Friday, March 26, 2021

Friday Favorites 3.26.21

Happy Friday, friends! I'm linking up with Andrea today for this blog post. 

This isn't my typical favorites type blog post, where I take you through my week with fun stuff and things that stood out to me. I thought I'd share about one thing that I do pretty often at our house that is one of my very favorite things to do—how I go about hosting birthday parties. 

Today is my dad-in-love's birthday and we had him and my mom-in-love over for dinner last night. We also did this two weeks ago for three of my four sons and we'll be doing it all over again on Monday night for my dad's 90th birthday. Additionally, I always do something for my mom and Bill as well, on their birthdays. I grew up with birthdays being a big deal, and I love carrying on the tradition Mom handed down to me. 

So, without further adieu, here is how I go about hosting a party.

I've mentioned this before, but I keep the house marginally clean. (Don't ever look too close or use a white glove or anything, but it stays pretty neat and I vacuum almost everyday because of the dogs.) I always have my quiet time in the mornings like it's just any other day, then I make my list of what all I need to get done so that I can have a time frame in mind. I always start with knowing what we're eating both for dinner and dessert and I know that we always eat around six, unless Drew is working and we start at 6:15 so that when he gets home at 6:20, we're just sitting down. 

I had originally planned for us to have something entirely different, but thanks to the rain, I had to go to plan B. I ran to Kroger and got all my ingredients after writing down all that I needed and the recipe for future notice. Yes, I am an adventurous cook. Both dinner and dessert were new for me (spinach lasagna and a coconut cake). I came home and pulled everything out of their bags and categorized everything. I always start by making dessert first, because in this case, it needed to be refrigerated. 

It's basically a giant mess for a few hours. Once I've made everything, I clean everything I use as I go. I made the cake and some brownies for the people who don't like coconut. I paused to eat lunch and sit for a while, then I got back to work at two. I went ahead and organized everything I'd need for the lasagna as I cooked, then assembled it to be put into the oven at five. I started a load of dishes in the dishwasher so that we had an empty one afterward, then I started putting things away. I cleaned the counters off, vacuumed, then I went and pulled out all the plates, utensils and cups we'll need for tonight. I had coffee ready to be made with cups out and sweeteners and cream, and everything was ready for us to eat at 6:15. 

I always make the salad and bread last, but when I got the lasagna out of the oven, it needed to sit for about fifteen minutes, so that's when I put the bread in. I make my own garlic bread with a loaf of French bread from the deli, then toss the salad very last. 

I'm pretty organized about it all and I've done this for so long that I don't even think about it anymore. I have a system by now and though it does take time and preparation, I have always loved doing this. About those new recipes I tried out, both were DELICIOUS. I'll be keeping them close by for future reference. I wasn't sure about the coconut cake, but I bought a white cake mix and coconut milk, along with flaked coconut for the icing. The cake got its flavor from the milk and the icing was homemade cream cheese icing, then topped with more coconut flakes. I kept it refrigerated, because for some reason, I like it to be cold when I eat this kind of cake. Though I love it, until today I thought I was the only one who loved it so much. Turns out that Drew loves it as much as me. ;)

I hope this post inspires you to host a family birthday dinner sometime soon. It's my preferred way to celebrate, because we are a large group and I feel like my food is just as good as most restaurants and it's more relaxed being here at home. Thanks for reading along! Love to all. 

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