Neighbor party

I know plenty of people who don’t even know their neighbors.  In fact we were at a get together on Friday and someone was talking about a neighbor and describing them as “You know, the lady who never parks in front of her own house.”  It is funny the way we refer to neighbors “the people in the yellow house”, “the ones with the little dog”, “the ones with the overgrown lawn” but often we don’t really meet them.

We are lucky to have wonderful neighbors and we celebrate that by trying to get together at least once a year to have dinner and visit with each other.  The tradition started when we got two great new families in our neighborhood and wanted to welcome them.  We have done it each year since and we always have fun.  This year is a small group as we have some neighbors traveling and others with conflicts but we’ll still have fun.  Annie is bringing an appetizer and  April is bringing a salad and we’re supplying kabobs and rice for dinner and Congo squares for dessert.  (If the idea of hosting a neighborhood gathering intimidates you, these are great potluck opportunities.)

The shish kabobs are one of my favorites – a recipe that I got many years ago from a colleague.  I learned from Facebook that her husband passed away last year and she died this summer.  While we enjoy the meal and celebrate our friends, I’ll drink a toast and say a prayer for Joe and Mary Ann.

Tonight we are blessed with glorious weather.  (The first year we did this it poured in torrents and I have a wonderful picture of 9 little kids jammed onto the couch watching TV.)  Tonight the kids can play outside, we’ll play some fun music and have the Ravens game on in the background.

Shish Kabob

  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce (low sodium)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TB dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a bowl or jar.  Marinate sirloin cubes, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and red onions (quartered).  Skewer and grill.  Serve over rice.
My husband has a binder with recipes that his mother put together for him when he first struck out on his own.  On the first page is the recipe for one of her favorite desserts, Congo squares.  These are similar to tollhouse brownies with a few variations.
Congo Squares
  • 2 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 lb brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 package chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Melt butter over low heat.  Remove butter from heat and stir in brown sugar.  Beat eggs into butter, sugar mixture one at a time.  Stir in flour mixture and then chocolate chips.  Bake in a 9 x 13 pan for 25 – 30 minutes.   Let cool and cut into squares.

Congo sqaures

Congo sqaures

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About emenuplan
I love to cook and love to eat. I work full time and have a family so managing good meals during the week requires organization. I'm hoping to share my weekly menu plans and recipes to make things a little easier for those who want to follow along.

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