL thing for you to do for her.
Being surrounded by "Good Companions" is so powerful in this day.

~Trish~ said...

SO awesome!! Sorry I missed your actual featured day but I am late coming over from SITS :)

Live.Love.Eat said...

STUNNING!!!!!!! I wish I was sitting at a table just like that!!!

Rachel said...

how beautiful! what a wonderful things to do for her :)

Laura said...

I am SOOOO jealous! I would have loved to gobble that food up!! What a GREAT party!

Melissa said...

Beautiful! What a lucky girl she is! I'm going to keep your ideas in mind for my daughter's next birthday.

Gramma 2 Many said...

What I would have given to have had a party like that when I was growing up. To know also that there were women who were there for me when I needed them. I do have a wonderful mother who did all she could for all of her children, but a network of loving ladies is beyond anything I could have wished for. Happy Birthday Kylee, you are one very blessed young lady.

Anonymous said...

This is not a "Little Loveliness", this is a "Lotta Loveliness". As for themed parties, you are a gal after my own heart. Give me a theme and I am off and running! What fun for you and Miss Kylee is one lucky lady. How nice of you to create such a wonderful memory for her.

Three plus Me said...

Sounds like a wonderful party and great memories for Kylee!

Crazy Momma said...

What a beautiful celebration for any woman...especially at such an awkward age like 13!

If you can plan these parties for all my children you can SO be in on the massage deal!! Do you travel to NH?

Thanks for showing the love today at my blog!

Felicia Eis said...

What a beautiful party! I had a party like that for my bridal shower and I know it is such a blessing to get love like that.

dddiva said...

I don't think my comment took this morning so I'll say it again just in case- you are amazing for having such a special party and making sure the honoree feels so special and that she has a place to turn as she grows. Bless you. :)

dddiva said...

Oh, any way I can get the poppyseed chicken casserole? It sounds like something all of the little diva's will enjoy.

Leah said...

This is beautiful! She so deserves this!! She was in diapers when I met them!

Karin @ 6ByHisDesign said...

Oh, Melissa! I can't even begin to put words into how pretty this is! And I have to ask if there are any recipes coming in future posts?!?! ... like EVERYthing!

Just gorgeous!

Megan said...

I meant to stop by yesterday, but I'm so glad that I waited until today! This party is so beautiful! I adore the way that you all loved on Kylee. Very beautiful. I am going to do this for someone someday. Thanks for encouraging me by your example!

Anonymous said...

The place setting and cake are just gorgeous! What a beautiful way to show your love and support of this teenager :]

Cracker Scraps said...

What a great party and such a special surpirse for Kylee!

Priscila said...

what a beautiful table! Sooooo chic! Im sure she enjoyed it!
thanks for sharing it!
please check out my blog at http://casabellachic.blogspot.com/

Leigh said...

For goodness sake!! You are so cute!!! And so good with everything!!! I need your wonderful creative ideas for scrapbooking! My boyfriends mom is trying to get me into it and I just dont feel I am that creative!! But you definitely are!!! =)

Seven Sanchez said...

I just joined your Blog..I was #700! Thanks for sharing such wonderful ideas! I was looking for ideas for our Annual Daddy-Daughter Luncheon ...I love this tea party idea! I will use it at our church to serve 240 guests! Thanks again :)

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Dixie n Dottie said...

This is divine! Great job! I love it!

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