We had our annual Relief Society Picnic last week. We did a luau theme and held it at a local park. Preparing for this activity was a bit crazy, since Greg was sent on a business trip to New York during the same time, with less than 24 hours notice. But, everything came together at the last minute, thanks to my awesome committee, Greg waking up early before his flight to grill 12 pounds of teriyaki chicken, some vegetable chopping help from my friend Taichelle and some babysitting while I set up from my sister Sariah. We served teriyaki chicken salad (from Our Best Bites) in croissants, a variety of fruit, pasta salad, chips and mandarin orange cake. The chicken salad tasted really good, but was a lot of work. However, I don't think it would take so long with a regular portion. In this case, I multiplied the recipe by eight, and it took six and a half hours of preparation. The cake recipe we've had in the family for a while; it is super quick and easy, and it always turns out delicious. We decorated for the luau with huge handcrafted palm trees, tropical themed plates/tablecloths/centerpieces, and passed out leis to all those in attendance. Then we ended the evening with a limbo contest, one for the kids and one for the adults. It was great fun!
Teriyaki Chicken Salad
2 chicken breasts
1 batch prepared teriyaki sauce (can use store bought, but this homemade sauce is amazing!), divided
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/3 cup sliced green onions, chopped
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 mango, cut into small cubes
1 small can pineapple tidbits
1/3-1/2 cup light mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste
croissants or pitas
Marinate chicken in teriyaki sauce (reserve about a cup for basting, and 2-3 tablespoons for salad mixture) for at least 4 hours. Grill. While chicken is grilling, combine celery and green onions in a small mixing bowl. When chicken is done, allow to stand for about 10 minutes and then cut into bite-sized pieces. Toss with celery and onions and then add mayonnaise and mix thoroughly. Add 2-3 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce to taste. Refrigerate for several hours.
Right before serving, add mango, pineapple, and nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve on a lettuce leaf in a croissant or a pita.
Mandarin Orange Cake
1 package yellow cake mix
1 cup vegetable oil
1 (11 ounce) can mandarin oranges
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 inch pan. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, oil and mandarin oranges with juice. Beat until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool. In a large bowl, beat together whipped topping, pineapple with juice and dry pudding mix until blended. Spread on cake.