BBQ Chicken Hand Sliders & Spicy Springtime Macaroni Salad

So, you’ve done it — the wedding is over, and you and your loved one have had the time of your lives on your honeymoon. Let’s jump start into your couple lifestyle with a  post honeymoon soiree.

If you’re returning home after your honeymoon, it’s normal to feel a little exhausted After all, you’ve just pulled through one of the biggest events of your life. It can feel like you’re reaching the end of a race.
But it doesn’t have to be all gloom and doom. Instead, you can take this time to reconnect with your close friends and family. What better way to do that than to throw a small, intimate soiree?

A low-stress, easy, fun gathering is just what you and your inner circle need. And with these tips, you can leave most of the planning to us.

1) Entertain Outdoors
Soak up spring’s balmy breezes, the starlight, and nature’s ambiance by having your party in your backyard or on your patio. Renting an apartment? Not a problem. Check with a local botanical garden or a park to see if you can have an afternoon picnic.
Entertaining outdoors can literally be a breath of fresh air. Since festivities will be focused on the outdoors, you don’t have to stress about your home looking perfect.
You can bring along a Frisbee or Football, but if guests just want to sit and chat, that’s fine too.
Tip: Glow-in-the-dark Frisbees brighten up any night-time get-together.

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2) Have Some Drinks
Take the strain off of your wallet by having a very small “open bar.” Try offering two cases of craft beer, then two or three mix-and-match options. You can celebrate springtime flavors by swapping your soda chasers out for fruitier tastes. Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple-Blueberry and Ocean Spray’s new Cran-Mango flavor offer a bright, sunny palate — and are technically healthier than slugging back Coca-Cola.
Tip: Offering small cups distracts from limited drink offerings. Encourage guests to mix and match, and make sure to have a gallon or two of water on hand in case you run out of other drinks.

3) Mix Up the Lighting
Make the most of your magical evening. Lighting tea lights and pillar candles, then hanging a strand of battery-powered fairy lights, adds bohemian charm to any party. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can light candles inside lantern-shaped holders, though tea lights scattered across the table will look just as magnificent.
Tip: Partying in the park? Ask about candles, or opt for multi-colored battery-powered fairy lights, which are available at Target or Amazon. Make sure to take them with you when you leave!

4) Take the Cooking Easy
Stick to one main dish and one side dish so you’re not slaving in the kitchen all day long.
Two delectable dishes that can be made a few hours ahead and taste greatly when chilled are Spicy Springtime Macaroni Salad and BBQ Chicken Hand Sliders. The smoky flavors are the perfect complement to a night spent outdoors.

Spicy Springtime Macaroni Salad

  • 5 cups large elbow pasta, uncooked
  • 1 large ripe tomato
  • 1 small green bell pepper
  • 1 small orange bell pepper
  • ½ small red onion
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin
  • ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard
  • 5 tablespoons of mayonnaise

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• Boil macaroni for full length of time on the box
• Drain; rinse with cold water
• Dice tomato, onion, and peppers
• Add macaroni, diced veggies, and spices together
• Mix thoroughly
• Add mayonnaise and mustard
• Mix thoroughly
• Chill for one hour
Keeps for up to two days.

BBQ Chicken Hand Sliders
• 24 Hawaiian sweet rolls
• 2.5 cups shredded rotisserie chicken (cooked)
• 2 cups barbeque sauce
• 1.5 cups shredded yellow cheddar
• 4 tablespoons of butter (melted)

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• Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment, foil, or liner.
• Cut the Hawaiian rolls in half and set aside.
• Toss cooked rotisserie chicken and BBQ sauce together in a bowl.
• Spoon a generous amount of chicken mixture into each roll. Top with shredded yellow cheddar.
• Brush butter over top of the rolls until they’re slightly glossy.
• Bake at 350 degrees until cheese melts. (Approximately 8 minutes).
• Later that night, serve them alongside your Spicy Springtime Macaroni Salad!
Both of these dishes are filling, savory, and too perfect for a nighttime soiree. Guests will love digging in!

5) Don’t Sweat the Guest List
If you still find yourself in wedding planning panic mode, take a deep breath and relax. This party is for you, your loved one, and your inner circle. No one has to bring gifts. You can let the seating arrangement arise organically. And if someone doesn’t make you happy to see them, you have our permission to not invite them.

Tip: For an ultra-low stress experience, invite everyone by text, or set up a closed Facebook event.
That’s our guide to throwing the simplest spring soiree with the most amount of fun! Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!

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