The main food table
Mini - Quiches and cheddar - filled pretzel sandwiches
Fruit Bowl (Apple bowls/umbrellas were made by Emily's good friend, Terrah)
Busy, Busy, Busy. Words to describe the days before a major party. When I think of the very first birthday party I threw for my daughter Hayden so many years ago; I have to laugh at how I tried to accomplish everything the morning of the party. Seriously. I was so clueless. Since that time, however, I have learned to "prep" as much as possible days in advance to reduce stress and the chances of mishaps. I have also learned to combine homemade goodies with store bought to ensure a large variety without a large amount of overwhelming work! We were still so busy, however, that I didn't have time to snap pictures while we worked; but I have posted links to as many recipes as possible. Click on any red item below to get the recipe.
- sandwiches (turkey/provolone, roast beef/provolone, ham delights)
- fruit salad (bought a large bag of frozen fruit from Wal-Mart and added fruit bowls made by Terrah)
- tossed salad (Romaine hearts, iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, red onion and cherry tomatoes)
- cream cheese wrapped olives rolled in nuts
- bacon-wrapped pretzel rods (same as olive link) These were a big hit.
- cheddar cheese filled pretzel "sandwiches" (melt small slices of sharp cheddar in between pieces of "waffle" pretzels).
- mini-quiches (apple/cheddar, bacon/onion/cheddar, broccoli/cheddar. I will be posting a separate entry for these.
- coffee/chocolate cheesecake I used my standard recipe on link but I added 1 cup of brewed coffee, two tablespoons of Kahlua (alcohol evaporates during baking), and two extra eggs.
- strawberry cake - used a store-bought cake mix and frosting, but decorated with fresh strawberries.
- scones (made by Aunt Patty) with Devonshire cream (buy from Earthfare)
- cake pops (Hayden used a different flavor cake mix here and decorated them differently)
- cream puffs -bought two boxes from Wal-Mart
- shortbread cookies (brought by Emily's good friend, Avery)
- French macarons (yes, only one "o" in this) Hayden made these.
- Tea (Celestial Seasons herbal and fruit variety packs and Tetley black tea)
- sweet iced tea (brewed Lipton)
- lemonade (bought Simply Lemonade)
- Have large pots of water bubbling on stove before guests arrive and large ladle for hostess to fill/refill teapots on tables as needed.
- Have mayo, mustard, and pickles out for ladies to add to sandwiches.
- Pour salad dressing from store bought bottles into prettier glass dispensers/containers.
- Stick cake pops into floral foam in the bottoms of pretty teapots or vases.
- Warm up pre-made sandwiches, quiches, and scones right before arrival of your guests.
- Don't prep foods too soon or they won't taste fresh. I usually start no more than two days in advance.
- Light pretty candle in main restroom and any others an hour before guests arrive to circulate fragrance.
- Replace all burned out light bulbs (especially in chandelier/main areas).
- Make sure kitchen cabinets, drawers, trash area, fridge, etc. are clean. Some guests insist on helping you clean up afterward and you don't want tupperware falling on their heads or any other embarrassing discoveries!
- Hayden created a wonderful slide show of photos of Emily over the years to play on her laptop in our "dining room".
- Play classical music softly so guests can hear their conversations.
- Plan simple meals (pizza, anyone?) and more independent homeschooling activities (workbooks/educational videos) the week of an event to keep your sanity.
- Let the kids help clean and cook. My younger ones help more with cleaning when it comes to parties, holidays, etc. They like to cook too - but I usually save those opportunities for a less stressful time so we can focus on getting the job done more quickly.
Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, Who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they may be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold of eternal life.
1 Timothy 6:17-19