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fresh entrée #1

yellow flowers

For last weekend’s Spring Reunion Dinner, I served two fresh and colorful entrées. Today I post the first, along with a few photos of the flowers and table setting.

I picked up the flowers above at Trader Joe’s when I was grocery shopping for the dinner and arranged them quite simply in a few of the bottles from my “miscellaneous cool bottles” collection.

Loris flowers

These beauties were given to me by Lori and I can assure you she didn’t just pick them up at Trader Joe’s – more likely at some fancy florist shop. I arranged them in some of my clear square vases and they were held indoors until it was cool enough to move them to the table on the back patio where we ate our meal.


I decided to keep the table simple, fresh, and clean – like the food.


I started with white placemats and napkins, blue and gold Indian-inspired tea glasses for the water, and frosted white striped wine goblets.


Gold flatware to match the tea glasses and a lovely set of mix/match of bird and floral dishes in simple black and white.


Grilled Chicken and Asparagus with Creamy Goat Cheese

Grilled Chicken and Asparagus with Creamy Goat Cheese

  • 1 ½ pounds skinned and boned chicken breasts
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 pounds asparagus, tough ends snapped off
  • 4-ounces crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup peeled and thinly sliced shallots
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill

chicken breasts

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Brush the chicken with 2 tablespoons of the oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper.

grilled chicken

Grill the chicken, covering the grill, for about 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Let stand for 10 minutes and then thinly slice on the diagonal.

grill basket

Toss the asparagus with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and lay in a grill basket, grill for about 2 minutes per side.

grilled asparagus

Remove from basket and cut on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces. In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, asparagus, goat cheese, and shallot.

mayo mix

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, lemon juice, and garlic plus the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss with the chicken-asparagus mixture.

chicken asparagus goat cheese

Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with the chopped mint and dill.

Serves 6

*Photo Credit:  The top 2 photos were taken by Lori Vento.

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1 Betsy { 03.04.16 at 11:13 AM }

can’t wait to make this– do you server cold or room temp– how far ahead can you make?
Thank you

2 Linda Hopkins { 03.04.16 at 11:35 AM }

Betsy, I grilled the chicken and asparagus a few hours before, refrigerated and then spread on a baking sheet and popped into a low warm oven for a few minutes before tossing it together. I had the leftovers the day after and it was good cold too.

3 Lynn Owens { 03.05.16 at 9:40 AM }

Love the blue and gold glasses, love the gold flatware and especially love those plates!!! Where are they from? Where can I buy them? I love them! The food looks pretty great too 🙂

4 Linda Hopkins { 03.05.16 at 9:58 AM }

Hi Lynn, thanks for the comment and compliments! I bought the plates a few months back on Antique Farmhouse http://www.antiquefarmhouse.com/past/2015/4/black-white-decor/stoneware-plates-with-birds-and-flowers.html. It is one of those daily shopping sites you can subscribe to. Actually, I buy a whole bunch of stuff there 🙂 Items in their inventory rotate constantly, so I have no doubt the plates will come back around again soon. If you click on the link or copy/paste the link above in your browser, you’ll see that there are 9 plates in all and they are sold in three separate sets. I bought all three sets. To use as actual dinner dishes, Set B would be the most appropriate. The plates in Set A are more appetizer size and the two in Set C are nearly platter size. Since I needed 6 dinner plates, I used the two platter-size plates from Set C, the three plates from Set B and the largest from Set A, which I placed on top of a round white dinner plate, and I positioned that my own placesetting. The smallest plate was just for looks and to make the table look balanced. When we filled our plates with food, I removed it and used the round dinner plate to eat off of. It worked out!

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