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After the Party

After the party I gathered up the dishes and tossed them away, put the glasses and silverware into the dishwasher, then returned the chairs back where they belonged. I wiped the counters, did a slow pirouette and found all was in order — just as tidy as before my guests arrived. Now that’s the perfect kind of party!

Once a month we gather at someone’s house to share fun, laughter and food! We call it “Cooking Club” and we have a theme for each party. The first gathering was a “whatever” potluck. We all snatched “whatever” from our fridges and took it to Mariposa’s house to eat by the pool. At that gathering we discussed the theme for the next party — and decided upon cocoa. Every dish had to have cocoa in the recipe.

I made chicken mole with rice. Mariposa put together a spice rub for vegetables and grilled them. The Clarks made spiced nuts for the appetizer. The other couple flaked out on us, so at the last minute Mariposa mixed up a batch of brownies for dessert.

At that gathering we decided the theme for the next one — and since the only day we all had free was Mother’s Day, we decided the theme was, the guys cook. The guys decided their theme was tropical fruits. OC made the appetizer. He wrapped bacon around pineapple and broiled it, then added a yummy sauce. He also tossed together a salad of cauliflower, broccoli, tangerine slices and pineapple bits. Everybody was surprised at how well the flavors merged. The Clarks made baked chicken with pineapple salsa. It was yummy. Mariposa’s boyfriend made his last appearance at that party. He brought mango tea and baked a lemon poppy seed cake.

And for Sunday night’s gathering the theme was picnic foods. OC couldn’t understand why I was so insistent the house sparkle when we were supposed to be outside, but it has rained here every afternoon for two weeks. I didn’t expect party day to be any different — and I was right. Seconds after the guys grabbed the basketball and went out for some hoops, the skies opened up and drenched them.

So, the party gathered in our living room. The Clarks brought an Italian pasta salad. Their daughter (10) made a jello-fruit salad. Mariposa brought grilled chicken and cantaloupe. Wiley — a gentleman from church who has recently moved here and didn’t know better than to accept our invitation — brought Key Lime pie. I made Fiesta Shrimp Salad. The recipe is below (sorry, I forgot to photograph the salad until after its remains were in the leftover container):

Fiesta Shrimp Salad
[click here for larger photo]

1 pound shimp, cooked and shelled
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1 medium green pepper, diced
1 medium red pepper, diced
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 large cucumbers, peeled & diced
1/2 cup cliantro, chopped
juice from two lemons
salt, pepper & garlic powder to taste

Mix all the ingredients together and let marinate for several hours. Serve chilled on lettuce leaf.

(This makes quite a large salad, make certain you’ve company coming or you’ll be eating it forever.)

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Oh my goodness…that all sounds so wonderfully delicious! I was surprised at the chicken mole…didn’t think many people knew how to make it. I love it…my husband…not so much. OC’s salad sounds sooo good. Getting together with friends like that is just such a wonderful thing to do. My girlfriends and I get together once a month and go out for lunch, but that just isn’t the same.

    I’ve got an idea that shrimp dish is going to make it to our table before the week is out. Yummmm

  2. Sounds like a great party. I love parties where you throw away the dishes. After describing all the good food you had at these gatherings you threw in a recipe , wonderful !.

  3. Man! That is the 2nd “peppers” recipe I’ve run into this week that made my mouth water! Dennis will NOT eat peppers! And since it is basically the ONLY thing he won’t eat, I indulge him. But it still drives me nuts… cuz I love ’em! But I COULD make that for a gathering – and he would just choose other foods. Mmhmmm…. yep, I could! Thanks!

  4. Good on ya, OC.

    Quilly, I am rather well know for cleaning up to pristine standards after entertaining guests, but I’ve never done your “slow pirouette”!

  5. You guys have all the fun!. Looks like a great shrimp dish. I’ll have to try it since we love shrimp.

  6. Sounds like a great group, we have one of those too and I just plain dig it. I just love sharing food with friends and making a fuss over the whole thing, even though sometimes I get a little stressy over it. Our big shindig (sp?) is coming up so I’ll be researching and posting about it soon.
    That shrimp salad of yours sounds deee-lish!

  7. So much of the enjoyment of life is centered around food, and the enjoyment of food. sigh….. I miss the dishes that I used to be able to eat…… a good hamburger. Yes, I know, I can still have the meat. haha

    Your parties sound very fun…..and the food sounds good also.

  8. What a fun dinner club you have!
    I love shrimp, so your salad sounds and looks YUMMY to me.
    I like the house to be clean and sparkly whenever we have guests, and I love the feeling when all the cleanup is finished and the house back in order again.

  9. Amber — that shrimp dish is one of my all time fav salads. I have been known to live on it during the summer.

    Brian — my name is Hawaiian is Kalena. OC’s is Kale. They hold the same meaning as the names we were given at birth.

    Juliana — I think they had fun. They stayed here about 2 hours later then the group usually hangs out — but then again I had something for the 10 year old to do besides pester the grown ups.

    Brig — recipes and pictures of food do that to me, too!

    Dr. John — what kind of person would describe all the yummies and then not share?

    Melli — yep, you could.

    David — then how do you get an “over-all” picture?

    Jill — if you like all the other ingredients, you’ll love them together!

    Shelly — so far we’re pretty casual and don’t stress. Our rules are simple: stick to the theme and don’t cook anything that’s part of your normal repertoire.

    Nea — you can have the whole hamburger experience sans the bread. Just wrap it up in a sturdy lettuce leaf instead (ala Dr. Atkins) — although no mustard and catsup, huh? Yikes.

    JD — there is nothing like that “clean house” feeling. I managed to sustain it until last night. I guess I have housework again today.

    Jules — it is way too yummy. Try it. Luckily, it’s low cal! No ingredients are found in the recipe!

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