1:45 Conversation - and Chicken Kalamata!

At 1:45 on Friday, I had a date with my cell phone and Miss G ...

Last month when I had my 300-post giveaway, I offered to my readers the gift of my time, and that in “Sandy-Party-Style” I’d answer questions and help the winner plan a party, or dinner, or whatever fit her lifestyle. Or, the winner could just pick my brain and we could talk about hospitality.

My winner, Miss G (who is new married and now Mrs. R), and I had THIS conversation (chocolate, pen, paper in hand) ...

Not being a reluctant entertainer, Miss G has a lot figured out when it comes to hospitality. For her young age, I was actually impressed with her entertaining knowledge and prowess. As we started talking about our similar personalities and how it’s easy to plan, and take control and … err … sometimes become bossy, we chuckled over our similarities. We seemed to “get” each other right away. This was really cool.

We talked about …
Miss G started asking me the hard questions. We discussed the dance between husband and wife – when to invite, how often to invite, who to invite (remember she is still a newly wed!). We talked about different conversation starters around the table – what works and what doesn’t - as well as planning out the meal, and delegation. We focused more on delegation.

I once felt I had to do it all!
Miss G has the same mindset that I had over15 years ago. Back then I loved cooking the ENTIRE meal. Part of me loved doing this; I think to prove to myself that I could pull it off – from appetizers to desserts. I actually took pride in this. I think maybe I thought it was cool for my guests to feel like they were coming to the “Coughlin Restaurant” and I didn’t want them to leave disappointed.

It’s your night off, I'd say.
But Miss G brought up a good point. It’s very nice to invite a couple or two over, and to tell them they don’t have to bring anything at all. “It’s your night off from cooking!” I would say back in my early entertaining days. And I meant it. My heart and soul went in to cooking the entire meal – with joy and finesse.

My pocket book said, no!
But then I got honest with Miss G. I told her that if I still had the mindset of preparing the entire meal, we’d be entertaining a lot less! Because my pocketbook would be SCREAMING at me!

Food is so expensive these days, but I still want to feel free to invite people over for dinner! So I’ve let go of the “I have to do it all” attitude, and I delegate and ask my guests to contribute.

(Any chance you have an amaryllis in bloom right now? We are enjoying ours ... Thank you, Dee!)

Practice graciousness.
We ended our talk on Friday talking about grace. A gracious hostess is what I strive to be. I think it’s required of me and it’s something I want more of. As I continue to learn now – in my 40’s – and apply these nuggets of grace that I’ve been given, I will reach out, encourage and help others, by sharing my experiences.

Forty-five minutes later we said our good-byes. I hope I was able to offer something fresh and new for Miss G. She’s already on the road to gracious living, and I was impressed by her kind spirit – and the fact that she did not lack passion, zip or style!

Would you be interested in a 45 minute chat about hospitality? Covering any topic that you’d want to learn more about?

Look for another opportunity to win a “hospitality chat” with me in a few months.

Last week I experimented with my own chicken recipe. My family loved it, so if you are an “olive” family, I think yours will too!

Sandy’s Chicken Kalamata
Chicken breasts
Red onion or garlic (I used onion)
Olive oil
Your favorite cheese (I used Dubliner, from Costco, our family favorite!)
Sour Cream
Kalamata olives

Secret to tender chicken? Always tenderize

Brown breasts in olive oil and red onion (or garlic) on both sides and season!

Lay in pan, placing your favorite sliced cheese on top

Spread about 1 cup (or more) sour cream on top of cheese; chop olives

Place olives on very top, cover with foil, bake at 375 for 30 minutes

Mouth-watering goodness, served on top of brown rice!

I made this recipe up as I went along, using leftover olives from our New Years Eve dinner, but my family decided that it was a home-run Coughlin recipe!

Look what we pulled out of our closet today. They are dusty …


Karen said...

I am Miss G's mother and yes, she is a gracious entertainer. I have learned so much from her and from her younger brother about entertaining. Thank you for gifting her with time. I have come to believe that is the most precious commodity of all.

Bev said...

I dont know which was more delightful, covering the coversation, the recipe or the dusty shoes. And I'll be using that recipe for sure - we're an olive family!

~nanashouse~ said...

Are those tap shoes??

ellen b. said...

Sounds like a great conversation. The recipe looks yummy. I'll have to make it for my olive loving friends..
So are the shoes destined for the duster or the dust bin??

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

I think that's a very clever give-away! So smart!

Jenni said...

Miss G is one of my very good friends and we have explored sharing hospitality together over the past 9 years....she directed me to you and I'm looking forward to hearing more from her about your conversation!

Betts said...

I'm still a do it all girl, but I'm trying to relent and delegate more than my usual "just bring a bottle of wine."

I want to hear more about these shoes!

ValleyGirl said...

Thanks for sharing the highlights of your conversation ~ and the delicious looking/sounding recipe!

Taking a tip from you and how you look after your kids' teachers, I plan on feeding our pastor couple once a month this year ~ either in our home or just a surprise meal dropped off earlier in the day for them to enjoy at home.

Ms. Tee said...

What a great conversation/gift to give her. Thanks for sharing :)
And I've never tenderized chicken before! I must try that. Hope you have a great week!

Candice said...

ooooh. The recipe looks great! I may try that one tonight! Thanks for sharing bits of your conversation with Miss G. I appreciated the thoughts on allowing others to contribute. I have done that as well as tried to bless other women by 'giving them the night off'; I think my approach may vary according to my busyness, stress-level, AND checkbook! So nice to hear the thoughts from an expert!

Anonymous said...

Dancing Shoes!

We once took swing lessons with another couple. Seems like a lifetime ago, but it was worth every minute.

So are you starting again?

Recipe looks good. I might fold a bit of feta into the sour cream since my family loves strong flavors.

deb meyers

Sandy Toes said...

That recipe looks yummy...we had a family over for dinner..it was nice to entertain:)
-sandy toe
ps stop over for my giveaway, Sandy!

see you there! said...

What a great gift, I'll bet you enjoyed the conversation.

The price of food sure has gone up hasn't it? It seems the price has been raised on each item I buy.


Jen said...

Your chicken sounds wonderful. I will so have to try this. I spoke on cooking tips last night for MOPS....it was so much fun. You would have liked it.

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

Hi Sandy! Just wanted to stop by to answer your question about Mildred Lane. It was the name of the street that my sister and I grew up on. It's funny, when we get orders off our etsy site, people have addressed my as Mildred. I think it's cute!

Elizabeth G. said...

Are those tap shoes??? Thanks for all the thought food on entertaining. I want to do more of it this year.


LuLu said...

We are a loving olive family... I am making this recipe... Can't wait!

Jules from "The Roost" said...

I am sure she will be more confident and wiser for the excellent advice you gave her! Isn't it amazing what years will teach you! :)

Lady Dorothy said...

Oooo, I wanna know about those dancing shoes!

Erin, Nick and Merrick said...

Hi! New here- I am mezmorized (SP) by all your your beautiful pictures and beautiful family!

Live.Love.Eat said...

Sounds like you had a great conversation with Miss G. And I love the chicken recipe. I laughed when I saw the dusty shoes below it.

Lisa said...

Thanks for the re-cap of the conversation. I still struggle with wanting to do the entire meal, but have also backed off from entertaining for that very reason...its too expensive to do regularly. Good food for thought.

Kendra said...

This looks really yummy! I'll have to try it out!