Lakeside Spring Picnic and Recipe for Chicken and Cucumber Salad

Yesterday it was such beautiful day here in Texas, I started day dreaming of picnic’s! Picnics with ruffly edged napkins, table linens, quaint dishes, and (usually my last consideration when “dreaming up” picnics) what picnic food to fix. With my daydream in mind, I went inside and opened our linen cabinet that’s filled with all kinds of vintage “lovely’s.”

My dear followers, I can never thank you enough for all your prayers, “get well” wishes, and notes you’ve written to me during these last 2 1/2 months. Knowing you cared meant so much to me. We have certainly felt the Lord’s Presence and seen His Intervention again and again since I first went into the hospital. Thank you so much for brightening my days.

❤ Trenda

I am slowly getting better though, frustratingly, it doesn’t take very much effort to exhaust me. I’m supposed to spend as much time as possible outside, and yesterday it was such beautiful day here in Texas, I started day dreaming of picnic’s! Picnics with ruffly edged napkins, table linens, quaint dishes, and (usually my last consideration when “dreaming up” picnics) what picnic food to fix. With my daydream in mind, I went inside to see what I could find in our linen cabinet that’s filled with all kinds of vintage “lovely’s.”

… and chose these White Battenberg napkins edged with scallops of lace and a bright green and white gingham runner trimmed with cheery orange stitches.

After picking out the napkins and table runner I wanted to use, I went to our corner hutch in the kitchen downstairs and started picking out dishes and deciding what picnic food to serve on each.

I pulled out 2 soda fountain glasses from the bottom cabinets and thought how cute they would look filled with something other than the usual ice cream! With my mind whirling with that bit of whimsy, the rest of the menu came easy and I selected my dishes … a darling egg plate, some green and white salad plates to match the table runner, a dark green bowl with lines etched into the glass to look like lettuce leaves, a banana split tray (helping to carry out the soda fountain theme!) and a quart-sized Mason jar my mother gave to me.

I quickly chopped cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and chicken and tossed in some other yummy ingredients for an easy “main course” salad (recipe below) then dipped the rims of the soda glasses in lemon juice and dusted the edges with paprika. I added “scoops” of chicken salad to the soda fountain glasses and topped it all off with a final touch … celery “straws.”(;

Since there were only 2 of us, I put the extra chicken salad into the green bowl with etched leaves.

Then I deviled some eggs to place in this sweet hen “egg tray.”

Crystal tumblers filled with ice … and Lemonade Tea, made in my mother’s Mason jar beckoned us to “come sit” and Toasted Parmesan and Cheddar Toasted Crostini are stacked appealingly in an antique, scalloped edged, banana split tray.

Green and White “Old Curiosity Shop” salad plates by Royal (USA)

Chicken & Cucumber Salad

~ recipe by Trenda at Cottage Green on the Lake

  1. 1 – 12.5 oz can Chicken Breast (drained)
  2. 1 English cucumber (English cucumbers are the extra long cucumbers; they are milder in taste and have fewer seeds than their American cousin’s! (:
  3. Cherry tomatoes (I used 14 tomatoes)
  4. 1/2 cup Ranch Dressing (I use Ken’s Steak House Ranch)
  5. 1/3 cup roasted and salted sunflower kernels
  6. black pepper – to taste
  7. 1/2 cup French’s Crispy Fried Onions (added, right before serving to remain crispy)

Instructions:

Wash, peel, and slice cucumber lengthwise to form “half round” slices. Place all sliced cucumber into a medium sized bowl. Halve cherry tomatoes (add tomatoes according to your own taste and preference; I prefer fewer tomatoes than cucumbers in my salad and I used 14 cherry tomatoes) Add drained chicken to the cucumber and tomato mixture and using a fork, separate the chicken into bite sized pieces. To the mixture, add 1/2 cup Ranch dressing, 1/3 cup sunflower kernels, and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving, add 1/2 cup of French’s Crispy Fried Onions, stir into salad and serve.

Lakeside picnic on a beautiful spring day at Cottage Green.

After Richard and I were “done” with our picnic I was “done in” (: and just sat outside the rest of the afternoon until the sun went down.

Now, I want to share one more thing with you that I hope and pray will help you during these troubling times. A dear friend sent me this little tin sign after I got out of the hospital and I kept it right where I could see it during those first scary weeks after I got home. I would look at the scripture inscribed on this sign and read over and over … “She confidently trusts the Lord to take care of her.” Psalms 112:7 Hmmm … “She confidently trusts!” So instead of worrying each day I decided I needed to confidently trust and be secure in the knowledge that the Lord WOULD take care of me. Daily I prayed, “Lord, help me to truly embody that verse and be confident that YOU will take care of me. Thank you for Your Word that promises that security and blessed assurance. Thank you Jesus, for loving me and thank you for being my Savior and my Friend.” The “New International Version” of the Bible and translation of that same verse is an anchor we can hold on to in “these days” we are living through and to remember in the coming weeks … “They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Psalms 112:7 I am praying this verse for each of you during this time. “Have no fear of bad news … be steadfast … trust the Lord to take care of you. ❤ If you long for that security and relationship with the Lord where you can trust that He will take care of you, no matter what the circumstances, please go to the top of my blog on the right side titled ABOUT ME … and click on My Faith in Jesus Christ. It’s as easy as saying A-B-C and it will change your life and your eternal life forever! The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 If you have any questions or you would like me to pray with you, please don’t hesitate to write me and ask. I’ve already prayed for everyone that reads this blog and the Lord already knows your name. ❤

From my cottage to yours ~ Trenda

Thank you for reading my blog! ❤ Join me on Pinterest at Trenda@cottagegreenonthelake

“To Market, to Market” and Garden Tablescape …….. by Trenda

In the summer, I love to go to our Farmer’s Market, appropriately and cutely named … “Sugar Acres” … to buy fresh vegetables and fruit. Once home, I rinse and pile all of our fresh produce in a vegetable tray and create a “still life” over the kitchen sink. Look how beautiful this is!  I can’t help but marvel at God’s artistry every time I look at soft, fuzzy peaches colored in golden yellow and ruby red and never get over the delight of discovering the meticulous rows of sunny kernels carefully packaged inside the outer husk of corn and tucked beneath the protective silk.  There’s a sermon to be found in that sentence! (;

final.pngI keep a little book of the precious, witty, funny things our grandchildren say and call them “Sabrina-ism’s” and “Preston-ism’s.”  Here is a cute “Sabrina-ism” she said on our way to the Farmer’s Market … I was brushing Sabrina’s hair (something else I love to do!) and told her we were getting ready to go to the store.  She sweetly asked, “which store, Grandma?”  I told her, “well, you and Grandma are going to the Farmer’s Market and PawPaw is going to the hardware store.”  Sabrina is well-familiar with and likes going to “The Farmer’s Market” but she had never heard that “other store” mentioned before and asked … “what’s that store, Grandma?”  I explained that it was a store where PawPaw buys hammers and things that he needs to work with on the house.  Later, when we were on our way into town, she happily said, “PawPaw … Grandma and I are going to go to the Farmer’s Market while you go to the “hard work” store! (: 

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 Just 2 weeks ago, we went to Alabama and on our way home we stopped to visit with some dear friends in Mississippi.  After a delightful evening together, we hugged goodbye and they sent us on our way with our trunk loaded with garden goodness … 12 garden fresh tomatoes, at least 3 lbs. of just plucked Rattlesnake snap beans, a huge jar of canned bread and butter pickles, and a jar of homemade salsa … Christmas in July!  Their generosity and my expeditions to the Farmer’s Market were the inspiration for my whimsical garden tablescape befitting summer meals and ingredients from the garden (or from your friend’s garden!) … meals of  crook-neck squash, fresh corn on the cob, broccoli and tomato salads, snap beans with new potatoes and desserts of peach cobbler.

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Since my “theme” was garden-centered, I covered our table with a garden fresh tablecloth covered with pictures of seed packets.  Then I “gathered” a collection of garden books and cookbooks by Mary Englebreit featuring outdoor meals and home cooking and stacked them and uses them as a pedestal for my trio of “canning jar” tealights.

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A ceramic “bunch of carrots” makes a charming caddy for “carrot cutlery” (click here to see “Carrot Cutlery” also used for Easter) and a little terra cotta planter covered with chicken wire (a new “favorite”) holds darling rustic shovel and rakes and is a cute addition to my garden themed centerpiece .

tablescape and backyard

Fiesta plates in bright colors match the seed packets on the tablecloth and “an extra” bandanna napkin (more substantial for covering laps and needed for corn on the cob and buttery fingers!) is slipped into a wooden napkin ring, along with a miniature garden tool and a set of corn skewers and is placed atop each place setting.

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Purple, orange, green, and yellow … “la fiesta!”

fiestaware collage

I love antique dishes and love collecting beautiful antique salt cellars. (click here to see other salt cellars in my collection) I was delighted when I found these unique salt cellars (one is a duo, the other is a triplet) at an antique shop.
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Antique salt cellars with tiny silver spoons are set between plates and are perfect for sprinkling salt liberally on corn on the cob.

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Now, the table is set … time to start cooking!  Hope your days are filled with the beauty and bounty of summer!

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From my cottage to yours  ~  Trenda

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