One of our good friend’s daughter is getting married and I along with 4 others are throwing her a bridal shower!  Even though it’s not TAILGATING, I thought I’d share with you our plans.  It’s a bit unusual or at least a bit non-traditional in some ways, but in other areas it’s similar.
Here’s a pic of the bride to be and her fiancé:
We have around 35 women joining us for a Sunday shower.  Here’s what we’re serving up:






So we’ve got a few surprises up our sleeves!  Instead of the usual silly bride games where everyone sits around awkwardly (while checking their watches) participating, we are giving people the option of A) Writing down “wishes” for Millicent and Nick’s happy marriage and B) Writing down a funny “Mad Lib” suggestion of their wedding vows.  See below:
Also, instead of the traditional shower where ladies arrive and then park in a seat for hours watching the bride slowly open 40 gifts while all “ooh and aah,” we’re mixing it up.  Our shower is a “Come and Go” or a “Drop in” shower.  That means that during the 2 hour window our guests can come at any time during that period to drop in and visit with Millicent and give her a present and enjoy some great food and a drink.  Then they can stay as long as they like or they can leave.  No pressure or time to get bored! (I wish this concept was in place when I was given bridal and baby showers!!!)

We’re doing a “rustic” theme with all natural flowers, decor, and colors.  Think white hydrangeas and begonias, lanterns, burlap, all in white and natural tones.


(Adapted from divadicucina)
Photo Credit: divadicucina
I’m doubling the recipe for this shower, and I’ll be serving the chicken salad on mini croissants.
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 c mayonnaise (Hellman’s of course)
2 tsp lemon juice
1 sweet onion (preferably Vidalia), finely chopped
2 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
1-2 TBSP pickle relish (optional)
1 tsp salt

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Place chicken breasts in large pot and cover with water or chicken broth.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Set a timer for 35 minutes.  Bring to a boil; then reduce heat to a simmer.  Total cook time ~ 35 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and cool. Place chicken in a food processor and pulse until desired shredding size (I like mine really shredded, but you can also chop the chicken into cubes, if preferred.).

In a large bowl mix together the celery, mayonnaise, lemon juice, onion, parsley, relish (if using) and salt and pepper.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Add the chicken to the dressing, and stir to coat.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve plated as a salad or as a sandwich. 

Prosciutto Dip with crackers

8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
3-4 oz prosciutto, diced
1 TBSP dried minced onion
1 TBSP dried chives
1 tsp lemon pepper

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Combine all in a food processor and pulse several times.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Chill and serve with crackers.


These are great to have on hand when feeding a crowd! They hold up well, and (like the shrimp sandwiches) they are great for lunch, or they’ll tide people over while food is being prepped for the main event. It doesn’t get more southern than pimento cheese! You can always just serve the pimento cheese with assorted crackers.

1 lb sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 med sweet onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, quartered
2/3 cup mayo
1 1/2 tsp dijon
1 4-oz jar chopped pimentos, drained
dash of cayenne
s & p to taste

Thinly sliced white bread (such as Pepperidge Farm)

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Shred or grate the cheese and place in large bowl.  

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Put the onion and garlic in food processor and pulse (or chop very finely) then add to cheese. 

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Stir in mayo, mustard, pimentos and cayenne. Add salt and pepper.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Cover mixture tightly and refridgerate for at least 8 hours for flavors to blend. Spread over bread and slice into triangles.





Photo Credit:

This dessert is BY FAR my most requested recipe! It’s decadently delicious, and I’ve been making it since I first had it at a girlfriend’s house in high school. It’s crazy good!!! It’s also perfect to prepare in advance and freeze. 

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
4 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
1 (10.5-ounce) bag miniature marshmallows

1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  

Mix butter and sugar.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Add eggs and mix well.
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Sift dry ingredients (cocoa, flour and salt), and add to the butter mixture, then add vanilla (and nuts if desired). 

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Pour batter into a greased and floured 9×13 baking pan.  Bake about 25-30 minutes (until a wooden pick comes out clean) and then pour mini marshmallows on top.  (Make the frosting while the cake is baking.) Return to the oven and bake an additional 5-10 minutes – just until lightly browned.  Remove from oven and frost.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue
Photo Credit: Cate Bogue


Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  I start with the butter and sugar and cocoa, and then add the milk.  You may add a bit more or less depending on the consistency you prefer. Finish by adding the vanilla. Spread on the warm cake.

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue

Drizzle Chocolate Frosting over warm cake that’s topped with lightly toasted marshmallows. Cool completely. And voila!!!

Photo Credit: Cate Bogue


2 boxes of instant vanilla pudding
1 8oz container of Cool Whip
5-6 ripe bananas
1 box of Vanilla Wafers

Make pudding per instructions, using milk. Fold most of the whipped topping into the pudding, saving some for the top of the dessert. Mix well. Line the bottom of a bowl with vanilla wafers; add a layer of the pudding/cool whip mixture. Add a layer of sliced bananas and then a layer of the pudding/cool whip mixture. Continue alternating layers and top with remaining cool whip. Best if refrigerated for a couple of hours before serving.

A few pics from our day celebrating Millicent:

Our bellini bar before we added the raspberries.

Carrots and hummus in mini terra cotta pots:

Deviled eggs:

Chicken salad on mini-croissants:
Pimento cheese finger sandwiches:

The hosts (minus ONE):
Lilly girls!
Our friend, Mary, with Wendy, myself and the mother of the bride – DENISE:
Millicent and her Mom’s (Denise’s) best friend, Deborah:
Millicent and her Grandmother:
Caroline and the guest of honor, Millicent:

Posing with the Bride-to-be!

The “wishes” table:

The front door decor:

Childhood friends:
We made up these personalized recipe cards and had every guest bring it to the shower with their favorite recipe: