Sunday Super...Raisin and Pine Nut Chicken Salad...and a Splendid Avenue Giveaway

We just love holiday weekends...and have enjoyed playing at the lake for the last time for a while for the past few days...

Two of our really good friends Monika, of Splendid Willow and Ewa, author of Delishhh...

have teamed up and created the most amazing online store...Splendid Avenue...

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This is just a tiny sampling of offerings from their store...

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Both girls are from Sweden and have a fresh clean perspective on everything they touch...from the kitchen to the living room...and beyond...Their design and fashion sense is undeniably chic...and Ewa's recipes are always both healthy and delicious...

We are eating everything but the kitchen sink at the lake this weekend...but you must try this wonderful Raisin and Pine Nut Chicken Salad recipe that Ewa adapted from a recipe she found on Smitten Kitchen...

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Raisin and Pine nut Chicken Salad

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

4 cups cubed (1/2 inch) cooked chicken (about 1 3/4 lb)

1 cup pine nuts

1 celery rib, diced into small bits (1 cup)

2 or more tablespoons finely chopped shallot

1 cup dried golden raisins

2/3 to 3/4 cup mayonnaise

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons tarragon or any herb of your choice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl until combined well. You can add it to your sandwich, serve it on cracker on put it on top of some lettuce.

If you are like us and love to grow herbs...you have a lot of basil right now. I'm going to turn it into fresh pesto and freeze it to enjoy this winter...Ewa's recipe oh so easy...

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Basil Pesto Ingredients

2 cups fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup pine nuts

3 medium sized garlic cloves

Salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

Using a food processor combine the basil and the pine nuts. Then add the garlic and then slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream into the mixture. After that add the cheese and then the salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with pasta.

Makes 1 cup.

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Monika and Ewa are celebrating the one year anniversary of their store Splendid Avenue with a fabulous giveaway and a 20 per cent discount off of everything in the store from now through September 6th...

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Click here to visit the shop and enter to win this beautiful silver heart necklace...

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Blog friends are some of the best...supporting each other through our individual endeavors is part of what forges deep relationships...we are honored to spread the word for these dear friends...please pop over to visit their site...you will be so glad that you did.

Hey...it's Sunday and it's casual and the table is all set...

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It's your turn. Let's talk!

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Stylish Summer Entertaining.. Be Creative But Keep It Simple!

Our friend Yvonne with Stone Gable is hosting a link party, ... On The Menu Monday.  Bloggers from all over the country will link up and share menus, party tips and entertaining ideas...anything menu related.  We decided to join in on the fun...

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We're sharing tips and recipes for Stylish Summer Entertaining ...

Entertaining is made simpler this time of year because beautiful fresh flowers and plants are just outside the door...

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Clip sprigs of lavender for glasses filled with ice water or fresh lemonade ...

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Fresh mint for flavorful iced tea.

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Fresh herbs for recipes and garnish...

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Fresh cut hydrangeas make a simple but beautiful centerpiece...

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Love beautiful white dishes.  I have two different patterns... perfectly plain for  every day and casual entertaining...

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As well as dressier scalloped edge plates from Anthropology...

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Plain or fancy...it makes no difference.  The real wow is in simple details that make a big impact...

It may be a pretty cloth or candles...

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 A pair of runners across the table rather than a single placed the length of the table...These are just flour sack towels...but fabulous!

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Add collections to your table...these blue and white vases filled with tulips are stunning...

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How about clear jars lining the table with just single blooms from your garden?...

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How about a single line of lanterns?...

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This is fabulous due to repetition of the same yellow flower...From centerpiece to beverage to salad...

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Add pots of herbs, bulbs or succulents from your patio...

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Does it get any simpler than this?...yet, how beautiful?

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You're getting it ...

1.Take your queues from nature and create center pieces and garnish for your dishes from your own back yard...

2.Begin with a basic, like plain white dishes and add fun splashes of color or a particular theme with collected colorful plates, personal collections and even vintage finds...

3.An assortment of beautiful napkins is always great to have on hand , but you can never go wrong with a classic white linen...

Now For The Food...

I have to tell you that I'd much rather set the stage than prepare the food. It's hot outside so we'll keep it light and simple...

A simple Summer dinner for a few close friends...

Beverages:

Watermelon  Cooler

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Click here for the recipe...

Appetizer:

Assorted cheeses, crackers and fruit...

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For The Salad...

Vertical Pear Salad

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For the recipe click here...

You will not believe how easy this is...impressive looking , huh?

The Entree:

Grilled Balsamic-Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin

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Click here for the recipe...

Pennette w/ Zucchini, Ricotta, Salata and Fresh Herbs

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For the recipe click here..

and finally dessert...

Chocolate Decadent Brownies

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For the recipe click here...

There are sooo many fabulous ideas out there.  The possibilities are endless.  We'd love to hear some of your entertaining tips and favorite recipes...

It's your turn.  Let's talk.

A big thank-you to Yvonne at Stone Gable for inviting us to participate. Click here to hop on over and have your mind blown away by all the creativity and talent the blog world has to offer on Menu planning and entertaining.

Image Credits 1)Belgian Pearls2)Tumblr3)Cote de Texas4)Dcor de Provence5)Veranda6)Pinterest7)Cote Sud8)Unknown9)House Beautiful10)Griege11)All other images via Providence ltd. Design and Pinterest.