Clementine Celebration: A Little Sunshine


This is just a short post about how great it feels to have extra effort really pay off. I mean really, really pay off. In the sort of way that leaves you out a few extra bucks but with a smile.

In March--before I got my fancy camera or could ever remember to take pictures of all my favourite details--I helped plan a quiet, low-key little surprise party for a family member. Originally meant to just be a surprise lunch with the whole lot of us (we have a ginormous family), I was compelled to throw in some details a la Garnish. For those who don't know about Garnish, it's an amazing source for ideas and products to jazz up your everyday life. There's no way around loving them.

Inspired by a softening of the colours in the Union Jack for this special British lady, lunch was served in large gable boxes with pre-made everything. Delicious and healthy wraps, named "Suzy-Q's Sunshine Wraps" after the birthday girl, were served with a generous side of pasta salad (general wrap recipe below). The meal was designed by yours truly with easy substitutions in mind for our vegetarian and vegan guests. And, of course, there were itty bitty kids meals with vanilla cranberry parfaits, chicken nuggets and apple sauce. But, of course, things happened so fast I lost track of the pictures (and that will never happen again!)

What I learned? Going the extra mile is totally worth it. As if a surprise gathering wasn't enough, "Suzy-Q" loved every detail, down to the paper straws. I also learned that making mass quantities of pasta salad for upwards of ten people requires a very very very big pot...

How cute are the glass Coke bottles with these straws? I love paper straws.

"Suzy-Q's Sunshine Wraps" (easily vegan friendly)

large flax-seed wraps/tortillas
roasted red pepper hummus
"50/50" mixed greens (spinach and spring mix greens)
red peppers, cut into strips
sunflower seeds
fresh skinless chicken breasts *
grated mozzarella cheese *

1. Bake the chicken breasts in homemade/store-bought Greek dressing at 325 for thirty minutes. Let cool and cut into thin strips. Place the wraps, covered, on the warm oven while it cools.

2. Prep your station! Set up a table or counter with the wrap ingredients ready to go. Once you get into a rhythm of mass-producing these things you'll appreciate the convenience. Heat the wraps up in the microwave for ten seconds or so if they aren't pliable enough.

3. On a large plate or clean surface, lay down the wrap and add a smear of hummus, followed by a handful (or more, if you have mad tight-wrapping skills) of greens, an even row of red peppers, and a sprinkling of sunflower seeds. For meat and/or cheese eaters, add a sprinkling of grated mozza and/or a few strips of chicken. Then wrap up and serve. Repeat as many times as needed!

For the presentation conscious, cut large squares of parchment paper. Once the wraps are made, roll neatly in the parchment paper and seal with ribbon or tape. Voila! A super cute, super healthy lunch.

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