Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti Squash with Chicken and Peas

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and NatureRaised Farms, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #SCNRF   


I am a big fan of spaghetti squash.  It by no means tastes like spaghetti but can actually be a really great pasta replacement.

I also love chicken.  I'll be honest.  We eat chicken probably almost every night of the week.  We are chicken crazy.  But it is so versatile and can be the foundation to many yummy and healthy recipes.

So combining spaghetti squash and chicken is a no brainer around our house.  I like to cook a spaghetti squash or two and throw the extra in the freezer to use later.  Add in some frozen chicken breasts and literally this meal can be made in a half an hour (when the spaghetti squash has been pre-cooked).


Easter Dinner 2015


We had the lovely privilege of hosting Easter dinner again this year at our house.  Unlike last year's sunny outdoor pool party, we had to bring the festivities indoors as we were rained out.  While we were up for hosting everyone indoors, this was the first time that we ever tried to seat nineteen people indoors for a sit down meal.

We always had the option to split up tables but I was determined to get everyone at one big table.  There is something so cozy and intimate about getting everyone around one table that ended up being such a blessing.  It took me over an hour of rolling tables up and down the stairs to get the right configuration but I finally figured something out!


Besides getting everyone seated at one table, I figured if I had to bring this dinner indoors I wanted to at least be able to light a fire - meaning I needed just enough room to both enjoy the fire and seat everyone.  I am a crazy woman but if we were going to get rained out I wanted one last roaring fire for my guests!


I found this cute chalkboard sign and striped cups at Target.  Whenever we have a large gathering, I use it as an excuse to pick up a few things off of my entertaining wish list!  The chalkboard will be great for many future food tables!


Last year I printed and saved these free He is Risen printables from Jones Design Company to use again this year.


For each table setting I used recycled paper out of our shredder for a nest with little chocolate egg candies.


I love the look of our mismatched dining chairs.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that our plastic folding chairs meshed in well with the look.  Proof that you don't have to have everything perfect and matching to look beautiful!


My mom supplied all the flowers from her florist.  I requested lots of pink and white, as usual.


I seem to go through phases of design elements I like.  Purchasing a few yards of black and white striped fabric has been the foundation of all of my tablescapes since my birthday back in August!  It is still going strong!


For the tables I ended up putting together four tables - three folding tables along with our dining table.  Our dining table stuck out a little longer just a bit but it ended up being the most ideal configuration for the room while still leaving walking space by the fireplace.


Another item off of my wish list has been this plate stand from Anthropologie.  I always loved it but never needed it as a plate stand.  I finally figured out that I could use it for a napkin holder and I was sold!  I also ordered some brown recycled napkins for a more rustic look than my traditional white napkins.  


I made strawberry sponge cake for the first time and it was so good!  I used this sponge cake recipe and the filling and topping from this recipe.  It is definitely a keeper!  And so pretty!


I also made raspberry macarons from my friend Mindy's Gourmet French Macarons cookbook.  I made macarons last Easter so I decided it would be a yearly tradition (plus accountability to make homemade macarons at least once a year!).


Another repeat from last year are these delicious brownie pudding trifles from my other friend Glory's cookbook, Glorious Layered Desserts.


I have been wanting a bar cart for awhile.  So after hunting for a bargain priced one, I wound up empty handed.  We decided to spring for the one from Target to use this summer for all the outdoor entertaining we do.  This was the first time it got used for one of our gatherings and I am so happy with how versatile it is!  I was running out of space for my decor so I just put what is usually in that spot on the bottom of the bar cart!  I about died from cuteness.  


Now we can roll our snacks around to our little hearts content! 


This is the only family holiday that we host so I felt the pressure to want to recreate a traditional Easter menu.  Even though we entertain often, it is not surrounded around anyone's childhood memories or traditions.  I even asked Brent what food came to mind when he thought of Easter.  He said jelly beans!  That wasn't much help!  :)

For the meal we provide the meat, dessert, and any extra side dishes and everyone else pitches in on the rest.  I ended up serving pork tenderloin as it was one of few meat dishes I was really confident of (plus it can be made in the slow cooker making life one hundred times easier!).  But I questioned myself that I did not make a ham or turkey which are more associated with holiday meals.  But to my surprise everyone raved at how good the pork was and I was reassured that I needed to not worry so much about these things!  I am excited to now feel more confident in creating new holiday traditions in our family.  From now on it's pork tenderloin and macarons at Easter! 


And here is everyone crammed into our little dining room!  My heart practically explodes looking at this picture.  My cup is full for sure.  So blessed by what a wonderful family we have.  


The weather cleared up briefly so we took the Easter egg hunt into the front yard.  It seemed less messy and wet and made for a more cozy hunt for our two little ones.  Again, having everyone gather into our little front yard made me so happy!  So blessed to fill our home to the brim with people!


It was truly a lovely and beautiful rainy day.  We are so grateful for a wonderful family, great food, and a cozy home to love others through. 

Now if only it would rain more so our grass wouldn't look so bare...! 

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